The Best Reviewed Games of 2020 (So Far) | IGN

Much like the last transitional year for console gaming in 2013 — a year that brought us Grand Theft Auto V, The Last of Us, and BioShock Infinite — 2020 has been a strong year for new games. With the first half of the year behind us, we’ve compiled a list of all 56 games that received a review score of 8 or higher from IGN. Note that, despite their qualifying scores, expansions (e.g. The Division 2: Warlords of New York) and games in Early Access (e.g. Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord) aren’t included.

Click through the gallery below or continue scrolling for our full list of 2020’s best games (so far), ordered from lowest score to highest.

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13 Sentinels: Aegis RIM

Review Score: 8 | Developer: Vanillaware | Platform(s): PS4

From our review: Vanillaware games have always looked great, but 13 Sentinels is the first time the studio has put a bulk of its focus on storytelling. And it pays off. This revival of classic sci-fi ideas hits all the right notes and goes deep without overstaying its welcome, even at over 20 hours long. And while Vanillaware’s attempt at doing something different with combat by branching out into real-time tactics to portray its city-scale mechs-vs-kaiju warfare is commendable, the storytelling and rich characters undoubtedly doall the heavy lifting in making 13 Sentinels an enjoyable journey. – Matt T.M. Kim

Battletoads

Review Score: 8 | Developer: Rare, Dlala Studios | Platform(s): Xbox One, PC

From our review: After more than a quarter of a century in limbo, this new iteration of the legendarily difficult Battletoads takes everything that made the NES original memorable and reworks it into a friendlier, funnier beat ‘em up. Entertaining characters with a great visual style, simple but rewarding combat and minigames, and a rad soundtrack coalesce into a respectably enjoyable revival, with its most notable shortcomings being that enemy variety is a little slim and the story is over too quickly. – Terrence Wiggins

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Black Mesa

Review Score: 8 | Developer: Crowbar Collective | Platform(s): PC

From our review: Whether you played Half-Life back in the day or not, Black Mesa is definitely the best way to experience one of the crown jewels of first-person shooter history. It doesn’t look like a 2020 remake – because it’s not, really – but it still makes great use of the distinctively creepy atmosphere and excellent combat that left such a mark on this genre. And what better way to get ready for Valve finally returning to the Half-Life universe? – Dan Stapleton

Bloodroots

Review Score: 8 | Developer: Paper Cult | Platform(s): PS4, Switch, PC

From our review: Even after completing it, I’ve continued trying to master Bloodroots’ levels because the loop it introduces in its opening minutes remains fun all the way through its campaign. It doesn’t revolutionize its genre but is such a solid entry, with a variety of weaponry to master, some fantastic boss fights, and an overall immediacy to its action. Dressed in a beautiful art design and coupled with a Tarantino-esque tale, Paper Cult elevates its murderous mayhem with an intriguing world. Aside from some slippery nuisances in certain level designs, and a somewhat predictable ending to the otherwise fun story, Paper Cult has crafted a bloody fun time. – Jonathon Dornbush

Desperados 3

Review Score: 8 | Developer: Mimimi Games | Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC

From our review: Desperados 3 is an uncompromising tactical stealth game that tests your patience and rewards your willingness to experiment. Playing with a charming team of toy soldier-sized assassins in a series of deadly and detailed dioramas is tough and requires a lot of trial and error, but success is more rousing than a whiskey chaser. Dormant for 14 years, in Desperados 3 the series enjoys the most triumphant comeback in the Western genre since Clint Eastwood made Unforgiven. – Tristan Ogilvie

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout

Review Score: 8 | Developer: Mediatonic | Platform(s): PS4, PC

From our review: A collection of exciting minigames and a smattering of every colour under the rainbow makes Fall Guys a consistent delight, even if it can also be a frustrating one at times. A few quality of life annoyances aside, it sets itself apart from both the party and battle royale games that inspired it in its own ludicrously fun way. I may only have a handful of crowns to my name so far and can’t wait to get hold of more, but most importantly I’m looking forward to the excitement, yells, and laughs I’ll have on my way to them. Joining the frosty, war-torn Verdansk and the wild, looming cliffs of King’s Canyon is an ocean of pink slime that stretches as far as the eye can see. I know where I’d rather be. – Simon Cardy

