It’s been a great year for video games: Whether you wanted to overcome intense challenges in the bleak world of The Lands Between, put your survival skills to the test through the horrors of Black Iron Prison, or even relax with a little Pokémon adventure, there was something for everyone in 2022.
With the release of so many quality games, including such hits like God of War: Ragnarök and Elden Ring, it was really hard to only pick ten titles, but I did my best.
That said, let’s take a look at my personal best games of the year!
10. Pokémon Legends: Arceus
While not without its flaws, Pokemon Legends: Arceus serves as a reminder that Game Freak still have the potential to create games that take risks – even if they’re small ones.
The shift from a linear adventure to a more open world RPG-style game helped to set Arceus apart from previous entries into the franchise, allowing for a different take on the series’ usual storytelling and the ability for players to choose the methods in which they tackled their objectives.
Arceus was unique enough that even fans who had long been burned out on the franchise were convinced to give it a look – many of which subsequently walked away happy their choice.
If Game Freak can continue to innovate like this, I’m convinced more than ever that the future of the Pokémon IP it remains in good hands.
9. Warhammer 40,000: Darktide
Another game that’s not without its problems, Darktide is Vermintude developer Fatshark’s newest Warhamer 40K co- operative action title.
A fast-paced, action-packed extravaganza, Darktide tasks you and three other human players with going out and helping humanity taper a Nurgle uprising currently breaking out within the walls of Atoma Prime’s major hive city, Hive Tertium.
Between you and your goal, however, there will be hundreds, if not thousands, of heretical worshippers of Chaos.
While the game launched a little light on content, Fatshark has been quick to respond to fan feedback via their Discord and have since laid out a basic roadmap of changes and fixes they plan to add to the game in the near future.
As it stands right now, Darktide has been a great game to play with friends – even if it’s a shame that cross-console play between Windows Games Pass and Steam hasn’t been added yet — and presents a great foundation with lots of room for improvement.
Let’s hope Fatshark doesn’t squander it.
8. Metal: Hellsinger
Perhaps the most niche title to be added to this list is Metal: Hellsinger — a music-based FPS title that blends action with rhythm mechanics.
In the game players take on the role of a demon named “The Unknown,” who is on a quest for revenge in order to regain her voice. The game is narrated by a skull named “Paz,” who’s southern twang really helps to elevate and otherwise light narrative.
The gameplay is entirely based on timing the rhythm of your actions to the beats of the music; namely movement, combat, and even reloading. The higher your combo multiplier the more intense the music becomes, which gives just that extra shot of dopamine.
Music-wise, the game unsurprisingly features all-metal soundtrack, which is composed by several artists such as Mikael Stanne, Tatiana Shmayluk, Serj Tankian, and Randy Blythe, to name a few. Metal: Hellsinger is fun, challenging, and really addicting. Despite the time I’ve spent with it, I still haven’t mastered it, but I’m getting better.
7. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
After the disappointment that was Call of Duty: Vanguard, which left many players wondering whether the long-running series had finally ran its course, Activision released Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 — arguably the true return to form the Call of Duty series had been longing.
With an entertaining campaign that kept me interested from beginning to end, and a multiplayer offering that feels better than it ever has, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is one of the best FPS titles currently on the market.
Recently, Infinity Ward released Warzone 2.0 as well, giving fans even more ways to experience this awesome entry. There is a reason why Call of Duty stills at the top. No wonder Sony and Microsoft are currently fighting over access to future entries.
6. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge transported me back to my days of playing games at the local Nickle Nickle arcade by my grandma’s house.
If you’ve played it, you’re probably not surprised that it’s earned a well-deserved place on this list.
The perfect callback to the video games of the late ’90s and early 2000s, Shredder’s Revenge has it all: amazing sprite work, beautiful animations, and some fun and engaging cooperative gameplay that’s easy to pick-up for both seasoned players and kids alike.
An absolute labor of love — that even brought back the voice cast of the 1987 cartoon to reprise their iconic roles — there’s nothing more to say about the Turtles’ latest adventure outside of the fact that it’s just a good game.
