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The Best Games of 2022

There were countless awesome games this year. But which were the best of 2022? Let's take a look at some of the greatest games to grace our favorite consoles this year.
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As you might have guessed, 2022 was a huge year for gamers. From God of War: Ragnarok to Elden Ring, there were tons of top-notch games for players to sink their teeth into. The year seemed particularly stacked due to the numerous delays throughout 2021 owing to the lockdowns from 2020. Looking back, 2022 will likely be remembered as the year that most 2021 games actually hit the market!

Elden Ring Screenshot
From Software

Gamers were absolutely spoiled in 2022. It felt like no month went by without another awesome game landing and monopolizing everyone’s time. Looking back, it’s shocking how many top-tier games came out!

But which game deserves the title “Game of the Year”? That question is largely up to personal taste since so many great games hit the scene throughout the year. Rather than try to settle on one definitive game for 2022, today I’m just going to run down my favorite titles that came out over the jam-packed year.

Horizon Forbidden West

Horizon Zero Dawn
Guerrilla Games | Sony

One of the first major games to hit any system this year was Horizon Forbidden West. It was one of Sony’s two big heavy hitters, alongside God of War, and it had the misfortune of releasing a few weeks before Elden Ring. Its predecessor, Horizon: Zero Dawn, similarly came out a week before Breath of the Wild. Tough luck!

Despite this unfortunate release timing, Forbidden West is one of the best open-world games to hit any console this year. It features some downright stunning graphics and makes full use of the PS5’s excellent graphical capabilities. The gameplay is smooth, responsive, and genuinely addictive in the same way that its predecessor was. The storyline is also bigger and bolder this time around, taking protagonist Aloy across a massive landscape for a truly epic adventure.

I’m excited to see how developers Guerilla Games follow up on this excellent open-world title. It’s a safe bet that it’ll release about a week before an even bigger, more ambitious sandbox game! Twice is weird, but three times is hilarious, as they say.

Elden Ring

Elden Ring is a special video game. It’s the rare title that is comfortable trusting its players to figure things out. There are some prominent hints about where you “should” be going sprinkled throughout the game, like the big glowing sparkles that lead you to the notable story bosses. But the real meat of the game only makes itself apparent when you go out of your way to look for it.

Elden Ring is a cousin of Dark Souls, which means it’s a brutally difficult action RPG that has no respect for your time and will defeat your playable character in a matter of milliseconds if you make so much as a minor error in play. Players love it, but it hates its players. That unforgiving air of menace makes the game a uniquely satisfying experience – when you perfectly nail the boss sequence that you’ve been struggling with for half an hour, the feeling of triumph you get as you watch the monster turn to dust is genuinely exhilarating. 

The game is also light on overt storytelling but heavy in its environmental and background lore. You can find little hints about the world’s backstory by reading item descriptions, talking to far-flung and obscure NPCs, and carefully listening to the game’s biggest bosses. While you still might need to run to YouTube to watch a “lore explanation” video to get everything, the game’s decision to trust its players and fans to make sense of its backstory is a refreshing change of pace in the modern era of gaming.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3

Xenoblade 3
Monolith Soft | Nintendo

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 pushes the Switch to its technological limits and makes a case as the best-looking open-world game on the system. You can tell that developers Monolith Soft helped with the development of Breath of the Wild when you look at the sweeping vistas and creative monsters on display in Xenoblade 3. This entry brings the long-running Xeno meta-series to a satisfying conclusion, finally giving fans a better understanding of the overarching narrative behind the beloved franchise.

On a more personal level, though, Xenoblade 3 is a touching game about a group of friends who find meaning in a harsh world through their relationships. The protagonists are all genetically-engineered soldiers who aren’t born but are instead grown in vats. They’re created fully grown and will never live longer than ten years. They fight in an endless war between two nations, Argus and Keves, though each secretly serves the same cabal of shadowy masters.

