2022 Early GOTY contenders

We're over a third of the way through the year, so you've probably found at least a couple of the things that are going to be on your GOTY list - start talkin' about 'em!

I'm for sure putting Patrick's Parabox on the list. Likely towards the top of the list - it's certainly the best puzzle game I've played this year, probably this decade, and maybe even ever. Quite apropos for the recursive nature of the game, it is a bottomless pit of delight, and has some of the wildest puzzles I've ever seen, and not in a "this is so complicated you'll never solve it", but entirely in a "you have to train your brain to think in entirely novel ways in order to solve this not-that-complicated puzzle. And then it does that to you over again with each new mechanic it introduces.

We can toss words like "inventive" around, but it really really applies here. It's like nothing I've ever played before, or it's exactly like that time I tried to play Sokoban after eating those mushrooms I found at the back of the fridge.

I’d be shocked out of my brain if anything beat out Elden Ring as my #1. What else can be said now?

Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin is definitely number two and frankly I could see it staying there. The quality of the action really took me by surprise.

The only other contenders are the Skywalker Saga, Pokémon Arceus, and the FFVI remaster if that counts.

Looking forward there isn’t a ton for me. MH Sunbreak. Forspoken is almost definitely going to be played. Maybe the Saints Row reboot. I’ll be picking up Rogue Legacy 2, and since I’ll be plugging the XSX back in, maybe Tunic also.

Not at all confident Starfield makes it out this year.

Pokeymans Arceus is on my current list too, but I wouldn't be surprised to see it drop off the bottom as more hotness arrives through the year.

I assume Elden Ring is appearing on the aggregated community GOTY at this point.

Norco. I don't want to saddle it with expectation, but it has the poetry of American gothic horror and mystery kind of like Kentucky Route Zero. It's has mythos and legend and surreal travel sequences with dreamlike qualities. A beautiful and pixellated mystery/detective point-and-click adventure set in a dystopian cyberpunk future. If you've ever enjoyed a Sierra game from the 90's the gameplay experience would feel both alien and familiar.

I definitely have Patrick's Parabox and Norco on my list as well.

Nobody Saves the World is probably a lock. Vampire Survivors might be a quirky one if there's not a lot that appeals to me later in the year.

Now, the question I have is this: Is Wordle eligible for our GOTY lists?

The last 2 years I've been grazing on so many games thanks to Games Pass. But now my teen son is borrowing my account so often it's cut back my own playtime to more discreet sessions.

I'll have to check my 2021 GOTY list to avoid disqualifying entries, but in terms of what I've played so far in 2022 which has been memorable, the only new game is Distant Worlds 2.

Panzer Corps 2 released on Games Pass recently so I'll probably give that a go soon to scratch my WW2 itch. I've got COH2 somewhere unplayed, probably a free Epic title along the way, which I may try out as well, however belated.

Other than that - CK3 is also on Games Pass and is the strategy group's game of the month. I've not tried my hand at any CK games yet so we'll see how that goes.

Other titles I'm keeping my eyes on:

- Wartales: low fantasy turn based grid mercenary band (think Battle Brothers in 3D). Already out in EA but waiting for it to be further refined

- BG3: if it gets released this year

- Falling Frontier: no sure how I'd describe this but possibly like Battlestar Galactica with slow preponderant space battles

This year has been almost entirely about going back and finishing games I'd previously dropped, so I've spent more time in Horizon: Zero Dawn than pretty much anything else.

Actual New Games I've Played This Year:
- Tunic (seemed fine)
- Distant Worlds 2 (I don't know why I keep buying space 4x games)

New To Me This Year:
- Conquest of Elysium 5 (this is my favorite thing I've played this year)

Still Waiting On:
- Midnight Suns (I don't care about marvel, but I'm interested in what the XCOM team is up to)
- Monkey Island

It's difficult to imagine anything topping Elden Ring for me this year.

If God of War 2 sneaks in at the end of the year it'll probably be my number 1. Elden Ring is up there right now but it's also way too damn long. I don't have 120+ hours to play these days and that alone has it in a tenuous position.

Yakuza Kiwami 2 is a shoe-in on my list. It's the third in the series I've played (finished Kiwami 1 and then 0 prior to this) so far and on the gameplay front it's definitely my favoite so far. The combat feels better than in the prior two games (I can't quantify that; it's totally a subjective thing), the minigames are varied and polished (though I very much miss Pocket Racer ), and I'm loving the way that the story and characters continue to build upon the groundwork laid in the previous titles (even knowing that 0 was made after 1 and 2, they very obviously wrote it not just to serve as a prequel plotline but also to add background depth to multiple characters). I did find the main plot of Yakuza 1 more engaging than 0 and 2 (so far, I'm only about halfway through 2) by virtue of the tragic rivalry between Kiryu and Nishiki, but all three of the games have excellent crime mystery/thriller writing and performances.

