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Best Games Of The 2020s

Even though the 2020s have just begun, the decade has already produced a number of fantastic games. As the years fly by & studios become more familiar with the limits of the PS5 & Xbox Series X/S, the industry will test what Sony & Microsoft’s systems can do. In the meantime, the Nintendo Switch will enter the last stretch of its existence, & the console could go out with a bang.


There is still plenty of gaming to be done this decade, & it could very well be that the best games of the 2020s are still multiple years away. That being said, things have gotten off to an exciting start. What are the greatest titles to Advance out in the decade so far?

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Only games that debuted in the 2020s will be considered, so re-releases or exp&ed editions will be omitted. Games are also listed in reverse-chronological order.

God Of War Ragnarok

Release Date November 9, 2022
Platforms (+ Amazon Listing Page)
Developer Santa Monica Studio

2018’s God of War reinvigorated Santa Monica’s franchise following 2013’s disappointing Ascension, launching a new era in Kratos’ story. Ragnarok builds beautifully on the work of its predecessor. On the surface, the sequel offers more of the same, but God of War: Ragnarok exp&s or fine-tunes enough elements to distinguish itself from what came before.

As implied by its title, Ragnarok revolves around an event in Norse mythology that signals the end of a number of key figures. The story is epic & unpredictable, expertly blending gr&iose set pieces with character nuance & growth. The combat system is satisfying & intense, being a notable improvement over the 2018 entry.

Elden Ring

elden ring uchigatana

Release Date February 25, 2022
Platforms (+ Amazon Listing Page)
  • PS5
  • PS4
  • Xbox Series X/S
  • Xbox One
  • PC
Developer FromSoftware

FromSoftware’s latest masterpiece pushes the Souls formula to the next level. Elden Ring drops players in The L&s Between, a massive open-world divided into six regions filled with lore, items, enemies, bosses, & secrets. Unlike Sekiro, Elden Ring is very much an RPG that permits players to approach encounters in a style that matches their preferences, be it melee combat, magic, or even stealth. Character-building is an integral part of the Elden Ring experience, & the game’s commitment to player freedom greatly enhances its replayability & flexibility.

RELATED: Elden Ring: Best Starting Classes For Beginners

Elden Ring is a no-brainer for any fan of FromSoftware’s previous releases. For those who tend to be put off by the studio’s penchant for difficult games, the 2022 title is slightly more accessible while still offering a significant challenge. It is still early days, but Elden Ring is a leading contender for the best game of 2022.

Cult Of The Lamb

Lamb in Cult of the Lamb.

Release Date August 11, 2022
Platforms (+ Steam Link)
  • PS5
  • PS4
  • Xbox Series X/S
  • Xbox One
  • Nintendo Switch
  • PC
Developer Massive Monster

Time to start a cult. Cult of the Lamb has a quirky sense of humor, a gorgeous art style, & addictive fast-paced combat. Massive Monster’s rogue-like puts players in the body of a lamb that decides to form a cult in honor of its god, a process that requires traveling to five regions in order to recruit animals. Once at the village, these followers can be assigned unique roles.

Cult of the Lamb is fun, & that is often enough the only thing a game needs to be. However, this title has more to offer than just a solid battle system. The story’s dark tone & the action’s tendency to inspire gore juxtaposition amusingly with the cute character models & charming visuals.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge

Fighting a boss in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shredder's Revenge

Release Date June 16, 2022
Platforms (+ Amazon Listing Page)
  • PS5
  • PS4
  • Xbox Series X/S
  • Xbox One
  • Nintendo Switch
  • PC
Developer Tribute Games

A blast from the past, Shredder’s Revenge is a love letter to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, particularly the franchise’s arcade gaming run during the ’90s. This modern beat ’em up pays homage to a classic like Turtles in Time while adding more than enough elements to set itself apart from everything that came before it. This is a great game on its own & not because it reminds people of fond memories from their childhood.

