Every game I played in 2020

Last year I recognized a clear downward trend in the number of games I completed every year. Part of this was due to games just getting longer, but part of it came down to shifting priorities (too much Destiny), and a lack of focus. So I recommitted myself to seeing more games through to the end, and set a goal of 52 games in 52 weeks.

Surprisingly, I hit that goal right on the nose. I didn’t intend to play a game a week exactly, but the number did make it easier to keep myself in check and be aware when I was ahead or behind. I was actually pretty far ahead for a while, but then my wife and I decided we should catch up on Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey—a gargantuan task that ensured I’d make it to 52 just on time.

Why set a goal like this? Well, partly because I want to see more of what the game industry has to offer, and partly because there is a big difference between dabbling in a game and rolling credits. I’ve found that some of my favorite games aren’t initially up my alley, or get off to a slow start. And sometimes, it can be healthy to just play a bad game.

So here it is, a list of everything I played to completion in 2020, complete with the rating I gave it at the time and a short blurb or link to a longer review. Soon I will have some more “2020 in review” goodies for you all. And of course, my top 10 games of 2020.

Jedi: Fallen Order (PS4) – Completed on 1/5
★★★☆☆
A promising intro, unpolished and glitchy middle 60-75%, and a solid outro. Good cast of characters feels underutilized. Combat can’t touch Sekiro.

Void Bastards (Xbox One) – Completed on 1/11
★★★★★
I wrote about this one in detail in my 2019 GOTY article.

Observation (PS4) – Completed on 1/12
★★★★☆
A cool, dark space story told through hacking QTEs and simple exploration via cameras and a drone. Wild ending and lots of cool twists throughout.

Life is Strange 2 (PS4) – Completed on 1/16
★★★★★
I wrote about this one in detail in my 2019 GOTY article.

Super Crush KO (PS4) – Completed on 1/24
★★★★☆
I wrote a full review for this one on RRC.

Super Mario RPG (SNES Classic) – Completed on 1/30
★★★☆☆
Too many battles, combat is simplistic, magic is often not worth using. Charming characters and silly story. Isometric platforming is a nightmare!!

Turok: The Dinosaur Hunter (Switch) – Completed on 2/9
★★★★★
Awesome music, fast action, satisfying level design, and Destiny raid jumping puzzles. Quake in the jungle and it rules! I wrote more about this one on RRC.

Katamari Damacy Reroll (Switch) – Completed on 2/16
★★★★★
Still great today. Incredible soundtrack, weird/good controls, wacky humor, and oh so satisfying to roll everything up. The final level is a masterpiece.

Time Crisis 5 (Arcade) – Completed on 3/8
★★★☆☆
Not nearly as fun as arcade shooters like Virtua Cop 1/2, House of the Dead, and the original Time Crisis, but the story is pretty outrageous. (Side note: it is unbelievable that I was in a Dave & Busters in March)

Space Channel 5 VR Kinda Funky News Flash! (PSVR) – Completed on 3/13
★☆☆☆☆
The original games were trifles with some charm, but this is barely a game at all. Extremely forgiving with almost no extras or reasons to keep playing.

Journey to the Savage Planet (Xbox One) – Completed on 3/24
★★★★☆
Colorful first person platformer with fun abilities and Adult Swim humor. Exploration and collectibles are the main appeal.

Moons of Madness (Xbox One) – Completed on 3/29
★★☆☆☆
Another Lovecraft-inspired game with unsatisfying gameplay and a disappointing story. I never wanted it to challenge me with stealth sections or QTEs but it did.

Doom Eternal (PS4) – Completed on 4/4
★★★☆☆
A sequel that tries to solve problems that weren’t there. The combat loop is overly particular, there’s too much of it, the story is terrible, and the platforming is overdone and not very good.

Resident Evil 3 (PS4) – Completed on 4/7
★★★☆☆
A big step down from Resident Evil 2, with a bunch of bad Nemesis sequences and very little depth. But as a pure action game it’s mostly enjoyable. The end boss was pretty spectacular and the game is beautiful.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered (PS4) – Completed on 4/8
★★★★☆
The old Call of Duty formula really doesn’t hold up, but this is a beautiful remaster of a fun game with some wild moments. It’s just hard to compare to the recent Modern Warfare campaign.

