2022 has wound down, which suggests it’s that point of yr the place we glance again on the final 12 months and the highlights they introduced with them. For quite a lot of causes, this yr was comparatively lighter on notable video games than some earlier years in latest reminiscence have been, however so wholesome is the state of the video games trade that, even despite that, there was nonetheless a gradual stream of wonderful video games for gamers to dive into all through 2022. From indies to AAA megatons, from sequels to new IPs, from platformers and RPGs to action-adventure video games and shooters, there actually was a greater than just a little one thing for everybody. Right here, we’re going to have a look again and select our favorite video games of the yr, counting down from #25 all the way in which right down to our Recreation of the Yr for 2022.
NOTE: All entries and rankings had been determined by an inner vote held among the many whole GamingBolt workers.
#25. REDOUT 2
Accessible on: PS5, Xbox Collection X/S, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Change, PC | Developer: 34BigThings | Learn Our Evaluate
In 2016, Redout emerged as a fan-favourite for individuals who’ve been begging for brand spanking new WipeOut and F-Zero video games, and this yr, its sequel upped the ante even additional. Redout 2 is sort of a dream come true for followers of the style, displaying off high-speed, adrenaline-fueled, futuristic racing at its highest via a mixture of tight and responsive mechanics and beautiful graphics and visible results. It is a style that also has the potential to flourish, and Redout 2 is an excellent instance of that.
Accessible on: PS5, Xbox Collection X/S, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Change, PC | Developer: Tunic Group | Learn Our Evaluate
Similar to Demise’s Door was final yr, for followers of the older Zelda video games, Tunic is one in all this yr’s brightest spots. Representing indie craftwork at its greatest in additional methods than one, it’s an enthralling, vibrant sport with a putting visible aesthetic that by no means ceases to amaze with its compelling mixture of dungeon crawling, exploration, fight, and puzzles- and given the distinctive manner wherein it reveals extra about its world to its gamers as you get deeper into it, Tunic can be a sport that turns into more and more extra rewarding the extra time you make investments into it.
#23. TINY TINA’S WONDERLANDS
Accessible on: PS5, Xbox Collection X/S, PS4, Xbox One, PC | Developer: Gearbox Software program | Learn Our Evaluate
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands doesn’t shake up the Borderlands method as a lot as an elevator pitch of the sport would possibly point out, nevertheless it’s nonetheless a stable looter shooter in its personal proper. It retains the collection’ addictive core gameplay loot, driving you on to play increasingly more with its rewarding loot and fight mechanics, whereas it additionally throws in some distinctive parts of its personal, due to its fantasy-based Dungeons and Dragons-inspired setting. In the meantime, when you like Borderlands’ humour, there’s loads of that right here as properly.
#22. SONIC FRONTIERS
Accessible on: PS5, Xbox Collection X/S, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Change, PC | Developer: Sonic Group | Learn Our Evaluate
Sonic Frontiers had large tasks on its shoulders, anticipated because it was not solely to deliver the stumbling franchise again into type, however to additionally lay down the foundations for the collection’ subsequent decade, if no more. Now, it wouldn’t be Sonic if it didn’t have a minimum of a number of frustratingly baffling points – and Frontiers does have loads of these – nevertheless it’s nonetheless the very best a mainline 3D Sonic sport has been in a protracted, very long time. The open world method suits Sonic like a glove, and although there’s nonetheless might enhancements it may make, even because it exists proper now, it’s fairly compelling.
#21. NEED FOR SPEED UNBOUND
Accessible on: PS5, Xbox Collection X/S, PC | Developer: Criterion Video games | Learn Our Evaluate
2019’s Want for Velocity Warmth was a one thing of a reprieve within the collection’ uncontrolled downward slide, however this yr’s Unbound feels a lot extra important. And that’s not simply because it additionally represents the return of Criterion as a serious AAA studio (although that’s clearly a giant deal as properly). Even by itself phrases, NFS Unbound is a wonderful racer. The sense of pace and the arcadey racing motion the collection has been recognized for when it’s at its greatest are current and accounted for right here, whereas Unbound additionally brings loads of its personal distinctive thrives to the desk, from an open world that’s all the time a blast to drive via to a vibrant visible and aesthetic fashion that provides the sport a really distinct look.