Elden Ring is also all but certain to land on my list. I'm a bit torn on the open-world nature of it though. On the one hand, I love exploration. But on the other hand, adding another layer of "figure it out on your own with little to no direction" on top of what the Dark Souls titles already had has left me with much more time "wasted" trying to figure out where to go next. I don't want to progress the main sequence too rapidly and miss out on either goodies or important build elements (thus leaving myself rapidly outmatched -- I'm not a very good player at these games), so I keep trying to make sure I'm delving into everything I can, but it's even more directionless in that regard than Breath of the Wild was (and I ran into similar problems in the "mid game" of BotW too). I think in the end, I may find that Elden Ring falls a bit short of my love for Dark Souls, heretical as that may sound to the current zeitgeist.

Pokemon Arceus has a strong shot at landing in my top ten, but just depends on what else comes up this year. Nothing about it is blowing me away, but everything about it is at least fairly solid in execution. I would like to see much of the gameplay elements of this release worked into the mainline franchise entries in the future (especially the agile/strong combat mechanic, I LOVE that).

Coromon is all but a shoe-in. I've only dipped my toes in so far, but it's very much in the vein of the GBA-era pokemon titles with plenty of its own adjustments to the formula. The pixel art is gorgeous, it plays nice and snappy, and I like what I've seen of the mechanics so far.

Nothing else that's new to me this year that I've put enough time into yet to indicate a slot on my GOTY list. However, there's a fair variety of great new releases through the rest of the year, as well as new-to-me titles on my list, so no end in sight for great gaming to anticipate.

The only potential contenders so far this year are all older titles - Control and Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. Lots of gaming left to go though!

billt721 wrote:

- Monkey Island

Who the WHAT now?
Holy heck! Awesome!

Still interested in various games in 2022; Xenoblade Chronicles 3, Starfield, Forspoken, Rogue Legacy 2, Last Epoch and more. Plus a massive backlog. But in all honesty, I dont think there is any chances whatsoever that I will play any game this year that will get close to Elden Ring. It is flawed, probably not even the best Souls game, but an imperfect Souls game is still an unreachable star.

ELEX 2 and I'll fight everyone about this.

I have no idea what that is

Blind_Evil wrote:

I have no idea what that is :D

*hands you a pair of knuckle dusters*

Vector wrote:

ELEX 2 and I'll fight everyone about this.

But the first rule of Fight Clu-

Oh I forgot to add the upcoming WH40K Grey Knights game to my anticipated list of contenders. Gameplay previews came out recently and seem fairly encouraging. Can never get enough grid based TRPG.

Only really played two new games so far, Elden Ring and Total War: Warhammer 3. The former, I love, the latter, I might learn to love.

(Checks list of games played in 2022)...

1. Hades


Hey, someone needs to make sure Hades gets a number 1 GOTY vote for three consecutive years!

I can't see it not being Elden Ring. It's mind-boggling how, as someone who loves the original Dark Souls, this game has recaptured the magic of that first game so thoroughly whilst expanding the game from what felt like a small principality to, if the rumours I hear are correct, something that is the equivalent to a small European country. Instead of diluting what made the Dark Souls series so good (for those of us who enjoy that kinda thing ) it vastly improved the pacing inherent to this style of game.

Elden Ring gives me that deliciously tense exploration and discovery where every gloomy corridor, every reluctant door, every turned corner could lead to a horrifying enemy or the blissful safety of a bonfire/site of grace yet those fun but stressful sequences are perfectly diluted by an open world where you can ride around collecting flowers and can easily gallop away from anything you don't like the look of.

From aren't perfect. They have blind spots when it comes to UI, etc but, they are constantly thinking of the player, how to surprise, challenge and to guide them. As I ride around a mist shrouded lake or creep through the halls of a misbegotten, rain soaked castle, I can always feel the love and care that's gone into the world from it's atmospheric vistas, it's looping and interconnected pathways and even the tiniest, most incidental of environmental details.


I’ve finally caught up on Inscryption and might include it on my top 10 list. Otherwise Total Warhammer 3 and Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons will definitely be on there.

I think it’s going to be an interesting matchup between Starfield and Elden Ring come November.

dejanzie wrote:

(Checks list of games played in 2022)...

1. Hades


Hey, someone needs to make sure Hades gets a number 1 GOTY vote for three consecutive years!


I've enjoyed a lot of '22 releases this year, but none have completely captivated me like lttp Terminator: Resistance.

BGS Fallout-lite might be an accurate description mechanically along with an incredible love for the source material.

I've found it an case study in punching above its weight and a complete gas thus far.

So far Sifu and Forbidden West are sitting at the top. But I have yet to play a lot of the candidates being tossed around here, so it will probably be something else.

I must get back to Sifu. I just can’t play it whilst playing Elden Ring without sabotaging myself in both games. The same applies to Ghost of Tsushima which was feeling pretty comfortable in my top spot until you know which game came along.

I have high hopes for Saints Row


Dorfromantik is a surprise GOTY contender for me all of a sudden!

Dorfromantik has been great even when it was just the simple version they started with as students. Magically relaxing.