With the holidays well and truly upon us, it’s time once again to kick off our Game of the Year awards, diving once more into over a dozen different categories and celebrating the best video games of 2022.
To get things going this year, we’re going to hop into one of the bigger categories that we have: Best Multiplayer Game. Multiplayer is going to be a huge part of the next few weeks, whether it’s taking the opportunity to play party games with friends and family, or testing your mettle against players from around the world through matchmaking and online multiplayer.
This year’s winner was a happy marriage of an enduring, family friendly form of multiplayer brawling, and basically every character that one of the biggest multimedia companies owns.
We’re not sure anybody was expecting MultiVersus to be anything more than an IP cash grab, but we were oh so terribly wrong, and ecstatic about it. With a wide and ever-increasing number of characters on the roster, MultiVersus manages to not only capture the Smash Bros. magic but also builds upon it with a robust class system and a more co-op-focussed battle system.
The focus on 2v2 battles allows for more character archetypes in the roster, with some of the fighters effectively acting as supports. It also means you get rewarded for dragging a friend along with you, which can only be a good thing. It makes for gameplay that’s more involved and nuanced than a lot of fighters, and it also means those who aren’t normally fans of the genre can get involved.
There’s also the matter of the game being free to play, which is nice, and the fact that new characters will be added going forwards. There’s basically a small chance of any character you can think of being added to MultiVersus, and it’s hard not to enjoy all of that potential, especially when the core gameplay feels so damn good.
– Jason C
Splatoon 3 – Runner Up
Splatoon is a special kind of multiplayer game, blending together highly competitive third person shooter action with a truly family friendly style that Nintendo is able to pull off so consistently. The focus for Splatoon 3 has been to refine the experience, making quality of life improvements for when you’re settling in for a marathon multiplayer session, adding new three-way Splatfests, expanding the variety of live events with the co-op Big Run variants of Salmon run, and more.
Splatoon 3 might not reinvent the splatroller, but then it doesn’t need to in order to be one of the best multiplayer games of the year. Five years on from the last game, this series is still fresh.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge – Runner Up
The beat ’em up genre has been thriving on a steady diet of retro remakes in recent years, and a huge part of that is down to the talents of developer and publisher Dotemu. For TMNT’s revival, they partnered with Tribute Games, a studio founded by former developers on Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game.
With a veritable dream team behind it, expectations for TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge were understandably high, and they were resoundingly met. The game has a gorgeous retro aesthetic, the environments you’ll battle through are full of nods and winks for fans of the classics, and the beat ’em up action is just plain fun.
As a multiplayer game? Well, Shredder’s Revenge goes above and beyond by letting you field a team of not two, not four, but six players. It lets you completely fill the screen with totally radical combos as foot soldiers go flying from player to player.
Honourable Mentions (in alphabetical order)
What was your personal favourite of the year? Let us know in the comments below, and make sure to stick with us through the rest of this month as we tick our categories off one by one.