Meck’s Favourite Games Of 2022

At Gamer Matters, it’s a yearly tradition where staff writers compile a list of personal favourite games of the year, separate from our official Game Of The Year list. 2022 remains to be so.

While 2022 sees a noticeable lack of major AAA games released in quantity, counter-intuitively it’s the year I feel like we at the site have been playing more games in general. From Game Pass finally making its way to Malaysia and several other countries in Southeast Asia, to the continuous drip of games from indie developers and publishers, there are many games to play.

Sure, the hard-hitting big-budget games don’t release as many, and when they do it’s all in a very close window (see February 2022, December 2, 2022). But to prove my point, this year’s list isn’t a Top 5, or a Top 10. It’s a Top 17 of my favourite games from 2022.

17 – Horizon Forbidden West

Let’s start off with the two games that did not make it to the list. The first is Guerilla’s strong follow-up to Horizon Zero Dawn, Horizon Forbidden West.

You have to have a PS5 and play this game to really do its open-world justice. The world is lavish, beautiful and full of life, and that translates still on the PS4 version, but with the little time I put into the next-gen console (I mostly played it on PS4) I am bewildered by how beautiful nature is.

And while the core gameplay is okay-ish, I’m mostly captivated by not only on the world, but the world-building. It’s an optimistic future post-post apocalypse world where we as a society let rampant AI rule and left the climate to change for the worse. We failed, but our children, living in remnants of technology beyond their comprehension continue to live on. It’s an ominous warning of a potential future we may be facing. Every time I see a Boston Dynamics video of their robots I shudder, how long until they bolted on guns and lasers on them?

Anyway, the tale of Aloy and her Magical AirPod continues that hopium ride of fascinating lore moments, uplifting discoveries and a story where humanity can still somehow rebuild itself again.

It’s a shame that most of the game feels like something I’ve played before. But as an open-world buffet of a game, it’s one of my favourites of the year.

Review of Horizon Forbidden West

16 – Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands

Borderlands goes high-fantasy and full D&D, and it’s good! The looter-shooter finally pivots from its tried-and-true formula, to great success.

Why isn’t it ranked higher, or made it to the Top 30 on the GOTY Awards then? Maybe the haphazard post-launch support for this smaller-scale Borderlands-ish adventure might have rubbed me the wrong way. But playing it back then for the review? That was a blast. I always liked games where numbers go up- Borderlands introduced that to me- and it’s great to see Wonderlands try and do something a little different to the formula.

Review of Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands

15 – You Suck At Parking

A car game that really isn’t about cars. You Suck At Parking is silly, hard and challenging but fun. A sort-of puzzle game, a sort-of Fall Guys with cars, this game is something else.

For being completely different from your typical indie game, for committing to a bit by having “You Suck At Parking” as the only lyrics on the soundtrack, and for making me spend a good hour or so retrying over and over one level where I swear it only takes one more try to pull off the Perfect Park, this game rocks.

Review of You Suck At Parking

14 – Return To Monkey Island

I don’t play much of point-and-click adventure games, but I have a very soft spot for Monkey Island games. Return To Monkey Island manages to reward that sense of nostalgia, but still stands on its own by being a competent adventure game.

It’s a refined take on the classic LucasArts adventure game. And the jokes remain funny- as in, if your sense of humour was thoroughly tickled by the past Monkey Island games, this definitely remembers where your funny bone is.

Review Of Return To Monkey Island

13 – Weird West

An immersive sim has to be on this list somewhere. Weird West brings that philosophy of game design into a top-down perspective. It’s a reactive world where various actions have consequences. And the system seems to be robust enough for various shenanigans to happen. I skipped a whole sequence that involves joining the town’s duel just to get inside a building by stacking barrels and climbing through the first floor’s window.

I didn’t vibe as much with the premise and tone (supernatural wild west isn’t for me I guess- but the choice of dark electronica for the music is actually cool). But being able to complete quests in various ways, killing off (or saving) NPCs only for that choice to haunt/reward you later is something I hope becomes more normalised in more games. But I’m glad Weird West is still holding out that torch for the im-sim crowd.

