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January 17th, 2021, 09:34
The RPG Codex has voted for the GOTY 2020:

Game of the Year
1st - Wasteland 3
2nd - Yakuza: Like a Dragon
3rd - Troubleshooter: Abandoned Children

Best Remaster/Port
Persona 4 Golden

RPG Codex GOTY 2020: Results & Cool Graphs

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 Naheulbek: 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.
More information.
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January 17th, 2021, 09:41
This is my top 3 as well - only Troubleshooter would be on the first place.
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January 17th, 2021, 09:50
It was a weak year at least as far as games that really stood out. I think that, after time and updates, Cyberpunk 2077 will be remembered as the best RPG released in 2020.
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January 17th, 2021, 09:52
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
It was a weak year at least as far as games that really stood out. I think that, after time and updates, Cyberpunk 2077 will be remembered as the best RPG released in 2020.
Could be - Gothic 3 is a similar case.
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January 17th, 2021, 10:02
2020 was a weak year for RPGs.

Still Cyberpunk 2077 won 1st but you know RPGCodex logic says it didn't. That's why I prefer simple pick three lists without rated scales. Oh well congrats Wasteland 3.

I'm sure RPGWatch's GOTY will be similar or not. We'll see.
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Last edited by Couchpotato; January 17th, 2021 at 11:06.
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January 17th, 2021, 10:33
I can't see anything stupid in the Codex' voting system. Many played Cyberpunk 77 and many gave it a not so high vote.

If they had used our system Cyberpunk 77 would be out of the top 3 of many players.
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January 17th, 2021, 10:44
Very weak indeed…

Only 58% played Cyberpunk 2077, yet it broke the sales record. We also know that most people played as much or more this year than usual (that poll was were, but I'm pretty sure it's a good general indicator).

Does that mean RPG Codex users are more cautious than average?
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January 17th, 2021, 10:53
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
I can't see anything stupid in the Codex' voting system. Many played Cyberpunk 77 and many gave it a not so high vote.

If they had used our system Cyberpunk 77 would be out of the top 3 of many players.
Nah you'll never change my mind about felipepepe's system.

Gets the most votes but yet only half of the poll takers played it?

It reminds me of someone with a savant syndrome.
Originally Posted by Redglyph View Post
Very weak indeed…

Only 58% played Cyberpunk 2077, yet it broke the sales record. We also know that most people played as much or more this year than usual (that poll was were, but I'm pretty sure it's a good general indicator).

Does that mean RPG Codex users are more cautious than average?
Shh..sales don't make a good RPG remember.

I always read this especially on this forum. (cough…Fallout 4…cough..Mass Effect 3)
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January 17th, 2021, 11:10
Credit where credit is due: I like that they make a distinction for ports. I don't think a several year old game could/should be a GOTY the year it simply gets released on a different platform.
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January 17th, 2021, 11:11
I have mixed feelings. I understand the concept but I'm still skeptical because, while we take care to weight the data with their confidence, we calculate this confidence interval on the whole data set, which comes from different profiles.

The variety in game genre is also varied (how do they define RPG?), and restricted to a small number of items in order to limit the number of votes, which IMO is another bias.

What I'm saying is that trying to put everything in the same bag will ultimately give a result that may be statistically founded, but still uninteresting.

EDIT: at the same time, it'd be fun to see their global results over the last year, on the graph we see a few good titles on the right / top
Last edited by Redglyph; January 17th, 2021 at 11:37.
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January 17th, 2021, 11:36
We can see that 2020 was a year of nice niche games:
  • TROUBLESHOOTER: Abandoned Children
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon
  • The Dungeon Of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet Of Chaos
  • Spellforce 3: Fallen God
  • Trials of Mana
  • Horizon's Gate
  • Nox Archaist
  • Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin

are all worth to play.
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January 17th, 2021, 11:38
The results are within the reality of what the year was in terms of RPGs, though not everyone will agree with it.

