White Joy-Con NL
Image: Zion Grassl / Nintendo Life

Just this week Nintendo has provided us with our Switch Year in Review - a round-up of our most-played games for 2022 and in which months we were obsessed by them. Aside from a touching reminder that Big Bowser is always watching, the summaries provide a nice look at the year in focus, flagging the games that we loved, yes, but also prompting a certain amount of self-inspection when we inevitably think "wait, I threw all those hours into that?!"

If you are curious and want to check out how your Switch time was spent in 2022, head over to the following Nintendo page, sign into your account and let the memories come rushing back.

The festive season is, of course, a time for giving and some of us Nintendo Life-ers have come together to give you all the gift of our Year in Review lists (what do you mean "I would have preferred socks"??) A selection of the team have broken down their reports below, ranging from the obvious to the games we'd rather not admit to have played that much.

Have a read through our year's takings and then keep the gift giving going by sharing your most-played games in the comments below. Happy reading!

Jim Norman, Staff Writer

Image: Finji

Most-played games, 2022:

Somebody was torn up over the lack of Zelda content this year now weren't they! Yep, two of my three entries for 2022 might be considered Zelda-likes but I have really enjoyed what each has brought to the table for me this year. Tunic landing in second place is a credit to just how much I enjoyed that game (it's also a credit to just how stuck I got in certain sections, but my perseverance speaks for itself). On the flip side, Moonlighter has been my comfort food. It might not have released in 2022, but this was the year I discovered how much I enjoy my Zelda-likes when I get the chance to run a little shop as a side-hustle.

Splatoon 3 up top is no surprise at all. I genuinely questioned whether to renew my NSO subscription this time around and Splatoon 3 convinced me to stay. I've got many more hours to give to this one yet...

Ollie Reynolds, Staff Writer

Xenoblade Chronicles 3
Image: Nintendo

Most-played games 2022:

This year’s ‘most-played’ stats for me are honestly pretty disappointing to behold. Indeed, I played so little of my Switch this year (having a newborn will do that), that I imagine almost all of the games I booted up could have potentially made the top three; it’s been that close. Needless to say, the only game from the list that I can genuinely say with any confidence that I loved was Xenoblade Chronicles 3. Personally, Bayonetta 3 was a disappointment, and while Pokémon Scarlet started off strong, the increasingly bland open world really put me off the experience.

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

Alana Hagues, Staff Writer

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet
Image: The Pokémon Company

Most-played games 2022:

Wow, can you tell what genre and what kind of games I like to play? These stats aren’t surprising to me at all – it sort of comes with the territory of loving RPGs. Plus, for Pokémon Violet, I reviewed it and wrote a bunch of guides for it. So that helped tip me over the 100-hour mark on that one. AI: The Somnium Files - nirvanA Initiative and Trails from Zero aren’t too far behind Legends: Arceus (AI because I played it once and then my partner played through it when he visited).

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is at almost 170 hours and I still haven’t done everything. I will! And I’ll be back for next year’s DLC. So it might pop up on next year’s review.

Kate Gray, Staff Writer

Slay the Spire
Image: Mega Crit Games

Most-played games 2022:

I'm always a bit disappointed with my "Most Played" stats, since it doesn't necessarily reflect what I enjoyed the most, but this year isn't bad. I did play a LOT of Slay the Spire after Backlog Club ignited something within me, and Rune Factory was easy to just dump several hours into every evening. Pokémon Scarlet probably doesn't come close to those two, but since I was helping with guides, it makes sense! I think Disney Dreamlight Valley would be on here too, but I've been playing it through PC Game Pass. All in all, a pretty good Most Played for my 2022!

Gavin Lane, Editor

Sonic Origins
Image: Sega

Most-played games 2022:

With such a colossal backlog to my name, I'm pleasantly surprised that two of my top three are 2022 releases. Sure, the first was nostalgia-marinated comfort food made out of 30-year-old Sega platformers, and the second was one I played for review, but still. Having dipped my toe into a bunch of games, many of them relatively short, I can't argue with this result.

With the recent announcement of Hades II, I'm pleased I finally got that one under my belt, too. Sure, I still need to escape Hades several more times to get the full story, but I'm well on my way. Having now cleared another substantial backlog of mine — all the rescheduled social events and assorted obligations that got pushed back due to the pandemic — I'm hoping I'll get more leisure time in 2023 to enjoy more video games.

Who am I kidding? This time next year my top three will be 1) Tears of the Kingdom, 2) some retro collection or other, and 3) Hades again. Hey, doesn't sound too bad.

Liam Doolan, News Reporter

Pokémon Legends: Arceus
Image: The Pokémon Company

Most-played games 2022:

  • Pokémon Legends: Arceus
  • Splatoon 3
  • Pokémon Scarlet

It might have been released late in the year, but it turns out I've put so many hours into Pokémon Scarlet now that it's already made the top three of my most-played Switch games in 2022. A bit like Breath of the Wild, I often just find myself getting lost in the open grassy plains for hours on end. I see one Pokémon 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 on end, and while I haven't always had the smoothest online experience, I've certainly played my fair share of matches. I've also had plenty of 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 was released at the start of the year, it was still a standout moment in the history of the series stepping out into a fully 3D world.

Alex Olney, Video Producer

No Man's Sky
Image: Hello Games

Most-played games 2022:

I think what's most surprising is the fact that all three of my most-played games are games that came out this year. If you'd asked me without all this shiny info what I'd played most I'd probably have said something like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but the numbers don't lie. I think it's a testament to just 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 these fine twelve months. As for Splatoon 3, I would have been more shocked if it hadn't made the cut. I've played that thing to death across multiple accounts, and for review purposes.

Felix Sanchez, Video Producer

Splatoon 3
Image: Nintendo

Most-played games 2022:

I never thought that Splatoon 3 would hook me as much as it did. I played that and ONLY that for a good month - it was just THAT fun! - Splatoon had never really clicked before, but something magical happened where I (get this) got good. I had some good friends who could help me improve tremendously with some feedback, and it was just an amazing feeling swimming around, listening to Candy Coated Rocks and reaching S rank for the first time!

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

And lastly, 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 simply can’t wait to see what the next DLC wave brings with it!

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

Gonçalo Lopes, Reviewer

Valkyria Chronicles
Image: Sega

Most-played games 2022:

Placing third on my list is none other than a title from the sacred backlog of shame: Valkyria Chronicles. Yep, the original entry, and this after I played to completion Valkyria Chronicles IV and having the entire plot spoiled by the terrific anime. 35 days translated to 58 hours later I have this at long last with 100% completion. We really need a complete collection or a new entry in the series.

Silver medal goes to discipline, discipline, and discipline: Knockout Home Fitness was on my Switch cartridge slot 200 days in a row. A slight downgrade considering those 300 days straight in Ring Fit Adventure last year but I assure I sweat out a lot bad things to the body in those 74 hours. Looking forward to Kenshiro taking this spot in 2023.

No real shock for the gold award: Xenoblade Chronicles 3 swept most of my Summer (32 days straight) in an incredible 101 hours long journey that I will never be able to forget. A true luxury, I’m incredibly thankful to have been able to experience this stellar entry in the series.

There's a peek at our Years in Review, but what was your's like? We have a brand new poll feature where you can put in your own entries and vote to agree with others. Take this shiny new toy for a spin below before leaving a comment on your results!

What was your most-played Switch game of 2022?