Game Of The Year 2020 – Half-Life: Alyx

Over the last week, we revealed what we believe are the 10 best games of 2020. Today, December 17, we reveal which of the nominees gets to take home the coveted title of GameSpot’s Best Game of 2020. You can follow along with all of GameSpot’s other end-of-the-year coverage using our Best Games of 2020 hub.

It’s never easy coming to a consensus when choosing our Game of the Year here at GameSpot, especially in 2020 which was packed with games that affected us in profound ways. During our discussions, some of our team waxed poetic about the blessings that Animal Crossing: New Horizons gave in a year we mostly spent away from friends and family. Some spoke to the awe-inspiring ways Final Fantasy 7 Remake defied expectations to deliver powerful multifaceted messages to its players. And others were right about Hades being an absolute marvel of creativity and craft–and the same goes for all the other games that made it in our list of the 10 best games of 2020. Ultimately, we could only choose one winner, and after hours of deliberations as a group, our award for Game of the Year goes to Half-Life: Alyx.

Mainstream VR devices have been available for several years, but VR itself is still not in the mainstream of gaming. That may make our decision to award our Game of the Year to a VR title puzzling for some–after all, despite the increasing affordability of VR hardware, it’s still relatively costly to get into this space. The physical accessibility barrier that can hinder playability certainly played an important factor in our deliberations, too. We also recognize that as GameSpot staff, we’re privileged to have access to the proper hardware. But our selection criteria also weighs quality, innovation, enjoyment, and how these experiences transform our idea of what games can be. Half-Life: Alyx excels in every regard, pushing the medium forward as something wholly unique. It exceeded the monumental expectations of a beloved yet enigmatic franchise that went dark for 13 years, and did so in such convincing fashion.

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Author: Michael Higham