Top games 2020

June Game of the Month (Runner-up) – Valorant

Platform: PC

Counter-Strike may have dominated the reflexive shooter esport market for years, but there’s finally a new contender. Valorant is the new title from Riot Games (previously known for League of Legends and Teamfight Tactics) and it combines the pinpoint precision required from a game like CS, with hero abilities like you’d find in Overwatch. On paper, it sounds like carnage. In reality, Valorant is in the running for shooter of the year. With just four maps and 11 agents in rotation at the time of writing, Riot is providing consistent updates and balancing tweaks to ensure the Valorant experience is as competitive as it can be. Numerous esports organisations have started investing in the game, so whether you’re a newbie to this genre and want to practice in unranked or you’re a Radiant-tier ranked player who hasn’t had their big break, Valorant could be the game for you. Plus, it’s free! Ford James

June Game of the Month – Last of Us Part 2

Platform(s): PS4
GamesRadar+ review score: 5 Stars      

With the dust settled, it’s fair to say that The Last of Us 2 underwent one of the most turbulent releases in PlayStation history, with pandemic-related delays, devastating plot leaks, and some truly virulent online discourse surrounding its launch. Play it for yourself, however, and you’ll discover another Naughty Dog classic, one that easily sits among the best PS4 games of all time. Is it faultless? Of course not, but the strides that The Last of Us Part 2 makes in the realms of animation, storytelling, and level design are nothing short of revelatory, and go far and beyond the shortcomings of its infrequently overbearing plot. It’s Naughty Dog’s most ambitious adventure yet, and an experience that none of us will forget anytime soon, confidently securing its masterpiece status amongst GamesRadar’s hallowed back catalogue of five-star titles. 

May Game of the Month (Runner-up) – Minecraft Dungeons

Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
GamesRadar+ review score: 3.5 Stars    

Good things come in small packages, and while Minecraft Dungeons is very much on the small side – with a campaign that takes little under eight hours to beat – it’s also barrels of fun, especially when enjoyed with others. Mojang’s simplified take on the action-RPG dungeon crawler trades classes and skill trees for more easily accessible mechanics targeted towards a younger audience, but makes up for it with satisfying hack-and-slash combat that brings some much-needed pomp and pizzazz to the age-old genre. With more content already on the way in the form of new DLC, and plenty of replay value in the form of secret levels, near endless loot, and difficulty sliders, Minecraft Dungeons is easy to recommend, so long as you know what to expect (and – more importantly – what not to expect) from its bitesize bundle of content.

May Game of the Month – Maneater

Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One
GamesRadar+ review score: 4 Stars  

Make every week shark week with Maneater, a game where you play as an angry underwater eating machine hellbent on briny revenge. It’s one of those games that takes one simple mechanic – chomping on anything and everything in sight – and focuses on making it fun for hours. Evolutions that upgrade your sharks with electric attacks or bone armor offer just enough variation to keep you chewing on seals for side quests and Apex Predators like killer whales offer a challenge and big rewards. The storyline centers around a nefarious hunter, but the real joy comes from the wildlife documentary-style narration from Rick and Morty star Chris Parnell. Rachel Weber

April Game of the Month (Runner-up) – XCOM: Chimera Squad

Platform(s): PC
GamesRadar+ review score: 4 Stars  

Firaxis’ surprise “sequel that’s not a sequel” to XCOM 2 is an unexpected departure from the turn-based strategy blueprint that the studio has perfected over the years, but this more light-hearted spin-off still resembles hours upon hours of addictive, endlessly satisfying tactical brain food. Switching out expendable avatars for pre-built characters, introducing new ideas like the Breach system and interleaved turn mechanics, and generally just having more fun with its future Earth setting, XCOM: Chimera Squad is an easy purchase for any longtime fan of the series, not to mention a perfect entry point for the uninitiated. The ever passionate XCOM mod community has already got to work on providing new modes and gameplay experiences for the base game, too, guaranteeing a continual feedback loop of new content all encouraged and approved by Firaxis itself. Alex Avard

