It’s that magical time of year again. May 2023 has come round rather fast and while we eagerly await the release of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, May is special to us for another reason as well. Having founded Miketendo64 in May 2015, this year marks our humble little site’s eighth anniversary and as you might expect, we’re feeling rather nostalgic.
So nostalgic, in fact, that the original Miketendo64 bros. and founders of our outlet, have reflected on their three most favourite Nintendo published games of each year the site has been running. So, strap yourselves in for here are our three best Nintendo games of 2020:
M64 Retrospective | Our 3 Best Nintendo Games of 2020:
Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Nintendo Switch)
Jack: Given how popular Animal Crossing is as a series, it still surprises me as to how long it took before we got an Animal Crossing game on the Nintendo Switch. Players shouldn’t have had to wait until 2020 for it, but the true crime is how quickly Nintendo moved on from it. It was supported for a while with free content and paid DLC was released later on down the line, but for a game that has sold more than 40 million copies, Nintendo shouldn’t have moved on from it as quickly as they did.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a brilliant entry into the series and has done the series proud. I keep meaning to return to it and revisit my island Torna and renovate it, but with so many other great games to play, life moves on far too quickly and I simply don’t have the spare time like I used to.
Mike: This game single handedly saved my sanity throughout the COVID-19 lockdown. Not being able to go out anywhere and see my friends depressed me something awful but then Animal Crossing: New Horizons came along and it seemed to be a case of “Right Place, Right Time” as it allowed people to still meet and interact with each other in the digital space.
I sunk so many hours into this game. I think I dropped off at around 175 hours or so. At least, that is what my current Switch tells me but I’m pretty sure it was more than that as I would play it for like 10 hours a day during the lockdown and lockdown lasted far longer than 17 days (it should probably be around the 300-500 hours mark).
Anyhow, the freedom that Animal Crossing: New Horizons gave me was very much appreciated. I could visit my friends and they could come and visit me. I could go fishing and bug hunting. I could also decorate my house to my own desire. I wouldn’t stop there however, as I would then go on to decorate the entire island until it was barely recognizable from when I first started. I do wish that Nintendo would have supported the game for a little bit longer.
The absence of the 2023 New Years arch still stings and the fact that they could do so much more with the game and just left it as is incredulous to me. Though, they did release the Happy Home Paradise DLC that added more content to the game and decorations that could be used on your main island. some of the decorative items included castle pieces so you could construct your very own castle on your island. The online Designer app also allowed players to share their designs with one another and it helped make decorating islands into truly wonderful paradises.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity (Nintendo Switch)
Jack: As a guy who loves his Warriors games and owns the original Hyrule Warriors on three different platforms, I have no issues in saying Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is perhaps the greatest musou ever made. Marketed as a prequel to Breath of the Wild, but with a story that didn’t stick the landing, this didn’t stop Age of Calamity being a formidable game that was a pure delight to play.
I might not have spent the same amount of time with it as I did with the first Hyrule Warriors game, but this is easily the better title of the two with more original gameplay mechanics.
Mike: Oh, Yeah! I loved the first Hyrule Warriors and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on Wii U and for us to get a game that combines both was just *Chef’s Kiss* The game also had a more coherent story that kind of parallels with those of Breath of the Wild but because of wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff, this prequel story set 100 years before the events of BOTW would make vast changes to the future of Hyrule.
That said, being able to play as the champions and playing as Princess Zelda riding the Master Cycle was a lot of fun. The frame rate was a lot smoother than the original Hyrule Warriors game and the missions were more objective based as opposed to simply taking keeps from enemy forces. Granted, that was still one of the focuses of the game but at least the keeps or “outposts” were not just typical square plazas but were far less geometric and more natural to their surroundings.
Pikmin 3 Deluxe (Nintendo Switch)
Jack: Perhaps one of our most questionable choices so far in our little list, the simple truth is Pikmin is a delightful little series that does deserve more credit than it currently possesses. Longtime fans of the series have been waiting a long time for Pikmin 4 but with a bit of luck, with the likes of Pikmin 3 Deluxe on the Nintendo Switch and Pikmin Bloom available on mobile devices, enough people will realize this is an IP many have missed out on but it’s okay becasue Pikmin 4 is just around the corner.
Mike: I did play a little bit of the Pikmin 3 demo on the Wii U and quite enjoyed it. Unfortunately, I did not have the time or money to buy the game then and then it sort of fell of my radar. When Pikmin 3 Deluxe came along for Nintendo Switch it was time for me to give the game another shot. It was still as fun as I remembered and I enjoyed commanding my little Pikmin to undertake tasks like collecting fruit and taking down enemies.
I’m glad that this little gem got a second opportunity to thrive as its release on Wii U only gave it access to a limited audience but with the Switch having a user base of 122 million+, that is almost ten times the size of the Wii U’s user base which many more people can take a chance and enjoy this game and just in time for Pikmin 4 too!
We would like to take this moment to thank all of you who have shared in our journey for the last eight years. It’s been a hell of a ride and if you’d like to know what other games made our best of list, we hope you’ll check out our other instalments of this mini-series.
Until next time, keep on gaming.