Updated: June 7, 2022

From 'Elden Ring' to things not called 'Elden Ring,' here are our favourite games of 2022 so far 

Elden Ring, Elden Ring, Elden Ring, Elden Ring, Elden Ring, Elden Ring, Elden Ring, Elden Ring After its release on February 25, it seemed to be the only video game that everyone was talking about.

FromSoftware's massive, difficult-but-deceptively-approachable fantasy adventure deserves on any list of the best games of 2022, and you can bet it'll be on ours as well. Other blockbusters, as well as an incredible array of indies, expansions, and cherished franchise mainstays, have been released this year, and we're still chatting about them with our pals.

  • Pokemon Legends: Arceus

Pokemon Legends: Arceus finally delivers on the promise of a fully immersive experience that immerses players in the Pokemon universe. The latest game from Game Freak transports players to the famous Hisui area from Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl (as well as the subsequent remakes Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl) and positions them at a pivotal moment in Pokémon history: the development of the world's first Pokédex.

Taking a trip into the past advances the Pokémon series. The focus on the beauty of Pokémon and the entertaining possibilities of having them around makes Pokémon Legends: Arceus a unique and cool love letter to the Pokémon, as well as the many, many individuals who grew up wanting an open-world game like this one. Finally, a Pokémon game where you may spy on dancing Clefairys, dash away from furious Onyx, throw Poké Balls at Togepi, and generally relax in a Poké world that doesn't ask us to be the best, because no one has ever been. — Senior Entertainment Reporter Alexis Nedd.

  • Elden Ring

How about that Elden Ring, eh? It's "difficult in a friendly sort of way." This strong early contender for Game of the Year has gotten a lot of buzz just because of its name: George R.R. Martin, the creator of Game of Thrones, collaborated on the tale with FromSoftware, the Japan-based firm behind the Dark Souls games. The assumption going in was for a bleak and gruelling fantasy experience.

But it's not quite like that. Elden Ring isn't really a friendly game, in my opinion. It murders you repeatedly and without remorse. That is, after all, the whole point. Players are encouraged to strive for technical mastery in From's games; you're expected to master their melee-heavy gameplay through repetition and failure. Elden, on the other hand, is the studio's most approachable game yet. Elden Ring's captivating, mysterious world is easier for a wide range of players to take in than any other from release to date, thanks to Ash Summons that give players a boost in any boss fight and a vast array of options for players who prefer to shore up their power before tackling the hard stuff.

  • OlliOlli World

In OlliOlli World, Roll7's outstanding OlliOlli skateboarding franchise reaches new heights in 2D side-scrolling brilliance. The hand-drawn art style of this third game replaces the lo-fi pixelated aesthetic of its two predecessors, and it goes to great lengths to fill out a fictional (and excellently titled) world called Radlandia. There's now more of a story to follow, as well as extra side missions, branching skate routes that take your custom-designed skater into the background, and new methods to ride your board.

Fundamentally, however, this is still an OlliOlli adventure. You skate through each environment with the goal of completing what are often trick-specific objectives. If you do well in that area, you'll be able to move on to the next one. Alternatively, you can try again if you fail the first time. OlliOlli World, like its predecessors, is challenging in a friendly way. It's becoming increasingly difficult to leave now, thanks to the new appearance and deeper universe.

  • Pupperazzi

Pupperazzi is a game developed by Vermont-based independent Sundae Month and released by Kitfox Games (yes, the same people who brought you Boyfriend Dungeon). Its main goal is to photograph all of the dogs in order to gain worldwide recognition and personal validation on social media. Your role as a "pupperazzo" is to complete your Puppypedia by collecting photos of various breeds in a variety of stances and clothes, for no other reason than it's entertaining. Do you recall having a great time?

Pupperazzi is a cute, entertaining photography game that you'll probably not play for hours on end, but will come back to every now and then for a few shots when you're in need of a little joy. It doesn't matter if you catch them all or if you don't. What matters is that you have enough film since a pack of lovely dogs is chasing you for additional pats. — UK Editor Shannon Connellan

  • Destiny 2: The Witch Queen

Destiny 2 has always been a special game, but it's also a difficult and deep "game-as-a-service" title, with the best rewards requiring a significant time investment. The Witch Queen, a new addition that debuted on February 22, attempts to persuade you that it can be special for everyone, regardless of whether you're in it for the long haul or not.

