My Top Ten Games of 2022

Mitchell Lineham
7 min readJan 2, 2023

It’s that time of year again, and there’s been some bangers this year, haven’t there? Perhaps a slightly slower year than some, but I’ve still had to debate what will make the top ten. Even now, writing this, I’m still not 100% certain, but I’m sure I’ll decide along the way.

Just to spice things up a little, I’m also going to include one game at the bottom that deeply disappointed me. Isn’t that fun?

Splatoon 3

Splatoon 3 is just a banger all around, innit. Great campaign, some of the best multi-player action around, and an equally as engrossing co-op mode. It just does everything and more, and it has some of the best art direction to go along with it. This is a complete package, and I have very little bad to say about it.

There’s some weapon and map balancing it could benefit from, though.

Final Fantasy: Crisis Core Reunion

I love the original Crisis Core. I’m a huge Zack fan, and I actually prefer Crisis Core to the original Final Fantasy VII. I’m not entirely sure how it fits in with Final Fantasy VII Remake, given that this really is a straight remake of the original game, but that means it’s just as good, if not better, than the already fantastic Crisis Core. Finally, we can play this one on something that isn’t a PSP!

Pokemon Legends: Arceus

The final trainer battle in Arceus is among my favourite boss battles in gaming. The music, the challenge, and how high-stakes it is in the plot just give me chills. I wish I could replay it without having to replay the game entirely, but alas, it is not possible. This was a great step to trying something new for the series, and I hope to see more Legends title in the future.

Pokemon Scarlet

Does Pokemon Scarlet have issues? Yes, it very clearly does, especially in terms of performance from FPS to crashes to other visual glitches, but dang is it just a genuinely enjoyable game. It’s very addictive, it’s fun, it’s all around a game that made me happy when playing it. I can’t say that for every game I play.

Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak

Is Sunbreak a new game? Technically, no, but it’s hugely expansive and is essentially a new game on top of Rise. I can’t complain about more Monster Hunter, and that’s basically all I have to say about that.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge

Oooh, this one got heavily shafted at The Game Awards this year, if you ask me, especially when it comes to the OST. Shredder’s Revenge is going to be a beat-’em-up classic, and genuinely one of the best co-op games available today. Tight gameplay with plenty of options to tackle your foes, beautiful visuals, and a banging soundtrack, this is one that should definitely be in your collection. I’ve played it through several times this year, either alone or jumping in on co-op online. It also helped reignite my love for the heroes in a half-shell, which has been running strong since.

Very relieved that the physical release for this this wasn’t ultimately limited to one retailer in the US.

Disney Dreamlight Valley

Hey, I looooove Disney, and anything that can throw me in those worlds is a star by me. Dreamlight Valley is an uplifting and colourful adventure with many of my favourite characters, and I’m excited to see it grow. Playing this was one of the first things I did since returning from Disneyland Paris in November, and it’s hard to not have a smile on your face when playing this. Love seeing Disney doing more in the games market.

I’m still pretty bad at village designing though. My passion has always been clothing and homes in these games!

OMORI

I’d had a lot of OMORI spoiled for me and still loved it, still hung on to ongoing events as if I had no idea what could happen next. I loved how combat was tackled and how it involved emotions of characters, resulting in a bit of a rock-paper-scissors strengths and weakness system, and on the whole the cast, writing and music were top notch. Brilliant game. I’m glad they’ve announced it for a UK physical release, but annoyingly I imported it a good half or so year ago — I’d love to see some more parity in UK and US releases (this applies to 4K movies, too…)

Elden Ring

You probably don’t need me to tell you how good this one is. It’s not my favourite From Software game (that’s Sekiro, followed by Bloodborne), but it’s an incredible game that truly encourages you to explore. Not necessarily map to reveal or high points to climb, but you explore because the world is just that interesting, and an open-world game hasn’t quite had that effect on me since The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I’m not super big on the bosses in this one, honestly, and it’s one that I don’t think I’d replay as often due to how expansive it is and, due to that, there are some areas I’d not really want to go through again, but damn if it wasn’t a happy timesink for me at release. I did play it enough to Platinum it, which wasn’t an easy feat.

Screw you, Malenia.

Sonic Frontiers

Again, another game not without its issues, but it’s great playing a genuinely good 3D Sonic game. I have an iffy relationship with the last few 3D games released, but I loved Frontiers and how it characterised the cast. Also, that music? Those huge scale boss fights?? Hoo boy. Sonic felt fast and once I got to grips with the controls, it felt great to play and a joy to explore each island.

The ending cutscene definitely tugged at my heartstrings, too.

I did say I’d talk about one game that disappointed me this year, and it’s a shame as I was super excited for it for months, and that game is…

The Callisto Protocol

Oh, what could’ve been. The pedigree on this one was in its favour, it was looking pretty good (if not a little uninspired when it came to gameplay), and it had some fantastic acting talent on-board. So what went wrong? The story is thin and doesn’t conclude, leaving a very frustrating and unsatisfying cliffhanger in many ways, the combat becomes very tedious and repetitive, with later sections focusing on stealth which is not the game’s strongest mechanic, and it felt as if visuals and death animations (which to be honest does nothing for me) took priority over anything else.

What it left me with was a game that didn’t really feel enjoyable to play, and worst of all, the game is simply not scary. It’ll spam the same small handful of enemies and jump scares time and time again, and ask you to be fine with that. It could have been great, but it’s packed with shortcomings in most areas and just was not engaging. A real shame, I was rooting hard for this one.

I vastly preferred The Quarry as a horror game, and all of its homages to older horror movies, so I’d recommend that instead, even if it is very different. It just about missed my top ten.

What are your favourite games of 2022? Or your biggest disappointment? Feel free to shout out below, if you want!

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Mitchell Lineham

Writing "The Presence of Eve", repped by Tiger Lily Publishing Co. | Hang around for Otome and Games | Mostly active here, Instagram, Letterboxd and Goodreads