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The best video games in recent years for Xbox, Nintendo and PS4

The best video games for the most popular video gaming consoles include Animal Crossing, Overwatch, Red Dead Redemption 2, Witcher 3 and more.
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Video games are becoming increasingly popular with widespread social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home orders. Here are some of the best video games from recent years.Westend61 / Getty Images

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Video games have grown increasingly popular among anyone working from home or otherwise obeying stay-at-home orders. In fact, some gained popularity among unexpected audiences long before COVID-19 spread around the world. If you’re looking for an engaging pastime during your time at home, here’s some good news: Video games on multiple gaming consoles have gotten really good in the past decade. Whether you’re exploring the world of gaming for the first time or returning after a long hiatus, here are some great titles from the past year or two that’ll have you hooked.

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The best video games in recent years

1. Red Dead Redemption 2

Play on PS4, Xbox One, PC

Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of those games that blurs the line between “game” and “life simulator.” Set in a fictional version of the 1899 Wild West, you play as outlaw Arthur Morgan and explore an open world of near-infinite possibilities. You can spend your time furiously taking down rival gangs or wandering into bars and playing Blackjack — or following the adventures in the story. The game had a notable opening weekend and won dozens of awards so it’s a worthy play. And don’t worry, it’s a prequel, so you don’t need to play the original to understand what’s going on.

2. Doom: Eternal

Play on PS4, Xbox One, PC

If you grew up with video games, you know the name Doom. In 2016, Id Software rebooted the classic franchise — renewing the same fast-paced demon slaying we came to love in the ‘90s. Doom: Eternal is the most recent installment, and if you’re looking for a mostly-mindless, heavy-metal-fueled slaughter fest in a video game, you can’t go wrong with this classic.

3. The Outer Worlds

Play on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC

If you’re a fan of the TV show Firefly, you’ll probably enjoy The Outer Worlds. This science fiction role-playing game puts you in the middle of a corporation-ruled solar system, leading your hand-crafted character on a mission to recruit a team, explore the solar system through a series of tough moral decisions, and save the world(s). Notably, there’s a healthy dose of dark humor awaiting you along the way — this is not to be confused with Outer Wilds, an also-well-reviewed space exploration game.

4. Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Play on Nintendo Switch

If demons, cowboys and failing space colonies are a bit too dark for your tastes, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the perfect getaway from the day’s stresses. It’s only available on the Nintendo Switch and is one of those relaxing games where you can do just about anything: Create a character, build a house and otherwise live in your own hand-crafted island paradise — with or without your online friends.

5. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Play on PS4, Xbox One, PC

If you’ve played video games before, you may be familiar with the controller-smashing frustration that comes after your character dies for the 19th time fighting a boss you just can’t beat. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a ninja-fueled action game packed with an awful lot of that frustration, dialed to 11. Its punishing difficulty may not be for everyone, but if you have the patience to learn from your mistakes, the success can taste sweeter than any you’ve ever experienced. There’s a reason it won Game of the Year at the 2019 Game Awards.

6. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Play on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC

Technically, The Witcher 3 came out five years ago, but I’m fudging the numbers because it only recently came out for the Nintendo Switch — not to mention it’s now a Netflix show — and because it’s just that good. In this open-world fantasy game, you play Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter in search of his adopted daughter and his long-lost lover. You’ll battle monsters, take part in a continent-wide war and fall in love in one of the most awarded video games of all time. You don’t need to play the first two games before jumping into this one, though you could watch the first season of the Netflix series if you want the backstory before doing so.

7. Tetris Effect

Play on PS4, PC

If you’re looking to relive your retro-game-laden childhood in modern fashion, it’s a tough call between Super Mario Maker 2 for the Switch and Tetris Effect for the PS4 and PC, but Tetris Effect is such a cool take on the classic puzzle game that it’s hard to ignore. Between new game modes, an immersive VR experience and a killer electronic soundtrack that meshes perfectly with the gameplay, this renewed version of Tetris will get you addicted all over again.

8. Overwatch

Play on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC

Plenty of games allow for online multiplayer gaming, but Overwatch hits a sweet spot that few others can: It’s enjoyable whether you’re a hardcore gamer or a casual, once-in-a-while player. While it was technically released in 2016, it’s still hugely popular, with new heroes added every few months and a sort-of sequel on the horizon. Whether you want something you can dig into for months or something you can pick up and play in 15-minute bursts, Overwatch is a fantastic choice.

Best video games 2020: Amazon bestsellers

There are plenty of games to consider, of course. Below, we list Amazon's bestselling video games for different gaming consoles.

Bestselling PS4 video games on Amazon

  1. Final Fantasy VII: Remake
  2. The Last of Us Part II (pre order)
  3. Persona 5 Royal: Standard Edition
  4. Marvel's Spider-Man: Game of The Year Edition
  5. Snowrunner

Bestselling Xbox video games on Amazon

  1. Assassin's Creed Odyssey
  2. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  3. Hitman 2
  4. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot
  5. Assassin's Creed Origins

Bestselling Nintendo Switch video games on Amazon

  1. Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition
  2. Mortal Kombat 11
  3. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  4. Pokémon Sword
  5. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Bestselling PC video games on Amazon

  1. Battlefield 1 Revolution And Titanfall 2
  2. Battlefield 4
  3. Star Wars Battlefront II
  4. Minecraft for PC/Mac
  5. The Sims 4

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