Final Fantasy 7 Remake

Review Score: 8 | Developer: Square Enix | Platform(s): PS4

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From our review: The expectations around Final Fantasy 7 Remake are sky high, and it mostly manages to deliver. Its combat is top notch, its enemy variety kept me constantly entertained, and seeing this snippet of story fleshed out with real emotional arcs and the previously hidden humanity behind Midgar filled me with pure joy. The boring RPG filler and Kingdom Hearts-esque convolution that was inserted in between did stop my ear-to-ear grin from being constant, but never long enough to kill the mood completely. That leaves this remake as one that still delivered on letting me relive (part of) a classic in stupendous fashion, while also standing as a great RPG all its own. – Tom Marks

Gears Tactics

Review Score: 8 | Developer: Splash Damage, The Coalition | Platform(s): PC (Xbox One version coming later this year)

From our review: Gears Tactics is an excellent turn-based tactics game that does a superb job of melding Gears’ famous style and action with the mechanics laid down by XCOM. It’s one intense and satisfying tactical battle after another, and it looks absolutely fantastic doing it. It does slightly wear out its welcome with too much of a good thing in its Gear-grinding side missions, and due to the lack of larger strategic decisions I don’t see it as being as replayable as its tactical role model. Even so, it’s a strong campaign that leaves a great impression with some clever, Gears-appropriate original ideas. – Dan Stapleton

Granblue Fantasy: Versus

Review Score: 8 | Developer: ARC System Works | Platform(s): PS4, PC

From our review: Following in the footsteps of BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle, Granblue Fantasy: Versus is one of Arc System Works’ most approachable fighting games yet. It smartly balances considerations for more casual fighting game players without ever stepping on the toes of its hardcore audience. The result is a more grounded and neutral-heavy ArcSys alternative with all of the usual ArcSys flair, which is a fantastic breath of fresh air. Its RPG mode is dull, and its 11 character roster feels way too light, but all things considered, Granblue Fantasy: Versus feels like it could be the start of another special 2D fighting franchise. – Mitchell Saltzman

Kentucky Route Zero

Review Score: 8 | Developer: Cardboard Computer | Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

From our review: Kentucky Route Zero is a beautiful poetry generator in the body of a point-and-click adventure game. It’s frequently stunning to look at and beautifully written throughout. The way it tells its magical modern-day story can sometimes be hamfisted, stuttering like a dying old delivery van at times, but the creativity with which it delivers its dialogue and the freedom you have to shape it toward your interests makes this an ethereal road trip worth taking. – Tom Marks

Little Orpheus

Review Score: 8 | Developer: The Chinese Room | Platform(s): iOS

From our review: There’s not much to Little Orpheus’s gameplay apart from moving left to right, jumping, and interacting with a few objects, but that’s compensated by stellar voice acting and gorgeous settings to journey through. You’ll find some light puzzles and platforming challenges here, but this is an interactive story above all else – and that’s not a knock against it. Some repetition settles in by the end, unfortunately, and you’ll see some minor frame rate drops even on a brand new-iPhone. But for the first time in months, Apple Arcade has justified its $4.99 subscription cost with a game well worth playing. – Leif Johnson

Mafia: Definitive Edition

Review Score: 8 | Developer: Hangar 13 | Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC

From our review: Completely rebuilt from the ground up, Mafia: Definitive Edition features excellent performances from its new cast, a fantastic driving model, and a beautiful and authentic city oozing with 1930s atmosphere like overfilled cannoli. It’s hobbled slightly by its fairly vanilla third-person combat – and it arguably wastes the potential of its entirely overhauled world by not crafting a few new ways to utilise more of it – but it’s still a successful rejuvenation of the best story in the series to date, and one that can now stand beside 2016’s Mafia III as an equal, rather than a quaint but crusty ancestor. – Luke Reilly

Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection

Review Score: 8 | Developer: Capcom | Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

From our review: The Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy collection is great thanks to the quality of its six included games. Capcom’s addition of new modes to help people play these classics at whatever difficulty they feel comfortable with is a great way for anyone to enjoy the wild sci-fi stories of these Mega Man X spin-offs without making it a walk in the park. The bonus features are great, but aren’t anything more than what you’d expect to find in a retro gaming collection, although the Z-Chaser adds a new level of competitiveness to the games. Playing handheld games on a 55″ screen is fun enough on its own, but these games in particular look and play amazingly well. – Seth Macy

