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Overall Game of the Year 2020

Overall Game of the Year 2020 - Article

by Evan Norris , posted on 19 January 2021 / 6,861 Views

2020 was a challenging, disruptive year that rearranged the cadence of daily life for millions. In this time of uncertainly and upheaval, many folks who had the means sought out art and entertainment — specifically video games — as a way to find joy and connection in a worrisome world. Thankfully, video games obliged.

Nintendo's Animal Crossing: New Horizons took the industry (and popular culture) by storm with its laid-back life simulation. Microsoft and indie team Moon Studios delivered a Metroidvania for the ages in Ori and the Will of the Wisps. Square Enix took one of the most beloved, sacred games in video game history — Final Fantasy VII — and produced a remake worthy of its loyal fans. And last but not least, Sony sent its successful PS4 console out in style with the one-two punch of The Last of Us Part II and Ghost of Tsushima.



The Shortlist:


Animal Crossing: New Horizons


Final Fantasy VII Remake



Ghost of Tsushima


The Last of Us Part II


Ori and the Will of the Wisps





The Runner-Up:

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the gift that keeps giving. Since its launch in late March, it has afforded millions of players countless hours of joy, comfort, and creativity — with no sign of letting up. Looking back, it's hard to imagine the year 2020 without it. It arrived only nine days after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, and provided a wholesome electronic escape from social distancing, stay-at-home orders, and an unreliable future. Featuring expanded customization, decoration, and inventory options, along with the same approachable, relaxed simulation gameplay that's made Animal Crossing a darling for almost 20 years, New Horizons represents, arguably, the best of the series so far.




The Winner:

The Last of Us Part II


Only developer Naughty Dog has the freedom, fearlessness, and storytelling chops to deliver a game like The Last of Us Part II. The studio, which has experimented in blending cinematic presentation, emotionally-powerful narratives, and engaging third-person action for over a decade — and produced fan-favorite titles for much longer — pushed the envelope further than ever with its hotly-anticipated sequel to a game many consider the greatest of all time. The result: a stealth action experience that expands upon everything that made the premier game so special. With refined mechanics, additional flexibility in combat and stealth, more complex level designs, and smarter AI, it's an evolved, refined version of the original The Last of Us.

It's also a brutal, unyielding, morally-uncomfortable tale that will challenge you, haunt you, and fill you with uncertainly and regret. With deeply-flawed, complicated characters — brought to life through incredibly realistic motion capture and riveting voice performances — and unwinnable situations, it's a video game story that steers clear of Hollywood heroes and happy endings, and asks difficult questions about humanity's capacity for brutality. It's the brave, masterful culmination of Naughty Dog's years-long fusion of narrative design and gameplay, and our pick for Overall Best Game of 2020.


Previous Winners:

2019: Resident Evil 2
2018: God of War
2017: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
2016 - Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
2015 - Rocket League
2014 - Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
2013 - Super Mario 3D World
2012 - Journey
2011 - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
2010 - Mass Effect 2
2009 - Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
2008 - LittleBigPlanet
2007 - BioShock 

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pikashoe (on 19 January 2021)

Seriously Hades didn't even get a nomination

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JWeinCom pikashoe (on 19 January 2021)

Haven't played TLOU2, but I thought it was way better than Animal Crossing or FF7.

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JWeinCom Bandorr (on 19 January 2021)

As I said, haven't played TLOU2, so Hades.

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SecondWar (on 19 January 2021)

This decision will be as well received as at The Game Awards.

  • +9
pikashoe (on 19 January 2021)

People in the future are going to so baffled as to why this game got so many goty awards

  • +7
coolbeans pikashoe (on 30 January 2024)

Fair to say this turned out to be correct. ;)

  • 0
Locknuts (on 19 January 2021)

Doom Eternal is the only game I've played through more than once this year. That gets my vote.

  • +5
GoldenHand80 (on 19 January 2021)

Best samurai game of 2020: The last of us part 2

  • +4
nex (on 19 January 2021)

btw. VGChartz Verdict was 7/10...

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OneTime coolbeans (on 19 January 2021)
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golfgt170 (on 19 January 2021)

I dont get it. VGC gives the biggest disappointment Runner Up and GOTY to the same game. Am i missing smthn?

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kazuyamishima golfgt170 (on 19 January 2021)
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Mnementh golfgt170 (on 19 January 2021)

Polarizing games. Some people liked it really much, other didn't like it. In both cases feelings are mostly strong. As you can only for a game in each category, the disappointed voted for TLOU2 in most dissapointing, the happy ones voted for it in GOTY. Important is more that people felt strongly, which means they voted it more than other games.

