Thoughts on Games of 2022

GOTY: Vampire Survivors – This game is the closest thing I can think of in recent memory that used 2D game design and old-school style sprites to forge a new genre (of sorts), and I found it quite compelling, perhaps sinking more time into this game than almost any other on the list this year.

Runners-Up (Alphabetical):

Horizon: The Forbidden West (PS5) – The second entry in the Horizon series confirmed my prior feelings that Guerilla Games designs the best open-world/single-player experiences available on modern consoles (sorry, Breath of the Wild). Gorgeous visuals, unparalleled combat, and a compelling universe and narrative with captivating characters – Forbidden West has it all. It missed being my GOTY only because the cliffhanger of an ending made it feel unfinished, but I am eager to dive into the VR spin off in early 2023.

Goat Simulator 3 (PS5) – For sandbox hijinks, this game is tough to beat. A birthday gift from my youngest, he chose well - I doubt I laughed more playing a game this year.

God of War: Ragnarök (PS5) – I didn’t get to spend enough time with this one in 2022, but the time I did was a welcome return to a series that has consistently earned its AAA status by producing some of the best made games in any genre in the past ~20 years. Gorgeous artwork, visceral combat, and talented storytelling compel players to forge through challenging enemy encounters and the occasionally-too-frequent platforming section.

Nobody Saves the World (PC) – A fun mish-mash of genres coupled with a lot of creativity and an endearing animation style made this game a nice break from the doom and gloom of some of the more “serious” entries on this list. Morphing your character on the fly is a great gimmick, and one I’d love to see more games adopt going forward. Both this game and Cult of the Lamb (which I have spent too little time with to put on this list) are games that strike me as a beautiful evolution of the art and ideas found some of those early 2000s flash games (stuff that led to Behemoth Studio’s big games like Castle Crashers).

Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands (PS5) – I am a sucker for a Borderlands game, and the change-up of the series’ well-worn formula for this spin-off title seemed like it was tailor-made for me. A fun solo player game, it was even better when enjoyed in co-op, which is how I played the game with my son off and on all this year.

Honorable Mentions: Elden Ring, Cult of the Lamb, Mario + Rabbids: Spark of Hope, TMNT: Shredder's Revenge