Our individual Game of the Year articles allow our lovely team of writers to share their own personal PS5 and PS4 picks for 2022. Today, it’s the turn of reviewer Brett Posner-Ferdman.
After what felt like years of waiting, the newest entry of The King of Fighters series is finally here, and it was well worth the wait. As a long time fan of the series, it is great to see all these great KOF and SNK icons come together to shatter all my expectations. As much as I love Tekken and Street Fighter, there really is nothing like creating your own 3v3 team of some of the wildest characters out there (I’m looking at you, King of Dinosaurs). The addition of the Max Mode system has added a new level of depth to an already deep combat system in a way that keeps the combat fresh, without being too hard to master. Plus, with a whole host of DLC characters coming down the pipeline, it seems as though this entry may have the longest legs the series has seen yet.
The Persona series has long been associated with PlayStation, much to the dismay of Nintendo and PC fans. But 2022 marked a departure for the series onto new platforms, and thankfully, the PS5 was not left behind. Boasting a smoother frame rate, some improved textures and lighting, and all the DLC from the original release, this rerelease is truly the definitive way to play Persona 5 Royal, especially if you somehow missed out on playing either the 2017 or 2020 release. The only caveat to this version is the lack of an upgrade path for PS4 owners, which slightly sours the overall product for longtime fans, like myself. Despite that, Persona 5 Royal is still one of the greatest games ever made, and is well worth everyone’s time.
A bit of a controversial pick, but Sonic Origins truly was a highlight of this year for me. It’s no surprise that I’m a huge fan of Sonic the Hedgehog, having grown up with countless of his titles, but the classic 2D games have long been some of my favourites. Having the mobile remasters of Sonic 1, 2, and CD available on home consoles has been a dream of mine for the past decade, and this release finally answers my wishes, with the added bonus of a newly remastered version of Sonic 3 & Knuckles. Plus, the game’s mission mode is surprisingly fun, putting a new spin on some of these classics. If you have somehow yet to experience the original 2D Sonic games, and would like to play them on modern consoles, I can think of no better way to play them than in Sonic Origins.
A re-release that came and went with very little fanfare, Resident Evil 2 Remake’s PS5 version is another example of how the current-gen console can take an already phenomenal game and make it ever so slightly better. Improved textures, haptic feedback, and load times makes for a much smoother (and spookier) experience. As my favourite game of 2019, and as a diehard fan of Resident Evil, it should come as no surprise that I have such a fondness for this remaster. In fact, the PS5 version was my most played game of the year, according to my 2022 PlayStation Wrap-Up. And, unlike Persona 5 Royal, Resident Evil 2 Remake on PlayStation 5 has a free upgrade for owners of the PS4 version, making for an easy excuse to revisit one of the series’ best entries.
If you had told me at the start of the year that Sonic Frontiers, of all games, was going to be my favourite game on PlayStation this year, I would never have believed you. Everything that was shown of the game prior to launch looked like a mess, with poor pop-in, half baked world design, and very little that screamed “Sonic.” In fact, for the longest time, I kept referring to the game as Sonic Forces 2 out of fear Frontiers would be yet another Sonic disaster. And yet, having finally played the game for myself, I can confidently say this is the most fun game I played this year. I had the biggest smile on my face while I was exploring the vast open zones, grinding on rails, and battling ginormous titans. Ian Flynn did a fantastic job writing the story too, with arguably the best plot and characterisation I have ever seen in a Sonic game. And of course, I cannot overstate just how great the soundtrack is. The game is by no means flawless, but the sheer joy I had from start to finish was unparalleled to anything else I played this year on PlayStation. Plus, the promise of multiple waves of free DLC only serves to make me incredibly hopeful for the future of what this game can offer. Welcome back Sonic, it’s been a long time coming.
What do you think of Brett’s personal Game of the Year picks? Feel free to agree wholeheartedly, or berate relentlessly in the comments section below.