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ONE37pm's 20 Best Games of 2022

MOBILE 3
Bandai Namco Entertainment / Sony Interactive Entertainment / Nintendo / ONE37pm

Fam...was this year on fast-forward or what? Once the winter season wrapped up, the spring and summer months seemingly came and went in a flash. And once the fall came around, it seemed like September, October, and November each lasted a week apiece. Now that the cheerful month of December has arrived, everyone's going to start putting together lists of the best pieces of media they experienced all year long. In the case of the ONE37pm staff, it's time to take a look back at the best games of 2022. In a year packed with monumental AAA releases, indie darlings, and even AA-tier titles that were way better than expected, 2022 offered a nice variety of quality games to stay busy with.

Now before we get into ONE37pm's personal gaming highlights of the year, allow us to quickly list off all the other great games that we didn't play, but are still well deserving of a mention:

Sifu

Tunic

Horizon Forbidden West

Neon White

Immortality

Return to Monkey Island

Vampire Survivors

A Plague Tale: Requiem

Marvel’s Midnight Suns

Now without further ado, here are ONE37pm's best games of 2022.

RELATED: ONE37pm's Favorite Games of 2021

1. ‘Dying Light 2 Stay Human’

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Techland

  • Released on: February 4
  • Available on: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC - Steam

Yeah, I get it - a lotta fans of the first Dying Light weren't all that enamored with its sequel. But for me, I got hours' worth of fulfilling content by the time I reached the end of Dying Light 2 Stay Human. My inventory was insane by the time I reached the middle of the campaign, so I had the time of my life bludgeoning zombies and hapless humans with electrified bats, poison-infused swords, and flaming sledgehammers. The rest of my enjoyment of this game derived from all of its new parkour maneuvers, the paragliding, all the hidden collectibles to discover, and the story that was way better than I expected it to be. Leaping across a random barricade and dropkicking another undead victim in the face filled me with so much joy. Big shout out to Rosario Dawson for being one of my most reliable homies in this one! - Elton Jones

2. ‘The King of Fighters XV’

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SNK

  • Released on: February 17
  • Available on: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, and PC - Steam

Fighting games are my everything! Whenever I take a break from the latest third-person action/adventure epic or first-person shooter, I dive into whatever fighter I'm halfway decent at and hop online to wash folks or get washed. Props go out to SNK for producing one of the better installments in its premiere IP, The King of Fighters. The 15th main installment in the series damn sure "exceeded my expectations." Once I wrapped my head around how to link together standard combos into a Max Mode Quick activation into a Shatter Strike right into a Climax Super Special Move, I felt like a king. My preferred trio of Yashiro, Terry, and King held me down online, I must say. Online matchmaking issues aside, The King of Fighters XV was my favorite fighting game of the year. - Elton Jones

3. ‘Elden Ring’

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Bandai Namco Entertainment

  • Released on: February 25
  • Available on: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, and PC - Steam

Elden Ring honestly needs no introduction. Heralded by a wide swath of critics and award shows as 2022's Game of the Year, Elden Ring managed to combine the beloved punishing mechanics that have made From Software a best-in-class developer with unbelievably expansive lore developed in part by George R. R. Martin. We know some of the From Software heads out there love to opine that this wasn’t nearly as good as Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice or other beloved titles, but Elden Ring’s massive open world format and overwhelming mythology puts it on par with that aforementioned release and makes it one of the best games of 2022.. - Charlie Kolbrener

4. ‘Kirby and the Forgotten Land’

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Nintendo

  • Released on: March 25
  • Available on: Nintendo Switch

I've always appreciated Kirby's games way more than anything Mario has appeared in (I'm insane, I know!). So I was beyond excited once the lil' guy finally got a 3D platformer that went the Super Mario 64 route. Kirby and the Forgotten Land ended up being one of my go-to games on the Switch all year long - I got so addicted to completing all the side tasks for each stage, saving all the Waddle Dees, getting the fastest completion times on all the extra stages, and upgrading the Waddle Dee village over time. Transforming Kirby into a rampaging snack machine and smacking goons as a Kirby car turned out to be some of my favorite moments in gaming for 2022. I hope HAL Laboratory keeps building on this 3D platformer formula even more for the inevitable sequel to this one. - Elton Jones

5. ‘LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga’

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Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

