The 10 Best Games of 2022

The 10 Best Games of 2022

2022 will be remembered for many things in and outside the world of entertainment, but there has been one consistent throughline: the standard of video games has been excellent.

After two pandemic-disrupted years, gaming roared back to life in 2022, with some heavy-hitting triple-AAA titles, along with some smaller indie darlings managing to grab the headlines.

Two years into the lifecycle of the new console generation, developers are starting to get comfortable with the power of these new consoles and innovations in PC gaming.

Last year, we had a fairly difficult time even picking 10 games for our list, but this year, we had to make some cuts.

This list represents the best and boldest gaming visions of 2022, and as we make our way to the business end of the list, difficult 'All The President's Men' style decisions had to be made.

Without any further ado, here are our picks for the 10 best games of 2022.

10) Horizon: Forbidden West (Guerrilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

History repeated itself in 2022, with a ‘Horizon’ game releasing just before a landmark moment in gaming history.

In 2017, the original ‘Horizon’ was overshadowed by ‘Breath Of The Wild’ and in 2022, the sequel was overshadowed by ‘Elden Ring’, but this should not distract from a stunning technical achievement from Guerrilla Games.

The console generation has received some justifiable criticism for not being that fundamentally different to the previous generation, but when you see ‘Horizon: Forbidden West’ in action, those doubts are silenced.

A beautiful game to look at, the gameplay still feels derivative of any sandbox game released in the last 10 years but ‘Horizon’ has enough confidence and vastness to overcome these shortcomings.

There is a self-assured quality to 'Forbidden West' that at once makes the game feel sweeping and intimate, with a deep and involving story and beautiful secenery to take in.

The world of 'Horizon' is one of the most vivid and striking enviroments in gaming, and the sequel expanded to create a sci-fi universe that stands alone.

With this game, Aloy has cemented herself as one of gaming’s great heroines, and Sony could have not picked a better mascot to champion their console.

Mind you, we could do with her being less talkative.

9) Weird West (Wolfeye Studios/Devolver Digital)

This wonderfully odd slice of Americana is one of the best surprises of the year.

‘Weird West’ follows in the footsteps of ‘Killer7’ of being a wholly original game that feels like it was the creation of someone writing down a fever dream they had after a heavy night on wine and cheese.

Placing you on the American Frontier, ‘Weird West’ can be best described as a mix of ‘Disco Elysium’, the works of David Lynch, and ‘Red Dead Redemption’, and if you happen to a fan of those 3, you will find a lot to love here.

‘Weird West’ is much too odd and strange to ever be picked up by a major publisher, so thank god for the likes of Devolver Digital for championing such a brilliantly strange little game.

Yee-haw! We had a rootin' tootin' good time with 'Weird West'

The actual gameplay is a treat to play, with its twin-stick action and choice-driven story making for a unique blend unlike anything on the market this year.

The twangy score, an off-kilter atmosphere and the frantic gameplay is a joy, and this all blends together for one of our favourite games of 2022.

While it may not be the most polished or sophisticated game on this list, ‘Weird West’ shows that if you have enough demented imagination, you can forgive a lot of flaws.

8) Sifu (Sloclap)

The best games are the ones you can describe in one sentence, and in the case of 'Sifu', it can be boiled down to "Dark Souls meets Jackie Chan."

'Sifu' came out of nowhere earlier this year and caught us totally off-guard with its frantic martial arts action and roguelike mechanics, and in the purest terms, we haven't had as much fun with a game in years.

A simple concept being well done goes a long way, and 'Sifu' always finds ways to keep players on their toes, with the high risk/high reward tension act one of our favourite gaming experiences of 2022.

'Sifu' is one of the most surprising gaming experiences of 2022, because while French developer Sloclap may not be that well-known to the public at large, after 10 minutes of 'Sifu' you'll be left singing their praises as some of the best action developers around.

The roguelike genre was very well-represented on our list last year in games like 'Returnal', but it's refreshing to see the concept work just as well in the high-kicking world of martial arts.

In a game that is predicated on dying again and again, 'Sifu' always manages to feel fresh, and that in itself is a minor miracle.