The game is easily one of the most entertaining RPGs you can play on the Switch and makes a fascinating counterpoint to Elden Ring for Nintendo fans. If you missed Elden Ring because you don’t have a system to play it on, you weren’t out of luck in 2022 thanks to Xenoblade 3. Fans of open-world RPGs were absolutely spoiled for choices this year.

Splatoon 3

Splatoon is one of Nintendo’s newest IPs, and the company has done a lot to make it the face of its modern brand. It’s a competitive arena shooter that tasks players with covering the map in their color ink. The playable characters can turn into adorable cartoon squids with the push of a button, allowing them to dive into their ink and swim swiftly – and stealthily!

Splatoon 3 introduces more iterative changes than revolutionary new mechanics. Still, the new weapons, maps, and game modes on display are more than welcome in the tightly-balanced, competitive environment of Splatoon. It’s a genuinely impressive achievement on Nintendo’s part that they’ve made an arena-based game that is equal parts “thrilling competitive environment” and an “easy-to-learn, colorful game for kids”. 

If you’re looking for a game that will offer hours of replayability, you should check out Splatoon 3. It’s easy to pick up the series’ iconic transforming-and-painting gameplay, but it’s devilishly tricky to master all of its disparate weapons.

Bayonetta 3

Bayonetta 3
Nintendo | Platinum Games

Bayonetta 3 is a stunning video game. It arms players with more tools than any prior entry in the series and sets them loose on a series of unsuspecting enemies. The name of the game here is “style,” and you’ll find plenty of stylish ways to punish your foes in this white-knuckle action game.

Platinum Games has outdone itself with this bewitching title. It’s hard to explain just how smooth and addictive the combat in Bayonetta is, but it’s something that only Platinum seems to be able to nail perfectly. The closest recent comparison to Bayo 3 would be the equally-excellent Devil May Cry 5, which sadly never saw a release on the Switch.

As such, Nintendo fans who want a taste of stylish action to fill that DMC5-shaped hole in their gaming schedule should check out Bayo 3. It’s easily one of the best action games of the year, and it serves as an excellent final chapter in the trilogy.

God of War: Ragnarok

God of War: Ragnarok isn’t just the sequel to the 2018 God of War. It’s also the sequel to the sequel to the 2018 God of War. Where God of War had a handful of enemy types and a few surprising mechanics hidden late in its runtime, Ragnarok offers an absolute smorgasbord of content. There are dozens of new enemy types, countless minibosses and side quests, and a genuinely massive world to explore.

The storyline is, once again, the star of the show. The voice cast outdid themselves with top-notch, A-list performances throughout. Characters like Thor and Odin feel shockingly flawed and human thanks to the excellent graphics and unparalleled performances. Kratos, once again, steals every scene he’s in with his laconic personality and sheer intimidating presence.

Thankfully, his son Atreus also has a much bigger role in the story this time. He even gets his own playable sections throughout the story, and it’s a fun change of pace to control the lithe, agile archer instead of his hulking brute of a father. If you’re a fan of well-told tales about ancient myths, you owe it to yourself to check out Ragnarok.

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

The last major release of the year, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, stunned critics and fans alike. Some were taken aback at its galling performance on the aging Switch hardware, while others were impressed with its game design decisions. This divisive narrative defined the pair of games throughout the first month of its release, but opinions have largely settled in on the games being some of the best entries in the RPG series yet.

Unlike its predecessors, SV unleashes players on a true open world that they can explore at their own pace. You can tackle the various gyms and boss monsters in any order you please–though the high-level challenges on the northern side of the map might prove a bit tricky for newcomers until they level up their creatures.

The ninth-generation entry in the Pokemon franchise also introduced some of the best new creature designs in the series since the first generation. New monsters like Tinkaton, Lokix, and Armorage stand out among a great lineup of evolutions for existing Pokemon and completely new entries in the franchise. While it might be a bit graphically underwhelming, SV is likely one of the best Pokemon games ever made.