Games of the Year 2022: Mario Strikers: Battle League


Mario Strikers: Battle League was a mixed bag of a game for me.  The single player experience leaves a lot to be desired but the multiplayer experience was a lot more fun.

The single player modes and options are very shallow.  There's not much in terms of progression, direction, or really much to do outside of the core gameplay loop.  It's like the made the gameplay and then forgot to build everything else around it.  There are a few cups you can participate in but, beyond that, not much else.  It honestly reminds me of Mario Kart in that way, except even more shallow.

Where the game actually comes to life is the multiplayer.  I've now played this game with two, three, and four players locally and every player we added only added to the fun.  Compared to how lifeless and dull the CPU controlled teammates are in single player modes, having everyone on your team independently controlled by a human player was so much more fun.  We played through a couple of the cups this way and had a great time!

But after experiencing both sides of it, I think this is a game I would only pick up in situations with 3+ players.  It will stay on my Switch but essentially just slot into the same play space as games like Mario Kart and Mario Party.  Something to break out when you have the right people around but not something you pour hours into on your own.

Mario Strikers: Battle League ends up in the bottom third on my running list but not all the way at the bottom:

  1. Elden Ring
  2. FFXIV Endwalker
  3. Citizen Sleeper
  4. The Stanley Parable Ultra Deluxe
  5. Horizon Forbidden West
  6. Pokémon Legends: Arceus
  7. Chrono Cross: Radical Dreamers Edition
  8. Halo Infinite
  9. Vampire Survivors
  10. Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin
  11. Cyberpunk 2077
  12. Triangle Strategy
  13. Mario Strikers: Battle League
  14. LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
  15. Nobody Saves the World
  16. Unpacking
  17. Total War: Warhammer 3
  18. Tunic

It's possible games could come in under it, but I honestly think most games worth writing about between here and the end of the year will come in above it and push it down further.


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