The best video games of 2022, so far

2022 has not been wasted.

Whether it’s due to shifting release calendars, less reliance on retail, or delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the first quarter of 2022 has been a perfect storm for video game releases. We caught Pokemon. We led armies of demons. We parkour our asses. And there’s no end in sight – the rest of March is just as diverse in its genre trappings, from developers big and small, on as many platforms as previous months.

However, we are committed to helping you start separating the wheat from the chaff by recommending our favorite games from the many ambitious titles that come out over the months. We’ll be updating this page throughout the year with the most recent releases at the top, so you can stay up to date (or at least as up-to-date as possible). We will also be doing the same with the best movies, the best anime, the best TV shows, and the best sci-fi and fantasy books of 2022.

ancient ring

Numerous games have tried to emulate the exploratory marvel of 2017. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but ancient ring this is the first game that really worked. With a landscape that will take years to fully decipher, this is exactly the kind of game we’ve come to expect from developers. From Software: cryptic, impenetrable, and ultimately rewarding. But its open-world trappings reimagine much of the brutality of these games and don’t detract from their difficulty but rather encourage incremental progress over brute force. It’s not uncommon to get lost in the far corner of a map for a dozen hours, only to return to a previous challenge with a brand new character with stronger abilities and newfound wisdom at your disposal. This game is a miracle. —Mike Mahardy

ancient ring available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.

Destiny 2: Witch Queen

Destiny has been through a lot since 2014: difficult release days, a global pandemic, and the sale of the PlayStation, just to name a few. So it’s almost a miracle that after eight years, Destiny 2: Witch Queen, this is the best thing that ever happened to the series. With a new campaign, new location, new weapons, and new abilities. More Fate, I must say. But it’s also Destiny, with no elaborations or conversations that come with a lot of wistfulness: “Imagine how good it would be if Bungie did X, Y, or Z?” Bungie has spent the last few years building up the potential of its massive experiment, and with witch queen finally pays off. —Ryan Gilliam

Destiny 2: Witch Queen is available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Google Stadia.

We lost ArkLost Ark’s impressive feat. Its outstanding class design and superb ARPG gameplay would already be enough to set it apart from many of this year’s games, but it’s also a content goldmine. Originally launched in Korea in 2019 and then adapted for release in Europe and North America this year, the MMO launched with fantastic endgame content right on the doorstep (a rarity for the genre). And while Lost Arkalready is extremely useful in its own right, developer Smilegate RPG promises more endgame content and new classes in the near future. It looks like there’s still an exciting road ahead. -BUTUsten Goslin

Lost Ark is available on Windows PC.

Weird GardeningIN Weird gardening, you sell plants. Although plants may look ordinary, they are not at all: there are plants that make people brave and others that lure them to their death. Some are designed to increase focus or poison your enemies. This is a simple game, made with the utmost attention to detail. In running this plant shop, a strange occult story unfolds through customers’ gossip and plants found on the in-game map. Weird Gardening short – it took just over five hours to complete – but it was one of the most impressive games I’ve played this year. —Nicole Carpenter

Weird Gardening is available on Windows PC.

Total War: Warhammer 3

There are ambitious games, and there are ambitious games. Total War: Warhammer 3 is the last one. Its map is larger than that of its predecessors combined, and it started with eight fantasy factions, each unfamiliar and grander than the last. It is also extremely strange and refuses to rest on its laurels as the strategy trilogy draws to a close instead of pushing the boundaries wherever possible. It transports players to the ethereal Realms of Chaos and then brings them back to their homeland to fight diseased goliaths and shapeshifting demon lords. It’s just as far from a safe third part as we’ve seen since. Hitman 3. And if the roadmap DLC is for Total War: Warhammer 2, there was some sign the next few years would get even weirder. —Mike Mahardy

Total War: Warhammer 3 is available on Windows PC, Mac, and Linux, as well as through PC Game Pass.

