It’s getting to be that time of year again, folks! The Gameluster crew gathered their collective brainpower and managed to put together what we feel is a good list of the best of the best games in 2022, including Game of the Year! The nominees, as voted by our staff, are as follows.

Best Narrative

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
  • Live A Live

Biggest Disappointment

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
  • Pokemon Scarlet & Violet

Best New IP

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

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

Elden Ring Promo Screenshot

Best Trailer for an Upcoming Space Survival Horror Game

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

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

The Tearjerker Award

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

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

Indie Game of the Year

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
  • norco
  • Powerwash Simulator
  • Tunic
  • Beacon Pines

Best Villain

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

Jolly Vibes

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.

  • Pokemon Scarlet & Violet
  • Disney Dreamlight Valley
  • Stray
  • Kirby and the Forgotten Land
  • Powerwash Simulator

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Excellence in Diversity

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

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

Best Soundtrack

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
  • 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
  • Elden Ring
  • Fire Emblem: Three Hopes
  • Immortality

An image from AI The Somnium Files Nirvana Initiative

Best Boss Fight

  • Malenia – Elden Ring
  • Rykard – Elden Ring
  • Rennala – Elden Ring
  • Radahn – Elden Ring
  • Volo – Pokemon Legends Arceus

Character That Would Make a Better Twitter CEO Than Elon Musk

How topical of us!

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

Kirby and the Forgotten Land with kirby holding a sword and surrounded by stars

Excellence in Art Design

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
  • Neon White
  • Elden Ring

Best Living Game

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

Most Anticipated

  • Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
  • Starfield
  • Hollow Knight: Silksong
  • Dead Space Remake

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Game of the Year

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

 

What do you think? Sound off in the comments below about the biggest wins and biggest snubs, and make sure to check back in next week to see who the winners are!

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Mincu Marius
Mincu Marius
2 months ago

No GOW Ragnarok, is this a joke?

Sarim Irfan
2 months ago
Reply to  Mincu Marius

Hi! Our GOTY nominees are decided by weighted votes from every member of our team, and very few actually got around to Ragnarok this year. Our review is coming soon, and those of us who played absolutely voted for it to be here! Since the majority couldn’t get to it, though, the numbers are what they are. Hope this makes that clear.

Jbumi
Jbumi
1 month ago

I enjoy the Lusties – every year you have some unique categories that I truly appreciate (great picks this year for Best Villain!).

My personal ’22 Awards –
Best debut RPG by a small developer: Edge of Eternity
First game I’ve played in YEARS that didn’t have one bug the entire play through: Soul Hackers 2
See ya next year (game I’ll be playing into ’23): Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous. Owlcat makes the deepest, most involved games I’ve played!! Took me 5 months to finish Kingmaker, & Wrath looks to be at least that long – love these games!!