Game of the Year 2022 Nominees

We’ve made it to the end of yet another year packed full of video-game goodness. From stunning narrative action games to pixel-art throwbacks to overwhelmingly massive open worlds, 2022 really did offer a lot of variety for the game-playing audience. So let’s look back at our personal highlights from 2022 as we lay out our complete list of 2022 Game of the Year nominees.

Now, we should point out that Half-Glass Gaming has a pretty small staff, and we can’t play absolutely everything that comes out in a given year. We try our best, but we guarantee that we missed some things. In fact, no one on our staff played God of War Ragnarök (those pesky holiday schedules really got to us this year), so it didn’t get a nomination. We did play a ton of games in 2022, though, and some of them were total bangers.

That said, if you’re interested in seeing what we nominated in previous years, you can check out our 2021 nominees here, and our 2020 nominees here.

And now, let’s check out the Half-Glass Gaming 2022 Game of the Year nominee list!

Infernax (February 14, 2022)

Infernax - Evil Armor

Infernax might feel like it came out of nowhere to some folks, but this is a game that had an 11-year development cycle. And it shows. This is an old-school, hardcore Metroidvania that’s absolutely crammed with good ideas, alternate endings, and Easter eggs galore. It almost feels like what would have happened if FromSoft had tried to make Dark Souls in the late 1980s.

If you’re a fan of pixel art and old-school gameplay, you need to play Infernax. It was 2022’s first truly standout game.

You can read more of our thoughts on Infernax here.

Horizon Forbidden West (February 18, 2022)

Horizon Forbidden West - Toughened Valor Surge

The Horizon games are fantastic, but Guerrilla Games has awful luck when it comes to picking a release date. Not only was Horizon Zero Dawn overshadowed by The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but Horizon Forbidden West had the bad luck to release just ahead of Elden Ring. Oof.

Despite constantly living in the shadow of the biggest and most groundbreaking open-world games of all time, there’s a lot to love about this franchise. Not only is this a super compelling world — a future Stone Age where robot dinosaurs run amok — but the story and characters are fantastic as well. For instance, Sylens is one of the most interesting video-game characters we’ve come across in a very long time, and every moment he’s onscreen is sheer brilliance.

If you passed over Forbidden West because you were itching to get your hands on Elden Ring, well, now is a great time to finally see what all the fuss was about.

You can read more about Horizon Forbidden West here.

Elden Ring (February 25, 2022)

Elden Ring Flying Dragon Agheel

We don’t even know what’s left to say about Elden Ring. If you played video games at all in 2022, then this one probably needs no introduction.

From the developers of the cult classic Dark Souls series comes a brutal dark-fantasy open-world game that somehow feels like the ultimate perfection of the Souls formula. The world here is so vast but so completely packed with secrets that, even after 100 hours of gameplay, you might feel like you’ve barely scratched the surface. That’s how jam-packed this game is; there’s always more to see and do in it.

We have no idea how FromSoft is going to follow this one up, because Elden Ring is pretty much the perfect video game.

Ghostwire: Tokyo (March 25, 2022)

Ghostwire: Tokyo

Ghostwire: Tokyo is one of those games that’s way better than it really should be. A supernatural open-world title could easily blend into the crowd, but this game just has such a compelling world that we can’t stop thinking about it. Sure, it’s got some flaws, but even so, it feels original enough to keep us hooked, despite its imperfections.

You can read more about our thoughts on Ghostwire: Tokyo here.

Kirby and the Forgotten Land (March 25, 2022)

Kirby and the Forgotten Land Gameplay

If you want something on the cuter end of the spectrum, you could definitely do worse than Kirby and the Forgotten Land. Sure, Kirby games can be kind of unintentionally terrifying, but there’s a candy pink aesthetic that makes them feel cozy regardless. And the classic Kirby formula translates really well to 3D environments, which are on display here. This is a bold new step for the franchise, and we absolutely love it.

You can read more about our thoughts on Kirby and the Forgotten Land here.

Weird West (March 31, 2022)

Weird West - General Store

The Weird Western is a super fun literary genre that combines the Wild West with sci-fi/fantasy elements. Sometimes that means adding weird steampunk contraptions, and other times that means dousing the West in an unholy tub of vampires and zombies and cultists. Weird West goes for the latter approach with a surprisingly deep choice-based RPG (think the pre-Bethesda Fallout games).

Seriously, this game is so much dang tootin’ fun. You’ll play as an assortment of heroes (or anti-heroes, really) who make their way across a demonic desert, lootin’ and shootin’ and double-crossin’ folks along the way. It can be super difficult, because it’s easy to get yourself into a hopeless situation, but when you’re on a roll, the game is really satisfying to play.

If this one completely slipped under your radar in 2022, you should double back and give it a gander.

You can read more about Weird West here.

Evil Dead: The Game (May 13, 2022)

Evil Dead: The Game Art

Evil Dead: The Game is yet another horror-themed asymmetrical multiplayer game. But don’t let that description turn you away; this game is actually tons of fun. In fact, we think this is one of 2022’s most underrated titles (but that’s coming from huge fans of the Evil Dead franchise, so maybe take it with a grain of salt). Even if 4-vs.-1 multiplayer isn’t your jam, you should still give this one a chance — especially if you’re into horror-comedy.

