We’ve said it before, but: 2020 is a year for games. (When isn’t it a year for games? I don’t know; that’s for another roundtable.) And what’s more fun than making high-school-yearbook-style game superlatives to keep us going into the summer? Nothing, that’s what! For the May roundtable, the Sidequest team did exactly that. What would you put in these categories?
Game Most Likely to Sink Up All My Free Time This Year
Melissa Brinks: I’ve already put over 80 hours into Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which is more than I have put into any game in recent memory, so that’s a solid bet.
Maddi Butler: This week I came to the horrifying realization that I’ve already put 165+ hours into Animal Crossing: New Horizons. But I will not rest until every inch of Flavortown is impeccably landscaped.
December Cuccaro: Any other Rune Factory fans? The Rune Factory 4 remaster came to the Switch and I’m desperate to get back into my favorite farming sim/dungeon-dive.
Jameson Hampton: I, too, have already sunk an embarrassing amount of time into Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and I feel like my island is probably about… 5% of the way to how perfectly I’m imagining it being when I’m through decorating. That said, I’m also very excited about Disco Elysium and I’ve heard that game is both a) very long, and b) the type of game that will make me feel compelled to find and experience all the different options. So I’m prepared for that to be a huge timesink also.
Zora Gilbert: I’m bad with the crossing animals so all I’ve done since it came out is play Final Fantasy VII Remake. I’m replaying it on hard. What has quarantine done to me.
Game Most Likely to Make Me Sob Uncontrollably
Melissa: Spiritfarer. I’m going to be a wreck before, during, and after playing this game. I was very nearly a wreck playing the demo at PAX.
Jameson: If I get a chance to play it, The Last of Us Part 2 will probably do this to me. The first one already hit me in the emotions. And girls kissing in any piece of mainstream media WILL make me cry. I’m a simple gay with simple needs, alright?
Maddi: I have no idea whether the Nier remaster will come out this year, but I DO know it will make me cry a lot.
Game Most Likely To Not Be Political
December: I probably would’ve said Animal Crossing before the whole “banned in China as a political protest tool.”
Melissa: It won’t be true, obviously, but gazing into my discourse crystal ball, I foresee a lot of talk about Cyberpunk 2077 “not being about politics” despite having “punk” in the title.
Game Most Likely To Be Called “Pandering to SJWs”
Maddi: I feel like The Last of Us Part 2 already has this covered.
December: Crusader Kings III just got hit with the SJW pandering stick because, heaven forbid, they’ve expanded the sexuality mechanic to include bi and ace characters. I’ve got an incoming rant prepared for this topic.
Melissa: Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla. Though there is apparently little outrage about being able to play a female viking, I’m sure someone will find a way to say that having a woman with muscles is an affront to straight men or something.
Jameson: Oh, people are maaaaad about the gender customization options in Cyberpunk 2077. Looking forward to those cis tears when that comes out.
Zora: I am saying the obvious but all of these are AAA games specifically built to cater to the biggest audience and you are all correct and I am so tired. Goodnight.
Game Most Likely to Make You Want to Stab the Main Character
Zora: I don’t want to stab Cloud (a fresh puncture wound would not help his issues) but I would love to stab whoever wrote most of Tifa and Aerith’s lines when they’re talking to Cloud. THIS ISN’T HOW HUMANS CONNECT IDEAS.
Game Most Likely to Make You Want to Look Up Smooching Fanfiction/Fanart
Maddi: I don’t even need to look up art of the Final Fantasy VII Remake characters looking beautiful. It appears daily on my Twitter timeline, a blessing to us all.
Kate Lyons: Following Jen Bartel on Twitter means I don’t have to play FF7R to want more smooching fanart.
Jameson: I don’t actually know anything about the specific characters yet, but I’m still nominating Vampire: the Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 for this category. VTM just brings that out in me.
December: Okay, so I was not a Joker/Akechi shipper until Royal came out, and now that I’m in the third semester all I want to do is look at fanart of Joker and Akechi being happy together, dammit!
Naseem Jamnia: I’m literally only here to chime in my utter glee that I got December on the Joker/Akechi ship train. JUST KISS ALREAD—
Game Most Likely to Be A Source of Serotonin
Melissa: Ooblets. God, Ooblets.
Jameson: I can only imagine that the reason they’re making and releasing Paper Mario: The Origami King is because they know we’re all sad and they want to cheer us up.
Game Most Likely To Cause Discourse
Melissa: I looked at the games coming out this year, and the only thing I want for Christmas is for SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated to dominate this category.
Zora: My friends and I spent half an hour last week discussing the various merits of SpongeBob games so I guess Merry Early Christmas, Missy.
A Game for the Goths
Jameson: This is an easy one, goths will rejoice when Vampire: the Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 FINALLY comes out. And I know this because I will be the first one at that party.
Something That Even the Jocks Would Love
Jameson: Very pumped about the recent announcement regarding Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 & 2.
Zora: Are jocks playing Animal Crossing or Ooblets? I think that would be cute.
Game Most Likely To Destroy Friendships
Jameson: Bubble Bobble 4 Friends. I’m not kidding, Bubble Bobble wreaked havoc on my friend group in college once.
Maddi: Moving Out, which is an Overcooked! type of couch co-op game where you help people, well, move out. Maybe this won’t be stressful for other people, but Overcooked! had me so panicked after 20 minutes I never played it again.
Game Most Likely To Cause Fatigue
Emily Durham: I nominate Hollow Knight: Silksong, because I know that playing the first Hollow Knight gave me some hand cramps when I was trying to do all the technical fiddly bits. Not to mention how late at night I’m gonna stay up playing it. Listen, fighting bugs is hard, okay?
Zora: I’m already fatigued by The Last of Us Part 2.
Maddi: Me too! I don’t want to kill the dogs!
Madison Butler writes about advertising by day and about video games the rest of the time. She can usually be found crying about Final Fantasy and Nier: Automata on Twitter @madisonrbutler.