#20. THE QUARRY
Accessible on: PS5, Xbox Collection X/S, PS4, Xbox One, PC | Developer: Supermassive Video games | Learn Our Evaluate
Supermassive Video games has established itself as an skilled on the subject of interactive choice-based horror journey titles, however the studio has arguably by no means touched the heights that it scaled with Till Daybreak again in 2014. The Quarry tried to recapture that magic in 2022, and whereas it is probably not fairly on the identical degree, it’s nonetheless a hell of lots of enjoyable. It seems to be wonderful, it is stuffed with pulpy and corny horror, it continuously throws participating decisions (and their disastrous penalties) at you, and it’s particularly a blast to play as a multiplayer expertise.
#19. WEIRD WEST
Accessible on: PS4, Xbox One, PC | Developer: WolfEye Studios | Learn Our Evaluate
Developed by former Arkane veteran Raphaël Colantonio and his small indie group at WolfEye Studios, Bizarre West is just about an unmissable sport for followers of immersive sims. The darkish fantasy and wild west mashup right here is charming in and of itself, however after all, Bizarre West actually shines within the gameplay division above all else, due to a posh and elaborate net of gameplay methods that emphasize participant selection and company like only a few different video games do. Whether or not you’re studiously following the story or simply messing about within the sport’s world and creating your personal enjoyable, Bizarre West delivers on each entrance.
#18. OLLIOLLI WORLD
Accessible on: PS5, Xbox Collection X/S, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Change, PC | Developer: Roll7 | Learn Our Evaluate
OlliOlli World was one thing of a danger for Roll7, with the studio taking the collection’ established and acclaimed framework and increasing it in important methods, nevertheless it was one which undoubtedly paid off. “Skateboarding platformers” aren’t precisely a really populated sub-category of video games, however OlliOlli World proves another time that, when performed proper, that is the sort of expertise that may sink its claws proper into you. Slick motion, endearing characters, beautiful artwork design, stable degree design- there’s no scarcity of issues to reward in OlliOlli World.
Accessible on: PS5, PS4, PC | Developer: Sloclap | Learn Our Evaluate
Regardless that expectations had been excessive from Sifu within the lead-up to its launch, it nonetheless managed to prove higher than most individuals anticipated. Sloclap’s kung fu brawler might even be among the many highest the style has to supply. It’s crunching and extremely slick kung fu fight by no means loses its luster all through the expertise, and the sport’s powerful however truthful (and amazingly satisfying) method to problem makes that fight even higher. Sifu is brimming with fashion and mechanical perfection, and is unquestionably going to reside lengthy within the reminiscence.
#16. ROGUE LEGACY 2
Accessible on: Xbox Collection X/S, Xbox One, Nintendo Change, PC | Developer: Cellar Door Video games | Learn Our Evaluate
For a lot of, the unique Rogue Legacy is the king of roguelikes, so to say that Rogue Legacy 2 had fairly a bit to reside as much as could be a giant understatement. That it manages to reside as much as these expectations is a serious accomplishment in and of itself- that it typically really exceeds them is sort of past perception. Rogue Legacy 2 is an immaculately designed sport, and concocts a stellar mix of difficult fight, glorious boss fights, pixel-perfect platform, addictive development mechanics, and a startling quantity of construct selection. And actually, that’s simply scratching the floor.
Accessible on: PS5, PS4, PC | Developer: BlueTwelve Studio | Learn Our Evaluate
In Stray, you play as a cat in a post-apocalyptic world populated by human-like androids and face-sucking parasites. If that central premise isn’t sufficient to show your head, it could be as a result of your head is incapable of turning. However Stray doesn’t rely completely on its fascinating premise- it’s additionally a really pleasant sport. Shifting round and scaling environments as a lithe, feline creature is all the time enjoyable on a minimum of a basic degree, and the sport combines that with well designed puzzles that persistently maintain issues attention-grabbing. There’s lots of flash right here, sure, however there’s additionally loads of substance.
