2022 is coming to an end, and it has been an incredible year for video games. While I’ve usually just covered sports games for the past few years, I’m just not a siloed sports gamer. In fact, most of my gaming involves non-sports games. From first-person shooters to turn-based strategy, I give as many games a chance as possible.
This year I made it a goal to play as many games as I could while juggling four jobs and a family with two children. To say I’ve been able to do so if a major victory, in my opinion.
But enough about that. What games stood out to me the most? Here are my top games of 2022.
Sifu – Great art style and phenomenal combat mechanics. The game is something that could spawn a series of like titles.
TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge – A nostalgic throwback to the TMNT games of the past, and just as fun as ever.
Tunic – A beautifully crafted action-adventure game developed by one person. Andrew Shouldice should be an inspiration to any independent game developer.
5. Vampire Survivors
How can a game seemingly so simple be one of my favorite games of the year? It’s easy, just do what you do and do it incredibly well. You don’t have to worry about attacking or carrying upgrades through each run. You just need to pick up the game and play.
At first, you play to hunt for achievements and learn all of the weapons and upgrades for your build. But soon enough, you’re playing just to see how crazy your build can become and just what damage you can dish out. It gives me massive Binding of Isaac vibes but far less goal-oriented and more chaos-oriented.
It’s the epitome of a “just one more game” experience.
4. Elden Ring
I admittedly am terrible at all FromSoftware games. They are hard titles that require a lot of patience to master. Ask anyone of my closest friends, and they’ll tell you patience is not something I have. Rather than wait to scout and see how an enemy will act, I rush in and see what I can get done before I inevitably die 100 times. Still, the games are absolute masterpieces and Elden Ring is no different.
The game is beautiful. The open world, though daunting and confusing at times, is incredible to experience. The gameplay is everything I love about FromSoftware turned up to 10. Everything feels intentional and while the main story is a great thing to follow, everything else surrounding it just adds more to a game that I didn’t think needed more…until I found it.
3. Neon White
Neon White is a game that did something I absolutely love: it took a risk. A game all about speed running levels while finding new and better shortcuts to get to the end even quicker the next time. It’s the first time since the early Xbox 360 days that I actually care about leaderboards. Seeing if I can move up, even just a spot, on the leaderboards leads to hours of fun and, admittedly, frustration.
There are over 100 levels to get through with you using new and unique cards that will help in different ways. For example, the Katana card lets you swing your Katana while also allowing you to send projectiles back toward enemies. Doing so will also give you a speed boost.
Learning how each card works and stringing things together to help your efforts makes Neon White one of the most replayable games released not only this year but over the last handful.
2. Songs of Conquest
My favorite game of all time is Heroes of Might & Magic III, and for years I’ve been trying to find another game to give me a similar feeling. Songs of Conquest is that game. The turn-based strategy game is still in very early access, but it gets constant updates that add to the experience.
The lore of the game is interesting enough to get you invested rather than quickly skipping through text boxes. The gameplay is exactly what you’d expect for a game like this, but it adds plenty to make it feel like a great modern-day title. Combat features like terrain height advantages add another element of strategy to a gameplay system that can always use more ways to add intrigue.
As this game continues to update, I already know it’ll be a game I continue to play over and over again in 2023 and beyond.
1. A Plague Tale: Requiem
This is a game that seems divisive. Not that there are some that think it’s bad. More so, it seems some either love it or some just think it’s good, but not great. I’m in the camp of absolutely loving it.
The best games to me are those that make me feel like I’m a part of a movie. That’s A Plague Tale: Requiem. The story picks right off where the first game ended in 2019, but feels like a much more thorough tale (no pun intended). Requiem has you playing as 15-year-old Amicia who, alongside her mother and friend Lucas, is searching for a cure for the Macula blood curse that infects her brother Hugo. To get it, the family needs to avoid the French Inquisition and the black plague-filled rats that swarm whenever Hugo becomes uneasy.
What I love is how the game builds your character based on how you play. Play a more stealthy style? The game builds you up to be more effective that way. More lethal in your approach? The game will unlock combat skills for you to make you better. The different ways to solve the various puzzles also add a bit of thinking to how you want to handle things throughout your play.
The game also has breathtaking visuals that, again, make you feel like you are part of a movie. It’s just a masterpiece of a game that I think everyone should play.
What do you think of my 2022 games of the year? Feel free to bash it in the comments below and I’ll be sure to fight back! Also, keep on the lookout for my worst games of 2022 as well as games that kept me coming back this year time and time again that weren’t released this year.