The Shacknews staff will soon be going on break for the holidays. We’ll return in January, but this is our final Shack Chat for 2022. Keeping with tradition, we’ll take this installment to share our personal picks for Game of the Year ahead of the unveiling of our collective pick at the end of the month.
Question: What is your Game of the Year for 2022?
Marvel Snap – Ozzie Mejia, Senior Editor into 2023
I thought really hard about this. God of War Ragnarok will likely leave an impression on me for a long time. Tunic is a wonderful adventure, reminiscent of the best of both The Legend of Zelda and the exploration and combat elements of the Souls games. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is an example of a franchise reboot and an old-school throwback done right. Rumbleverse is unlike any battle royale I’ve played in years and is just plain fun.
However, as I’ve continued to sink tens and tens, going on hundreds, of hours into Marvel Snap, it started to hit me. Why shouldn’t Marvel Snap be my Game of the Year? Because it’s a mobile game? That reasoning is silly and I reject it soundly.
I couldn’t imagine the immense pressure that Second Dinner was under to put something together on par with Hearthstone, a game that reinvented the entire genre. Not only did they do that, but they reinvented that same genre again! That’s an incredible feat, one that deserves endless kudos and recognition. And, yes, that makes Marvel Snap my personal Game of the Year.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going back to hunting for more variants.
Elden Ring – TJ Denzer, Senior Relic Hunter
In terms of games that came out this year, got their claws in me, and never let go, it had to be Elden Ring for me. Nothing let me do more of what I personally wanted to do more. I began my journey in the Lands Between as a scrappy thief. Then, as I began amassing magic armaments, I began to take on the role of a treasure hunter, seeking the most magical and rare of weapons.
I met Blaidd and his mistress, Ranni the Witch, and my quest took on a new direction as I learned more about them. I still continued my weapon collecting, but alongside that, I joined them in their mission to free the world of the influence of the Fingers. My quest took so many twists and turns, but no matter how hard the boss or difficult the trek, I always felt like I was carving my own path.
And what a beautiful world to do it in. Elden Ring’s open-world is like few others in terms of scope, variety, vastness, and freedom. It invites you to discover its mysteries in every corner. If you can’t overcome the challenge at one, other areas of the land beckon. I was never without a direction to go, and most of my adventures ended up satisfying. This is a beautiful game that plays incredibly well. It surely impacted me more than most things in 2022, and while I’m not sure I can easily go back, I will always value what I took with me… The cool weapons (and some other, more sentimental stuff).
Horizon Forbidden West – Morgan Shaver, Good with a bow
As a fan of Horizon Zero Dawn, I was eagerly looking forward to the release of Horizon Forbidden West earlier this year. Not only was I not disappointed at the follow-up, but I was extremely impressed by how well it builds upon the strengths of the first game while introducing a plethora of new things to the mix like being able to ride a flying machine above the game’s gorgeous landscape and go sightseeing.
Combat is a delight, with so many different ways you can approach it from bow-focused combat to setting up elaborate traps. The graphics are stellar, it’s without a doubt one of the prettiest games of 2022 and did a great job at showing off the capabilities of next-gen hardware. And in general, the story is multi-layered with highlights not only in the main campaign, but in many of the game’s side stories as well. If having 40+ hours of content wasn’t enough, Guerrilla is releasing DLC next year that’ll expand Horizon Forbidden West even further, along with a spin-off VR title. For all these reasons, and more, Horizon Forbidden West is my GOTY for 2022.
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands – Blake Morse, lvl 20 Co-EIC
I love the Borderlands series and I love D&D. But of the two it is much easier to get a party together to play an online game. Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands managed to scratch my itch for looter shooters and slaying dragons at the same time. It was a perfect blend of two things I like. It was chocolate & peanut butter; together they’re delicious. Adding custom character building and stat customization points on level ups along with mix and match classes to play. It also harkened back to the humor and atmosphere of Borderlands 2 while also having a very heartwarming tale underneath all the dick and fart jokes. Heck, I even had friends play Wonderlands with me that weren’t into Borderlands but loved D&D and vice-versa. There’s just so many little things that blended it all together so excellently. I really can’t think of a game I enjoyed more this year.
