Top 5 Games I'm Looking Forward to in 2020

Between Marvel's Avengers, Cyberpunk 2077 and The Last of Us Part II, 2020 is shaping up to be a great year for games. While there are several games coming out this year that I'm looking forward to, there are five games about which I am particularly excited.

To be clear, I'm not compiling this list from the perspective of a seasoned gamer. I would consider myself a casual gamer, but my preferences for video games tend to be aesthetically pleasing games with interesting plotlines, rather than combat-oriented games. With that in mind, here are the top five games I'm looking forward to in 2020.

  1. 1. Animal Crossing: New Horizons

    Platform: Nintendo Switch.

    What kind of die-hard Animal Crossing fan would I be if I didn't give New Horizons the top spot? I've been playing the various Animal Crossing games since I was in elementary school, so I'm beyond excited for the release of a brand new addition to the series. New Horizons takes a different approach to the classic plot we see in past games like Wild World, City Folk and New Leaf. Instead of moving into a new village, the players begin on a deserted island and make a life for themselves there. Some of the most notable new features in this installment include the option to customize the landscape, as well as a crafting system. New Horizons combines these new gameplay elements with the same relaxing atmosphere that players have enjoyed in previous games.

  2. 2. Ori and the Will of the Wisps

    Platforms: Windows 10, Xbox One.

    Ori and the Will of the Wisps by Moon Studios is a sequel to the 2015 game Ori and the Blind Forest. The sequel is a continuation of the original game's adventurous style and beautiful graphics that plunge the player into a fantastical world. Similar to Blind Forest, Will of the Wisps follows a guardian spirit named Ori. However, unlike the first game, the sequel takes the player beyond the forest to discover Ori's destiny. Will of the Wisps also appears to lend more attention to the game's combative elements.

  3. 3. Backbone

    Platforms: Linux, Nintendo Switch, macOS, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, Xbox One.

    EggNut, the developer of Backbone, describes it as a "dystopian noir adventure" game. The player navigates the dystopian streets of Vancouver, British Columbia as an anthropomorphic raccoon and private eye named Howard. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, what I love most about this game is the aesthetic. The pixel art is handcrafted, and the scenery is designed to resemble actual streets in Vancouver. From the graphics to the gameplay and narrative dialogue, attention to detail is apparent in every aspect of this game.

  4. 4. Way to the Woods

    Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, Xbox One.

    Way to the Woods is a game by independent designer Anthony Tan. It's a story-focused adventure game that follows the journey of a deer and its fawn as they wander through an urban landscape, searching for the woods. Not only is the game's concept incredibly endeering (bad pun, I know; I'm sorry, but I had to), but it also has stunning graphics.

  5. 5. In Other Waters

    Platforms: macOS, Windows PC

    In Other Waters is a game by Jump Over the Age in which you play as an AI operator helping xenobiologist Ellery Vas search for life in an alien ocean. The game combines exploration with an intruiging narrative experience, but what really interests me about In Other Waters is its unique interface. The player operates entirely on a radar, using it to navigate the depths of the alien ocean and track Ellery's path.