Here we are again at the cusp of a new year, and with it comes our yearly Game of the Year article where we Gaming Respawners pick our personal games of the year and share why these particular games scored so high for us. 2022 had some big hits, as well as some games that were expected to be hits but weren’t. And there were other games that came seemingly out of nowhere and became surprise hits. Join us now and see if any of our choices match up with yours in Gaming Respawn’s Game of the Year 2022.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II
At the time of writing, unfortunately, I haven’t played many of the most significant releases of 2022; God of War: Ragnarök is a Christmas present. Nonetheless, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with some titles I’ve played in 2022. Sonic Frontiers and Kirby and the Forgotten Land are honourable mentions, but I’ve adored my time with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II.
Similar to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare in 2019, MW2 has revitalised the Call of Duty franchise for me. Campaign, multiplayer and Warzone have all piqued my interest thanks to the significant differences in each mode. Needless to say, this makes the title evermore replayable.
MW2’s campaign offers a diverse range of missions, requiring stealth, high-intensity action and explosions! Mechanics are taken straight from Warzone in an unusual but appreciated move, and of course, icons such as Soap and Ghost returning is a huge positive. As for multiplayer, while the maps are definitely a bit disappointing (although as a Formula 1 fan, I love Crown Raceway), I have no other major complaints. Gameplay is smooth, every gun feels viable, and the gold camos keep the casual and hardcore fanbase enticed. As for Warzone, it’s much of the same with just a new map, but if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.
Granted, the MW2 reboot is not entirely revolutionary, but it’s integrally entertaining, consistent and alluring.
Once again I find myself going through another year where I hardly played any new games and instead revisited older games of mine (Mass Effect Trilogy and Dragon’s Dogma), and I also caught up with games I had meant to play before (Aragami 2 and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order), so by default I have to go with the one new game I have played this year as my automatic Game of the Year of 2022. That honor goes to God of War: Ragnarok. Honestly though, even if I had played the other games released this year that interested me, namely Stray and Evil West (and maybe Elden Ring), I still believe I would have gone with God of War: Ragnarok as my GOTY because it’s just that good. I highly doubt those games would top this one.
Building off the success of the previous God of War game, Ragnarok got the same basic structure of its predecessor and just continued from there, giving us more of the same stuff that made the last game so good and improving upon lots of the things that were a little less than ideal. For example, the previous game was filled with many repeat boss battles against a bunch of different Trolls and Ancients, whereas Ragnarok has a more varied collection of bosses and regular enemies to boot. The missions and collectibles are more addicting, and even the story is better and more engaging as well. Not much else to say here. Sony Santa Monica just keep striking homeruns with their games.
High on Life
My GOTY choice 100% has to be High on Life. I was hyped from the moment it was first announced, and it lived up to said hype and more. It’s a foul-mouthed, alien-killing, drug-induced, comedy-filled rollercoaster ride from space…and I’m there for every satirical second of it.
I was hooked from the get-go, leaving no stone unturned, exploring every inch of all of its vibrantly coloured worlds, and trying my hardest not to miss any sort of witty, expletive-filled joke or fart pun. I’ll definitely be diving back in for more hours of secret/Easter egg hunting. WUBALUBA DUB DUB!!!
A Plague Tale: Requiem
For most of us, it’s been a relatively slow year for the gaming industry. We’ve had a couple of big hits scattered throughout the year, most notably Elden Ring and God of War: Ragnarok, both of which I’m sure will be popular choices for everyone’s personal Game of the Year. As much as I enjoyed both of the aforementioned titles, my top pick has to be A Plague Tale: Requiem.
A Plague Tale: Requiem takes place shortly after the events of the first game and allows us to once again step into the shoes of Amicia de Rune in her quest to protect her little brother, Hugo, and save him from his fate as the carrier of the Prima Macula – a rare blood disease that, when awoken, brings about a plague of monumental proportions.
Amicia and Hugo have grown both as characters and as siblings, and their relationship is truly the highlight of the game. Gameplay has improved since the first title, incorporating the alchemic sling projectiles from the first game whilst also introducing new ways to play – prudence, aggressive, or opportunist – with a skill tree that unlocks depending on which route you go down.
So, what made A Plague Tale: Requiem stand out for me?
Simply put, it was how the game made me feel. I’ve always valued games with a strong narrative, and Requiem certainly fell into that category for me. It was a harrowing story full of loss and hardship, but there were also bright spots where the brother and sister duo were truly able to be happy. This turbulent combination of highs and lows kept me hooked as I rooted for the de Rune siblings to succeed, and it was a game that I kept thinking about long after the credits had rolled.
I think at this point everyone has read or heard a story about how Elden Ring was someone’s first Souls game, how much they loved it, how hard it was, how good the lore is, etc., and I have to say, it all applies to me, and I’m the cliche you’ve seen on Reddit and Twitter. After playing the game for the first time in September, I was instantly hooked, and the longer I spent exploring The Lands Between, the more I came to understand all the hype surrounding the game pre-release and all the praise it’s received since its release. Even the multiplayer aspect surprised me with how good it all is. Messing around with various PvP builds for duels at the Main Academy Gate and co-op boss battles with randoms are all just great fun and add more depth to the excellent single-player campaign.
Outside of Elden Ring, YuGiOh! Master Duel was another big hit for me and a nice surprise to start the year. A pretty good way to get into the world’s most popular card game with the only downsides being the grind and monetisation of new cards.
For fighting games, it felt like a bit of a mixed year. Whilst starting off strong with The King of Fighters XV and following up with DNF Duel and MultiVersus, the latter half of 2022 has sort of become a waiting room for Street Fighter 6, especially after two closed Betas and a release date of June 2023 further adding to the hype.
It’s kind of hard to pick a game of the year for me. I would pick Final Fantasy VII Remake since I played it this year, but I can’t. Plus, it’s kind of a tie between the Pokemon games – Pokemon Legends: Arceus and Pokemon Scarlet/Violet. However, I’ll have to pick Pokemon Scarlet/Violet. It may also be that with these games I did my best to avoid looking at spoilers and just fully enjoyed them when they were released so I could experience everything they had to offer myself. Although one gripe I have with the newer Pokemon games is that you get the legendary Pokemon at the end of the game after beating it, and you don’t get them before facing the Elite Four, but it still doesn’t take away from the overall games.
Pokemon Scarlet/Violet is some of the greatest storytelling from Game Freak in a long time (I would say since Black/White 2 since it was the last time I truly enjoyed a story so much). With Scarlet/Violet it’s the first wide-open world game as the player can advance in any order they choose (well, that is until you have to do more of the Titan storyline to unlock your riding legendary Pokemon’s abilities to progress, like how you can’t face the Ghost or Ice Gyms until you get the climb and glide abilities to reach them). However, it’s still fun choosing how I want to play. Also, I do love that there are no random trainer battles, and you only trigger them by talking to trainers (well, that is when you have to do the mandatory ones, like the Ghost and Electric Gyms, to name some).
Although, there are some aspects I have to put under the cons list, like how you can’t go into people’s homes to talk to them or receive some items or Pokemon, or how now there are more shops. I don’t actually use them, but it didn’t stop me from finding items along my journey in the game.
One can put in lots of hours completing the Pokedex, getting the legendaries and shiny hunting. I did try to not repeat myself since overall the new Pokemon games are still fun and enjoyable.
There you have them, our games of the year for 2022. Do you agree with our choices? Which games would you choose? Let us know in the comments below.