Best video games of 2022 so far

2022 wasted no time.

Whether it’s due to changing release calendars, less reliance on the retail space, or delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the first quarter of 2022 has turned into a perfect storm of chaos in video game launches. We caught a Pokemon. We have led the armies of demons. We stopped our donkeys. And there’s no end in sight – the rest of March is just as diverse in its genre motifs, from developers large and small, on as many platforms as previous months.

However, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to help you start separating the wheat from the chaff – to recommend our favorite games from the plethora of ambitious titles being released as the months go by. We’ll update this page throughout the year, with the latest releases at the top, so you can stay up-to-date with all the action (or at least, as updated as possible). We’ll also do the same for the best movies, best anime, best TV shows, and best science fiction and fantasy books of 2022.

elden ring

Photo: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

Many games tried to simulate the exploratory marvel of 2017 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but elden ring It’s the first game that really works. With a landscape that would take years to fully decode, it’s every time the kind of game we’ve come to expect from a developer from software: mysterious, impenetrable, and ultimately rewarding. But the trappings of the open world remake much of those games’ brutality, and don’t detract from their challenges, but rather encourage incremental progression over brute force. It’s not uncommon to get lost in a far corner of the map for twelve hours, only to return to a previous challenge as an entirely new character, with stronger powers and new wisdom at your disposal. This game is a marvel. –Mike Mahardy

elden ring Available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.

Destiny 2: The Witch Queen

Destiny 2: The Witch Queen Legendary Campaign Image

Photo: Bungie

Destiny has gone through a lot since 2014: rocky release days, a global pandemic, and a sale to PlayStation, to name just a few of its many hurdles. So, it’s almost a miracle, eight years later, Destiny 2: The Witch Queen It is the best thing that ever happened to this series. With a new campaign, new location, new weapons and new powers, it’s more Destiny for sure. But it’s also fate without the qualifications, or conversations spoken with little yearning: “Imagine how good that would be if Bungie did X, Y, or Z?” Bungie has spent the past few years building on its huge experience potential, and with charming queenIt’s finally paying off. –Ryan Gilliam

Destiny 2: The Witch Queen Available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Google Stadia.

missing coffin

Four characters face a monster in Lost Ark

Photo: Smilegate RPG / Amazon Games

missing coffin It is a wonderful achievement. Its premium design and excellent ARPG gameplay will already be enough to set it apart from many of this year’s games, but it’s also a goldmine of content. Originally launched in Korea in 2019 and then adapted for release in Europe and North America this year, the MMO has launched with great end-game content (which is a rarity for this genre). and while missing coffinDeveloper Smilegate RPG is already very rewarding in its own right, and promises more end-game content and new classes in the near future. It looks like there is still an exciting path ahead. -aAustin Jocelyn

missing coffin Available on a Windows PC.

exotic gardening

Note on the table in Strange Horticulture, outlining another possible idea

Photo: Bad Vikings / Iceberg Interactive

at exotic gardening-You sell plants. Although plants may seem ordinary, they are not: there are plants that make people brave, and others that tempt them to death. Some of them are aimed at increasing concentration or poisoning your enemies. It is a simple game executed with utmost attention to detail. When you run into this factory store, a mysterious and strange story unfolds through the gossip of customers and plants found via an in-game map. exotic gardening Short – it took just over five hours to complete – but it was one of the most impactful games I’ve played this year. –Nicole Carpenter

exotic gardening Available on a Windows PC.

Total War: Warhammer 3

Tzarina battles Khorne's forces in Total War: Warhammer 3

Photo: Creative Assembly / Sega

There are ambitious games, and there Ambitious games. Total War: Warhammer 3 is the last. Its map is larger than its combined map, and it is set off with eight fantasy factions, each strange and larger than the previous one. It’s also excessive a stranger, She refuses to rest on her laurels while the strategy trilogy winds up, and instead pushes the envelope wherever possible. It transports players to the ethereal realms of Chaos before sending them home to battle sick giants and transform the forms of demon lords. It’s a far cry from the safe third installment as we’ve seen since then professional killer 3. And if the DLC roadmap for Total War: Warhammer 2 Was any indication, the next few years would get even stranger. –Mike Mahardy

Total War: Warhammer 3 Available on Windows PC, Mac and Linux and via PC Game Pass.