MLB The Show 20

Review Score: 8 | Developer: Sony San Diego Studio | Platform(s): PS4

From our review: In what feels like a minor but noticeable update, MLB The Show 20 doesn’t break what wasn’t broken. Developer Sony San Diego has tweaked and tightened everything that was presented in MLB The Show 19, and as a result, playing baseball on a console has never been this fluid. But even with the excellent new Showdown mode, longtime fans may be just a little turned off by the lack of big new changes. That said, those who haven’t picked up an MLB The Show since 17 or 18 will absolutely find that MLB The Show 20 is the best place to pick the series back up. – Gabriel Moss

Mortal Shell

Review Score: 8 | Developer: Cold Symmetry | Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC

From our review: Mortal Shell isn’t as rich and complex as post-Souls games like Bloodborne or Sekiro, but it does make you work for victories and learn from your mistakes. It’s a beautifully dark adventure, and thanks to its clever body-swapping mechanic it delivers much of the playstyle diversity and exploration of the best in this genre, but in a tidy and comparatively short package with a couple of attractive surprises of its own. – Leif Johnson

Moving Out

Review Score: 8 | Developer: SMG Studio, DevM Games | Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

From our review: Provided you’ve got at least one friend in tow to share the load and the laughs, Moving Out is an absolute blast. It takes a simple set of mechanics and milks madness and mirth from them in equal measures, consistently shaking up the parameters of its heavy-lifting assignments to keep you on your toes while you’re bending at the knees. Moving Out is the best way to get your mates to help you move house without having to owe them a case of beer afterwards. – Tristan Ogilvie

Murder By Numbers

Review Score: 8 | Developer: Mediatonic | Platform(s): Switch, PC

From our review: Murder by Numbers successfully blends a Phoenix Wright-style visual novel with a Picross-style puzzle game by making each aspect great in its own right. It may not be the game to dethrone Jupiter from its Picross pedestal, and its somewhat overly linear detective story doesn’t quite reach as high as its Ace Attorney inspiration, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a mystery worth solving. Honor and SCOUT are a wonderful duo to watch grow, and their detective adventures are a heartwarming and undoubtedly fun time. – Tom Marks

Necrobarista

Review Score: 8 | Developer: Route 59 | Platform(s): PS4, Switch, PC

From our review: If you’re an acolyte of the visual novel genre then you’re likely to have Necrobarista in your sights. Take the plunge – it’s worth it. For those curious about visual novels but put off by either the static-ness of the format or their usual anime aesthetics, Necrobarista will be unlike what you expect. With a keen eye for cinematography, a striking animation style, and an eccentric cast of off-beat characters, Necrobarista spins a great story in unique and stylish fashion. – Matt T.M. Kim

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4

Review Score: 8 | Developer: Omega Force | Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

From our review: One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 is a great One Piece game, and though it wears its many flaws on its sleeveless, red button-down top and straw hat, its smart additions to combat go a long way in reducing the notorious tedium that typically plagues the musou genre. It’s still a tough sell to a non-One Piece fan, but as someone who absolutely loves One Piece and was only just sort of into Musou games, I found a ton to like in Pirate Warriors 4. – Mitchell Saltzman

Panzer Paladin

Review Score: 8 | Developer: Tribute Games | Platform(s): Switch, PC

From our review: Panzer Paladin doesn’t reinvent the action-platforming wheel, but it does an excellent job balancing the aesthetics and feel of an old-school action platformer with modern ideas to make it a wholly fresh-feeling experience. The true power of the weapons is only unlocked through their destruction, which adds an extra layer of strategy to each level and boss fight. On top of its retro-aesthetics, it has some many nods to NES era games without getting mired in nostalgia for nostalgia’s sake. It doesn’t quite reach the heights of something like Shovel Knight, but it brings a lot of cool ideas to the genre of neu-retro while feeling like it could have been right at home on the original NES. – Seth Macy

Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time

Review Score: 8 | Developer: Soleil | Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

From our review: Even if you’re not a Samurai Jack superfan, Battle Through Time may be worth a playthrough just for the refresher course in how action games used to work and how vital that style can still be in 2020. There are plenty of quirks that come with the game’s curious dedication to the past, but the overall package excels despite them. Following so many slow, tanky duels with skeletons that can take you out in one hit, it’s a blast to tear through countless rock creatures with a single smash of a spiked club. – Alex Santa Maria

SnowRunner

Review Score: 8 | Developer: Saber Interactive | Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC

