It’s that time of year again, folks. The chestnuts are roasting, the eggnog is flowing, and game journals around the world are rounding up the best of the best in video games for 2022. Through an intense and rigorous voting process, we’ve gathered up our staff to choose what we feel are the strongest games of the year in their respective categories, with of course a few fun categories in the mix as well. This is not an exhaustive list, as there will always be more excellent games than our staff members can play each year. For example, we were not provided advance review copies of God of War Ragnarok and many of our staff haven’t been able to play it yet. We’ll be publishing personal staff picks of the best of 2022 over the next few weeks as well, so stick around! Without further ado, here are our winners!

Best Narrative

An image from AI The Somnium Files Nirvana Initiative

For outstanding storytelling, dialogue, and use of narrative that could only be done in games.

  • Beacon Pines
  • Digimon Survive
  • Elden Ring
  • AI: The Somnium Files – Nirvana Initiative – WINNER
  • Live A Live

Biggest Disappointment

Overwatch 2 Kiriko speed bosting Genji and Hanzo

A game we had high hopes for that let us down one way or another. The winner of this award is forever banished to the Lustless Isles.

  • Chocobo GP
  • Midnight Fight Express
  • Martha Is Dead
  • Overwatch 2 – WINNER
  • Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

Best New IP

ELDENRING 04 4K

For a compelling new world with never before seen characters, stories, and places that leaves us wanting more.

  • Triangle Strategy
  • Elden Ring – WINNER
  • Pentiment
  • Ghostwire Tokyo
  • Scorn

 

Best Trailer for an Upcoming Space Survival Horror Game

Pragmata

We had enough of these for a whole category! Yay!

  • ILL
  • Pragmata – WINNER
  • Dead Space Remake
  • Callisto Protocol
  • Routine

The Tearjerker Award

Somnium Screen push square

A game that brought tears to our eyes, whether with genuine joy or sorrow.

  • AI: The Somnium Files – Nirvana Initiative – WINNER
  • Endling: Extinction is Forever
  • Fire Emblem: Three Hopes
  • I Was a Teenage Exocolonist
  • Citizen Sleeper

Indie Game of the Year

Neon White Dialogue

The best game from an independent developer with a smaller budget and team that stands up to and even surpasses the experiences AAA games can deliver.

  • Neon White – WINNER
  • norco
  • Powerwash Simulator
  • Tunic
  • Beacon Pines

Best Villain

Bayonetta 2 bayonetta wielding two guns

For the most formidable and memorable villain in gaming this year, who either represented evil and chaos in a fresh way or made us sympathize with their plight.

  • Volo – Pokémon Legends Arceus
  • Tearer – AI: The Somnium Files – Nirvana Initiative
  • Sony (ft. Jim Ryan)
  • Bobby Kotick’s Spokesperson
  • Hellena Taylor – WINNER

Jolly Vibes

Stray 20220720150240 1

The game that just made us feel great this year, whether alone or with friends. This is the best game this year that helped us escape the stress of the real world.

  • Pokémon Scarlet and Violet
  • Disney Dreamlight Valley
  • Stray – WINNER
  • Kirby and the Forgotten Land
  • Powerwash Simulator

Excellence in Diversity

Somnium Files Mama

For stepping above the status quo in representing racial, gender, ability or sexual minorities in gaming as real, three dimensional characters.

  • Citizen Sleeper
  • I Was a Teenage Exocolonist
  • AI: The Somnium Files – Nirvana Initiative – WINNER
  • New Tales from the Borderlands
  • Horizon Forbidden West

Best Soundtrack

ELDENRING 01 4K

For excellence in using score and soundtrack to capture and define moments and vibes.

  • TMNT Shredder’s Revenge
  • Kirby and the Forgotten Land
  • Elden Ring – WINNER
  • Citizen Sleeper
  • Live A Live

Best with Buddies

For a game in which playing alongside friends, whether on the couch or online, elevates the experience to incredible new heights.

  • The Quarry
  • TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge –  WINNER
  • Elden Ring
  • Fire Emblem: Three Hopes
  • Immortality

 

Best Boss Fight

Radahn 2

For the most memorable battle of the year. The winner will have multiple key elements such as an excellent villain, great design of the fight, and epic moments you still can’t get off your mind.

  • Malenia – Elden Ring
  • Rykard – Elden Ring
  • Rennala – Elden Ring
  • Radahn – Elden Ring – WINNER
  • Volo – Pokémon Legends Arceus

Character That Would Make a Better Twitter CEO Than Elon Musk

stray kibby

How topical of us!

  • Goro Majima (Yakuza)
  • Edelgard (Fire Emblem)
  • Hideo Kojima
  • The Cat from Stray – WINNER
  • One of those rock caterpillar things in Elden Ring that just spend all day flopping around on the ground

 

Excellence in Art Design

Pentiment screen RPG Fan

For a game that brings a notable art style, impressive theming, and visual cohesion to a world that makes you want to just keep taking it in.

  • Horizon Forbidden West
  • Scorn
  • Pentiment – WINNER
  • Neon White
  • Elden Ring

Best Living Game

A zombie type ghost in Phasmophobia, being hunted by a ghost hunter bearing a cross.

For a game that has been receiving continual updates, expansions, and new content for at least a year and is better than ever.

  • Valheim
  • No Man’s Sky
  • The Binding of Isaac: Repentance
  • Phasmophobia – WINNER
  • Genshin Impact

Most Anticipated

The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom Link running on an island in the sky

The games we are most excited for that are currently slated for release in 2023. We have listed our top 5 in order!

  1. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
  2. Starfield
  3. Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
  4. Hollow Knight: Silksong
  5. Dead Space Remake

Forgotten Stepchild

God of War Ragnarok Kratos and Atreus stand near a wolf led sleigh

These are the games with the most votes that did not earn a nomination. Even if they weren’t specifically one of the best in any of our categories, they still deserve recognition this year!

  • A Plague Tale: Requiem
  • Sonic Frontiers
  • God of War Ragnarok – WINNER
  • The Case of the Golden Idol
  • Bayonetta 3

Game of the Year

Ranni Elden Ring

To celebrate the game this this year that showed the best gaming has to offer over any other; whether its innovative gameplay, a fantastic story, mastery of a genre or all of the above.

  • AI: The Somnium Files – Nirvana Initiative
  • Neon White
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3
  • Kirby and the Forgotten Land
  • Elden Ring – WINNER

 

What do you think? Who got snubbed? Who deserved the big win? Are you tired of seeing Elden Ring win every GOTY award this year? Sound off in the comments below!

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Jbumi
Jbumi
1 month ago

I enjoy the Lusties every year!! This year, I particularly agreed with Best Villian & Twitter CEO!!!