• Fri. May 7th, 2021

PlayStation.Blog 2020 Game of the Year: The winners

ByASNF

Dec 20, 2020

Wow! Despite a shorter voting period than last year, voter turnout in this year’s Game of the Year polls shattered previous records, coming in at over 2.5 million total votes across all categories. Thank you!

PS Blog readers declared Naughty Dog’s long-awaited follow-up The Last of Us Part II the clear champion this year, taking home nine total Trophies (many of them Platinum), but there are a few surprises among the results below. Read on to see all of 2020’s big winners, then hit the comments to let us know how you voted.

See you in 2021!

Best Narrative

The Last of Us Part II

The Last of Us is considered one of the best video game tales ever created, so the storytellers at Naughty Dog had a tough act to follow. That’s what makes this ambitious, nuanced, and subversive sequel even more impressive. From old obsessions that possess Ellie, to newcomer Abby working through her own issues, The Last of Us Part II is compelling from beginning to end. Credit also goes to the masters of storytelling at Sucker Punch, Insomniac, and Square Enix.

Ghost of Tsushima

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Best Use of DualSense

Astro’s Playroom

From the scraping sensation of skating across ice, to detecting subtle pit-pats of rain on an umbrella, to feeling the resistance of a coiled spring, Astro’s Playroom put the DualSense wireless controller to work. Voters noticed in a big way, earning the game a Platinum trophy. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, and Demon’s Souls round out the winners with Gold, Silver and Bronze trophies respectively.

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

Demon’s Souls

Best Accessibility Features

The Last of Us Part II

Accessibility in games has always been important, but teams like Naughty Dog, Sucker Punch, Insomniac, and Ubisoft built in new features this year that ensure their games can be played by as many gamers as possible. Congrats not only to these winners, but also to everyone who is able to enjoy these titles as a result of the teams’ efforts here.

Ghost of Tsushima

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Best Graphical Showcase

The Last of Us Part II

Naughty Dog is renowned for creating games with a mesmerizing level of detail, and The Last of Us Part II is the team’s most technically impressive feat yet. Swivel the camera around while Ellie grapples with an enemy, and you’ll see her grimacing with effort. Position Abby next to a steep ledge and experience her wobbly tunnel vision as acrophobia settles in. 2020 was a great year for stunning games, including interpretations of ancient Japan, Marvel’s New York City, and the dark fantasy world of Boletaria.

Ghost of Tsushima

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Demon’s Souls

Best Art Direction

Ghost of Tsushima 

Sucker Punch’s lavish attention to detail meant its open world samurai epic never missed a chance to impress. From that title drop sequence to the twisted reimagining of its world with the Legends multiplayer mode, Ghost of Tsushima demanded frequent use of its Photo Mode. It, as well as the other winners in this category, was a perfect excuse to familiarise yourself with the PS4 Share and PS5 Create buttons.

The Last of Us Part II

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Best Soundtrack

The Last of Us Part II

The Last of Us Part II snags yet another Platinum Trophy in our GOTY Awards. Yet all four winners here highlighted the diversity of this year’s soundtracks, perfectly capturing the soundscape of historical adventures, modern day heroics, near-future horrors and fantastical cities. Whether propelling the on-screen action or being enjoyed in isolation, these scores were worth putting on repeat. 

Ghost of Tsushima

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Best Sound Design

The Last of Us Part II

Naughty Dog’s achievements with the audio of its acclaimed sequel isn’t limited to that captivating soundtrack. The intricate work of the game’s sound design – perhaps showcased best by the staggering complexity of its breathing system – added essential details to make this world feel fully realised. A ragged breath; the cocking of a rifle; metal grinding, the howl of an Infected. All immersed us that much more in The Last of Us Part II.   

Ghost of Tsushima

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

Demon’s Souls

Best Multiplayer

Call of Duty: Warzone

Activision’s legendary, buttery smooth FPS gameplay merges with the popular battle royale genre in this free-to-play juggernaut. Content updates have kept the experience fresh, from new game modes to holiday-themed events including Jigsaw and Leatherface cameos around Halloween. Shout outs to the stumblin’ fun of Fall Guys, focused intensity of Black Ops Cold War, and four-player co-op in Ghost of Tsushima’s Legends mode.

