That’s right, this is not a top ten list, nor is it a top five list, it’s a top eight list. Why, I hear you ask. Well, it’s because I only played eight new games this year and I didn’t have the heart to leave any of them out – which may actually speak to the quality of games that were released in 2022. It may also speak to my own indecisiveness, but I digress.

As much as I would have loved to have a larger pool of video games to choose from, this year has been filled with distractions and annoying real-life responsibilities that have seriously impacted my gaming time. Because of this, there are some huge titles which I either completely missed, or decided were not worth my limited time.

Had I been afforded more time, I’d have loved to have played A Plague Tale: Requiem given how much I adored the first game. I’d have also liked to have at least tried a game which I imagine is most people’s number one in Elden Ring, just to see what all the hype is about. My Nintendo Switch was also relegated to nothing more than an expensive ornament on my shelf, alongside pop figures and dusty unused blu rays, so don’t expect any Nintendo titles on this list.

And while we’re talking about omissions, don’t expect any Xbox titles in this list either. Not because I don’t own an Xbox, but because there simply weren’t any Microsoft exclusives worth mentioning.. sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

Anyway, enough blabbering and shit stirring, let’s get down to business.

8) The Quarry

I actually went back and forth a fair bit when deciding whether to even include The Quarry in this list. Anybody who knows me knows that I love these crappy interactive drama games, especially Supermassive Games’ unique brand of horror.

Having loved Until Dawn with every bone in my body, and enjoyed the Dark Pictures Anthology a lot more than the general public, The Quarry was a sure fire contender for a top place on this list.

Sadly, it really didn’t live up to expectations. It was hard to pinpoint exactly why it didn’t connect with me. Maybe there was too much filler to make it feel like a premium experience compared to the shorter Dark Pictures games, maybe it was paced too slowly, or maybe I’m a little burnt out on these games.

Having said all that, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I enjoyed my time with this game come the end. The visuals are spectacular, the characters are gloriously cheesy and fun to kill, and it’s still a Supermassive horror game so of course it makes my list.

7) FIFA 23

Speaking of games that will only be in my list, here’s FIFA 23. The last game in a loooooong line of entires to EA’s never-ending sports sim.

As of next year, EA will no longer be allowed to use the name FIFA, so this is effectively the final game of the franchise. However, let’s not kid ourselves into thinking EA FC 24 will not simply be FIFA 24 with a less recognisable name.

Even so, this was a hell of a way to go out. I’m usually the first in line to yell abuse at EA, but credit where credit is due, they nailed this one. The new Hypermotion 2 gameplay actually feels like a night and day difference from the last entry, and the game has arguably never felt more realistic.

Add to that the addition of the 2022 World Cup mode being added free of charge, and it’s fair to say FIFA 23 has gone out in style.. kind of.

6) The Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil in Me

I promise this list won’t just be sports sims and interactive horror titles, but until then, here’s the final entry into the Dark Pictures Anthology – The Devil In Me.

Admittedly, The Devil In Me was not perfect, far from it in fact. Read my review for more on why I thought the developers tried too hard to change up a winning formula.

However, the sheer amount of joy I had in playing this cheesy horror throwback can not be denied. This game may be a poorly written love letter to great horror slashers of the past, but sometimes that’s all I want from my games.

5) TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge

I still remember that first burst of nostalgia that surged through my viens when Shredder’s Revenge was first announced. I was getting a new TMNT arcade game, this was the shit that got me into video games, my dudes! Surely it couldn’t live up to expectations? Surely the novelty would wear off after ten minutes of gameplay? I was wrong, very wrong.

Shredder’s Revenge somehow managed to perfectly walk the line of never betraying the 80’s feel it was going for, yet somehow managing to make the gameplay feel both fresh and addictive.

The highest praise I can give is that I never found myself picking up this game over more modern titles because I’m a huge TMNT fan who just wanted a hit of nostalgia, it was because it was simply just better and more fun to play.

Jumping online with friends was so easy and completing the game in 4 player co-op was a joy that was hard to match this year. Just go and play it, you won’t regret it. Cowabunga dudes!

4) The Last of Us: Part 1

Yeah so I’m not sure if a 2022 remake of a 2013 game is allowed, but hey, it’s my list and I can do what I like so suck it! Well, that is unless Luke or Alexx choose to edit this out, in that case, I’m simply shouting into the void here.

Fear not, I won’t stay on this one too long. All I’ll say is this is one of the greatest games ever made in my opinion, and although it’s up for debate whether or not a remake of a game that isn’t even a decade old was necessary, I loved every second of this.

It is graphically stunning, runs much smoother, and is the best way to experience this masterpiece in 2022. Besides, you’ll all be playing this remake once you’ve watched the HBO show, you know it’s true.

3) Stray

Who would have thought a weird indie game where you play as a cat lost in a city of robots would be so amazing.. actually, now I’ve written it down, it’s not that surprising how critically acclaimed Stray ended up being.

There is so much to love about this charming little adventure. The story was captivating, the visuals were a feast for the eyes, and the puzzle filled gameplay never once outstayed it’s welcome throughout the game’s short 5 hour playtime.

In fact, I loved this title so much that I ended up doing a second playthrough in the hunt for a platinum trophy. This included a speed run, and let me tell you with confidence, dear reader, I don’t ever do speed runs. There was just something so special about Stray that is difficult to put into words.

It truly deserves every award nomination that has come its way this year.

2) Horizon Forbidden West

Throughout the year, I always assumed I knew what my game of the year was going to be, and spoiler alert, I was right. But only just! That is because Horizon Forbidden West completely took over my life at the beginning of the year and held onto my number one spot with ease right until the penultimate month.

For me, Horizon Forbidden West achieved everything a sequel should. It expanded the world, added more interesting characters, kept to what worked with the gameplay while adding more features, and continued the story that I fell in love with in the first game.

Guerrilla Games never went out of their way to reinvent the wheel with this one. If you didn’t enjoy Zero Dawn, then there’s a strong chance you won’t find a lot to love in Forbidden West. However, if you even slightly enjoyed the first title, you’re almost guaranteed to enjoy Aloy’s second adventure even more this time around.

The open world made me want to make sure I left no stone unturned, the lore is fascinating, the gameplay is as fun as ever and the visuals are arguably the best we’ve seen on PS5 all year. It would have been the undeniable game of the year if it had not been for…

1) God of War Ragnarök

Of course God of War Ragnarök is the game of the year. In truth, I knew it would be after setting eyes on the very first trailer.

Much like Forbidden West, Ragnarök sets out to be the perfect sequel. Sony Santa Monica Studio sticks with what brought them back to the dance following 2018’s God of War reboot/sequel hybrid. However, this time the world feels ten times bigger, with a story that matches the game’s gigantic scale.

The only downside is that the game might actually feel too big, especially for players, like myself, who may be short of time. For that reason, it’s hard to say whether or not Ragnarök is actually a more enjoyable experience than the slightly more streamlined and focused original.

Having said that, every aspect of the game is better in this sequel. Visuals are obviously improved, gameplay is built upon in exciting ways that I can’t talk about without spoiling the game, and the introduction of new characters and locations makes the world of God of War feel larger than players could have ever imagined. The scale of this game is almost intimidating at times. Whether or not that actually makes for a more enjoyable experience is up for debate.

Once all was said and done in 2022, I couldn’t look past this masterpiece. Aloy and her loveable crew came close, but Kratos and Atreus slay yet another enemy to claim my top spot.

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed the ramblings of an aging gamer, and here’s hoping 2023 is even better for games than 2022. Merry Christmas motherfuckers and have a cracking new year!

Written and edited by Mikey.