#14. SHOVEL KNIGHT DIG
Accessible on: Nintendo Change, PC, iOS | Developer: Nitrome, Yacht Membership Video games | Learn Our Evaluate
There’s one thing very elegant about Shovel Knight Dig’s premise- simply take that iconic shovel, and make it do what shovels do. Reasonably than utilizing it as a pogo stick, Shovel Knight Dig sees you going ever downward, and it makes unimaginable use of that setup. Actually, no quantity of reward is sufficient for the way in which it takes the bones of the unique Shovel Knight and manages to twist and switch them so that they match right into a roguelike expertise whereas nonetheless remaining true to their core. It’s maybe on the shorter aspect, particularly for a roguelike expertise, however Shovel Knight Dig makes a powerful impression even in its comparatively temporary runtime.
#13. RETURN TO MONKEY ISLAND
Accessible on: PS5, Xbox Collection X/S, Nintendo Change, PC | Developer: Terribly Toybox | Learn Our Evaluate
Monkey Island is the poster boy of cult traditional gaming franchises, however typically you’ll be able to’t assist however surprise if that’s merely a case of absence making the guts develop fonder. Return to Monkey Island got here alongside this yr (a lot to the shock of just about everybody) and completely refuted that notion. With collection veterans Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman returning to the helm, Return to Monkey Island looks like assembly a pricey outdated buddy who’s by some means much more riotously enjoyable than your reminiscences would have you ever consider. From the sharp writing and endearing characters to the unimaginable humour and sensible puzzles, it delivers in each manner that you just’d anticipate a Monkey Island sport to ship, whereas additionally guaranteeing that it modernizes the collection in significant methods. The watch for Return to Monkey Island might have felt like an interminable one at instances, however impossibly sufficient, the reward on the finish was properly price it.
#12. SPLATOON 3
Accessible on: Nintendo Change | Developer: Nintendo | Learn Our Evaluate
Splatoon 3 is an ideal instance of how sequels with the “evolution over revolution” mindset can nonetheless ship a tremendous expertise. The collection’ core gameplay method could be very a lot a recognized amount at this level, and slightly than making an attempt to repair one thing that isn’t broke, Splatoon 3 takes that method and hones it to near-perfection. Sure, Nintendo’s persistent incompetence on the subject of having good on-line has been a little bit of a hurdle for the sport, however on the finish of the day, it’s nonetheless an absolute blast to play. It’s additionally price mentioning that Splatoon 3 has a genuinely good single participant marketing campaign, so even when you’re not on the lookout for a multiplayer expertise, it is a sport that’s nonetheless price your consideration.
#11. OVERWATCH 2
Accessible on: PS5, Xbox Collection X/S, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Change, PC | Developer: Blizzard Entertainment | Learn Our Evaluate
There was completely no manner that Overwatch 2 was going to seize lightning in a bottle the way in which its predecessor did when it first launched, however the long-awaited sequel does function a wonderful reminder of what made Blizzard’s hero shooter method resonate so strongly with so many individuals within the first place. Grindy development mechanics and a questionable Battle Go construction are a few of the sport’s a number of points at launch, however once you really get right down to taking part in the sport, it’s inconceivable to not have enjoyable with Overwatch 2. The brand new 5v5 format specifically revitalizes the gameplay in important methods, whereas a number of different refinements additionally come collectively to make for noticeable enhancements.
#10. MARIO + RABBIDS SPARKS OF HOPE
Accessible on: Nintendo Change | Developer: Ubisoft | Learn Our Evaluate
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle took just about all people without warning in additional methods than one when it launched in 2017, so it’s solely becoming that its sequel, Sparks of Hope, did the identical this yr (if to not the identical diploma). Regardless that it might simply have been an iterative sequel that performed it protected, Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope takes quite a lot of dangers that the majority repay. From its new and improved fight mechanics to its huge and assorted solid of playable heroes, from its expanded deal with RPG development to the considerably larger emphasis that it locations on exploration, Sparks of Hope not solely looks like an even bigger and higher sequel, but in addition one which isn’t too bothered about sticking to the script, and as a substitute does its personal factor. And certainly, it’s a greater sport for it.
