I thought 2022 would be a straightforward end-year list, but then they crammed a half-dozen amazing games into the last two months, so getting this list written out and released before 2023 came roaring in was definitely a challenge. Not to mention the fact that, as ever, I've also gone to the trouble of playing every single other game released this year too to spare everyone the trouble of telling me I missed something. Yes, even that one.
HM: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection (Digital Eclipse/Konami, PC/Switch/PS4/PS5/XBox One/XBox Series)
13. Return to Monkey Island (Terrible Toybox, PC/Switch/Windows/Linux/PS5/XBox Series)
12. Soul Hackers 2 (Atlus, PS4/PS5/PC/XBox One/XBox Series)
11. Tactics Ogre Reborn (Square Enix, PS4/PS5/Switch/PC)
10. 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim (Vanillaware, PS4/Switch)
9. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion (TOSE/Square Enix, Switch/PS4/PS5/PC/XBox One/XBox Series)
8. Freedom Planet 2 (Galaxytrail, PC)
7. Atari 50 (Digital Eclipse, XBox One/XBox Series/PS4/PS5/Switch/PC)
6. River City Girls 2 (WayForward/Arc System Works, PC/Switch/Playstation 4/Playstation 5/XBox One/XBox Series)
5. Live a Live (Square Enix/Historia, Switch)
4. Symphony of War: The Nephilim Saga (Dancing Dragon Games, PC)
Another example of a game clearly inspired by classics of the genre (Fire Emblem and Ogre Battle in particular), but which ends up being so well-made that it stands out and becomes a fantastic title in itself. Case in point, you move across the map with your squads (consisting of up to nine units of varying classes), capturing towns, utilizing strongholds and terrain to give themselves an advantage in skirmishes, and exploring characters through mid-battle dialog scenes. Battles get surprisingly large in scale (sometimes overwhelmingly so), though you get powers to do things like grant units extra turns or deal damage over a large area to help speed things up or get yourself out of a jam. A wonderful and engrossing strategy RPG.
3. Triangle Strategy (Artdink/Netchubiyori, Switch/PC)
2. TMNT: Shredder's Revenge (Tribute Games, (PC/Linux/Switch/PS4/XBone)
1. Wartales (Shiro Games, PC)