This 2022 release features gorgeous pixel art graphics, seven playable characters (including April O’Neil), & a wide plethora of legendary TMNT villains overflowing with personality. All of these elements serve as the icing on the cake that is Shredder’s Revenge‘s incredibly fun & challenging gameplay.

Pentiment

a screenshot from Pentiment in which Andreas is asked who killed the Baron

Release Date November 15, 2022
Platforms (+ Amazon Listing Page)
Developer Obsidian Entertainment

Obsidian’s Pentiment is a unique adventure game that revolves around player choice. Set in the 16th century, players must investigate a murder, & they are given the freedom to pursue leads as they see fit. Telling an ambitious narrative that stretches over more than two decades, Pentiment immerses players in a fascinating world filled with colorful three-dimensional characters.

Whodunits can produce some of the most nail-biting stories in fiction, but most games that fall within this genre have a fixed route in mind. Pentiment is an exception that permits players to decide who did it.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3

A cutscene featuring characters in Xenoblade Chronicles 3

Release Date July 29, 2022
Platforms (+ Amazon Listing Page)
Developer Monolith Soft

Monolith’s Xenoblade series has been knocking it out of the park for more than a decade, & the third numbered entry might be the franchise’s peak. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is an action JRPG set in a sci-fi world. Despite being on a relatively underpowered console, the game’s open-world is massive & packed to the brim with secondary content. This RPG can keep somebody busy for longer than 100 hours.

RELATED: Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Things We Want To See In A Sequel

Xenoblade Chronicles is known for throwing dozens of mechanics upon each other to the point of exhaustion. While by no means dumbed-down, XC3 does a much better job than its predecessor of introducing its concepts to players in a timely manner, allowing the deep battle system to flourish quicker.

Horizon Forbidden West

horizon forbidden west focus spam

Release Date February 18, 2022
Platforms (+ Amazon Listing Page)
Developer Guerrilla Games

Guerrilla Games’ highly anticipated sequel to 2017’s Horizon Zero Dawn builds upon its predecessor’s foundations beautifully, offering a bigger & better package that opts to fine-tune rather than re-invent the wheel. Horizon Forbidden West continues Aloy’s story while dedicating a significant amount of time to building the rest of the world without relying too heavily on long passages of exposition. The main quest is better-paced than the first game’s story.

Filled with unforgettable sites of both natural & human-made origins, Horizon Forbidden West‘s map is huge, gorgeous, & dense. The combat system is also a blast, giving Aloy access to a wide selection of tools to make battles more dynamic.

Rogue Legacy 2

Phase One of Estuary Irad boss fight in Rogue Legacy 2

Release Date April 28, 2022
Platforms (+ Steam Link)
  • Xbox Series X/S
  • Xbox One
  • PC
Developer Cellar Door Games

After more than 18 months in early access, Rogue Legacy 2 was officially released on April 28, 2022, & the game was well worth the wait. Considering 2013’s Rogue Legacy was such a resounding success, the sequel needed to knock it out of the park to not feel like a disappointment. While Rogue Legacy 2 changes a number of things from its predecessor, including the class & weapon systems, it is still fundamentally the same core experience – & that is not a criticism.

RELATED: Rogue Legacy 2: Hardest Traits In The Game

In this roguelike platformer, players take charge of multiple generations of warriors as they venture into dungeons. As experience is gained, new classes, weapons, & traits are unlocked, greatly impacting the gameplay.

Immortality

immortality-game-film-timeline

Release Date August 30, 2022
Platforms (+ Steam Link)
Developer Sam Barlow

Immortality is not for everyone, & some might even suggest this project does not qualify as a game. Marissa Marcel, an actress, has gone missing, & the only way to solve the case is to piece together clues by watching clips from three of her movies. Each scene can be paused & interacted with, allowing players to explore the people or items that appear in the flick.

Essentially, Immortality is a puzzle-detective game with a unique presentation, very good acting, & a strong sense of mystery. An interactive film lives & dies by its story, & this release knocks it out of the park in that department.

Tunic

a large, stone golem swings its sword in a wide arc, leaving a trail of red electricity in its wake.