The Witch Queen brings back the premise of sending players through a series of interconnected narrative missions in Destiny. That means you can go in, play through the eight brilliantly constructed levels, and leave without having to spend any additional money. The end result isn't so much a change for Destiny as it is a new way to access its enchantment. The Witch Queen expertly reminds everyone who picks it up that, all other features aside, this is still one of the best-feeling FPS games you can play right now by putting the focus on a campaign experience.

  • Tunic

Tunic's most basic elevator pitch is all you need to know: What if the original Legend of Zelda took some concepts from Dark Souls?

The wonderfully colourful story about a valiant sword-and-shield-wielding fox created by Andrew Shouldice doesn't hold your hand. With little more than a friendly nod, it throws you into a world full of danger and secret joys. It's up to you to decide where you want to go and what you want to do. Tunic appears to be an action game on the surface, but go deeper and you'll discover it's actually a meta puzzle box. Even the game's handbook has a few mysteries to reveal.

Tunic's hi-fi design and lo-fi aesthetic combine to offer an experience, unlike anything we've seen in a long time, firmly balancing the old and the modern.

  • The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe

The less you know about The Stanley Parable before you play it, the better off you'll be. You should definitely participate. This is a tale, not a game of skill. A story that you can influence and experience in a variety of ways, as you are meant to. In total, you'll probably watch the beginning, middle, and finale in less than an hour. But that isn't the only option. By a long shot, no.

The original Stanley Parable, released in 2013, is a delightfully interactive mindfuck, and Ultra-Deluxe continues the trend. In all the greatest ways, it's surprising and unexpected. You won't win this game, but who knows? Maybe you will? When you sit down to play a new video game, The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe is the kind of experience that makes you really think about what you want to get out of it. Best of all, it's simple to pick up and play for anyone who can grasp the fundamentals of first-person movement in a game.

  •  Rogue Legacy 2

Rogue Legacy 2 is, first and foremost, a fantastic game. The 2013 original from Cellar Door Games is a side-scrolling action-RPG with a unique take on the roguelike genre: You assume the role of your deceased predecessor's descendent each time you die and start over with a new random level layout. Every new descendent has its own set of gameplay-altering traits and genetic quirks, such as "far-sightedness" (everything near to your character blurs) or "ADHD" (your character moves faster).

This sequel adds to that, and the most significant additions are those that strengthen your connection to the long-term game. The gold you accumulated in your previous life rolls over into this one, allowing you to purchase castle enhancements that increase damage and hit points, as well as unlock new characters and vendors. However, you may spend your hard-earned gold on a variety of items, as well as unlocks skills that last for generations – but only if you master the difficulty associated with each one.

Rogue Legacy 2 is the ideal type of sequel, giving a sequel that is sharper and richer in every sense than its predecessor.

  • Roller Champions

The extreme sports love child of roller derby and basketball is Roller Champions. It combines the visceral thrill of sending an expertly thrown ball sailing through a raised hoop with the high-speed, full-contact pace of roller skating's top sport. It will also not cost you anything to play.

If all of this is new to you, don't worry. Ubisoft's free-to-play sports game was only released on May 25. Its signature mode is a 3v3 battle between two teams of skaters who must retrieve the ball, complete at least one full circuit around the oval-shaped arena, and then toss the ball through a hoop to win points. The more circuits your team completes before sinking a shot, the more points that shot earns. Carrying the ball, on the other hand, makes you a target for the opposing side, thus it's a true risk/reward situation.

Roller Champions, like the best competitive games, are easy to learn and difficult to master. This, combined with the vibrant aesthetic (like Fortnite) and a wide range of character creation choices, makes this a difficult game to put down.

  • Horizon Forbidden West

It's a pity that the Horizon franchise is so tainted.

Horizon Zero Dawn is one of the best reasons to acquire a PlayStation 4, while Horizon Forbidden West, released in 2022, makes a similar case for the PlayStation 5. But when Zero Dawn was released in 2017, it was just days before The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild... oof. In 2022, history was repeated: Forbidden West was released on February 18th, followed by Elden Ring on February 25th. Oof.

It's well worth your time to play. The performance capture is among the greatest we've seen in any video game. Horizon's bow-and-arrow-heavy gameplay has evolved, and you'll have a hard time putting the controller down. The sequel's larger and more amazing mechanical bestiary is a mix of Monster Hunter and Tomb Raider, but nothing in games right now compares to the rush of slaying a T-Rex-like Thunderjaw.

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