In a gaming year dominated by the soaring highs of DOOM Eternal, the peaceful tranquility of Animal Crossing and the "Oh god, I can't believe this is in my hands" of Final Fantasy VII's remake, there are a TON of specific moments to single out.
Story beats, character revelations, new weapons or just sheer spectacle, to keep things interesting I'm going with one moment per-game, but first, a handful of honourable mentions.
Wiping Out The Worst Crash Games - Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time
Gravity Mask: How many times have you beaten [Cortex], anyway?
Gravity Mask: Three??
Gravity Mask: Hm, feels like more!
With this brilliant trailer-closing stinger, Activision wipe away the disastrous Universal Crash games that plagued the 2000s, positioning Crash 4: It's About Time as a direct continuation of where Naughty Dog left off.
Can it live up to the legacy? We'll know in a few months.
LEVELLING Someone With That One Punch - One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows
One Punch Man's first game is a real stinker; a boring fighter that resigns its titular hero (and best character) to a cameo role with auto-obliteration powers.
Thankfully, the first few times you control Saitama, soak up a ton of enemy hits and return with a blow that sends them halfway around the Earth, it almost makes up for everything else.
Every Time Jill Insults Nemesis - Resident Evil 3
2020's revamped Jill Valentine might be the most enjoyable protagonist to embody this year. Never straying from strings of comebacks and taunts towards the hulking Nemesis, she's ready to fight from moment one, and only gets to do so with a giant laser by game's end.
More Jill energy in all our main characters, please.
Using Your Crane For The First Time - SnowRunner
It is impossible to describe the simple pleasures of SnowRunner in text. You have you feel its lumbering machines crawling through feet of mud, the innate satisfaction of overcoming an environment, one perfectly-placed winch anchor point at a time.
The first time you've saved up enough to install a crane on your custom truck of choice - then use it to wrench a broken down truck out a swamp for salvage?
Few things are quite so wholesome and rewarding.
Just SEEING Saints Row 3 Remastered
Out of nowhere, Saints Row 3 arrived on PS4 and Xbox One with a total visual overhaul. We're talking "this is practically a remake"-levels of new assets, character models, lighting techniques, frame rate boosts etc.
Considering we all thought this would just be a port of the original like the Switch edition, developers Sperasoft set a bar for remasters that few will reach again.