Here we are for our fourth post celebrating the best games of 2020! If you missed the previous post for our best games of the year, you can review them right now!
Today we’re keeping the spotlight on the best PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Nintendo Switch games we played this year. Please keep in mind that we didn’t play all of this year’s releases, but hopefully, this list is useful for you!
And once you’re done reading today’s article, we want to hear: which were your best games played this year? It doesn’t matter what console you played them on, we want to know!
My Nintendo Switch Game of the Year: Streets of Rage 4
For 2020, my Nintendo Switch Game of the Year goes to Streets of Rage 4! I’ve been a big fan of beat ’em ups, having grown up playing them at the arcades way back in the day, as well as their console ports, or the series that started on consoles and are still going strong to this day. Streets of Rage is such a series, even if I got to play the games in the series at the house of a friend who owned a Sega Genesis, since most of us owned a Super Nintendo.
I got to replay the games many years later thanks to the Virtual Console on the Nintendo Wii, Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection on the PlayStation 3, and SEGA Genesis Classics on the Nintendo Switch, so I was definitely looking forward to the console revival of the Streets of Rage series!
Streets of Rage 4 looks and feels great thanks to the hard work of Dotemu, Lizardcube, and Guard Crush Games, who have given us the best beat ’em up you can get on the Nintendo Switch. It picks up ten years after the third game in the series and is set years after the previous entry in the franchise. Axel Stone and Blaze Fielding are back for another go and are joined by Cherry – Adam’s daughter – and by Floyd, a huge chunk of a man with cybernetic arms that certainly pack a punch. Worry not, because Adam Hunter will be unlocked after you’ve proven yourself worthy! The city had been at peace for ten years after the defeat of Mr. X, but a new crime empire has arisen, and it’s set on corrupting the city. Rumor has it this new organization is actually run by the Y Twins, the children of Mr. X.
I must also mention the superb soundtrack for Streets of Rage 4, which does a great job of complementing all of the action on the screen. On top of this, we also get some of the classic tracks from the old-school 16-bit entries, as well as all of the pixel characters from the previous three games as an extra bonus. Check it out right here!
My Nintendo Switch Honorary Mention: Embracelet
Embracelet from Machineboy is a charming 3D point and click adventure that surprised me on Nintendo Switch. Embracelet features a heart-warming tale of love, loss, friendship, despair, and hope. Jesper will grow during his journey through Slepp Island. It’s a narrative-driven game, which means it’s not going to be for everyone, but you should definitely give this adventure a chance. It’s a game that clicked with me from start to finish, and it’s one I hope you check out on Nintendo’s console.
My PlayStation 4 Game of the Year: Yakuza: Like a Dragon
The Yakuza series has been a big part of the PlayStation history, going back to the original’s release on the PlayStation 2. Nowadays, the PlayStation 4 is home to Yakuza Kiwami, which is a remake of the first game, it’s sequel Yakuza Kiwami 2, Yakuza Zero, The Yakuza Remastered Collection – which includes Yakuza 3-5, as well as Yakuza 6: The Song of Life, the last game in the story of Kazuma Kiryu.
And then, there’s Yakuza: Like a Dragon. Where do you go after seven games starring Kazuma Kiryu kicking and punching his way through thousands of opponents? You release a new game with a new protagonist, with gameplay that does away with the real-time 3D action fights, instead going for a turn-based system for an RPG-infused experience, including jobs that spice things up for a nice variety of elements that bring this one closer to Dragon Quest, which is the favorite series of protagonist Ichiban Kasuga.
Ichiban’s story goes in many unexpected directions, and he’ll bring together an unlikely group of heroes in this very unique journey. The change in gameplay mechanics might rub some people the wrong way, but for me it felt like a very refreshing way of taking the long-running series into the final stretch of the PlayStation 4… right before the launch of the PlayStation 5! As a heads-up, if you get the PlayStation 4 version of Yakuza: Like a Dragon, you’ll get the PlayStation 5 version for free when it launches next year.
My PlayStation 4 Honorary Mention: Darius Cozmic Collection Console and Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade
I’m a big fan of shoot ’em ups, having grown up playing them first at the arcades, and then at home… which is why my honorary mention goes to the pair of Darius Cozmic Collection Console and Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade!
The Darius Cozmic Collection Console includes US, EU, Japan versions for Darius II, SAGAIA, Darius Twin, Darius Force, Super Nova, Darius Alpha and Darius Plus, with games for the Mega Drive, the Sega Genesis, the Master System, the Super Famicom, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and the PC Engine, for six games offered in nine different versions.
The Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade has four different games presented in seven versions in total, for Darius, Darius II, SAGAIA, and the excellent Darius Gaiden, which is to this day one of the best shoot ’em ups out there. Between the two collections, I was definitely on a shoot ’em up high for a while!