A lot of video games came out in 2022. If you are like me, then you probably did your best to play all of them. But it’s likely a few fell through the cracks or you started them only to have those games fall off for one reason or another.
With 2022 coming to a close, there is no better time than now to go pick up some of these games you missed out on and give them a shot, or to open up that old save file and start working your way back through it. This isn’t a definitive best of list or anything like that, just a handful of games that we think everyone should go back and give a second look.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land – Nintendo Switch
Many people played Kirby and the Forgotten Land this year. We can understand why. Not only was it a new Kirby game, but it was Kirby’s first true adventure in the world of 3D. Fans had been asking for this ever since his 2.5D adventure on the Nintendo 64, and this was finally the moment it had been delivered. How were the results? Pretty spectacular! It felt exactly like a Kirby game should with the pink puff ball going on a linear adventure. There wasn’t too much of a challenge, but there was a ton of depth for the players who wanted to master it.
So, why is it on here? It’s because of how deep the adventure goes. Kirby and the Forgotten Land, like every other game in the franchise, isn’t too hard. Getting to the end and meeting the minimum requirements to reach the credits of the game is something that pretty much anyone can accomplish. However, if you want to really see what Kirby and the Forgotten Land has to offer then you need to go find every Waddle Dee, play every bonus level, and do your best to 100 percent the game. It is worth every hour you will put into it and might even push it up a few levels on your personal top 10 for the year.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus – Nintendo Switch
Did you even remember this game came out this year? Pokémon Legends: Arceus did something that a lot of long time Pokémon fans had basically assumed was never going to happen: It not only gave them, at the time, the closest thing they’d ever had to an open world Pokémon game, but its emphasis on exploration and catching Pokémon instead of the traditional gym challenge was a fresh new take on the series that was very much needed. It might be a spin-off, but it’s a spin-off that achieved so much that the main games wouldn’t even dare to attempt.
It also was a really dense game. Plenty of people did reach the credits on this, but others got their fill from the game’s first half. It was so easy to get lost for hours roaming the world, catching Pokémon, and getting into battles. Whatever plot the game had was forced to take a backseat in favor of just goofing off. If you are one of those people, then it might be time to go back into the world of Hisui and see what more you can find.
Tunic – PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, PC
We have written extensively about how great Tunic is. It’s one of the best games to come out in years and its focus on puzzle solving and discovery keeps the player on their toes in a way that is familiar to the games it is inspired by, but also unique enough to feel like its own original game. It also, unfortunately, came out during the two month period where Elden Ring owned the entirety of video games.
This is why we are once again putting out the message that everyone needs to play Tunic. It has a lot of elements inspired by other games, but all of them come together to form a truly one-of-a-kind experience. There is even something to come back to for players that finished the game but didn’t complete it. The game’s final puzzle is something of a culmination of everything that came in the game before. It doesn’t change the gameplay, but it adds a new element that, depending on how tuned into the puzzles the player is, can take anywhere from a few hours to several days to complete. If you missed out on Tunic the first time, or never completed it 100 percent, this is your opportunity to fix that.
Horizon Forbidden West – PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
The developers of the Horizon series of games are proud. They have made two phenomenal games that are beloved by fans and critics for being phenomenal open worlds with beautiful scenery. There is no shame felt by those developers at all, but you can’t help but feel a little bad for them that, twice now, their standout franchise has been overshadowed by equally impressive open-world experiences. Back when Horizon Zero Dawn came out, it was right when The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was dominating the conversation in video games. Unfortunately for them, Horizon Forbidden West suffered a similar fate by releasing only seven days before Elden Ring.
We don’t need to go into all the reasons why Elden Ring dominated the conversation, as we’ve done that plenty already, but we can say that while Horizon is an experience that many missed out on, there is still plenty of time to catch up on it. Whether it’s both games in the franchise or just Forbidden West, these are games that everyone with a PlayStation should look into. They’re gorgeous games, people love them, and the only negative thing you can say about them is equally great games came out at the exact same time.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 – Nintendo Switch
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is incredible. While its story is self-contained, its universe gets a send-off that Monolith Soft spent three games carefully building into a conclusion that left longtime fans of the series weeping as the credits rolled. Its world is constantly delivering new places to explore, quests to complete, and skill trees to unlock. You can spend hours upon hours of this game simply filling out the map and getting lost. It is the best JRPG experience this year and one of the best you’ll experience in general. That in itself is also why it’s on this list: It’s a JRPG.
JPRGs are notorious for being filled to the brim with content. This is great for those that want to dive into a single world and spend weeks, if not months, playing a single game. Not everyone is like that, though. Some people grow tired of playing a single game for that long and eventually fall off. If you did that with Xenoblade it’s totally understandable, but there is no better time than now to go back and finish it. The plot goes to places that you really don’t see coming, and the world never gets boring to explore. Go back, finish Xenoblade Chronicles 3, and thank me later.