After the pandemic pushed back the release of some of the community’s most anticipated games, 2022 has seen a stellar year for highly desired releases such as Elden Ring, God of War: Ragnarök, and Horizon Forbidden West.
The Game Awards is also on the horizon and people are starting to talk about the contenders for game of the year for 2022. So many great games have been released so far, including both AAA games and indie titles that have exceeded expectations, but only a few will get the nomination for game of the year.
Here are some of the best games that have been released or will release very soon in 2022 that are the top contenders for game of the year.
Released: Feb. 24
Starting off with the heaviest of hitters, Elden Ring was released this year to critical acclaim. It was given a whopping score of 96 on Metacritic and was praised by the majority of people who played it. The game has over half a million positive reviews on Steam at time of writing and was a staple in many players’ lineups of games this year. Elden Ring is the favorite to win game of the year at The Game Awards this year, and it has the hype to back it up.
God of War: Ragnarök
Releases: Nov. 9
The biggest contender to Elden Ring will be God of War: Ragnarök. The game isn’t out yet, but early impressions are starting to trickle in, and even a few leaks too, and it’s only helping the hype for this game. The original was highly successful and regarded as a must-play for anyone who enjoys the RPG genre, so it’s only natural that the sequel is already in talks for game of the year before it even releases.
Cult of the Lamb
Released: Aug. 11
This rogue-like action adventure from Devolver Digital was quite popular when it first launched in August. Cult of the Lamb is even staying fresh with seasonal updates, like the most recent Blood Moon Festival that was announced today. Even those who didn’t like the genre were having fun with the game and it became a cult classic overnight. Although it doesn’t have the intense visual style or storytelling games like God of War: Ragnarok and Elden Ring have, its fun gameplay and cute yet horrifying graphics put it among the top contenders for game of the year.
Released: July 19
This cute cat-themed puzzle RPG had gamers and cat lovers alike clamoring about the game when it was released in July. The game took over social media and even a Twitter profile popped up that was simply made up of people posting pictures of their cats reacting to the game. The game has over 76,000 overwhelmingly positive reviews and was in talks about being one of the contenders for game of the year shortly after it was released.
Horizon Forbidden West
Released: Feb. 18
Fans of the original were highly anticipating the sequel to Aloy’s story, and it didn’t disappoint. Although it didn’t score quite as high as Elden Ring on Metacritic, it did have a higher user score. Players really liked this game, and the graphics were a big part of why it was so highly regarded, in addition to its fun gameplay, good story, and great music.
Although the games listed above have a fantastic chance of being nominated, there’s a slew of games that were released this year that could find themselves getting a nomination as well, including Pokémon Legends Arceus, which was released in January, or Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, which are set to be released in November. Although they rarely win, Pokémon games are usually highly regarded and may pop up in the game of the year nominations this year.
More games that fans could see appear in the nomination list include Bayonetta 3, Plague Tale: Requiem, Tunic, Xenoblade Chronicles 3, and Gotham Knights. Nominations aren’t out yet, but people are already having a ton of fun trying to guess which games will be nominated beyond the two hard-hitters, God of War Ragnorök and Elden Ring.