The 10 best video games of 2022

Video game characters stand in front of text reading The 10 Best Video Games of 2022.

The conversation about this year’s Game of the Year was over before it could even begin. It’s not because 2022 hasn’t been a stellar year filled with surprises from left field. It’s just that players were already anticipating what the two biggest games of the year would be: God of War Ragnarok and elderberry ring. While both of these games are indeed two of the most dominant AAA titles of 2022, the “early conclusion” attitude has ultimately done a disservice this year.

As people anticipated the ensuing war between these two giants, much smaller projects like vampire survivors and Immortality were pushing the idea of ​​what a modern game looks like. Nintendo was raising the bar for family games with its strongest lineup since the Launch of Switch in 2017, while lesser-known platforms like mobile and virtual reality delivered some of the most memorable moments of the year. Sure, elderberry ring and God of War RagnarokThe dominance of was inevitable, but they were far from the only games worth discussing in 2022.

To honor another stellar year for the industry, the Digital Trends team thought long and hard about this year’s Top 10 list. Hundreds of games were evaluated and around 30 were considered for the final list, from heavy hitters to indies that came out of nowhere. Both of these worlds are also represented on our list this year, a reminder that video games at all levels deserve a chance – not just those with the biggest marketing budgets.

Of course, that doesn’t mean the power players haven’t been picked. Here are our 10 favorite video games of 2022.

10. Bayonet 3

Madame Butterfly fights Honculi in Bayonetta 3.

When you hear the word “blockbuster,” your mind may immediately go to Hollywood. This instinct could change for good when you play Bayonet 3. Playing almost like a parody of Marvel movies, PlatinumGames’ long-awaited Switch exclusive delivers a wacky and entertaining gauntlet of multiverse thrills. What it lacks in the narrative, it makes up for with over-the-top action pieces – including spy movie send-offs and full kaiju battles. Bayonet 3 could have easily repeated the formula of its previous installments and called it a day, but its inventive streak makes for an unpredictable adventure that trusts its goofiness. Bring the popcorn. ~ Giovanni Colantonio

9. Vampire survivors

Screenshot of a horde of monsters attacking in Vampire Survivors.

vampire survivors is one of those games you really have to play to understand. At a glance, its retro visuals and single-stick control format can make it seem like a superficial throwback. That’s about as far from reality as you can get, though. In place, vampire survivors is one of the most engaging and creative action games of 2022. It takes elements from the roguelike genre and mixes ideas you might find in idle gameplay and explosive Musou. This results in a hugely addictive wave defense game that allows players to focus their attention on impactful upgrade decisions rather than complicated button inputs. Nothing in gaming feels better this year than locking yourself into a good run and watching your little character take down thousands of monsters without even touching the controller. ~ Giovanni Colantonio

8. Go astray

A cat walks through a town in Stray.

Before Wander launched, it gained a reductive reputation as “that cat meme game.” This was due to its unique feline hero, which had seduced some players with the idea before they had even seen a hint of gameplay footage. The triumph of Wanderhowever, it is that it is much more than his gadget. Published by Annapurna Interactive, it successfully turns annoying cat behaviors (like scratching everything in sight or knocking things over) into clever adventure game ideas. Although his hero has won the adoration of the majority of players, there is much more to Wander as its central premise. It tells a thoughtful sci-fi story that examines the intersection between man and machine. The silent narrative challenges players to direct their frustrations about technology at the humans who abuse it. ~ Giovanni Colantonio

7. Marvel Snap

Venom affects a Marvel Snap Playground.

Mobile games wouldn’t get such a bad rap if they were all like marvel snap: easy (and free) to pick up and play consistently, quick to experiment with, and extremely hard to put down. Developed by former Foyer Members of the team, marvel snap is the best collectible card game in years. Its fast-paced matches that see opponents playing cards across three slots at the same time are easy to understand, but stay fresh after dozens of hours thanks to in-depth deck-building strategies and a layer of randomness that comes with the slots. and card abilities. marvel snap continues to evolve with updates that make the game even better, so it’s a mobile game that we certainly won’t be giving up for a while. ~Tomas Franzese

6. Stanley’s Parable: Ultra Deluxe

A framed photo in The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe celebrates the original game.