Release Date March 16, 2022
Platforms (+ Amazon Listing Page)
Developer Andrew Shouldice

One of 2022’s most pleasant surprises so far, Tunic is a delightful (& challenging) throwback to classic The Legend of Zelda games. Even though it takes a fair few ideas from Nintendo’s iconic franchise, this indie game still succeeds in carving out its own identity, mainly through its robust combat system.

A confident adventure that expertly blends exploration, puzzle-solving, & battles, Tunic is a rewarding experience from start to end. The game resists the urge to h&-hold players, largely leaving them to their own devices; consequently, the early hours can be slightly frustrating, but things Advance together quite nicely after that point.

Kirby And The Forgotten L&

Exploring a level in Kirby & the Forgotten L&

Release Date March 25, 2022
Platforms (+ Amazon Listing Page)
Developer HAL Laboratory

It took a while but the pink puff finally has a proper 3D adventure, & it was well worth the wait. Kirby & the Forgotten L& translates the franchise’s st&ard template into a wider l&scape, providing all the copy abilities & charm synonymous with this pretty consistent license.

RELATED: Challenges To Make Kirby And The Forgotten L& Harder

Although not without its flaw, Kirby & the Forgotten L& is Dazzling & fun, the latter of which is arguably the most important thing a game can be. Hopefully, the series continues down this route as this is a stellar first attempt at a full-scale 3D campaign.

Nobody Saves The World

Fighting a boss in Nobody Saves the World

Release Date January 18, 2022
Platforms (+ Steam Link)
  • PS5
  • PS4
  • Xbox Series X/S
  • Xbox One
  • Nintendo Switch
  • PC
Developer DrinkBox Studios

An action RPG indie release, Nobody Saves the World has a pretty simple structure: complete dungeons to unlock more dungeons. Using procedurally generated levels, the game establishes a solid & satisfying loop, one that is enhanced by a deep transformation system that allows the titular Nobody to take on 18 different forms. All of these Advance with their own abilities, & players will need to try out most of these forms to clear out the dungeons.

Nobody Saves the World is replayable & accessible, in the sense that it is very easy to jump into the campaign for a quick session. 2022 has certainly produced bigger games than this title, but few are actively superior.

Neon White

a distant tower with a gold bell at the top. speed lines at the edge of the screen indicate the viewer is moving toward the tower. in the bottom right corner is a stack of blue cards with a rifle & the word Godspeed on them. next to those cards is a yellow card with a h&gun that says elevate. in the bottom left is a dark haired man in a white coat & demon mask

Release Date June 16, 2022
Platforms (+ Amazon Listing Page)
Developer Angel Matrix

Neon White is all about speed. Split into short missions, players are tasked with killing everyone en route to an endpoint. While this might sound simple, the twist is that cards are needed to execute actions, & each one can either be used as a weapon or a move. With finite options, players must carefully decide when, where, & how to use a card in order to shave a few seconds from their completion time.

Neon White is one of those titles that can be hard to put down as the core gameplay loop is nearly flawless. Although the story is polarizing, the visuals are pretty great.

AI: The Somnium Files – Nirvana Initiative

hidden-bats-ai-somnium-files-nirvana-initiative-twitter-arg

Release Date June 24, 2022
Platforms (+ Amazon Listing Page)
  • PS4
  • Xbox One
  • Nintendo Switch
  • PC
Developer Spike Chunsoft

The sequel to 2019’s AI: The Somnium Files does not deviate too far from its predecessor’s blueprint, a decision that pays off beautifully since the first game was & still is fantastic. Nirvana Initiative delivers another tightly scripted murder mystery, this time revolving around a spree of deaths known as the Half Body killings. Told from two perspectives, Nirvana Initiative weaves a tale filled with intrigue, shocking turns, &, most importantly, memorable characters.

While primarily experienced as a visual novel, Nirvana Initiative includes a couple of puzzle sections that task players with traversing the minds of suspects in search of clues. These passages are enjoyable enough in their own right & serve as a welcome change of pace whenever they Advance up.