  • Released on: April 5
  • Available on: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC - Steam

LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga has now taken the mantle from LEGO Marvel Super Heroes as my favorite LEGO game from Traveller's Tales. Somehow someway, this playable Cliffs Notes version of all nine Star Wars films made the prequels a million times better than their cinematic counterparts. The feel of lightsaber battles got improved to a greater degree alongside the third-person shooting mechanics that actually felt like Uncharted for kids. I got a kick out of the spaceship battles, too. Plus the usual LEGO games humor still lands most of the time, thankfully. I'm glad Traveller's Tales got the chance to work on this game for much longer and actually change it to the point where it feels like it'll be the newest foundation for future LEGO games. - Elton Jones

6. ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge’

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Dotemu

  • Released on: June 16
  • Available on: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC - Steam and November 15 for PS5

I'd be insane to not bring up this retro beat 'em up on a list of the best games of 2022. As soon as this one was announced, I let the whole group chat at work know (which I'm certain some of my co-workers didn't even care about lol). When it finally dropped, I was overjoyed at the fact that it was on par with Turtles in Time. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge looks, feels, and sounds like a long-lost arcade game that would have drained me of all my quarters in the 90s. The playable roster is so dope (April O'Neil is so OP!), plus the Easter Eggs & bosses that popped up in each stage had me looking like that one Leonardo DiCaprio meme where he's excitedly pointing at the screen. Gameplay-wise, the controls feel great and there's a decent amount of depth that comes from utilizing the full movelist of each character. This and Streets of Rage 4 are the new kings of beat 'em up games. - Elton Jones

7. 'DNF Duel'

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Nexon

  • Released on: June 28
  • Available on: PS5, PS4, and PC - Steam

I remember taking the plunge on Dungeon Fighter LIVE: Fall Of Hendon Myre when I finally got myself an Xbox 360. The whole time I was beating the hell out of random passersby, I couldn't help but think "the characters in this joint are perfect for a fighting game!" Out of nowhere, Arc System Works linked up with Eighting, Neople, and Nexon to make that random thought into a reality. DNF Duel was the other fighting game released this year that held me in its grasp through a fun survival mode for local play and exceptional rollback netcode for online play. The simple controls mixed in with the capability of landing some OD combo strings pleased me whenever I pulled them off and infuriated me whenever they landed on me (such is the life of an avid fighting game player). Shout out to my pocket Ghostblade...AND I CAN'T WAIT TO MAKE YOU MY NEW MAIN, SPECTRE! - Elton Jones

8. ‘Stray’

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Annapurna Interactive

  • Released on: July 19
  • Available on: PS5, PS4, and PC - Steam

Stray is a game where you control a stray cat. After hearing that premise, I was prepared to experience one of those amazingly boring indie games that place an emphasis on a deeply effective storyline over decent gameplay. I'm happy to say that Stray incorporated both to a successful degree. I was determined to help this game's heroic feline make its way back up to the surface by any means necessary. I did just that after hauling ass from rampaging parasites, solving clever environmental puzzles, and befriending an underground collective of robots that mimic the humans that no longer live among them. By the time I reached the end of this game, I was overjoyed yet saddened by the final events that came to pass. Stray hit me right in the feels. - Elton Jones

9. ‘Xenoblade Chronicles 3’

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Nintendo

  • Released on: July 29
  • Available on: Nintendo Switch

I have a troubling confession to make - I've never spent a single minute playing the first two Xenoblade Chronicles games. I KNOW, I KNOW! That should be a punishable offense. But when I got the opportunity to review the third game in the series, I jumped at the opportunity to give it a shot. And I'm satisfied to the point where I might just have to go back and try out this game's last two predecessors. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 earns its rightful spot on this list of the best games of 2022 for several reasons - its combat mechanics amazed me as they kept adding new mechanics across a lengthy adventure (those Ouroboros transformations are so hype!), the open-world exploring kept pushing me to do everything there was to do, and the young cast of characters & their epic plight kept me absorbed from start to finish. One of the longest JRPGs of the year also happens to be the very best. - Elton Jones

10. ‘Soul Hackers 2’

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Sega

  • Released on: August 26
  • Available on: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, and PC - Steam

