2022 TechRaptor Awards Best Evolving Game

2022 TechRaptor Awards - Best Evolving Game

Published: January 11, 2023 12:30 PM

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Thousands of games get released each year with so many cool new ideas to experience, but there is a large stable of games we all find ourselves coming back to time and again. Some poor souls don't see much movement for support in the games they love (sorry TF2 fans), but there are plenty of great games that add amazing content, have fantastic community engagement, and keep adding great reasons to keep playing.

Here are the nominees for TechRaptor's Best Evolving Game Award for outstanding continued development on an existing game.

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  • Destiny 2
  • Final Fantasy XIV
  • Fortnite
  • No Man's Sky
  • Sea of Thieves

Check out here for our other award categories and nominees.


Readers' Choice Winner - Final Fantasy XIV

Developer: Square Enix | Release Date: September 30th, 2010

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With the run Final Fantasy XIV has been on lately, it almost feels unfair to have to pit other games against it in this category. I mean, how many games have had to temporarily halt sales because it was just too popular? In short, very few games rise to the same level of awarding the time and effort players put into it than Final Fantasy XIV.

Third Place - No Man's Sky

no mans sky waypoint

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Developer: Hello Games | Release Date: August 9th, 2016

Written by Robert Grosso

The longevity of No Man's Sky is impressive, considering how divisive it was when it was originally released back in 2016. Now over seven years removed from any controversy or confusion, the game has born fruit that has a lasting impact in gaming that can no longer be denied.

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This year alone, No Man's Sky released seven total updates to the game, bringing the total to 31. This also includes the relaunch of the game on the Nintendo Switch. The latest update was the Waypoint expansion, which saw minor gameplay changes to make the experience more streamlined, and then there are the more hardcore Endurance and Outlaw expansions, adding new customization options, game balancing, and even outlaw systems and pilot recruitment into your arsenal of options.

Hello Games has stated, time and again, that No Man's Sky is a game that is nearly infinite in its possibilities. Their dedication to proving that with their continued support is a legacy worth honoring.

Second Place -  Fortnite

fortnite chapter 4 season 3

 

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Developer: Epic Games | Release Date: September 26th, 2017

Written by Andrew Otton

I'm really glad that I learned what Fortnite was this year. Who knew that such a cool game existed for you crazy kids out there.

Anyway, Fortnite should really be the model for what a free to play game can and should be. It feels like the developers, beyond the many licensing deals for the million billion skins in the game, live by the rule of cool. You can't have Goku in a game without some Kamehamemhaema right? It just wouldn't be right. Does it really fit in with the building and the guns and the Indiana Joneses running around? Who cares, it's cool as hell.

Weirdly, one of Fortnite's best moments of 2022 was taking away some things for people in the Zero Build mode. Taking that element out of the game rejuvenated interest in those that may have fallen off the game recently, while grabbing the attention of those that want a more traditional experience. It saw an already hugely popular game experience a resurgence, which will hopefully lead to more zany, creative ideas in the future.

Winner - Final Fantasy XIV

final fantasy xiv

Developer: Square Enix | Release Date: September 30th, 2010

Written by Erren Van Duine

If there’s one game that forever deserves all the praise and attention lauded at it, it’s Final Fantasy XIV. It’s been ten years since its relaunch as A Realm Reborn, and it's stronger than ever. The end of 2021 saw the release of Endwalker and the culmination of that decade of storytelling, and what a ride it was. If there was ever any proof that an online game could hang with the big single player contemporaries, this was it.

All things considered, those ten years are just the tip of the iceberg. Producer and director Naoki Yoshida outlined his team’s plans for the next stage of Final Fantasy XIV at the beginning of 2022, and several glimpses of that have already been seen in updates following the launch of version 6.0. It’s not just the story that will continue to evolve, however. Development is underway for a bit of an overhaul in both visuals and advancements in making Final Fantasy XIV both a solo and multiplayer RPG experience. This philosophy has been steadily making its way in between the Trust system, which allows players to enter dungeons with NPCs, and the full revamp of older content such as the ending to A Realm Reborn’s initial scenario.

It's all of these things that add up to solidify Final Fantasy XIV as perhaps the greatest example of what an evolving game should aspire to be. It’s certainly worth keeping an eye on as it gears up for yet another expansion announcement later this year.