12- Hardspace Shipbreaker

I never actually understood the premise of Hardspace Shipbreakers, but once I actually play it, it makes perfect sense. Be the salvager that strips out parts of a ship to recycle and what to throw into the furnace. But in zero-g. And also you do so under a corporate overlord which you indebted in a sizeable, actual bill that deducts ever so slowly for every good day of work.

For some, this may hit close to home. But for me, as messed up and privileged as it sounds, it’s a great pair of shoes to step in. Having a normal, boring day-job is something I cannot relate to. And as it is right now, we don’t have office politics and talks of unionising so everything that unfolds in Hardspace Shipbreakers’ story is an eye-opening one.

Also, I love the systemic nature of cutting the ships apart where things can go catastrophically wrong if you don’t follow procedures… but you totally can fudge it a bit to get work done faster. Getting accidentally sucked into a furnace by forgetting Newton’s Law of Conversion when throwing a big pile of metal was both traumatising and exhilarating.

11- Rogue Legacy 2

I avoided roguelikes and rougelites, like how I did for Hades (look, I just don’t vibe with it, I mean no offence), and when I do give them a shot it just didn’t click (Dead Cells is fundamentally fun, but I last barely 10 minutes in a run so I give up).

So it’s a miracle that of all the games in that genre, it’s Rogue Legacy 2 that clicks. Given that I actually like the original game of what little I played of it back then. But this sequel just hits the spot. Enough ways for me to keep on surviving and making progress (or trick me into thinking I’m making progress), enough options to make me find the right playstyle that works, and supremely tight controls that makes it fundamentally fun.

Also, I love the mish-mash contrast of the tone it’s going for. It’s a bit drab and macabre for the most part, but then you have the lore bits that explain the fast travel mechanic being useful for pizza delivery. In a medieval fantasy setting.

Review Of Rogue Legacy 2

10- Tunic

Tunic captures a very specific kind of experience. The experience of playing an import game with no clue what’s going on. The manual is written in a language you don’t understand. There are no tutorials so you have to figure them out yourselves.

Tunic mashes ideas from the Legend Of Zelda series with a little hint of a soulslike, and it makes for such a wonderful exploration game. I love every time I discover a secret, or seeing something that was right in front of my eyes for hours to have another function/meaning/context that was always been there before.

In a world where games have become systematic in what it offers, most of the times to a fault, Tunic bucking that trend is a breath of fresh air.


Explosions. Destructions. Wild mods that make more things explode in crunchier ways.

8- Dorfromantik

I love me a game loaded with interconnected systems and mechanics, but sometimes a simple game hits the spot. Dorfromantik’s brand of chillness, serenity and tranquility is a calming palette cleanser for me. And clicking and clacking the hex tiles make? Heavenly.

7- Vampire Survivors

The numbers go up. The grass gets mown. The monsters are dying and I will survive with all these weapon upgrades. Numbers go up. Numbers go up.

But seriously, Vampire Survivors really is catnip for gamers. I’m so glad that the game’s cheap, has no micro-transactions and has a limit on how long a run goes. It’s great that you can get high in gaming dopamine responsibly in this form.

6- God Of War Ragnarok

Look, I don’t like “movie games”. But when you create a cinematic experience framed as a video game, as opposed to making a game framed as a cinematic movie, God Of War Ragnarok hits different.

All the storytelling is done in context of a video game. It dedicates time to contextualise weird video-gamey side content into its story. Atreus having to explain to a fellow god that his dad like to meander from the critical path so he can collect loot, brushing it as “he’s just like that”, is exactly what I want more games to do. Wink at the 4th wall, but not break them apart entirely.

And the character action combat is good fun too.

Review of God Of War Ragnarok

5- Need For Speed Unbound

Unfortunately, I haven’t really spent any longer than 10 hours on this one. But I liked what I’ve played of it. There are so many areas where Need For Speed Unbound vastly improved the series after its waning years of meh entries.