5. Cult of the Lamb
If you know anything about video game streaming, you’ll know that Cult of the Lamb absolutely dominated Twitch for the entire summer — and for good reason.
Published by Devolver Digital, this indie sensation mixes the rouge-like gameplay of Binding of Isaac with the city-management mechanics of Animal Crossing to challenge players with starting and dominating the world with their own cult.
The town building and cult management are goofy and very rewarding, Converting those you save into minions to help save your unholy master is just a goofy story when you mix it with its cute art style.
The boss fights are great and well designed, the dungeons are addicting to grind your way through for more loot and followers. There really aren’t any major missteps to this indie darling.
Because of some smart marketing and Twitch integration, live streamers were able to make Cult of the Lamb a massive success and it couldn’t have happened to a better team.
4. The Callisto Protocol
The Callisto Protocol is a flawed but misunderstood entry in the survival horror genre. Developed by Striking Distance games and published by Krafton, Inc, this game is one of the best action games I’ve played from a new studio in a long time.
Combat-wise, the game is difficult to grasp at first but, before long, I had all the tools I needed to bash and shoot my way through Black Iron Prison and uncover the truth behind the horrors that were unfolding around me.
The Callisto Protocol‘s great gameplay was also bolstered by the equally great performances of its cast, which features such renowned actors as Josh Duhamel (Transformers, Bandit), Karen Fukuhara (The Boys, Bullet Train), and Zeke Alton (Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War).
Unfortunately, the game’s release was marred with bugs and performance issues across all platforms, leaving many players soured on The Callisto Protocol before they even gave it a shot. That being said, part from a cutscene at the very beginning of the game, I had a nearly flawless experience during my playing on Xbox Series X.
Your mileage may vary, but I can’t wait until February for the release of New Game+ among other updates.
3. A Plague Tale: Requiem
A Plague Tale: Requiem is a genuine work of art developed by a studio who truly cares about their work.
A sequel to the 2019 sleeper hit A Plague Tale: Innocence, Requiem continues the story of Amicia De Rune and her younger brother Hugo as they seek to escape the blades of the fanatical French Inquisition, who see the latter sibling’s ability to control rats as heresy.
Much like its prequel, Requiem not only explores the horrors of both the Hundred Years’ War, but also the devastation the black plague levelled upon the citizens of France.
With some of the best writing, voice acting, and presentation I’ve seen from a video game in a long time, I cannot recommend Requiem – and its predecessor, for that matter – enough.
If you haven’t already, I highly recommend that you check out both titles in the series – You will not regret it.
2. God of War: Ragnarök
God of War: Ragnarök is a juggernaut of a game, and its recent sweep of the 2022 Game Awards was not undeserved.
A nearly perfect sequel to one of the most ambitious series reboots in all of gaming history, Ragnarök stands as yet another impressive example of Sony Santa Monica Studio’s narrative chops.
And not only does it impress with its further exploration of Kratos’ new turn to fatherhood, but it also refines the fast-paced gameplay of its predecessor, resulting in a downright entertaining and satisfying trek through the bodies of the Norse pantheon.
The transformation of Kratos from a vessel of rage and anger to a man who struggles to keep his demons locked away is one of the most compelling characters in modern video games.
Suffice to say, I am impatiently waiting to see whatever the future holds for both the IP and Sony Santa Monica Studios
1. Elden Ring
What else can I honestly say about Elden Ring that hasn’t already been said?
Elden Ring has been heaped with praise across the board by just about everyone – and for good reason.
From its crisp and refreshing gameplay that feels like a blend of Dark Souls and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice to its intricate and captivating lore, as provided courtesy of A Song of Ice and Fire author, George R.R. Martin, there are few games that feel like they have had the same level of care put into development as Elden Ring has.
The game’s success has been even more notable in light of the fact that it suffered multiple delays, which left many players afraid that FromSoftware’s ambitious open-world plans would ultimately crumble under the weigh of its own expectations.
To make things even better, FromSoftware recently released the free Colosseum update, which brings PVP combat to the Lands Between, thus providing every hardcore player the chance to see how they stack up against other Tarnished.
Congratulations to FromSoftware for the success of Elden Ring. Their glory is absolutely well-earned.