This year has been secretly solid when it comes to video game releases. There was a dry spell in the summer, but for most of 2022 there were strong releases from Tent Pole developers. As I try not to just spend all my free time playing video games, I’ve quickly built up a backlog of releases for 2022, from small indie games to huge JRPGs and everything in between. Instead of creating a traditional Game of the Year list, I’ve decided to write a Backlog Game of the Year of the eight games from my backlog that I’m excited to finally (hopefully) launch in 2023.
This game caught my eye during a Nintendo digital event and what struck me was how the graphics were designed to fit the 18th century France where it was taking place. card shark is a side scrolling adventure game about cheating people out of their money at cards. You’ll learn new tricks as you continue your journey to find out if the ‘Twelve Bottles of Milk’ rumor is true. The game is developed by Nerial who you may know from the mobile game series ruled (a fantasy strategy series where you swipe through cards like a dating app). There aren’t many card-based strategy games that don’t revolve around deck building, so I’m hoping to play this one next year.
Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope
follow up Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battlewhich was surprising in its quality and spark of hope want to continue this. The biggest change to the gameplay is that they removed the first game’s grid system for something close to real-time strategy. With the characters added and the smart changes in terms of combat, it looks like Ubisoft has another winner, even though this game doesn’t seem to have a compelling story, I had such a great time with the first one that the sequel is up mine is check out list.
cult of the Lamb
This is an indie game that I didn’t know if I’d enjoy even after seeing several trailers and really liking the style it was trying to aspire to. It wasn’t until I spoke to friends who had played it that it really made me add it to my backlog. cult of the Lamb is a mix of roguelike and animal crossing, if the Nintendo franchise is into the occult. When the game was first released, there were a few bugs that seem to have been ironed out now. With January being an easier month for big releases, it seems like the perfect time to start a cult.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3
Having a full-time job while trying to keep other hobbies and a social life alive doesn’t leave much room for huge JRPGs, but that doesn’t stop me from trying. Not played a Xenoblade Play it out, I was so intrigued by the way I heard people talking about the open world design and story that this is the first thing I’m trying. Throw in some tactical combat, which is a good note for the genre, and that’ll have me dusting off the Switch to play next year.
Kirby and the forgotten lands
Another Switch title came out and looked great, but I just couldn’t get around to playing it. I’ve always enjoyed the character Kirby more than any other Kirby game. When I first saw the Forgotten Lands trailer during a Nintendo Direct, I didn’t realize I was even watching a Kirby game. The art direction looks unique to the character and seems like a nice departure from the traditional Kirby experience. I always like to give franchises more chances when trying new things, so I’ll give this Kirby game 2023 a look.
Villain Legacy 2
My first exposure to the roguelike genre was the Cellar Door original Rogue legacy and made interesting mechanics with passing traits through family members. In a year of playing through several sequels that felt less than their originals, everything I’ve heard about Villain Legacy 2 has improved since the first game. It left early access this summer, and now that it’s in a broader version I’m excited to finally get to it in the new year.
This was a game I was really looking forward to, then more trailers and gameplay were shown for it, which made my excitement wane each time. Gotham Knights on paper seems like a great idea: co-op through Gotham with a friend, playing as the bat family characters, trying to fill the hood left behind by Batman. Despite the reviews and issues this game has seen since launch, I still have a desire to hook up with a pal and fight crime on the streets of Gotham. I’m confident that the issues will be fixed and the game will go on sale, making it a perfect 2022 game to play in 2023.
This is the latest addition to the growing backlog list because the latest Sonic game sounds so insane. Sonic Frontiers appears to be Sega’s answer to Breath of the Wild, and it looks like they’ve come close in some respects and far apart in others. Reading the reviews for this game seems like a game I want to play when it goes on sale, just to say I’ve experienced it myself. There are some gameplay changes that really interest me, like Sonic now having skill trees and the different biomes you visit in the open world. Like I said about Kirby, I’m always willing to give franchises another chance when they try something new, and that’s what Sonic Frontiers seems to be. After some performance updates, this seems like a great game to pick up during the release hiatus that always occurs throughout the year.
Well, those are the top eight games from my backlog list, with a lot of honorable mentions that didn’t get included. 2022 seems to be the year that the gaming publishing industry finally got back on track after struggling with the COVID pandemic for the past two years. 2022 was an underrated year for gaming, even if I didn’t play as much as 2021, and I’m very excited to see what 2023 brings!
Cody’s first experience with video games was Spot Goes to Hollywood for Sega Genesis. Since
That’s when he fell in love with video game storytelling. He enjoys it when his
The writing can shine a spotlight on video games that seek to push the boundaries of the medium and
really advance what we think of as a video game.