28 Best Video Games 2022 – Top Gaming Release Reviews This Year – Esquire

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We’re not even done with the year, and gamers already have an all-timer at their hands.
You’ve found yourself at Esquire’s list of the year’s best video games so far. To be honest with you all? We really didn’t feel like putting it together this time around. Not because your friends at the Esquire Gamer Zone don’t love you. We do. Pinky promise. It’s because we’re still playing Elden Ring, and we’d really rather not do anything that takes away from our pursuits in the Lands Between. If you ask us how many hours we’ve poured into the game, we’ll revoke your Gamer Zone membership. We have those powers. Come at us when you’ve hit NG+ 5, punks. But we have played titles other than Elden Ring this year, even if we didn’t always want to. So gather round, ye Tarnished. From Pokémon Legends: Arceus to Nintendo Switch Sports,here are the best video games of 2022 so far.
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Ooblets is much more than your average farming simulator. Taking cues from Animal Crossing, Pokémon, and even recent hits like Stardew Valley, this indie game is down to let you grow and explore however you see fit. You can become a horticulture mogul, collect and grow little creatures called Ooblets to compete in dance battles or become the talk of the town by completing friendship quests for the various, silly inhabitants.
Like any real-life gardening crop, Ooblets will give back ten times whatever you put into it. I’ve already spent hours just trying to master the card-based dance battles since each new little creature I acquire possesses a unique ability to shake up the competition. With the game still being updated as it debuts on the Nintendo Switch—could an online multiplayer be in our future?
Platform: Nintendo Switch
The squid kids are back, baby. Splatoon 3 takes the chaotic gameplay we all loved from the first two entries in the franchise, refines it, adds more guns, and furthers the story. There’s a reason this IP has actually stuck around, opposed to some lesser offerings from Nintendo. Read our full review here.

Platform: Nintendo Switch
For someone who uses a shovel as a sword, Shovel Knight sure does spend a lot of time above the ground. Shovel Knight Dig gives the burying knight the respect his name deserves, by working as a platformer where you go down. So head into the core, and do what Shovel Knight does best: kick some wacky character ass.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, PC
Disney Dreamlight Valley is part Animal Crossing, part quest, and part crossover IP jamboree. It’s endearing as heck. I didn’t expect to have an itch resembling anything Animal Crossing did to me. Yet the first night of playing, I once again stayed up until 4 a.m. planting crops and killing weeds. Whether it’s addiction on my end, or just a really well-crafted game,I’m not sure. Dreamlight uses Disney characters and quests to spin the Animal Crossing formula into something fresh.

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Finally, the gods answered my calls. For years, I lamented that we’ll never get a game like Turtles in Time again. Then Dotemu, my retro saviors, told me to stop whining and shove it. Shredder’s Revenge is a return to form for arcade beat-’em-ups, while giving the turtles a modern, beautiful pixel polish. The game is chaotic, strategic, and flashy. It’s exactly what the doctor ordered. Read our review here.

Free to Play
Gizmo, Rick, Arya Stark, Velma, Iron Giant, Batman?! Everyone’s here in the only crossover platform fighter to ever rival Super Smash Bros. MultiVersus takes the platform fighter to a new level, adopting a free-to-play model, with continuous and frequent updates. MultiVersus is some of the best platform fighting mayhem I’ve ever experienced—and the future looks blindingly bright as the games works through its beta phase. Read our review here.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One
Every chapter, every film, every scene in brickified fashion. LEGO Star Wars rebuildsits predecessor, adding a vast new array of gameplay features, making it far less of a button masher than the original. The graphics are beautiful, looking as close to real LEGO bricks as we’ve ever seen. And yeah, the game is still as goofy, clever and funny as ever.

Platform: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S
Sure, Saints Row is at the center of controversy at every turn. While some bugs and repetition hurt the reboot, Saints Row is still an absolute blast and one of the better open world-sandboxes I’ve played. It’s zany, addicting, and has some of the deepest customization features I’ve ever messed with in a game. Don’t be fooled by all the hate. The game is still worth a play and you’ll have fun. Read our review here.

