As the eight console generation has drawn to a close, we’ve been graced with some exceptional games that will be fondly remembered for years to come as its final swansong. Here, as part of Twinfinite’s annual award ceremony, we’re reflecting on those with the best storytelling and writing of 2020 and crowning one overall winner. The following games have been voted by our team of editors as having the most compelling narratives and engaging writing.
Best Video Game Storytelling & Writing of 2020
Honorable Mention: Cyberpunk 2077
Senior Editor Alex Gibson: There are no two ways about it: After years of hype, Cyberpunk 2077’s launch was a disaster. The game was rightly lambasted by players and critics alike for a plethora of unacceptable issues, as well as dubious decision-making from the studio’s leadership which almost certainly created what should have been a very avoidable situation.
But putting all that to one side, buried underneath the technical issues and scandal, there’s also no question that Cyberpunk 2077 is a fantastic game at its core. There’s so much it does superbly well, and amongst all its great features, brilliant storytelling is perhaps its greatest quality.
The intrigue of its main plot is captivating right from the off, but it’s after the crescendo of the epilogue that it becomes truly engaging with some epic highs and emotional lows. From there, the story twists and turns as main protagonists V and Johnny Silverhand’s forced relationship blossoms into an unlikely friendship.
Well, depending on how you choose to play it, that is. And therein lies the beauty of Cyberpunk 2077’s branching dialog, which offers different story outcomes according to preference as any good RPG should.
Then there are the excellent side quests, which often feature stories and characters just as sharp or even exceeding the quality of the main quest content. I couldn’t get enough of the sassy Panam or the detective Rivers the upstanding family man.
Indeed, Night City is a dystopia at its best when these sorts of compelling characters are breathing life into its gloomy streets, and they’re the reason I’ll be returning to the game once more when a proper next-gen version arrives in 2021.