While I was working on my GOTY 2022 list, I realized I was still playing games that had not come out in 2022. Not just playing, but playing them a lot. This was largely due to two reasons: the Steam Deck, and these games just being really good. Since I will likely continue to play them going into 2023 as well, I figured it was worth giving them their own post. It’s also a good place to talk a bit about the Steam Deck which may just be my favorite device in 2022.


I’m not sure what I could say about Hades that has not already been said. I’m a big fan of Supergiant Games and Hades knocked it out of the park. It quickly became one of my favorite games (to the point where I now have a giant three-poster frame of the game’s locations over my desk). This came as a surprise to me since I’m normally not a huge fan of the roguelike genre, but the combat and loot in Hades is satisfying and addictive. I’ve “beat” the game a few times but I’m still finding new things and experimenting with new weapons/boons. It’s a game I can pick up for a few minutes or a few hours and have fun either way. Between the Steam Deck and the announcement of a sequel, I’ve been hooked back on this game more than ever.

Sidenote: if you are playing this game on an ultra-wide monitor or on a Steam Deck, make sure to check out the ‘Hephaistos’ mod to get rid of the black bars on the top/bottom of the screen.

No Man’s Sky

The original launch of No Man’s Sky was…rough, to say the least. I had forgotten all about this game since its launch other than seeing posts on Reddit about new updates/expansions dropping at what felt like a surprising rate. Then I heard about it on the Bullshot podcast and I figured I’d give it a shot again since few times have I heard Brendan and Jim both be so gobsmacked about a game. The amount of updates that have been released for this game for FREE 5-6 years after it’s release is mind-blowing. I’m not just talking about small updates - these are huge updates consisting of new content, expansions, and QoL fixes. You can go on the No Man’s Sky YouTube channel and watch the trailer for each update and see what I’m talking about.

I don’t even know how to describe this game other than to say just go try it out. Do you want to relax and explore the planets and the universe? Sure. Do you want to build a base? Sure. Do you want to discover aliens or dogfight spaceships? Sure. I can’t describe all the things you can do in this game because I’m convinced I haven’t even scratched the surface of what it has to offer. Whatever you are looking for, there will be something for you there. The last update brings two great additions: a custom game mode where you can tweak almost every aspect of the game to suit your playstyle (easier/harder difficulty, resource amounts, etc.), or a relaxed mode that lets you focus on sandbox exploration. If you haven’t looked at this game in a while or since launch, I strongly recommend giving it another shot.

Rocket League

I don’t have much to say on this one - if you’ve ever seen a video of Rocket League in action you already know the idea of the game. I love playing Rocket League (whether it be solo or with friends) and it’s still something I make sure to play every season. I’m not very good at it (I’m only just now sorta getting the hang of aerials), but it doesn’t stop me from having a ton of fun. The core game is still mostly the same from it’s original release in 2015, but they also have extra game modes and seasonal game modes that go up throughout the year that are a lot of fun. This is another game that has been great to play on the Steam Deck while I’m traveling or just in bed.

The game is now owned by Epic and is free to play, so if you’ve never played it I recommend giving it a shot. I’ll also mention that I love some of the cosmetic content they’ve been releasing (from movie tie-ins to real life cars). My personal favorite has been driving the Jurassic Park Jeep and having Rexy as my goal explosion.


They finally got me. I’ve pretty much completely ignored Fortnite while it’s gone on to being the biggest game ever. Aliens/Marvel/Star Wars content? Pass. Friends playing? Pass. I had zero interest in the game and I definitely did not care for the building aspect of the game. I had instead been opting to play PUBG when that first came out, and then Warzone.

But then the perfect storm happened - I started losing interest in Warzone, and Fortnite released a no-build mode. Now that it has a permanent no-build game mode I’m playing it and having a fun time (whether I play solo or with friends). The insane amount of crossovers in content sometimes feels like I’m in a fever dream (like when Kratos does some TikTok dance) but that’s kind of part of the appeal. As much as I’ll complain its a fever dream, I do love watching some of these ridiculous emotes on random characters.

I got in right as the new chapter dropped which not only upgraded the game to Unreal Engine 5.1, but also changed a ton of stuff in the game (but that’s another post). At some point I’ll go back to Call of Duty and try out Warzone 2.0, but for now I guess I play Fortnite now.

Diablo 3

Yes, you read that right. The game that came out 10 years ago is still going and I’m still playing. I had stopped playing for a while after the last expansion came out, but I came back for the last couple of seasons after seeing a friend playing it. The game is up to season 27 and it feels like a completely different game nowadays. The power creep over time has been substantial and makes for some really fun builds. The seasons also add things mechanics to the game that spice things up - like the newest season adding the ability to reforge an item to have perfect Ancient-level stats AND one of the multiple new powers that make for ridiculous builds.

At this point, I focus mainly on making seasonal heroes and following build guides online to make fun builds on some of the classes I traditionally haven’t played a ton of. Diablo 3 has become the game that will just absolutely consume me and keep me up until 3 am grinding and looking for better loot, or trying to complete more rifts.

My one complaint is that apparently, the console releases of this game have had really good controller controls - but Blizzard never brought those over to D3 on the PC. I’ve never played Diablo with a controller so this isn’t a big deal, but I can’t help but wish it had controller support so I could play more of it on the Steam Deck. I really hope when Diablo 4 comes out I can sink in as much time into that.

Steam Deck

The first time I saw the news that Valve was releasing new hardware - not just any hardware, but a handheld - I was confused, to say the least. My friend Brendan could not be any more excited about it and immediately ordered the most expensive model as soon as he could. I put in my pre-order because it was $5 to hold my spot, so why not. Fast forward a few months and I had my own Steam Deck in my hands, and I was completely hooked. The amount of games that work out of the box is fantastic, with others working with some very minor tweaks. At the time of writing this, I have about 47 games installed on it - and that’s not counting any emulated games (if you own a Steam Deck and have not yet looked at EmuDeck, I urge you to go check it out).

A big reason for my love for this device is that 2022 was an oddly busy year for me in terms of traveling. Between flights and hotel rooms, I didn’t have access to my gaming PC or an Xbox. Luckily the Steam Deck kept me entertained and let me make a dent in my Steam backlog (yes I know I have a problem). But even while at home - some games just feel more natural to play on the Steam Deck (see Hades for example).

I could talk about the Steam Deck all day - but I think this stat from the 2022 Steam Replay sums it up best. I got my Steam Deck back in early May - and it is already responsible for over 41% of my playtime of PC games. I can’t wait to see what else Valve has in store for us.