2022 TechRaptor Awards - Game of the Year

Published: January 13, 2023 12:00 PM /


TechRaptor Awards - 2022 Game of the Year

2022 was a fantastic year for games. When crafting our nominees, we couldn't help but notice how amazing it was for indies in particular, which make up three of our ten nominees this year. That points to the best thing about 2022, the amazing variety of great games that came out. From the vast epicness of Elden Ring, to the intimate storytelling of NORCO, to the addicting simplicity of Vampire Survivors, there was something awesome for everyone to enjoy. 

Here are the nominees for TechRaptor's Game of the Year for the best game of the year, whose sum of its parts is greater than any other.

Check out here for our other award categories and nominees.

Readers' Choice Winner - Elden Ring

Developer: FromSoftware | Release Date: February 25th, 2022

This may be the most unsurprising result from our entire awards process. Elden Ring released early in 2022 and absolutely dominated the gaming world, garnering immense amount of praise from fans and critics alike. It is the peak of FromSoftware's design, perfecting the challenging boss fights, reinvigorating an often stale open world formula, and it's all wrapped up in their best presentation yet. 

Fifth Place - Neon White

neon white

Developer: Angel Matrix | Release Date: June 16th, 2022

Written by Austin Suther

I’ve already talked about Neon White for Indie Game of the Year, and it was well-deserved. Just as well-deserved is its place on TechRaptor’s Game of the Year. In fact, we gave it a 10/10 earlier this year, so this shouldn’t come as any surprise for those who read our reviews. With other strong contenders, Neon White still manages to stand out among the pack as an incredible title. 

If you’re looking for more convincing, check out the YouTube channel “Game Maker’s Toolkit.” Mark Brown offers an excellent analysis as to why Neon White is such a special game; in fact, he called it 2022’s most innovative title. I’m not going to argue with it because I tend to agree – the way Neon White pushes you to speedrun without even realizing it is a feat.  

Fourth Place - Kirby and the Forgotten Land

kirby and the forgotten land

Developer: HAL Laboratory | Release Date: March 25th, 2022

Written by Austin Suther

The Kirby formula has remained fairly consistent over the past decade, with the occasional spin-off thrown into the mix. But for the most part, HAL Laboratory plays it safe with the pink puff. There’s no doubt, the typical Kirby gameplay loop is fun and makes for a solid title, but Kirby and the Forgotten Land brings some much-needed variance to the series. 

Featuring a more open level design by ditching the linear, side-scrolling nature of usual Kirby levels makes this a refreshing and fun experience. Kirby’s signature suck ability still grants him the powers of his enemies, but the Mouthful Mode adds a fun twist. Kirby can suck up cars, traffic cones, vending machines, and more, granting him the ability of these objects. It’s not unlike his usual copy ability used on enemies, but seeing Kirby’s mouth cover an entire car is a spectacle to behold.  

The lore of Kirby and the Forgotten Land also offers an intriguing narrative for those who look for it. What is this dilapidated “forgotten land” and why does it resemble our own world? Where are the people? Why is everything abandoned? It’s eerie and makes every area and its levels a joy to explore. 

Third Place - Marvel Snap

marvel snap

Developer: Second Dinner | Release Date: October 18th, 2022

Written by Giaco Furino

Marvel Snap is one of those rare digital card games that comes along every once in a while and makes even hardcore tabletop gamers sit up and take notice. Like Hearthstone or Slay the Spire, it’s a “card game” that just wouldn’t work in a purely physical form and is only enhanced by being brought to life digitally. With impossibly fast, snappy gameplay, a huge pool of cards to collect and upgrade, and monthly events that introduce new cards and give long-time players something to strive for, playing Marvel Snap never feels like a grind (even when you’re grinding to open that next Collector’s Reserve).

Second Place - God of War Ragnarok

god of war ragnarok

Developer: Santa Monica Studio | Release Date: November 9th, 2022

Written by Samantha Plaisance

One would think that topping the original games in the God of War series would be nearly impossible, but somehow Sony Santa Monica took what we know and love from the past and brought them into a whole new light. Featuring Kratos' son, Atreus, God of War Ragnarok tugs on even the strongest of humans heart strings. From seeing the beloved Fenrir on his last legs to traversing through the snow hoping to live on another day, the gameplay is not only in-depth but just plain captivating.

With several sweat-inducing combat sequences, a soundtrack that fits every tone and moment, and a complex storyline, it makes it hard to believe this game came in second place. Even so, God of War Ragnarok not only lives up to its predecessors, but it may have even surpassed them with its engaging puzzles and role-playing elements.

Winner - Elden Ring

elden ring

Developer: FromSoftware | Release Date: February 25th, 2022

Written by Robert Scarpinito

In the first few weeks of its release, Elden Ring’s presence online was almost as massive as the game itself. No one could get away from it, and that rampant word of mouth led to 12 million units sold in a little over two weeks (by September, it surpassed 17.5 million units). After a decade of turning a cult following into a respectably sized fanbase, FromSoftware’s famously difficult action RPGs have made it big – and deservedly so. 

Despite the imposing difficulty, Elden Ring promises the player absolute freedom, and therein lies its key to success. If there’s a tough boss north of you, go explore to the south. If you’re getting bored of your speedy katana, why not respec and give that lumbering maul a try? If bears in the woods aren’t your speed, switch things up and discover a huge underground world to explore. 

The sheer number of viable builds, varied landscapes, and vicious enemies are staggering. No two playthroughs will be the same, and every discovery will keep you wondering about the next one around the corner. Elden Ring may goad you to put your foolish ambitions to rest, but that only makes every victory that much more satisfying, cementing it as TechRaptor’s 2022 Game of the Year. 

Dark Souls but open world” was once a lofty promise; now, it’s something we’re eagerly awaiting to see more of, whether that’s Elden Ring DLC or a full-on sequel. 

Have a tip, or want to point out something we missed? Leave a Comment or e-mail us at tips@techraptor.net

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