Before we get started, I want to clarify to anyone who has stumbled upon our GOTY awards that we are a Nintendo-focused site, and our awards reflect that. This doesn’t mean that we don’t love and play games on other platforms, but for the sake of these awards we stick to games that appear on Nintendo platforms only.
Also, for these awards we define eShop as anything that seems more focused on the eShop than retail (indies, etc.), while our regular awards apply to games that seem more focused on a retail release. There is no clear line between the two and we do the best we can to put games into the categories that make the most sense!
So let’s get to it!
It wasn't the biggest year for the Switch but we still had some great looking games.
And the winner is…
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 (47 points)
Runner-ups: Bayonetta 3 (41 points) Kirby and the Forgotten Land (39 points)
Not quite: Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope (18 points) Splatoon 3 (12 points) Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion (3 points)
The huge open world of Aionios won over our members with its beautiful and haunting environments. But Bayonetta and Kirby weren't far behind!
Again, not the biggest year for the Switch but we definitely had some strong contenders in the audio department.
And the winner is…
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 (54 points)
Runner-ups: Kirby and the Forgotten Land (35 points) Splatoon 3 (31 points)
Not quite: Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope (19 points) Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion (9 points) Pokémon Scarlet / Violet (7 points)
Xenoblade 3 goes two for two, taking our audio award by a large margin. And why shouldn't it, when it has total bangers like this?
And the award for best narrative, including games both new and old. Gee, I wonder who is going to win this one…
It's hard to beat a brand new take on a classic series, and Shredder's Revenge was basically a sequel to Turtles in Time with 6 player local / online. The Zelda-like Tunic and the free to play online game Fall Guys rounded out the top 3.
Switch Most Wanted
It's been the same few games dominating this category for years, and I don't think much has changed here.
And the winner is…
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (82 points)
Runner-ups: Metroid Prime 4 (48 points) Pikmin 4 (26 points)
Not quite: Advance Wars 1 + 2: Re-Boot Camp (14 points) Fire Emblem Engage (12 points) Octopath Traveler II (7 points)
What a shocker, Zelda wins again! Well, since it is finally releasing this year, maybe next year is Metroid Prime 4's chance to win back its crown? (Metroid Prime 4 won this award way back in 2017 and 2018 before Tears of the Kingdom was announced in 2019. It's about time to get this game released, Nintendo!)
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 has gone three for three so far, will it be the first game to win all 4 awards in a single year?
And the winner is…
Kirby and the Forgotten Land (53 points)
Runner-ups: Xenoblade Chronicles 3 (44 points) Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope (22 points)
Not quite: Splatoon 3 (15 points) Pokémon Legends: Arceus (12 points) Pokémon Scarlet / Violet (8 points)
Nope, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 can't quite pull it off. We may have thought it had the best visuals, audio and narrative, but at the end of the day gameplay is king, and Kirby brought the gameplay with one of his finest outings yet. Xenoblade 3 was close behind though, with the Mario + Rabbids sequel rounding out the winner's circle.
Whoa, quite the twist at the end with the GOTY! But one I'm glad to see get an award--Kirby and the Forgotten Land is one of the clearest reminders of what I love about Nintendo games in a good while. Congrats to other noteworthy games like Xenoblade 3 with its hat trick, Metal Slug Tactics, Shredder's Revenge, and Tunic.
While 2022 did end up being a bit disappointing, it's only because of how much promise it held at the outset. There was still a lot of good stuff crammed into the year. As usual the GotY wouldn't be my choice, though it is my number two, so not far off this time! My own choice is Pokémon Violet, and then my number three would be Rune Factory 5, a sort of game which seems to hold no traction around these parts.
Thanks for hosting and putting everything together, Zero!
I would have voted Splatoon 3 higher had I gotten addicted to the game by the time I voted, instead of a few weeks later. Also Bayonetta 3 if I'd played more than an hour by now. My own damn fault. *sigh*
I can't vouch for the Switch versions since I played them on other platforms, but I nonetheless highly recommend both Outer Wilds and Tunic. Two of my favorite games of the last 5 years.
nate38's top 20 games played in 2022! (that'd be all of them) Games released in 2022 have ***Asterisks Nintendo system games are in Red
20. ***Aperture Desk Job – Finished this "playable short." Pretty funny. 19. ***Windjammers 2 – Finished the Arcade mode on Easy. Stylish and simple but bad at teaching the finer points of its mechanics. 18. Mega Man: The Wily Wars -- Played through all three games and the new Wily Tower. A mostly faithful 16-bit upgrade to the originals with a nice little bonus. 17. ***Sonic Frontiers -- Beat the game on Normal, all achievements, all S-ranks. Didn't get all memory tokens. It's the best 3D Sonic game in 20 years, but that isn't saying much. 16. ***Mario Strikers: Battle League -- Man, it hurts that I didn’t like this more. I’m just not feeling the changes made to the Charged formula. 15. ***Eiyuden Chronicles: Rising -- Beat the game and got all stamps. An unremarkable but comfy action JRPG that satisfies the urge to check off a lot of really small quests. 14. ***Bayonetta 3 -- Beat the game on Normal with a good bit of exploring. Good core combat, terrible cutscenes, rough mini-games. Going big (enemies and summons alike) was a mistake. Typical uneven Platinum Games game. 13. ***The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe -- Saw most (all?) endings. Had some laughs. 12. ***Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge -- Finished the game once solo, and once online with friends. 11. Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie's Double Trouble -- 103% completion, with generous use of rewind. A step down from its predecessors for sure, but still good. 10. ***Sonic Triple Trouble 16-bit Fan Remake -- Finished the game. Pretty good fan-remake, though it feels a bit sluggish in some ways. 09. Picross S -- It’s Picross! 08. Hollow Knight -- Beat the game, got all grubs. 07. Super Mario Maker 2 -- Played all story levels and the "Super Mario Bros. 5" worlds that got popular a few months back. Packed with potential, but as always 99% of user-created stuff is crap, and Mario Maker could do a much better job of letting the cream rise to the top. 06. ***Dicey Dungeons: Reunion -- Finished all six episodes. More great Dicey Dungeons goodness. 05. ***Kirby and the Forgotten Land -- 100% the game on Normal difficulty. A fresh but familiar 3D adaptation of modern Kirby. 04. ***Pocky and Rocky Reshrined -- Finished the story on Normal twice, played some co-op. Great retro revival shmup. 03. Wario Ware: Get It Together -- Finished the story in co-op, then played each microgame at least once. Co-op definitely adds a fun dimension to the poppy insanity of WarioWare. 02. ***Freedom Planet 2 -- Finished the game as all characters and got most achievements. It's more of the first game, which was a lot of fun. I like the adaptive zoom out, wish it could be permanent. 01. ***Tunic -- Acquired all booklet pages and Secret Items. Only used a guide for two of the Secret Items.