#9. A PLAGUE TALE: REQUIEM
Accessible on: PS5, Xbox Collection X/S, Nintendo Change, PC | Developer: Asobo Studio | Learn Our Evaluate
An excellent many individuals had been taken without warning by simply how good A Plague Story: Innocence was, and this yr, Asobo Studio one-upped itself with the sequel. A Plague Story: Requiem is sort of the right sequel, as a result of although it doesn’t reinvent the wheel by any stretch of the creativeness, it considerably improves upon its predecessor in each side. It is a textbook instance of larger and better- the stealth is extra refined and feels extra tense, the degrees are bigger and provide extra room for exploration, the visuals are much more beautiful, and sure, the rat hordes are rather more large, nearly ridiculously so at instances. That is additionally a sport with lots of coronary heart, telling a charming story that revolves spherical endearing characters who share very actual and well-written relationships with one another, with the central pair of Amicia and Hugo specifically as soon as once more stealing the present. Similar to its predecessor, even with out the backing of a blockbuster AAA price range or an enormous growth group, A Plague Story: Requiem can stand toe-to-toe with a few of the greatest video games on the market.
#8. LEGO STAR WARS: THE SKYWALKER SAGA
Accessible on: PS5, Xbox Collection X/S, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Change, PC | Developer: Traveller’s Tales | Learn Our Evaluate
LEGO video games, nearly by definition, have by no means actually been the type that can blow you away in any possible way, however that’s exactly why LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga got here as such an enormous shock. Positive, saying that it’ll blow you away continues to be a little bit of an understatement, however that is the very best that Traveller’s Tales LEGO collection has ever been. The truth that it condenses and combines all numbered Star Wars movies in a single bundle is sufficient to entice individuals in and of itself, however even past that, that is only a legitimately well-made sport. Clearly, it retains the simplicity and ease that characterizes LEGO video games above all else, nevertheless it additionally refines and improves the collection’ gameplay method in quite a lot of key methods. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing on this sport – whether or not that’s flying the Millennium Falcon and blowing up TIE Fighters, or exploring lovingly recreated open world Star Wars places and discovering a plethora of participating aspect content material, or laughing at it trademark foolish LEGO humour – you’re assured to have a blast with The Skywalker Saga the entire manner via.
#7. KIRBY AND THE FORGOTTEN LAND
Accessible on: Nintendo Change | Developer: HAL Laboratory | Learn Our Evaluate
The Kirby franchise might have taken its candy time lastly making the leap into the 3D platforming area, however there’s little doubt in anybody’s thoughts that it’s made a convincing debut. Kirby and the Forgotten Land might, in reality, very properly be among the best outings on this long-running collection thus far. It’s brimming with the type of appeal that you just’d anticipate to see in any Kirby sport (or hell, any Nintendo platformer), nevertheless it’s what the sport does as a 3D platformer that makes it actually stand out. Inhaling issues complete and taking over their properties is a conceit that clearly fits a Kirby sport very properly, and it additionally makes for a wonderful platformer by basically offering the sport a platform for fixed creativity with its talents and degree design till the very finish. The Nintendo Change has a bevy of wonderful platformers, however even in that exalted library, Kirby and the Forgotten Land ranks as one of many style’s greatest choices on the platform. Right here’s hoping we don’t have to attend as lengthy for the pink puff’s subsequent 3D platforming journey.
