Feature Article

Best New PlayStation Games In 2020 By Score

Between developers showing off what the outgoing PS4 hardware can do and transitioning to a new generation on PS5, it was a big year for PlayStation.

2020 was a big year for PlayStation. As Sony prepared to launch the PS5 and usher in a new generation, developers were preparing to say goodbye to the last one with swan song games that pushed the PS4 hardware to its limit, and others transitioned to the PS5 with next-gen upgrades.

That made this an especially strong year for PS4 games, as exclusives like Ghost of Tsushima and The Last of Us Part II showed off what the hardware can do. Meanwhile, some games like Assassin's Creed Valhalla and Watch Dogs Legion crossed between generations. And the PS5 itself got some of its own highly-regarded exclusives like Astro's Playroom and Demon's Souls.

We've compiled a list of the best-reviewed PlayStation games in 2020 below. For more of the year's best, be sure to check out our Best Games of 2020 and familiarize yourself with GameSpot's top 10 nominees. If you're looking to see what scored best on other platforms or in general, or what stood atop as the best in particular genres this year, be sure to check out the features below. Otherwise, read on for all the best new PlayStation games in 2020 by score!


13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim -- 9/10

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“But ultimately, the biggest problem with 13 Sentinels is that a chunk of the game is merely good while the majority of it is outstanding. The stories of these kids and their giant robots absolutely consumed me during my playtime, and even now, I'm ruminating over certain plot points, events, and relationships, wondering if I should go back through the archives to see what I've missed. I don't think I'll forget my time in the 13 Sentinels world, and I doubt you will, either.” --Heidi Kemps, Freelance Reviewer

[Read the full review]


Assassin’s Creed Valhalla -- 8/10

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“Despite its strong connection to past games, Assassin's Creed Valhalla is more than capable of standing on its own. It takes a little while to build momentum, but when it hits its stride, Valhalla is a confident Assassin's Creed title that takes a few narrative risks which, as a whole, pay off. Eivor is a good hero with an identity that drives the mystery behind the main narrative, and she shines in the self-contained arc structure of Valhalla's story. The supporting cast may not shine as brightly, but it's easy to forgive that when exploring England and discovering new nuggets of worldbuilding is so rewarding.” -- Jordan Ramee, Editor

[Read the full review]


Amnesia Rebirth -- 8/10

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“Still, Amnesia: Rebirth feels like the culmination of Frictional Games horror titles up to this point. It refines the ideas and mechanics that have been central to the developer's games since Penumbra: Overture in 2007, it hones in on effective scares while avoiding the frustrations of failure, and it tightens the focus on character-driven storytelling. Rebirth is an unsettling, strange, tragic story that deepens the Amnesia mythos in a lot of cool ways, while managing to be just as creepy and frightening as its beloved predecessor.” -- Phil Hornshaw, Editor

[Read the full review]


Astro’s Playroom -- 8/10

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“The best and worst thing I can say about Astro's Playroom is that its role as a demonstration feels a bit wasteful. It's a wondrous little dream world, and I would have loved to spend more time touring it. But that, in itself, is a tremendous achievement. Astro's Playroom, a game that makes no attempt to hide the fact that it is an excuse to show you what a gamepad can do, conjures a world that you will want to see and explore. More than that, its surprisingly delightful celebration of PlayStation and its video games is a great way to kick off a console generation.” -- Mike Epstein, Freelance Reviewer

[Read the full review]


Bloodroots -- 8/10

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“And yet, like so many challenging score chases, Bloodroots is still incredibly satisfying when you’re eventually successful. At its highest heights, you’ll find your way around, bouncing from weapon to weapon, kill to kill, to string together a perfect run. Better yet, there are so many ways to approach each area that, no matter how well you do, you can always do it better, faster, crazier. Even when playing Bloodroots is painful--like throw your controller so hard it bounces off the ground, hits you in the head, then breaks your TV painful--there’s always a wildly fun run within reach.” -- Mike Epstein, Freelance Reviewer

[Read the full review]


Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 -- 8/10

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“That Easter egg owes both its story justification and its level of meta weirdness to Hachi, which is really what sets Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 apart. It's still a classic Castlevania homage at heart, but it has an eccentricity that feels right at home alongside the giant kitty-cats of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. When a game seems to be having this much fun at its own expense, it's hard not to join in.” -- Steve Watts, Associate Editor

