The pandemic created one of the most unusual years for gaming, but also one of the most lucrative. For some, gaming was a lifeline to normalcy while others used the medium as an escape. My favorite games reflect the impact of the coronavirus.
1. "The Last of Us Part II": In a post-apocalyptic America, a mysterious fungus has turned people into feral monstrosities. The sequel pushes empathy on players by telling another side of the story. (PlayStation 4)
2. "Ghost of Tsushima": Its mix of open-world gameplay and flexible combat made this samurai epic a joy to play. (PS4)
3. "Animal Crossing: New Horizons": This Nintendo Switch title, in which players travel to a deserted island and establish a village, created a daily rhythm as you did chores, expanded your house and earned Bells.
4. "Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout": It took the battle royale formula and melded it with party game elements, providing streaming social interaction that helped players feel a little less alone. (PS4, PC)
5. "Cyberpunk 2077": This sci-fi role-playing game was released in a horrible state for the PS4 and Xbox One. On PC or Stadia, it's an astoundingly beautiful and enthralling adventure.
6. "Final Fantasy VII Remake": This foray into Midgar plays with fans' expectations and upends them, offering a mix of classic turn-based combat and visceral real-time action. (PS4)
7. "Demon's Souls": A phenomenal remake of a classic. This adventure was the best launch game for the PlayStation 5.
8. "Assassin's Creed Valhalla": By reining in the excesses of previous "Assassin's Creed" titles, this entry following the Viking invasion of England feels more focused. (X|S, PS5, PS4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC)
9. "Doom Eternal": The adrenaline-fueled follow-up to a 2016 reboot was bigger and better, making demon slaying more of an art form. (PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and S, Windows, Google Stadia)
10. "Immortals Fenyx Rising": One of the better adventures of 2020, it also scratches that "Zelda" itch for puzzles and exploration. (X|S, Xbox One, PS4, PS5, PC, Nintendo Switch)