Get it on Amazon here!

Total War: Warhammer 3

Total War Warhammer 3 Dragon Form

Release Date February 17, 2022
Platform (+ Steam Link)
Developer Creative Assembly

The sequel to 2017’s Total War: Warhammer 2, the 2022 entry caps off Creative Assembly’s trilogy in a gr& fashion. Warhammer 3 delivers a complex & epic campaign that should hit the mark for longtime fans of the series.

Total War is not the easiest license to get into for newcomers, but Warhammer 3 features one of the franchise’s finest tutorials, making the title more welcoming to people unaccustomed to real-time strategy or tactics games. With a lengthy single-player campaign & a robust multiplayer scene, Warhammer 3 is the full package.

Halo Infinite

halo-infinite-master-chief-2

Release Dates
  • November 15, 2021 (Multiplayer)
  • December 8, 2021 (Single-player)
Platforms (+ Amazon Listing Page)
Developer 343 Industries

The debut of a new Halo game is always a cause for celebration, but there was some trepidation surrounding Infinite due to the franchise’s divisive recent entries. Although not a flawless game, Halo Infinite is a significant step in the right direction for Microsoft’s legendary FPS shooter, with the single-player campaign being a substantial improvement over Halo 5: Guardians’ story.

RELATED: Halo Infinite: Best Things The Game Adds To The Lore

The free-to-play multiplayer retains the core gameplay loop that has cemented Halo as a trailblazer in the online scene for roughly two decades. It comes with a few neat twists, but it doesn’t depart too greatly from what has worked for the series.

In comparison, the campaign is a mix of the familiar & the new. In the main story beats, players still control Master Chief in a string of linear levels with tight & precise gameplay. The “new” comes in the form of open-world sections that split up the linear missions; these segments allow players to explore Zeta Halo.

Mario + Rabbids Sparks Of Hope

A cutscene featuring characters in Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope

Release Date October 20, 2022
Platform (+ Amazon Listing Page)
Developers Ubisoft Milan, Ubisoft Paris

An unexpected sequel to a surprising success story, Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope proved that Kingdom Battle was not just a happy accident. The Nintendo Switch exclusive is a turn-based strategy game that loosens the grid-based shackles synonymous with some entries in the genre, allowing its combat to seem more free-flowing than its predecessor’s system. Sparks of Hope‘s improved gameplay goes beyond just its battles since the game also emphasizes customization & encourages players to try different builds.

While the story is nothing to write home about, Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope gets by on the strength of its iconic characters. Nintendo’s legendary mascots bounce hilariously off Ubisoft’s Rabbids, bringing out the best of both worlds.

Forza Horizon 5

red car forza horizon 5

Release Date November 5, 2021
Platforms (+ Amazon Listing Page)
Developer Playground Games

By this point, it has become a tradition for Playground Games to release the best arcade racer on the market whenever they drop a new Forza Horizon. This time around, Mexico serves as the Horizon crew’s s&box, & the country has proven to be the ideal choice due to its diversity in locations.

Forza Horizon 5‘s huge map comes packed with all sorts of challenges, ranging from st&ard races to death-defying jumps & the gloriously over-the-top showcase events. With a huge collection of cars to unlock & an active ecosystem, Forza Horizon 5 will probably be the definitive arcade racer until its sequel releases.

Metroid Dread

Metroid Prime 4 Timeline Dread Sequel

Release Date October 8, 2021
Platform (+ Amazon Listing Page)
Developers MercurySteam, Nintendo EPD

Following a forgettable 2010s, Metroid wasted little time in getting the ball rolling for the next decade. Metroid Dread is a welcome return to the influential franchise’s 2D roots, & it barely sets a foot wrong. At its core, this is a “classic” Metroidvania, one that expertly blends exploration, combat, & flashes of storytelling to craft a constantly excellent campaign.

RELATED: Awesome Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do In Metroid Dread

With Metroid Prime 4 in the pipeline, the 2020s could be Samus Aran’s decade, something that has been a long time coming.

