Games of the Year

RPGFan Games of the Year 2022 ~ Editors’ Awards: Tom Cox

RPGFan Games of the Year 2022 Editors' Awards

To be completely honest, I don’t feel I’ve played enough games that were released in 2022 to be able to say which game is the best of the year. For what it’s worth, I’d have to go with Triangle Strategy.

I haven’t played many new releases because I’ve been trying to go back and play classics I’ve missed from previous years. Those considered “the very best like no one ever was.”

So, instead of talking about the best games of 2022, I’m going to talk about the best games I finally played in 2022! Bear in mind that these aren’t ranked because I can’t bring myself to do that.

Chrono Trigger

I decided to start the year strong and finally play a game that many consider the best RPG of all time. I went in with high expectations, yet Chrono Trigger still managed to exceed them. Twenty-seven years on, the game still manages to hold its own against modern-day releases. The story and characters are well-written, the pixel art is stunning, and the soundtrack is an absolute banger. It just nails everything.

Chrono Trigger left such a profound impression on me that it not only encouraged me to seek out more classic RPGs but also made me realise just how much I love the genre, and ultimately led to me applying to write for RPGFan.

After playing it myself, I can confidently say that everyone is right. Chrono Trigger is absolutely brilliant, and there’s a reason that it’s held in such high regard. If you haven’t played it yet, you owe it to yourself to give it a go.

A screenshot of Crono and his friends on the world map in Chrono Trigger (2018)

Final Fantasy VII

People often claim that Final Fantasy VII is the JRPG that popularised the genre in the West. While I can neither confirm nor deny that statement, I can tell you that it’s an exceptional RPG and one I’m embarrassed it took me so long to play.

Sure, graphically, the game doesn’t hold up that well. In fact, If this were a list of the ugliest games I played this year, it would win by a country mile. But FFVII is so much more than that. It’s home to some of my favourite characters ever and is graced by one of the best soundtracks in the medium’s history.

Above all else, it tells a truly fantastic story. As someone who’d managed to somehow avoid any spoilers for a twenty-five-year-old game, Final Fantasy VII‘s twists and turns had me hooked. Cloud and the rest of the group’s stories are both exciting and heartwarming, and the title’s themes of eco-terrorism are perhaps more relevant today than ever before. I haven’t played every Final Fantasy game, but I have played a fair share of them, and I can honestly say that VII is my favourite so far!

Persona 3 Portable

Coming hot off my replay of Persona 5 Royal, I decided it was time to finally give Persona 3 Portable a go. Considering this is the first “modern-style” Persona game, I’d say Atlus did a pretty stellar job. The mystery surrounding Gekkoukan High School intertwines very nicely with the life-sim elements that the series has become so well known for, and I quickly became invested in the story and its cast.

While the title’s hip-hop vibe isn’t matched quite as perfectly as jazz and P5, it’s certainly not far off, and I had the soundtrack, particularly “Mass Destruction,” stuck in my head for weeks on end.

I think Persona 3′s biggest problem, aside from Junpei’s shocking treatment of women, is that its age is starting to show. The save system in the game is pretty ancient and led to me losing a frustrating amount of progress on more than one occasion. However, I’m hoping that its 2023 re-release solves this issue.

Technical grievances aside, P3P is easily one of the best games I played this year, and I’d recommend it to pretty much anyone in a heartbeat.

Next year is staked full of exciting new releases, but I’m hoping I can fit in a few more classic RPGs as well. As of now, I definitely want to play Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door and the first two Suikoden games, but we’ll see what the year brings!

Tom Cox

Tom Cox

Tom is a news editor for RPGFan with a love of RPGs, Pokémon, and Zelda! When not playing games or writing, he can usually be found hiking with his dog, Otto.