Animal Crossing: New Horizons Is Half-Glass Gaming’s 2020 Game of the Year

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

A lot of gaming outlets — most of them, in fact — declare their Game of the Year based on what they believe is the best game from that year. Here at Half-Glass Gaming, we take a different approach. We think that a Game of the Year is not necessarily the best game released that year, but the game that is the most representative of that year as a whole.

We had a pretty huge discussion of this at the end of 2015, so check out our 2015 Game of the Year Special podcast episode if you want to hear our arguments for this. (For the record, we declared The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt our 2015 Game of the Year.)

But with that in mind…

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is our 2020 game of the year

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

2020 was a really weird year. In 2020, a lot of stuff happened that was completely unpredictable, and a lot of us had our lives uprooted. Yet Animal Crossing: New Horizons gave us a solid rock to stand upon. It came out just a couple weeks into the COVID-19 lockdowns, and a lot of folks picked it up simply because it was something to do when everything is closed.

But it was also the absolutely most perfect game for that exact scenario. Not only is there a ton of stuff to keep you occupied (and addicted) for hundreds of hours, but there’s a relentless sense of optimism built into the game that felt comforting.

In 2020, Animal Crossing: New Horizons convinced a lot of people to buy a Nintendo Switch who wouldn’t have picked one up otherwise. It was a great way to hang out with friends without exposing them to potentially deadly illnesses, and it was a game that brought a lot of non-game-playing folks into the fold.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons was the exact game we needed in 2020, and it is our 2020 Game of the Year.

Hades deserves a special mention

Hades

If 2020 would have been a normal year, Hades would have almost certainly been our 2020 Game of the Year. Everything about this game is incredible, from the art to the sound design to the characters.

What really makes Hades stand out for us is the fact that it makes the roguelike genre more accessible by creating a system that rewards failure rather than punishing it. We have a feeling there will be plenty of games that take inspiration from Hades in the years to come, and our Game of the Year discussion wouldn’t have been complete without Hades getting at least a mention.

We nominated nine games as 2020 Game of the Year contenders

Final Fantasy VII Remake

We didn’t get to play absolutely everything we wanted to this year, and that impacted our selection a little bit. Still, we nominated nine standout games, and we really do believe that, out of everything we played this year, these are the games that shaped the industry this year.

You can check out our full list of 2020 Game of the Year nominees here.

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