Nintendo Change 12 months in Overview 2022 – Our Most Performed Video games

White Joy-Con NLImage: Zion Grassl / Nintendo Life

Just this week, Nintendo gave us our Switch Year in Review – a recap of our most-played games for 2022 and which months we’ve been obsessing over them. Aside from a touching reminder that Big Bowser is always watching, the summaries offer a nice look at the year in focus, pointing out the games we loved, yes, but also encouraging some self-examination when we inevitably do thinking, “Wait, I put all those hours into it?!”

If you’re curious and want to find out how your Switch time was spent in 2022, visit the following Nintendo page, log into your account and let the memories come back.

The festive season is of course a time for giving, and some of us Nintendo Life players have teamed up to bring you all the gifts from our year review lists (what do you mean “I would have preferred socks”??) A selection of the team has theirs Reports broken down below, from the obvious to the games we’d rather not admit played that much.

Read through our annual earnings, then keep the gifting going by sharing your top-played games in the comments below. Happy reading!

Jim Norman, staff writer

tunicImage: Finji

Most played games 2022:

Someone was torn about the lack of Zelda content this year, right? Yes, two of my three entries for 2022 could be considered Zelda-esque, but I really enjoyed what everyone has brought to the table for me this year. Finishing Tunic in second place is a credit to how much I enjoyed this game (it’s also a credit to how much I got stuck in certain sections, but my perseverance speaks for itself). On the other hand, Moonlighter was my comfort food. It may not have been released in 2022, but this year I’ve discovered how much I enjoy my Zelda likes when I get the chance to run a small shop on the side.

Splatoon 3 at the top is no surprise at all. I was really asking about renewing my NSO subscription this time, and Splatoon 3 convinced me to stay. I still have many hours to devote to this one…

Ollie Reynolds, staff writer

Xenoblade Chronicles 3Image: Nintendo

Most played games 2022:

To be honest, this year’s Most Played stats are pretty disappointing to look at. In fact, I’ve played so little of my Switch this year (a newborn will do) that I imagine almost all the games I’ve booted up could possibly have made the top 3; it was so close. Needless to say, the only game from the list that I can truly say I loved was Xenoblade Chronicles 3. Personally, Bayonetta 3 was a disappointment, and while Pokémon Scarlet started off strong, the increasingly boring open world really blew me away from the experience.

Otherwise, some of my most valuable games this year – Signalis, OlliOlli World, etc. – are significantly shorter experiences, so I’m not surprised they didn’t make it.

Alana Hagues, staff writer

Pokemon Scarlet and VioletImage: The Pokemon Company

Most played games 2022:

Wow, can you tell what genre and type of games I like to play? These stats don’t surprise me at all – it’s kind of territory to love RPGs. I’ve also reviewed Pokémon Violet and written a series of guides for it. This helped me surpass the 100 hour mark. AI: The Somnium Files – nirvanA Initiative and Trails from Zero are not too far behind Legends: Arceus (AI because I played it once and then my partner played it through when he visited).

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is almost 170 hours and I still haven’t finished everything. I will! And I’ll be back for next year’s DLC. So it might show up in the next year in review.

Kate Gray, Staff Writer

Kill the towerImage: Mega Crit Games

Most played games 2022:

I’m always a bit disappointed with my Most Played stats as they don’t necessarily reflect what I’ve enjoyed the most, but this year isn’t bad. I’ve played a lot of Slay the Spire after Backlog Club sparked something in me, and Rune Factory was easy to spend several hours each night. Pokemon Scarlet probably doesn’t come close to these two, but since I helped out with guides, it makes sense! I think Disney Dreamlight Valley would be included, but I played it through PC Game Pass. All in all a pretty good most played for my 2022!

Gavin Lane, Editor

Sonic originsImage: Sega

Most played games 2022:

So colossal to my name, I’m pleasantly surprised that two of my top 3 releases are in 2022. Sure, the first was comfort food marinated with nostalgia from 30-year-old Sega platformers, and the second was one I played to review, but still. Having dipped my toe in a number of games, many of which are relatively short, I can’t dispute that result.

