Despite what certain publishers will have players believe, single-player games like GTA or Uncharted are far from "dead" and have continued to gather all sorts of acclaim and accolades. The gaming community has always embraced the single-player experience, which represents some of the best work the industry puts in every year.
Studios like SuperGiant Games, Naughty Dog, and Rockstar North have continued to put out solid single-player experiences that have captivated the audiences. 2020 has been an otherwise difficult year, but not for video games, as players have gotten to play some truly wonderful titles.
Specifically, single-player games have continued to set the bar for the rest of the industry in terms of narrative and technological innovation. Here is a celebration of a fantastic year in gaming by looking at some of the best single-player games that came out.
Five best single-player games this year
- Half-Life: Alyx
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons
- Final Fantasy 7: Remake
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla
#5 - Ghost of Tsushima
SuckerPunch Studios, most well-known for the inFamous franchise, has been quite a successful first-party studio with Sony. Therefore, when news broke of the studio working on a Samurai-themed open-world game set during the Mongol Invasion, fans' interest was piqued.
Ghost of Tsushima, quite possibly, delivered the most stunning visual experience in modern AAA gaming and backed it up with a reliable combat system. The game succeeds in many areas, the strongest of which is perhaps is its heartfelt story of Jin Sakai and his struggles to maintain his honor while facing insurmountable threats.
The title does a great job keeping players engaged throughout its considerably long narrative through brilliant pacing. Rarely does a game compel players to explore the widths of a map purely through its visual quality, as each area in the game looks absolutely pristine.
That is not to say that the game lacks in content as there is plenty of post-Main Story content that players can jump into. The game succeeds by not stretching itself too thin and having just the right amount of content needed for an air-tight and focused single-player experience.
#4 - Ori and the Will of the Wisps
2015's Ori and the Blind Forest marked Moon Studios' arrival as a bold, new voice in the indie games industry. The title was a bright spot in a relatively quiet year for games. The Metroidvania action-platformer gained all sorts of accolades, and the expectations from a sequel were quite monumental.
Following up on a fan-favorite is quite the task, but the Austrian studio stepped up to the plate and knocked it out of the park with the sequel. Ori and the Will of the Wisps is a fantastic evolution of the Metroidvania genre and introduces plenty of new elements to keep things interesting.
The game feels both familiar and new for fans of the original and delivers a substantial Metroidvania experience that keeps getting better with each playthrough. The game world feels incredibly open, despite the two-dimensional nature, and never does it feel restrictive.
While players knew that the gameplay would be top-notch, the story told perhaps elevates the game to another level entirely. The brilliant art-style, mixed with a sublime score and a wonderfully paced narrative, makes Ori and the Will of the Wisps an instant classic.