Ranking all the games I played in 2022 because I am a sucker for waxing nostalgic every New Year's Day. Note that, since I typically tend to replay games often, these rankings are mostly based on how much I enjoyed playing the game this year specifically. In some games are ranked lower (or higher) than they would otherwise due to the circumstances of how much I enjoyed them this year. Feel free to yell at me and say I have shit, terrible, awful taste!
34) Super Monkey Ball 2
Look, I love love looooove the first Super Monkey Ball game. My current avatar on discord is from Monkey Ball. Used to be super obsessed with it back in the day. I finally got around to expanding my Monkey Ball horizons by playing the second one this year. And, unfortunately, this was a massive disappointment for me. The levels in SMB 1 feel like they were constructed by developers who really understood what SMB is and what makes it fun; I mean, you're balancing a goshdang monkey in a little ball for banana's sake. With SMB 2, it feels like they locked an intern in a closet and said "you have 1 day to make 100 levels for our next game or you're fired!!!!"
So many dumb gimmicks. I cringed every time there was a level that was just "some weird object that's spinning really fast!" Someone mentioned to me once that SMB was more of a puzzle game, and that really tracks. I mean, there's a level where you just have to keep pressing random buttons until you land on the one that opens the gate forward. This is not what I really look for in a Super Monkey Ball game. Frustrating and thoroughly boring, SMB 2 was a 0/10 for me. Then again I didn't play any of the multiplayer minigames, so maybe there is something there I am missing.
33) Auto Modellista
Playing Auto Modellista is painful, phsyically; its the gameplay evuivalent of trying to pull your own teeth out with a wrench. While I am a huge Kart Racer fan, I haven't played too many traditonal racing games, so I don't know how it stacks it up to like Need For Speed or Forza, but... yeah. It's.... rough. The only reason it isn't in F Tier is because the visuals are sooooooooo fucking beautiful. This is one of the best looking games of all time, in my opinion, and if it only the gameplay was a little smoother, it would be a 10/10.
32) Pokemon Leafgreen (with a randomizer)
I played Leafgreen after having a blast with my Emerald nuzlocke, but tried this time with a randomizer. I went FULL ON RANDOMNESS, but I really didn't end up enjoying it all that much. I stopped playing around Celadon City. Maybe I'll give it another go at some point, but a full random nuzlocke might just not be for me.
31) Pico Park
This puzzle game supports up to 8 player, and I am sure, with that many people, the chaos that ensues would be quite funny. I only played it with my girlfriend, so maybe I missed out on the full experience. Otherwise, the puzzles were mostly pretty easy and boring, and overall just kind of uninspired. And even with 8 players, it seems the fun would mostly come from everyone fucking with each other, which would kind of get old really quick I think. Plus, who the fuck can ever get 8 people to all buy the same game and play it at the same time??? That is so unrealistic. If I could do that I'd probably end up preferring a different game anyway.
30) Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines
Ok, this might be the hottest take here since I know how beloved this game is. But this year marks one of several years where I have tried really really hard to get into VtMB, but I just... can't. VtMB seems to fall into a category of games that just feel.... gameplay-less. Like Rockstar's Bully. You kinda just run around doing tasks, but while there is lots of variety- none of it feels as tight as it would if the game were just designed around a certain aspect. Like, early in the game there is a quest where you sneak around a haunted hotel, but the sneak mechanics are thin so it feels more like a haunted house dark ride in Disneyland- just moving between set-pieces. Then there's a part where you sneak into this warehouse and its a combat-heavy area, but the combat isn't that particularly good? Like, as an action game or FPS it just doesn't hold up for me. I also found the writing to be mid? In the aforementioned haunted hotel, you find diary excepts from a woman who was murdered, but she's writing in her diary as she is being murdered,
like, bitch, put down the diary and run!!! I will try my best to get deeper into the game, but for all my attempts I barely can make it very far before I get bored and move on. I like the worldbuilding, though.
29) Sonic Battle
My mom bought me Sonic Battle for the GBA when I wanted Sonic Adventure 2: Battle for the Gamecube. Tragic as that may be, Sonic Battle is a very OK button masher that I stopped playing not that far in. I feel like there is something cool here, though, and would like to see these ideas come back in a more fully-fledged fighting game some day.
