Game of the Year 2022 – The Contenders
Game of the Year at ninjarefinery.com isn’t about the best game released this year. Although it’s definitely a factor as we try to get to a lot of new releases.
No, Game of the Year is about the game that’s delivered the best gaming experience in 2022. To be eligible, they just had to have been played and enjoyed. Then it’s down to rationalising the fun vs time spent vs cost and all the other intricacies.
Games with new content this year totally count. Games that have been played in excess, should count, but being compared to those newer experiences, too.
Game of the year isn’t a single metric being measured. Gaming is about experiences and enjoyment. Things you can’t necessarily quantify and it’s a fun mental exercise, particularly when some of your all-time favourites are in the list. How do you fight your own bias?
So here are the official contenders for 2022. Based on what I fondly remember, time played and checking what we’ve talked about here at ninjarefinery.com and over at fullsync.co.uk
- Neon White
- Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak
- Hitman 3
- Spider-Man Remastered
- Vampire Survivors
- Final Fantasy VII Remake
- Elden Ring
- Rogue Legacy 2
- Battlefield 2042
- Overwatch 2
What a fantastic year of gaming we’ve had here at ninjarefinery.com and all of the above games have been a massive part of the fun.
I have no doubt that some of these same games or series will re-appear in future years, too. If the experience is that good and there are continued improvements and content. Why shouldn’t they be considered?
We could see a late entry with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt after it gets the next-gen update in a few days. I’ve also got my second-wind with Cyberpunk 2077 to consider.
Game of the Year contenders aren’t locked-in until the last minute, so this could totally change before the end of 2022.
Honestly, it’s exciting!
There have been some massive releases this year that aren’t included above. Games that are on people’s lists for contention.
Personal thoughts and feelings aside. Games like God of War Ragnarok and Horizon Forbidden West just don’t deserve the title.
Both bloated, long and largely un-fun. Gorgeous and incredible to behold, yes. But beauty is only skin-deep and I honestly felt like it was a chore to play them both.
Game of the Year here is purely our opinion, so if your favourite is being neglected, I’m sorry. But let’s be honest, style over substance isn’t what makes a good game.
Sure God of War Ragnarok is narratively head and shoulders above a lot of other games. But it’s also stale gameplay, linear progression and bloated skill trees.
They don’t deserve it against the games in the list above, and it’s as simple as that.
I am looking forward to revisiting them critically next year and perhaps changing my own mind, but for now, it’s a no. They’re both “good” games, not bad at all. Just not fun, not a Game of the Year experience if you ask me.
Despite all my time with it, you might also note the absence of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, too. Not because it’s bad, but because it was a chore. Yet another victim of bloat over the player experience. I had fun, but I shouldn’t be 20 hours in and not even halfway through.
Game of the Year isn’t just about the biggest game with the most stuff, or the prettiest game. Fun and enjoyment are the key, and that’s the focus here.