From our review: An earnest, unapologetically tricky, and time-consuming trucking experience, SnowRunner’s peculiar brand of off-road ordeals is oddly addictive, deep, and rewarding when played in the right spirit. It’s not often we see an authentic, slow-paced delivery sim that doesn’t baffle you with nonsense or try to upsell you a $2,000 jacket, but SnowRunner’s no slouch. – Luke Reilly

Spellbreak

Review Score: 8 | Developer: Proletariat Inc. | Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

From our review: For a battle royale, Spellbreak feels unusually polished and special from the opening seconds. Even as the new game on the block, developer Proletariat has managed to stand out in the crowd with exciting spell-based combat, a vivid art style, and varied character classes. The single map lacks variety and cosmetics could be better, but it’s an excellent foundation to build upon as a real alternative to the over-saturation of military shooters in the battle royale genre. – Davie Jagneaux

Super Mega Baseball 3

Review Score: 8 | Developer: Metalhead Software | Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

From our review: The third version of the Super Mega Baseball franchise doesn’t reinvent the gameplay, which remains as grounded and easy to play as ever. However, it does add a wealth of features that make upgrading worth the price. On the field, improvements to baserunning and an emphasis on catchers’ fielding make each pitch slightly more meaningful. The new Franchise mode works well, too, due in no small part to the integration of creative and easy-to-understand player traits. Developing a living roster offers interesting decisions without having to fret about financial minutia. Best of all, Super Mega Baseball 3 surrounds all of this with the most appealing graphical style, easy to use customization, fully adjustable difficulty, and quirky humor the series has become known for. – Caley Roark

Them’s Fightin’ Herds

Review Score: 8 | Developer: Mane6 | Platform(s): PC

From our review: There are some very big ideas inside Them’s Fightin’ Herds deceptively small package. Even incomplete, its story mode is already one of the most innovative I’ve seen in a fighting game in ages, and its sprite-based online lobbies are interesting – though unfortunately lacking the player base to really make them shine. It also nails the important things, like great netcode, quick rematches, and tight combat with a cast of fun and remarkably diverse characters. Them’s Fightin’ Herds’ biggest flaw is its brutally small roster with only six characters, and that’s a big one, because eventually it does get tiring playing against the same characters over and over again. That said, anyone who passes it up based on its kiddy cartoon looks is missing out. – Mitchell Saltzman

Total War Saga: Troy

Review Score: 8 | Developer: Creative Assembley | Platform(s): PC

From our review: It may not be up to the grandeur of Three Kingdoms or Warhammer 2, but A Total War Saga: Troy is a significant step up from the previous Saga game, Thrones of Britannia. Troy is simply dripping with style and offers exciting, diverse campaign objectives that enthusiastically retell the timeless tale of the Trojan War and its iconic characters. There are enough technical missteps, particularly with the campaign, economy, and battle AI, that it’s still vulnerable to a sharp jab in the heel. But with a bit of post-launch love to clean all of that up, it could certainly take its place among the Total War pantheon. – T.J. Hafer

Trials of Mana

Review Score: 8 | Developer: Square Enix | Platform(s): PS4, Switch, PC

From our review: Trials of Mana is absolutely charming and does an excellent job keeping what works from the original while upgrading its aesthetics to the modern era. The combat system works well in its new 3D trappings, with a tough but satisfying learning curve. The transition to modern tech has introduced some camera problems, though, and I wish Square Enix had taken this opportunity to flesh out the world with interesting sidequests and to trim out some of the more tedious dialogue. Even so, exploring, battling, and waging war with bosses all remain really fun, and its JRPG tropes come off as charming throwbacks rather than eye-rolling cliches. – Seth Macy

UFC 4

Review Score: 8 | Developer: EA | Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One

From our review: EA Sports UFC 4 is a largely iterative sequel that tightens up some looser parts, makes a few smart tweaks here and there, and doesn’t rock the boat all that much. And in that sense, it’s a success. The new submission system is a big improvement over prior years, there are some great changes to career mode that make it much more fun to mold a fighter that suits your own playstyle, the new grapple assist system is a great tool to help complete newcomers not feel lost if they get taken down, and as a whole, the fighting system remains incredibly deep. Longstanding problems still remain in the ground game and some dated visuals, but without any competition for the title, EA Sports UFC 4 still remains the king of combat sports. – Mitchell Saltzman