28) Pokemon Stadium 2
Ok real talk, I LOOOOOVE Pokemon Stadium 2 and will defend it to my death. I am so glad I had this game as a kid because so much of my Pokemon nostalgia is rooted in this title. However, I barely remember my time playing it this year so I really can't justify ranking it that high. Plus, I will admit, my appreciation for this game does wane more and more every time I replay it- it is kind of fucking bullshit at times, and I wish more of the rental Pokemon were actually, like, useable.
27) Pokemon Scarlet
Pokemon's foray into the full-on open world just doesn't do it for me. The world is empty, the graphics are dull and the battles still so so so so painfully fucking slow. The Gen 9 dex is also the weakest one so far, in my opinion. I'd say it's disappointing but at this point this level of quality is exactly what I expect.
26) Pokémon Crystal Clear
A better attempt at making Pokemon an open world experience than Scarlet & Violet, and while it's super impressive that for a fangame, the structure of the game just doesn't do it for me. It was fun for the first bit when I was assembling my team, but after that it almost feels like the game plays itself since you can just go do whatever you want in any order.
25) Fall Guys
Played a lot of Fall Guys but in reality it was moreso motivated for the funny costumes I wanted to earn. I wish that they'd make a game like Fall Guys but with better platforming mechanics. Imagine this game but with Mario 64 controls? That's like, my dream game.
OpenTTD is the open-source simulator version of the game Transport Tycoon Deluxe. OpenTTD was fun while I was learning how it works, which I really forced myself to do using as few guides and walkthroughs as possible. The game really fell off for me once I felt like I Got It. Because, at the end of the day, it's just a game about transportation. For a certain type of gamer this may very well be heaven, but I don't think I am that type of gamer, even though I love the farts out of Rollercoaster Tycoon.
23) Kingdom Hearts
Another hot take, probably. I hated this game. LOL. That is an exaggeration. I loved the first couple hours, from the beginning of the game to when you first start exploring the 'worlds' is incredible. Destiny Islands may be one of the best "starting areas" ever made, and the music is top fucking notch. Something about the rest of the game, though, just did nothing for me. Combat was boring, the story is boring. The best thing about this game is Donald Fucking Duck. I got to the final area of the game one night and just quit out of frustration and boredom and button mashing.
But somehow overnight the game worked it's magic on me.
I woke up and couldn't stop thinking about it, and ended up powering through it. Beating that fucker final boss was a real challenge, and I am happy I overcame it. I don't know what drove me back into this game but I am content to assume it was just Kingdom Hearts magic. Maybe Sora snuck into my dream and unlocked my heart with his big ass key. I do think the game's got some real problems, though. I wont spoil it here but I found the ending to be really disappointing. The unskippable gummi ship parts where also just so fucking pluto-ass-dogshit. Fun concept, maybe I will replay it some day.
A cute attempt at the Pokemon formula that ends up not really doing much of anything better than Pokemon itself. The monster designs are mostly hit or miss for me, but when they hit, they hit. Some of my favs:
The sprites aside, the game is stylistically less interesting to me than Pokemon. If Pokemon is Lego, then Coromon is Megablox. The game can feel a bit "all over the place"..... at one point you go to an afterlife realm filled with ghosts and spirits and also the main antoganists are... aliens? The game's finale is a bit underwhelming too. That said, I know the team is small and that the game is getting updates periodically, so some of the problems may be fixed. I may give it a go again later. I enjoyed it and actually finished it all the way through, which is honestly more of a praise then I can say for most games, to be quite honest.
Cute, frantic multiplayer game that is still fun by yourself. Starts slow but nevertheless quite fun. Really got me thinking about trains.
I played Hylics on Halloween since I heard it could be beaten in only about an hour. It's a fine, RPG-maker esque game. The gameplay is your pretty standard RPG-maker gameplay. Fun at its core but lacking some depth. The real stand-out aspect of Hylics is it's beautiful, surreal art. For a weird loser like me, it's a gem. I was a little disappointed at the narrative (read: lack of narrative). Surrealism and weird shit is cool but I feel lit loses its momentum without some kind of interesting narrative to string the bizarre set-pieces together.
19) Spongebob: Battle for Bikini Bottom
Fine platformer, but could use some more fluid movement options to make the gameplay more fun. I kept wishing that Spongebob had some kind of long-jump or something... they all just move too dang slow.
