The ultimate 2020 review

From break-out indies to blockbuster hits, strap in for a round up of the biggest gaming moments of 2020 here on PlayStation.

Old friends on new adventures

2020 saw the return of some genuine gaming icons, both in all-new escapades and cutting-edge remakes of classic games.

Ellie & Joel | The Last of Us Part II

The return of one of gaming's most iconic pairings doesn't reunite Ellie and Joel quite as you'd expect. Naughty Dog's talent for mature storytelling, astonishing detail and expertly choreographed action shines in this daring and expansive third-person adventure.

Prepare yourself for a gruelling, revenge-fuelled tale of tragedy, sacrifice and redemption.

Cloud & Avalanche | Final Fantasy VII

The first episode of this spectacular reimagining of one of the most beloved Japanese role-playing games draws deeply from the well of nostalgia.

While its copious nods to the past will be appreciated by fans of the original, there are no shortage of surprises, from the revamped, action-driven battle system, to its jaw-dropping visual makeover.

Prepare yourself for a gruelling, revenge-fuelled tale of tragedy, sacrifice and redemption.

Crash & Coco | Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time

Arriving a mere 22 years after the original trilogy, this direct sequel picks up right where Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped left off.

Help Crash and Coco thwart Neo Cortex and Doctor N. Tropy's multiverse-manipulating schemes by leaping, spinning and crate-smashing through gorgeous levels that will tax hardened platforming fans.

Miles & Peter | Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales

When a fierce power struggle threatens to destroy his new home, teenager Miles Morales must take up the mantle of Spider-Man to save all of Marvel’s New York.

Master Miles’ unique, bio-electric venom blast attacks and camouflage powers alongside spectacular web-slinging acrobatics, gadgets and skills. The PS5 Ultimate Edition also includes Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered.

Sackboy & friends | Sackboy: A Big Adventure

The heroic Sackling's PlayStation 5 debut marks his first foray into 3D platforming, and he's taken to it like wool to a knitting needle.

With Craftworld under threat from the villainous Vex, it's up to you to lead Sackboy and his fuzzy pals through five beautiful handmade worlds to save the day.

Astro Bot | Astro's Playroom

Pre-loaded on every PS5 console, Astro's Playroom is a spectacular showcase for the DualSense wireless controller.

Embark on a fantastical platforming journey with Astro, exploring the inner workings of your PlayStation 5 and discovering dozens of secrets that celebrate the rich history of PlayStation.

Tony Hawk | Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2

The games that opened a generation's eyes to the joys of grinds, ollies and ska punk are back, playing just as you remember, and looking so, so much better.

This respectful remaster of the Birdman’s first two virtual outings retains everything players loved, with enough upgrades to attract a new generation of skaters.

Axel & Blaze | Streets of Rage 4

Wood Oak City is in the grip of a crime wave, and once again it's up to Axel Stone, Blaze Fielding and friends both old and new to clean up the streets.

With crisp, hand-drawn graphics and fluid, combo-heavy combat, this long-awaited comeback is a superior scrolling beat 'em up made by fans, for fans.

Feeling nostalgic?

Check out some of the most beloved returning heroes from the last few years in our Retro Remakes round-up.

Break-out hits

Every year sees the unexpected explode onto PlayStation, with big new hits that no-one saw coming. 2020 was no exception.

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout

60 jellybean people enter, but only one jellybean person can win the prestigious crown. Fall Guys is the game that proved you don't need guns to make a great battle royale game.

Chaotic, hilarious and always entertaining, it's the free-to-play free-for-all that has taken the gaming world by storm. 

Genshin Impact

Genshin Impact’s vast and incredibly pretty open world may give off the impression of a massively multiplayer role-playing game, but this is focused on solo and (eventually) online four-player co-op adventuring, with a wealth of quests to complete and loot to discover.

If you haven't tried it already, it's free to play!

Call of Duty: Warzone

Available as part of, or separately from Call of Duty Modern Warfare, Warzone is a standalone, free-to-play battle royale offering gigantic 150-player skirmishes.

Work with your team in traditional last-squad-standing play, or race to earn $1m in the innovative Plunder mode. If you're a PlayStation Plus member, grab the free Combat Pack!

Bugsnax

Certainly the most unusual game of 2020, Bugsnax imagines an island where bugs and snacks are one and the same.

Pineapple tarantulas, cheese puff butterflies and cinnamon roll snails are just three of the 100+ tasty critters you’ll track and catch in this delightfully silly puzzle adventure.

Free-to-play hits

The biggest break-out of the PS4 generation might just be free-to-play - with dozens of titles to download now, check out this curated list for an idea of where to start.

Challenges we overcame

Some games are like a breezy summer stroll and some are like a rigourous uphill hike - no round-up of the year would be complete without a look back at the titles that really pushed gamers.

Demon's Souls

The progenitor of the now hugely popular action-RPG sub-genre created by From Software, PS3 cult favourite Demon's Souls is back sporting an incredible new look.

Beneath the stunning visual overhaul made possible by PS5 beats the same uncompromising heart that gave birth to the iconic 'Souls' style of fantasy role-playing games.

Demon's Souls' challenge is steep, and the sense of accomplishment remains unmatched.

DOOM Eternal

Hell has come to Earth, and it's going about as well as can be expected.

DOOM Eternal delights in throwing you, the Slayer, into hellspawn-infested arenas with barely enough ammo to survive. Only by mastering its slick movement, expansive weapon selection and the never-more-essential chainsaw will you prevent humanity's destruction.