[Read the full review]


Bugsnax -- 8/10

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“Unsurprisingly, Bugsnax' best qualities are its cleverness and charm. The surprise and delight you feel when you see a Bugsnak wiggling around or watch someone eat one and change their arm into food never goes away. That alone would make Bugsnax worth your time, but creative puzzles and thoughtful story give it the body and depth to make a Snak feel more like a meal.” -- Mike Epstein, Freelance Reviewer

[Read the full review]


Crash Bandicoot 4: it’s About Time -- 8/10

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“Even more so than playing the N.Sane Trilogy, which literally remade the original Crash games from my youth, playing Crash 4 felt like getting back in touch with the series. It's an injection of new ideas into now-classic gameplay that surprises and delights, even as it feels like a homecoming. Truly, games like this are why we come running back to long-dormant franchises with open arms.” -- Mike Epstein, Freelance Reviewer

[Read the full review]


Demon’s Souls -- 9/10

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“Quirks aside, Bluepoint's remake is an unmitigated success. It is a technical tour de force and a true showpiece for the PS5 and the power of Sony's next-generation console. But, more importantly, it's also a creative marvel coming from a studio that is clearly showing the world it has its own voice. Bluepoint has taken From Software's original game and expressed it in a richer and fuller way, and in doing so given me something I thought was impossible: the opportunity to relive the experience of falling in love with Souls games for the first time.” -- Tamoor Hussain, Managing Editor

[Read the full review]


Desperados 3 -- 9/10

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“Desperados 3 is a superb package. It's a clever, cunning game of stealth and tactical thinking that, thanks to a generous quick-save system and wealth of informative visual cues, entices you to tinker with all the toys it has on offer and fully explore the possibility spaces of its elaborate levels. There's no need for a do-over here; Desperados 3 is a dead-eye shot on the very first try.” -- David Wildgoose, Freelance Reviewer

[Read the full review]


Destiny 2: Beyond Light -- 8/10

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“Beyond Light might not be the biggest expansion, but it does feel like we've entered a new chapter in the game's life, with new priorities and an approach that makes the game more resonant in a way that goes beyond satisfying shooting. On the whole, Destiny 2 might be more of the same than it is different, but what's the same about it--like its phenomenal raids and tight, satisfying gameplay--is still largely pretty great, and what's different is mostly making the game all the more worthwhile.” -- Phil Hornshaw

[Read the full review]


Doom Eternal -- 8/10

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“Though it can take a bit to get the hang of it, the intricacies of Doom Eternal's combat, combined with its enhanced mobility and option-heavy level design, create a ton of white-knuckle moments that elevate everything that made Doom 2016 work so well. Its combat is just as quick and chaotic, but requires you to constantly analyze everything that's happening in order to come out victorious. Once you get the hang of the rhythm of Doom Eternal, it'll make you feel like a demon-slaying savant.” -- Phil Hornshaw, Editor

[Read the full review]


Dreams -- 9/10

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“Dreams was in early access for less than a year, but the small community it's built since then has already created some stunning projects that exhibit imagination, innovation, and artistry. Now that the full game is out in the wild, it's going to be fascinating to see how the community continues to grow and what creations arise from that growth. Media Molecule has devised something really special with Dreams, placing a hefty toolset in players' hands where the only limitations are your skills, imagination, and time. There's nothing else quite like it, and it feels like a culmination of everything the studio has been working towards since the first LittleBigPlanet. The presentation is too charming, the tutorials too informative, active, and engaging, while playing and finding other people's creations is a breeze. Dreams is a refined constructor for building a wide variety of games, and a community-centric showcase where others can play them. It's a stunning achievement that encourages limitless creative expression, a place where people can come together, collaborate, and explore each other's imaginations. It's a tool for the fools who dream, and one of the most innovative releases in years.” -- Richard Wakeling, Freelance Reviewer

[Read the full review]


