Last week, our team shared the films they’re most excited about in 2022, but today, we’re taking a look at the games we can’t wait to play in the New Year!
As is typically the case, some of the games we were eager to play in 2021 were pushed back in 2022. Combined with the current generation consoles hitting their stride, and there are tons of great games to look forward to. Here, we’ve tasked our gaming team to select just a handful of games they’re most excited to play in 2022.
Pokémon Legends Arceus – Saying I’m a sucker for Pokémon games is like beating a dead horse at this point; everyone knows. That said, I’m even more excited to play Arceus than usual. Mostly, I can’t wait to see how they move the franchise into new directions. While Sword/Shield certainly changed some things and brought the series to the next generation, they were still largely the same style of game. Arceus is changing things up completely with the open-world format, real-time combat, and a completely new kind of setting. Let’s hope the change is exactly what the franchise needs to keep growing.
Sifu – I’ve been sold on Sloclap’s upcoming martial arts game pretty much since the first trailer hit. After getting my hands on a demo of the game this month, I’m more eager than ever to experience the full game. They seem to have something special here, and tapping into a genre that’s been needing a fresh infusion.
Triangle Strategy – Strategy games have always been my main genre. From RTS games to the slower turn-based style format, I love them all. Final Fantasy Tactics still feels like the gold standard along with the Fire Emblem franchise, and everything about Triangle Strategy looks to pay homage to those classics, while forging a new path. To be honest, I’m still not entirely sure what the story is for the game, and I’m sure it’ll be fine, but every snippet of gameplay I’ve seen continues to blow my mind. Bring it on.
Horizon Forbidden West – Horizon Zero Dawn remains one of my favorite games of the past generation. It’s an incredible story, with a great lead, and all around stellar gameplay to boot. I loved it for having an open-world that didn’t feel overwhelming, and offering tangible reasons to keep exploring. As such, my hype for Forbidden West is currently at dangerous levels. Even if it was more of the same it’d be more than worth it, but the changes we’ve seen in the gameplay videos and expanded story make it clear fans are in for something much more.
Dune: Spice Wars – It may seem silly to list a game that was only just announced and hasn’t showcased any actual gameplay footage yet…I just don’t care. Long before the new Dune movie was even happening, I’ve been dying for a new strategy game set in Frank Herbert’s universe. The original Dune games were the pioneers of the RTS genre (giving both Warcraft and Command & Conquer their foundations), and I’m thrilled to see a new game is coming to bring it back to its roots. This cannot come soon enough.
Honorable Mentions: LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge, Advance Wars 1 + 2, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora
Pokémon Legends Arceus – An open world Pokémon game? Need I say more? The fact that fan versions of this style of game have floated around the internet for almost as long as I can remember is a testament to how anticipated Legends Arceus is for much of the fandom. Luckily we don’t have to wait long to get our hands on it — there is about a month until it officially launches.
Rune Factory 5 – This game was on my most anticipated list last year (and is one of a few on this list, honestly.) I love the Rune Factory franchise and have been filling the void in my heart with the re-release of Rune Factory 4 Special across a few platforms in the last couple of years. We won’t have to wait much longer though, because Rune Factory 5 finallllyyyy launches in March.
Ark 2 – Ark: Survival Evolved is one of my most played games over the last few years. I don’t do much with the PVP aspect of the game and found that I enjoy nothing more than building up my dinosaur farm and building grand structures to thrive in. I was honestly shocked by the reveal of Ark 2 during The Game Awards in 2020, not only because the cinematic trailer featured VIN DIESEL, that there was a sequel to the game even in development.
Stray – Cats? In a sci-fi decaying cyberpunk-esque city? No humans? I’m in. I was enthralled by Stray when it was first revealed (and it made my most anticipated list last year) and I remain incredibly excited for it to release sometime in 2022.
Digimon Survive – Another “most anticipated” list return nominee. This game has been living rent free in my mind since it was teased in 2018… and supposed to launch in 2019, but has seen a variety of delays in the time since. There is hope though, because Digimon Survive was rated a few weeks ago by the ESRB.
Here is what the ESRB says about the game: “This is a visual novel, with strategy/role-playing game elements, in which players follow Japanese teenagers lost in a world of monsters. As players follow the storyline, they periodically engage in turn-based battles using Digimon (monsters with special powers/abilities). As human and Digimon characters move around grid-like battlefields, players select attack moves/skills from a menu and watch short animations of monsters executing moves. Attacks can include kicking, biting, blasts of energy, and elemental bursts. One cutscene briefly depicts a still image of a bloodstained corpse. (HERE IS MY FAVORITE PART) Out of a variety of attack moves, Digimon can perform a Poop Toss, which is depicted as a cartoony poo coil thrown at opponents, and is accompanied by squishy sound effects. The words “sh*t,” “b*tch,” and “p*ssed” appear in the dialogue.” Fingers crossed we see Digimon Survive finally launch next year.
