Monday 26 December 2022

2022 in Review: Top 10 Games

As we commence the final countdown to 2023, it is time I take a look back at the past year across gaming, TV, music, movies, and life in general. This is a week-long feature I've held on this blog since its inception all the way back in 2011, and one I of course plan to continue holding for the foreseeable future. So to kick things off today, I'll be sharing my favorite games released across consoles, mobiles, and PC.

2022 might have been plagued by even more video game delays than last year, but the ones that did manage to come out would still go on to dominate conversations within the various online communities. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get around to playing nearly enough of those games to take part in some of those conversations, so expect some glaring omissions ahead. That said, here are my favorite video games for 2022.

10. LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

The Lego games have always held an undeniable charm that allows each one to appeal to players of all ages. So being the lifelong Star Wars fan that I am, I was immediately excited by the prospect of getting to revisit all 9 films in the mainline series in blocky glory. Yes, even the ones in the prequel trilogy and the more recent The Rise of Skywalker. The game plays like a greatest-hits collection of the best Star War moments, interspersed with the signature humor that the Lego games are known for. The fact that the visuals look as good as they do only further cements its place as one of my favorite games of 2022.

9. Kirby and the Forgotten Land

Kirby fans have been eating particularly well this past year, with what has felt like a glut of new and upcoming games in the series. The big one of course was Kirby and the Forgotten Land, which saw the pink fluff ball finally step into fully 3D environments, having been relegated to side-scrolling levels before then. And the transition had gone as smoothly as one could hope, resulting in some of the most memorable stages and puzzles the series has seen to date.

8. Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

It's hard to even talk about Pokemon Scarlet and Violet without immediately addressing the elephant in the room. For all of its ambitions, the game would forever be remembered for the shoddy state it had launched in. But underneath all the bugs and glitches (not to mention piss-poor performance) lies a game that is, at its core, both fun and addicting. It evolves the classic Pokemon formula with a vibrant open world populated with pocket monsters old and new. And the best part? Players are given the freedom to forge their own paths through it as they take on its challenges in any order they choose.

7. Return to Monkey Island

When news first broke that a new Monkey Island game was on the way, I immediately knew it was going to end up on my list of 2022 favorites. So the fact that Return to Monkey Island had still somehow managed to surpass my expectations is a testament to how true to the originals it is. Ron Gilbert returns to helm the game, and while it was initially stated that he intended for it to function as a direct sequel to Monkey Island 2, I was pleased to see it honored events and characters from the other games as well. The new art style admittedly took some getting used to, but it didn't take very long at all for me to get into its swashbuckling tale of adventure.

6. Sifu

Revenge is a dish best served cold. And in the case of Sifu, a beat-em-up game by Sloclap, that dish comes with a side of pain and heaps of suffering. The first thing that separates it from other beat-em-ups is its punishing difficulty, as it mandates that players have to truly master its gameplay systems in order to progress. But the real kicker is its aging mechanic, which sees its protagonist get older each time he falls in battle until he becomes too old to carry on. So expect to have to replay each level multiple times during your playthrough.

5. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge

After the brilliant work it had done on Streets of Rage 4, all eyes were on Dotemu and their next project, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge. The game is yet another throwback to the classic beat em ups of old, with retro-styled pixel art graphics to match. But what really makes Shredder's Revenge special is how faithfully it adapts and modernizes the gameplay found in titles such as Turtles in Time, ensuring that all kinds of players would have a blast bashing their way through the foot clan soldiers that roam its many stages.

4. Pokemon Legends: Arceus

The fact that Game Freak managed to ship not one but two mainline Pokemon games in 2022 is a feat in itself. The most remarkable thing about Pokemon Legends: Arceus though is how much it streamlines the Pokemon experience, with a greater focus on building out its Pokedex through a refined catching mechanic and the exploration of the large biomes its Pokemon call home. It also introduces a number of other quality-of-life improvements along with open-world and action RPG elements. The game not only serves as the Breath of the Wild moment fans of the franchise had been hoping for, but also points to an even more promising future for the series with a solid foundation for forthcoming releases to build off of.

3. Tunic

I'd had my eye on Tunic since I first got to try it out through a limited-time demo on Steam in mid-2020. Perhaps it was its dreamlike isometric visuals or its heavy The Legend of Zelda influences that immediately drew me to it. Whatever the case, I was more than eager to dive into the full game when it was eventually released earlier this year. And what a game it was too, blending the aforementioned Zelda influences with Soulslike combat. The most memorable thing about it though is how it gradually reveals more about its gameplay mechanics with each new page of its in-game manual that you discover,  each of which is adorned by beautiful illustrations that are reminiscent of similar artwork in classic Zelda game manuals.

2. Stray

Have you ever wondered what it felt like to be a cat? Well, wonder no more, because Stray is here to let cat lovers live out all their feline dreams. Except its protagonist is no ordinary cat, having teamed up with an amnesiac robot on its quest to reunite with the remaining members of its litter. You get to explore a futuristic dystopia, where all humans are long extinct and in their stead now stand the robots that had once served as their servants. It is a dazzling adventure through an atmospheric underground city that is sure to linger in your memory long after you've seen the story through to its end.

1. Metal: Hellsinger

If the Doom games have taught us one thing, it is that the only thing better than ripping through a horde of demons is doing so to a rocking soundtrack. And that is the exact selling point of Metal: Hellsinger, a rhythm-based first-person shooter that wears its Doom influences on its sleeves. The game rewards players for dispatching enemies to the beat of its heavy metal drums. Each of its nine stages is soundtracked by a different song that features guest vocals from prominent acts from within the metal music scene, like Serj Tankian of System of a Down fame. And all of it is accompanied by some killer guitar riffs and face-melting guttural growls that should have metal fans headbanging right from the title screen.


  1. Happy Boxing Day! I played a couple of the original Lego games and one of the Batman games and they are kind of fun though sometimes they can be annoying to figure out what you need to do. The specials they did with the Star Wars sequels cast on Disney+ were actually better than the live action movies.

    1. Happy Boxing Day to you too! And now that you mention it, I'll have to check out those specials with the cast on Disney+.