Here’s All The GOTY Nominees For The 2020 Game Awards

Here’s All The GOTY Nominees For The 2020 Game Awards
Ghost of Tsushima (Screenshot: Jordan Raigoza (Email)
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There’s one major convention or show left for 2020, and naturally that leaves us with one major debate: what’s going to win this year’s Game Awards GOTY.

Because of how The Game Awards is structured, titles have to be released by a certain date to qualify for Game of the Year considerations. In other words: Cyberpunk 2077 is releasing too late in the year, similar to how Super Smash Bros could only be considered the year after its release.

So, that narrows down the field a little bit. But it’s still a ridiculously good set of games. The end of one console generation is always going to deliver some top quality titles, and 2020 has absolutely delivered.

In order, the games for the Game of the Year award at this year’s Game Awards are:

  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  • Final Fantasy VII Remake
  • Hades
  • The Last of Us Part 2
  • DOOM Eternal
  • Ghost of Tsushima

Pretty decent list, all in all. The only one I’d probably quibble with is DOOM Eternal on that list. There’s nothing wrong with it, but I think the argument would have been stronger for titles like Half-Life: AlyxMicrosoft Flight Simulator or maybe the Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 + 2 remaster. Even Genshin Impact probably deserves a bit more credit, and I haven’t heard a single bad word about Spelunky 2, either.

Still, it’s a quality list of games. Hell, if someone asked you “what should I play over Christmas”, that list would definitely get them through the holidays just fine.

What would your pick of games for 2020 be? And out of the list above, what would you like to see as the winner? (Note that if you want to help contribute to the final tally, there is a public voting segment for The Game Awards — simply head over here and you’ll be able to vote for your favourite after making an account.)


      • Sadly I think a lot of people dislike TLOU2 for the “wrong” reasons, but I’m one of the few people that think TLOU1 is nothing more than a mediocre game that managed to dupe people into thinking it was great. TLOU2 did little to improve on my impressions of the series.

  • So I can’t edit my comment? poo.
    Had to add
    I Love Doom Eternal, I may be the biggest DooM fan, but yeah, it’s not really Game Of The Year.
    In that list, the only real standout for me would be Ghost…
    All great games, but.

    • I honestly don’t understand how people can say Doom Eternal isn’t GotY worthy. It’s gameplay design is nothing short of superb.
      I can understand complaints about the “story” getting in the way of the gameplay, but honestly, there are so few flaws in its design that I honestly cannot understand how people think it’s not worthy of a GOTY nomination.

  • Yakuza has received one of the series’ first nominations (? I think). I absolutely think it’s worthy of best RPG. I loved FF7 Remake but it could have been better in many respects.
    Also, 13 Sentinels’ Best Narrative nom is worthy.

    • The smaller category nominations are interesting. Best Performance gave TWO nominations to TLOU2, so you can see how hard they’re trying to give them at least something.

      Best ongoing game category remains a fucking disrespectful travesty that hasn’t included Warframe, whose content and quality of life updates outdo the actual nominees, and which has gone to the trouble of even adding entirely new game modes. Just awful, awful oversight that. Inexcusable.

      • Agreed on Warframe.
        In terms of TLOU2… I’m still on the fence. I think performances were good (great? Maybe). I’d never play it again because it’s so joyless, but I appreciate what they did with it. It has been hard to separate from the backlash, then the reaction TO the backlash.

  • “…titles have to be released by a certain date to qualify for Game of the Year considerations. In other words: Cyberpunk 2077 is releasing too late in the year…”
    “So, that narrows down the field a little bit.”

    On the contrary, I’d say the exclusion of Cyberpunk blows the field wide fucking open. 😉

    Hard agree on Doom Eternal. Frankly, Genshin Impact has occupied significantly more of my time at a higher level of engagement than Eternal. Doom 2016 blew my mind and caused me to almost miss work a couple times. Eternal, however, I got bored with and watched a story/cinematics-only video of instead (most of this I blame on pacing and more talkytalking).

