2022 Game of the year – mid-year review

by Ben Kirby
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Ok, this is a little late. I wanted to do a look back at the first six months of the year, to see how easy it might be to pick out the Game of the Year contenders. It’s August, so I’m a little late, but that doesn’t make the look back at the year so far, any less interesting.

The first 8 months have been packed with gaming goodness, and apart from a couple of releases due towards the end of the year, I think we have at least half of the top 10 Game of the Year list already in our hands. I mean let’s look at some of the big releases and some of the hits that seemingly came out of nowhere.

Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak

Sure, Monster Hunter Rise came out last year, but the PC release and the massive Sunbreak expansion came out this year. I nominated Rise as the Game of the Year over at ninjarefinery.com last year and I’m already writing about how I think it’s the best game in the entire series.

Sunbreak is totally eligible and a massive content drop on an excellent game. It’s definitely up there for me, and I keep going back to it week on week. A definite sign of a Game of the Year contender.

As an expansion, this could be a contentious choice, but I stand by it because it’s huge and excellent. Definitely looking to have a spot in that top 10.

Monster Hunter Rise - Game of the year?

Elden Ring

Arguably the game that’s going to be on everyone’s lists in the top 3 slots. Elden Ring is true 2022 Game of the Year material.

It made me enjoy the From Software games, it’s made me examine games as a whole, because in a lot of ways nothing holds a candle to Elden Ring, and that’s impressive.

I need to finish my playthrough and know people have smashed through it loads of times and live for it. Elden Ring is infinitely re-playable, tough to get into but worth the effort and something quite special indeed.

I don’t use the term “masterpiece” often, but Elden Ring is definitely eligible and most likely a lot of people’s Game of the Year.

Elden Ring Game of the Year

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

Another behemoth of a release in early 2022. The Skywalker Saga is the perfect blend of classic Lego game fun, refined Start Wars storytelling, and masses and masses of content to explore.

Playing through all 9 of the Skywalker Saga films and re-living all of the key story beats of each film is fantastic. This is the pinnacle of the Lego Star Wars series and arguably delivers the movie storylines in more efficient and fun ways.

If this doesn’t appear in a game of the year list, I’d be surprised. So much to unpack and discover, it’s a wonderful compilation of everyone’s favourite galaxy far, far away.

Lego Star Wars characters

Neon White

Holy crap, what a surprise Neon White has been. Anime first-person shooter speed running. It’s definitely in my top 5 of the year, and likely the top 3 played this year in terms of time spent in-game.

Addictive, slick and just good fun. There’s so much to love about Neon White, I can’t see people forgetting this gem in their Game of the Year lists.

Have you played it? I’m looking for friends to compete within the leader boards, in my endless pursuit of perfect runs on each level. Come and race me!

Neon White - Game of the year


Ok, this seems eager, doesn’t it? Rumbleverse came out last week……

It’s bloody good fun, though and a well-made gem of Battle Royale wrestling action. I’ve found myself hitting Grapital City in any downtime that I have, and honestly, that’s really telling. Particularly when I’m finding free time to be at a premium at the moment. Rumbleverse may not be in the Top 3’s of people’s Game of the Year lists, but I would hope to see it in the 10-8 regions.

Fun, free and on many platforms. A great recipe for success! Let’s hope it has legs and people love it as I do.

Rumbleverse - Stud

What else?

There’s plenty I’ve not listed.

Horizon Forbidden West? A massive game, with a great PS4 version to boot! Is it good enough in comparison to the game above?

Then we have the rest of the year to think about. a new God of War is basically Game of the Year bait, right? I suspected people would love Elden Ring even if it wasn’t good (it was good!), and I suspect the same of God of War: Ragnarok. Hopefully, it is excellent, but people blindly love things if they’ve been good in the past…

There’s even a whole new generation of Pokemon to come out! Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are a couple of months away, too. A guaranteed purchase for me. But a Top 10 this year? Who knows?

Vampire Survivors is likely to see a lot of the Game of the Year lists, too. I honestly don’t know where it will fit in the long term, but holy crap did that come and leave a mark!

We have a few months, some big releases, and plenty more to look back on, too. 2022 has been great for gaming, long may it continue!!

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