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Ash Parrish’s Top 10 Games Of 2020

Ahh! My first “Top 10 Games” post for Kotaku, so exciting! Arriving here has fundamentally changed my relationship with gaming. I have a lot more time to play a lot more brand-spankin’ new games, versus the slow arrival to already well-beloved titles that was typical of my pre-Kotaku life. So if you see some non-2020 games like Witcher 3 and Bloodborne on the list, understand that they’re the games I belatedly discovered this year. I also realize I’m probably going to say, “I’ve never played an ‘x’ game before” a lot. Well, this is what happens when your hobby becomes your life—everything is new to you—but I’m looking forward to writing another top ten next year when this list will hopefully have a lot less firsts.

I came super late to this one. I think seeing the Complete Edition on sale for a paltry $15 dollars (likely in conjunction with the arrival of the Netflix show) inspired in me the spirit of, “Fuck it, let’s see what all the fuss is about.” The fuss was rightfully earned. I loved the story and characters and I enjoyed how the game felt big but not too overwhelming. It’s not that I never believed any of my friends when they told me, “You’d like The Witcher 3,” it’s just that I’m stubborn as hell and like discovering things in my own time. I think that’s what I enjoyed the most about playing it. Yes, I knew that millions of other people enjoyed and praised this game to the heavens, but finding it so late like I did—five years after initial release—felt like discovering something new and secret that was just for me.

I enjoyed Persona 5 when it first came out in 2017. I loved the characters and art design and I really loved the music, but I never had the time to actually finish the game. When Royal released in March of this year, I got my second chance to experience Persona 5, this time distraction free. Before coming to Kotaku, I had a desk job working for the people who made hand sanitizer that starts with “P” and rhymes with “Jor-el.” I’d barely been there four weeks before they initiated the pandemic’s work from home policy. They sent me home with a laptop and less than a month of training, so what’s a girl who can barely do her job to do? Play a shit-ton of Persona 5 Royal. The game became my new job and I would legitimately play for a full eight hour work day, stopping only to answer emails or do one of the two tasks I could without the assistance of my supervisor/trainer. Persona 5 Royal absorbed my every waking moment in the first months of the stay at home mandate and became my go-to coping mechanism eclipsing even Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

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