Why Animal Crossing Should Win Game of the Year 2020

animal crossing game of the year 2020 title screen logo

The holiday season is a time to celebrate time-honored traditions with family and friends. Feasts and gift exchanges are the hallmark of the next few weeks; however, the global pandemic threatens to cancel most conventional gatherings. While many are struggling to find a silver lining, video game fans can still look forward to the industry’s staple ceremony: The Game Awards. Although Naughty Dog’s sequel to the Last of Us will likely win Game of the Year, should 2020 be a special exception? Let’s dive in.

The Perfect Storm

Despite the challenges associated with the pandemic, developers have delivered a host of iconic games. From open-world marvels, such as Ghost of Tsushima, to reimagined classics, such as Final Fantasy VII Remake, the list of Game-of-the-Year nominees is strong. While most consider The Last of Us Part II the favorite to win, a growing segment of the industry is clamoring for Animal Crossing New Horizons. Nintendo’s social simulation game does little to innovate on the genre; therefore, critics are arguing against Animal Crossing’s inclusion on a list that contains Doom, Final Fantasy, and The Last of Us. The arguments are valid, but Animal Crossing became more than a game for millions of people in 2020.

As the virus isolated people inside their homes, Animal Crossing New Horizons was the bridge that reconnected families and friends. From birthdays and weddings to holidays and vacations, Animal Crossing fostered a creative solution to quarantine and loneliness. Even the business world became enamored with game. The fast-food restaurant Kentucky Fried Chicken replicated their menu in the game. The Detroit Lions revealed their 2020 schedule using New Horizon characters. Political candidates also hosted rallies on custom-made islands. The world’s creativity was endless and inspiring.

There is no disputing that Animal Crossing New Horizons is not the technical wonder of Doom Eternal or The Last of Us Part II. The game does not offer the same breathtaking aesthetic of Final Fantasy VII Remake or Ghost of Tsushima. In nearly every objective evaluation category, Animal Crossing is the inferior choice. But it was the game we needed during a time of unprecedented uncertainty. It became our comfort food, a quiet place, and escape from the horrors of everyday life. For those reasons, Animal Crossing New Horizons is GamingROI’s Game of the Year for 2020.


But we want to know what you think. Did you play Animal Crossing New Horizons this year? Do you think Animal Crossing has a chance to win Game of the Year 2020? What is your choice for Game of the Year? Let us know in the comments below or the social media links on the right. Also, be sure to check out our other news items on MarioZeldaMonster HunterBlizzard and more.

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