Honorable Mentions: Son of the Forest, Hogwarts Legacy, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope, Star Ocean: The Divine Force,
(Note: If Final Fantasy XVI or The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 release in 2022, THOSE are undoubtedly my most anticipated games. As such, they don’t have firm release dates and have been left off this list.)
God of War: Ragnarok – Without a doubt, my Game of the Year in 2018 was God of War. It was a beautiful new take on the “Kill the Gods” games that came before and told a story of a father trying desperately to connect with his son while in mourning, all set within a captivating Norse landscape. After the incredible events of the first game, Ragnarok looks like it’ll be even more mind-blowing than what we experienced before. Granted, we’ve not seen much, but what we have seen is enough to make me certain it will be another Game of the Year frontrunner.
Elden Ring – Another Game of the Year frontrunner is undoubtedly Elden Ring. FromSoftware has a knack for making Game of the Year contenders (see Souls games and Sekiro) and Elden Ring looks every bit the part. What really fascinates me about Elden Ring is that it feels like the culmination of all of the advancements made at FromSoftware, like it’s all been leading to this game.
The gameplay looks smoother than ever before and the added verticality and open-world environment feels very freeing. Everything we’ve seen for Elden Ring – be it trailers or demos – has me almost convinced that this may be FromSoftware’s next masterpiece.
Sifu – Sifu looks kickass. I mean what else is there to say? You play as a Martial Arts student who becomes a master through both defeats and victory. You’re basically Donnie Yen or Bruce Lee going down hallways and kicking ass till you achieve your goal. Who doesn’t want to do this? The gameplay looks so damn cool and if our resident Martial Artist/EIC Jordan Maison gives it his seal of approval – he does – then you know it’s going to be sick.
Forspoken – You know me, I’m the Square Enix guy. Love me some Square Enix and I play almost everything they put out. Since Forspoken was announced during the PS5 reveal, I’ve been very intrigued to learn more about this game. While it hasn’t turned out to be exactly what my expectations were when it was initially announced, my fascination hasn’t wavered. This game, this world is new and fresh and seems so wildly different. I can’t say that anything shown after the initial reveal has really wowed me, but I can say that I want to know more and I’m ready for this game that was built for the PlayStation 5 to be 2022’s pleasant surprise much like Guardians of the Galaxy was in 2021 (another SE title).
Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origins – A FINAL FANTASY GAME IN 2022!!!!! LET’S GOOOOO!!!! Look, I get it. Not everyone is excited for this darker vision for Final Fantasy. It’s cheesy, it’s untraditional, it kinda doesn’t make much sense, but dammit I don’t care. I’m so for it. Don’t get me wrong, I love the traditional Final Fantasy stories and I don’t wish for the series to completely go in this direction, but after experiencing the two demos and the footage they’ve shown, Stranger of Paradise feels fresh and new. That’s not something you can often say for a game that has over 15 mainline games released. I love the gameplay, job-focused style and I like how they’ve left enough mystery to keep Final Fantasy fans who haven’t experienced the first Final Fantasy game on their toes. Much like Forspoken, I want Stranger of Paradise to be a game that surprises players enough to warrant similar re-tellings of the Final Fantasy games.
Honorable Mentions: Horizon Forbidden West, Hogwarts Legacy, Starfield, Gotham Knights, Pokemon Legends Arceus, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope, Star Ocean: The Divine Force, Stray
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga – It feels like I’ve been waiting for this game for an eternity but at last LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is coming in 2022 and I’m so excited for it! It’s not just that the game looks really good, it’s also because this is a completely new game, not the old LEGO Star Wars levels remastered. As a lifelong Star Wars fan, I’m itching to play through the saga properly and I can’t wait for this game to arrive.
Horizon Forbidden West – Horizon Zero Dawn absolutely blew me away when it came out and I really didn’t think it was possible to top that story in any way. Then I saw the concept art for Horizon Forbidden West and promptly realized I was wrong. Horizon Forbidden West could easily be one of the best games of 2022 and I’m so happy they’re releasing this game for PS4 and not making it exclusive to PS5.
