The Best Games of 2022, So Far
In terms of new game releases, 2022 has come out swinging. Already we’ve had multiple games that have broken the internet and a hotly contended race for Game of the Year. Even the games that haven’t made a viral splash have been mostly excellent, garnering a loyal fan base who’ll tell you why you should take a break from exploring the Lands Between to play them.
We’re still in the early months of the year, and we have lots more exciting games releasing soon, like Nintendo Switch Sports, Return to Monkey Island and Hogwarts Legacy. We’ll be updating this page as they come out, but for now we’re rounded up the best games of 2022 — so far.
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands
At first glance, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands seems like it’s more of the same Borderlands experience. That’s not bad! Borderlands is one of those series that will always be fun to jump into with some friends. But the series is pretty formulaic by now. Until Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, that is. The new entry trades in sci-fi for an in-game Dungeons and Dragons campaign run by the wonderfully chaotic Tina. Tina has you create a character — and the character creator is both surprisingly inclusive and hilariously chaotic — and throws you into a new campaign alongside NPCs voiced by Andy Samburg, Wanda Sykes and Will Arnett.
Combined with a tabletop game-style overworld, wacky medieval guns, powerful spells and a story that’s here for a good time, not a long time (although there’s post-launch content on the way), Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is a new beginning for a series that’s just realising its potential. Borderlands has a legacy as one of the funniest game series, but Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is the most fun we’ve had playing these games in years.
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is now available on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land
No game captures the chaos mode of our pandemic brains as well as Kirby and the Forgotten Land does when you use Mouthful Mode. This new game mechanic allows Kirby to pop everyday objects in his mouth and gain their powers. He goes Mouthful Mode on a car to travel faster, crash through walls and jump ramps. He goes Mouthful Mode on a vending machine to shoot cans at otherwise unbreakable surfaces. He goes Mouthful Mode on a light bulb to illuminate dark spaces. He can even use Mouthful Mode to turn himself into a water balloon and spray his enemies.
The rest of the game is also very good — a 3D platformer with multiple regions, each with their own levels, challenges and objectives to complete. It’s the biggest Kirby game ever made and it’s quickly joined the list of must-play Switch games.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land is now available on Switch.
When Tunic was first released, it was described as “a cute Elden Ring” and players have also drawn connections to Breath of the Wild. There are definitely elements that are very similar: these games trust you to find your way forward without map markers making it obvious; they feature precise combat that rewards you for paying attention and punishes you for over-extending; and there’s a grand sense of mystery that builds from the moment you start playing — in Tunic, this is the moment you, playing as a cute little fox, wake up on a beach, yawn and do a biiig stretch.
This overload of cuteness is what’s unique about Tunic. While Elden Ring delights in horrifying us with finger spiders and giant lobsters, Tunic is much more interested in giving us something cute to look at while we play. The world is colourful and simplistic, dotted with a few majestic statues that draw your eye. Even the spider enemies look a little bit cute.
Tunic is now available on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC.
Since its release on February 25, not a week has gone by that Elden Ring hasn’t trended online. Players are constantly finding secrets in this huge open world, or sharing new ways to beat the game’s many unforgiving bosses — currently, the popular tactic for beating Starscourge Radahn is to lure him near the water when he begins his meteor attack, which leads to him accidentally dropping into the water and drowning.
Elden Ring features some of the most difficult bosses in Souls games, but it’s also the easiest game to level up in. Whenever you hit a wall on a particular fight, you can simply fast travel to another part of the map. After you’ve spend some time completing side quests or grinding against lower-level enemies, you’ll return to the boss fight stronger than ever. It’s great game design that constantly holds your attention.
Elden Ring is now available on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC.
Horizon Forbidden West
Everyone in Horizon Forbidden West feels like a real person — Aloy, Varl and Erend have their own motivations and reactions to the traumatic events they go through, and even when they do something you don’t like, you can understand their motives. The three core characters are joined by an ensemble of newcomers who are delightful and equally nuanced, and together you work to pull the world back from the brink of a climate apocalypse. It’s an amazing sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn and a much larger game — base building, swimming and armour customisation help with that, but so do meaningful side quests and more focus on Aloy’s sense of self.
This brilliant writing stumbled in the final act, with a plot twist that should have been set up much earlier — but Horizon Forbidden West is still one of the best games of 2022 and set the stage for an incredible sequel in the future.
Horizon Forbidden West is now available on PS5 and PS4.
In OlliOlli World, you jump on your board and skate a line across a colourful, cartoonish side-scrolling course. The more tricks you pull off, the higher your point score at the end of the track, and the closer you’ll be to reaching your goal of becoming the next Skate Wizard. Skating is hard but lots of fun, and mastering a new trick — which you perform by moving the left stick in patterns — makes you feel like a real skate pro.
Perhaps surprisingly for a skateboarding game, there’s a story in OlliOlli World, which you’ll complete as a character you create and customise as you play. The fashion, hairstyles and board customisation is a brilliant reflection of modern skate culture — in fact, this whole game feels like a celebration of skating.
OlliOlli World is now available on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Switch and PC.
Strange Horticulture is a bizarre puzzle game about plants. You play as the owner of a plant shop whose customers need help identifying different magical flora. You’ll need to consult your personal collection of plants and an incomplete botany book to figure out what they want and sell them the right plant.
Playing plant detective is a lot of fun, but there’s a lot more to Strange Horticulture than that. These are magical plants, after all, and some customers want to use them to kill or control a mysterious dark entity in your quaint Victorian town. As the plant shop owner, you’re in a unique position to decide which plants to sell, thereby furthering one side’s goal. Certain customers have their own spooky narratives that you can help or hinder with your plant knowledge.
Strange Horticulture is now available on PC.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus
The first game that went viral in 2022 is, fittingly, the first open world Pokémon game. Arceus changed what a Pokémon game can be, trading in frantic gym challenges for the much more relaxed and open-ended job of building the first ever Pokédex. It also introduced Alpha Pokémon, new evolutions with boosted stats that could be genuinely scary to run into while you explored the ancient Hisui region.
There were a few teething issues in the first open world Pokémon game, but Pokémon Legends: Arceus is still one of the best games of 2022 and set the stage for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, the second mainline Pokémon game being released this year.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus is now available on Switch.