Wasteland 3

Review Score: 8 | Developer: inXile Entertainment | Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC

From our review: Wasteland 3 doesn’t add much to the tactical RPG formula, but its impressive freedom of choice, its dark and rough humor, and its satisfying combat make it one of the more memorable entries in the genre to date. Its large world is packed with upwards of 60 hours of content for a single playthrough, too, so there’s a lot to chew on here. It’s a pity Wasteland 3 didn’t launch in winter, as I can think of few companions I’d rather be snowed in with. – Leif Johnson

WRC 9

Review Score: 8 | Developer: Kylotonn | Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC; PS5, Xbox Series X, Switch versions coming later

From our review: Splitting through a forest at ten-tenths, the sun above piercing through the foliage and the gravel below assaulting your undercarriage, WRC 9 is some of the finest rally racing you can find. Career mode missteps and AI concerns notwithstanding, WRC 9’s incredible stage design and satisfying handling model do make it very easy to recommend to series first-timers – but I’d wager many WRC 8 veterans will find the improvements here fairly incremental after last year’s big leap. – Luke Reilly

Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition

Review Score: 8 | Developer: Monolith Software | Platform(s): Switch

From our review: Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is the remaster that this respected JRPG deserves, even when it feels like it doesn’t go far enough in places. Eight years later, some of its customization systems and an overly grindy structure certainly haven’t aged well, but its story and combat are just as great as ever. The new Future Connected story chapter isn’t particularly inspired, but the impressive graphical overhaul and welcome (if small) quality-of-life improvements make this the best version of Xenoblade Chronicles we’ve ever had. – Travis Northup

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Review Score: 9 | Developer: Nintendo | Platform(s): Switch

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From our review: The Legend of Zelda, Pokemon, and Super Mario each found new life on the Nintendo Switch, and following those games in kind is Animal Crossing: New Horizons: An expanded, polished, next-generation reboot of a classic Nintendo game. Perhaps most importantly, like Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is full of surprises. I cannot wait to see what’s to come: Seeing cool custom islands from the community, special events, season changes. It took too long to get to the most exciting part of my island renovation (until I cheated), but now that all of New Horizons is spread before me, I have plenty to do, big plans for my island, and so much to look forward to. – Samuel Claiborn

Deep Rock Galactic

Review Score: 9 | Developer: Ghost Ship Games | Platform(s): Xbox One, PC

From our review: Deep Rock Galactic is the best kind of four-player co-op game. The combat is fast and exciting, with tons of interesting synergies to find between the four distinct playable classes. The objectives on the various missions are wide-ranging enough to keep things interesting, but straightforward enough that a new player could drop in and get the hang of it pretty quickly. You can absolutely have a blast and find success with a level-one, un-upgraded dwarf, but there’s tons of room to develop your skills and customize your look if you’re willing to put in the time. Raise a tankard! This one’s a winner. – T.J. Hafer

Doom Eternal

Review Score: 9 | Developer: id Software | Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, Switch, Stadia, PC

From our review: Overall, it’s not surprising that Doom Eternal is excellent in following up Doom (2016), but after playing its 15-or-so-hour campaign it’s delightful to see just how much better Doom has gotten just four years later. Eternal tips its cap to Doom 2 specifically while also building off of what made the modernized reboot a breath of fresh air for the genre. Whether you’ve been playing Doom for a few years or a few decades, Doom Eternal demands your attention. – Ryan McCaffrey

Dreams

Review Score: 9 | Developer: Media Molecule | Platform(s): PS4

From our review: It’s a cliche, but Dreams really is something that needs to be played to fully grasp an understanding of. It’s unlike anything else: an ambitious project that has been expertly brought to life by Media Molecule, and an audacious experiment in game design that gives you endless ways to enjoy your time with it. The creation tools allow for ultimate expression despite there being a few controller related challenges to work around – never enough to deter. The vast range of experiences already on offer via Dream Surfing means that no two sessions playing it are ever the same, offering fresh ways to have fun every time you start it up and see what community creations have popped up while you’ve been away. Whether you just want to create, purely play, or get involved in a bit of everything, Dreams offers it all to you. This is one dream I urge you not to sleep on. – Simon Cardy

F1 2020

Review Score: 9 | Developer: Codemasters | Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC

