2020 has been a gruelling year for many, but some good things to come out of it are video games. Whilst in lockdown, many people got to experience the next generation of games, and unlike the year they were released in, they were excellent. The best narrative game of 2020 was The Last of Us Part II. The Last of Us is considered one of the best video game tales ever created, so the storytellers at Naughty Dog had a tough act to follow. That’s what makes this ambitious, nuanced, and subversive sequel even more impressive. From old obsessions that possess Ellie, to newcomer Abby working through her own issues, The Last of Us Part II is compelling from beginning to end. Credit also goes to the masters of storytelling at Sucker Punch, Insomniac, and Square Enix.

Unsurprisingly, The Last of Us Part II also took home the title of the best graphical showcase. Naughty Dog is renowned for creating games with a mesmerizing level of detail, and The Last of Us Part II is the team’s most technically impressive feat yet. Swivel the camera around while Ellie grapples with an enemy, and you’ll see her grimacing with effort. Position Abby next to a steep ledge and experience her wobbly tunnel vision as acrophobia settles in. 2020 was a great year for stunning games, including interpretations of ancient Japan, Marvel’s New York City, and the dark fantasy world of Boletaria. It also took home the title of best soundtrack, which makes sense as the game was in development for nearly eight years.

Finally, the game that included the best art direction was The Ghost of Tsushima. Sucker Punch’s lavish attention to detail meant its open world samurai epic never missed a chance to impress. From that title drop sequence to the twisted reimagining of its world with the Legends multiplayer mode, Ghost of Tsushima demanded frequent use of its Photo Mode. It, as well as the other winners in this category, was a perfect excuse to familiarise yourself with the PS4 Share and PS5 Create buttons.