    I’d like to take a moment to celebrate many worthy but unmentioned titles that made my 2020 better (to varying degrees) for their release:

    Nioh 2, WoD/VtM’s many visual novels, Coffee Talk, Temtem, Hardspace: Shipbreaker, BE-A Walker, Cloudpunk, Carrion, Tonight We Riot, Ooblets, Troubleshooter, Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord, Streets of Rage 4, Maneater, Command and Conquer Remastered, Superhot Mind Control Delete, Destroy All Humans remaster, Othercide, Mortal Shell, Spiritfarer, Crusader Kings 3, Amalur Re-Reckoning (barely counts as a remaster, but it made me play it), Genshin Impact, Ghostrunner, Watch Dogs: Legion.

    • Which game is that?

      FF7 Remake, AC:NH, Last of Us 2 and Ghost of Tsushima all have a pretty decent shot. I’d even really like to see Hades take it out, but I think it’ll end up being Tsushima that probably gets it.

      • I hope Tsushima wins, i really do, but i forsee the ‘Make A Statement(tm)’ as discussed below takes it out.
        Personally, AC:NH might be a little too….niche to win it and FF7 is probably a victim of it being 2020.

    • TLoU2? Yeah. Didn’t really deserve the hype. If it wins, I’m going to assume it’s because the industry wants to Make A Statement(tm) in defiance of leakers, transphobes and toxic fandom that has nothing to do with the merits of the game itself.

      Tsushima, however… when I was looking for reasons to justify delaying play of it until the PS5 launch, I scoured the internet for anything negative to be said in any review. There was fucking none. Maybe a bit of wank about the Kurosawa mode not being super hot, but other than that, the consensus was that it was a perfect game. Even cultural appropriation concerns were evaporated by the effusive Japanese reviewers’ praise. Throw in a very effective co-op mode, and there’s added longevity too.

      • If they’re considering how good of a game as a whole it is… It really seems like Hades or Ghost of Tsushima should crush everything else. I haven’t even played Ghost myself yet, but as you mention its actually mind blowing how little criticism and how much sheer praise I’ve seen for that game.

        But yes, I too fully expect TLoU2 to win. Despite its ‘engaging gameplay’ basically not changing from the first game (and the gameplay back then sure as shit wasn’t anything to brag about), and having a story that was so disjointed and nonsensical it was genuinely baffling how it was even from the same people as Uncharted and the first TLoU.

        • Other thing would be recency too: Ghost’s free Legends mode was released after judges would have started tallying votes/doing the consideration process, and that’s just more points in Sucker Punch’s column.

      • I’ve waited for PS5 Tsushima backcompat… Now that games have started flooding in again, I’m not sure if that was the right call. It has to contend with some pretty great stuff.
        Dunno about Hades/Persona… Does a port/re-release qualify for GOTY?

  • I haven’t played every game on the list, but my pick would have to be Last of Us Part 2. I fall into the camp that loved everything about it.

  • Ghost of Tsushima for game of the year. My main reasoning behind this choice over say Final Fantasy VII which I also enjoyed is Ghost was a completely new ip. All of the other games listed look like another iteration in a series. Minus Hades of course but although it looks nice, I still don’t think it tops the combat, story, music and beauty from Ghost.

  • Personally for me, it’s a toss up between FF7R and Doom Eternal.
    Doom Eternal is just so good. Intense and challenging the whole way through without overstaying its welcome. The DLC thankfully kept up that challenge. It’s so good. Leagues above 2016. You don’t realise this until you go back to it.
    The only problem I had was the timing – when I got to play with it I also had FF7R sitting there, waiting, beckoning me.

    FF7R was a flawed game. Low res textures, padding between story beats, excess Sephiroth and weird scrotum plot ghosts.
    That’s what people will tell you. For me, it was near perfect. I had so much fun from start to end. The music was fantastic. The voice cast was perfect. The combat was so, so good and it only got better the further in you got. I can’t wait for the sequel.

    And I know these games will be robbed by TLOU2. You don’t get to be a 10 year in the making sequel to one of the biggest games of its time, facing difficulties that Transientmind already covered, without getting a free pass to GOTY. Nevermind that it frankly, isn’t quite deserving (especially if you think too hard about the story).