FIFA 21 -- 8/10

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“Career mode is still a mixed bag, then, but it's reassuring that EA has made some additional moves to try and freshen it up. If you do grow tired of simming through training sessions and managing sharpness, FIFA 21 is still chock full of other stuff to do, whether you want to head to the streets of Paris to show off your skills, hop into Ultimate Team with a friend, or play through a season on Pro Clubs. This is a substantial package that's propped up by exciting gameplay that puts the onus squarely on attacking football. There are moments of frustration on defense when the balance doesn't feel quite right, but then you'll go down the other end and score a Puskás Award contender that makes you forget why you were mad in the first place.” -- Richard Wakeling, Freelance Reviewer

[Read the full review]


Final Fantasy VII Remake -- 10/10

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“Regardless of your history with the original game, Final Fantasy VII Remake is an astounding achievement. The wait for its release was a long one, but in gameplay, story, characters, and music, it delivers--the wait was worth it. For first-time players, it's an opportunity to understand why Final Fantasy VII is held in such high regard. It's the chance to experience a multifaceted story that grapples with complex subject matter, be in the company of memorable characters, and be moved by their plight. For returning fans, this isn't the Final Fantasy VII your mind remembers, it's the one your heart always knew it to be.” -- Tamoor Hussain, Managing Editor

[Read the full review]


Kentucky Route Zero -- 9/10

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“The game doesn't so much resolve all the seething tensions and unfulfilled promises seen prior, but demands that you shoulder some of the weight of remembering and honoring what you've seen and heard. The overall point of the game is that not everyone's life will be paid off in a way that provides catharsis, or comfort, or satisfaction. Sometimes it just ends, sometimes it keeps going whether we're there to see it or not, and sometimes it's just disappointment. Conway has debts to pay, and there is a chance he drops dead working to pay them back. That is as American as it gets in the 21st century. What Act V does, though, is give everyone one last chance to rail against that fact, mourn it, continue to have hopes regardless which, too, is what it is to live here. Kentucky Route Zero has been priming us for seven years to recognize that life isn't fair, though we'd gain so much if it was, and sometimes we're lucky enough to make it as fair as it can be. But just as often, we're not. Kentucky Route Zero is ultimately a story about America's ghosts, literal and metaphorical. It's a story about entire ways of life coming to one singular place to die quietly, hopefully with dignity. In all of its oddity, it never backs down from the fact that all that is now dead will stay dead, and for those who have settled in along the Zero, that includes the American dream.” -- Justin Clark, Freelance Reviewer

[Read the full review]


The Last Campfire -- 8/10

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“But when The Last Campfire captivates--which it does so often--it's difficult not to sink into its breezy pacing and satisfying puzzle-solving. It never overstays its welcome or stretches puzzle ideas beyond their limits, letting each one leave an impression despite their brevity. The Last Campfire's narrative contextualizes each of these with small anecdotes, letting your imagination fill in the blanks of its world between worlds to the backdrop of its colorful imagery. It's a consistently relaxing and pleasant experience.” -- Alessandro Barbosa, Freelance Reviewer

[Read the full review]


The Last of Us Part II -- 8/10

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“By the time I finished The Last of Us Part II, I wasn't sure if I liked it. It's a hard game to stomach, in part because so much of who Ellie is and what she does is beyond your control. She is deeply complicated and flawed, and her selfishness hurts a lot of people. At times, the pain you inflict feels so senseless that it can leave you numb. It's all messy and bleak and made me profoundly sad for myriad reasons, but the more I reflect on it, the more I appreciate the story and characters at its core. I wanted almost none of it to happen the way it did, and that's what's both beautiful and devastating about it.” -- Kallie Plagge, Reviews Editor

[Read the full review]


MLB The Show 20 -- 8/10

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“MLB The Show 20 doesn't make any large strides forward, choosing instead to focus on refining areas that needed improvement from last year. This results in a game that feels more balanced in terms of variety across an assortment of game modes, while the action on the diamond has been tightened up with rewarding consistency and added dynamism that maintains the series' lofty standards. It's the ideal foundation to build upon as the PlayStation 5 looms on the horizon, and with the baseball season suspended for the foreseeable future, MLB 20 goes some way to filling an empty space in our pursuit for escapism.” -- Richard Wakeling, Freelance Reviewer

[Read the full review]


