2022 is now in the rear view mirror, and overall I’d say it was a good year — in terms of videogames, if little else.

Interestingly, the rising popularity of the So Videogames Podcast has meant that I had less time to deep-dive on games and less time to write full reviews, so despite playing a ton of titles over the last twelve months, there were still a large number that I just didn’t have the chance to properly evaluate…

I did manage to settle on a top 10, though, and I’m pretty happy where I ended up!


GAMES I WANTED TO FULLY CONSIDER FOR TOP 10 BUT JUST DIDN’T MANAGE TO

Weird West playing it now, it’s awesome.

Neurodeck

The Last Friend

Road 96 intriguing, but I didn’t have time for the multiple playthroughs needed.

Live a Live

Pentiment

Ghostwire Tokyo

Lil’ Gator

Inscryption everyone tells me I’m going to love this.

Arcade Paradise

Lost in Play

Gerda: A Flame in Winter loved what I saw but didn’t finish it due to time constraints.

Foretales this was genius, but the early copy I had was bugged.

Beacon Pines


BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENTS

Silt I loved the look of this one, the art was fab. The gameplay featuring body-swapping with various fish didn’t hold the same appeal, though.

Vampire: the Masquerade – Swansong I looooooved The Council from the same developers, so I had high hopes for what they’d do with such a storied license. Unfortunately they went too heavy on obtuse puzzles and levels that felt like they dragged on forever.

Cult of the Lamb A great premise and awesome visuals, but it wasn’t deep enough in combat and couldn’t keep things fresh enough during each run of its roguelike structure.

Cursed to Golf This supernaturally-themed golf game had me on board from day one… until I played it. The vertical nature of each course and a focus on tricks while also dealing with a limited camera view sucked the fun out pretty fast.

Deathverse: Let it Die I loved the original Let it Die and was more than ready to jump back into its twisted, nihilistic universe, but changing up the original structure and putting sole focus on PvP ain’t it. I love the style and the world and basically everything about this game, except the gameplay. If the devs go back to PvE(vP) I’ll be a happy guy. Unfortunately, the devs just announced that the game will be suspended in July 2023 due to various concerns, so it’s unclear if they’ll get the chance to pivot back to their strengths.


HONORABLE MENTIONS

Ravenous Devils No real complaints here, this was on my top 10 for most of the year – it’s an idiosyncratic pick, but one I really enjoyed.

Rogue Lords Same as above. This was on my list for most of the year but it just got edged out in December.

Anno Mutationem These devs get so much right and it has style for miles. The campaign went on a little too long and it lost me after the middle, but I’m guessing there are a lot of folks out there that would adore this one if they gave it a shot. 

Anvil: Vault Breakers I’m not a fan of early access, and although this one launched as “done” I couldn’t help but feel like they were still shaking things out. I loved the action and the roguelike elements really worked for me, though.

Nobody Saves the World Another one of those less-is-more-situations. I loved my time with this one but the campaign just went on too long. If it had been punchier, it would have been on my top 10 for sure.

Like No Other: The Legend of the Twin Books I loved this reinterpretation of classic point-and-click formula, it’s literally brilliant. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much of a story, which is a major omission in the genre. With a better script, an easy top 10 pick.

Yars: Recharged A creative re-imagining of an Atari classic. Absolutely worth a look for Atari or arcade fans. It came dangerously close to being in my top 10.


BEST GAME NOT FROM 2022

Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector One of the best 40K games out there. A great use of the license, a great campaign, and solid tactics, along with upgrade paths and unit variety to keep it fresh. Didn’t have time to play it in 2021, but it’s absolutely worth the time whenever a 40K fan can get to it.


MY TOP 10 OF 2022

10> Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration An interactive retrospective worthy of being in the Smithsonian. The bar for retro collections has now been raised AF.

 9> Marvel Snap Snappy play, simple to understand, and a clever design that ensures no two matches ever play out the same.

 8> Card Shark I can honestly say I’ve never been taught to cheat at cards in a videogame before. This series of minigames nestled amidst the French Revolution was fiercely fresh.

 7> RPG Time: The Legend of Wright A labor of love that captures the spark and imagination of being a do-it-yourselfer kid in junior high.

 6> Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope A smoothly-polished franchise update that fixed my issues with the previous entry and delivered tons of turn-based strategic shenanigans.

 5> Sucker for Love: First Date A horny visual novel +puzzle mechanics + Lovecraftian ladies? Yes, please!

 4> Grime: Colors of Rot This updated 2D soulslike/metroidvania offers new twists on familiar gameplay, and a ton of style.

 3> Vampire Survivors Could not put it down until I had 100%’d it.

 2> Elden Ring The next logical step forward for Souls, and a much-needed one. It set a new standard for open-world games and brought back the customization and flexibility From specializes in.

 1> Citizen Sleeper A triumphant blending of Visual Novel, RPG, dice-rolling and Sci-Fi elements that come together to deliver the most compelling thing I played all year — and I enjoyed being in its world so much, I kept on playing even after I had gotten every ending and finished every task.


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Brad Gallaway
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Badger Commander
Badger Commander
4 days ago

I really hope Card Shark comes to consoles as it looks so cool.

I did not get along with Citizen Sleeper (and Norco that shares narrative stylings) and thought I was done with those types of games. Then I played Disco Elysium and could not put it down.

I do need to go back to Citizen Sleeper and see if I can gel with it

Ryan Pascall
Ryan Pascall
26 days ago

Great to see the love Arcade Paradice is getting. I was very dubious as I started it up but now, over 10 hours later, I’ve want to own my own retroa arcade laundrette!
The other end of Ghostwire Tokyo. I love the setting (japanese mythology is 100% my jam) but I found the combat repetetive and the story a bit unbalanced. Beautiful visuals though 🙂