Top 10 Hidden Gem Games of 2020
VOICE OVER: Ryan Wild
WRITTEN BY: Alex Slade
Some of the best video games of 2020 were not AAA titles! For this list, we'll be looking at games you might have missed this year but should definitely check out. Our countdown includes “Dreams” (2020), “Carrion” (2020), “Hotshot Racing” (2020), “Streets of Rage 4” (2020), “Hades” (2020) and more!
Script written by Alex Slade
Top 10 Hidden Gem Games of 2020
Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Hidden Gem Games of 2020.
For this list, we’ll be looking at games you might have missed this year but should definitely check out.
Let us know in the comment section below which game you think everyone should play first.
#10: “Dreams” (2020)
There was major hype for this title leading up to its release, so it’s unfortunate that sales dwindled rapidly after its successful first month. This game is perfect for the creatives out there who aren’t fulfilled by merely playing games and would rather have some sort of artistic input. The tools at your disposal in “Dreams” can be used to create vastly different adventures. The feeling of having your work out there and enjoyed by others around the world is both a rewarding and humbling experience. It’s also a great title to try out if you’ve ever considered a career in game development.
#9: “Bloodroots” (2020)
If you’re a fan of the Hotline Miami games, you’ll love this. Bloodroots tells a mature and engaging story of revenge. It's dark themes and bloody action appear to limit its audience at first… until you pick up a carrot or chicken to kill your enemies with. The combination of the wacky and light-hearted approach with its grisly concept works really well here, and the game's addictive gameplay loops give it serious replay value. Even after spending many hours on the title, you’ll always have a good time trying to increase your score or learning to master a new weapon.
#8: “Deep Rock Galactic” (2020)
There is a sea of four-player co-op games out now, so it’s not surprising that so many people missed Deep Rock Galactic. The game doesn’t revolutionize the formula, but the fresh aesthetic, accompanied with its unique style and humor, make it a blast to play. Continuous shooting can sometimes get boring, so the game gives you various objectives to keep things interesting. Whether you can convince three other buddies to get this game with you, or go the online matchmaking route, the results are likely to be the same—you’ll wish you’d picked this game up sooner.
#7: “Carrion” (2020)
We’ve spent decades playing as the hero gunning down monstrous creatures. It’s about time we took control of the monster and got revenge. The fluidity of the movement in “Carrion” allows you to slither and jump around the map, engulfing scientists or ripping them to shreds. And as morbid as it sounds, it’s also a hell of a lot of fun. Having no map can make it tough to traverse the areas, but it wouldn’t make much sense for a monster to consult a map, now would it? As you navigate the facility you’ll be rewarded with upgrades or shortcuts, so don’t be scared to explore.
#6: “Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition” (2020)
Now that the fifth and final act is out, gamers can experience this intriguing and surreal adventure from start to finish with no interruptions. The game is essentially one long point-and-click, dialogue-driven narrative. While this might not sound like the most exciting of descriptions, the dialogue options presented to you are quite extensive, allowing you to feel like you’re really a part of the story. The game realizes that this style of game may limit a player-base, so it aims to make up the difference in its distinct narrative approach. Because you get to watch it play out in a stunning art-style and from unique perspectives, the experience feels fresh from start to finish.
#5: “Hotshot Racing” (2020)
While its visuals may not appeal to everyone, there’s no denying that developers really nailed the nostalgia angle in designing this arcade racer. It’s a simple yet fun game, and its arcadey nature makes it accessible even to casual gamers. That being said, the game also allows you to take it seriously should you want to try your hand at the hardest difficulty. Drifting is the highlight here; it’s easy to pull off but incredibly satisfying. It’s a short single-player experience, but a few different game modes and the four-player split-screen will keep you coming back.
#4: “Streets of Rage 4” (2020)
There seems to be a pattern forming here, and we aren’t complaining. Arcade-like games that draw inspiration from gaming’s earlier days just seem to work—as long as they're well-made. And “Streets of Rage 4” is just an extremely competent beat-em-up. Learning combos is rewarding, and the game encourages you to use them, as you have the ability to regain health lost if you can pull them off. The series has been going on for a while, but the addition of two new characters with unique and creative move-sets ensures that this newest instalment feels fresh.
#3: “Journey to the Savage Planet” (2020)
This is the perfect adventure for those looking to scratch their itch to explore. Planet ARY-26 (A.R.Y. twenty six - letters, not a word) is teeming with life and structures to investigate. There is an air of mystery and a sense of wonder as you strive to uncover the secret behind the planet’s previous inhabitants, while the strange and often funny creatures are truly fascinating. The game’s characters and quirkiness will have you chuckling quietly to yourself as you play. You’re essentially living in a sci-fi comedy, and there’s something here for everyone to enjoy. You can explore, puzzle-solve, and blast hostile creatures to smithereens.
#2: “Ghostrunner” (2020)
This one’s cyberpunk-themed. For some of you, that alone will probably be enough to convince you to pick it up. What we have here is a fast-paced action-adventure, in which every encounter you come across is a puzzle to solve if you hope to come out alive. Your timing has to be impeccable, but if you slip up, an instant respawn will put you straight back in. Slicing up your enemies is a blast, and just when you think you’ve figured out your traversal and enemy’s weaknesses, the game will change it up.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
Because It’s a Moody and Atmospheric Dungeon Crawler.
“The Last Campfire” (2020)
Because It Was Delivered Exactly as Promised.
“Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break” (2020)
Because of Its Destructive Mayhem.
“Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time” (2020)
Because It Respects and Honors the Titular Character.
#1: “Hades” (2020)
It’s a hidden gem, one of the best games of 2020, and—if we’re being honest—arguably one the greatest games in the past decade. Hades is a rogue-like experience with fantastic art and super fun combat. As expected, you’ll die a lot, forcing you to restart your journey, but you will be a bit stronger every time. Dying is actually part of the story here, as opposed to being just a gameplay mechanic. As you navigate the Underworld, other characters expect you to meet your demise, and their taunts will compel you to try again, only harder. It’s a long journey, so strap yourself in.