Mortal Shell -- 8/10

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“Still, Mortal Shell succeeds more often than not at capturing the specific feelings intrinsic to Souls-like games. The twists it adds to From-inspired mechanics do well to help this sort of game become more approachable than most, while maintaining the same air of mystery and foreboding that makes the genre itself so intriguing. Mortal Shell makes for a strong introduction to Souls-likes, a demonstration for new players of what so many have found so interesting about From Software's games and those like them. But Mortal Shell is also a lovingly crafted, weird, and deceptively deep game in its own right that rewards you for wandering its twisted paths and challenging its deadliest foes.” -- Phil Hornshaw, Editor

[Read the full review]


NHL 21 -- 9/10

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“NHL 21 is a fantastic ice hockey game that pushes the series forward with an enjoyable, engaging story mode in Be A Pro and a flashy, arcade-style way to play with HUT Rush. The new skill moves are a welcome addition to the mix to give players new ways to be slippery and keep defenders guessing, but the best part of NHL 21 is its solid foundation thanks to its excellent controls and presentation package that is getting even closer to mirroring a TV broadcast.” -- Eddie Makuch, Associate Editor

[Read the full review]


Nioh 2 -- 8/10

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“At times, I wondered if maybe some of these bosses should be a little shorter, as there were many bosses where I felt I had mastered their patterns but couldn't finish because they landed a single one-hit-kill late in the fight. Ultimately, that excruciating difficulty and the feeling it evokes are baked into Nioh's DNA, though, and its boss fights remain compelling even as they vex and frustrate. Though it sometimes feels like a curse as you play, it is a testament that Nioh 2 successfully grabs and holds your complete attention so close for so long.” -- Mike Epstein, Freelance Reviewer

[Read the full review]


Othercide -- 8/10

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“Despite those unfortunate technical issues, Othercide is still a great tactics game. The variety of classes and abilities make for a wide range of strategies, but no matter your team composition, the Daughters work together beautifully to take down their enemies. Boss fights are by far the most memorable and really showcase the reaction and combo system, but they also feed into the game's unique and engrossing story. While Othercide's maps and missions leave something to be desired, it's still a blast to cut your way through hordes of Others and pull off deadly combos that look cool as hell. With an exceptional story, atmospheric horror visuals, and tense, rewarding combat, Othercide offers a challenge you'll want to rise to, again and again.” -- Jenae Sitzes, Commerce Editor

[Read the full review]


Persona 5 Royal -- 10/10

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“As P5R comes to a close, it tries to ease you into its end with heartfelt scenes, some new and some familiar. But in doing so, it only makes it harder to say goodbye again. Persona 5 Royal is many things: a collection of small inspiring stories, an ambitious harrowing journey with some good friends, a stunning visual and auditory experience, a resounding call to action. By refining what was already great and building on its best qualities with a brilliant new story arc, Persona 5 Royal asserts itself as an unforgettable and empowering RPG that should be recognized as one of the best games of our time.” -- Michael Higham, Associate Editor

[Read the full review]


PGA Tour 2K21 -- 8/10

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“PGA Tour 2K21 improves on the mostly stellar foundation of The Golf Club series, offering the most realistic and pure golf experience in a game to date. There are still some minor annoyances that can temporarily take you out of the experience, but it offers a closer approximation of the actual PGA Tour schedule and a relaxing, streamlined approach to MyPlayer. For the most part, PGA Tour 2K21 admirably captures the peculiar magic of the game of golf.” -- Steven Petite, Associate Commerce Editor

[Read the full review]


Risk of Rain 2 -- 8/10

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“Risk of Rain 2 is lo-fi beats to relax to with the bass boosted until the subwoofers catch fire. And explode. And bleed? What begins as a chill loot-shooty time quickly escalates to a frantic fight for your life where everything is burning and there's a big red target on your back. The lack of any strategic layer between the action did leave me feeling burned out. But the additive nature of the game's builds give Risk of Rain 2 the feeling of a pebble skittering along a rocky cliff. When the avalanche begins, enemies would be well advised to get out of your way.” -- Andrew King, Freelance Reviewer

[Read the full review]


Spelunky 2 -- 8/10

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“At least, that seems to be the case right now. The original Spelunky's proc-gen depths hid secrets that took time for its avid community to discover, so it's possible that Spelunky 2 has secrets of its own that I have yet to find, and they could push the game in a different direction from its predecessor. Spelunky 2 is a successful evolution of what made the original Spelunky work; the tight controls, impressive use of procedural generation, expressive art style, and interesting stage themes are better than ever here. But the more notable changes in how we play and talk about this game will likely happen in the coming months as players discover the heart of the game in the deep, dark depths we aren't yet even aware exist.” -- Andrew King, Freelance Reviewer