April Game of the Month – Final Fantasy 7 Remake

Platform(s): PS4
Gamesradar+ review score: 4.5 Stars 

Final Fantasy 7 Remake successfully managed to bring the world of the 1997 classic into the modern era with meticulous details and its own distinctive feel. Set entirely in Midgar, you get to spend more time with the setting and the main characters, which adds so much depth and richness to the overall experience. Faced with the challenge of delivering something that would appeal to newcomers and longtime fans is no easy feat, but Final Fantasy 7 Remake is proof that it can be done, and you can really sense the amount of care and love that went into recreating this much-loved game for new audiences to enjoy. With a reworked combat system, gorgeous graphics, and lots of new discoveries just waiting to be uncovered, reuniting with Cloud and the gang is an absolute treat. Heather Wald

March Game of the Month (Runner-up) – Half-Life Alyx

Platform(s): Valve Index VR, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest (with PC Link), and Window Mixed Reality
GamesRadar+ review score: 4.5 Stars

When getting ‘VR Hair’ is the only con when reviewing a game, you know it’s good. Half-Life Alyx is the best virtual reality experience money can buy right now, and it feels like a tantalising glimpse of what big game studies could achieve if they were more willing to invest in AAA VR experiences. Of course, more than anything, this is a love letter to the iconic Half-Life series, complete with the sense of real danger, and the vague sense of being trapped in a dream. After everything Alyx and I have been through, this is a game that will stay with me for a long time. Rachel Weber

March Game of the Month – Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
GamesRadar+ review score: 4.5 Stars

There’s no denying that Animal Crossing: New Horizons arrived at exactly the right time. Offering us a sense of the normality that we are all craving right now, New Horizons has taken the world by storm. If my Twitter feed is anything to go by, it’s all the world is playing right now. Planting trees and breeding flowers, trying to catch all the bugs and fish before the seasons change, working out how turnips work, and finally getting K.K Slider to play in our plazas. There’s a lot to do, and plenty of time to do it in. Adorable, peaceful, and completely absorbing. There’s nothing not to like about New Horizons. Sam Loveridge

February Game of the Month (Runner-up) – Zombie Army 4: Dead War

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
GamesRadar+ review score: 3.5 Stars

There’s a contagious confidence to Zombie Army 4 that’ll leave anyone who plays it utterly obsessed with its exciting take on the co-op shooter. It’s not perfect, but it manages to deliver a consistently fun, frenzied shooter that flourishes when played with a friend. If you like Left 4 Dead, it’s got Valve’s shooter in its DNA, with enough playfulness and creative culling to satisfy any zombie-slayer. It’s silly and rarely restrained, celebrating setpieces and a relentless pace of undead hordes. It’s definitely world enlisting in this particular army. Mark Delaney

February Game of the Month – Dreams

Platform(s): PS4

While creation is at the core of Dreams, you don’t have to indulge to enjoy what it has to offer. There are literally thousands of community made games to enjoy, from quick party games to full on adventures and shooters. And, obviously, a bunch of hella weirdness in between. Developer Media Molecule aften describes it as a YouTube of games and that’s an accurate description – you can browse endlessly for content, and it’s easy to spend an evening playing your way through games and following creators. If all that does eventually spark your more artistic side then you’ll find Dreams’ creative game dev tools are surprisingly accessible. Even if you think you can’t make anything there’s a wealth of premade things like enemies, levels and other bits and bobs you can use to make your own stuff.

January Game of the Month (Runner-up) – Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC, and Nintendo Switch

Seven years in the making, Kentucky Route Zero is one of those rare games that people don’t mind waiting for. Such long stints between episode releases could have been its downfall, but now with the TV Edition, everyone can experience why it was worth waiting for. This magical, surreal point-and-click narrative adventure will take you on quite the journey, seeing you collect a gaggle a group of lost souls together, including a rickety old dog. But unlike most point-and-click games, there are no puzzles. There are choices to make, but they are presented as thematic dialogue options, allowing you to co-author your own story. Because of that, it never quite plays out how you’d expect, keeping you clicking for more story until the whole thing unravels beautifully. Sam Loveridge

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