Nioh 2

Steeped in historical conflict and Japanese mythology, Nioh 2 builds on Team Ninja's celebrated supernatural samurai action with more of everything: more weapons, more fighting styles, more armour sets and, of course, a greater challenge.

With near boundless depth, it's a game that only opens up the longer you play. PS5 owners, look out for the upgraded Nioh 2 Special Edition coming March 2021.

Up for a challenge?

If you're happiest as a gamer when you're up against the odds, then why not test your mettle with a run down of PS4's most challenging games?

The best of PlayStation VR

2020 was the year of big cinematic blockbusters for PlayStation VR, inviting you to step inside some of the world's biggest movie franchises.

Star Wars: Squadrons

If you've ever dreamed of piloting an X-wing or TIE fighter, then dream no more. The entirety of this immersive starfighter simulator is playable in VR, placing you directly in the cockpit for a series of dazzling and intense dogfights set during and after the events of the original Star Wars trilogy.   

Dreams

The addition of VR to this miraculous, collaborative creation tool has already inspired the Dreams community to produce some unforgettable experiences. Build whatever you can imagine entirely in VR, whether that's a game or an animation, a painting or a music video. Anything is possible. 

Marvel's Iron Man VR

Suit up as the Armored Avenger in an original Iron Man adventure. Tony Stark takes on Ghost, a hacker repurposing old Stark Industries tech in her efforts to topple his empire. Use two PlayStation Move motion controllers to fire up Iron Man’s Repulsor Jets and access an arsenal of iconic Iron Man gear.

Until You Fall

Until You Fall's striking blend of fantasy and fluorescence is a feast for the eyes, while its relentless, high-impact sword combat tests your reflexes. You might not survive your first encounter against its monstrosities, nor your twentieth, but your arsenal and powers will grow until you eventually become an unstoppable Rune Knight.

Ultimate immersion

If you're looking for more wierd and wonderful worlds in which to lose yourself, check out our guide to PlayStation VR's most immersive games. 

Unforgettable foes

From sworn enemies and tales of vengeance to cat-and-mouse games of hunt-or-be-hunted, 2020 brought out some memorable bad guys.

The Predator | Predator: Hunting Grounds

If it bleeds you can kill it. True, but then you're not the alien hunter boasting optical camo and a Plasma Caster.

This is what asymmetrical multiplayer was made for, pitching a four-person fireteam against a deadly cinematic icon. For the authentic Predator experience, get the Dutch '87 DLC to reunite Arnie with his extraterrestrial arch-nemesis.

Kotun Khan | Ghost of Tsushima

As grandson to one of history's greatest conquerors, Kotun Khan has inherited his ancestor's knack for brutally overthrowing other nations.

However, he might have met his match with Jin Sakai, a samurai willing to sacrifice everything to defend his home of Tsushima. This sumptuous open-world adventure looks even better on PS5 thanks to game boost technology.

Nemesis | Resident Evil 3

Rebuilt and remixed from the ground up to ensure that it will still scare the pants off even the most seasoned S.T.A.R.S. member, Resident Evil 3 re-introduces one of the series’ most memorable villains: Nemesis.

Thought staving off zombies was terrifying enough? Now try doing it with an unstoppable behemoth relentlessly pursuing you.

Nerves of steel?

Get a run down of the generation's most terrifying antagonists in a special guide to PS4's scariest horror games. 

Hidden gems

Between all the big-name blockbusters, 2020 had more than its fair share of indie hits and understated wonders.

13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim

Part visual novel, part turn-based strategy, the latest from veteran developer Vanillaware is a one-of-kind experience.

Built on a vast branching narrative that follows the time-travelling adventures of 13 playable characters, 13 Sentinels’ high-concept sci-fi themes, interwoven character narrative and unpredictable plot will appeal to fans of titles like NieR Automata and Steins;Gate.

Spiritfarer

When a game's tagline is, "a cozy management game about dying", you know you're in for something different.

Spiritfarer is a beautiful, moving and lyrical tale that puts you in the shoes of a ferrymaster to the deceased. Take care of spirits and build eternal bonds with them before guiding them to the afterlife. Warning: you will cry.

Spelunky 2

This sequel to the award-winning roguelike 2D platformer doesn't tamper with the winning formula. Instead, it expands its scope, not to mention its many, many opportunities to fail in spectacular, often hilarious ways.

Dense with secrets and interlocking systems, and boasting chaotic local and online co-op, this is a more-than-worthy successor.

Two Point Hospital

This winning evolution of classic business sim Theme Hospital shares both key members of the creative team and its light-hearted sense of humour.

No grisly traumas here; you're more likely to be curing patients who've transformed into living Picasso paintings, or think they're Freddie Mercury. Beneath the comedy, there’s a seriously good management game.

The Room VR: A Dark Matter

The Room series is the gold standard for virtual escape room experiences, and its first foray into VR is absolutely no exception.

Become completely immersed in an archaeological mystery bursting with atmosphere and elegant environmental puzzles. An intelligent clue system ensures you’ll never stay stuck for too long.

The Pathless

A lone archer and her eagle companion soar and bound across a ruined land infected by a spreading darkness.

As the Hunter, it’s up to you to explore this lush open world, battle colossal corrupted beasts and return light to the land. This unique adventure is characterised by its kinetic combat and painterly art direction.

More hidden gems?

It's been a dramatic, jam-packed year; if you're worried there might be others you've missed, check out the full guide.