Elden Ring – Sam Chandler, Tarnished
This was a great year for video games. There were ample triple-A titles to keep me busy and a wealth of incredible indie games to absorb my attention as I basked in the developers’ innovation. There were so many games that I booted up, not sure if I was going to enjoy them, only to be absolutely hooked. I wish there was more time in the day to play all of these.
But the one that stands out as a pinnacle achievement this year is Elden Ring. FromSoftware has done something incredible with its Soulsborne series of games, delivering to players an open-world experience that pushes the genre forward, stays true to the games we’ve grown to love, while offering an approachable world for newcomers. Everything I said in my Elden Ring review holds true to this day. I can’t wait to see what’s next.
Elden Ring – Bill Lavoy, Great Hammer Bro
— Bill Lavoy (@RumpoPlays) April 3, 2022
My Game of the Year for 2022 was Elden Ring, which I certainly didn’t see coming at the start of the year. This was the first time I ever really tried to dig into a Soulsborne game and I don’t think I could have picked a more perfect entry point. The open world formula works for my style of play, and I had Sam Chandler and David Craddock to pepper with questions. There were parts of it that were certainly difficult, but I managed to build a character I enjoyed and play the game in the manner I chose. Thanks to Elden Ring, I’ll be hopping into the next Soulsborne game no matter what.
Elden Ring – Dennis White Jr., Tarnished Community Manager
What can I say about this game that my fellow staff haven’t already said? I believe that this game will make a major impact on open-world titles for years to come and has also provided a level of quality amongst FromSoftware’s own titles that is going to be hard to top. The amount of freedom I felt while playing Elden Ring is unmatched by any other title that dropped this year. As someone who also enjoys doing challenge runs and PvP, there’s enough meat on this game’s bones to keep me satisfied for years to come. I also think that is worth mentioning just how diverse the enemy design is and how different playthroughs can truly be, especially with the range of magic in this game. Rise, Tarnished, and claim your crown!
Elden Ring – Donovan Erskine, Try Jumping
While I’ll be joining the chorus of my co-workers in selecting Elden Ring as my Game of the Year, I feel as though I had a unique experience with FromSoftware’s latest. I had essentially never played a Soulsborne game before this one, so I had little expectations or familiarity going in. I was genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed challenging yet rewarding combat. The world itself is a joy to explore, as it felt like the devs left something interesting to stumble upon at every single turn. It’s a master class in open-world game design. I also found a lot of joy in exchanging tips and discoveries with friends and co-workers. It was the rare game release that captures the zeitgeist and dominates social conversations for months. I thoroughly enjoyed plenty of games this year, but I’ll always look back on Elden Ring as 2022’s best.
Elden Ring – Steve Tyminski, It was close
What is my game of the year for 2022? There have been some great video games that came out this year so it’s going to be pretty tough to narrow it down to just one. This year has been a great year for Nintendo but, as the Stevetendo show host, I think Nintendo has a great year every year! The likes of multiple Pokemon games, Kirby getting a great new game, and so much more that the list is hard to count. That being said, it’s tough for me to go away from a Nintendo game as the game of 2022 but I think I have to go with Elden Ring as my pick. The masses have been waiting for this game for quite some time and it didn’t disappoint. Open-world games are a hot genre and Elden Ring didn’t miss the mark. It’s a Dark Souls-type game where you can go wherever you want, fight whatever you want, and play your way. I have watched plenty of people play Elden Ring and every time is different because you have various ways to play the game, depending on the character build. My game of the year for 2022 has to be Elden Ring but I have to give a shout-out to the great year Nintendo had as well.
Those are our favorite games from 2022. We’re sure you’ve got picks of your own, so please, share with us in the Chatty comments! We’ll be back with Shack Chat in 2023!