Another year comes to a close, and with it comes a new age for our favorite games. In less than 24 hours, we will welcome a new year once again. Looking back on 2022, we all had our share of video games that felt dear to our hearts.
Gamers never die, and along with us, games never die too. As 2022 comes to a close, we give you a list of our favorite games as we look forward to the new year. Sit back, relax, and think deeply about what game will you start the new year with.
Elden Ring is the rare game that feels perfectly fit for its moment. We were right in the middle of the biggest mainstream fantasy drought we may ever experience. And in that perfect cultural moment, with a mountain of hype behind it, FromSoftware managed to release a game that was worthy of every inch of it.
2022 was an unmistakably great year for games. But in a year of great games, Elden Ring still stands above its competition as something truly special. It is named the 2022 Game of the Year for a reason. After all, what else could you call it when a game this bleak, massive, opaque, and challenging also happened to be one of the year’s biggest pop culture phenomena and one of the best games released in recent memory?
God of War: Ragnarok
God of War Ragnarök had some tough shoes to fill. Its predecessor, God of War, reinvented one of the most popular bloodthirsty gods in video games, turning him into an emotionally compelling character that helped propel the game to win Polygon’s Game of the Year four years ago. It catapulted over the bar of excellence, making it one of the best games of the decade, and indeed, of all time.
The focus is no longer on Kratos this time around, but his newfound emotional growth is crucial to the story’s fabric. Watching him learn to express himself in small ways felt like a triumph four years ago, but in Ragnarok, he’s a bona fide good dad. With the world crumbling around him, we see Kratos not only help counsel all of his allies but prepare himself emotionally to give it all for his son’s future.
Pokemon Legends: Arceus
With a franchise history as grand and storied as Pokemon, it can be hard to make a big splash. The Pokemon franchise has been around for 25 years, and the mainline RPGs have more or less stayed true to the standard formula of a turn-based game where we explore and catch a colorful cast of monsters.
With Pokémon Legends: Arceus, Game Freak took the franchise in a bold and refreshing direction that changed up the way we battle and catch. Whether it was getting our asses kicked, seeing Pokémon live in their natural environments, or the simple act of crouching down to truly meet one of your partners eye-to-eye, Pokémon Legends: Arceus is one of the best Pokémon games ever.
Cult of the Lamb
In a banner year for management sims, Cult of the Lamb stands out among the pack with a blend of roguelike dungeon-crawling, religious ambiguity, and a cutesy art style that gives way to monstrous acts.
As a lamb sent back from death by a captive demon-spirit-thing, you’re tasked with building, improving, and leading a cult out in the woods, with the goal of exacting revenge on the four gods who ordered your execution.
You sow fields of crops, cook meals for your followers, bless said followers to gain their undivided favor, and in some cases, sacrifice them in displays of glorious violence.
That BlueTwelve Studio could successfully capture the essence of our most baffling family of pets is a towering achievement of its own. On a mechanical level, Stray is a platformer with light exploratory and puzzle-solving elements.
There are moments of danger, such as when the city’s swarms of invasive Zurks chase the feline protagonist down narrow alleys or over treacherous rooftops.
The main thrust of the game is that of simply being a cat and, despite what its rug-scratching, box-toppling, furniture-destroying mechanics might otherwise suggest, being a warm, helpful presence for the abandoned androids searching for an escape from their neon purgatory.
That’s our list of favorite games to play for this year. If you liked this article, you can find more on our website. You can also follow us on social media to stay updated with the latest gaming and esports news.