Best of 2022 is ComingSoon’s week-long celebration of the entertainment that made the past year so memorable.
2022 was a very memorable year for games that delivered some classics and many great games. However, this was a particularly good year for game narratives, as we saw examples in the indie space, triple-A titles, and around the world that pushed gaming beyond expected standards, both in terms of content rather than quality.
There are also some titles that are fun to play, so let’s take a look at my 10 favorite games of the year.
10. Soul Pirates 2
I haven’t had as many RPGs as I’d like this year, but Soul Hackers 2 definitely bit that itch. Shin Megami Tensei’s battle system is fantastic and it’s the actual combat that shines here as the story is passable but rarely memorable and the characters are mostly archetypes with nothing much to say. While it has its obvious shortcomings and never reaches the same heights as the best in the franchise, those looking for a solid 40-hour RPG can’t go wrong with it.
9. Stanley’s Parable: Ultra Deluxe
I’ve always been a big fan of meta comments, especially in games, because developers can play more in-depth with the player and their expectations due to the interactive nature of the game. Ultra Deluxe ends up being more of a quasi-sequel to The Stanley Parable , while mocking the very ideas of indie darlings becoming commercial properties and the minimal upgrades that many re-releases get. It was a real pleasure.
8. Gran Turismo 7
Nextlander’s Alex Navarro made an amusing observation: “Gran Turismo 7 is your father’s racing game.” It couldn’t be more true. The way Polyphony Digital presents its racer, which is a celebration of the entire automotive industry, is straight-out and refreshingly serious about how much it wants to make fun of cars. Oh, and the actual racing is stellar too. It’s one of the few games this year that I keep booting up about once a month to play more.
7. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge
As much as I love them, there’s no denying that brawlers are largely a relic of the past. That’s why Shredder’s Revenge was such an enjoyable experience because it helped strike a balance between staying true to the genre while still delivering a burst of modern gameplay. Going up against iconic TMNT enemies in co-op is a ton of fun and all levels move quickly. It’s all killer, no filler, and it’s one of the most replayable deals of the year because I’m sure I’ll get used to the annual reruns because it’s so much fun.
6. The world of OlliOlli
OlliOlli World has kept me entertained for most of the year with a solid base game and two incredibly fun expansions. Despite strong competition from Session, it remains the best skateboarding game of the year and one that manages to evolve from previous titles thanks to its mix of new mechanics and use of multi-layered 3D levels . Additionally, Danny Trejo appears and you can put a mask cut out of him on your character’s face. This rock.
5. Judgment Lost: The Kaito Files
It’s rare that a game from Ryu ga Gotoku Studio doesn’t top my year-end list, but this expansion for Lost Judgment is still stellar. Although I had my doubts about Kaito as a leading man, the developer of Like a Dragon did a great job of portraying the friendly bully and telling a touching story with him that culminates in one of the coolest fights ever boss of the year The only downside is the lack of side activities (I want to sing karaoke as Kaito so much), but the overall story of love and doing everything you can to protect the ones you care about still resonates strongly .
4. Atari 50 The Anniversary Collection
When Digital Eclipse relaunched in 2015, the studio explained that its goal was to provide Criterion Collection-quality compilations for games. Since then, the team has produced some truly impressive collections, such as this year’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection, but it has yet to reach the level of quality it set itself. That all changes with Atari 50: The Anniversary Collection, which features a comprehensive museum and in-depth video features that contextualize the story behind the collection of games rather than simply embodying them. This is a brilliant collection and what everyone should aspire to. This is how games should be preserved.
3. God of War Ragnarök
Full disclosure, I haven’t completed the second game of Norse God of War (that’s a long time!), but the moments I’ve had absolutely earn a spot on this list. Ragnarök features the best combat I’ve seen in years, a thrilling blend of brutality and strategy. It’s also an amazing experience, triple-A gaming at its best, as so much care (and manpower) has gone into making each of the realms beautiful and interesting to explore. It’s also surprisingly funny with some legitimately funny moments that break up the serious main plot.
What’s most impressive is how the game manages to make Atreus an interesting character. Not only is he surprisingly fun to play, but he’s grown in a way that makes me grateful looking back at how small he was in the 2018 game. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but bring an expansion or sequel featuring Atreus. I am more depressed.
2. Stranger from Heaven: Final Fantasy Origins
Stranger of Paradise I initially had a heart for all the Chaos memes on social media. Jack, the game’s protagonist, can be seen as a hilarious, background-weary edgelord of an otherworldly outsider. So imagine my shock when Team Ninja not only fleshes it out into something deeper and more interesting, but also uses it to completely recontextualize the events of the original Final Fantasy in one of the coolest end of the game.
Even before I was fully invested in the story, Final Fantasy Origin’s combat had me hooked. Mixing it up with Final Fantasy foes in a more action-oriented way is a blast, especially with how Jack is able to brutally crystallize his enemies and watch them go to pieces. Some of the kills are absolutely barbaric and rival what you’d see Kratos or the Doom Slayer do. What started as a guilty pleasure quickly became one of my favorite games of the year and one that I am a proud champion of.
1. AI: The Somnium Files: Nirvana Initiative
I love murder mysteries, so the original AI: The Somnium Files was a total blast because it featured a serial killer called the Cyclops Killer who kept taking the eyeballs out of his victims. Its sci-fi elements make this a more insane story, although some of the puzzle-solving (you enter people’s minds to sort through their traumas and lies) is on the frustrating side. . Essentially, it’s a great game that needs a sequel to clean up some of the rough edges.
Luckily, Nirvana Initiative not only tweaked the ideas of the original, but managed to elevate it both in theme and gameplay. The murder mystery is even more gruesome, spanning two timelines six years apart, with people being torn apart at the molecular level. The twists are fatter and there’s an insane amount of variety and heart involved in all its facets.
It’s also one of the funniest game scripts ever written aside from being really wild. A game shouldn’t be so high and ridiculous while being so thoughtful and emotionally impactful, but somehow it works. It ends up being a total trip and one that I would love to do again for the first time.