Free to Play
Fall Guys is back. In an epic move, Fall Guys expanded to every console under the sun. Now, the matchmaking happens faster. Its collabs have extended past Valve and Sony, too. Fall Guys has never been better, really, and I’m so damn happy to see my prince return.

Platform: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
In Stray, you play as a cat. Yes, the game you feel like a cat. I don’t know what else you want me to say here.

Platforms: Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
Now, Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare II is only in its beta period, and I’m about the furthest from a COD guy as you can get. But for the first time in a decade, I really enjoyed myself. Playing COD with a team was infuriating, but I felt like I stood a chance and enjoyed playing. For once! I’m revved up for the full release, and am fully ready to get nadescoped from all the people who never put the game down—just like the good old days.

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Monster Hunter Rise is one of (if not the best!) games in the Monster Hunter franchise, one of my favorite series to date. Which is great, because more people can play, and therefore I have more team members. So, you want to get your ass kicked in a sick castle with the most fun, yet infuriating battles the series has ever seen? Then Sunbreaks is for you.

Free to Play
I love Runescape. I grew up with it! Jagex has finally answered the call to allow players to start new characters. With Runescape Fresh Start, players can, well, start fresh, but with XP, perks, helpful items, and more to help instill the fun of climbing through the Runescape ranks without the early monotony. For anyone looking for a relaxing and enthralling MMO, there’s never been a better time to hop into Lumbridge and slay some goblins.

Platform: PlayStation 5
Sure, The Last of Us has been remastered and ported more times than Tetris at this point. For once, this remaster of the game actually added a ton. The game is stunning—even more stunning than Part 2 at this point—and is the perfect way to revisit the engulfing world before HBO’s adaptation of the story debut next year.

Platform: Nintendo Switch
The spirit of Wii Sports has made its glorious return. While some reviews have been mixed—possibly due to rose-colored glasses, or a general yearn for youth—Switch Sports is a phenomenally fun and accessible game, which is all it ever needed to be. (But please, stop kicking my ass in Pro League Bowling. You all are hacking and I still haven’t figured out how you’re doing it. Sure, it’s a testament to how deep the controls actually are, but for now it’s just pissing me off.) Read our review here.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC
Here’s the formula for the great Tiny Tina’s Wonderland: Dungeons and Dragons + Borderlands = a sweet looter and shooter. The new character creation system is fantastic, and I hope they keep it beyond this Borderlands spinoff. Tiny Tina’s Wonderland is a blast, it’s funny, and it makes for a wonderfully different high fantasy experience. Read our review here.

Platforms: Xbox One, PC
I gush over Sea of Thieves constantly, because well, there’s nothing else that comes close to the experience. After a massive Pirates of the Caribbean update, Sea of Thieves fine-tuned features fans have been talking about for years. (See: Buying storage crates, playing new story modes, burying booty to create your own treasure maps, in case some prick is sinking you.) If you haven’t played Sea of Thieves, now’s a perfect time to get in. The seas have never been kinder, or more exciting.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC
OlliOlli World is lively, energetic, and fun on every single level. It’s the perfect skateboarding experience for Tony Hawk Pro Skater die-hards who want to shuffle things up with new gameplay and a truly magnificent art style. The highly explorable landscape of OlliOlli World will have you grinning from ear to ear. Fans of skateboarding games, art, and Adventure Time (!) should all rally around this genuinely ingenious game.
Platform: PC
I love a good MMORPG. As it stands, Lost Ark is a great one. MMORPGs were huge for me growing up, with the likes of Runescape and World of Warcraft monopolizing my time, but it’s been years since the genre sunk its addictive MMO claws into me like Lost Ark has. It has some of the best class design and addictive action-RPG gameplay I’ve ever seen.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PC
I’ve nabbed more Victory Royales in the last two months than in my entire Fortnite career. OK, I’m hyperbolizing and straight-up lying, really, my win ratio has gone through the roof. Maybe it’s that the leaked Obi-Wan skin getting my nerd neurons all fired up, but it’s more likely because you nerds cant build anymore. Now, you don’t stand a chance against my hip-firing strategy. Just wait until I get my hands on that Obi-Wan Skin.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PC