    • I’m not sure if I’m just being contrarian, but in a vacuum I think TLOU2 is still a heavy contender for GOTY. Yeah there are some progressive themes but they are organically part of the story. The backlash to the game probably had a part to play in how everyone received it where it either had to defy the trolls and be the best game ever or be an overhyped disaster. It was neither of those things.
      If I were a betting man I would say Tsushima will clean up though.

      • I don’t think progressive themes should be considered detrimental to a game, but I also don’t that the mere fact of having progressive themes in a game should elevate it above all other games (especially when being considered GOTY).

  • As much as I love Half-Life: Alyx there wouldn’t have been any point putting it in best game – it just doesn’t have the install base / relevance for most people. I’m not a fan of the recent DOOM games, but at least most people can actually play them – Alyx is sort of out by default.

  • Smells like a set up to give The Last of Us 2 a reason to be praised by media groups, rabid fans, and for Sony to slap a GOTY award sticker on the box before pushing the game into its Greatest Hits selection.

    If they waited a month more, then there would be so many easily better selections like Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, Marvel Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Watch Dogs: Legion, and Cyberpunk 2077 included in the list. The Last of Us 2 wouldn’t stand a chance against a true line up like that.

  • Honestly, if I had to pick anything I’d probably put Hades first, then Doom Eternal. Everything else is probably a lot further behind. And that’s probably only because I still think of Supergiant games as being “indie” and think they deserve the credit, though on sheer design alone Eternal probably should get the nod out of the two.

    Doom Eternal *absolutely* should be strong a contender because it took everything about Doom 2016 and showed the world what a best-in-class first person shooter is. The only failing of the game is that it can fail to teach the players the correct lessons from their deaths. Otherwise, it really is a masterclass in game design and anyone who thinks otherwise simply isn’t paying attention to how much effort went into fine tuning and balancing the weapons, enemies, ammo supply, power ups, level design… everything makes the player work, and simultaneously think both tactically and strategically at a breakneck pace. Anyone who whinges “oh, but I can’t just use the super shotgun for everything like I could in 2016, so it’s less fun”, if you’ve ever accepted ANYONE praising the Souls games, shut your pie hole. Because Doom Eternal does what the Souls series does, except at 100 miles/hour… and for the most part does an infinitely better job at teaching you how to come along and enjoy the ride.

    Hades at least was trying to do something different by injecting story into a roguelite, so deserves credit for that. Supergiant makes good games. They’re stylish and have good (though arguably not amazing) design. It deserves recognition because it did something different for the genre.

    TLOU1 was mediocre enough, and TLOU2 just followed in those footsteps yelling YOU ARE A BAD PERSON AND YOU SHOULD FEEL BAD. The overt emotional manipulation was just so forced that I honestly did not care for the characters. Ellie has a singular motivation for pretty much THE ENTIRE game, but because it’s “deep and meaningful” she suddenly undergoes a complete character change right at the end. Please.
    Honestly, people who praise these games, if David Cage replaced his awful quicktime events were replaced with run-of-the-mill TPS pop-n-stop shooting, they’d be declaring his games as masterpieces.

    Ghosts is yet another sandbox game. Yes, it’s gorgeous. Yes, it’s got a great theme. But… holy damn, it’s basically The UbiSoft Game: Ronin Edition (but with some improvements).
    FF7 Remake: Yeah, I’m not the right one to talk about this game. As far as I’m concerned, it’s largely relying on nostalgia to grab the audience. And as someone who never played the original, it just didn’t do enough.
    Animal Crossing New Horizons: Really? It’s another animal crossing game. That’s it. Yes, it captured people hearts because they needed it in this year that sucked. But can you honestly tell me anything it did that was particular new or special? Heck, it lacked features that were in the previous animal crossing game. Just no. This would be like putting Gears 5 on the list for 2019… well, actually not even, because that at least tried to do something different with its open world bits (even if they didn’t work very well).

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