Games of the Year

RPGFan Games of the Year 2022: Best Story

GOTY 2022 Best Story Xenoblade Chronicles 3

Winner: Xenoblade Chronicles 3

Xenoblade Chronicles 3‘s story is easily one of its greatest strengths. Despite the game crossing the hundred hour mark, the story remains incredibly well-paced, focused, and, most important of all, intriguing. With all its wild twists and turns, the main story keeps players on the edge of their seats while the sidequests flesh out the world and characters in an impressively organic way. Whether we’re counting revelations between climactic boss battles or having a quiet moment around the canteen, there’s always something new and exciting happening in the story. The plot is more engaging than most games spanning a fraction of its playtime, the core cast is exceptionally well-written, and the history of the world makes me hopeful for an expansion that focuses on the original Ouroboros. Without a doubt, this is Tetsuya Takahashi’s best work overall. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is a reflection of all things Xeno, and it feels like the story he’s always wanted to tell.

by Des Miller

Runner-Up: Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker (Patch 6.1 and 6.2)

After finishing (in my opinion) the greatest story ever told in a video game in Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker, I expected Yoshi-P and the rest of his team to take it easy for a minute. Maybe we’d get some smaller stories exploring other areas of Eorzea, and maybe each patch would have a more chill mini-arc. Regardless of where the story went, I expected the stakes to be notably lower.

I should have known better; when did Yoshi-P ever rest on his laurels? Instead, we find ourselves traveling to an entirely different world, The Void, in just the second patch. We’ve already met the Four Fiends. We’ve already fought two of them. Oh, and Golbez is here, too. And we have a brand new character in Zero who is both mysterious and compelling. Needless to say, I’m already completely engaged in this new arc, and I can’t wait to see where things go from here.

by Zach Wilkerson

Readers’ Choice: Best Story

Winner: Xenoblade Chronicles 3

Runner-Up: The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero

Des Miller

Des Miller

Des is a reviews editor, writer, and resident horror fan. He has a fondness for overlooked, emotionally impactful, and mechanically complex games - hence his love for tri-Ace and Gust. When he's not spending hours crafting in Atelier or preaching about Valkyrie Profile, he can usually be found playing scary games in the dark. With headphones. As they should be played.