TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 23: Maika Sivo of the Eels celebrates a try with team mates Bailey Simonsson and Reed Mahoney during the NRL Preliminary Final match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Parramatta Eels at Queensland Country Bank Stadium on September 23, 2022 in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

The NRL season is over, but some of this year's contests will live on in the memories of fans for at least a couple of years.

We've had a look back at every game this year to pick 10 of the best, from amazing comebacks to heavyweight clashes that lived up to the billing. We've tried to steer clear of games that ended controversially, but there were still plenty of exciting battles to pick from across 200-odd games.

With that in mind, here are our picks for the best games this year - did we miss anything?


1. ROUND 15: North Queensland 28 def. Manly 26, 4 Pines Park, June 17

If there was a better comeback this year, it must have been in another code – because the Cowboys recovering from a 14-point deficit with less than eight minutes remaining was one of the most impressive NRL fightbacks in recent memory.

The Sea Eagles had won their last four against the Cowboys and were also undefeated at home, and the trend looked set to continue after some haphazard Cowboys defence saw Manly get two kicks away on the same tackle, with the second being a delicate cross-field effort for Christian Tuipulotu to open the scoring.

The Silvertails were in again after a Morgan Harper line break put Reuben Garrick through, and the fullback exchanged some words with Valentine Holmes after scoring.

North Queensland opened their own account in similar style, with two kicks put in on the last tackle – the second being a cross-field chip to Holmes who finally opened the Cowboys' account with six minutes left in the half.

The Cowboys kicked themselves ahead at the start of the second half after Manly spilled a simple-looking kick. All Jeremiah Nanai had to do was touch the ball and the Cowboys had hit the lead.

That sparked Manly to life and once again a try was scored from the boot after Tuipulotu jumped highest to catch a Lachlan Croker bomb to the corner. Croker wasn't finished either, kicking a 40/20 before racing through to score from a grubber in the following set.

There was more madness to follow from Manly, with another two kicks coming from the last play of a set and Croker putting through a grubber that hit the post, only for the No.9 to win the race to the deflected ball to grab his second try in four minutes, establish a 14-point lead and virtually put the game beyond doubt.

North Queensland weren't done either, with Jeremiah Nanai leaping highest to collect a Chad Townsend kick before dishing an offload to Reece Robson to score.

With an almost impossible margin still facing them, they chanced their arm on the next set, with a series of risky offloads reaping rewards as Connelly Lemuelu went over for the second try in 90 seconds.

When Cherry-Evans spilled the ball on the Cowboys' 20 another minute later, Holmes picked up the ball and ran the length of the field, beating the fullback to score the third try in three minutes and complete a comeback for the ages. Only two tries in the high-scoring contest didn't come from kicks.