Nintendo is one of the titans of our industry, and although some of its tentpole franchises weren’t present this year, 2022 was no slouch year for The Big N. With a variety of excellent titles to enjoy on the Switch this year, Nintendo is Shacknews’ best publisher of 2022.
Nintendo was the publisher behind several of our favorite games this year. Kirby and the Forgotten Land was a pleasant return to one of the brand’s many icons, one we’ve been itching to see more from. Splatoon 3 marked the franchise’s second outing on the Switch, delivering more exciting squid kid action for gamers of all ages. Changes to the Splatfest and the single-player campaign make it feel like the series at its best.
Speaking of beloved franchises, 2022 also saw the long-awaited release of Bayonetta 3, which managed to live up to fans’ sky-high expectations. Five years after the release of Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, one of the biggest pleasant surprise video game releases in recent memory, we got a sequel. Nintendo published the Ubisoft-developed Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope, which expanded on the turn-based strategy game in new and interesting ways. It also provided more of the silly dynamic between the Mario characters and the Rabbids.
Even looking outside of the video games released themselves, Nintendo reported some impressive earnings numbers in 2022. The company also detailed its plans for an animated Super Mario Bros. movie, and expanded on the best-selling Switch game of all time with the Super Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass. Nintendo had a busy year, and its efforts were more than enough to secure the Shacknews Award for Best Publisher.