Here is a big ol’ list of all the video games that I spent a significant amount of time playing in 2022. It’s not a comprehensive list, as I left off a few little indie games that were more “experiences”, games that I gave up on after a single session, and games that aren’t really games (like Rocksmith and Fitness Boxing). If you’d like to know how I felt about any of them, I included the month in which I started playing each one, so you can conveniently look up the appropriate Month End Round-Up post.
Of note is that of the 75 games listed below, 53 were eligible for my “Top X of 2022” list. I’ve narrowed it down to the ones I liked best, and I was left with fifteen finalists. Now I have the unenviable task of deciding if I want my GOTY list to just be 15 games, or if I want to try to figure out which five to cut to make it a nice, round Top Ten. Or, should I add seven more games to make it the Top 22 of ’22? Find out in… I don’t know, like a week or two, maybe? I’m going to try to get it done before February, anyway.
I’ve grown to really enjoy how Nintendo compiles your play history and presents it in statistical data for the year. And apparently Steam did it this year, too!
Alas, Nintendo’s offering for 2022 was weak, with much less data than the last couple of years. What I got was a list of the 21 Switch games I played the most this year, and how many hours of each. No graphs, no in-depth breakdowns, nothing else. So, here are the top three…
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 takes the cake for sure, and I still have a ton of game left to play there. I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s definitely going to rank high on my 2022 GOTY list. Monster Hunter Rise got second billing because the Sunbreak expansion came out this year and I spent a lot of time grinding away at that with my brother. Lastly, and just squeaking in there at the end of the year, is Pokémon Scarlet, which is even a few hours richer than what it says above, because I’ve played it a bunch since these stats were delivered. Also, the assertion that I only played Pokémon on 10 separate days cannot be right. It just can’t!
Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (GBA) – What? Halloween season is over? Sure, but Castlevania is appropriate at any time of the year. Plus, this is my favourite ‘Vania, so there’s that. Is it still good almost 20 years later? Yeah! A little creaky in some ways, but still solid. Got the good ending and 100% map completion, but I had no interest in grinding for 100% soul completion.
ElecHead (Switch) – A very fun retro-style puzzle-platformer. Charge up platforms with your body and see what happens! Throw your head to charge up far away platforms! Fall and die on spikes many times! You know the type.
The Turing Test (PC) – Sweet first-person-puzzler that is highly reminiscent of Portal and The Talos Principle. Sadly, it’s rather short, and maybe even a wee bit too easy. I suppose it’s a good thing, though, when a game leaves you wanting more.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 (Switch) – It was a Xenoblade, alright! And an excellent one at that. I’m writing up some additional thoughts that may or may not ever get published, but the most important takeaway is that I enjoyed every one of the 100+ hours that I spent on it.
TMNT: Fall of the Foot Clan (GB) – A fairly simple platformer/punch-’em-up. Short, easy, and not especially special in any way.
TMNT: Back From the Sewers (GB) – Graphically, a huge step up from FotFC. On the other hand, it’s so brutally hard (on normal!) that I would have lost my mind without rewinds/save states.
TMNT: Radical Rescue (GB) – This one’s a mini-metroidvania, though a little more linear than that descriptor suggests. It’s not quite as unfair as BFtS, except for the bosses, who will absolutely make you pull your hair out.
Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak (Switch) – Cleared all the story missions. While the Sunbreak expansion does seem a little bit light on content for the price, at least I know there are at least two more major (and free!) updates on the way. Moved onto grinding anomaly quests now, and I feel like that could honestly last a very long time if there weren’t so many other games to play.
Subnautica (PS5) – Still not a perfect experience, but significantly more stable than when I played the PS4 version last year. It didn’t crash even once this time!
Whisperwind (PC) – Indie spook-’em-up that is mostly walking, with some very basic puzzles. Got all four endings in well under an hour.
New Super Mario World 2: Around the World (PC) – Completed to 100 percent, with many headaches along the way and some mild save-statery to smooth the especially rough parts. Generally speaking, a very good hack, though I cannot forgive the lack of the “beeooo-wip” sound effect when finishing a stage.
TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge (Switch) – Second playthrough as Casey.
Linelight (PC) – A simple puzzle game that provided me a good few hours of fun, and an hour of two of abject frustration. Frustration at how bad I am at solving simple puzzles. A YouTube series is on the way.
Monster Hunter Rise (Switch) – Worked my way up through the post-game elder dragons to prep for the Sunbreak expansion that launches… today!
LumbearJack (PC) – A cute indie game where you play as a bear, reclaiming the forest by destroying anything unnatural. My favourite part was slapping all the humans you meet along the way. YouTube video here.
TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge (Switch) – An exceptionally good throwback to the TMNT brawlers of the 90’s. Feels great, looks great, sounds great. I even recorded a playthrough for YouTube. 10/10 will play again.
~ Progress Notes ~
New Super Mario World 2: Around the World (PC) – World 14
Final Fantasy III (DS) – Cleared Goldor’s Manor
Elden Ring (PS5) – Exploring Leyndell, Royal Capital
Last week, I wrote a couple of blog posts that were spurred on by the news that Nintendo will be closing up the 3DS eShop. What I hadn’t mentioned was that the Wii U’s eShop is closing as well. It’s… less of a big deal. I think that I bought every game I wanted on Wii U while it was still Nintendo’s active platform. It’s not like there were a whole lot of them.
What I’m getting to here, is that there was also a statistics thingy for Wii U games on Nintendo’s website. Look at mine!
Following yesterday’s remembrances of the Nintendo 3DS, I decided to open up the records app and take a good, long look at all of the games I played on the system throughout its lifetime. I definitely could transcribe the entire list of 254 games, but I settled on just listing any game or app that I used for over ten hours. That’s still 74 different pieces of software!
For each year that passes, I become more and baffled that this website still exists. Like, I have immense difficulty focusing on anything for more than about 10 minutes at a time, and a list of unfinished projects that could wrap around the Earth. How am I still doing this???
I don’t have an answer to that question. But Nintendo recently asked themselves a similar question, in relation to keeping the ol’ 3DS family of systems relevant. Their response was “We’re not.” and earlier this week, it was announced that the 3DS eShop will be shutting down in March of next year. To be more specific, you’ll no longer be able to make purchases at that point. Presumably, the shop will still exist so that people can still download all the games they’ve paid for. Presumably.