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

Ghost of Tsushima Legends

Best Sports Game

Tony Hawk’s Pro-Skater 1 & 2

Activision’s sick combo of publishing incredible remakes continues, and THPS 1 + 2 is the latest trick in that chain. Developer Vicarious Visions has refreshed the skaters and locations we know and love, while retaining the precise-yet-accessible control scheme that made the series famous. While the Birdman kickflipped over other sports game competition, respect is due to EA, 2K, and Codemasters for their excellent releases.

FIFA 21

NBA 2K21

Dirt 5

Best New Character

Miles Morales as Spider-Man (Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales)

While 2020 saw the introduction of an impressive roster of charismatic new characters to gaming, Miles Morales swung to the top of this particular poll, no doubt influenced by Insomniac’s heartfelt, original story centered on Miles becoming his own Spider-Man. Jin, Abby, and Eivor took home the Gold, Silver, and Bronze Trophies, respectively.

Jin Sakai (Ghost of Tsushima)

Abby (The Last of Us Part II)

Eivor (Assassin’s Creed Valhalla)

Best Independent Game

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout

Uproarious, everyone-for-themselves moments made Fall Guys a genuine phenomenon earlier this year, so it’s no surprise to see these bouncy be-chickened beans at the top of the list. Fellow PlayStation Plus titles Bugsnax and Worms Rumble round out the Gold and Silver winners, while Skater XL’s unique approach to trick controls earned it a Bronze trophy.

Bugsnax

Worms Rumble

Skater XL

Gaming Moment of the Year

The Last of Us Part II: Final Showdown

Steadily roiling conflict builds to a dramatic crescendo in Naughty Dog’s bold, stunning sequel. No spoilers here, but the emotional turmoil and memories that the leading characters bring to this climactic showdown is so white hot that it demands full attention. Other best moment kudos go to galloping through the fields as Jin and feeling the immersive magic of the DualSense controller.

Ghost of Tsushima: Horseback title sequence

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales: The bridge sequence

Astro’s Playroom: Experiencing haptics and adaptive triggers for the first time

Best PS VR Experience

Star Wars Squadrons

The allure of (virtually) climbing inside iconic Starfighters made Star Wars: Squadrons an irresistible PS VR experience. Turns out, screaming past asteroids and evading 360 degree enemy fire while packed into the confines of a cockpit really sticks with people! Gold, Silver, and Bronze Trophies went to Marvel’s Iron Man VR, Dreams, and The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners.

Marvel’s Iron Man VR

Dreams

The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners

PS4 Game of the Year

The Last of Us Part II

In a strong year for PlayStation exclusives, PS4 Game of the Year was hotly contested. But in the end Naughty Dog’s emotionally-charged sequel clinched the Platinum. Sucker Punch’s open world samurai epic Ghost of Tsushima took Gold, Final Fantasy VII Remake Silver and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Bronze. 

Ghost of Tsushima

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales

PS5 Game of the Year

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales made a name for itself in this year’s GOTY polls, taking home more reader-voted awards than you can shoot a web at. It even bested fellow PS5 launch titles Demon’s Souls, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and Astro’s Playroom to secure the coveted Platinum Trophy for PS5 Game of the Year — congratulations, Insomniac!

Demon’s Souls

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Astro’s Playroom

Most Anticipated Game

New God of War title

The mere confirmation of a new God of War was enough to get PlayStation Blog voters (and staff!) hyped and eagerly awaiting new information. The powerful lineup of Horizon Forbidden West, Resident Evil Village and Final Fantasy XVI proves the future looks bright indeed.

Horizon Forbidden West

Resident Evil Village

Final Fantasy XVI

Studio of the Year

Naughty Dog

Following up one of PlayStation’s most acclaimed games was no mean feat, yet Naughty Dog carried it off with aplomb. Every inch of The Last of Us Part II – story beats, set pieces, character animation and so much more – spoke of a development studio at the top of its game. You clearly agreed. Strong acclaim as well for the fantastic work of Insomniac Games, Sucker Punch and Square Enix, who earned Gold, Silver and Bronze Trophies respectively. 

Insomniac Games

Sucker Punch

Square Enix