[Read the full review]


Spiritfarer -- 9/10

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“Spiritfarer is somehow a game with no risk but all reward. There's no death, no pain, no rush on any task, and yet I don't think I've ever felt this complete. You're allowed to totally take your time, play on your own terms, and even though your tasks are easy, they are incredibly fulfilling. If the game had kept giving me quests, I feel as if I would have kept doing them for eternity, just because I wanted to. All of Spiritfarer's novel mechanical variations kept potentially repetitive actions from ever growing old. Its gleeful little islands got more exciting to explore as new platforming abilities were unlocked. The characters, even small ones with funny little quips of dialogue that you encounter, were friends that I cherished. I absolutely adored existing in Spiritfarer's beautifully animated, compassionate world so much that it genuinely came to feel like home.” -- Hope Corrigan, Freelance Reviewer

[Read the full review]


Streets of Rage 4 -- 8/10

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“All in all, though, Streets of Rage 4 is an admirable comeback for this long-dormant series. It looks great, sounds great, and plays very well. Even if the experience is relatively short, it's the sort of game you and your buddies can easily enjoy playing and re-playing. If you're craving some classic brawling action with a modern edge, these rage-filled streets are calling your name.” -- Heidi Kemps, Freelance Reviewer

[Read the full review]


Superliminal -- 8/10

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“Superliminal is a great puzzle experience, full of smart ideas that are richly realized. The game's playful use of the first-person camera and clever perspective manipulation puzzles take video game tropes and mechanics most players will be familiar with and wring something truly fresh out of them. Superliminal achieves its clear central aim--it offers up some genuinely fresh perspectives on what first-person puzzle games can do.” -- James O’Connor, Freelance Reviewer

[Read the full review]


Through the Darkest Times -- 8/10

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“Through the Darkest of Times paints what feels like an accurate portrait of life in Nazi Germany. Cherry-picking major events, like the Reichstag Fire or the opening ceremony of the Olympics, it convincingly places you at the scene, putting you in the shoes of a regular German trying to come to grips with how one person--or even five people--can respond in the presence of evil. It depicts everyday life, and everyday people, both those seduced by ideology and those finding the strength to rally against it. I'm not sure it offers any answers--indeed, I suspect my frustrations with futility were intentional. One person alone can't change the world. But that's no reason not to fight for it.” -- David Wildgoose, Freelance Reviewer

[Read the full review]


Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 -- 9/10

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“Because it nails so much about that original Tony Hawk experience, it's really hard to be mad at Pro Skater 1 + 2 for any of its downsides. The load times aren't enough to keep you away from the plethora of satisfying combos, and the lack of level goals for every skater isn't enough to keep you from jumping back in with a new character. Playing through the newly remade levels is immensely enjoyable, and that on its own is enough to call Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 a success. However, smart additions and an engaging challenge system make it an experience that's more than just a brief skate through Tony Hawk's past.” -- Mat Paget, Tech Commerce Editor

[Read the full review]


Watch Dogs: Legion -- 8/10

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“Watch Dogs: Legion is an anti-fascist game, and it's admirable that it sticks to that message and sees it through to a satisfying and affirming conclusion. It also bolsters the franchise's clever hacking gameplay to offer more creativity than ever. One of Legion's more profound messages is about what it means to be a true Londoner, and by the game's end, you'll have a DedSec crew made of wildly diverse and disparate citizens from unique cultural, ethnic, and economic backgrounds--all united in their goal to restore their home. If anything, that's as powerful a message for the game as you can get.” -- Alessandro Fillari, Editor

[Read the full review]

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Steve Watts

Steve Watts has loved video games since that magical day he first saw Super Mario Bros. at his cousin's house. He's been writing about games as a passion project since creating his own GeoCities page, and has been reporting, reviewing, and interviewing in a professional capacity for 14 years. He is GameSpot's preeminent expert on Hearthstone, a title no one is particularly fighting him for, but he'll claim it anyway.

Best Games of 2020

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