God of War Ragnarok – Similar to my excitement for Horizon Forbidden West, I’m equally excited to finally see God of War: Ragnarok. While my skill with the God of War games is mediocre at best, I am deeply in love with the story they’ve been telling. And given the bombshells that were dropped at the end of the previous God of War game…my goodness God of War Ragnarok is going to be mind-blowing. I can’t wait to see what happens to Kratos next!
Atelier Sophie 2 – I became aware of the Atelier series of games early last year when Atelier Ryza 2 was announced and since then this has become one of my favorite game series to play. And with the Atelier series celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2022, I can’t wait to see what special things Atelier Sophie 2 brings to the table. Maybe a JRPG like this won’t be as mind-blowing as one of the bigger titles coming out next year, but it’ll surely be fun, because the Atelier series lets you lose yourself in a magical world for hours at a time and I know Atelier Sophie 2 will be no exception.
Splatoon 3 – I knew NOTHING about Splatoon when that reveal trailer dropped earlier this year, but from the moment Splatoon 3 was revealed, I was all in for this game, to the point that I ran out and got Splatoon 2 to familiarize myself with gameplay. Splatoon 3 looks like it will be a lot of fun and I can’t wait to see how the whole post-apocalyptic landscape teased in the reveal trailer alters gameplay.
Gotham Knights – Who doesn’t love running around pretending to be a superhero? Gotham Knights looks so immersive and interesting from what we’ve seen of it, I can’t wait to get into the story and play with others. I love the bat family dynamic and am looking forward to having a game all about them being superheroes together.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns – I’m a big fan of tactical/strategy games and a big fan of Marvel, so this game is right up my alley! Footage from the game looks beautiful, and having the ability to play as your own unique superhero, whilst still having all of the fun of popular Marvel characters in the game, is a unique spin on the superhero gaming genre that I’m excited to try out.
Two Point Campus – City builder type games are my go to games when I’m looking to relax. I love building my own worlds and looking after the people in my game. Two Point Hospital is a fun spin on this type of game, where instead of looking after a village of people, you’re building a hospital and looking after patients. It’s a lot of fun, so when Two Point Campus was announced, I was thrilled! Making my own campus sounds like a lot of fun and I think it’ll open up a lot more options for creativity than Two Point Hospital.
Stray – Stray is a game I’ve had my eye on for quite some time. The adorable looking simulation game has some really pretty visuals and seems to have a really mysterious, gripping story. The game seems full of beautiful places to explore and mysteries to work out, I can see myself putting a lot of hours into this game!
Splatoon 3 – I jumped into the Splatoon franchise at Splatoon 2. I was quite late to the game and it had already been out over a year when I finally got my hands on it, but once I started playing it I was hooked! It’s the perfect game to jump into when you’ve got a spare 20 minutes, but equally I can find myself playing it for hours at a time. Given how much I’ve enjoyed the second Splatoon, I’m very excited for Splatoon 3 and to get playing this one as it releases.
Suicide Squad Kill The Justice League – An open world, story driven, combat based superhero game is exactly what I want a constant stream of and it feels like we are finally seeing more than just Arkham and Spider-Man games filling that gap. This game is exactly what I wanted from last year’s Avengers and more, while I’ll wait to see more from it for a complete opinion, I can’t say any footage yet has raised concerns.
Midnight Suns – I’ve never been into card based combat in games but seeing the gameplay from this I feel like that might change. When it’s coupled with a mystical story about witches and demons battling a team of heroes from around the Marvel Universe, I’m into it.
LEGO Star Wars The Skywalker Saga – I have been waiting so long for this game, for years I loved the idea of a new LEGO Star Wars game and didn’t think it would ever happen. Once it was announced everytime it got close it got delayed. Well, hopefully it’s gonna hold that 2022 release because I’m not sure there’s many games I’ve been this excited for.
God of War Ragnarok – God of War was an incredible game, the continuous immersive framing of it, the beautiful visuals, heartfelt performances, compelling story and intriguing mythology made it all one of my favourite single player titles. With the next installment only going deeper into Norse Mythology I think it might just be an improvement.
Horizon Forbidden West – Zero Dawn had me playing every moment I could for three days straight, I never got 100% completion but the release of the sequel is tempting me to replay through Aloy’s story all over again. The new game seems to have some fantastic combat, something I look for in any game and is making it an instant pre-order for me. I can’t wait to revisit Aloy in this weird dystopian world.
There are obviously a ton of great games to look forward to in the New Year, and we’re sure they’ll be a few surprises along the way which would shake up our current lists. What games are you most excited to play in 2022?