We’re less than a month out from The Game Awards, and with 2023 fast approaching it’s time for us to take a look back at our year of gaming. As usual, the biggest announcement is going to be what will the Game Of The Year be. 2022 has been an excellent year of games we have Elden Ring which has been nothing short of perfect. God of War: Ragnarok same comment. And that’s not even counting Horizon Forbidden West, Stray and Xenoblade Chronicles 3.
All these games have been amazing in their own right and whatever it is we as gamers have been blessed with amazing content. I think it’s going to be Elden Ring, to be honest, but I think all these games deserve some honourable mention anyway. Let’s get into it.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus
The Pokemon game formula has been a tried and true method of catch em all fun. But in Arceus the formula has changed up a bit and I’m here for it!
Pokémon Legends: Arceus brought us the first-ever true open-world Pokémon game and did it in a spectacular fashion. To change up from its original formula we actually travel back in time to when people were just discovering how to cohabitate with Pokemon. The world is rustic and beautiful, battles are different, there are barely any trainers and catching Pokemon feel new and wonderful.
Arceus feels fresh and is one of the best Pokémon titles we’ve had in a while. Is it enough to make it a Game of the Year? Maybe, but it’s definitely a top-tier Pokemon game.
Horizon Forbidden West
If Horizon Zero Dawn didn’t launch in 2017 with Breath of the Wild it would have been Game of the Year. But it still remains one of the most memorable games to date. Its follow-up Horizon Forbidden West is somehow even better than that.
This was one of my biggest anticipated games of 2022 and it didn’t let me down. The continuation of Aloy’s quest to preserve the human species from extinction at the hands of a wild-animal robot-like race was again a riveting journey. Except for this time, it went all-in on nearly every facet of the game, resulting in a really well-rounded title.
In comparison to its competitors, Horizon Forbidden West’s well-designed scenery is unquestionably the best. Combined with its flashy style of gameplay, Forbidden West really was a stunning game from start to finish. Its argument for GOTY will undoubtedly hinge on its ability to immerse you into the game’s world, and it’s making a strong case for it.
It is without a doubt one of the best action-adventure games to be released in 2022, and it will surely be a contender for GOTY.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3
Most JRPGs are never even really nominated for Game of The Year but they should be. If you want captivating complex storytelling, fast-paced battles and deep character arcs then you need to look no further this year than Xenoblade Chronicles 3.
If you’re a fan of the Xenoblade Chronicles series you’ll know what I’m talking about and this third instalment is a genuine masterpiece. An emotionally-charged and surprisingly edgy epic to get stuck into here, a sprawling and hugely engaging narrative populated by a cast of unforgettable characters that’s backed up by some of the very best combat. It’s hard to explain how all-encompassing and stunning this game is.
I don’t think it’ll win GOTY or even be nominated because JRPGs hardly are. But that’s definitely an oversight on the nomination committee and is not a reflection on this masterpiece.
God of War: Ragnarok
When God of War announced the 4th game of the franchise as a sort of reboot of Kratos, many original fans, such as myself were sceptical. But after it came out I was a full convert to Daddy of War. It’s not that the original Kratos was gone, but just as we did he matured and so did the world around him.
The game plays as a sort of interactive HD movie that we both watched and played in. Thanks in no small part to the spectacular cinematics, voice acting, sound design and of course storytelling. It’s not just the amazing combat that feels tactile or wandering around the amazing world of the Norse gods. But it’s the characters and relationships that draw us in.
Ragnarok brings all that in and more. Combat is more dynamic, and skills, stories and the world is more expansive and captivating.
Nothing about God of War Ragnarok feels anything less than meaningful. Refined to the highest degree, every hour you spend with Kratos, Atreus, and the memorable characters of Ragnarok feels fulfilling – whether it be journeying across the Nordic realms with your companions, taking in the beautiful sights and enjoying idle chit-chat, overcoming the odds in invigorating and varied melee combat encounters, or sharing in the deeply emotional connection between incredibly strong and nuanced characters.
Just take one look at Eldens Ring reviews and you can tell it’s on its way to being 2022’s GOTY.
Elden Ring is pretty much flawless, the visuals are stunning, but more importantly, the game has easily one of the best combat systems. It is no exaggeration to say that Elden Ring is FromSoftware’s largest and most ambitious game yet, and that ambition has more than paid off. Even after days of blood, sweat, and tears that included some of the most challenging fights ever fought, and innumerable surprises, there are still bosses that are left on the table and secrets yet to uncover.
I think we can safely say that just like Dark Souls before it, Elden Ring is one of those games that completely changed the meta of what we can expect from other games moving forward. It pushed the bar, and reset the limits and isn’t that what a Game of the Year should be?