The builds that continue to crop up in the Minecraft community never cease to amaze, and 2020 has been a fantastic year for both players and Mojang. With frequent feature updates and fans that continue to push the game to its limits, Minecraft continues to be a powerhouse of creativity.
Earlier this year, Mojang gave the sandbox's hellish underworld a make-over with the colossal Nether update. Then in October, the Caves and Cliffs update was announced for Summer 2021, which will give the game's gloomy caverns a bunch of new features. Then to end the year, Minecraft got its biggest glow-up yet with Nvidia's ray-tracing patch, Minecraft RTX, making the blocky sandbox the leading game to test the next generation of graphical overhauls. Oh yeah, and let's not forget Kellogg's Minecraft branded Creeper crunch cereal because that was a thing that happened.
It's not just Mojang that has been busy, the community has been as active as ever, and to celebrate that we've created a list of the most impressive builds from this year. From the most impressive survival maps to projects that are having a real-world impact, here are the best of the best from 2020.
Cops and Robbers 5: Arctic
Cops and Robbers has been a staple part of the Minecraft community for years and this year creators Podcrash decided to release the fifth map of the series. Cops and Robbers 5: Arctic has been built on a brand new chilly terrain and the prison is bigger than ever. Robbers have more escape routes than ever before with four different ways to break out including a new vent system. It's an impressive upgrade from Podcrash's previous maps, making the game (whether you're playing as a cop or a robber) more fun than ever.
IHOU, also known as Ihou Kenchiku, is one of the densest Minecraft cities I've ever seen. Made by 145 builders in 3 days for a Minecraft event, it almost looks like the city version of the giant structure in Howl's Moving Castle. Definitely one worth downloading and checking out yourself as screenshots don't quite capture all the details, and the builders have deliberately made a path that walks you through the entire city which is super handy.
Slums and Manors
A project made by a community member of Builder's Refuge, Slums and Manors uses Minecraft to highlight the social and economic differences seen around the world. It's a great example of how Minecraft builds can be used to discuss worldly injustices as well as tell a story. There's an insightful interview with the builder, Sebastian, over on Minecraft.net if you'd like to find out more about the project.
Drehmal: Primordial is one heck of a big adventure map. , With over 25 different biomes, a light class system, 22 custom weapons, and over 400 lootable structures it's practically its own game inside Minecraft. Creator Balderich has even given the build it's own background lore and history, so if you're ready to get lost with some friends in Minecraft, this world is a great place to do just that.
The Uncensored Library
Not only is The Uncensored Library a stunning build, but it's also an important initiative launched by Reporters Without Borders to give journalists a virtual space to write articles that would be censored in their own country. It's a genuine library with hundreds of articles neatly stored away, and since Minecraft isn't blocked in certain countries it's a space for people to safely get their writing out.
If you're wondering what 700 hours of Minecraft building looks like, Map Zlan2020 is exactly that. Built by 20 people over the course of three weeks, this map is a fantastical interpretation of an underwater city and not only features intricate buildings but plenty of suspended fish statues for that underwater vibe. This is another build where screenshots don't do it justice—super impressive stuff.
If you're looking for a PvP map with style, then Seschellah is the one for you. It's a high fantasy build that can fit up to 24 players, and spanning over 300 blocks, it makes a great map for some hide-and-seek PvP tactics. Definitely, one of the best multiplayer maps to be released this year.
Cacus' Revenge - The First Nether Portal
Winner of the Minecraft Nether contest, Cacus' Revenge is a build that tells the tale of the first nether portal and how it came to be. You don't often see cities built in the style of the Nether, but this city certainly captures the gloominess of Minecraft's underworld. Also, the idea of the Nether having a fire-breathing demon as a King is badass.
Saint-Pierre-l'Abbaye: Monastery and village
I genuinely thought screenshots of Saint-Pierre-l'Abbaye where photographs at first. This little French village may be small, but it's one of the most charming builds I've seen this year. If you plan to stroll around its quaint gardens and immense monastery, make sure to download some shaders first to get the most out of the build.