From our review: F1 2020 is simultaneously the deepest yet most accessible Codemasters Formula One experience to date. The heavy reliance on recycled vignettes and the same old faces we’ve been seeing for virtually an entire generation admittedly means F1 2020 doesn’t necessarily look as fresh as it feels but, between My Team and splitscreen, this is the most fun I’ve had with the F1 series for years. – Luke Reilly

Ghost of Tsushima

Review Score: 9 | Developer: Sucker Punch | Platform(s): PS4

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From our review: Ghost of Tsushima is an enormous and densely packed samurai adventure that often left me completely awestruck with both its visual spectacle and excellent combat. By steadily introducing new abilities instead of stat upgrades, its swordplay manages to stay challenging, rewarding, and fun throughout the entire 40 to 50 hours that it took me to beat the campaign. A few aspects are surprisingly lacking in polish in comparison to other first-party Sony games, especially when it comes to enemy AI and the stealth part of its stealth/action split. Still this is an extraordinary open-world action-adventure game that solves several issues that have long gone unaddressed in the genre, while also just being an all around samurai slashin’ good time. – Mitchell Saltzman

Hades

Review Score: 9 | Developer: Supergiant Games | Platform(s): Switch, PC

From our review: Hades is a one-of-a-kind rogue-lite that sets the bar for creatively combining wildly different genres together and using their strengths to complement each other in unexpected ways. Its blend of satisfying, twitch-based action with countless modifiers to build replayability, dating simulator-esque character interactions, and turning failure into a thing you look forward to as a means of progressing the story coalesce to an experience that is more than the sum of its parts. Hades skillfully navigates the millenia-old baggage of ancient characters, reinterpreted through a contemporary lens that feels like they’re straight out of some animated series that’s way ahead of its time. I’m now over 50 hours in, 70 escape attempts deep and I can’t stop thinking about my next trip to Hell. Hades is an experience I never want to end. – Nick Limon

Inertial Drift

Review Score: 9 | Developer: Level 91 | Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

From our review: Inertial Drift is a hugely refreshing arcade racer. Its drift stick in particular is an incredible conceit; a glorious arcade racing fantasy that nonetheless helps give the handling real nuance and depth. Learning to master each vehicle is challenging and satisfying, and the courses themselves deliver memorable corner after memorable corner. Inertial Drift is a high speed, white knuckle ride, and a sweet gift for arcade racing fans. – Cam Shea

Legends of Runeterra

Review Score: 9 | Developer: Riot Games | Platform(s): PC, Mobile

From our review: Legends of Runeterra is a whole new breed of CCG. While it builds on the foundations of those that have come before it, it has discarded many of the genre’s conventions to create deep and dynamic conversational gameplay. Along with its incredibly polished look and feel, Legends of Runeterra represents a new high-watermark for the digital card game genre. – Cam Shea

Nioh 2

Review Score: 9 | Developer: Team Ninja | Platform(s): PS4

From our review: Nioh 2 is an impressive evolution of its predecessor, strengthening everything that was already great, while mostly leaving its already existing issues alone. Its stellar combat is elevated by the addition of Soul Cores, Burst Counters, and the ways in which those two main new mechanics affect enemy AI and how you approach battles. It’s depth is impressive, even though that can also make it feel a little overwhelming due to how much time must be spent managing Nioh 2’s many systems. If you’re up to the challenge, Nioh 2 is no doubt one of the most difficult and rewarding games of this generation. – Mitchell Saltzman

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Review Score: 9 | Developer: Moon Studios | Platform(s): Xbox One, PC

From our review: In Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Moon Studios has taken an excellent foundation and made even more out of it. Its many new elements expand on and add to the first game’s fun without bogging it down or becoming overcomplicated. And that’s really the best praise you can give a sequel – it stays true to the spirit of the original, doubles down on what made it great, and gives you more stake in the world and options to navigate it. Ori and the Will of the Wisps is an excellent heartfelt follow-up that pushes the series to new heights. – Brandin Tyrrel

Othercide

Review Score: 9 | Developer: Lightbulb Crew | Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

From our review: Othercide is a tactical roguelike with a flair for the dramatic, satisfying combat that rewards careful planning and knowing your enemies, and difficult, sometimes heart-rending shepherding of your resources. I still haven’t made it to the final, semi-secret unlockable boss, since this journey gets what the kids would call “bastard hard” by the end. But even so, I’m really looking forward to finishing my business with them and uncovering the remaining secrets of the dark dream. Don’t sleep on Othercide. This is one for the musty, moldering books. – T.J. Hafer