#6 and 5 – A Tie
GRAN TURISMO 7
Accessible on: PS5, PS4 | Developer: Polyphony Digital | Learn Our Evaluate
The Gran Turismo franchise wasn’t precisely in the very best form of its life within the PS4 years, and the long-running collection’ sizeable fanbase was determined for it to return to its roots and ship a extra conventional racing sim expertise. With Gran Turismo 7, it does precisely that, and above all else, it has reminded us simply why Gran Turismo has the type of legacy and cache it does. For vehicle lovers and followers of racing sims, GT7 is nirvana. It combines unimaginable driving mechanics with a frankly staggering customization framework, and on high of that basis, it piles on oodles and oodles of content material, from a big roster of vehicles to a big selection of tracks, from a wholesome number of modes to a meaty and addictive marketing campaign. We’d, after all, be remiss to not point out the noticeable points GT7 had at launch with its monetization and grindy development, however Polyphony Digital deserves credit score for having addressed many of the sport’s largest points with routine post-launch updates and patches. By its very nature, Gran Turismo 7 isn’t for everybody, nevertheless it undoubtedly represents the collection at its highest level in a protracted, very long time.
XENOBLADE CHRONICLES 3
Accessible on: Nintendo Change | Developer: Monolith Tender | Learn Our Evaluate
That includes an unbelievable sense of scale, Xenoblade 3 goes all out on crafting an enormous, beautiful world with a few of the greatest artwork and visible design you’ll ever see in a sport. And it’s simply as profitable in different areas as properly, if not much more so. The fight system is the very best it’s ever been, and by some means manages to mix its bevy of methods in good concord, so that every combat – whether or not it’s towards a run-of-the-mill trash mob or a terrifyingly massive enemy – feels equally participating. The exploration by no means fails to really feel rewarding, as a result of round each nook is both an excellent new aspect quest or a panoramic new vista to behold. The Change has a hell of lots of glorious video games, and Xenoblade Chronicles 3 sits on the high of that pile alongside the very best of the very best within the system’s library.
#4. POKEMON LEGENDS: ARCEUS
Accessible on: Nintendo Change | Developer: Recreation Freak | Learn Our Evaluate
Pokemon was in dire want of a refresh till not that way back, and had been for fairly a while. Given how terribly the franchise had stagnated, solely an immaculately radical execution would have been sufficient to deliver a few change within the collection’ essential perception- and fortunately, that’s precisely what Pokemon Legends: Arceus turned out to be. The sport boils the collection’ method right down to its naked essentials- catching Pokemon and filling up your Pokedex is entrance and heart in Pokemon Legends the way in which it nearly by no means has been earlier than, and the sport brings that conceit to life with an extremely addictive gameplay loop. Exploring the open world maps and chancing upon distinctive Pokemon to survey by no means loses its luster all through the sport’s prolonged runtime, and that addictive loop is helped tremendously by the numerous quality-of-life modifications discovered all through the expertise. From battling Pokemon to traversing the maps, from development mechanics to a lot extra, Pokemon Legends: Arceus makes numerous sensible modifications and enhancements in quite a lot of key areas that each one come collectively to make for a considerably snappier and extra pleasant expertise than something this collection has delivered in a protracted, very long time.
#3. HORIZON FORBIDDEN WEST
Accessible on: PS5, PS4 | Developer: Guerrilla Video games | Learn Our Evaluate
2017’s Horizon Zero Daybreak is just not a straightforward sport to follow-up on, given its spectacular essential and business success and its sizeable fan following, however Guerrilla Video games was greater than as much as the duty with Horizon Forbidden West. It’s all too simple for builders to vow sequels which can be larger and higher, however very not often do they make good on that promise as completely as Guerrilla did with Forbidden West. The core idea of taking over mechanical monstrosities in an interesting post-post-apocalyptic setting stays as inherently sturdy as ever, nevertheless it manages to flourish much more right here due to quite a lot of key enhancements. Traversal is rather more enjoyable due to additions just like the Shieldwing, the brand new machines are excellently designed and an absolute pleasure to tackle in fight, the open world is just not solely a lot bigger, but in addition rather more assorted and, consequently, extra pleasant to discover, and the aspect content material additionally makes a major leap ahead by way of each high quality and amount. Horizon Forbidden West is a big, lengthy sport with a bevy of content material, and the truth that it manages to be a wonderful, beautiful expertise all through that prolonged runtime is an achievement that can not be praised sufficient.