7) Pentiment (Obsidian Entertainment/ Microsoft Game Studios)

If there's one thing we cherish in gaming, it's the role of the auteur.

Josh Sawyer is known for his work on 'Fallout New Vegas' and 'Alpha Protocol' and is firmly on the list of gaming personalities we would follow off a cliff.

'Pentiment' ranks among his finest work, and this utterly bewitching and wholly original game is like nothing we've played in years.

'Pentiment' is a wildly ambitious game that tasks players with solving the murder of a prominent person in 16th century Bavaria, and must try and clear their friend's name.

The genius of the game is the mystery is never fully solved, leaving it up to the player's imagination, and that workaround is incredibly satisfying.

The gorgeous art design is the icing on the cake, with beautiful interpretations of medieval art, ancient manuscripts and print serving as a treat to the impeccable writing.

'Pentiment' is one of the great treats of 2022, and it's fairly low profile in comparison to other games on the list, but it stands alone as one of the most unique gaming experiences of the year.

6) The Quarry (Supermassive Games/2K)

‘The Quarry’ is a dream come true for horror fans, with the game giving you the chance to direct your own ‘Friday The 13th’ film.

For review purposes, we always aim to play through the game from start to finish to get the full experience, and in the case of ‘The Quarry’, we played through it twice to get the full experience for the review.

Will the stupid teens at the heart of 'The Quarry' survive the night? It's up to you!

After the review was filed and in the months since, we have played through ‘The Quarry’ 6 times.

Like our favourite horror films, we keep coming back for more even though we know the scares.

The horror in ‘The Quarry’ is more rollercoaster, white-knuckle fun rather than the terse, slow-building horror of the more recent ‘Resident Evil’ games or the ‘Silent Hill’ franchise, but ‘The Quarry’ hooks us back in with its incredible graphics, fun writing and blood-pumping moments.

5) Cult Of The Lamb (Massive Monster/Devolver Digital)

In an era of developers releasing games half-finished and expecting consumers to pick up the slack with season passes, it is genuinely refreshing to play a game that has a core concept and nails it.

'Cult Of The Lamb' is the biggest surprise of 2022, and it is incredibly easy to see why it took the gaming scene by storm this year - every player comes out of it with their own unique story to tell.

For the uninitiated, 'Cult Of The Lamb' follows a lamb who is sacrificed and then resurrected as a demonic leader, and is then given the instruction to create a cult in order to free an ancient deity.

The game thrusts you into the role of a cult leader, and must decide what sacrifices to make - for better or for worse.

Like 'Weird West' before it, the folks at Devolver Digital are the best in the industry for taking unorthodox or strange ideas for games and giving creators the artistic license to go wild.

'Cult Of The Lamb' has an incredible replay value, and out of all the games in this list, we foresee this being the game we'll still be playing 10 years from now.

In its simplest terms, 'Cult Of The Lamb' is like 'Football Manager' meets 'The Wicker Man', and the replayability factor comes from the organic scenarios the game throws at you.

It is up to games like 'Cult Of The Lamb' to show that gaming can still have bonkers, auteur-driven ideas that still connect with the masses, and the world of gaming is richer for having games like this in it.

4) Stray (BlueTwelve Studio/Annapurna Interactive)

Like all great works of art, 'Stray' manages to divide opinion - is it a masterpiece of the interactive arts, or an overhyped game that happened to come out in a drought?

We're still standing by our review from July - there are very few games like 'Stray'.

The simplicity of 'Stray' is the game's greatest strength.

The Cat's Meow: 'Stray' is one our favourite games of 2022

A world half-empty where cats and robots co-exist is a beautiful 'The Twilight Zone' style scenario and the game makes the most of the premise.

'Stray' is a game where the environmental design and atmosphere is crucial to the experience, and despite the short runtime, 'Stray' is a game you live in rather than play.

A wonderfully strange Studio Ghibli-style experience makes for one of the most unforgettable games of the year, and 'Stray' is the kind of game people will still talk about in 20 years time.

3) God Of War: Ragnarök (Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

With 'God Of War: Ragnarök', Kratos has elevated himself to a gaming icon on a level with Mario, Link or Master Chief.