Psychonauts 2

A young boy concentrating with green flecks of light appearing in a line in front of him

Release Date August 25, 2021
Platforms (+ Amazon Listing Page)
  • PS4
  • Xbox Series X/S
  • Xbox One
  • PC
Developer Double Fine

Fans had to wait a long time for a sequel to 2005’s Psychonauts but few will argue that Double Fine failed to meet expectations. Raz is welcomed into the Psychonauts as an intern, a role that gives him free access to explore Motherlobe, the sequel’s impressive hub area. With the identity of the mastermind behind Truman’s abduction still unknown, Raz sets out to piece together the Psychonauts’ history.

Psychonauts 2 is a rare example of a platformer with a prominent & effective storyline. The gameplay is not ground-breaking, but Raz’s Psi-Powers allow for some freedom on how areas are approached. The levels themselves are expansive, creative, & visually mind-blowing.

Bayonetta 3

bayonetta 3 glasses

Release Date October 28, 2022
Platform (+ Amazon Listing Page)
Developer PlatinumGames

Bayonetta 3 brings back PlatinumGames’ beloved Umbra Witch, & she is not taking this journey alone. Boasting the developer’s trademark hack & slash combat, Bayonetta 3 stacks mechanic upon mechanic as it throws a wide variety of weapons, summons, & ideas at the player. Although this franchise lives & dies by its gameplay, this entry’s story also goes for broke, delivering lengthy cutscenes that piece together a multidimensional narrative that seeks to serve as a fitting conclusion to Bayonetta’s narrative (although a sequel should be coming).

Bayonetta 3 is the easiest game in Platinum’s trilogy, which might be disappointing to some fans. Nevertheless, there are very few hack & slash titles on the market that Advance close to matching this release’s brilliance; consequently, Bayonetta 3 is arguably the best game of the 2020s in its respective genre.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Combat in Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Release Date June 11, 2021
Platform (+ Amazon Listing Page)
Developer Insomniac Games

Although Demon’s Souls & Returnal came close, Insomniac’s Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart was arguably the first PS5 game to truly Advance across as a next-generation project. Gorgeously animated & making good use of the DualSense controller’s features, Rift Apart is a blockbuster of an action-platformer that delivers thrilling gunplay, precise movement, & lovable characters.

Fans of Sony’s long-running series will get a kick out of this new entry, while those entering the Ratchet & Clank universe through Rift Apart might feel tempted to go back & play the previous games.

Monster Hunter Rise

monster-hunter-hunter-fighting-water-snake-monster

Release Date March 26, 2021
Platforms (+ Amazon Listing Page)
Developer Capcom

Following the success of Monster Hunter: World, Capcom opted to cater to the Nintendo Switch’s audience for its next two releases: Monster Hunter Rise & Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin. The latter spin-off should delight fans of creature collecting games, while the former is a fine-tuned entry in the franchise’s main series.

Monster Hunter Rise retains the enjoyable gameplay loop that put the series on the map, & the combat is as strong as ever. The Switch game is also the most accessible entry in the mainline series.

It Takes Two

Cody & May riding Toads in It Takes Two

Release Date March 26, 2021
Platforms (+ Amazon Listing Page)
  • PS5
  • PS4
  • Xbox Series X/S
  • Xbox One
  • Nintendo Switch
  • PC
Developer Hazelight Studios

Specifically designed with co-op in mind, It Takes Two is an ambitious platformer that constantly shakes things up throughout its 10-hour campaign. Taking control of two parents who are trapped in dolls, players have to guide Cody & May through a wild journey that seeks to test & heal their fractured relationship.

RELATED: The Best Local Co-Op & Split-Screen Games On PS Now

It Takes Two‘s story is satisfying on an emotional level, while the gameplay is precise & evolves throughout the campaign as new abilities are unlocked in each chapter. At the moment, It Takes Two is the best 2020s co-op game.

