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The best 2020 games you should play in 2021

While 2020 was a turbulent year in literally every other regard, it did produce some top-notch video games. We were logging more hours than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. It looks like we’re going to keep logging those hours as 2021 begins to roll out. While we wait for new games to go through development, we’ll have to stick with the titles you fell in love with. Here are all the 2020 games you should still be playing in 2021.

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The Last of Us 2

The Last of Us 2 Ellie Gun
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Let’s talk about the game that took home almost every award it was nominated for at the 2020 game awards. The Last of Us 2 was the long-awaited follow-up to 2013’s The Last of Us. Players took complete control of Ellie as she embarked on the most epic revenge quest of all time. The single-player zombie survival game secured Game of the Year, Best Action/Adventure, and Best Narrative.

Since its launch, developers have talked about a multiplayer mode coming to The Last of Us 2. Naughty Dog confirmed that multiplayer would not be a part of the initial release for The Last of Us 2 and would instead arrive sometime in 2021 as either a standalone game or an in-game update. While Naughty Dog hasn’t officially confirmed anything, they’re awfully “hint-hint” about it.

Call of Duty: Warzone

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Call of Duty: Warzone is quickly coming up on its one-year anniversary. The highly anticipated post-launch release for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare sparked the most famous battle royal game of all time. As it stands, Fortnite is Warzone’s only rival in terms of popularity. We’ll see if COD’s most recent take on battle royal stands the test of time as Fortnite has.

As mentioned, Warzone is fast approaching its one-year anniversary. With this, players are heavily speculating a new full-scale Warzone map to arrive sometime in March. It is believed that the ‘New Map, will be a culmination of all the Fireteam maps in Black Op’s: Cold War making an 8 by 8 scale play-area. This is considerably larger than the playable area of Verdansk, which is only 6 by 7. Most of the information regarding this ‘new map’ comes from Modern Warzone, one of the more trusted names in Warzone updates, news, and leaks.

Call of Duty: Warzone is free-to-play on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC

Ghost of Tsushima

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If the Last of Us 2 didn’t exist, Ghost of Tsushima would have taken home every award at the 2020 Game Awards. This PlayStation exclusive now equals in popularity to Marvel’s: Spider-Man and God of War. Set in feudal Japan, Ghost of Tsushima’s smooth combat system and simplistic open-world exploration kept fans entertained for months after its release. The addition of Ghost’s multiplayer mode, Legends, only further solidified Ghost of Tsushima as one of 2020’s best games.

Legends was the only major update/expansion for the otherwise single-player story. October job postings from Sucker Punch hinted at needing developers to either begin work on Ghost of Tsushima 2 or an Expansion DLC for the base game. With weekly updates to Legends, including new Nightmare missions, fans hope for new weapons, items, and armor to be added to the already thriving game. Perhaps a new raid resides over the 2021 horizon as well?

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla

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The Assassin’s Creed series is one of the most reputable franchises in gaming history. 2020’s Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla took the game in a more combat-driven direction that long-time fans had not seen before. They controlled Eivor, a merciless Viking, as they quest, raid, and pillage Medieval England. As the highest-rated Assassin’s Creed game of all time, it’s no wonder players will still be exploring their inner Viking well into 2021.

With new secrets still being unlocked every day, the base game is doing well to keep its fans occupied. However, 2021 will see two massive expansions added to Valhalla. Wrath of the Druids will take players to Ireland and is set to release in the Spring of 2021. The Siege of Paris will then arrive in the Summer of 2021 as Eivor and her Viking raiders make their way to Medieval France. Both DLCs are part of the paid Season Pass available in Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla. 

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing New Horizons Bunny Day
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Call of Duty: Warzone and Animal Crossing: New Horizons played their cards right in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic. They both released right at the beginning and quickly became the two most widely popular games of 2020. Animal Crossing had already been an incredibly reputable franchise and further cemented their place in Nintendo history with New Horizons. Players continue to sink hours upon hours into their islands as they decorate, terraform, and grind for nook miles.

With seasonal events continuing to drop for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, 2021 should remain a busy year for island-goers. With their entire 2021 event calendar already planned out, players can expect fun-fill holiday-themed events, tournaments, and seasons.

Fall Guys

Fall Guys Slime
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Fall Guys battled it out with Among Us for the crown of top free-to-play game of 2020. The Mario Party meets Battle Royale game saw a massive surge in popularity during the summer months of 2020. Streamers took advantage of the adorable Fall Guys characters as they raged at an otherwise humble game. Winning a Fall Guys crown was as satisfying as winning a game of Warzone.

Although Fall Guys has dipped in popularity, developers as Mediatonic continue to roll out updates for a still dedicated fan base. In its third season, Fall Guys looks to continue pumping out new maps and cosmetic items for players to enjoy. Adopting the ‘battle pass’ mechanic was a smart decision as well. Mediatonic has not released anything regarding a theme for season 4. However, the past season’s start and end dates point to a late February/early March release.

Fall Guys is free on PlayStation and PC.

Spider-Man: Miles Morales

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Spider-Man: Miles Morales was the PlayStation 5’s big launch title. Arriving on the heels of Marvel’s: Spiderman, released in 2018, Mile Morales breathed a new breath of story and diversity into the Spider-Man universe. With the wide success of Into the Spider-Verse, which most claim to be the best Spider-Man movie ever made, our web-slinging superhero will be seeing some big things in 2021.

Mile Morales will keep players entertained as they explore New York City in search of crime to fight. The game will continue to receive performance updates through 2021. According to Imran Khan, the former chief editor of Game Informer, the big news comes in the form of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, rumored to release in December of 2021.

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
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The follow up to Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild left players, well, breathless. Built by the developers of Dynasty Warriors, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is set 100 years before the events of Breath of the Wild take place. Age of Calamity is also the technical follow-up to 2014’s Hyrule Warriors, which followed a similar format. Players fight waves upon waves of enemies as they play as multiple different characters from the Legend of Zelda universe.

Hyrule Warriors saw multiple DLC expansions released shortly after the base game. Some were paid, some were free, but all kept players engaged. Fans can expect the same for Age of Calamity as 2021 rolls around, introducing new characters, missions, and events in-game.

Editors' Recommendations

Mike Colucci
Michael Colucci is a lifelong video game fan based out of the greater Boston area. He's the one insistent on searching every…
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