The past year has been a challenging one for the gaming industry. Sales have dropped since the pandemic and gamers are returning to the world rather than staying in their homes. But there were also many great games.
From grueling games that will test your will to cozy games that will make you feel like you’re wrapped in your favorite blanket, 2022 has brought us a wide range of games for all types of gamers.
To that end, I’ve put together some of my favorite games of the year. This does not mean that they are the best around. There are tons that are just as good, if not better, than the ones on this list. And not every game is perfect. I’m looking at you Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Purple.
However, these are random games that I think are worth getting to know the next time you need some TV time.
FromSoftware’s Elden Ring is one of the biggest hits of 2022 that I’ve spent more hours on than I’d like. Death is as much a part of this game as survival, and every time you fall is a chance to learn from your mistakes.
Yes, the first boss, Margit The Fell Omen, is a nightmare by early game standards, but beating him or slipping past him while skirting the outside of v is worth the fight. And once you break out into the wider world of The Lands Between, you can explore and progress at your own pace.
As for that optional Melania boss fight? It’s as hard as you heard.
Call of Duty Warzone 2.0
Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0, the second installment of Activision Blizzard’s popular online game, Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 is just as crazy and fun as 2020’s Call of Duty: Warzone and comes with many welcome changes. From the new Al Mazrah map to the ability to carry more items and armor with you via the in-game backpack mechanic, Warzone 2.0 is an upgrade in almost every way.
Vehicles are no longer fall-proof and will run out of gas if you try to drive them all over the map instead of engaging other players. The proximity voice chat adds a whole new level to the game, letting you know when another player is nearby, and the weapons seem much more balanced, so newbies shouldn’t feel too overwhelmed.
Oh, and did I mention it’s free?
Pokémon Legends: Arceus
Pokémon Legends: Arceus brings some of the biggest changes to the legendary franchise in years. An open-world Pokémon game that lets you roam the vast wilds of the Hisui region, catching and fighting Pokémon like you’ve done for years, but this time you’ll be able to interact with them in new and exciting ways.
Sneak up on a wild Pokémon and aim your Poké Ball correctly and you can catch it without getting into a fight. Get too close and you might scare your target away. See Evie in the bushes? Crouch down and try to catch it with a special Pokeball.
Even the combat mechanics have changed, allowing you to switch between styles to add extra power or get an extra move. It’s not a perfect game, open world areas pale in comparison to the open world in games like The Legend of Zelda Breath of The Wild, but the overall improvements it brings help make up for it.
Horizon: Forbidden West
Horizon: Forbidden West lets you step back into the shoes of Horizon: Zero Dawn protagonist Aloy as you travel through a post-apocalyptic version of the American West. You will create your own weapons and fight against massive mechanical versions of long-extinct animals and dinosaurs, hoping to uncover the secrets of this game world.
But you can’t mention Horizon: Forbidden West without talking about how absolutely amazing the title looks. From the way the vegetation sways in the wind to the gorgeous view of the crumbling landmarks, this game is about as beautiful as games can be. Play it on PS5 and you’ll get enhanced graphics and higher dynamic range for an even better experience.
Love cats? Love games? Then “Stray” by BlueTwelve Studio is for you. You play as a curious cat lost in a neon-lit, cyberpunk city filled with sentient robots and monsters. Your goal? To get back to your feline friends.
It’s a beautifully designed game that lets you explore the world the way your own mischievous kitten would. You can knock things off shelves, waltz on a computer keyboard and, of course, scratch carpets and furniture. And yes, there is a special “meow” button.
Don’t expect a long drawn-out epic here. Tramp is a tense game, but definitely a treat you’ll want to enjoy.
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet
The latest entries in the main Pokémon series, “Pokémon Scarlet” and “Pokémon Violet”, are from Pokémon Legends: Arceus, with an open world full of wild Pokémon that you can catch and fight.
Unlike previous entries in the series, you will be able to navigate the world at your own pace. Want to take on the leaders of your local gyms? Take action. Explore villages and take on the rotten Team Star? Your choice.
And, of course, you’ll find plenty of new Pokémon and abilities, including a new feature called Terastallization, which empowers your Pokémon for stronger attacks and skills. But it’s also worth noting that Scarlet and Purple both have their fair share of hiccups, including instances where you can fall through the world. And there’s an unfortunate amount of slowdown. Hopefully Game Freak will release an update to address these issues.
Disney Dream Valley
Disney Dreamlight Valley is a game you can snuggle into on the couch and play through the cold winter months with hot cocoa in hand while your four-legged companion keeps your feet warm.
It can best be described as Disney’s take on Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons. You’ll be crafting, collecting, exploring, and building your own little slice of paradise, but instead of Tom Nook and his Animal Crossing crew, you’ll be spending your time hanging out with Belle, Scrooge, Mickey, and basically everyone else. Disney Animation Team.
This is not a high-stakes life-and-death drama. This is the game you’ll want to play to relax and spend time with your favorite Disney friends from your childhood. And this is something that everyone can enjoy.
God of War Ragnaroto
Kratos and his son Atreus are back to take on the Norse Gods and Valkyries in God of War Ragnarok. The sequel to Sony’s stellar 2018 version of God of War, Ragnarok lets you travel across nine worlds wielding the Leviathan Ax and Blades of Chaos, not to mention a host of new skills and abilities.
You will face monsters in fierce battles and battles that only God of War game can offer. And once you’ve done all that, you still have to fight the mighty Thor.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shredder’s Revenge
The evil green war machines are back and in great shape in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge. Shredder’s Revenge is a classic beat’em-up in the spirit of old-school arcade games and 90s games for the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo – the best game about turtles in recent years.
You can play as all four green heroes, plus Master Splinter and news anchor April O’Neil, complete with power-up moves, team attacks, and a bunch of pizza.
Throw in plenty of references to the classic Turtle games and movies, and you’ve got a return worthy of your time. Kovabanga!
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