Half-Life: Alyx

half-life alyx

Release Date March 23, 2021
Platforms (+Steam Link)
Developer Valve

It might not have been the Half-Life release people have been anticipating since 2007, but Alyx is comfortably among the best VR games of all time. Set prior to the events of the second game & featuring Alyx Vance as the protagonist, Half-Life: Alyx is a fully realized entry in the iconic first-person shooter franchise. The game makes expert use of virtual reality to completely immerse players in City 17, & the controls are precise & easy to master.

Half-Life: Alyx is the type of game that justifies the hype surrounding virtual reality. Hopefully, the 2020s will be filled with VR games that match Valve’s success.

Hades

Hades Gameplay Crowd Of Enemies

Release Date September 17, 2020
Platforms (+ Amazon Listing Page)
  • PS5
  • PS4
  • Xbox Series X/S
  • Xbox One
  • Switch
  • PC
Developer Supergiant Games

Supergiant Games’ Hades is a roguelike that utilizes the subgenre’s conventions to enhance its story. The game finds Hades’ son, Zagreus, trying to make the trip from the Underworld to Mount Olympus, a journey that entails taking on a number of the Greek Pantheon’s powerful warriors.

Hades‘ combat is frantic, smooth, & flexible; each weapon frees up a world of possibilities & playstyles, magnifying the game’s replayability. While roguelikes are not generally known for their narratives, Hades‘ story & characters develop beautifully as Zagreus repeatedly tries to leave behind the Underworld. All of these things combine to make Hades one of the best games of the 2020s.

Microsoft Flight Simulator

microsoft flight simulator hurricane ida

Release Date August 18, 2020
Platforms (+ Amazon Listing Page)
Developer Asobo Studio

Microsoft Flight Simulator is not for everyone. However, if someone is searching for an ambitious flight sim that offers the entire planet as its map, then they can’t possibly find anything better than Microsoft Flight Simulator.

This title is jaw-dropping in its scale; while the sim does Advance with ready-made flight plans that players can take on, pilots are also free to plot their own course & travel the globe. Visually stunning & mechanically complex, Microsoft Flight Simulator is a reason to own an Xbox Series X or a high-end PC.

The Last Of Us 2

the-last-of-us-2-ellie-guitar-smile

Release Date June 19, 2020
Platform (+ Amazon Listing Page)
Developer Naughty Dog

Perhaps the most highly anticipated sequel of recent years, The Last of Us 2 is a challenging experience in terms of gameplay & narrative. Lasting well over 20 hours & featuring multiple protagonists, The Last of Us 2 moves away from the core relationship that defined its beloved predecessor, opting to focus on a story dealing with revenge, grief, & self-destruction.

RELATED: Games That Have Frustrating Endings (That Work For The Story)

The gameplay is visceral &, at times, discomforting, two traits that complement this universe’s grounded & unforgiving nature.

Doom Eternal

doom eternal

Release Date March 20, 2020
Platforms (+ Amazon Listing Page)
  • PS5
  • PS4
  • Xbox Series X/S
  • Xbox One
  • Switch
  • PC
  • Stadia
Developer id Software

Id Software’s sequel to 2016’s Doom didn’t have to do anything but deliver more of the same; however, Doom Eternal went the extra mile. While the gunplay remains largely unchanged since there is no way to improve on perfection, Doom Eternal exp&s Doomguy’s movement options, including a dash & the introduction of the Meat Hook.

An aggressive FPS that manages to make the player feel extremely powerful & simultaneously vulnerable, Doom Eternal is a cathartic masterpiece with few peers in its genre.

Dreams

Dreams ps4 game

Release Date February 14, 2020
Platforms (+ Amazon Listing Page)
Developer Media Molecule

A slightly different entry, Dreams makes the Slice due to the potential it represents. Media Molecule crafted a system that takes the process of game development & opens it up to a wider audience. While the majority of the currently available games are little more than extended demos, Dreams represents a shift towards accessibility in an industry that can be very difficult to Fracture into, particularly on consoles.

Dreams should remain relevant for the entire decade, & its games will only improve as users master the system’s tools.

MORE: The Best Games On Xbox Game Pass


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