Top Ten Games of 2022

I watched plenty of anime during this past year, and I also found the time to play plenty of games. Thirty-two of them, to be precise. Well, I guess I played more than that but the focus here is specifically on games that were released in 2022. Doesn’t matter if they’re ports or re-releases – as long as the game was released during the year, it is up for consideration. As is ever the case I won’t be arbitrarily ranking the games – instead I’ll just be presenting a selection of ten that I particularly enjoyed playing this year. In alphabetical order, by the way.

Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious DreamAtelier Sophie 2 The Alchemist of the Mysterious DreamI do enjoy an Atelier game, and Sophie’s return was a lot of fun. Sophie and Plachta find themselves sent into the dream world of Erde Wiege and separated. So of course Sophie gets to searching for her, using alchemy to aid her in her quest. Also to help out various people, of course. This game boasts enhanced character models, an evolved battle system and the evolution of the synthesis systems from previous Mysterious series games. I do like the new battle systems in place, and alchemy is as rewarding as ever once you get the hang of it.

Fire Emblem Warriors: Three HopesFire Emblem Warriors Three HopesThe second Warriors x Fire Emblem crossover game, Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes puts the cast of Fire Emblem: Three Houses into the Musou genre. Some new characters also join the fray.
Much like Three Houses, Three Hopes has different paths to conquer; so once more you’ll be choosing between Black Eagle, Blue Lion or Golden Deer paths. Regardless of what path you choose, you’ll be cutting down countless hordes of enemies on the battlefield. You know, standard Musou stuff.
I do enjoy a Musou title, particularly when it happens to be a crossover with one of my all time favourite franchises. I’ll always enjoy controlling my favourite characters to hack and slash through hordes of enemies.

Kirby and the Forgotten LandKirby and the Forgotten LandKirby’s first foray into proper 3D platforming is an incredible experience. Kirby finds himself sucked into a vortex, landing in a new world where Waddle Dees have been captured by a gang known as the Beast Pack. Utilising his trademark Copy Abilities, Kirby goes to rescue the Waddle Dees.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land allows Kirby to upgrade his Copy Abilities, giving him more powerful options for defeating foes. As this is a Kirby game, there are also plenty of secrets to find – and you’ll want to seek them all out to get to everything the game has to offer.
Kirby is also able to utilise Mouthful Mode in this game, where he doesn’t quite swallow various objects but is able to use them to gain new abilities. Also, this game doesn’t have to be tackled alone: co-op is an option, with the second player controlling Bandana Waddle Dee.

LIVE A LIVELIVE A LIVEOriginally only released in Japan for the Super Famicom in 1994, LIVE A LIVE was given a HD-2D makeover in 2022 and released worldwide for the Nintendo Switch. This is a unique RPG which presents you with seven different stories to play through. Each one takes place at a different point in history, ranging from prehistoric times all the way to the distant future. You can play these stories in any order you desire. For the record, my favourites are the distant future, and the eighth one that unlocks after you finish the seven others.
Each story offers a unique gameplay mechanics, resulting in a variety of experiences. One story is simply a series of one-on-one fights, whilst another one has next to no combat whatsoever. Regardless of the amount of combat, each story has its own charms. Oh, and the soundtrack by Yoko Shimomura is so good.

Monster Hunter Rise: SunbreakMonster Hunter Rise SunbreakAn expansion to Monster Hunter Rise, Sunbreak brings with it improved gameplay, new combat mechanics, a new difficulty level with Master Rank quests, and, most importantly, new monsters to hunt.
Oh, and on top of all that, the game received several content updates with even more monsters, and will continue to do so into 2023 as well. It is just so satisfying to take on the various monsters and learn how they move in combat in order to come out on top against them. And then turn those monsters into fancy armour so you can hunt even fiercer monsters. Monster Hunter is just one of those series that I have no trouble pouring hundreds of hours into, and I have done exactly that with Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak.

NieR:Automata The End of YoRHa EditionNieR Automata The End of YoRHa EditionThis much beloved title finally made its way to the Nintendo Switch this year, and turned out to be perhaps one of the best ports for the console. NieR:Automata focuses on androids 2B, 9S and A2 as they fight against machine lifeforms on a post-apocalyptic Earth.
The game is an action RPG, but also manages to throw in some vertically and horizontally scrolling shoot ’em up sections. It delves into a few different genres, but it all adds up into a phenomenal experience.
There are plenty of different endings to discover in this game. Some are pretty irreverent, but they are all worth discovering. This game is definitely one of the highlights of the year for the Nintendo Switch.

