We’re officially halfway through 2022. Here are the new video games of the year so far that the GAMINGbible team is incredibly fond of, and we encourage you to check them out as quickly as your fingers and thumbs can carry you.
Please note that the games listed below appear in no specific order, and are in no way ranked. This is simply a dozen games we’ve really enjoyed in 2022 – and perhaps you do, or will, too! And no, we didn’t “miss” anything here – we’ve kept it to 12 for space and time, ours and yours, but there are plenty of other games we’ve loved, too. Maybe we’ll talk about those at the end of the year, huh?
Why not watch our games of the year so far in action, in the video below…
Neon White is quite unlike anything you’ve played this year. At first glance it’s a slick first-person platformer set in what looks and sounds like what we imagine the inside of a Dreamcast is like. But before long it morphs into a super-challenging FPS – one that demands you chain together strings of special moves, perfectly judged leaps of faith, and expertly placed shots in an effort to chase the highest scores and cleanse “heaven” of the demons that have snuck in. It’s unbelievably fast, and demands your constant attention, but memorising each levels’ tricks and shortcuts and obtaining the Ace rank is pure gaming nirvana.
Oh, there’s also a dating sim element: taking on the role of a dead assassin with no memory of his past, you’ll spend your time finding gifts for your allies from your days on Earth, hanging out with them in an effort to work out if they want to screw you or kill you. Whoever said less is more was an idiot, because Neon White is everything, and is one of the best games of 2022 as a result. Ewan Moore
The Quarry (PC, PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Series X/S)
The Quarry doesn’t stray from the tradition of sweltering summer slashers, introducing the player to an unfeasibly attractive cast of characters unaware that their night of hedonism is about to take a terrifying turn. The game’s developer Supermassive Games has named it as a spiritual successor to Until Dawn, yet there are a number of evolutions on the predecessor’s gameplay.
The Quarry is nerve-shredding as a single-player game, but also features multiplayer modes so you can spread the scares between friends. The sheer number and the intricacy of the possible paths will tempt you back to see what happens if you choose a different course of action, and the Easter eggs are too satisfying to discover. For fans of schlocky yet satirical horror games and films, The Quarry is not one to miss. Imogen Donovan, full review here
Kirby And The Forgotten Land (Switch)
Kirby’s long been there when it comes to Nintendo’s most commonly seen characters – 2022 is his 30th anniversary, indeed. But it’s never really felt like any one Kirby game has elevated the character and his series to the status of Mario, Metroid, or Zelda. There have been several very good games, covering a wide array of genres, but perhaps no out-and-out classic, a title that went beyond appealing primarily to already invested fans of HAL’s creations.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land should be that title, though. It deserves to do for Kirby what Super Mario 64 did for Nintendo’s mascot, and what Ocarina of Time achieved for Link’s adventures across Hyrule. It’s that good, that accomplished, that slick and sumptuous and gosh-darn spectacular, and represents a near-essential addition to any Switch collection regardless of your usual tastes in games. Mike Diver, full review here
Elden Ring (PC, PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Series X/S)
Maybe the best thing to say about this magnificent game is that even after tens of hours spent in The Lands Between, hundreds perhaps, you won’t have stopped thinking about it. Your mind will keep drifting back to the locked doors yet to be opened, the unmarked portions of the map awaiting exploration, and the bosses that are still to be conquered.
Elden Ring is a constantly surprising adventure that has taken FromSoftware’s tried-and-tested formula to delirious new heights. One of the best video games of the last decade, and an absolutely essential release, Elden Ring really does confirm that 2022 got off to an incredible start. Ewan Moore, full review here
OlliOlli World (PC, Switch, PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Series X/S)
OlliOlli World is a vibrant, mindful, colours-popping skateboard delight, where your challenge is to skate your way to ‘Gnarvana’ by ticking off tasks set by your crew across a series of courses. Your score is pushed higher and higher by linking together a succession of trick combos – much like the Tony Hawk series – and each course also contains specific tasks, from popping inflatable animals to simply meeting a side-quest-providing NPC on your route. But unlike others in the genre – such as the Tony Hawk games and EA’s soon-to-return Skate series – you don’t need to sweat the techniques as you push your skills to the next level, as the real aim of the game is to achieve a zen-like state of flow.
OlliOlli World’s sleek, satisfying gameplay coupled with luscious graphics and sounds both pristine and punchy make it a must-buy for fans of the skating genre. But beyond that audience, it’s also highly recommended for anyone who loves finding a sense of flow, of rhythm, in their lives. Deep breath then, in through the nose, out through the mouth… And then drop down that ramp into the wildest, weirdest, and friendliest sports game you’ll play in 2022. Dan Wilson, full review here
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga (PC, Switch, PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Series X/S)
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga feels like the culmination of the decades of work developers TT Games have put into the LEGO Star Wars franchise. Every aspect is built with passion and love for both the story and the studs. Whether that’s flying the Millennium Falcon through a crashed Star Destroyer on Jakku or lingering around an area on Kashyyyk for a little too long as the monologuing hologram of Palpatine realises he needs to update his voicemail to say ‘Emperor’.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is the complete Star Wars video game experience, in a way only a LEGO game can be. If there was ever to be a Skywalker Saga: The Video Game ‘proper’, it wouldn’t have a chance to let players experience all the wild wonders of the universe like this. A movie-faithful adaptation wouldn’t let you run around Hoth as General Grievous alongside Yaddle and, in all honesty, that’s all we’ve ever wanted. Tom Ryan-Smith, full review here
Please Fix The Road is pretty much what it is like to be a main character in one of those shorts that are oftentimes better than the Pixar film you’ve booked to see. Your task, simple though it may seem, is to direct cars, boats, trains and so on to their destination on a little gridded square of land. The land hovers in a calming void of pastel, studded with conifers or broken up with icy rivers, and you can destroy bits of terrain, put bits of terrain down, duplicate terrain, but you only have a set number of these tiles or actions that you can do in order to solve the puzzle.
