2022 has certainly been a great year for video games!
There’s such a huge array of studios making awesome games now that it’s impossible to play everything on your list – leaving me personally with a huge backlog of games I’m yet to play!
For this reason, in my summary of the best games of 2022 I’ve only included games I’ve played myself – so apologies if your favourite isn’t on the list. Join the conversation on LinkedIn to give your top game of 2022 a shoutout!
And if you like the sound of one of the games click the image to view the trailer and get a flavour for the gameplay!
Released back in February 2022 – which feels like a lifetime ago now – Elden Ring is the first open world game by Hidetaka Miyazaki and From Software, who are well known for brutally challenging Action RPG games like Dark Souls trilogy, Bloodborne and Sekiro.
Miyazaki brought fantasy writer George R.R Martin to assist with some of the worldbuilding which built the hype before release and of course the game was a massive success both critically and commercially selling 17.5 Million copies (so far) and bringing in rave reviews.
This was the first From Software game I’ve played aside from dabbling in Bloodborne, and I was astounded by the innovative level design, worldbuilding and enemies. The game does have a steep learning curve but unlike Dark Souls you can always go and level up if you are stuck on a tough enemy – which has made it more accessible for noobs like me.
The open world design lends itself to memorable, awe-inspiring and downright terrifying moments particularly early on in the game when discovering new areas for the first time such as accidentally being transported to Caelid (where if you’re like me you will bolt whilst screaming).
The story is downright bonkers with minimal dialogue or exposition as your lowly tarnished character must traverse the many challenges in the lands between to become Elden Lord.
There is a deep, interesting and at times devastating (Rya I’m looking at you) story in there but it is up to the player to take as much or as little as they choose from it, which may prove frustrating for some players.
Overall, Elden Ring is a beast of a game, unforgiving, mysterious, and ambitious.
My rating: 10/10
God of War: Ragnarök
The much-anticipated sequel to Santa Monica’s 2018’s God of War and the ninth instalment in the Series. World weary Kratos (I’m sure most returning players now identify more with Kratos after the past few years) is back with his trademark gruffness being pulled back into a fight with the Gods by his maturing and increasingly independent son Atreus, (BOY!).
From the prologue of God of War: Ragnarök, you know you are in for an absolute epic narrative driven experience with most of the lovable cast of characters back for this second instalment, (if only we could all have the worlds cleverest man’s head as a companion).
I have yet to finish the game but everything that made the first game so successful is back and improved upon. Great graphics, level design, combat, writing, and voice performances that immerse you in the world and pack an emotional punch. The game has 5 difficulty settings which is a terrific addition for players who want more of a challenge or to just enjoy the story.
God of War: Ragnarök has a great mix of puzzles and hack and slash combat. Learning new skills for Kratos’ iconic Leviathian Axe or Blade of Chaos keeps the combat fresh and exciting and the kills satisfying and suitably graphic. The mythological backdrop is the perfect setting for exploring beautiful environments and meeting iconic characters with some fascinating lore. God of War: Ragnorak is a master crafted experience that proves that the best AAA games need not be open world in design.
My rating: 9/10
Obsidian Entertainment’s second release of the year after the successful survival game Grounded earlier in the year. Pentiment is a hard to define RPG/murder mystery set in 16th Century Bavaria, you play as journeyman artist Andreas Maler, who is quickly pulled into a murder investigation when his friend is accused of murdering a prominent nobleman. The game spans over 25 years and has many twists and turns and never canonically reveals the true murderer. The gameplay is a world apart from the other games on list, revolving around conversing with suspects, clue finding and time management. You pick Andreas’ background and skillset which informs what he is knowledgeable about and the dialogue/actions available to you. The beauty of this game is in the fantastic art style, and general atmosphere.
The game has clearly been extensively researched to be historically accurate which really immerses you in the time period, even down to the food that you eat during lunch and dinner. The music and sound design is fantastically naturalistic and minimal and at times can feel like an ASMR experience. This title has massive replayability value as you cannot speak to everyone or follow up every lead due to the structure of the game. Pentiment has a lot to say about the nature of justice, truth and religion (not every day you say that about a video game) and can leave you questioning your decisions once you witness the consequences they bring. Funny, thought provoking and often poignantly sad, Pentinment is a one-of-a-kind narrative experience.
My rating: 10/10
A game with a dedicated meow button could not possibly be left off the list. The hotly anticipated and meme friendly action-adventure game in which you play a stray cat in a dystopian future. Stray starts of with the feline hero/heroine happy frolicking in your clowder (Fun new word!) of cats before quickly being separated and flung into Walled City 99; inhabited by a robot race of ‘companions’ and enemies in the form of Zurks and sentinels. Stray is a journey to get back to the wild and escape the confines of the city whilst helping a group of robots and potentially saving humanity on the way. Stray has a great blend of gameplay, stealth, puzzles, platformer, and just being a cat including taking naps, destroying carpets and miaowing. Stray is a refreshing, compact and fun story game. I felt the platforming element let the game down somewhat (if I’m playing as a cat, I want to be able to jump wherever I want!). However, Stray was worth the hype and is certainly the most accessible of the games listed.
My rating: 8/10
Horizon Forbidden West
Cult of the Lamb
Curse of the Golden Idol
Olli Olli world
A Plague Tale: Requiem
Shout out to all the incredible game studios who’ve come out with these crackers to make our 2022 even better. Looking forward to seeing what 2023 has in store!
Don’t agree with my picks or think I’ve missed the best game of 2022?! Join the conversation on LinkedIn!