Every time I consider hopping into Persona 5, I get scared off by its demanding total runtime (which is funny when you consider how long Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is). Plus all the classroom stuff didn't sound all that appealing to me as well. So color me shocked by how absorbed I was by this other Shin Megami Tensei spinoff series entry. Soul Hackers 2 features all the demon battling and summoning the mainline series is known for, which became an addictive endeavor as I built up a nice army of top picks for the game's main four summoners. The plot surrounding this JRPG was pretty dammed dark and gruesome, which is just how I like it. All that "end of the world" stuff and bringing dead folks back to life to prevent it had me fully invested in everything that transpired. Soul Hackers 2 is one of the best games of 2022 for me personally because it offered a sizable yet not too demanding JRPG experience that didn't take up too much time to complete - Elton Jones

11. ‘Splatoon 3’

Splatoon 3 in game screenshot
Nintendo

  • Released on: September 9
  • Available on: Nintendo Switch

Shockingly enough, one of the best games of 2022 that provided me with the best multiplayer component all year long wasn't Call of Duty. It was actually the third entry in Nintendo's series that's all about a bunch of octopus kids spraying each other down with weapons full of paint. Splatoon 3's Turf Wars remain just as exciting as they've ever been in past series incarnations and feel even more fun to hop into with all the new weapons thrown into the mix. I also have to applaud this game for providing me with a surprisingly great single-player campaign that features stages with clever methods for solving puzzles and opening up new progression paths. Oh and the music in this joint is simply sublime and catchy as hell! Those last two Splatoon games got hella support post-launch, so I'm sure Splatoon 3 will just keep getting better and better over time. - Elton Jones

12. 'Marvel Snap'

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Nuverse

  • Released on: October 18
  • Available on: iOS, Android, and PC - Steam

There was once a day when mobile video games were genuinely fun to grind. Games like Madden NFL Mobile and Infinity Blade offered players genuine gaming experiences and rewards for their time and effort. The space is now bogged down with microtransactions and games that lack innovation… that was until Marvel Snap, which I've deemed one of the best games of 2022. Marvel Snap is a collectible card game where you build a deck with heroes from the Marvel comics. There are three locations where you can play cards each game with the aim of winning two of the three locations. What adds great longevity to the game is that each location has an effect that is completely RNG. The best aspect of the game by far is that in order to earn cards you have to play the game. There is no way to purchase overpowered cards or powerups, creating an even playing ground for any and everyone that wants to play. Each game only lasts three minutes maximum so I highly recommend giving the game a try! - Justin Cohen

13. ‘Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope’

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Ubisoft

  • Released on: October 20
  • Available on: Nintendo Switch

Here's another case of me passing on the first game in this series, playing the second one, falling in love with it, and being inspired to take a step back to eventually play what came before it. Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope scratched that strategy RPG itch I had all year long - the ability to move your characters around without worrying about staying within the confines of grid spaces feels so damn gratifying. Mixing and matching my three-person team with different characters, equipping them with assorted Sparks, and picking off each enemy within every arena kept me pretty busy for a good while. Shout out to Mario, Edge, and Bowser for holding me down most of the time! Mario's double laser pistols are too goated! - Elton Jones

14. ‘Star Ocean: The Divine Force’

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Square Enix

  • Released on: October 27
  • Available on: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, and PC - Steam

I know a lot of you reading this right now are shocked to see this game on a list of the best games of 2022. Even though it doesn't look as strong as I'd like it to be, I was more than content with everything else Star Ocean: The Divine Force provided me with. Managing one's AP and constantly switching between each party member during battle worked a lot better than I expected (I was a little worried about how it would feel over the entire game based on the demo). Storywise, I was super tapped into all the beef between the game's two warring kingdoms and how it played into the differing paths Raymond and Laeticia embark upon at different points of the game. And I enjoyed flying around each locale with that DUMA doodad way more than I figured I would! - Elton Jones

15. ‘Bayonetta 3’

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Nintendo

  • Released on: October 28
  • Available on: Nintendo Switch

I'm a diehard Bayonetta Stan. I played the first one on PS3 (which is still the worst version, I might add!), went ham in the second one, and completed Bayonetta 3 with every intention to place it on this list of the best games of 2022. What I loved the most about this sequel is just how expansive Bayo's combat options became - now she can summon her demons to fight by her side outside of quick time events, plus she can change into them during some of her flashier special moves. And fam...THOSE SETPIECE MOMENTS ARE INSANE! The parts where you take aim at a pissed-off gorilla, play a rhythm minigame to blast incoming enemies, and participate in kaiju battles are incredible. Jeanne's side-scrolling sneaking sections ended up being a nice addition to all the hacking and slashing, too. Even though I was none too pleased with Viola's overall character and horrible way of activating her "Witch Time," I still enjoyed the majority of my time spent with Bayonetta 3. - Elton Jones

