The 2020 Golden Issue Award for Game of the Year

It can sometimes feel like there are one or two video games that break from the rest to really [...]

It can sometimes feel like there are one or two video games that break from the rest to really stand out as Game of the Year contenders, and while 2020 was a strange year, a number of video games released to high praise despite everything. With so many people stuck inside arguably playing more games than ever before, it was a particularly tough decision this year. While our nominees for the Game of the Year category this year largely skewed toward single-player experiences, it was sharing those experiences online with friends that stood out for so many. While the nominees featured the most memorable games of 2020, there could be only one winner of the award. A single title really exemplified the year and our collective relationship with video games more than any other.

And the winner of the 2020 Golden Issue Award for Game of the Year is…


Animal Crossing: New Horizons, developed and published by Nintendo!

It is hard to understate the impact of having Animal Crossing: New Horizons release on the Nintendo Switch right as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic kicked into high gear in the United States. With so many people suddenly forced to rethink every aspect of their lives, having the ability to go to a little digital island getaway with friends was immensely important for sanity reasons if nothing else. It helps that the Animal Crossing franchise is notoriously charming and wholesome and that the newest installment cranks that up to 11.

While far from the only major title to release for the Nintendo Switch in 2020, Animal Crossing: New Horizons has quickly become synonymous with the system. When folks consider buying one, Animal Crossing: New Horizons easily stands among the top suggestions for the first title to grab in company with the likes of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey. While a new Animal Crossing was always going to be successful on the Nintendo Switch, it's hard to imagine it becoming the same sort of cultural phenomenon without the additional context of the year that was 2020. Anxiety and stress and more factors ruled the lives of many this past year, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons was a welcome escape.

While Animal Crossing: New Horizons won this year's Game of the Year award in's Golden Issue Awards, there were plenty of other extremely popular video games throughout 2020. The full list of nominees can be found below, but you can share your own vote for the best game of the year in 2020 with us through the comments or through social media.