#2. ELDEN RING
Accessible on: PS5, Xbox Collection X/S, PS4, Xbox One, PC | Developer: FromSoftware | Learn Our Evaluate
In the long run, the battle for our Recreation of the Yr was all the time going to be between Elden Ring and the sport that ultimately did win our high honors. And what? Elden Ring put up a hell of a fight- higher than some other sport might have. Which, after all, makes sense- it’s a magnificently designed sport, with a few of the greatest open world design we have now seen this aspect of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. In fact, it helps that it lifts lots of the identical design rules that guided Nintendo’s masterpiece. That open world mastery is paired with FromSoftware’s penchant for wonderful world design and fight, in addition to unforgettable boss fights, whereas in contrast to the likes of Sekiro and Bloodborne, it additionally returns to the Souls’ franchise’s deal with extremely deep fight selection. Whereas Elden Ring comes with its share of flaws and shortcomings of its personal – most notable, the unlucky technical points the sport continues to undergo from to at the present time, a number of months on from launch, to not point out a remaining third the place the standard isn’t fairly on the identical degree as the remainder of the sport – it’s nonetheless an unimaginable expertise, and actually in contrast to anything. Elden Ring is a masterpiece, and such an excellent sport that actually, some other yr, it might simply have taken the highest spot. This yr, after all, it didn’t. It was nearly the very best sport we performed all yr, sure. However solely almost.
GAMINGBOLT’S 2022 GAME OF THE YEAR – GOD OF WAR RAGNAROK
Accessible on: PS5, PS4 | Developer: SIE Santa Monica Studio | Learn Our Evaluate
The God of Struggle franchise’s inventory skyrocketed in 2018, with a collection reboot (or mushy reboot, a minimum of) that was so profitable at what it set out to try this it immediately embedded itself in gaming historical past as among the best video games of its variety. How do you observe up on that? How do you even start to make one thing that may hope to reside as much as these lofty requirements? Most builders would have folded underneath that sort of stress, however Sony Santa Monica has confirmed again and again that if there’s one factor the studio has all the time been able to doing, it’s bettering on greatness. That’s precisely what God of Struggle Ragnarok does.
Take the story. You’d suppose the franchise had hit heights it might by no means once more be capable of hit with how completely it characterised and developed the characters of Kratos and Atreus (the previous specifically), however Ragnarok manages to dwarf even its predecessor, to the extent the place Kratos has indisputably develop into one of many best gaming protagonists of all time (whereas the supporting solid surrounding him isn’t something to scoff at both). And whereas we will’t go into an excessive amount of element about how Ragnarok ends issues with out spoiling them, we will confidently say that along with every thing else it does, it additionally units up a fairly thrilling future for the franchise, which can be headed in instructions none of us would have seen coming till not too way back.
On the gameplay entrance, God of Struggle Ragnarok takes a way more iterative approach- and it’s higher for it. It takes the bones of its 2018 predecessor, and places a heathy quantity of meat on them. Fight is improved in significant methods, not solely with a considerably expanded arsenal of strikes and instruments and talents which can be all the time enjoyable to make use of in fight, but in addition with spectacular enemy selection that forces you to make use of that expanded arsenal to its fullest. With loads of glorious boss fights and high-octane set piece moments, the sport additionally comes a lot nearer to delivering the sort of scale that this collection has all the time been recognized for.
And that’s barely scratching the floor. We might go on and on about how God of Struggle Ragnarok is likely one of the most polished video games we’ve performed in fairly a while, how rather more pleasant its exploration is, what number of unimaginable aspect quests it has, how drop-dead beautiful the sport seems to be. We might reward this sport all day lengthy and nonetheless have loads of issues left to speak about. That’s the hallmark of a real masterpiece- and that’s precisely what God of Struggle Ragnarok is. Regardless that it’s following up on some of the extremely regarded video games of all time, it manages to flee the imposing shadow of its predecessor, and establishes it as one of many collection’ greatest outings yet- one which improves upon the 2018 sport in practically each manner doable.