16. ‘Sonic Frontiers’

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Sega

  • Released on: November 8
  • Available on: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC - Steam

Sonic finally got over the bad 3D games hump he's been in for a good while now! Sonic Frontiers makes this list of the best games of 2022 for doing a great job of setting up a strong foundation for future Sonic games. This Sonic game went the whole Breath of the Wild route and ended up succeeding because of it. I got complete tunnel vision and the world around me stopped mattering whenever I hit an insanely top speed across all those wide-open expanses with the "Blue Blur." I love how all the rail grinding, bounce pad jumping, and action-packed enemy encounters flowed so well together. The presence of those traditional side-scrolling levels and Titan clashes that brought Super Sonic into the fray also made me appreciate this game so much this year. - Elton Jones

17. ‘God of War Ragnarök’

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Sony Interactive Entertainment

  • Released on: November 9
  • Available on: PS5 and PS4

I'm sure y'all already figured this game was gonna be on here! The continuing adventures of Kratos and his son Atreus had me glued to my screen and increasing the volume to hear every conversation that transpired between the game's amazing cast of gods, dwarves, and more. God of War Ragnarök hits hard with its major plot points, introduces meaningful side missions that are some of the best I've ever played, and threw in an extra playable character to widen the game's approaches to combat. I definitely got my money's worth with this triumphant follow-up to 2018's God of War - that new and improved enemy variety had me wishing a MF'er would every time I stepped out with my Leviathan Axe, Blades of Chaos, and Draupnir Spear in hand! - Elton Jones

18. ‘Evil West’

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Focus Entertainment

  • Released on: November 22
  • Available on: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, and PC - Steam

Evil West feels like one of those simple and straight-to-the-point third-person action games that kept me entertained during the PS3/Xbox 360 generation. When I wanted to play something this year without having to use my brain too much, I hopped on this joint to bludgeon all types of undead minions. I just had to feature this title on this list of the best games of 2022 because it delivered a modern-day rendition of that Darkwatch first-person shooter from the PS2 that's mixed with the overall feel of Gears of War. Stopping a demon dead in their tracks with my lighting gauntlets and immediately piecing them up with some vicious punches always put me in a mode of pure zen. Evil West hits on every level, especially when you get a co-op partner to kill some demons right alongside you. - Elton Jones

19. 'Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion'

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Square Enix

  • Released on: December 13
  • Available on: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC - Steam

Back in college, I used to be that gut that hung in the back of the classroom that was held in a full auditorium just so I could sneak in some playtime on my PlayStation Portable. The two games I played like a fiend were Dissidia Final Fantasy and Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII. The original version of that latter game held me down back then, but its battle system had its fault that can't be overlooked in this current day and age. All praises are due to Square Enix for remastering this game in the best ways possible. The graphics got spruced up, so Zack Fair and all those other sword-wielding pretty boys look their very best. Combat feels snappier and more impactful, plus the "Digital Mind Wave" system works 10x better than it did before. Those moments of cringy dialogue still exist, but it's much easier to deal with now that everything else has been given a proper upgrade. - Elton Jones

20. 'River City Girls 2'

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Arc System Works

  • Released on: December 15
  • Available on: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC - Steam

Beat 'em ups mean the world to me, bruh! There's no better way to release some steam than getting some local or online homies together to hit the streets to knock out some bums and eat steaming food right off the pavement. River City Girls 2 came through in the clutch in the final month of 2022 with another quality addition to the revived beat 'em up genre thanks to more characters, new catchy tunes, and the same amusing smash & dash fighting action the last game focused on. I never expected to walk away from this game muttering to myself "man, some of those side missions were pretty cool!" The basketball court mission with Mega Ran rapping in the background sticks out immediately in that regard! Oh and Marian is my new forever queen, on god! The fact that this sequel got a two-player online co-op option (unlike the first game) raised this pixelated brawler up as a great selection on this lineup of the best games of 2022. - Elton Jones

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