It's no exaggeration to suggest that 2020 just might be one of – if not the – best years for video games. Not only will gamers receive a ton of exceptional titles in the next 12 months, but there are two new, shiny next-gen games consoles coming out too.
PlayStation 5 and the curiously titled Xbox Series X, will both be in-stores by the end of 2020 and will usher in a new era of groundbreaking games. Details of the games launching with each new machine are scarce right now, but we expect to see more closer to release.
But before all that there's a superb line-up of games coming up,so here's a look at what is arriving in 2020.
1. 'Half-Life: Alyx' (PC – March)
It's been 12 years since the last chapter of the critically-acclaimed Half-Life series. And while all hope of a new addition was almost lost entirely, developer Valve sneaked out a trailer for Half-Life: Alyx.
Set two years before the events of the excellent Half-Life 2, you play as the titular Alyx as you try to protect your father and the rest of humanity from the evil Combine. The big difference here is that this latest adventure is played out entirely in virtual reality.
That's right, you'll need a headset and controllers if you want to play it. But if you've been on the fence about investing in VR, Half-Life: Alyx is the perfect reason to take the plunge into the digital world.
2. 'Doom Eternal' (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Stadia, Nintendo Switch – March)
This is one of those games that revels in what it is: a big, fun first-person shooter with tons demonic enemies to plough through. Doom Eternal might not win an award for its script (Earth is overrun by dark forces. You must shoot them all), but you will be gripped by the run-and-gun action from start to finish.
The meaty arsenal of weapons is levelled up for this sequel to the 2016 reboot. Now you get a bunch of melee items to aid in your quest, which makes chaining satisfying fight combos together a huge adrenaline rush. It’s set to be pure arcade action at its finest.
3. 'Cyberpunk 2077' (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Stadia – April)
CD Projekt Red’s futuristic role-playing game will be one of the most talked about titles of 2020. Fact. The enormous open-world of Night City promises to be full of so many random events, you might never experience them all. No two play-throughs will be exactly the same.
It comes from the team that made the award-winning Witcher 3. This means that the intertwining stories of menacing corporations, rival gangs and those just trying to survive will be no less than superb. There's even the cameo of a fully digitised Keanu Reeves to look forward to.
4. 'Animal Crossing: New Horizons' (Nintendo Switch – March)
The cutesy villagers of Animal Crossing find themselves on a deserted island in this brand-new tale. For those unfamiliar with the series, players assume control of a character, which you can customise to your liking. You then do jobs, meet new people and buy bigger and better homes. It’s basically real life, except you’re now an anthropomorphic animal.
There are a bunch of new features to keep you hooked too. The in-game weather, for example, mirrors that of where you are in the world. And the ability to play online with up to eight people simultaneously is enough to make you never want to leave the second life you live online.
5. 'Marvel's Avengers' (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Stadia – May)
From the team behind Tomb Raider, Crystal Dynamics, comes a fitting tribute to the finest Marvel franchise around. The action centres around the Avengers being blamed for a catastrophic event that destroys San Francisco. They're then forced to disband as superheroes are suddenly outlawed. But soon a shady organisation muscles in to oppress the citizens.
Marvel's Avengers looks outstanding. A supremely polished piece that features Thor, Iron Man and the rest of the gang in all their splendour. It also allows you to take one of these characters and make them your own with a series of customisable powers and skills to unlock and unleash.
6. 'The Last of Us Part 2' (PS4 – May)
The original managed to seamlessly pair exceptional story-telling with mutant killing fun in a post-apocalypse world. And the ending was nothing short of outstanding. Anyway, this long-awaited sequel puts the first game's protagonist, Joel in the passenger seat as you play as young Ellie.
As the disease outbreak continues to pick off humanity one-by-one, the factions that have sprung up have become more brutal and desperate. Although once innocent, Ellie is fuelled by hate and out for vengeance – for what, we do not yet know. That intense feeling of having to fashion improvised weapons to overcome the odds is about to be ramped up in this gripping survival-horror.
7. 'Ghost of Tsushima' (PS4 – Q3)
Loosely based on the historic first Mongol invasion of Japan, this open-world game is about the last samurai on the island of Tsushima. It promises to turn every encounter into an epic cinematic battle. Think sword fights under moonlight or going blade-to-blade with your enemy amongst the swirling grass.
Ghost of Tsushima also has a focus on stealth. So instead of windmilling your sword into action at every opportunity, you can use the element of surprise to get the jump on your foes. There's even talk of a PS5 version landing in 2020 too.
8. 'Godfall' (PS5 – Q4)
The first proper next-gen title on the list is a PlayStation 5 exclusive. It comes from Gearbox Software, the developers behind shooter Borderlands. And although details are scarce right now, all indications point to an open-world game where you hack and slash your way to more powerful enemies. If it has the same sort of loot chests system as Borderlands, then we're in for some chaotic sword fights.
9. 'Halo Infinite' (PC, XSX – Q4)
No new Microsoft console launch would be complete without a Halo game alongside it. Although the series' hero, Master Chief has taken somewhat of a backseat in recent games, he's going to play a bigger part with Infinite. The first-person shooter will take place on an actual Halo full of new dangers and perils to blast your way through.
10. 'Microsoft Flight Simulator' (PC, Xbox One – Q3)
It's hard to believe that this series has been going for over 30 years. But it has a dedicated fan-base that are in love with the realistic controls of being an airline pilot. And in 2020, Microsoft Flight Simulator will almost certainly win over thousands more.
You see, the series has never looked so good. The entire planet has been digitally realised in incredible detail thanks to the data from Bing Maps – Microsoft’s Google alternative. You can pitch up in any number of airborne vehicles and fly across the world. Weather conditions and turbulence all play a part in what will be a very therapeutic game.
11. 'Watch Dogs: Legion' (PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, XSX, Stadia – Q3)
Since the very first, fairly tepid Watchdogs game, the series has grown in strength. Expectations are high for this third instalment of this free-roaming adventure, and it looks as though it will deliver on its promise. Legion is set in a fictional London where constant surveillance is used to keep citizens in check.
What’s new and exciting here is that you can recruit new characters to join your fight against the oppressors and even play as them. But if they’re arrested or die, they’re gone forever. It’s a unique feature that should add a whole new dimension to the series.
12. 'Resident Evil 3' (PC, PS4, Xbox One – April)
Publisher and developer, Capcom, is specialising in high-quality reboots at the moment. 2019's Resident Evil 2 was a smash and proved that scrubbing up an old game can be a success. So it's no surprise it's going for another in the shape of the zombie-filled Resident Evil 3.
The terrifying entity in this one is the Nemesis. This hulk of a being dwarves the main heroine Jill Valentine and stalks her through corridors, alleyways and more while remaining almost invincible. It's real nightmare fuel, and it'll look even more scary than ever in this flashy remake.