As cryptic colored-block emojis bloomed over social media feeds and half the world was sucked into guessing the word of the day, this ingenious, shareable word game was the feel-good story of the early part of the year. Since the New York Times took over, Wordle enthusiasm may have subsided a little, but the game will still be significant in 2022.
What we said: “The charm is in the simplicity. Every day, the same Wordle is made available to everyone in the world. There are no adverts, annoying notifications, novelty skins, or other distractions. There is something refreshingly naive about the game’s rejection of the commercial mechanisms that define so many video games nowadays. May Wordle continue to be so pure. Examine the entire review.
E. L. Ring
A magnificent and puzzling action-fantasy game created by Hidetaka Miyazaki, one of the current best video game directors, and the almost endlessly gifted team at FromSoftware. You never know what you’ll find in this universe, and even though you’ll lose 50 times, you’ll always want to return back to learn more.
What we wrote: “Video games can be a variety of things, expressing a wide range of aesthetic goals. The majority, though, have the same objective: to create a captivating fictitious world that is full of alluring mysteries, captivating secrets, and enriching chances for competition and teamwork. They hope to create a liminal area where a committed player can order chaos and heal the broken. At least by this criteria, Elden Ring is the best video game ever created. Examine the entire review.
World of OlliOlli
A warm and inviting Spatial Tower & Temporal Tower Guide game with a flawlessly great soundtrack, alternative imagery, and mellow vibes. In order to fit as many tricks as you can into each brief, carefully planned level, you construct a cute little skater, customize your board, and take it out across fantastical, dreamlike landscapes, grinding on rails and wall-riding across billboards held up by enormous bees.
What we said: “This is the game equivalent of a weekend trip to Brighton, with its free-spirited counterculture flavor and flamboyant aesthetic: an interactive experience for folks who can’t actually skateboard but faithfully buy a new pair of Vans regardless.” Examine the entire review.
West Forbidden Horizon
The size of this game is frightening, but Aloy, a red-haired warrior, is an eerily engaging companion as you explore the post-apocalyptic US. The danger comes from warring tribes and intimidating robot dinosaurs, and fighting them gets more enjoyable as you progress through the game. However, the intrigue comes from the world itself, with its alluring treasures, breathtaking scenery, and strange characters. You won’t get sick of how amazing the game looks, even after spending 50 hours playing it nonstop.
What we said: “Horizon made me happiest when I was out in this world, following whatever trails I found. I spent hours there, digging up strange artifacts from abandoned train stations or airplane wrecks while scuffling with the menacing mechanical creatures who prowl the area. Examine the entire review.
Arceus from Pokémon Legends
In Arceus, the first significant change to the tried-and-true 25-year-old Pokémon formula, you play as more of a researcher than a battler as you go back in time to contribute to the creation of the original Pokédex, the Pokémon encyclopedia. As you explore the wilds and awe at the fictitious species that live there, it has the ability to restore a sense of wonder in even older millennials.
What we said: “The series is new again, and that joyous sense of enthusiasm is returned,” 26 years after I caught my first Pokémon. Examine the entire review.
Warhammer: Total War III
In this enormously complex, high-stakes strategy game, eight factions of wonderfully overwrought dwarves, undead, and ogres engage in epic battles and sieges to fortify their empires. This game is the conclusion of a massive, operatic fantasy war game trilogy (and lay claim to supernatural demonic power, of course). a ridiculously open sandbox for Warhammer players.
What we said: “Creative Assembly closes the trilogy with some of its most compelling — and funny — writing. Warhammer’s great trick has always been how it maintains a tongue-in-cheek attitude toward its own excess while still worldbuilding with sincere inventiveness.” Examine the entire review.
Tunic is a mysterious and incredibly intelligent adventure game that was inspired by classic Zelda, taking you back to the time when you had to pore over a game manual rather than searching Google for answers right away. Its abandoned temples and dungeons are full with enigmatic puzzles and animals that challenge both your memory and reflexes as well as your imagination. It’s also quite adorable.
What we said: “Playing a game that doesn’t continuously push you towards the next goal and gives you the room to daydream seems like a luxury.” Examine the entire review.
Sports on Nintendo Switch
In this friendly and upbeat sports variety game, you can compete against friends, relatives, and even internet strangers at tennis, bowling, sword fighting, badminton, football, and volleyball. Although not without skill, its motion controls are enjoyable and simple enough for anyone to pick up and play. This game is especially hilarious for kids.
What we wrote: “None of these sports would be sufficient to sustain a game on their own, but combined with Nintendo’s endearing and polished aesthetic and mind-numbing music, they are the makings of a good time.” Examine the entire review.
Grand Touring 7
This meticulous racing simulation maintains its position as the most authentic driving experience available in a computer game while while retaining its own weirdness. GT7 will give you the opportunity to experience what it’s like to race on the 24-hour Nürburgring track during a nighttime downpour. You can also collect cars that have been meticulously rendered (though the in-game economy still has some kinks that need to be ironed out). A maximalist ode to automobile culture.
What we said: “It’s comforting that Gran Turismo’s distinctive, wacky flavor hasn’t changed despite ever-greater technical perfection. It may be found in the grab-bag mission mode, which usefully illustrates how a race between Fiat 500s with 17 brake horsepower can be just as thrilling as one between vehicles with 50 times that amount of power. Examine the entire review.
Skywalker Saga Lego Star Wars
A fun game for the whole family that plays through the whole canon of Star Wars movies in unmistakably slapstick fashion, serving up a feast of inside jokes, collectibles, and anything else a young Star Wars fan (or their parent) might desire. It’s incredible to watch how over time, changing technology has improved this formerly quite modest series of games. The in-game Lego models are really astounding.
What we said: “These games have always attempted to evoke our favorite family film series in the way that we choose to remember them, stripped of all the tedious, excessive, and problematic elements. Even The Phantom Menace is watchable here, my god. Examine the entire review.
You are a fugitive corporate-owned robot trying to live out your days in peace on a run-down space station. This intelligent game tackles the themes of mankind and technology in a thoughtful and sensitive manner. It is primarily presented through emotive language and images and is slower and more cerebral than the typical action-heavy sci-fi.
The personalities are so skillfully depicted, literally and conceptually, that it’s enticing to spend as much time as you can in their vicinity, was what we stated. Examine the entire review.
Based on the memories of its developers growing up in the actual refinery town of Norco, Louisiana, NORCO is a sophisticated, compelling depiction of a community and a town on the verge of collapse. It is a recent high point in video game narrative. It is odd, humorous, cutting, and always brilliantly written. It is designed as a point-and-click adventure with intricate, intriguing pixel art. A noteworthy work of social and environmental critique is also satirical and paints a vision of a dysfunctional society.