1. Nobody Saves The World
An action RPG dungeon crawler, with a focus on form switching and ability unlocks. The game really kicks into gear when you earn the ability to combine abilities from other forms into any existing form, giving you the power to remix your character at will.
The dungeon design pushes you to explore forms, and Drink Box’s comedic chops top the experience off. The most more-ish game I played all year, the art style, music, charm and gameplay chops had me coming back for more for days on end.
2. Elden Ring
I mean, because obviously. What else can be said? A generational gaming highlight.
A year delayed, but my first time playing via Game Pass. DEATHLOOP struck me as being a very, very, very well made game. Most striking (and something I find compelling with any game) is how well realised the game is. It can be obvious when a developer truly executes what they were going for, and that’s true here. The fluidity of game play, narrative hooks, combat chops, and integration of systems all sing against the impeccable level design, guided along by excellent voice performances.
4. Plague Tale: Requiem
My hype built ten-fold for this game after hurrying to finish Innocence before it left Game Pass earlier this year. Requiem builds on the first game in every appreciable way, not the least of which is its stunning visuals. The narrative propels you forwards with real stakes at play, while the gameplay throws a mix of expanded systems for stealth, combat and mild puzzling. I truly believe Amicia de Rune will be looked upon as one of modern gaming’s great protagonists.
5: Trek to Yomi
In my opinion one of the most visually arresting games of 2022. Yeah the frame rate can chug here and there, and yeah the combat isn’t as tight as it could be (you can find a combination of move-sets and timing that work for you tho, for sure). But the atmosphere absolutely sings, from beginning to end. Every cut is a work of art, an art house diorama.
6: Cult of the Lamb
Despite the handful of shortcomings on the combat side, the overwhelming charm of the village building is top tire. And the soundtrack absolutely slaps.
I tried to get into Grounded a few times during the early access period, but it never really stuck. The added focus of the story objectives in the 1.0 release are what got me over the line. Grounded punches well above its weight.
8: Sniper Elite 5
I love stealth games, and Sniper Elite 5 leans extremely hard into what it’s good at: Stealth and Kill Shots. Get that Nutcracker cheevo.
9: Weird West
While the biggest sell of Weird West is the immersive sim elements, I personally found that the stories are what drew me in and kept me playing. Great world-building, and tbh I can’t go past a western title.
10: Vampire Survivors
Proper pixel-mayhem, and an incredible blend of addictive gameplay with ‘old-school’ pixel vibes.
Still to play/finish: Tunic, Immortality, Pentiment, High on Life.