With the recent announcement of Hades II, I’m glad I finally got the hang of it. Sure, I’ll have to escape Hades several more times to get the full story, but I’m on the right track. Now that I’ve cleared another significant backlog of mine — all the postponed social events and various commitments that have been postponed due to the pandemic — I’m hoping to get more free time to enjoy more video games in 2023.

Who am I kidding? By this time next year my top 3 will be 1) Tears of the Kingdom, 2) some retro collection or something else, and 3) Hades again. Hey, that doesn’t sound bad.

Liam Doolan, news reporter

Pokémon Legends: ArceusImage: The Pokemon Company

Most played games 2022:

  • Pokémon Legends: Arceus
  • turn 3
  • Pokemon scarlet

It may have come out at the end of the year, but it turns out I’ve put so many hours into Pokémon Scarlet that it’s already in my top 3 most played Switch games of 2022. A bit like Breath of the Wild, I often get lost in the open grassy plains for hours. I see a Pokemon in the distance, then another… and another, and it just doesn’t stop until I catch them all. My second most played Switch game this year goes to Splatoon 3. I’ve queued in lobbies for hours, and while I haven’t always had the smoothest online experience, I’ve certainly played my fair share of games. I’ve also had many successful Salmon Run missions. And my most-played game of the year… drum roll… goes to Pokémon Legends: Arceus. While it’s not a full-blown open-world experience like Scarlet and Violet, when it released earlier this year, stepping into a fully 3D world was still a standout moment in the series’ history.

Alex Olney, video producer

Nobody's heavenImage: Hello games

Most played games 2022:

I think the most surprising thing is the fact that all three of my most played games are games that came out this year. Without all that shiny info, if you’d asked me what I’ve played the most, I probably would have said something like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but the numbers don’t lie. I think it’s a testament to what a fabulous job Hello Games has done that No Man’s Sky – a two month old game – is one of my most played games of this beautiful 12 months. As for Splatoon 3, I would have been even more shocked if it hadn’t made the cut. I’ve played the thing to death across multiple accounts and for verification purposes.

Felix Sanchez, video producer

turn 3Image: Nintendo

Most played games 2022:

I never thought Splatoon 3 would captivate me like it did back then. I played this and ONLY this for a good month – it was just SO much fun! – Splatoon had never really clicked, but something magical happened where I (get it) got good. I had some good friends who could give me some feedback to help me improve tremendously and it was just an amazing feeling to be swimming around, listening to Candy Coated Rocks and getting an S rank for the first time!

I finally got around to playing Xenoblade Chronicles DE properly, and MAN, was it worth the wait! Incredible storytelling that just kept going and expanding. The world building and monsters were impressive on a whole other level and I’m not even going to get into the music. An absolutely fantastic game that I’m glad is one of my most played games this year.

Finally, there’s Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which is just a comfort game at this point. It was wonderful to have 24 new tracks through the Booster Course Pass and I can’t wait to see what the next wave of DLC brings!

All in all a solid year, I’m already excited just thinking about all the wonderful games and epic new adventures I’ll embark on in 2023!

Gonçalo Lopes, Reviewer

Valkyria ChroniclesImage: Sega

Most played games 2022:

Third on my list is none other than a title from the holy residue of shame: Valkyria Chronicles. Yes, the original entry, and that’s after I played Valkyria Chronicles IV to the end and the whole storyline was spoiled by the great anime. 35 days converted to 58 hours later I finally have it with 100% completion. We really need a complete collection or a new entry in the series.

The silver medal goes to discipline, discipline, and discipline: Knockout Home Fitness has been on my Switch cartridge slot for 200 days straight. A slight downgrade considering that 300 days straight in Ring Fit Adventure last year, but I swear I’ve sweated a lot of bad things on my body in those 74 hours. I look forward to Kenshiro taking that spot in 2023.

No real shock for the gold rating: Xenoblade Chronicles 3 took most of my summer (32 days straight) in an incredible 101-hour journey that I will never forget. A true luxury, I am incredibly grateful that I was able to experience this outstanding entry into the series.

There’s a look at our year in review, but how was yours? We have a brand new poll feature where you can enter your own posts and vote to be consistent with others. Try this shiny new toy below before commenting on your results!

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