Forbidden Horizon West

Sequel to the excellent post-apocalyptic film of 2017. Zero dawn horizon is already one of the best this year. Forbidden Horizon West takes so much of what made the first game great and gives players more options to work with: more settlements, weapons, and traversal options. It starts off a little slow, and it might take a while to introduce some of its more creative gadgets, but it gets better and better as you unlock more tools to add to your arsenal. By the end, Aloy can skim mountains, swim the deepest seas, and explore America’s landmarks along the west coast. The gorgeous open world of this game feels like a gift, and it’s easy to spend hours exploring every gorgeous corner. Meanwhile, the character writing and world-building convey a civilization worth saving. — Nicole Clark

Forbidden Horizon West is available on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.

World of Ollyolly

World of Ollyolly, by Roll7, is dynamic, colorful, and a real challenge – a great celebration of skateboarding and its culture. It is also stupid and completely sincere, with a great resemblance to Adventure Time than Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. One moment I’m grabbing stale fish over aliens dancing in shorts, and the next, I’m chasing a bear in a pipe down a river. While it’s fun and silly, it’s also very hard; to succeed, you must master precise clicks and button presses that will test your limits. —Nicole Carpenter

World of Ollyolly is available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Nintendo Switch.

Dying Light 2

Immersive feedback in Dying Light 2 Stay Human takes quite a lot of time. The slow pace of the story is not helped by some of the reversals and outright reversals that may come later. But the first-person parkour and combat gameplay in the game is a real treat. No matter how much time you spend in the huge, closed city of Villedor, you won’t get bored. And like an RPG, Aiden Caldwell evolves into a captivating and powerful character thanks to multiple storyline branches, decisions that have irreversible consequences, and two perk trees that make his athletic abilities even more exciting, not to mention themselves. —Owen S. Good

I am dying Light 2 available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.

Vampire SurvivorsVampire Survivors it’s a simple game, but it shouldn’t be discounted. Behind the retro graphics and low price lies one of the most addictive games in recent years. There is only one input method in Vampire Survivors – move – and your goal is to hold out for 30 minutes, picking up a weapon that automatically attacks for you. My whip cuts down nearby enemies every second or so, and my character throws axes on a set timer. During each run, I select new upgrades from randomized packs, combining them with other items to create the optimal build that will help me survive to the end. I’ve already done countless runs this year and unlocked every new tool I could. But Vampire Survivors is one of the few games I play just for fun, “wasting” 30 minutes every night as bigger, longer games pass me by. —Ryan Gilliam.

Vampire Survivors is available on Windows PC, Mac, and via a web browser.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus

To say it Pokemon Legends: Arceus been a long time would be an understatement. In fact, I completely accepted Dunky’s joke that it’s actually the second Pokémon game ever made. It gracefully simplifies many of the tedious aspects of the series (the simple act of catching Pokémon in real-time is now damn satisfying), which is surprising Game Freak hasn’t tried this before. It’s also the first game where I really care about completing the Pokédex, complete with challenges and research challenges for each creature. It feels less like a clunky series of turn-based battles and more like a contemplative, sometimes frightening wilderness adventure to satisfy my collector’s appetite. —Mike Mahardy

Pokémon Legends: Arceus is available on Nintendo Switch.

Nobody saves the world.

Nobody saves the world is a quirky little video game, but it left an indelible mark on my soul. It’s a game about shapeshifting – discovering new abilities to transform yourself into the perfect weapon for the job or a very specific tool needed to solve a single puzzle. It’s about research and experimentation. It’s funny and interesting and, above all, it’s very smart. In a year filled with so many big games, the size and Nobody save the world seems small. But big things often come in small packages, and I won’t forget the latest version of Drinkbox Studios anytime soon. —Ryan Gilliam 

Nobody saves the world available on Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X via Game Pass.

wordle

Like Animal Crossing: New Horizons before that, world Russia’s greatest strength is its overall strength. Offering a simple word guessing puzzle that is updated every 24 hours, it allows us to celebrate, complain, preach and ultimately rejoice in one very specific and, ultimately, the harmless thing of the day, whether on social media or at the bar next door. He became a kind of lightning rod for both heated discussions and serious disputes. It once made me feel unbearably smart, only to remind me that I, in fact, was extremely dumb next. It also single-handedly revived my family’s text thread. Who among us will ever forget the day they encountered the word “bright”? —Mike Mahardy

wordle accessible via web browser here.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *