Welcome to Fextralife’s 2020 GOTY awards! The Fexy Awards feature our favorite games of the last 12 months, but with a different twist than most sites: we focus on the games our community loves! These are the winners of this year’s Fexy Awards.
Fexy Awards: The Best Games of 2020
Best Storytelling: Ghost of Tsushima
This year’s best story award goes to Ghost of Tsushima, that beautifully encapsulated the events of the first Mongol landing on Japanese shores in the late 13th century. The game does a fantastic job of setting the stage for what was a huge turning point in Asian history, stopping the unrelenting expansion of the Mongol Empire.
Following through Jin Sakai, the player gets to experience the internal conflict of the samurai: stick to what you have held dear and die with honor, or lower yourself to any means necessary and defend your people. This tug-of-war within the protagonist is wonderfully told, and it gets Suckerpunch our storytelling award for the year. Read the GOT review for more details.
Best Gameplay: Nioh 2
Nioh 2 is one of the few games we have ever given a 10/10 in gameplay, and it sets it apart to take home our 2020 Best Gameplay Award. Nioh 2 spared no effort to make it outstanding in all aspects: from mechanic depth, to variety of builds through character customization. Everything in Nioh 2 made me want to play more and explore more and keep playing after I had finished the game once, twice, three times, and beyond!
Excellent mechanics and controls, variety of builds and tinkering, wealth of enemies both human and monstrous: Nioh 2 had everything it needed and it is hands down one of the best games of the year. It also has 3 DLCs, the last of which came out last week, and will be remastered for next gen systems. What more can you want? Read our Nioh 2 Review for more details.
Best Visual & Audio: The Last of Us 2
Our review of The Last of Us 2 surely revealed we didn’t think the game lived up to its prequel in all but one aspect: Audiovisual. As the year comes to a close and all other games have come and gone, we find that the 10/10 that we gave it for visuals and audio has stood the 2020 gauntlet and makes it emerge victorious.
While many people may be wondering how Cyberpunk 2077 doesn’t take this award given its remarkable character models, the category encompasses more than just graphics on a top-notch computer. The Last of Us two didn’t only look pixel-perfect, it also ran extremely well and had positive consistent performance. This is something that similarly stunning games like Ghost of Tsushima and Cyberpunk couldn’t sustain. Additionally, the voice acting in Last of Us 2 is, regardless of the quality of the story, was absolutely outstanding and the best we have ever had in gaming, bar perhaps Death Stranding.
Combining these two, Naughty Dog did deliver on this aspect of expectations set by The Last of Us, and therefore take home our Best Audiovisual 2020 award.
Best Multiplayer: Nioh 2
The multiplayer elements of Nioh 2 worked perfectly from day one and continue strong to this day. Powered by a resourceful and engaged community, you can hop into the game at anytime and any level and find players to join for your Yokai Hunting.
From getting help with missions to farming the end boss for yet another Smithing Text you aren’t going to use but you absolutely must have, I have spent hundreds of hours on Nioh 2 and I am not done with it, eagerly awaiting more opportunities to meet fellow hunters out in the field. The life of the game has also been extended further with updates adding more content and difficulties to play, giving gamers a reason to continue playing together. Nioh 2 takes home the award for Best Multiplayer.
Best Value: Hades
The USD 20 price tag on Rogue-lite Hades is incredible value for money and a well deserved winner for this category. With fast and action-packed gameplay, Hades takes players on a high stakes adventure of progression with unmistakable style.
Enthralling and addictive from the very get go, prepare to consume hundreds of hours finding new ways to make your way through the dungeons, steal kisses from goddesses, and emerge victorious in your quest. And all of that for the incredible price of less than half most other games. You simply won’t find a better bang for your buck anywhere, and that’s why Hades wins our Best Value award.
Best Soulslike: Mortal Shell
Mortal Shell accomplished what no Souls-like has ever before: another company not named From Software managed to take the formula and make a game (in 3D) that Souls fans embraced wholeheartedly. They captured the very essence of what makes a Souls game a Souls game, and we cannot wait to see more from Cold Symmetry, the studio behind it.
With a fantastic atmosphere and setting, Mortal Shell managed to make us feel like there was a Souls game this year, and get to take home the award of Best Soulslike of 2020. Read our Mortal Shell Review for more details.
Best DLC: Monster Hunter World Free Updates
Since its launch in early 2018, Monster Hunter World has progressively released free content for players to enjoy. This year, the updates focused around the Iceborne Expansion, but provided even more amazing monster battles for players to undertake.
I don’t think I have played a game for two years straight that was not an MMO, and the final update for Monster Hunter World was probably the most fun I have had with any of them, with the epic Fatalis battle that felt like a superb conclusion to our time in the New World. Monster Hunter World takes home our award for Best DLC.
Best Indie: Mortal Shell
Cold Symmetry, the developers of Mortal Shell, managed to deliver AAA studio production values with an indie budget, and it was a delight to get to enjoy the world of Mortal Shell.
While not without faults, the game proves that indie studios can produce amazing quality, and we are very much looking forward to what comes next. What would a Mortal Shell 2 look and play like? We’ll see what the future holds, but for now we’ll continue to enjoy the Best Indie game of the year.
Best Surprise: Genshin Impact
We are as surprised as you are! We were not expecting a Gacha game to enthrall us so, but the whole Fextralife team got lost in the hunt for Waifus and Husbandos and the overall cute but intense fun that is Genshin Impact. If you haven’t tried the game, we wholeheartedly recommend it, as its some of the best free fun we have had all year. Genshin Impact takes our award for Best Surprise!
Game of the Year: Demon’s Souls
Fextralife’s Game of the Year is, to nobody’s surprise, the game that started Fextralife: Demon’s Souls. While we were severe in our review to point out the few shortcomings of the remake, the game remains Fex’s favorite game of all time, and thus takes home the award.
Beautiful to look at, thrilling to play and impossible to put down, Demon’s Souls will take you on a roller coaster of emotions and challenge you to get over yourself and, for real, git gud. The Playstation shortage is a crime against gamers everywhere, but the wait is worth it: Demon’s Souls is the best game of 2020, and will likely be the best game of 2021 until Elden Ring comes out! Ohhhhhh, you can’t even imagine!
2020 Fexy Community Awards
Community Member: LordKaerthon
Our Forums and Discord boast 91k and 41k members, so picking a member of the year is always a challenge. This year, we’re going to put the spotlight on Lordkaerthon, for his stealth help at all times of day and night! LordKaerthon was instrumental in helping us secure a Playstation 5 on launch day so that we could play Demon’s Souls for everyone, sacrificing his own order and trusting us with his personal information in the process. He is not the only one to have helped, and there are too many to mention, but please give a round of applause for KayJay, LintheWeeb, ZeusQ, tr0n_pl. And of course a highlight to alexthugnastyyy, theslaw and noja877 for their sub streaks!
Wiki Contributor: Lewisriver
As it is every year, this was a difficult choice! We see thousands of editors constantly contributing to our 150+ wikis. Lewisriver wins the year for his outstanding contributions to the Monster Hunter World Wiki, where he made thousands of edits to add information regarding material drops, uses and a lot more. Special mentions to Remnant From the Ashes wiki contributor V_B who has updated info with over 2000 edits, and MHW contributor rougeric87, who continues to update the many DLC and add-on weapons for the game. We’d also like to highlight Nioh 2 contributor Adderflail for his work adding detailed weapon, skill and temper data, and Winrarw for updating many quests in Monster Hunter World.
Blog Author: Elnawawi
Community member Elnawawi has contributed insightful content throughout the year. Taking on a variety of games from Path of Exile, Wolcen and Genshin Impact, his detailed guides have been converted into videos for the channel! If you enjoy his writing, please make sure to reach out and suggest games, as he is more than happy to create guides for those needing assistance.
2020 has been a challenging year for many, but also delivered some great content and a new generation of consoles. You can count on 2021 being even better, with Elden Ring, Monster Hunter Rise, Scarlet Nexus, Dragon Age 4, Mass Effect and possibly even Baldur’s Gate 3! You can check this list of 2021 games that we are excited about! You might also want to check out our 2019 winners, 2018 winners and 2017 winners.
Thoughts on our picks for this year’s awards? What were your favorite games of 2020? Do you think Elden Ring will actually be released in 2021? Be sure to let us know in the comments!
To keep up with all upcoming releases, visit the Fextralife Wikis Hub