In any normal year, a list of the 10 best recently released video games would adequately encompass that year in games. Not in 2020.The best way to describe the way we consumed games in 2020 was as “comfort food.” Sticking the same pack of over-buttered popcorn in the microwave every day after work just to feel something. Ordering a 4-pound bag of childhood-favorite shoestring licorice on Amazon and slurping it down within a week. There were lots of new games we adored—the stylish and sexy action indie Hades , for one, is WIRED’s unofficial game of the year. But for the most part, we were looking for more than novelty from our time gaming.
We want to party in digital mansions swarming with catgirls. We want to channel our anxiety into managing spaceships. We want to flirt with the natural world. We want to dissociate on the couch with a free-to-play mobile game . Below are the games that we loved most in 2020.—Cecilia D'AnastasioHadesI was a little late to the Hades appreciation train, but after buying it in November, I just can’t stop playing. This has been a difficult year mentally and emotionally, and Hades takes you away from all of that into a fantasy hellscape with killer music. Seriously, the music is just that good. With the pandemic in full swing this holiday season, who wouldn’t identify with the protagonist Zagreus at least a little? We, too, want to escape the hell that is our reality and find Olympus (and our relatives and friends that are so close and yet so far).
The best part about Hades, really, is that you can do a quick 20-minute or so run-through, diving in and out of the world as a release before moving on to something else, such as your new hobbies of baking bread and knitting. Beat up some bad guys, build some fun abilities bestowed upon you from the gods, listen to some great voice lines and banter, and get to explore Hell—what more could you want from an action role-playing game? Also, did I mention the music?—Saira MuellerSpace Haven