Our 2022 Games of the Year list is officially out, but there’s always a few hits that don’t quite make the cut. If you’re intrigued in the ones that didn’t make it, this list is for you!
It’s always hard deciding just what your favourite game of an entire year is, but we’ve done it anyways. For our actual Game of the Year list, click here to read more. But for the rest, just read on.
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet
While the full experience may be mired by technical issues and ass-ugly graphics, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet feels like the Pokémon adventures I’ve wanted to go on since I first experienced the series over 20 years ago.
Even more than Legends: Arceus, Game Freak’s latest game is the full Pokémon experience. It’s the sense of adventure that was previously only assumed in the franchise’s grid-based worlds. It may be rough around the edges — every edge, in fact — but it’s still a fantastic adventure.
Even better, Scarlet and Violet’s multiplayer has allowed me to explore the world with my girlfriend, finally bringing the Pokémon experience into the modern day. Combine that with the best stories since Black and White, and the new Pokémon games are a flawed gem.
Who doesn’t love big monsters? Well, maybe you, but I love big monsters, and GigaBash has big monsters galore! A four-player party fighter, this indie game lets you destroy cities and forests in huge bouts between monsterous Kaiju.
GigaBash’s main game is fun enough, but it’s not why this game is on my Game of the Year list. Instead, it’s the game’s Godzilla DLC pack that adds four believed Toho monsters to the game.
Featuring Godzilla, MechaGodzilla, Gigan and Destroyah, this DLC makes GigaBash the best Godzilla game in years. Of course, every one of these DLC characters is only fun to play as because of the game’s fantastic core combat. It’s exactly what you’d expect from a Kaiju game, but it’s far more polished than rival titles.
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet
Even with all of the technical and performance issues, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet has catapulted Gen 9 as one of the best in the franchise. While there’s no excuse for the poor optimization and rushed development, the gameplay and story are some of the best in the entire franchise.
Scarlet and Violet use the open-world to encourage exploration via the multiple story paths. Though the main stories never change, switching between the stories forces players to catch Pokémon they normally wouldn’t so they can advance. It also helps that all stories are engaging in their own right, from the anti-bullying stance of Operation Starfall, to the heartwarming momenticos in Path of Legends, there’s a lot to enjoy here.
Admittedly, newer mechanics like auto battles and Terastal forms can feel a bit gimmicky. Both games would have also benefited from stealing the catching mechanics from Pokémon Legends: Arceus, as battles are always a necessity. Still, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet bring the franchise to new heights, even if the path they climbed could have been smoother.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge
Coming from someone who didn’t grow up as a fan of this franchise, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is one of the best beat-em-ups I’ve played in a long time. It’s hard topping the mechanics of Streets of Rage 4 and though Shredder’s Revenge doesn’t topple the SEGA series, this is still a must-play title.
Using the ‘90s cartoon aesthetic makes Shredder’s Revenge one of the best-looking games of the year. Add the accessible controls, online and offline multiplayer, and multiple characters to use, this is a dream title for any beat-em-up fan. Whether you grew up with the TMNT or not, this is a fantastic title anyone can enjoy.
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 came out swinging. It divided the community, with those who loved its more realistic and slow pace on one side and hyper-active twitch shooters on the other. It brought the series back to its modern setting with Captain Price and company on a mission to save something or other again.
I was (and still am) addicted to the multiplayer gameplay loop that Modern Warfare 2 offers - and that’s in spite of the SBMM making every game a sweat fest. It’s one of the best shooters of 2022 and if you have been holding off then go and grab it.
The Last of Us Part I
The Last of Us is one of the best game franchises ever created. That’s lucky because this is technically the second remake/remaster of the game that’s graced our harddrives. The Last of Us originally launched on the PS3, then was re-skinned in HD for the PS4, and now it’s received a full on remake for the PS5 - and it’s glorious. Well, as glorious as a post apocalyptic game about everyone killing each other is.
This one makes the list because The Last of Us is not a game that you can replay endlessly without falling into a major depression. So, as someone who completed it years ago, it’s nice to get the jazzier graphics of the remake and romp through Ellie’s journey again. Just don’t ask me to do it again anytime soon.