The aggressive cop chases. Improved handling. A cast of rival racers you’d learn to love/hate/relate like it’s SSX Tricky. A betting system and a calendar-based game structure something like from Juiced. And then there’s the out-there choice of having graffiti art bleed out into the world as driving effects like it’s SSX On Tour.

It ended up as GM’s Game Of The Year. So we truly loved this game. Maybe when it’s getting another discount I’ll actually play the full game and not just the EA Play trial. As it is, a stellar return to form.

4- OlliOlli World

OlliOlli World is not what I expect a skateboarding game look and sound like, but I’m glad the series is breaking away from the Tony Hawk mould and embracing the current generation of youth’s style and vibe.

Tight controls. Super easy to get into but super hard to really master it. But when you do it feels so good.

Seriously, gameplay footage doesn’t do this game justice. You have to get your hands on it for it to make sense why the game’s so good.

Review Of OlliOlli World

3- Citizen Sleeper

Horizon Forbidden West’s theme is a warning of impending doom with a ray of hope at the end on a global scale, but Citizen Sleeper does that but on a more intimate and personal scale. Making ends meet as a nobody in a world you don’t exactly belong feels harsh, and is excellently communicated via its stellar writing and through gameplay mechanics.

Don’t sleep on Citizen Sleeper. This game personally led me to many introspective thoughts about the world right now and how I find my little corner where I matter. It made me feel something, it made me feel alive and worth living.

2- Gran Turismo 7

Gran Turismo is back and it’s a return to form. After GT Sport went too hard on competitive racing, GT7 brings back all the quirky single-player content fans have craved for, for better and for worse.

It’s definitely that 25 years worth of nostalgia speaking as it ranks this high on my list. I teared a bit watching that overly long video that’s both a tribute to the history of motorsport and classic AMV-esque racing montage from the yesteryears with a faithful (i.e. no the Bring Me The Horizon one) new rendition of Moon Over The Castle.

Oh and the cars look good. It’s ridiculously stingy with money and cars aren’t cheap to buy, but that’s a quirk I’ve grown to tolerate.

Review Of Gran Turismo 7

1- Marvel’s Midnight Suns

How in the world that Marvel’s Midnight Suns is my most favourite game of 2022? Well, that 70 hours playtime around a solid 2-3 weeks period pretty much have a hand on this. But it’s the fact that I am pleasantly surprised on how this game turned out to be.

This is the third time one of my favourite developers, following Insomniac and Eidos Montreal, pivots to a Marvel game instead of that one niche series I like but not a AAA blockbuster. And I don’t care much about Marvel- I don’t go out to consume their comics, films or games though I’m well aware it has its legions of fans. Just not my thing.

The game also revealed itself as having cards as a mechanic. Another thing I genuinely avoid. I tried a bit of Magic The Gathering and the Pokemon TGC and came back with a conclusion that card games require too much planning and too much money before anything fun can happen.

So with my personal expectations set so low, I guess I was highly impressed with Firaxis had delivered. Midnight Suns combat is fun to watch and fun to figure out. The card-based system is not as overly complex but have just deep enough to still be a decent deckbuilder (without scaring off folks like me). And the story and writing. Oh boy. Midnight Suns somehow straddles that line between with being too true to its comic books with its quips, one-liners and jokes, while still being real enough to potray these heroes as humans with different emotions and personalities.

I still stand that Midnight Suns is as much of an RPG as the Dragon Age and Mass Effect games, as well as the Persona and Fire Emblem series. A little cringe, a little slice of life, a lot of interactions and banter between colleagues, a lot of the world need saving as it face impending doom, and nothing can beat a mystical god better than the power of friendship.

Review Of Marvel’s Midnight Suns

Here’s To 2023!

And that’s my long list. Again, there were many good video games released in 2022. Give these a try and should our tastes align, they might be what you’re looking for.

Until then, here’s to 2023 and the many games it has in store for us. Now this is the year for me to be excited for a FromSoftware game!

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