You are currently viewing 8 Most Underrated Games of 2020
Photo: Tomas Sala

8 Most Underrated Games of 2020

The Falconeer

We’ve taken a look at the most overrated games of 2020, but why just be negative when we have an equal chance to shine some light on some of the year’s more overlooked titles.

Before we dive into the list, though, let me share a quick note. You won’t find many ultra indie titles on this list, but that’s largely because those games are overlooked by their very nature. Instead, I wanted to focus on some of the year’s slightly more notable releases which, for one reason or another, not enough people played.

With that in mind, these are some of the most underrated games of 2020.

Gears Tactics

Look, Gears Tactics really is little more than an ambitious XCOM mod. Is that really a bad thing, though?

Gears Tactics could have been a cheap cash-in on a fairly popular concept, but it instead proved to be a well-made strategy game in its own right that smartly utilizes elements of the XCOM universe that even the main games in the series haven’t always taken advantage of.

Honestly, you could argue that Gears Tactics is a better overall game than Gears 4. Definitely give this one a shot on Game Pass if you haven’t already.

Minecraft Dungeons

Despite its association with one of the most popular game franchises ever (or perhaps because of it) Minecraft Dungeons failed to make much of an impact.

While the game is too simple to win over the Diablo and Path of Exile crowd, it really stands out as a gateway with a co-op experience that’s at least as fun as any of the much more popular Lego games.

This is another title you should absolutely try out on Game Pass, especially if you’ve got someone on the couch next to you to share it with.

The Falconeer

As one of the few original Xbox Series X launch titles, it’s bizarre that The Falconeer didn’t generate a little more buzz simply by default. I work in this industry full-time, and I don’t think I’ve ever spoken to anyone that’s played this game.

That’s a shame because The Facloneer is nothing if not interesting. As an open-world air combat game, The Falconeer automatically fills a genre void that has been overlooked for too long. While I suspect the game’s simple combat has contributed to its undoing, it breaks my heart that this project’s beauty and unique concepts haven’t inspired more people to give it a shot.

Maybe you should wait for a sale before you commit to this game, but it’s absolutely worth a look.

Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics

Granted, this game did generate some social media buzz, but I’m not sure people are paying Clubhouse Games the respect it deserves.

Clubhouse Games brilliantly utilizes the Switch’s interface to revitalize some truly timeless games. In a better world, this title would have been pre-installed on every single Nintendo Switch, but its nearly infinite replay value makes it one of the year’s best purchases.

In a year that wasn’t exactly bursting at the seams with new Nintendo Switch games, Clubhouse deserves a little more recognition.

Nioh 2

This is another one of those games that I’m not sure I’ve ever actually talked to anyone about at any point this year.

I feel like Nioh 2‘s biggest problem is that it probably should have been DLC. It doesn’t feature a lot of new ideas and the new content that is there isn’t robust in terms of innovations or even improvements.

However, as the well-made follow-up to one of the best Soulslike titles ever, Nioh 2 deserves to be played by everybody who enjoyed the first game.

Streets of Rage 4

Generally speaking, the biggest problem with old-school beat-em-up titles is that our memories of them tend to be far greater than the actual experience of replying these fundamentally simple and typically short games.

That’s what makes Streets of Rage 4 so interesting. It captures the fundamental appeal of the Streets of Rage series while introducing just enough modern innovations to revitalize the fun that is sometimes lost in translation when you try to play a legitimate old-school beat-em-up.

Much like 2016’s Doom, Streets of Rage 4 combines the best of the old and the modern.

Sackboy: A Big Adventure

There was a time when PlayStation fans were begging for truly great 3D platformers to call their own. It’s a testament to the decline of that genre’s popularity in the mainstream that Sackboy hasn’t garnered more attention.

A Big Adventure is hardly the new Super Mario Odyssey, but I’d go so far as to call it a better version of the recent Yoshi platformers. It’s got a great style that perfectly complements its solid platformer gameplay.

I’d love to see this game’s team take another shot at a similar concept as I feel they’re on the verge of something truly great.

13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim

Released in Japan in 2019, 13 Sentinels made its global debut in 2020 to very little fanfare outside of those who already knew about it.

13 Sentinels will absolutely be too weird for some people, but if you happen to enjoy its blend of visual novel storytelling and hybrid side-scrolling/RTS gameplay, you’ll find that this is one of the year’s most original and well-executed games.

If you’re not entirely alienated by the concept, then you should consider giving 13 Sentinels a shot.

Matthew Byrd

Matthew Byrd covers the gaming industry including indies, consoles, PCs, iOS and Android apps, as well as topics related to entertainment and technology.