August 3, 2021

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2020’s best games were comforting throwbacks

Editor’s note: Take a breath. We’re almost there. 2020’s been quite the year, and it’s very nearly over. Across the festive break, members of the Eurogamer team and our contributors will be running down their personal top five games of 2020, before we announce our game of the year – and before, of course, we hand over to you for the annual Reader’s Top 50. Thanks for being with us this year, and see you on the other side.

Something I’ve found myself doing more in 2020 is going back to old games. I spent my summer replacing my GameCube’s disc drive with an SD card reader (and you thought next-gen load time improvements were exciting!) and the thing I was most looking forward to with Xbox Series X and PS5 was revisiting missed treasures through backwards compatibility. But looking back, even my favourite new games of the year have a hint of nostalgia to them. Maybe it’s just one of those years where, without realising, I needed a bit of familiarity.

Like most of us, the game I’ve sunk the most time into this year is Animal Crossing: New Horizons. I’ve played every Animal Crossing since the long awaited PAL release on GameCube, and though I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each one, I never stuck with them. Whether it’s on DS or Wii, three or four months in and my lofty ambitions at fully completing the museum falls by the wayside. I’m pleased to report I’m almost there with the Switch version, give or take some pier fish that stubbornly wouldn’t spawn and are now out of season, which means I’ll be forced to chip away at it until May of next year – something which I’m secretly delighted about.

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