Holy cow, what a year for gaming. From Elden Ring to God of War: Ragnarok, there were so many games that came out this year that I didn’t play and don’t feel bad about at all. I’m not a souls guy and I don’t want to buy a PS5. Sozzies!
But as a surprise to some, Zachariah Kelly from the Gizmodo Australia desk (you can find my content over on Kotaku Australia’s sister site) did play a lot of games this year! Some of them he would even consider his favourites.
Kotaku Australia’s editor and recent recipient of a comically large bag of money with “not a bribe” written on the side David Smith has invited me to write down what my favourite games of 2022 have been.
(Editor’s note: It should be obvious, but because someone in the comments is definitely going to take it seriously: Zac did not bribe me. If anything, I bribed him by getting him a toy EV for Christmas — David)
So, with a loose order, let’s filter them through. Counting down, all 10 are my favourite games of 2022, with number three and two being highly commended and number one being my favourite game of the year.
Dying Light 2 Stay Human
Dying Light was one of my favourite zombie games growing up, so I was excited about the sequel for ages. I wasn’t expecting it to be a genre-bursting masterpiece of a game, but it’s hard to find better first-person parkour in a game than in Dying Light 2 Stay Human. It scratches that Mirror’s Edge itch that has been left vacant by EA for so long, while also including some pretty brainless (but fun!) combat. It’s not on this list because it’s any better than the new God of War game or Elden Ring, but it is here because it’s a rubber stamp FUN game. I recommend it to action-horror fans.
Garden of the Sea
Surprise! I’m a VR nut. Released in January 2022, Garden of the Sea is the Animal Crossing game that I’ve been wanting for ages. You get to build your own little farm and meet cute animals. You also get to drive a boat and explore a bunch of islands. It’s very cool! I recommend it to casual gamers who use VR.
A mystery game where you solve a really strange disappearance of a woman, an actor in three movies that were never released, Immortality is 2022’s most unique game. A gameplay loop with a focus on hidden objects and very engaging mechanics, Immortality is a thriller in disguise. I recommend Immortality to mystery lovers.
Darktide snuck up on me. Before December, I was interested in Warhammer as an outsider looking in, and now I’m watching hour-long video essays on the shit. Darktide is its own game. Existing within the warm confined of the Warhammer 40,000 universe, Darktide feels like a natural live service evolution upon Left 4 Dead 2. The skill tree balancing feels fun and it is so much fun with friends. You will love this game if you love coop games.
This year I became an F1 fan, and this year I was sent a code for F1 2022 to give it a go in VR (thank you HTC). I also gave it a go with the Logitech Pro Racing Wheel and Pedals (thank you Logitech), and quickly the game became an ultra-fun racing sim for me, playing it as an enthusiast. I think you’ll love F1 2022 if you’re a racing fanatic.
Okay, look, it’s not new but this year, Fortnite added zero-build mode, effectively alleviating me of my biggest problem with the game. I hate the building mechanic in Fortnite, not because it’s low-skill or complicated, but because it’s so at odds with the shooting and strategy mechanic of the game. Now that the game is playable to me, I freakin’ love it. Easily my favourite battle royale, aesthetics and gameplay-wise. I recommend Fortnite to PVP lovers.
Forza Horizon 5
Again, not new but a live service game that keeps adding my favourite cars, including the Audi E-Tron and the (recently released) Cupra Urban Rebel. While I was unimpressed with its Hot Wheels DLC, Forza Horizon 5 has kept the torch alive through 2022 with weekly car releases and four-week seasons all-year round. I recommend Forza Horizon 5 to racing game lovers.
Down to the top three now and Rollerdrome was a pleasant spin on skating games (which I never played growing up) and arena-based boomer shooters (which I love). Rollerdrome has just as much DOOM in its DNA as it does Tony Hawk, with a dystopian story going on in the background and a nice cell-shaded art style taking centre stage. You’ll love Rollerdrome if you love skating games or shooters.
Cult of the Lamb
Fuck yeah, Cult of the Lamb! An Australian success story in its own right, Cult of the Lamb goes from cozy (satanic) settlement sim to rogue-like every five minutes. It’s absolutely blessed and cursed at the same time (blursed, if you will), with easy controls lacking Hades’ depth, but a short enough length that it’s hardly a problem. I consider it a must-play for anyone. It’s incredible.
And now, a word from Gizmodo Australia’s editor
“Asha Barbaschow’s Game of the Year for 2022 is Beatstar. Further to this, she also didn’t open Candy Crush once, not even in error. Thank you.”
Yeah, that’s right, Omega Strikers. Currently in an open beta, Omega Strikers is a 3v3 anime waifu soccer game based around MOBA-style heroes with unique abilities (that can ring out other players). The game isn’t as polished as it maybe could be at this point, but it offers gameplay unlike anything else released this year, mostly reminiscent of Knockout City from 2021, Rocket League or Mario Strikers. It’s as lightweight as you want it to be, free-to-play with content planned out, developed by former Riot devs. I got more enjoyment out of Omega Strikers than any other game this year, so it gets the top spot. I recommend it to everyone.
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