Persona 5 RoyalPersona 5 RoyalAfter Joker getting into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Persona 5 Strikers being released on the Switch, we finally got Persona 5 Royal on the console in 2022. Perhaps one of the most wanted ports for the Switch? Well, it must’ve been up there, at least.
And I can see why now that I’ve played it. The Phantom Thieves, led by Joker, steal the hearts of those who have done wrong in order to make them confess to their crimes. Joker and his companions are able to utilise the powers of Personas to do so.
Persona 5 Royal is an enhanced version of the original Persona 5, introducing new characters and improving certain mechanics. Once again, another game with an incredible soundtrack. …or is it an album that just happens to come with a game?

Portal: Companion CollectionPortal Companion Collection2022 was very much the year where several highly praised games were ported to the Switch, and that includes Portal and Portal 2 as part of the Portal: Companion Collection. The premise is simple: you have a gun that makes portals, and you have to solve puzzles with it. As you solve the puzzles, though, something more sinister underneath it all steadily surfaces.
The Portal games are some of the finest puzzling you’ll find out there, and having them readily available on the Nintendo Switch is brilliant. Although I had played Portal before, this actually marked the first time I played Portal 2. Both games are great.

Splatoon 3Splatoon 3The Inklings return for a third time, bringing with them new weapons and stages. As with previous games, there’s a single-player campaign. and various multiplayer options. The single-player campaign has you fighting the Octarians again, except this time they’re a little more hairy.
Multiplayer as the co-op Salmon Run mode, available freely at any time of day, and the competitive modes. From the simple 4 vs. 4 Turf War to the Anarchy Battle in which you climb the rankings, there’s plenty to do. Not to forget the variety of weapons available to use, so you could try sniping in one match, or getting up close and personal with a Roller in the next. Can’t go wrong with a bit of inking, and Splatoon 3 certainly delivers on that front.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3Xenoblade Chronicles 3Ask me for my Game of the Year 2022, and I will not hesitate to tell you that it is Xenoblade Chronicles 3. Set in the world of Aionios, this RPG features an endless conflict between two nations: Keves and Agnus. The people of the world live only for 10 years – or more specifically, the lucky ones who able to survive the ceaseless combat do. When six soldiers from the rival nations happen to meet, they end up putting their differences aside to focus on a different, much greater threat.
I absolutely adore the work that Monolith Soft puts into the Xenoblade Chronicles games. The jaw dropping the scenery, the incredible soundtrack and a story that would always have me coming back for me after every session. The six main protagonists – Noah, Lanz, Eunie, Mio, Sena, and Taion – make up a great cast of main characters. Then there are the side characters, some of who develop more as you complete various sidequests.
There are a number of classes you can acquire that your characters can switch freely between, learning Arts and Skills as they level them up. There’s also some interesting things to do with fusion – whether it be two characters fusing, or fusing two Arts during battle.
Whilst you’ll have the six main characters make up your party most of the time, there is also a seventh slot for a Hero. You’ll meet various Heroes throughout the game, and you can switch them in and out of your party as you please.
This particular game brings together the futures of Xenoblade Chronicles and Xenoblade Chronicles 2. You’re not required to play either before this one, but you’ll definitely get a lot more out of it. Also, all three are fantastic games, and must plays for any RPG fan. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is a fantastic game, and definitely the best that this year had to offer.

Funny to think there were a lot of “threes” in the year 2022 – Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes, Splatoon 3 and Xenoblade Chronicles 3. According to Nintendo, my most played titles this year were Monster Hunter Rise, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 and Persona 5 Royal. Yeah, that checks out.

Lots of really great games were released for the Switch this year, and these just so happened to be the ten I enjoyed most. Definitely had a lot of fun gaming this year, with my preferences being rather skewed towards RPGs. Again, checks out.
Lots to look forward to in 2023, and that will very likely be kicked off with a new entry in my favourite franchise. Seems like next year might be a pretty good one, too.

About Rory

I enjoy writing, manga, anime and video games, so naturally here on my blog, you will find anime reviews, Nintendo news and other such things that I deem interesting.
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