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Leynos golfgt170 (on 20 January 2021)

You cannot go against the cult of TLOU series.

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GoOnKid (on 19 January 2021)


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JWeinCom GoOnKid (on 19 January 2021)

Are you saying boo or boo-urns?

  • +6
Azzanation JWeinCom (on 19 January 2021)

Boo-urns for sure

  • 0
SecondWar JWeinCom (on 20 January 2021)

I was saying Boo-urns.

  • 0
Leynos JWeinCom (on 20 January 2021)


  • +1
LivncA_Dis3 (on 19 January 2021)

Well deserved bravo nawty dawg!

  • +1
Random_Matt (on 19 January 2021)

Is there a PS5 patch coming? Just snagged a PS5 this morning.

  • +1
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VAMatt Random_Matt (on 19 January 2021)

I'm interested to see whether they try to sell a remaster, or give a patch for free. IMO, because it released just months before the new generation, PS5 owners should get a free patch.

  • +4
AFattyGamer (on 19 January 2021)

Nothing is safe from Naughty Dog ... Besides Rockstar Games lol

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Astral AFattyGamer (on 19 January 2021)

Well, The Last of Us did beat GTA V as the overall goty of 2013 by a significant margin.

  • +1
AFattyGamer Astral (on 19 January 2021)

Was that for VGChartz? I wasn't around for the old school VGChartz era
*Glad there's an edit button now lol. In the 2013 Game Awards Show by Geoff Keighley, GTA 5 beat Last Of Us I've read. But if you want to go by cumulative then congrats to Naughty Dog :)

  • 0
Astral AFattyGamer (on 19 January 2021)

I meant the overall amount of Goty. It was 249 vs 160 awards in favour of TLoU. Not sure about VGcharts in particular.

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AFattyGamer Astral (on 19 January 2021)

Thanks for that info man I'll take a look at that. And ... yup looks like Naughty Dog beat Rockstar I see. GTA 6 should make for a promising round 2.

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rapsuperstar31 (on 19 January 2021)

That's a fair 1-2. There are a lot of better technical games than Animal Crossing for runner up, but just was the perfect game when we needed it. Resident Evil 2 wins last year, and 3 doesn't even get a nominations, shows how much better this year is compared to last year, although 2 was quite a bit better than 3. Games like Hades and Miles Morales aren't even nominated either, and I think either could have won it this year as well.

  • 0
VAMatt (on 19 January 2021)

TLOU2 was also my personal GOTY. But, I think that speaks more to the relative lack of spectacular AAA blockbusters in 2020 than it does to TLOU2 being an amazing masterpiece. I think the shortlist backs this up.

I would call TLOU2 a very good game. I certainly think anyone with a PS4 (or PS5) should play it. But, there is little that is super spectacular about it (I will say the graphics are spectacular). It was very good, and that's it.

  • 0
Unjustnation (on 19 January 2021)

Well deserved for TLOU2, one of the most profound and thought provoking games I've ever played.

  • 0
Dahum (on 19 January 2021)

Such a deserving and satisfying conclusion to these awards picks and beautifully written and described for my pick as game of the year as well.. The Last of Us Part ll.

2020 was a great year for gaming in general for its releases in my opinion but also personally goes along one of my all time favorite years in gaming for games i've played including TLOU2, Ghost of Tsushima, Marvel's Spiderman, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Dreams, Days Gone, Life is Strange and Ratchet and Clank to name a few.

  • 0
TallSilhouette (on 19 January 2021)

Woohoo! Nicely put on both counts.

  • 0
2zosteven (on 20 January 2021)

The Last of Us part 2 remastered PS5!!!

  • -1
kazuyamishima (on 19 January 2021)

Considering all the backlash and hate a LOT of users in this site put on this game even without playing it, this is BIG and meritorious!!

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LudicrousSpeed kazuyamishima (on 19 January 2021)

Oh of course, because how could you have hated on the game if you’d actually played it? /s

  • +4
kazuyamishima LudicrousSpeed (on 19 January 2021)

Go to YouTube, there are people that “reviewed” the game without playing it and already hated it. And there are tons of those ones.

So yeah, I’m standing my point!

  • -3
LudicrousSpeed kazuyamishima (on 20 January 2021)

“People on YouTube” = users on Chartz?

  • +1
Random_Matt (on 19 January 2021)
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