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RPG Codex GOTY 2020: Results & Cool Graphs

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RPG Codex GOTY 2020: Results & Cool Graphs

Community - posted by felipepepe on Sun 17 January 2021, 06:52:34

Tags: GOTY 2020

Welcome to the RPG Codex 2020 GOTY Award!

This year we had 1025 voters, who rated 76 releases from 2020.

If 2019 felt like a slow year, this was even slower. But we still had some good games that will likely turn into classics as more people try them out. Since we had very few expansions & DLCs this year, I've cut the categories to just two: Best RPGs of the Year & Best PC ports/remasters.

Best 2020 RPGs

I always enjoy doing this graph, because I think it makes the reception of the year's releases very clear:

As you can see, in 2020 only two RPGs were really popular: Cyberpunk 2077 and Wasteland 3. And while Cyberpunk's position at the very top seems impressive, only 58% of voters played it. That's much lower than games like Divinity:OS2, Disco Elysium and even ELEX had.

Since I've began doing this in 2014, this is likely the year with a smallest percentage of RPGs being played on release. Which doesn't mean that we didn't have good games:

Champagnes must be popping at InXile, because Wasteland 3 managed to beat CDProjekt, with 84% of positive votes, becoming the 2020 GOTY. Still, I must point again how low its numbers are. Only 48% of voters played it, while 65% played Wasteland 2 in 2014. This is really surprising, given how WL3 is also on consoles & on game pass, was released earlier in the year than WL2 and there weren't many other big RPGs competing against it. People really played less games.

Nowhere that's more evident than on our #2 game, Yakuza: Like a Dragon. With almost 90% of positive votes and 67% of all voted being 4/4, it has a really amazing rating. But only 16% of the Codex played it. You could say the same for #3, Troubleshooter: Abandoned Children, an indie Korean tactical RPG: only 17% of voters played it, despite overwhelming positive ratings. If you are looking for the year's hidden gems, here they are.

The next games continue the trend, with very low player numbers despite strong ratings. Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet of Chaos and SpellForce 3: Fallen God also had over 80% positive ratings, but now the majority of those are 3/4 votes, putting them one step behind. After them, the rest of the games beside Cyberpunk don't even reach 10% of voters. Those numbers are so low that just a handful of votes from trolls/fanboys could heavily impact the results, so take them with a grain of salt.

While Cyberpunk 2077 was by far the most played one, it got a mixed reception: 57% gave it a positive score, 43% gave it a negative score. It still ranked #7, but that's not really an achievement for such huge & hyped release.

At the low end of the scale, Marvel's Avengers and Torchlight III stand out as the worst games. Despite the big names, their reception seems to have been so bad that no one even bothered to try them.

Remasters & PC Ports

This is basically the JRPG Codex category, and Persona 4 won by a landslide. So much that it's actually the #2 best game of the year if you combine both categories. And it was also one of the most-played games of the list, at 25%.

Dragon Quest XI and Trails of Cold Steel III also got very good ratings, which is no surprise considering DQXI was ranked #5 at out 2018 poll, and Trails of Cold Steel II was ranked #2 in the 2018 ports category. Wasteland Remastered also got a lot of votes and positive ratings, but way less 4/4 votes than its peers. Seems like the consensus is that it was a good remaster, but not a great one. Finally, while Horizon Zero Dawn's status as an RPG is contested, it still got a lot of play and positive votes.

Bonus graph: Best RPGs of 2017-2020

Since we've been using the exact same 1-4 voting system for a while now, here's a graph with the GOTY results from 2017-2020:

Every game here got more than 50% of positive votes, so it's a good guide if you're looking for the biggest releases and the hidden gems of the past few years.

The full results

As always, you can check the full results and the raw vote data here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1m2MR2R0Kz_aUCHmKcCjNgu9EzCCnxzPKoD8sC7Dtl4g/edit?usp=sharing

Hope you enjoyed this, cheers!

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