If you haven’t played Stanley’s Parable: Ultra Deluxe, you might be confused about its inclusion here. If you’re wondering, “Why is a re-release of an old indie game taking a place that should go to something entirely new?” for now, I assume you haven’t played it yet. ultra luxury isn’t a port full of extra content, but rather a secret sequel entirely contained to Stanley’s original parable. But what is more amazing is that ultra luxury actually outperforms its predecessor in almost every way. Rather than philosophizing about free will, he focuses his attention on today’s media age to create wildly funny and often heartbreaking satire on our constant need for content. Although his bigger question is much simpler: is it a bucket? ~ Giovanni Colantonio

5. God of War Ragnarok

Atreus points his bow in God of War

God of War Ragnarok lives up to the expectations that come with the sequel to one of the best games of the last decade. It’s bigger and more explosive than its predecessor in almost every way, with better visuals, more characters, a grander narrative, and improved combat with a variety of new weapons and playable characters. Whereas God of War Ragnarok certainly displays all that pomp, it still tells a deeply relatable and moving story about a father and son trying to stay together as they go their separate ways, all backed up by an all-time great performance from Christopher Judge. God of War Ragnarok is one of the finest AAA gaming experiences ever, making it a must-have for anyone looking for the gaming spectacle of 2022. ~Tomas Franzese

4. Chronicles of Xenoblade 3

Noah and Mio stand back to back near a giant machine in Xenoblade Chronicles 3.

For RPG fans, the Xenoblade series has been overlooked for far too long. Although it contained some of the richest stories, worlds, and systems in the genre today, it just couldn’t get the recognition it deserved outside of niche circles. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 was the mainstream moment fans had always hoped for, and it was completely deserved. The Switch exclusive features a rich story about soldiers coming to terms with who their true enemies are: the oppressive powers that see them as pawns in a conflict they don’t need to die for. With stunning landscapes, fully realized character arcs, and excellent MMO-like combat, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 ensures that no one goes over the series. ~ Giovanni Colantonio

3. Kirby and the Forgotten Land

Kirby in his ranger form in the snow.

Some games feature deep, complex stories and wildly innovative gameplay that will redefine the industry. Others are just great fun. Kirby and the Forgotten Land is the long-running Nintendo series’ first full foray into a 3D game of this magnitude, and the developers at Hal Laboratories have knocked it out of the park. Kirby’s accessible platforming and copying ability moves are enhanced by excellent level design that creates a ton of memorable sights for Kirby. In a year where some Nintendo Switch games are starting to show their age, Kirby and the Forgotten Land looks fantastic, and you can share the whole experience with a friend. Also, bite mode; need I say more? ~Tomas Franzese

2. Immortality

Excerpts from Ambrosio appear in Immortality.

Each year, an indie darling is able to stand against the AAA behemoths and become one of the best games of the year. In 2022, this game is Immortality, an innovative video game where players must navigate production footage from three never-before-seen films to find out what happened to missing movie star Marissa Marcel. Its gameplay mechanics may seem familiar to anyone who has ever interacted with a video file, but its matching system allows players to jump between clips by clicking on a character or object in a scene. Immortality is a hard game to discuss without spoilers, so we’ll just say it features one of the best narratives of the year as it tackles why people create art and what they experience to do it. Immortality is a masterclass in non-linear video game storytelling, features outstanding production values, and redefines its narrative and gameplay mechanics multiple times throughout its runtime. Both disturbing and captivating, Immortality is a must. ~Tomas Franzese

1. Elden Ring

Elden Ring still Terni fighting the dragon Agheel on horseback.

elderberry ring is the kind of monster that’s just hard to argue against, try as we did in our year-end talks. No matter how many ways you try to fix its various flaws, the jaw-dropping experience of riding around The Lands Between is simply unmatched this year. By applying open-world design to the standard Dark Souls formula, FromSoftware creates a more accessible Soulslike that gives players the freedom to complete its challenges at their own pace. The seemingly limitless potential for exploration and experimentation made the game a social hit when it launched, proving that FromSoftware’s games weren’t just a niche experience for diehards; they’re for anyone brave enough to step out of their comfort zone and dive into its alluring and twisted worlds. ~ Giovanni Colantonio

Honorable mentions

  • neon white
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge
  • OlliOlli World
  • Worship of the Lamb
  • Repentance
  • King of Fighters XV
  • Tear down
  • The center of entropy
  • Pokemon Legends: Arceus
  • MultiVersus

Editors’ Recommendations

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