2021 was riddled with release delays, cancellations, and other pandemic-related setbacks. And while 2022 was not the best year for video game releases, it was an improvement. PlayStation 5 remained elusive, but Pcs, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox Series S/X picked up the slack, providing enough titles to make the year exciting for gamers. 2022 also saw the release of many much-anticipated titles and sequels, many of which did pretty well. Here is a ranking of the best video game releases that marked 2022.
God of War: Ragnarok
Combining teeth-rattling action with emotional character arcs and transcendent storytelling, God of War: Ragnarok defined what action-adventure games should look like. The installment was so well received that it reportedly sold more copies in the UK on its first day than any other entry from the series in its first week. The sales were 51 percent more than the 2018’s installment sales, making it the biggest launch in the UK for the series and second biggest launch in the country behind big names like Elden Ring, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, and FIFA 23. At the same time, Ragnarok sold 5.1 million units in its first week, becoming PlayStation’s fastest-selling first-party title ever. This number rose to 11 million worldwide sales by February 1, 2023.
In December 2022, Ragnarok won 6 out of 11 awards it was nominated for at The Game Awards 2022 – the most for the event. That month proved a big one for the gaming industry elsewhere, in the online gambling sector, one of Tight Poker’s best online casino sites, 888 Poker, marked its 20th anniversary. Like Ragnarok, the company received an award, winning EGR Poker Operator of the Year. It also concluded a widely successful relaunch of its Retro Week Series, shelling out $1 million in awards across 26 events.
With industry geniuses like George R.R. Martin and Hidetaka Miyazaki at the helm, it was unavoidable that Elden Ring would do well. By the end of March, the Fantasy title had sold 13.4 million copies worldwide. This number rose by over 4 million by the end of September, making Elden Ring the fastest-selling Bandai Namco game in history.
Horizon: Forbidden West
The follow-up to Horizon: Zero Dawn featured an open-world environment twice the size of its predecessor. Forbidden West is set in the West United States, only in the post-apocalyptic era. One of its most iconic locations, Dunehollow, is a post-apocalyptic remnant of Las Vegas. According to Samantha Schoonen, Guerrilla Quest Designer, inspiration for the quest was drawn from real-life casinos and the Vegas Trip. Horizon: Forbidden West sold more copies than any other game in the UK during its first week and reached 200,000 units sold in Germany in its first month. In July, it received the Best Visual Art Award and Best Game Award from a total of seven nominations at the 2022 Star Awards.
The Last of Us Part 1
The Last of Us Part 1 was Naughty Dog’s third attempt at The Last of Us’ first installment. Featuring pretty much the same storyline with some tweaks, the game was praised for its AI, facial animations, and graphical enhancements. It also did well across multiple markets, becoming the third most-downloaded PS5 game in North America and Europe in September and the fourth-best-selling PlayStation title of the year.
Following in the footsteps of Until Dawn, The Quarry was a horror gaming masterpiece. Critics lauded the cast performances, characters, narrative, graphics, and homage to the classics. While many gamers were disappointed with the abrupt endings, The Quarry was the fourth best-selling title in the UK in its first week. It was also nominated for the Innovation in Accessibility awards at The Game Awards.
2022 seemed to be an apocalypse-themed year for gaming, and clearly, gamers loved it. God of War: Ragnarok performed beyond expectations, ushering in a year of exciting releases across the board. Going into 2023, it will be exciting to see if developers maintain this momentum.