Shenmue (PS4) – Completed on 4/16
★★★☆☆
Shenmue’s story and voice acting have some serious Tommy Wiseau energy in 2020. The forklift section is way too long, but otherwise this is an enjoyable experiment from the past.

Shenmue II (PS4) – Completed on 4/28
★★★★☆
Shenmue II is a bit of a triumph. Yes, QTEs suck, the voice acting is bad, but so much of the intention of the game shines through. Made me genuinely curious about 1980s China and where Ryo’s story is headed.

Streets of Rage 4 (Xbox One) – Completed on 4/30
★★★★★
A beautiful enhancement of the old games that truly understands what made them great. The small additions to the combat make it so much more fun without making it a different style of brawler.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch) – Completed on 5/10
★★★★☆
A beautiful, funny, relaxing game with rigid economy/unlockables and sluggish menus that get in the way too often. Short of perfection because it just wastes too much of your time.

Shenmue III (PS4) – Completed on 5/19
★★☆☆☆
Lacks the authenticity of the original games while learning all the wrong lessons of modern games. Boils down to a series of grindy minigames and empty story beats that go nowhere.

Panzer Dragoon Remake (Switch) – Completed on 5/22
★★★☆☆
The best remakes recreate your memory of the original game. Unfortunately, Panzer Dragoon Remake takes too many liberties with the art style. Pre-patch it felt like absolute garbage but the developer has improved it a lot.

Man of Medan (PS4) – Completed on 5/25
★★★★☆
Awesome use of online co-op in a branching narrative that has a ton of variety, even if it doesn’t come together to a particularly thrilling conclusion.

Maneater (Xbox One) – Completed on 5/29
★★★☆☆
Two hours of gameplay repeated over and over, stretched beyond thin over 10-12 hours. Should have taken more inspiration from games like Crackdown.

The Last of Us Part II (PS4) – Completed on 6/28
★★★★★
While I saw what Naughty Dog was going for from a mile away, I was surprised by how much it worked on me. This is a game that people will debate, much like the first one. It’s brutal, it’s depressing, and it can get under your skin. This is Naughty Dog’s biggest and arguably best game.

Final Fantasy VII Remake (PS4) – Completed on 6/30
★★★★☆
A great combat system, phenomenal soundtrack, and some truly wild energy make this the best FF I’ve ever played. Yet it still makes the same mistakes. Too much filler and an overly ambitious ending mar an otherwise great experience.

Control: The Foundation DLC (Xbox One) – Completed on 7/4
★★★★☆
It’s great to be back in Control’s world. Great side quests, fun collectibles, and a beautiful, mysterious cave environment make this a fun 5 hour return to the Oldest House.

Night of the Consumers (PC) – Completed on 7/4
★★★★☆
A simple concept executed almost perfectly. It’s definitely a small, rough around the edges game, but it captures the terror of retail work. A hilarious experience with great art style.

Paratopic (PC) – Completed on 7/4
★★★★☆
30 Flights of Loving as a weird horror game with a stunning PlayStation era artstyle. The smash cuts and the mood of the game are very effective.

Signs of the Sojourner (PC) – Completed on 7/5
★★★★★
A card game where the rules portray the dynamics of conversation in a profound way. Missed connections, the sense that two people understand each other completely. It’s an amazing accomplishment.

Mars: War Logs (Xbox 360) – Completed on 7/9
★★★☆☆
A competent Bioware-style RPG that holds up in every way except the story, which is possibly the most pre-GamerGate, pre-#MeToo, misogynistic bullshit I’ve ever come across.

Superliminal (Xbox One) – Completed on 7/12
★★★★☆
I wrote a full review for this one on RRC.

Treachery in Beatdown City (Switch) – Completed on 8/10
★★★☆☆
I wrote a full review for this one on RRC.

A Fold Apart (PS4) – Completed on 8/12
★★☆☆☆
I wrote a full review for this one on RRC.