My best guess? The game of the year came out in February, which sucks for every game coming out after Elden Ring. Sorry, I know we should hold out hope—there’s still Nintendo Switch Sports, a new Kirby adventure, Tiny Tina’s Wonderland, and Breath of the Wild 2, of course. Considering I’m standing by Elden Ring as my favorite game of the last decade, let alone this year, I don’t see this king being toppled.
Once you play Elden Ring, you won’t stop. Take it from Gamer-in-Chief Brady Langmann, who’s a Soulsborne virgin. He’s enthralled. (Ed note: I am, in fact, enthralled.). Play it now. Then? Read our review. Or vice versa.

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Pokémon is on a roll. With the release of Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl last year, to Arceus, and now the newly-announced Scarlet and Violet coming later this year, there’s a colossal amount of pocket monsters to catch in the year of our lord, 2022. Arceus is some of, if not the most fun I’ve had catching Pokémon. Maybe even ever. It’s the first truly new-feeling Pokémon game in years, and I want—no, I need more. Read our review here.

Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
Horizon Forbidden West is the long-awaited sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn, one of all-time standout PlayStation exclusives, alongside God of War, Uncharted, and Ghost of Tsushima. Forbidden West might just be the best-looking console game out there, with remarkable graphics, phenomenal boss fights, and a touching story. It’s a damn shame that the masochists at Sony released this game right before Elden Ring, years after they released Zero Dawn just behind Breath of the Wild. It’s a testament to how much of a splash these magnificent titles still make.

Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC
I am convinced we never had a kung fu game before Sifu. I thought we did, then I played Sifu. It’s like you took the combat of Batman: Arkham, or Insomniac’s Spider Man, and expanded it so far that every move feels intentional and intense. Sifu is hard, but its gameplay feels unparalleled when you get the hang of the controls. Add a remarkably interesting progression system, along with some of the best art design we’ve seen, and you have an absolute masterpiece.

Platforms: Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC
2022 is the year of perfecting systems. Truthfully, in my time writing about video games, there’s never been more bangers of titles this early in our best of the year roundup. Dying Light perfected several games mechanics, including an absolutely massive choice system, with so many routes and endings—along with a perfect parkour system mixed with addictive combat. Dying Light 2 is a total blast. You’re going to be playing a gaming backlog all year with all the brilliant offerings debuting in the coming months.

Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC
This is an expansion, for sure, but it qualifies. Witch Queen adds so much new content, story, and mechanics to Destiny 2—which, if you haven’t checked in on the Halo-veteran-turned-Sony-bad-boy Bungie’s golden child in a few years, it’s more than due time to make your way back. With a free PlayStation 5 upgrade, some of the best and most addictive first-person shooter combat out there, and a wild and immersive world, it’s high time you come back and take on the Witch Queen Guardian.

Platforms: PC, Mobile
I’ve gotta be honest: I didn’t know what Wordle was for a while. I thought it was a weird cult thing, where everyone was communicating through colored boxes. It was the first time I truly felt old in the grand age of the Internet. I didn’t care to speak with this robot! Then, I found out it was a word puzzle game. And I love word puzzle games, even though I cannot spell nor read. I killed at Wordle. I didn’t share it, but I killed. It was for me. It was intimate. I loved it. Then the damn New York Times took over and it is no longer for people like me. It’s for people who read The New York Times, or just can read in general. I’ll miss you Wordle, but they can ever take away what we had.

Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
As the great Lightning McQueen once said, “Gotta go fast.” There may not be a game on this planet that goes faster than Gran Turismo 7, which delivers the blend of top-notch graphics, brilliant sound design, and racing excitement that made every one of its predecessors a must-play title. I’ll give a hearty kachow! to that. —Brady Langmann


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