My greatest disagreement comes with the logic behind downvoting CP2077 allegedly because of being buggy while still maintaining WL3 up there, when it was worse in that aspect, in my opinion. At least CP2077's bugs weren't game-breaking, while WL3's were in many cases, causing people to lose hours of progress or having to restart the game from scratch after many hours played. Not to mention that game was announced and hyped as multiplayer/co-op as one of its selling points, and I couldn't ever get the multiplayer mode going. After trying for hours, we got one game running, and after a couple hours playing, the save file vanished/reset, so my partner and I just had to give up and resign to play on our own after all the effort and time invested. I couldn't in any stretch of generosity consider that a "GotY".

One could argue that CP2077 still wasn't that great even when you get past the bugs, but I feel it warranted a top3 in this generally weak year.

It's still in my opinion a valid top 3, all things considered.
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January 17th, 2021, 13:20
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
I can't see anything stupid in the Codex' voting system.
I do.
#1 is mmo.
#2 and #3 are not (and these two will get my vote here, you know that already ).
Even the best port isn't.
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January 17th, 2021, 14:03
Originally Posted by Nereida View Post
The results are within the reality of what the year was in terms of RPGs, though not everyone will agree with it.

My greatest disagreement comes with the logic behind downvoting CP2077 allegedly because of being buggy while still maintaining WL3 up there, when it was worse in that aspect, in my opinion. At least CP2077's bugs weren't game-breaking, while WL3's were in many cases, causing people to lose hours of progress or having to restart the game from scratch after many hours played. Not to mention that game was announced and hyped as multiplayer/co-op as one of its selling points, and I couldn't ever get the multiplayer mode going. After trying for hours, we got one game running, and after a couple hours playing, the save file vanished/reset, so my partner and I just had to give up and resign to play on our own after all the effort and time invested. I couldn't in any stretch of generosity consider that a "GotY".

One could argue that CP2077 still wasn't that great even when you get past the bugs, but I feel it warranted a top3 in this generally weak year.

It's still in my opinion a valid top 3, all things considered.
I agree.

I think the votes are relative to people's expectations, and Cyberpunk 2077 suffered as a consequence, especially since those expectations (and the frustration not to see them fulfilled) were still fresh, and quite high. To be fair, they mostly brought that on themselves.

As @JDR13, @HiddenX and others said, the results could have been different if the vote had been made a few months later.

That being said, I'm surprised to see Wasteland 3 got such a high score. But it's still only a winner by default to me
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January 17th, 2021, 14:10
Yeah Wasteland III feels like a consolation prize in most of these GOTY polls. Maybe if they actually release some DLC as it's been half a year already, it might be worth it.

Oh wait they are Fantastical Costumes Coming to Wasteland 3.

It feels weird when most niche games are better then the Triple A games.
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January 17th, 2021, 16:05
Well, I have yet to even purchase Cyberpunk. Nor do I have plans to do so until the tales of its bugginess die down. Is Wasteland 3 a fun game? yes. Is it goty material? In a year devoid of many releases, it's probably in the running by default.

So I see nothing wrong with the Codex results. Except that Factorio isn't #1 But it's not an RPG so to be expected.
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January 17th, 2021, 16:46
The only game that I've played to date on their list is Persona Four, which was simply fabulous. I will get around to acquiring Wasteland three at some point, for certain, not sure about the other ones.
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January 17th, 2021, 17:05
I thought Wasteland 3 was a great game and would probably also be my pick for rpg of the year. I guess the fact I played the game in December, when most bugs had been corrected, certainly help. But yes, 2020 hasn't been a great year for rpgs. The only great thing is that I had far more time to play than previous years.
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January 17th, 2021, 17:52
I'm glad I quit my PC masterrace membership years ago cause consoles had some pretty outstanding releases last year.
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January 17th, 2021, 19:24
Wasteland 3 was a buggy mess when I tried to play it in September with reboot crashes so shelved it at this point I may as well wait for the complete edition like WL2.
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