18) Pokemon Legends: Arceus
Much better than SV in nearly every way, in my opinion. I did, however, think that the gameplay loop got a bit boring after only a few hours. I think there were more interesting ways that they could have approached the general idea of a Pokemon game in the fall past that could have lended itself to more interesting gameplay and story beats. That said, it was really surreal seeing so many Pokemon elements being used in what actually, for the first time ever, felt like a modern experience. LA exsists outside of the spectrum of rankings that Pokemon occupies. Like, when I say a Pokemon game is "good" what I am really saying is "It's good for Pokemon
." I don't feel like this is the case for LA.
17) Super Mario World
Powered through this game all over the course of New Year's Eve so it's lower on here since it didn't really stick with me that much. Still my fav 2D Mario. Surprised with the amount of variety and it just feels so good to play.
Good ol' Minecraft. Normally, I'd say Minecraft is in my top 10 videogames of all time... but this year my playthrough was more... cynical. It started with having to transfer my Mojang account to Microsoft account and all that nonsense. And I just couldn't shake the feeling of being disappointed by the lack of meaningful updates this game has gotten over the years. I was replaying this game because of the new Deep Dark and Caves & Cliffs updates, but even then they feel.... shallow. There is still so much untapped potential to this game, so many things that it could be, and I am tired of relying on mods to get even close to that. I could go on and on about what I think Minecraft could do, but it's hard to not be cynical when they keep doing those dumbfuck mob votes. JUST PUT THEM ALL IN. It's a real slap in the face to have to dump away content that they could easily put in the game just to drum up artificial hype.
And then, all my complains with MC were renewed when I saw this:
WHAT!!!! A whole ass update with a full-on magic system with new animations??? Just for some Avatar the Last Airbender DLC???? For Bedrock only???? Now I know where all the developer's priorities lie! Meanwhile, we're still struggling over here with the same shitty, shallow enchantment system and the same 4 basic bitch mobs every night! AGH I'm getting frustrated all over again.
Minecraft has the potential to be the greatest adventure game of all time....... so close yet so far.
15) Luigi's Mansion
Fine. Idk. It's Luigi's Mansion. Hunting Boos was annoying. More and more I'm starting to realize that I want more games that are Luigi's Mansion length. Short, sweet, to the point. Xoxo.
14) Final Fantasy VIII
This was the first game I played this year and I told myself that I was DEFINITELY GOING TO FINISH IT. I did not. I got to like, the second disc. It's fun, don't get me wrong, it's just.... yknow. It's a JRPG on the playstation. It has a lot of mechanics that have become the stereotypes for outdated video games; random encounters, having to watch cutscenes again after you've died, etc etc. But the characters and the world are so charming and full of life. I will complete this game, I swear on it.
13) Mario Superstar Baseball
When I was like 12 my family went on a weekend vacation to the shore, but literally all I could think about was Mario Superstar Baseball. I swear, they've programmed crack into this game. I CAN NOT stop thinking about it. This is quite literally me every day:
Gameplay aint bad either. Pretty tough. My first couple games were literally 0-0 draws. The way I popped the fuck off when I got my first run
. To be completely honest I'm not really a baseball guy. Did you know this game's got a pretty crazy competitive scene? You should check it out:
12) Sonic Mania
My issue with Sonic Mania is, despite the cool visuals and such, it really does feel like the game just kinda plays itself. Like, I hardly remember playing it because no matter what I felt like all I had to do was hold the stick to the right and Sonic will find his way to the end. So, it's not that memorable to me.
11) Sly Cooper and the Thievus Racconus
Ok maybe I'm a fucking idiot but I've always thought Sly Cooper was a fox? Like throughout my whole ass life? I mean, this was the first time I ever played a Sly Cooper game. But seriously he's not a fox???? Anyway, Sly Cooper is fun. I liked how the rewards for 100%ing a level are like, new abilities and shit. It actually made me want to collect all the collectibles, which is something I don't usually do in games since the rewards aren't usually worth it.
10) Pokemon Emerald Rogue
I told myself I wanted to play more Emerald Rogue after I beat my first run, but I never got around to it, and that's disappointing because this game is so dang cool. I want to see a full fledged game with this structure and it's absolutely so dang impressive that this is a fan hack of Pokemon Emerald. Cheers to the Emerald Rogue team because this might be the best Pokemon fangame that I've ever seen.
