In 2020, millions of locked-down people worldwide rediscovered their love for video games, a perfect getaway from our current, sobering reality. Our consoles were therapeutic joy machines and gave us a control and vicarious autonomy that we suddenly lacked in life.

We could go any place we wanted to—whether it was a deserted island where we farmed pumpkins and pulled weeds, or an abandoned skate park where we grinded on rusted rails. Whether it was feudal Japan with its samurai code, or modern Japan with its Yakuza loyalty oaths; whether it was the Greek Underworld or a literal Hell on Earth; this was the year of escapism. 

It was also the year that both the Playstation 4 and the Xbox One reached the end of their life cycles, ushering in the releases of the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X|S. Traditionally, this is the time period when developers push the current generation consoles to their fullest potential, and in many cases, they did. In a year filled with acclaimed titles, there were a few definite standouts. Here are the best video games of 2020.