You can read more about our thoughts on Evil Dead: The Game here.

Sniper Elite 5 (May 26, 2022)

Sniper Elite 5

Esteemed Nazi-hunter Karl Fairburne is back for another round of super-sneaky, X-ray-enhanced sniping action, and Sniper Elite 5 is a wonderful evolution for the long-running series. The maps here are massive, giving you tons of freedom for how you want to approach any given situation. Similar to last year’s Hitman 3, Sniper Elite 3 gives you an expansive toolkit that creates an almost endlessly replayable gameplay loop.

If you’re into turning Nazi skulls into Swiss cheese, you really need to give Sniper Elite 5 a shot.

You can read more about Sniper Elite 5 here.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge (June 16, 2022)

TMNT: Shredder's Revenge

The Turtles are back with a vengeance! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is a pixel-art beat-’em-up that wouldn’t feel out of place in an arcade in the early 1990s. It does feature some modern touches, like a progressive level-up system, but the vibe is totally ripped from the Genesis era. This is a super-slick, action-packed title full of turtles, ninjas, and slices of delicious pizza. What more could a TMNT fan ask for?

You can read more about TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge here.

Stray (July 19, 2022)


In Stray, you play as an alley cat in a cyberpunk world inhabited by androids. There are two things that really make it stand out: the drop-dead gorgeous environment, and what might be the best cat controls to have ever been in a video game. It even features scratching on random things as a gameplay mechanic, because… well, cats! This game is dripping with charm, and there’s an emotional heft that doesn’t really hit you at first but settles in as you get deeper into the game.

Plus, there’s an entire pseudo-future alphabet to decode, if you’re into that kind of thing.

You can read more about Stray here.

Endling: Extinction Is Forever (July 19, 2022)

Endling - Extinction Is Forever

Endling: Extinction Is Forever had the misfortune of launching the same day as Stray, which hogged the animal-based-video-game spotlight for July. But it’s actually a very different game than Stray, and it’s well worth playing.

In it, you play as a mother fox who has to take care of her cubs while humans are ravaging the wilderness for the sake of industry. This is an absolutely brutal survival game that forces you to make extremely difficult choices — and yes, all of your cubs can die depending on those choices. Get a box of tissues ready, because this game’s going to absolutely wreck you.

You can read more about our thoughts on Endling: Extinction Is Forever here.

Cult of the Lamb (August 11, 2022)

Cult of the Lamb

Cult of the Lamb is an adorable little game that’s super-demonic and also far more complex than it probably seems on the surface. It’s basically a combination between Animal Crossing and The Binding of Isaac, asking you to simultaneously manage a cult and delve into randomly generated dungeons. The art style is incredible, and the gameplay loop is extremely addictive.

You can read more about Cult of the Lamb here.

Shovel Knight Dig (September 23, 2022)

Shovel Knight Dig - Bewitching Broth

Shovel Knight Dig takes the characters and setting of Shovel Knight and builds them into a rogulite in the vein of Spelunky 2. And the formula works exceptionally well. In fact, it’s hard to believe how good this game is. It’s a rich, complex roguelite that will have you digging deeper and deeper and deeper, looking for gems and bonking badguys in the head. There’s a ton of loot to collect, and plenty of secrets to uncover in its underground world, and we found ourselves getting pretty addicted to it this year.

You can read more about Shovel Knight Dig here.

A Plague Tale: Requiem (October 18, 2022)

A Plague Tale: Reqiuem

A Plague Tale: Requiem is one of this year’s standout narrative experiences. It takes everything that was great about the previous game in the series — A Plague Tale: Innocence — and enhances it. The set pieces are even more impressive, the mini stealth sandboxes are more frequent and more diverse, and the rats are hungrier than ever. But it’s really the characters that make the experience shine so brightly. Watching the unraveling of protagonist Amicia de Rune’s mental state is harrowing, and new characters Arnaud and Sophia tangle themselves in this drama in some really compelling ways.

This is one of those journeys that sticks in your craw, something you’ll be thinking about for weeks — or even months — after finishing. Really, A Plague Tale: Requiem is a must-play for anyone who loves narrative-focused interactive experiences.

You can read more about A Plague Tale: Requiem here.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Complete Edition (next-gen release, December 14, 2022)

The Witcher 3 - Bath

We didn’t think we’d still be talking about The Witcher 3 in 2022, but here we are. CD Projekt Red released a big update to the game which makes use of current-gen hardware to deliver the best-looking official version of the game yet. And on top of that, they fixed Geralt’s glass legs and added a photo mode.

The thing is, The Witcher 3 still holds up, even without the modern bells and whistles. As we dove back into it for our net-gen review, we found the game world to be irresistible, and we spent way more time in it than we expected to. It’s been seven years since the game’s original launch, and it’s astonishing how well it holds up compared to some of its competitors. Keep in mind that this released the same year as Fallout 4, which hasn’t aged anywhere near as gracefully.

Yeah, The Witcher 3 is still a masterpiece in 2022, and the next-gen update was there to remind all of us how good it is.

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