Wccftech’s Best Horror Games of 2020 – Scary Games for a Scary Year
2020 may have been the year from hell, but as long as you stayed inside with this year’s impressive slate of horror games, the past 12 months weren’t all bad. Of course, 2020 saw the release of two major horror blockbusters in The Last of Us Part II and Resident Evil 3, but we also got the anticipated Amnesia: Rebirth and a wide array of ambitious indie projects. I’ve been a survival horror fan for decades, and bottom line, this year delivered some of the scariest, most-intense moments I’ve ever experienced. Summon up your courage, because it's time for Wccftech’s Best Horror Games of 2020…
A decade ago Amnesia: The Dark Descent helped redefine the survival horror genre, inspiring countless imitators, and yet, series creators Frictional Games held back on releasing a proper sequel to the game. They finally got around to that this year with Amnesia: Rebirth, and the game mostly managed to replicated the atmosphere and spine-tingling thrills of original. Wccftech’s Francesco De Meo found the game to be an effective trip back to the well in his full review…
Amnesia: Rebirth is a more than worthy new entry in the popular series, and one of the best horror games released this year, thanks to its engaging story, good writing and unnerving atmosphere that can make playing the game feel downright uncomfortable. And if a horror game manages to achieve this, small issues like a lack of gameplay innovation and limited replay value don't really matter.
Looking for an intriguing cyberpunk story, but aren’t ready to take the plunge into a certain much-debated RPG just yet? Well, the moody psychological horror game Observer: System Redux may be for you. Observer: System Redux isn’t entirely new, but it does feature a full visual makeover and some extra content over Bloober Team’s 2017 original. Wccftech’s Francesco De Meo found System Redux to be a worthwhile revisiting of a cult favorite in his full review…
Both a remaster and an expansion, Observer: System Redux manages to fully deliver its promises, improving the original's experience with new meaningful content, quality of life changes, and massive visual improvements that leverage the power of the new consoles.
Last year Until Dead developer Supermassive Games kicked off their Dark Pictures Anthology on a somewhat shaky foot with Man of Medan. That game delivered some of the thrills and “Choose Your Own Adventure” fun the studio is known for, but sloppy writing and technical issues brought it down to earth. Thankfully, the second game in the series, Little Hope, is a significant improvement. Wccftech’s Chris Wray was certainly impressed by the Dark Pictures’ second chapter…
The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope takes the Supermassive Games formula and improves on the previous outing, Man of Medan, in so many ways. With a more interesting story, a strong set of characters, the masterful building of atmosphere and more, you're going to be left on the edge of your seat while playing through this story. The excellent branching narrative, as well as multiplayer options also increase the gameplay value exponentially.
Last year’s Resident Evil 2 remake was a great game, but then, Capcom had classic source material to work with. What would happen when they tried to remake a less celebrated game? Turns out the results were still great! Capcom took greater liberties with Resident Evil 3, turning the game into a thrilling, character-driven action-horror romp. Sure, the game is over quickly, but it’s a total blast from beginning to end. Here are my final thoughts from my review…
Resident Evil 3 is the franchise’s best action-driven entry since the glory days of Resident Evil 4. A beautifully-balanced combination of white-knuckle mayhem and satisfying old-school tension, Resident Evil 3 is compulsively-munchable popcorn entertainment that, unfortunately, disappears all too quickly. If you’re looking for value, there are certainly meatier games out there, but few that will leave you licking your fingers as happily as this one.
As I mentioned in our Best Action Games of 2020 list, there are plenty of legitimate criticisms that can be lobbed at The Last of Us Part II, particularly in regards to its story and structure, but there’s no denying how intense and downright terrifying the game can be. TLOU2 serves up a wide variety of set pieces, but it’s darkest moments are more gripping and horrific than anything in its predecessor. So yes, while the game is divisive, it absolutely deserves its spot on this list. And again, not everyone was as mixed on the experience as I was. Wccftech’s Kai Powell gave the game a near-perfect score…
The Last of Us Part II is one of the finest pieces of cinematic gaming ever created, but Naughty Dog's final send-off to this console generation […] is bleak and at times leaves the player feeling hopeless. This is one game that people will be talking about for a long time.
Still looking for some more scares? There were plenty of other solid horror games for all sorts of tastes released this year. Zombie Army 4: Dead War provided some co-op walker-blasting fun, and indie titles like Maid of Sker and Visage provided some atmospheric, mind-bending thrills. Of course, we can't forget the innovative and terrifying co-op shriekfest Phasmophobia -- it's still in Early Access, so doesn't qualify for this year's list, but is a shoo-in whenever it gets a full release.
The survival horror renaissance that began a few years ago is holding strong. Here’s hoping the focus on the creepy continues well into the next-generation of gaming. Any good horror games I missed? Don’t agree with the top five? Hit the comments and hash out your own horror favorites. And look forward to more Wccftech GOTY lists over the coming days!
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