This deeply personal tale of rampage, revenge, and retribution is as epic as video game storytelling gets, and you could easily picture 'Ragnarök' being told in the pages of an ancient Nordic text.

Kratos and Atreus' trek to prevent the end of the world as they know it is a picaresque romp that shows what it would be like to live as the most dangerous man to ever live.

Kratos' life as a reluctant dad is given just as much prevalence as the incredibly gory action sequences, with the stop-start balance of quiet drama scene, loud action set-piece pulled off perfectly.

'Ragnarök' feels truly next-gen with its incredible graphics and bombastic gameplay, but that should not take away from the game being a timeless story of grey morals and complex characters.

The added bonus of having 'The West Wing' star Richard Schiff as Odin by way of a chess shop owner from Brooklyn is a stroke of genius that elevates the game to "classic" territory.

In any other year, 'Ragnarök' would have walked away with our Game Of The Year, but it says a lot about 2022 that we found two games that are better.

2) Immortality (Half Mermaid Productions)

David Lynch changed the world of film and television forever with classics such as 'Twin Peaks' and 'Mulholland Drive', and 'Immortality' feels like the great unrecognised David Lynch project in video game form.

Many games such as 'Life Is Strange', 'Deadly Premonition' or 'Kentucky Route Zero' are avowed in their fandom of Lynch, but it is Sam Barlow's latest game 'Immortality' that feels most of a piece with the works of Lynch.

'Immortality' follows the story of the actress Marissa Marcel who made three films in various decades, but were never released.

You are tasked with combing through the database of Marcel's films, and try to figure out what happened to her.

'Immortality' isn't a game in the traditional sense, but that is what makes it so outstanding.

Combing through a database of unmade films and trying to find connecting elements may not sound like the most orthodox of games, but when the game starts burrowing itself into your head it takes up permanent residence.

The game uses the conventions of film grammar to rewrite the rules of gaming narrative, and any game that pushes gaming forward as a medium or does something truly innovative is a game we will always commend.

Like 'Ragnarök' before it, we would have given 'Immortality' our Game Of The Year last year, but there is always a bigger fish...

1) Elden Ring (FromSoftware/Bandi Namco Entertainment)

From the first time "YOU DIED" flashed across the screen and we were sucked into the Lands Between, we knew we were in for something special.

'Elden Ring' is the 'Abbey Road' of gaming; a towering, staggering achievement by which all other games will be judged from now on.

Released in the last week of February, 'Elden Ring' became an instant cultural sensation, which an avalanche of perfect scores and blockbuster sales, and with good reason.

Any game where you're able to swap stories with colleagues or friends many months after release is a different kind of special, much like how games like 'Skyrim' or 'Persona 5' offer differing stories.

All these months later, we're still finding nooks and crannies hidden in the game world, always looking for that final bit of skill to defeat that one boss or leaving messages of encouragement for fellow demigod slayers.

As critics, our metric for a truly great game is one we can return to months after we reviewed it and see if there's anything we missed the first time.

The incredible 'Elden Ring' is our Game Of The Year

With 'Elden Ring', the relative simplicity belies an astonishing depth.

FromSoftware stated that they saw 'Elden Ring' as their opportunity for mainstream success, and drafted in George R.R. Martin to flesh out the game's setting and lore.

The mix of FromSoftware's hard-as-nails gameplay design and Martin's fantasy chops makes for the best pairing since peanut butter and jam.

Prior to 'London Calling', The Clash cut their teeth on two tight albums: their self-titled 1977 debut and 1978's 'Give 'Em Enough Rope'.

Even early on, The Clash's undoubted genius was there for the world to see, but it was 'London Calling' that solidified the band as "the only band that matters."

With 'Elden Ring', we're giving FromSoftware the moniker of "the only game developer that matters."

'Dark Souls' is the game we chose that represents the best that the 2010s had to offer gaming, and we have every confidence that by decade's end 'Elden Ring' will be held up as the game that defined gaming in the 2020s.

We hemmed and hawed about what game to make our Game Of The Year, but in the end, it came down to a simple question: what game will we still be talking about in our grandkids' generation?

'Elden Ring' answers that question.