Still with us. 'Course you are. Let's crack on...

Best DOOM Clone

Winner: Prodeus

We mean this in the most loving way, because who doesn't want more DOOM, but Proteus is the easy winner.

Prodeus is the kind of game that knows exactly what it wants to do and executes that vision flawlessly. It is a DOOM, but modern, and if you're a DOOM fan who is still alive, you should be giving it a shot.

The 'Game That Doesn't Fit Neatly On Any Of Our Genre Lists' Award

Winner: Neon White

Oooh, this one's always hard — but given how much trouble we had trying to figure out which genre Neon White was, it has to go to this bizarre and beautiful Donut County follow-up. Is it an FPS? An action game? A puzzle-platformer? A card-based arena shooter? A speedrunning tutorial???

We don't know. But whatever it is, it rules.

Runners up: Inscryption, Omori, Strange Horticulture

Best Box Art

Winner: Baba is You

It's been a lovely year for box art, and we want to appreciate the art that we've seen throughout 2022 before we pick our winner:

Ultimately, our winner is...

Nintendo Life Alternative Awards 2022

Baba is You! Although the game initially came out in 2019, the physical release this year through Fangamer had this gorgeous clay-style cover that we just love.

Honorable mention goes to the Mouthful Mode box that Nintendo Japan provided for people who bought Switch OLEDs around the time of Kirby and the Forgotten Land's release. Look, it's so cute:

Nintendo Life Alternative Awards 2022

Most Games Released In One Year

Winner: Yoko Taro (Square Enix)

It's almost a tie! Technically, the Voice of Cards team has put out three games in one full year, beginning with The Isle Dragon Roars in late October 2021, followed by The Forsaken Maiden in February 2021, then The Beasts of Burden in September 2022, but Game Freak comes a close second, with the Diamond & Pearl remakes in November 2021, Legends: Arceus in January 2022, and Pokémon Scarlet and Violet almost a year to the day after Diamond and Pearl.

The long-awaited Switch release of PlatinumGames' NieR:Automata in October tipped the scales back to Taro-san and Square, though. Can someone tell these two to take a break?!

The 'It's About Bloody Time' Award

Winner: Persona 5

We finally got Persona 5. Listen, we won't be complaining about this, or we'll never get anything nice again, but it sure is nice to know that the Switch wasn't forgotten after almost five years of waiting.

We were hoping to give this award to Outer Wilds, but we can only give the award to games that actually came out.

Runners Up: Bayonetta 3, Sports Story, Switch folders

Most Long-Winded Switch Game Title

Winner: void tRrLM2(); //Void Terrarium 2

It's a packed shortlist this year! Here are the candidates we considered for Most Long-Winded Switch Game Title for 2022:

Wow, it's hard to pick from this bounty of titles, but in terms of "worst to type out", it has to go to void tRrLM2(); //Void Terrarium 2. Sure, Shin chan is long, and most of the runners up have too much punctuation by far, but having to remember the non-word "tRrLM2" clinches the win.

Most Skyrim Game

Winner: Skyrim

It's time for the annual award for the most Skyrim game that came out this year, and to no one's real surprise, it's... Skyrim!

Yep, Skyrim Anniversary Edition came out in September 2022, despite Skyrim already being on the Switch... and so, the yearly tradition of having a new Skyrim can continue. Congratulations to Skyrim.

Runner Up: ...Pokémon Legends: Arceus?

In Memoriam

Time to remember some of the games and online servers that were shut down this year. Lots of Wii U games here:

And the studios, services, consoles, and other icons we lost, too:

  • The official Pokémon Diamond & Pearl sound library
  • Square Enix Montreal (Hitman GO, Lara Croft GO)
  • The beginning of the end of the Wii U and 3DS eShop (officially closing in March 2023)
  • Google Stadia
  • E3 (?)

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Switch OLED
Image: Nintendo Life

That's all we have for a long, strange year full of lovely, weird, wonderful games. Thank you all for sticking with us another year — you get the "Best Readers" award. Sorry, there's not much competition. Happy holidays!

Let us know your nominations for the 'alternative' categories above — and any other categories you'd add — in the comments below.