#3 - Hades
SuperGiant Games, at this point, has established itself as the incumbent king of the indie genre. Each time the studio puts out a game, it seems to set a standard for others to strive for.
Even with the impressive catalog of SuperGiant, which includes the likes of Bastion and Transistor, Hades might just be the studio's best game to date. There is a lot of hype and expectation attached to each of the studio's release, but perhaps none could have anticipated Hades to succeed the way that it did.
The game is tough to critique as its action-packed tirade through hell leaves not a lot to be desired. Each section of the title seems to punish and pummel the player into the ground, but the payoff is unlike anything they will experience.
The story, not one to cower behind the gameplay, also takes center stage as one of the most charming and engaging narratives gamers can enjoy in 2020. Hades is chock-full of interesting and likable characters as well as some genuinely nasty enemy types, making for one entertaining ride through hell.
#2 - Doom Eternal
Someone on the internet hit the hammer right on the nail when they described Doom Eternal as "a horror-survival game, and you play as the horror." In a year that has been extremely testing, punching through and sawing demons in half while Mick Gordon's brilliant score plays in the back makes for a surprisingly therapeutic experience.
Doom Eternal could have just as easily fallen prey to the problem most sequels suffer from in an attempt to go bigger and more expansive than the original. However, that is not a problem that Doom Eternal suffers from, as it expands upon the original's ideas while also maintaining a consistently enjoyable core gameplay experience.
The game is somehow even more aggressive and faster-paced than the original, which seems almost impossible, but that is precisely what the title is. The game represents how a sequel can build upon the original without losing sight of what makes it work in the first place.
Doom Eternal truly is one of the best games of 2020, and players would be hard-pressed to find a more exhilarating and heart-pounding experience.
#1 - The Last of Us Part 2
For quite some time, the AAA games industry has sort of settled into a warm and comfortable spot regarding narrative and how each game tells a story. Naughty Dog essentially takes a flamethrower to that spot and burns it to a crispt.
It not only pushes the envelope of what the genre is capable of but ultimately shreds it to bits and delivers one of the most powerful albeit contentious narratives of all-time.
The Last of Us Part 2 represents a studio that is willing to look past the conventions and expectations of a video game and redefine it. It tells a compelling story that will have the players feeling uncomfortable and wrestling with ideas not typically extracted from games.
The game tackles issues such as loss, grief, and vengeance in an incredibly powerful and visceral way, which would definitely cause a split within the fanbase. The game excels on all those fronts only because it is backed by a frankly insane level of technical mastery in terms of sound design, graphics, art-style, and just about everything else.
The Last of Us Part 2 set a lofty benchmark for narrative-driven single-player games for years to come and solidifies Naughty Dog's position even further in the industry.
Note: The games in this list are the writer's opinion, and what may seem the best for one may not be so to another.