August 5, 2021

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Games gave me the variety 2020 could not

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.

Looking down at my games of the year list, I quickly realised that finding an overarching theme was going to be a challenge. Everything I enjoyed had been so remarkably different, on a real range of platforms. It was then I realised that perhaps the theme was the variety. Having spent most of the year living and working in one room, with no chance of travel beyond the local ASDA, trying out different game genres has become a way for me to break routine.

One of these surprises came in the form of Crusader Kings 3, the medieval grand strategy made by Paradox. I’ll admit I previously steered clear of grand strategy titles under the assumption they were dry and overcomplicated, and while Crusader Kings 3 is certainly the latter, that chaos is what makes it so compelling. The systems create personal adventures that are ridiculous and uncontrollable, and letting events wash over you as you navigate your family through the carnage makes for some unique storytelling. That and eating the pope, which is also an option.

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