This year has been massive for gamers. If you can believe it, Pokemon Legends: Arceus, Elden Ring, Xenoblade Chronicles 3, and Horizon Forbidden West all came out this year. What’s more, there are still tons of massive titles hitting the shelves before the year ends! It’s a great time to be a gamer.
These titles are all in varying states of development, so the release dates listed here are subject to change. While they’re all slated to be released before the end of 2022 right now, it’s fully possible that any of them could be delayed to 2023 or beyond with a moment’s notice. However, for the time being, we expect to see all of these titles by Christmas.
But which upcoming games are the most exciting? And when can you get your hands on some of these hotly anticipated titles? Today we’re breaking down some of the best-looking titles coming to store shelves before the end of the year. If you think your backlog is looking tall now, wait until these games all go live.
Persona 5 Royal (Switch)
The worst thing about Persona 5 used to be that it was only available on one system. The beloved JRPG classic about the Phantom Thieves of Hearts’ epic struggle against evil is one of the best video games ever made, but developer Atlus’s decision to keep it on just the PS4 for years following its release perplexed fans and critics alike. Despite being made for PS3 hardware and seemingly easy to port to systems like the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, Atlus waited years before unveiling any plans for Persona 5 to hit other systems.
Thankfully, that long wait is finally coming to an end. Nintendo fans who have played as Joker in Super Smash Bros Ultimate or picked up Persona 5 Strikers on the Switch can finally play the game that made Persona a household name in the West. The updated Royal version of the game will go live on the Switch on October 21.
It’s also coming to the Xbox family of systems, which is exciting. However, Nintendo fans have been clamoring for Persona 5 on the Switch since before the Switch came out, so we’re going to let them have this moment.
It’s been a long time since Rocksteady’s Arkham series came to an end. That fan-favorite series saw players controlling the legendary comic book hero Batman and battling a massive rogues gallery of villains. The Arkham titles featured Metroid-like exploration and upgrades, addictive beat-’em-up combat, fun stealth sections, and plenty of interesting environmental puzzles. Many fans have missed the series, but the long wait for a worthy successor could come to an end soon.
WB Games will soon release the highly anticipated third-person action game Gotham Knights, a spiritual successor to the Arkham series that takes place in a different continuity. In this world, Batman died fighting crime, and now his proteges have to take up the mantle. Players will control Nightwing, Robin, Red Hood, or Batgirl as they take on the various villains of Gotham City.
The game will feature a gameplay loop similar to the one seen in the Arkham games. Fans are excited to return to Gotham for this upcoming game, which you can find on store shelves starting on October 21. It’s just coming to PlayStation, Xbox, and PC, though–sorry, Switch players!
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet
Any new Pokemon game is cause for excitement among Nintendo fans. Each new generation of games includes new collectible creatures, new balance updates, and a whole swath of new cities to explore and new characters to meet. This time around, the next generation of Pokemon looks even more exciting than usual.
Scarlet and Violet will feature similar open-world gameplay to Pokemon Legends: Arceus. They’ll be full of new creatures to encounter in the overworld, and will include the same seamless battling and catching mechanics as the previous entry. That seamless gameplay loop has made the more recent Pokemon titles feel fresher than they have in decades.
The new region, Paldea, is loosely based on Spain and looks to offer some gorgeous vistas for returning fans to explore. Switch fans can get their hands on both new Pokemon titles starting on November 18. If you want both, Nintendo is also selling a two-pack of the cartridges so completionists can catch ‘em all!
That’s right, Bayonetta 3 is a real game that real people are really making for the Nintendo Switch. After being announced in 2017, Bayonetta 3 went dark for years. Fans didn’t get an update on the highly-anticipated title until 2021 when a surprise trailer reminded everyone that it exists. And it looks so smooth and stylish that fans have all just accepted that it took eight years to get a sequel.
Developer Platinum Games seems poised to deliver another rollicking action hack-and-slash game with the latest entry in the beloved series. The title character will travel to other dimensions while fighting new enemies, the homunculi, and meeting alternate-reality versions of some familiar characters. We might even see a grown-up version of Cereza, the “young Bayonetta” that players first met in the original game.
If you’re eager to get back into the witchy world of Bayonetta, you won’t have to wait much longer. The game will hit the Nintendo Switch on October 28, capping off an unbelievably busy month for gamers. Make sure to set aside some gaming time to play through this action adventure.
God of War: Ragnarok
The 2018 God of War reboot is one of the best PlayStation games ever made. It’s a gorgeous, moving game that tells an astonishingly personal story set against larger-than-life mythology. Seeing the God of War series taking a softer approach to interpersonal relationships while maintaining its caustic wit–and desire to lay gods low–is something special.
The upcoming sequel, God of War: Ragnarok, is one of Sony’s biggest releases of the year. It’ll feature protagonists Kratos and Atreus battling against Thor, the Norse god of thunder, as he attempts to avenge his fallen brother and sons. Fans are excited to see Kratos back in action, now on the PS5’s cutting-edge hardware.
God of War: Ragnarok will round out a busy month, landing on November 9. It’ll be available on both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, which struck some commentators as surprising. Sony likely wants to appeal to the broadest possible audience, and, given the PS5’s distribution issues, doesn’t want anyone to feel like they don’t have a chance to play the blockbuster game.
Before the latest trailers and demos for Splatoon 3 came out, some fans were a bit skeptical. After all, Splatoon 2 came out in 2017 on the Nintendo Switch. Does Nintendo really need two multiplayer shooters on the same console? What’s the point of releasing a new game when the existing one can still be updated? Well, after spending some hands-on time with the game, reviewers have found out why.
Splatoon 3 is more iterative than revolutionary. It introduces several new maps, weapons, and locations for players to try out. It’s got a few small quality-of-life changes, like streamlined matchmaking processes and multiplayer lobbies. There’s the little stuff that fans have been begging for, like replays and customizable nameplates. Oh, and the emotes. You can’t forget about the emotes!
But the upcoming game is much more than the sum of its parts. All these little changes amount to a dramatically smoother and more modern Splatoon, one that feels like a true competitor to big-name shooters like Call of Duty and Halo. Splatoon 3 splashes onto the Switch on September 9.
It’s perhaps a bit disingenuous for Blizzard Entertainment to call their upcoming title Overwatch 2 a new game. The big numeral “2” on the back of that name would have you believe it’s something entirely different, but it’s really more of a product relaunch than a brand-new game. Overwatch 2 isn’t going to be a standalone retail release that will coexist with the first game. It’s an update that will cause the “first” Overwatch to cease to exist.
Players will still launch Overwatch from the same client they’ve been using since 2016. Any skins and cosmetics they’ve unlocked will remain usable in the “new” game. There will be several new maps and characters, in addition to some changes to a few core gameplay features. Existing characters will receive updated mechanics, and most of the game’s heroes will receive new skins and cosmetic options.
You don’t need to buy anything to access the new content; all the new maps and heroes will be available for existing players, and will all be free to play for newcomers. The update will roll out on October 4, kicking off an extremely busy month for gamers.