Please Fix The Road is not reinventing the wheel, no, but there are these amazing arrangements that transform one puzzle to the next puzzle. It’ll split off into ribbons, or unfurl itself like paper, or it’ll zoom in on a little tiny scrap of a frozen island, which then slots into the rest of this square. This whimsicality, along with the trial and error of creation and destruction, will make you think you’re a beleaguered and slightly bored god being tasked by a larger, more important god to put these roads back together and look after the world. Imogen Donovan
Tunic (PC, Xbox One and Series X/S, Mac, PlayStation 4 and 5 on September 27th)
TLC once famously advised us never to go chasing waterfalls. Fortunately, nobody ever bothered to relay this message to developer Andrew Shouldice. His latest effort, Tunic, is a video game that knows you want to peek behind every cascading wall of water, swaying blade of grass, and crumbling statue in search of treasure. And it rewards that curiosity repeatedly, via an intricate puzzle box of a world filled with constant mystery, surprise, and revelation. It’s a truly astonishing piece of work.
Tunic is a lovingly made tribute to classic adventure games that still manages to offer its own clever twists on the well-established formula to create an inspired meta-game of interconnected puzzles hiding one larger conundrum. If you can resist the urge to check your phone for help whenever you get stuck, the joy of slowly cracking apart its intricate code is sublimely rewarding. Ewan Moore, full review here
Pokémon Legends: Arceus (Switch)
Pokémon Legends: Arceus is a game to love. Its open areas filled with Pokémon are a joy to delve into, and will eat up hours of your time in what feels like mere minutes. The heavy borrowing of Zelda elements doesn’t detract from its identity as a Pokémon game, proving that change doesn’t hurt the beloved franchise one bit. Then you’ve got the visual style, the gorgeous music, and the joy of filling up a Pokédex in a world that truly suits exploration.
As for where the franchise goes from here, hopefully they expand on this new formula. Perhaps a game set in Ancient Johto, where we see the Burned Tower in its former glory? We’d love to experience any region of the Pokémon world in this way, because Pokémon Legends: Arceus has taken the series to a new level. James Daly, full review here
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge (PC, Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
That Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge has been developed by a studio called Tribute Games is kind of perfect, as this is truly a love letter to a classic era of arcade gaming when belt-scrolling beat ‘em ups crunched pocket change like nobody’s business.
Shredder’s Revenge is more than mere nostalgia dressed up in some 21st century pixel art, though – it quite brilliantly modernises the formula laid down by studios like Konami, Capcom, SEGA et al, incorporating online functionality and quality-of-life features that make this a package not to be missed whether you’re a veteran of such brawlers or an absolute beginner. Whether enjoyed with same-sofa pals or solo, it’s a supremely satisfying side-scroller and, really, a contemporary masterpiece of its kind; an exemplary demonstration of how to spruce up a stylistic road well walked already after so many go-straight experiences. Mike Diver, full review here
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes (Switch)
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes feels more akin to its source material than most of Omega Force’s previous collaborations. For instance, while Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is a Zelda game in terms of characters, locations and aesthetic, it lacks the variety of the Nintendo series it’s based on. Three Hopes, on the other hand, has enough of the ingredients present in Fire Emblem: Three Houses to make hours of playtime feel like minutes.
And this is the finest collaboration between Nintendo and Omega Force to date. Its life sim elements are masterfully done, feeling identical to Three Houses. The hack-and-slash action is sumptuous, with plenty of characters and playstyles to choose from. Lastly, the levels of choice are remarkable, adding plenty of replay value. Fire Emblem fans won’t want to miss this gem, and newcomers who would otherwise be put off by the core series’ tactical gameplay are all set for a grand adventure. James Daly, full review here
Horizon Forbidden West (PlayStation 4 and 5)
Guerrilla Games’ hugely anticipated sequel to 2017’s Horizon Zero Dawn, Horizon Forbidden West is, to put it simply, an absolutely stunning adventure. It feels great to once again play as Aloy and explore an apocalyptic future filled with incredible machines and ancient ruins. Forbidden West really takes everything that worked in its acclaimed predecessor and builds upon it in spectacular style.
It’s a joy to explore these new lands, to enjoy the simple pleasure of seeing what’s down there, up on that ledge, or just over that hill. And Forbidden West’s world is absolutely huge as well – you will never find yourself without something new to do. You can take over rebel outposts, complete a variety of side missions, explore ancient ruins for relics, and so much more. There are hours upon hours of content to enjoy here, and it’s another single-player hit for PlayStation. Dine Abdou, full review here