Spencer Legacy’s 10 best games of the year | Pretty Reel

Best of 2022 is ComingSoon’s week-long celebration of the entertainment that made the past year so memorable.

Like most years, 2022 has been a great time for gamers. Although the pandemic has always had a lingering effect on the entire industry, it still couldn’t stop the torrent of enjoyable titles from flowing. So many titles have been released that I still haven’t come across big names like God of War Ragnarök, Cult of the Lamb, Midnight Suns, Elden Ring, AI: The Somnium Files: Nirvana Initiative, and Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe. They could have been on this list if there were at least 48 hours a day.

But that’s enough as a prelude. Let’s take a look at my top 10 games of 2022.

10. Soul Pirates 2

Shin Megami Tensei is a great RPG series. Arguably, no other franchise has had such a successful spinoff, with the Persona series essentially becoming its own major franchise. Soul Hackers 2 might not quite be at the level of Shin Megami Tensei’s best, but that doesn’t mean it’s not great. The tried-and-true Press-Turn combat system is even more refined and satisfying here, while the overall aesthetic is cool as hell. If you slept on Soul Hackers 2 last year, I highly recommend giving it a try.

9. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have always been associated with fun beat ’em ups, so Shredder’s Revenge turned out great was no surprise. The amount of love and passion for everyone’s favorite animal mutant warriors (sorry, Street Sharks and Biker Mice) is evident through every inch of this game, but even if you’ve never seen a single Turtles media , the core game is incredibly fun, especially on the couch with friends. Also, this intro is too nostalgic.

8. Neon White

Given that it mixes bold mid-2000s anime aesthetics with 2022 Dreamcast/PS2-inspired visuals, Neon White is the definition of “up my alley”. Going through the stages over and over again to get better moments while building relationships with all sorts of cliched anime archetypes was the perfect way for me to close out the year, especially with the soft tones of Steve Blum completing it all. If you have a thing for this era of dork anime culture, Neon White will bring back some deliciously goofy memories.

7. Stranger from Heaven: Final Fantasy Origin

A group of brothers decide to kill the evil Chaos. This is the plot. What more do you need to do just that? Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin’s Team Ninja-created gameplay is surprisingly deep, and its story had me heavily invested in the end. I’d love to keep getting weirder Final Fantasy spin-offs like this – especially if they all come in trucker hats.

6. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII: Reunion

As someone whose username used to be CrisisCoreKid, I’m pretty happy with Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII: Reunion. The voice acting was underwhelming compared to the original, but otherwise Reunion improves on the PSP prequel in every way. It looks amazing, the gameplay is thrilling and engrossing, and the story is just as silly, moving, and awesome as it’s ever been. The ending still hits hard and the Juno gunfight linked above? Well, it’s just as cool as it was when I was a teenager.

5. Sound Boundaries

I’ve written a lot about Sonic Frontiers since launch, but I really haven’t been this engrossed in a game for quite a while. Running through huge open fields and collecting various trinkets triggered something in my brain that made me wander absentmindedly around the plains of the Starfall Isles whenever I wasn’t working or sleeping. The more serious story was also a nice change for the franchise, and I feel more optimistic than ever for future entries in Sega’s most iconic series.

4. Digimon Survive

In some ways, the Digimon/Pokémon Wars of the late 90s are still raging. Digimon won this year, however, because not only was Digimon Survive fully functional, but it was a great game on top of that. The story of a group of children trapped in a spooky world with Digimon allies is familiar to fans of the series, though Survive’s intense, dark tone makes it stand out among similar stories in the series. The straightforward tactical combat is fun when it pops up, but it’s the emotional narrative that really sells this one. Even if you’ve never dabbled in Digimon, Survive is worth a try for those who want a new flavor of ‘mon.

3. Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

My free time throughout the first half of this year was basically consumed by getting 100% in Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. I’ve never seen so much content in a single game, so as a massive Star Wars fan, I was practically in heaven.

The usual endorphin-inducing collectibles-fueled exploration is perfected here, and the revamped combat system has me more excited than ever for future TT games. I don’t know what license TT will tackle next, but if it’s half as engrossing as The Skywalker Saga, I’ll be there on day one.

2. Vampire survivors

I guarantee that when you first see footage of Vampire Survivors, you’ll think, “Oh, that looks good. It’s simple, direct and not visually striking. It changes when you play it, as your brain is completely eaten up by the challenging gameplay loop, sound effects, and colors. I don’t know the last time a game hooked me this much, because my Steam Deck was just a Vampire Survivors machine for a good month or two.

Friends and I enthusiastically talked about his many secrets as if we were back in the schoolyard – a much less frequent experience at age 26. The Legacy of Moonspell DLC has just been released, though I’m hesitant to try it given how much I have to finish this month, and I know coming back for just one run will make the game sink my fangs all over again.

1. Xenoblade Chronicles 3

I’ve been thinking about mortality a lot lately, partly because of how wonderfully Xenoblade Chronicles 3 embraces the subject and all the uncomfortable baggage that comes with it. The massive world expected of Xenoblade Chronicles at this point doesn’t disappoint, nor does the brilliant cast of characters and thrilling story.

The gameplay is less overwhelming than Xenoblade Chronicles 2, but it’s just as deep, and the voice acting is again as charming as it gets. It’s rare that a series can be as excellent as Xenoblade Chronicles, but the third entry showed that Monolith Soft is unparalleled. I don’t know what’s next in the series (beyond the next DLC), but I know it’ll probably be amazing all the same.

Spencer Legacy’s 10 best games of the year | Pretty Reel