Forbidden horizon west

Aloy perched on a high beam over a misty river valley in Horizon Forbidden West on PS5

Photo: Guerrilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon

The sequel to the excellent 2017 Post-Apocalypse Horizon Zero Dawn It is already one of the best of the year. Forbidden horizon west It takes a lot of what made the first game great, and gives players more action: more settlements, weapons, and traversal options. It starts out a bit slow, and can take a while to introduce some of its more creative tools – but it gets better and better as you unlock more tools for your arsenal. Ultimately, Aloe can zip over mountains, swim in the deepest seas, and explore American landmarks along the West Coast. The fantastic open world of this game feels like a gift, and it’s easy to sink hours exploring every great corner. Meanwhile, character writing and world building convey a civilization worth saving. – Nicole Clark

Forbidden horizon west Available on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.

elementary world

Skate crew standing at the world's first entry level

Photo: Roll7 / Private Division

elementary worldFast-paced, colorful, and truly challenging – a great celebration of skateboarding and its culture. He’s also quite goofy and serious too, with more similarities to Adventure time From Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. One moment I’m catching a stalfish on a dancing aliens in their underwear, and the next, I’m racing a bear into a pipe on a river. Although it is fun and silly, it is too is very Difficult; In order to excel, you must master precision-based clicks and taps that test your limits. –Nicole Carpenter

elementary world Available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Nintendo Switch.

death light 2

Dying Light 2 guide, tips and tricks for beginners

Photo: Techland

Immersive reward in Dying Light 2 Stay Human It requires a rather difficult time investment. Some setbacks and outright cancellations that can occur later on don’t help the plodding story pace. But the first-person parkour and combat gameplay is fun in a stand-up mode. No matter how much time you choose to spend in the vast and closed city of Philidor, you will never get bored of any of it. As a role-playing game, Aiden Caldwell develops into a fascinating and powerful character, thanks to multiple story branches, decisions with irreversible consequences, and two distinct trees that make his athletic abilities all the more exciting to see, let alone do for yourself. –Owen S

death light 2 Available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.

Vampire survivors

Enemies crowd the player character in Vampire Survivors

Photo: Bunkle

Vampire survivors It is a simple game, but it should not be ignored. Hiding behind its old graphics and cheap price is one of the most attractive games in years. There is only one way to enter in Vampire survivors Action – Your goal is to survive for 30 minutes while picking up weapons that automatically attack you. My whip hits nearby enemies every second or so, and my character raises axes on the timer. During each run, I pick new upgrades from random combinations, and combine them with other elements to create the optimal design that will help me survive to the end. I’ve completed countless rounds this year, and unlocked all the new tools I can use. But Vampire Survivors is one of the only games that makes me play just for sheer fun, “wasting” 30 minutes every night as bigger, more sprawling games pass me by. –Ryan Gilliam

Vampire survivors Available on Windows and Mac computers and via a web browser.

Pokemon Legends: Arceus

Wyrdeer ride over the river

Photo: Game Freak / Nintendo, The Pokémon . Company

to say that Pokemon Legends: Arceus It was a long time coming that would be an understatement. In fact, I totally embraced Dunkey’s joke that this is actually the second Pokémon game ever. It gracefully simplifies so many of the boring aspects of the series (just catching real-time Pokémon now satisfies as hell) that it’s surprising that Game Freak hasn’t tried this before. It’s also the first game I’m actually interested in filling in a Pokédex, complete with every creature challenges and quests. It doesn’t feel like a series of turn-based battles, but rather more of a meditative, sometimes terrifying adventure in the wilderness to satiate a collector’s appetite. –Mike Mahardy

Pokemon Legends: Arceus Available on Nintendo Switch.

Nobody saves the world

Fight around the world in Nobody Saves the World

Photo: Drinkbox Studios

Nobody saves the world It is a strange little video game, but it left an indelible mark on me. It’s a game all about changing shapes – unlocking new powers to build yourself into the perfect weapon for the job, or a very specific tool needed to solve a single puzzle. It’s about exploration and experimentation. He is funny, interesting and, above all, very smart. In a year filled with many big toys, size and grind Nobody saves the world It looks small. But great things often come in small packages, and I won’t forget about Drinkbox Studios’ latest release anytime soon. –Ryan Gilliam

Nobody saves the world Available on Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X through Game Pass.

Word

Picture of Wordle running on iPhone

Photo: Michael McAuthert/Polygon

Likes Animal Crossing: New Horizons Kiss , WordIts greatest strength is its collective strength. By offering a simple word guessing puzzle that is updated every 24 hours, it allows us to celebrate, complain, express their opinions, and ultimately rejoice about one very specific one. And ultimately something innocuous every day, whether on social media or in the neighborhood bar. It has become a kind of lightning rod for heated debates and thoughtful arguments alike. It made me feel unbearably clever one day, just to remind me that I, in fact, so stupid next one. He also single-handedly reignited the thread of my family text. Who will ever forget the day they encountered the word “alive”? –Mike Mahardy

Word Available via web browser here.

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