Top 10 Games I Played in 2022
In 2022, I finished 26 games. Or 27, depending on if you count the games in Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth Complete Edition separately. That’s my lowest count since starting Braving the Backlog back in 2019, but I played a number of lengthy games this year, including a few long JRPGs and open-world games. But most importantly, I enjoyed my time spent gaming last year, and I plan to do the same in 2023!
I managed to play a few 2022 releases, 4 of them, which is actually the same number of current year releases I played through in 2021. Speaking of 2021, some of the releases I mentioned in last year’s video that I was interested in but hadn’t picked up, I actually caught up on this year! Those are Deathloop, Scarlet Nexus, and Tales of Arise, and don’t worry: you’ll be hearing more about each of them later in this list.
As far as other 2022 releases go, there are a number of games I’m interested in but I either haven’t picked up yet or haven’t started playing. There are probably more that I’m forgetting, but these are the 2022 releases at the top of my list to play…someday.
Before we get started with the list, I wanted to include a few extra honorable mentions here. These were really great games, and I struggled trying to figure out if they should take any of the top 10 spots for while. It was a close race!
- Detroit: Become Human
- Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth Complete Edition
- Going Under
- Katamari Damacy Reroll
- Murder by Numbers
10. Soul Hackers 2
Prior to 2022, the most recent entry in Atlus’s Devil Summoner series was 2009’s Devil Summoner 2: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon on the PS2. So, imagine the MegaTen community’s excitement when out of nowhere, Atlus puts up a website teasing a new project that seems to be related to Devil Summoner. Weeks go by, and eventually we get the big reveal: Soul Hackers 2.
Some people are immediately put off by it. I haven’t played the first Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers, game, but what Atlus was showing in the trailers left the fanbase pretty divided on this new game. Still, I was excited. A new MegaTen game from Atlus? Sign me up. I got super hyped for this game in the weeks leading up to the launch, and when release day finally came I picked up my copy, went home, and started it up. And…almost immediately, it was clear something was a little off. The pacing in the opening exposition cutscenes was really odd, but once the gameplay kicked in I was like, “all right, yeah, MegaTen dungeon crawling here we come!” After finishing the game, I can say confidently: the dungeon crawling is easily the worst part of this game.
Soul Hackers 2 is a good game, I really liked its story, characters, battle system, and music, but its dungeons leave a lot to be desired, especially the Soul Matrix. As a huge fan of Atlus’s MegaTen franchise, it hurts having to put Soul Hackers 2 so low on the list. I still had a blast playing through it, but of the MegaTen games I’ve played this is definitely the most underwhelming one, with so much missed potential.
9. The Quarry
The Quarry was an awesome game for me and my wife to play together. We took turns passing the controller back and forth, and seeing what wonderful, B-movie horror nonsense these characters would get into next. We ended up playing and watching a lot more of this game than I expected. We’d turn it on movie mode while making and eating dinner and watch the story unfold, and it was always interesting to see what different choices lead to.
We ended up logging something like 50 hours in The Quarry, a large chunk of which was in movie mode so we weren’t really playing, but we did play through it several times ourselves too.
8. Days Gone
Days Gone was the last game I finished in 2022. It was surprisingly good, and a great way to cap off the year. It got a pretty average critical response, but it’s much more just an average game.
I made a post on it very recently, so I don’t really have anything more to say about it at this point. If you like zombies and open world games, check out Days Gone.
As a fan of the Dishonored series, I had to pick Deathloop up, so when I found it for a good price for PS5, I grabbed it. I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected. The dynamic soundtrack worked really well, and I enjoyed listening to the level themes both when in stealth and in combat. The gameplay also hits a lot of the same notes Dishonored does, while also bringing new ideas to the table with the whole loop mechanic and how that affects player progression.
Granted, I played pretty much entirely in the offline single-player mode where Julianna is controlled by the AI, so I likely had a very different experience than a lot of people who played this one primarily or entirely online. Learning the ins and outs of its levels and how they change over the course of the day was a lot of fun. I tended to play it very similarly to how I played Dishonored, which is creeping around stealthily and using Blink a lot, but it’s also a lot of fun to go loud sometimes. Although I am way worse at playing that way.
I enjoyed Deathloop so much that I even played a little on PC several months after playing it on PS5, and I’ll probably play more in the future too.
6. AI: The Somnium Files
AI: The Somnium Files is a rollercoaster. It has bizarre moments, suspenseful moments, moments where it’s too horny for its own good, and moments that leave you wondering “what the heck is going on here?”
This story was a blast to play through. It’s got a host of wacky characters and a compelling serial killer mystery to solve, with a fun blend of sci-fi, anime, and detective fiction as a backdrop. The narrative is structured similarly to the Zero Escape series, with branching paths and some branches locked until you play through other routes, and only when you’ve seen every branch of the story will the whole thing make sense.
It’s executed really well, and I’m itching to get into the 2022 sequel, AI: The Somnium Files - Nirvana Initiative someday when the backlog allows for it.
5. Horizon Zero Dawn
The world of Horizon Zero Dawn always seemed so interesting to me, and I’d heard such good thing about it online that I picked up the complete edition digitally a few years ago, and like so many other games in my backlog it sat there for a long time.