9) Castlevania: Rondo of Blood
Played this during my Dracula kick after reading the Bram Stoker novel and it did not disappoint. The level design is a bit uninspired at times, though. There is a level that is literally just a flat plane. In some ways it feels really outdated compared to platformers of its time; I mean look at Super Mario World, which came out 3 years prior. Richter feels so clunky and weak, he's like an antelope trying to play soccer. I tried my best to play most of it as Richter but really relied on Maria in the later levels. And, yes, the game is much easier as Maria, but- in my opinion- much more fun. With her double jump and ability to move while attacking, she just feels so much more fluid. The presentation of this game is fucking epic and awesome, though, and I will always love Castlevania for that.
8) Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
I will always and forever be a massive fucking slut for this game, and pretty much everything Mario Kart. I haven't played it thaaaaat much this year, but the new DLC tracks are absolutely everything I could have asked for. I never would have expected them to suddenly start pumping out soooo many more tracks for this game and yet here they are! More more more more more give me more please!!!!!!!!
7) Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
Something about the GBA Fire Emblems just sucks me in. They are so dang fun for no fucking reason. I think this game also had a legitimately interesting story, even if I think it fell off a bit towards the climax. It was a tad too easy in some parts thanks to them giving you one of the most broke ass units that series as a ever knew, but I still had quite a bit of fun with it.
6) Pokemon Emerald
I think this is up here solely because I had so much fun with the nuzlocke. It was the first time I ever completed a nuzlocke, and it did not disappoint. I think one strength of Pokemon is that it allows for so many self-imposed challenges and such; much more than any other game, just because of all customizable your party is. My only real complaint is that the amount of encounters you get really dips in the late game, but that is a part of a larger issue with this game specifically in terms of the wack ass Pokemon representation. I mean, all the Pokemon are programmed into the game with brand new sprites and such, would it have killed them to allow you to catch them...? I mean, is there really any serious justification for this:
Route 113.... a craggy moutainous valley so close to a volcano that ash perpetually falls from the sky, covering the forest in a blanket of dust. How many Pokemon can you find here? Only 3. Oh, ok.
It's further demoralizing when you realize that they probably did it only so they could resell Pokemon back to you via FR/LG and those dumbass E-Reader cards. This would continue to be a trend for virtually the series's entire life. Diamon and Pearl certainly didn't help it. Just let me catch them all, dangit!
5) Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team
I want to eat the Pokemon in this game. Is that weird? Like the sprites look so tasty. I want to eat them like they are fruit snacks.
I mean look at this guy >>>>
4) Resident Evil 4
I love how simple and straightfoward this game is. No bullshit. Just follow the paths and shoot the evil baddies. Gets a bit repetitive and exhausting nearer the end of the game but still a lot of fun. Leon is clunky to control but, unlike Richter, Leon's clunkiness feels purposeful, like it adds to the horror experience. Too many dang QTEs though.
3) Thief 2: The Metal Age
This game does start to fall a part the more you play it and the more you encounter the way its limited by the tech of its time. Thief 2 is so close to being a perfect game for me, and I hope one day a game comes out that really builds upon what Thief 2 started. Enrapturing world, tight gameplay and an interesting narrative made for a genuinely fun experience. Highly recommend Thief 2.
2) A Short Hike
A Short Hike? More like A Short Video Game!!! Yes, this game is very very short. But that is OK. I am usually not easily sold by "walking simulator" type games, but I was drawn in my the Animal Crossing Wild World-esque visuals and A Short Hike stole my heart. I want more of this. I want so much more of this. The potential that this game's mechanics inspire is way too great! Imagine a Pokemon game in this engine. I'd kill for that. I'd play 1,000 more hours of Super Monkey Ball 2 for that. Charming, brilliantly innovating and imaginative... Awesome. I hope more games with more depth take after A Short Hike. It was hard to not make it my #1.
Inscryption is fucking dope. Play it. I knew this game would be my #1 for the year as soon as I finished it and I was right, just no other game I played after it was able to reach its level. Play it.
Jeez what a long post! Good thing I have no life. See you all in a year.