Paradise Killer

Review Score: 9 | Developer: Kaizen Game Works | Platform(s): Switch, PC

From our review: Paradise Killer marries a beautifully repulsive world with a gratifyingly open-ended approach to detective work, but its real achievement is in how it ties everything you’ve learned together. After a whole game of learning the story, you’re suddenly the one writing the ending. The most important person a detective needs to prove a case to is themselves, to give them the confidence to pass those details along. Paradise Killer treats you in much the same way. By the end of its 15 hours, the only person you really need to convince is yourself: Is that the ending you want to see? OK, prove it. – Joe Skrebels

Resident Evil 3

Review Score: 9 | Developer: Capcom | Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC

From our review: Overall, Resident Evil 3 is a wonderful continuation of Capcom’s latest remake efforts. Although its just-okay multiplayer mode falls short of the bar set by its magnificent single-player campaign, the latter does such a good job at balancing 2020 gameplay and a classic Resident Evil tone that I recommend it without reservations. Hopefully, we’ll see more classic games in Capcom’s library remade with such finesse and loving care – along with some new games, too. – Lucy O’Brien

Spiritfarer

Review Score: 9 | Developer: Thunder Lotus Games | Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, Stadia

From our review: Spiritfarer is a gorgeous mix of an action-platformer and an Animal Crossing-style town manager that stands out as one of the most unique and enjoyable games I’ve played all year. Its lengthy campaign is full of charming characters with somber, touching stories, even when the tasks between them can occasionally lose their shine. But with little pressure to grind or hurry like so many other resource collecting games, the journey to Spiritfarer’s Everdoor is definitely one worth savoring. – Tom Marks

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 Remake

Review Score: 9 | Developer: Vicarious Visions | Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC

From our review: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is such a tremendous turnaround from 2015’s disastrously dismal Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 that it’s difficult to believe they share even a shred of DNA. The accessible yet tricky skating is earnest and old-school fun, the wonderful looking levels are lovingly designed odes to the past, and the music is like the hearty embrace of an old childhood buddy. It’s pretty easy to be cynical about how rapidly selling us our favourite games again became a central pillar of Activision’s business strategy, but when it’s this much fun I’m finding it impossible to be sour about it. It turns out going backwards has been the best step forward Activision has taken with the Tony Hawk series in nearly 15 years. – Luke Reilly

The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners

Review Score: 9 | Developer: Skydance Interactive | Platform(s): VR (Index, Vive, Rift, PSVR, Windows MR)

From our review: The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners is a noteworthy step forward for VR gaming, proving that a Deus Ex-like Action-RPG can feel right at home in a headset. Every one of its many interwoven systems clearly has a level of thought and care behind it, swirling survival horror and roleplaying staples together with nuance. Even though character customization can feel limited and the story is a bit short, The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners is a fantastic example of what VR can be. – Gabriel Moss

The Wonderful 101: Remastered

Review Score: 9 | Developer: PlatinumGames | Platform(s): PS4, Switch, PC

From our review: As a remaster, this updated version of The Wonderful 101 is not going to impress anyone with its minor improvements to performance and small adjustments to make it a bit more accessible to newcomers. However, the fact remains that this is The Wonderful 101, one of the best action games of a generation, and one that has tragically – until now – been locked on a relatively niche console. This remaster is the best way to play The Wonderful 101, which is something that I can’t recommend strongly enough, for those willing to power through its learning curve. – Mitchell Saltzman

Valorant

Review Score: 9 | Developer: Riot Games | Platform(s): PC

From our review: Valorant is the most fun I’ve had with a multiplayer FPS since Valve’s Team Fortress 2. The flexibility of its magically-infused cast paired with a deep arsenal makes for a magnificent competitive canvas, if a tricky one to initially pick up. I’m already pondering new strategies to pull off with my friends in the future, and that joyous daydreaming won’t stop anytime soon. It may not be the prettiest modern FPS around, but its visual simplicity enables excellent clarity in every fight. With its teeth sunk in this deep, Valorant makes me want to keep playing until there’s nothing left to master. – Kyle Campbell