The motivation I needed to finally play this game for myself was seeing my wife play through it earlier this year. She loved this game so much that we also got the sequel, Forbidden West, later in the year and she’d play through and enjoy that game too. From watching some of her Zero Dawn playthrough, I finally decided it was time to play it myself and I started my playthrough shortly after she finished hers.
Playing this game collaboratively together was awesome. During my playthrough, my wife would give me advice about what to do next or answer questions I had about random things. Based on that experience alone, Zero Dawn would make this list, but on top of the great experience we had playing it together, it’s also a really good game, and I’m looking forward to playing through Forbidden West eventually, maybe after the DLC comes out!
4. Tales of Arise
I’ve been a fan of the Tales series since Symphonia, and while I haven’t played quite every main entry in the series, I’ve played a lot of them. I haven’t bought a Tales game at launch since Zestiria though, so when Tales of Arise came out, I didn’t get it right away. But when I picked it up a little over half a year later, it was everything I’m looking for in a Tales game: a super fun combat system with plenty of combo potential and over-the-top attacks, a lovable cast of characters, and a long adventure you can really sink into.
This game was JRPG comfort food for me, and by the time I was done with it I had completed the main story, the post-game content, and gotten all the achievements. It was my longest single playthrough of the year , with my final time clocking in at 71 hours 24 minutes.
(I did spend more total time playing Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes, with a total of 73 hours 11 minutes logged but that was from 2 playthroughs)
In the past, I was never very into the roguelites I’d tried. I always got a bit discouraged when I was on a good run only for it to end and my awesome character I’d been building up was just gone, and though there was some form of permanent progression, it was never enough to keep me playing long enough to reach the end of the game. Hades was different. I still had some disappointing runs, but it doesn’t make you feel bad about dying because death is part of the narrative. In his journey to escape, Zagreus will die (unless you’re some kind of prodigy), and the story is written with this in mind. There’s so much dialogue in this game. When you get sent back to the House of Hades between runs, characters always have something interesting to say about your prior runs, or something related to the story or lore. Another thing I really liked about Hades is how it gets you to try out different weapon types by offering you bonuses for picking a different weapon for your next run. I was enticed by this pretty often, and I think it helped me progress faster since I was getting more resources during that run just for switching weapons, and it keeps the gameplay loop during runs feeling fresh too.
My biggest regret is that I played Hades through PC Game Pass as part of a free 1-month deal, and now that I’m no longer subscribed to Game Pass, I don’t have access to Hades and I don’t know if I can recover my save file either. I’d love to fire up Hades again someday, but I’d much rather own it on Steam than get it through Game Pass again. My backlog is just too massive to justify paying for a subscription service.
Hades does so much stuff right. It’s got a great art style, great characters, excellent music, and really fast, satisfying combat. I really don’t have anything bad to say about it. Much like The Game Awards in 2020, I thought this would be Game of the Year. But as you can see from its place in this list, I ended up playing some other games that I enjoyed even more.
2. Scarlet Nexus
Scarlet Nexus’s aesthetic was always really cool. A futuristic anime action RPG where you play as characters with psychic powers is right up my alley. But I did not expect to love this game so much. The flow of the gameplay really landed with me, especially when playing as Kasane. It looks fantastic, combos feel great, and I love the SAS character cut-ins too, it’s just so stylish.
I played through Kasane’s story first and it was my favorite of the two, but I’m glad I played through the game twice to experience Yuito’s route as well. There are a few parts of the plot where there might be some inconsistencies, but it’s such a fun ride that I didn’t mind and I was more than willing to go along with it.
The soundtrack blew me away too. Before playing it, I hadn’t heard anyone talk about the music in Scarlet Nexus so I wasn’t expected anything special but I love this OST. The fantastic English dub also endeared me to these characters even more.
I had always enjoyed Arkane’s Dishonored series in the past, and that was one of the reasons I finally decided to play Prey. This game has opened my eyes to the immersive sim genre. I always knew I liked Dishonored, but I now realize that one of the things I liked about it was its immersive sim elements. Prey has even more immersive sim elements, and I was blown away by the freedom this gives the player.
There’s so much potential for different character builds, and a multitude of ways to progress through the story and areas. If you decide to spend points to max out your Hacking skill, you’ll be able to access areas and deal with robotic enemies in very different ways than a character who doesn’t have Hacking IV, and likewise there’s other skill trees like Leverage and Repair that provide similar unique advantages at various points throughout the game.
I also really enjoyed the story of Prey, and its phenomenal use of environmental storytelling in many, many situations. That’s nothing new from Arkane though. Their games are some of the few where I will actually read many of the in-game notes and journals, because I feel like the writers for Arkane really breathe extra life into the game through these little notes. Talos I was just an incredible setting, and I never got tired of exploring it because there’s always some new detail to discover.
My favorite playthrough of 2022 was Prey, and I’m excited to try more immersive sims sometime in the future, like the Deus Ex series and System Shock 2, and see if they capture my attention the same way Prey did.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a great 2023!