Ranking The Seven Best Video Game Surprises of 2020

4. Crash Bandicoot 4

Another game where the surprise isn’t its existence but its quality, Crash Bandicoot 4 delivered on nearly everything fans wanted. Sure, the music was a little uninspired and there’s a drastic graphical difference between cutscenes and gameplay. Overall, however, Toys for Bob manages to recapture a little of the lightning in the bottle that made the first games so fun all those years ago. A long-awaited sequel living up to its potential can be plenty surprise. If you don’t agree, ask Kingdom Hearts 3 about it.

3. Ghosts of Tsushima: Legends

Sometimes it isn’t the game itself that’s surprising, but the contents of the game. Ghosts of Tsushima’s storyline explores the dichotomy of honor versus need for a samurai forced to become a ninja, and this story in itself is a pleasant departure from most stealth games before it. This might seem like a fundamentally lonely experience, but Ghosts of Tsushima: Legends shows otherwise. The success of the multiplayer shows that people are more than willing to step back into feudal Japan if it means they get to pet foxes with their friends.

2. Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout

History has proving that predicting the next battle royale is next to impossible. Maybe that’s part of the charm, though, and Fall Guys certainly is charming. Throwing aside many conventions of the genre, Fall Guys is fun to play even when you inevitably lose. Luck is at the heart of many of the challenges—which can be great or terrible—and there isn’t the same sense of dire seriousness that accompanies so many other games in the battle royale genre. It isn’t perfect, but it’s a ton of fun, and what more can you ask than that?

1. Astro’s Playroom

By design, no one could have seen Astro’s Playroom coming. Some decry the title as nothing more than a tech demo, but if that’s the case (which it isn’t, but go off I guess), it’s a pretty surprising one. Showcasing the best of PlayStation’s DualSense controller, it also details the history of the PlayStation consoles in loving detail. With mind-blowing new technology, amazing visuals, and a successful foray into the very spirit of gaming, Astro’s Playroom likely marks the beginning of a beloved new franchise. It’s hard to find anything more surprising than that.

Were there bigger gaming surprises in 2020 for you? Did you ignore the praise of the early access players for Hades and stumble upon it recently? Did something else pique your interest in recent months? Let us know below!

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