Crusader Kings 3

Review Score: 10 | Developer: Paradox Development Studio | Platform(s): PC

From our review: Crusader Kings 3 is a superb strategy game, a great RPG, and a master class in how to take the best parts of existing systems and make them deeper and better. I have thousands of hours in the previous game, and I expect to spend at least that many in this third installment. All of the engrossingly flawed characters and stories of love, war, triumph, and loss that have already dynamically emerged from my playthroughs feel like just the beginning of something legendary. In fact, if I had to pick only one game to play for the rest of my life, the decision wouldn’t be that difficult. A new king of historical strategy has been crowned. Long live the king. – T.J. Hafer

Half-Life: Alyx

Review Score: 10 | Developer: Valve | Platform(s): VR (Index, Vive, Rift, Windows MR)

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From our review: Back when VR first became a real thing and we all started spitballing which game worlds we’d most like to be fully immersed in, Half-Life topped my list (tied with BioShock). It took a few years, but Half-Life: Alyx has more than realized that potential. With it, Valve has set a new bar for VR in interactivity, detail, and level design, showing what can happen when a world-class developer goes all-in on the new frontier of technology. In a lot of ways, it feels like a game from the future, and one that the rest of VR gaming will likely take a good long while to match, much less surpass. – Dan Stapleton

The Last of Us Part 2

Review Score: 10 | Developer: Naughty Dog | Platform(s): PS4

From our review: The Last of Us Part 2 is a masterpiece worthy of its predecessor. Taking strides forward in nearly every way, Ellie steps into the spotlight and carries the sequel in a manner that feels like the culmination of everything that’s made Naughty Dog’s blockbuster storytelling so memorable since the original Uncharted on the PlayStation 3. It delivers a layered, emotionally shattering story on top of stealth and action gameplay that improves the first game’s mechanics while integrating a bit more of Uncharted’s greater mobility and action. But while Part 2 is a thrilling adventure, it still makes time for a stunning, nuanced exploration of the strength and fragility of the human spirit. The PlayStation 4 has one of its best exclusives in one of the generation’s best games. – Jonathon Dornbush

Microsoft Flight Simulator

Review Score: 10 | Developer: Asobo Studio | Platform(s): PC (Xbox version coming later)

From our review: Microsoft Flight Simulator is legitimately incredible. It’s difficult to fully describe how amazing it feels to jump into a plane and have the freedom fly to and from literally any place in the entire world. The base game’s 20 included aircraft feel like more than enough for even hardcore aviation enthusiasts, and the ability to adjust the assists to tailor the experience to whatever skill level you desire makes it suitable for anyone looking to fly the friendly skies from the comfort of their home. The real-world mapping data, however, takes Microsoft Flight Simulator from being just an impressive game to the most awe-inspiring simulation I’ve ever experienced, in spite of its less than stellar load times. Seeing famous landmarks, landing at the world’s most recognizable airports, or just touching down in a remote landing strip in South America is mind-bogglingly cool and an absolutely unparalleled way to virtually explore our world. – Seth Macy

Persona 5 Royal

Review Score: 10 | Developer: Atlus | Platform(s): PS4

From our review: Persona 5 was already a strong front-runner for being the best JRPG ever made, and Royal really gets me wondering what else could even compete. The excellent story and its lovable, multidimensional characters along with the challenging, tactical combat are all refined and back for another round with new surprises and new friends in tow. There are new areas to explore and new twists to leave your jaw on the floor. Very little has been left untouched, and just about everything that has been touched is better off for it. The Phantom Thieves have stolen my heart all over again, and I don’t really want it back. – T.J. Hafer

Spelunky 2

Review Score: 10 | Developer: BlitWorks, Mossmouth | Platform(s): PS4, PC

From our review: I wasn’t sure what I wanted out of a sequel to Spelunky, given how high of a pedestal I keep the original game on – how do you improve upon a game like that? But Mossmouth took its time and managed to deliver a masterpiece that improves upon its predecessor in ways I never even would have imagined. Spelunky 2 takes everything that made the original great and expands upon each of those individual aspects without ever over complicating the elegant, retro simplicity of its 2D platforming. It doesn’t do much to win over people who already weren’t fans of the original’s unforgiving difficulty, but as someone who is more than 200 runs in and feels like he’s only scratched the surface, Spelunky 2 is a game that I see myself playing for a long, long time. – Mitchell Saltzman

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What do you think is the best game in 2020 so far? Let us know in the comments. And be sure to check back throughout the year as we continue to update this list.

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Jordan is a freelance writer for IGN.

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