My Favorite Games of 2022

2022 had a lot of good games. But these are the best ones. It’s not an opinion, it’s just fact.

Nothing says Christmas like phoning in work, and nothing says phoning in work like listicles.

So with that said, I’d like to introduce the first not-yet-annual Gametrodon awards, the Placeholders.

I cannot think of anything that better encapsulates the spirit of this blog than a single tiny image made in MS Paint at 11 PM at night, and likely to be used for at least the next two years!

Okay, all cynicism aside for a moment, I’m having a bit of a rough Christmas at the moment. Perhaps you can see that leaking into this writing. Regardless of that tone and my terrible award, I am sincere in all the praise I offer these games. So lets go over the award criteria:

  1. Must be a game I played this year, and wrote about on Gametrodon.

That’s it. That’s the entire criteria.

I’ll be giving each game an individual award, but that’s more to differentiate them then to pledge to any set of awards in the future. All of which is to say, giving out a “Best Mobile Game” award this year doesn’t mean I’ll give one out next year.

Best Soundtrack – Hazelnut Hex

I’ve said a lot of nice things about Hazelnut Hex before. How it’s a fantastic entry to the concept of shmups. How it’s brilliant crafted and concise. I don’t want to repeat all that here, so maybe just go read my review if you missed it.

In addition, Hazelnut Hex has a fantastic soundtrack that I cannot praise enough. I listen to these songs usually twice a week if not more while running. The soundtrack is wonderful chiptune music that absolutely blew me away the first time I heard it. And the soundtrack continues to just be great to listen to even after hearing each song 50+ times.

Hazelnut Hex is $8 for Switch, and at time of writing, $2.39 on itch.io.

Best Card Game – Inscryption

There were a lot of good card games this year! Which is very unfortunate for them, because Inscryption is better. In the spirit of the game, I did its writeup as a sort of multiple choice thing.

I recognize that some people may be a bit unhappy with some portions of the game. And I personally didn’t love the ending. But the core gameplay and mechanics were fantastic, making it an easy pick for this award.

Best $60 Game – Elden Ring

If I was a different site, I’d call this the best AAA game of the year. And while that’s technically true, most, if not all of the AAA games I even bought this year were for my Switch.

It feels a bit rich to call something the best AAA game of the year when I didn’t play too many other AAA games that didn’t involve monsters that could fit into pockets. So, Elden Ring. You can read my full writeup on it here. Congrats on the award, now please release some DLC. My friends are all starting to show Soulslike withdrawal symptoms.

Best Indie Game – Nobody Saves The World

I was considering calling this this “Best Game That Came Out At The Start of The Year So We All Forgot About It By The Time Award Season Rolled Around” award. But that would be a bit long. Then I thought about calling it “Best ARPG.” But I’m not even sure Nobody Saves The World is an ARPG.

So instead, Drinkbox Studio’s clever form-swapping, passive and active action adventure game can be the indie game of the year. It deserves it. It’s the only game that I played once this year, then immediately went back and played through again on NG+, and actually went into the trouble of getting every Steam Achievement for.

Honorable Mentions

Mad Rat Dead – A combo rhythm/platformer game with banger music.

Stacklands – Proved that I was wrong about Sokpop Collective not making games with… well, gameplay.

Satisfactory – Sure, it’s been in Early Access for 8 years. But at least it’s a fun game. I just wish the multiplayer was smoother.

CRIMESIGHT – An anime version of the board game Clue combined with manipulation and deduction. Possibly the most niche title on this list.

V Rising – ARPG Survival Crafting. A good time overall.

I’ll be doing a few more writeups/wrapups over the next few weeks. Overall, I’d say it was a pretty good year for games, even if a few games I had high hopes for were personally disappointing. But more on that in the final wrap-up of the year.

Wherever you’re at, whatever holiday you’re celebrating, we hope it’s a good one. We hope you’re healthy, and hope you’ll keep reading next year.