Metamorphosis (Xbox One) – Completed on 8/15
★★★☆☆
I wrote a full review for this one on RRC.

Mortal Shell (Xbox One) – Completed on 8/24
★★★☆☆
I wrote a full review for this one on RRC.

Control: AWE (Xbox One) – Completed on 8/29
★★★☆☆
Control’s formula wears thin as this new DLC shows the limitations of the environment and engine. Alan Wake story tie-ins are cool but they are entirely in audio log and text format. I would have loved to visit Bright Falls or experience something else more ambitious.

Carrion (Xbox One) – Completed on 9/1
★★★★☆
A cool premise and slick gameplay with a good loop of upgrades. I never got that itch to explore though because of the lack of a map. It’s a very solid game that had charm but never blew me away.

The Suicide of Rachel Foster (Xbox One) – Completed on 9/13
★★☆☆☆
An evocative setting and powerful psychological horror aren’t enough to save a game that is fundamentally about apologizing for abuse and pedophilia. It also made me feel motion sick.

Marvel’s Avengers (PS4) – Completed on 9/20
★★★☆☆
I wrote more about this one on RRC.

Paradise Killer (Switch) – Completed on 9/26
★★★★★
Phoenix Wright mixed with a janky open world platformer. A ramshackle island made with care, soaked in neon and stylish music. I never knew I wanted a visual novel open world platformer collect-athon but it’s one of my favorite games now. More words about this game on RRC.

Ghost of Tsushima (PS4) – Completed on 10/19
★★★☆☆
Every step of the way, this beautiful, polished open world game takes the most uninteresting path forward. I wanted to love it, but the story never grabbed me, and I was left with an overly long Samurai version of modern Assassin’s Creed.

Amnesia: Rebirth (PS4) – Completed on 10/26
★★★★★
I wrote a full review for this one on RRC.

The Quiet Man (PS4) – Completed on 10/26
★☆☆☆☆
A phenomenally bad game that overstays any notion of being “so bad it’s good” despite being only 3 hours long. The loss of hearing concept makes no sense, as the only person in the story who can’t follow it is the player, not the character with hearing loss.

The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope (PS4) – Completed on 10/31
★★★★☆
Another enjoyable entry in this anthology series with awesome monster design and a great build-up that unfortunately leads to an ending that sucks all the air out of the room.

Cloudpunk (Xbox One) – Completed on 11/3
★★★☆☆
I wrote a full review for this one on RRC.

Chicken Police – Paint it RED! (Xbox One) – Completed on 11/15
★★★☆☆
I wrote a full review for this one on RRC.

Visage (Xbox One) – Completed on 11/17
★★★☆☆
I wrote a full review for this one on RRC.

Observer: System Redux (Xbox Series X) – Completed on 11/27
★★★★☆
I wrote a full review for this one on RRC.

Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War (Xbox Series X) – Completed on 12/21
★★★☆☆
Despite some quieter moments of stealth or speaking with your team back at base, Cold War feels out of step with last year’s new intensity and pacing. Multiplayer is a lot of fun, but I hesitate to get invested due to the file size and annual grind.

Spider-Man: Miles Morales (PS5) – Completed on 12/16
★★★★★
I’ve realized Miles Morales is the Spider-Man I care about, and even though this isn’t Into The Spider-Verse, I connected to the character moments here all the same. Plus, it’s better than the last game by every conceivable measure. Better pacing, better combat, and I love Mile’s venom powers.

Destiny 2: Beyond Light (PS5) – Completed on 12/28
★★★★★
Finishing the raid elevated Beyond Light from another solid Destiny expansion in the vein of Shadowkeep to something I realized I’m really loving. It doesn’t quite hit Forsaken-tier, but it is more even and consistent. As a game you are meant to play regularly, this is the best Destiny has ever been.

Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey (Xbox One) – Completed on 12/29
★★★☆☆
An open world RPG that drifts further from the soul of Assassin’s Creed than ever before. Stealth is blocked by RPG mechanics, and the level grind and mission design force you to do many of the side missions. It’s a solid, fun, and beautiful game, but the rigid structure meant I felt every hour of my 91 hour playtime.

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