5. Microsoft Flight Simulator (Xbox Series X|S)

Microsoft Flight Simulator (Xbox Series X|S)Microsoft Flight Simulator (Xbox Series X|S)
Publisher: Xbox Game Studios / Developer: Asobo Studio
Release Date: 14th Aug 2020 (UK/EU)

No, it's not available on consoles just yet (you'll have to wait until Summer 2021 for that), but Microsoft Flight Simulator was still undoubtedly one of the best Xbox releases of the year, and one of the most stunning technical achievements of any game, featuring a breathtaking recreation of planet Earth.

We were falling over ourselves with praise for Microsoft Flight Simulator back in August, calling it "nothing short of revolutionary", and "a truly special entry in a historic franchise". Had it come out for consoles at the same time, Flight Sim 2020 might well have finished on top as the Pure Xbox Game of the Year 2020.

4. Yakuza: Like a Dragon (Xbox Series X|S)

Yakuza: Like a Dragon (Xbox Series X|S)Yakuza: Like a Dragon (Xbox Series X|S)
Publisher: SEGA / Developer: SEGA
Release Date: 10th Nov 2020 (USA) / 10th Nov 2020 (UK/EU)

SEGA's Yakuza: Like a Dragon was another very notable highlight of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S launch lineup back in November, delivering a lengthy and memorable tale centred around a brand-new main protagonist in Ichiban Kasuga, and changing up the series' combat style from real-time beat 'em up to a turn-based approach.

The game was Pure Xbox staffer Daniel Hollis's pick for Xbox Game of the Year, calling it "one of the greatest launch titles ever made", and while it's not available on Xbox Game Pass at present, we highly recommend checking it out if you're at all interested in the Yakuza series or JRPGs as a whole.

3. Assassin's Creed Valhalla (Xbox Series X|S)

Assassin's Creed Valhalla (Xbox Series X|S)Assassin's Creed Valhalla (Xbox Series X|S)
Publisher: Ubisoft / Developer: Ubisoft
Release Date: 10th Nov 2020 (USA) / 10th Nov 2020 (UK/EU)

It was a bit of a difficult year for Assassin's Creed Valhalla in the lead up to its release, with various work-in-progress leaks doing the rounds throughout the summer, but when it finally released in November, it proved itself to be one of the best - if not the best - entries in the series, and a superb Xbox Series X launch title.

In our review at the time, we called it "an absolute high point" for the franchise, "channelling its players through a genuinely excellent and intriguing adventure". There have been a few bugs on Series X at launch, but most of those have now been addressed, making it a undoubted highlight of the next-gen launch lineup.

2. DOOM Eternal (Xbox One)

DOOM Eternal (Xbox One)DOOM Eternal (Xbox One)
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks / Developer: id Software
Release Date: 20th Mar 2020 (USA)

The release of DOOM Eternal this past March was highly-anticipated following the incredibly successful reboot in 2016, and it didn't disappoint. The sequel gave us a meaty campaign with more of everything, while still retaining the addictive brand of fast-paced shoot 'em up gameplay established in the 2016 game.

Back in March, we lavished praise on DOOM Eternal, calling it "one of the most strategic, intense and hugely satisfying first-person shooters we've ever played," and now that it's available with Xbox Game Pass on console, PC and Android, we definitely recommend checking it out this holiday if you've never played it before.

1. Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Xbox Series X|S)

Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Xbox Series X|S)Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Xbox Series X|S)
Publisher: Xbox Game Studios / Developer: Moon Studios
Release Date: 11th Feb 2020 (USA) / 11th Feb 2020 (UK/EU)

Yes, the Pure Xbox Game of the Year for 2020 is none other than Moon Studios' incredible Ori sequel, Ori and the Will of the Wisps! Released all the way back in February, the game was everything we hoped it would be, expanding on 2015's Ori and the Blind Forest with near-perfect platforming gameplay and jaw-dropping visuals.

In our review, we called it "one of the most beautiful games we've ever laid eyes on and easily one of the best platformers currently available on Xbox One", and since then the game has been enhanced even further for the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, playable at up to 120 frames per-second. We're very pleased to crown the magnificent Ori and the Will of the Wisps as our Pure Xbox Game of the Year 2020!

Do you agree with the Pure Xbox Game of the Year? Let us know in the comments below.