This year has been an absolute doozy. Like, I hate to use the same word they’ve been shoving down our throats for the past eight months, but an unprecedented doozy. How did I deal with that? Video games! And, wow, a lot of them.
I’m not going to list every single video game I played this year, because we’d be here forever if I did that (also, you saw the post title, so you already knew we weren’t doing that), but I can give you my favorite of the games I clocked in the most hours in! I won’t name the hours I’ve put in, though, because that would just be embarrassing.
The titles aren’t anything revolutionary, either, so you’ve probably also been playing them as the year has dragged on. There are a few throwbacks, too, because something about 2020 has sent me in reverse. If you aren’t playing them already, give them a go! You might like them, too.
So, here are the five games that have gotten me through this pandemic so far:
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Let’s just… get this one out of the way. I’ve been playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons daily since March 20th, a day forever sealed in my brain as the day I went into full quarantine mode immediately following picking up my game at Best Buy, and the hours I’ve put into this one? Beyond embarrassing. You don’t want to know.
However, it’s basically the only interaction I have with some of my friends, who I haven’t seen since last January for one of them, and May of 2019 for the other, so. It was an unexpected lifeline, and I relied on it heavily.
I went in this year and started an entirely new farm on my Switch edition, mostly out of excitement for the update. I’m in year 4 as of writing this, and I plan on getting as much done as I can before the update drops, even though I’ll probably be starting a new file to play the new beach farm. I might hate the beach in real life, but if you give me a new farm to play with, I’m going to play that new farm!
Most of the update stuff is supposedly late-game, so it might make more sense to just keep playing the save file I already have, but! I don’t operate on logic. I operate on my heart. And my heart wants that beach farm.
(Edit note: AS I WAS WRITING THIS ONE Barone dropped 1.5 on PC. So, clearly, I am psychic. Thank you.)
Earlier this year Borderlands for the Switch was released, and, as someone who has never played all the games in full, I couldn’t resist snapping it up. It comes with all the games except for the third one (I’m not sure if they plan on ever releasing 3 for the Switch), so I thought it was a perfect way to get me to finally finish most of them. And, it was!
I’m still working my way through all of the titles, but I’m having a blast. Borderlands is stylistic, open, and so fucking funny, holy shit. The dialogue in this game? Kills me. My friend had been nagging me to get into this for years and I finally understand why. It’s so up my alley, I’m furious I waited this long to throw myself down the rabbit hole.
Naturally. I am hopelessly addicted to Minecraft and I don’t think I’ll get out of that phase anytime soon, especially with that massive update coming sometime next year. There’s just something about running around, breaking blocks, and making things that’s endlessly entertaining for me, as simple as the concept is, and I find myself starting a new world just to do the same thing I always do (search for diamonds and build a house) without getting bored of the concept.
An honorable mention here for Minecraft: Dungeons. It’s not as addictive as the main game, imo, but it’s definitely a lot of fun if you have a thing for dungeon crawlers.
(There’s another dungeon crawler that almost made the list here, Hades, but I didn’t include it because I haven’t played it nearly as much as the rest of these yet, so it’ll probably be on a list later.)
I will readily admit Bethesda has me shackled and well-kept in their pocket, both with The Elder Scrolls franchise and with Fallout (and most likely with Starfield, too, whenever that drops). However, before this year, I’d never actually finished Fallout 4. I played a lot of the storyline, did tons of side missions, but then just… stopped before finishing the main quest. Why? Not sure, exactly. I think I just got bored.
Fallout 4 is not my favorite of the series by any means (in fact, I was highly disappointed with a lot of aspects of it after the awesome play that was Fallout: New Vegas), but I finally went back, snapped up the PC version of the game, and finished it up. I still have a ton of Steam Achievements I can go for, but I’ve successfully clocked in a large number of hours playing through this one, and I fully plan to keep playing it into the new year.
Ah, good ol’ Skyrim. This is the game I think I’ve put the most hours into, ever, in my entire life. Across three platforms, I’ve easily clocked in over 1k, and I just keep going back to it. It’s my comfort game, even if I think the storyline can’t compare to that of Oblivion. It came to me first in my time of need (college) and I latched onto it, and the rest is history.
I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it. With all the different mods, I’m set for a very, very long time.
This is the only one on the list that’s not only brand spankin’ new but also one I wouldn’t recommend you pick up at the time being.
Yeah, I said it.
Don’t buy Cyberpunk 2077. Don’t.
I put a ton of hours into Cyberpunk, sure, but it’s buggy as hell and has a lot of issues. Like, SO many issues. Bad issues, ones that would have put me off buying it at all if I hadn’t already preordered and loaded the game up as soon as I could after Steam had shat itself out with everyone rushing to download the game for themselves. (Seriously, that was a wild time.)
So, while I do recommend the game itself, I don’t recommend actually getting it until enough of the game-breaking patches are fixed and maybe a sale comes around. It’s a lot of fun, in my opinion, but it has a plethora of issues that really hinder my ability to say many nice things about it. I’m including it, though, because I’ve been playing it relentlessly since it came out, and it’s only fair I include something I’ve been playing a ton of. Just, y’know. Take this one with a grain of salt. It’s a “favorite”, but not a favorite. (Yet.)
And that’s all the games! Being stuck in the house gave me ample time to do nothing but waste my time away playing videogames, reading books, and writing fanfiction, and boy howdy did I do all of those.
I got a lot done this year, but this was also the worst year of my life. I wouldn’t ask for it again, and I would absolutely wish it had never happened. This was a terrible year, and I hope you all are staying as safe as you can.
Thanks for reading!