The end of another year is upon us at last, so I’m ready to take a look back at the best games I played this year – not necessarily all 2022 releases, but any game I finished in 2022.
I didn’t play quite as many games this year, and fewer that stood out compared to last year. Whole months passed with me only playing a handful of games.
I blame The Great Ace Attorney.
Partway through the year, I half-jokingly thought I’d just name The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles as my top game again, because even though I finished it last year, it’s been on my mind more than anything I actually played this year.
But I’m sure you wouldn’t want a list where I simply tell you to play The Great Ace Attorney instead of actually listing anything, so I’m going to rank my top 5 games after all.
Better yet, I have an actual methodology for determining my top games for the first time ever! You see, I loved The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles so much, I’ve realized I can rank the games I played in 2022 by how much they managed to distract me from thinking about it.
Now before we get into the list proper…
This year, I have to give out three honorable mentions to games that had a good shot of appearing on this list… except that I haven’t finished them yet. Those games are Elden Ring, which pulled me into its vast world despite my initial misgivings, Xenoblade Chronicles 3, which feels like another great entry in the Xenoblade series, and Yakuza 5, which should definitely rank among my top Yakuza games. All three of these games share another thing in common: they’re long. Here’s hoping I finish them next year.
Now now without further ado, here are the top 5 games I played in 2022!
5. Witch on the Holy Night
Recency bias might be partly to blame, as I just finished it yesterday, but Witch on the Holy Night really stands out to me as an excellent visual novel. The world is intriguing and makes me want to explore the related works more. (It sure would be nice if we got another translated visual novel.) I’m glad I finished it before the end of the year.
On the distraction scale, it held my attention whenever I played it, without me losing focus to think about The Great Ace Attorney instead.
Omori is another recent one, and although I criticized the disjointed feel some aspects left me with, I can’t deny that it was a lot of fun. The darker parts were thought-provoking, while the lighter parts were entertaining.
On the distraction scale, it crept into my thoughts occasionally even when I wasn’t playing, temporarily distracting me from The Great Ace Attorney.
I loved Birushana, and it’s definitely one of my favorite otome games now. The characters were wonderful, the story delightful, and each route filled with many tense, high-stakes moments. I really hope they localize the fandisc, because I need to see more of these characters.
On the distraction scale, a couple of the love interests managed to occupy my thoughts for whole minutes of my free time, though it wasn’t long before The Great Ace Attorney returned.
2. Cupid Parasite
Another otome and another new favorite, Cupid Parasite stands out by being one where I loved every love interest, in addition to having a hilarious story with moments that had me laughing out loud. It was an absolute delight from start to finish. This one is getting a fandisc too, although it’s not even out in Japan yet, so I really hope we eventually get it here.
On the distraction scale, one love interest – and yes, I mean Allan – managed to temporarily usurp my free time thoughts from The Great Ace Attorney for the entire duration of his route and some time afterwards.
1. AI: The Somnium Files
Finally, the best game I played this year is without a doubt AI: The Somnium Files (the first one, although I also enjoyed the sequel). I gushed about it in my review, about how the wacky humor, intriguing mystery, and fantastic story all came together to make it an amazing experience. I enjoyed it more than any of the Zero Escape games, and if you pressured me into ranking my top games of all, it would probably make the list. It’s that good.
On the distraction scale, I spent significant portions of time around my playthrough thinking about AI: The Somnium Files instead of The Great Ace Attorney, and that’s actually an impressive feat.
But Sam, what about all those games on your most-anticipated games of 2022 list? I only managed to play two of them, and while they’d make my top 10 if I was solely ranking games released this year, they didn’t make the cut for this list. The other three are languishing in my backlog. Who knows? Maybe next year will be their year.
In the meantime, I’m not exaggerating how obsessed I’ve been with The Great Ace Attorney. Please go play it. Will it be toppled by a game next year? We’ll certainly find out. Come back tomorrow to see what five games I’m most anticipating from 2023!---
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