GGRecon's Top Ten Games Of 2022

GGRecon's Top Ten Games Of 2022
Terrible Toybox | FromSoftware | TUNIC Team

Written by 

Joseph Kime

Published 

24th Dec 2022 19:29

In spite of pushbacks galore, we've had a pretty amazing year for games. There has been plenty to moan about, with so many missed opportunities and games forced to 2023 and beyond .

Even so, we've been graced with indie darlings, AAA bangers, and everything in between. With one of the biggest games in fantasy history launching this year, there's plenty to praise too - so that brings us to the definitive list. Here are GGRecon's absolute favourite games of 2022.

10 - Tunic

GGRecon's Top Ten Games Of 2022
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TUNIC Team

Despite its gorgeous exterior and fantastical score, Tunic is an absolute b*stard that will leave you angrier than you should be at such an adorable title.

The Zelda-alike has its wonderful moments of exploration, intrigue and magic, but its bosses will kick your ass given half the chance, and toppling them all come to a head with a true sense of satisfaction.

The Game Pass belter is an adorable little trot around a world that wants you dead, with something brand-new and exciting around every corner. It won't go easy on you, but that's what makes the things that lie in wait of discovery all the more riveting. Plus, look at the fox. Look at him.

9 - Return To Monkey Island

GGRecon's Top Ten Games Of 2022
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Terrible Toybox

A series that sat dormant for so long, it was hard to perceive a new Monkey Island game was on the horizon, let alone one that would have such a dramatic tonal and visual overhaul. This would, for anybody else, be a recipe for disaster - but Ron Gilbert isn't just anybody.

The game is a wonderful return to form that pokes and jibes at the wider gaming industry at every opportunity. This all comes together in its final moments, as an investigative adventure that is more than reflective of its iconic name than we could ever have hoped for. Return to Monkey Island? Hell yeah, it is.

8 - Stray

GGRecon's Top Ten Games Of 2022
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BlueTwelve

Appearing as a surprise addition to PS Plus on release day, we already knew that we'd love Stray, but it showed us that so much rested underneath its furry surface.

Controlling our titular feline friend on their adventure across a bleak and cold cyberpunk city is an absolute joy, right the way down to the minor animations and movements. It certainly helps that the telly-faced robots and their homes are so genuinely packed with love and intrigue.

The experience is a short one, but frankly, you'll spend more time than you ever intended on scratching doors, ruining carpets, and curling up in a ball for a nap than you ever intended. So, it won't even matter. A story with a heartwrenching close and a polish that's rare in indie titles, Stray has made developers BlueTwelve the chosen ones of the future of game development. No pressure.

7 - Gran Turismo 7

GGRecon's Top Ten Games Of 2022
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Polyphony Digital

Much different from its racing siblings across the gaming world, the Gran Turismo series has always strived for realism. It boasts games that offer proper racing nerds something that really appeals to their attention to detail and sincere fascination with the art of racing.

While the series has done a good job of this, its seventh entry has taken it further than ever. Gran Turismo 7 is a polished and reflective racing simulator that doesn't waste its time trying to rival the noise and boisterousness of the likes of Forza and Need For Speed, and offers players a chance to really assess why it is that we race.

It's certainly no harm to the racer's quality that its controls are tight, its gameplay is gripping, and it's perhaps one of the best-looking games to grace the current gaming generation. Car super-nerds, this is one that you don't want to miss.

6 - Sifu

GGRecon's Top Ten Games Of 2022
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Sloclap

We hope you didn't think that Elden Ring was the hardest game you played all year - because you ain't seen nothing yet.

Sifu was a surprise highlight of the press conference its announcement was born from, and it looked like a fighting game that could inject a little more adventure into the genre - but it did so much more. The tight and focused control system keeps you from going nuts wailing on goons, and instead, urges you to take it slow to achieve a sense of flow that few games offer.

This fighter is going to kick your butt, and though you might get older via the fascinating ageing mechanic, you'll come back stronger, more determined, and with a fire up your ass that will send you rocketing through the game. All of this is without letting yourself breathe until its final boss falls before you. It's a tough cookie, but it's one of the most rewarding gaming experiences you'll have all year.

5 - Pokemon Legends: Arceus

GGRecon's Top Ten Games Of 2022
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The Pokemon Company

Pokemon has always promised innovation with each new game, and never quite made good on their promises... until they did with this trip to a very different region. 

A huge surprise for the naysayers who decried the game's aesthetics from trailers alone, Pokemon Legends: Arceus proved that the series needed to take a step away from the norm to create a truly refreshed experience, with a fascinating new mechanic for catching, battling and befriending Pokemon.

An almost entirely open-world experience, Arceus has helped the series to take massive strides towards that dream Pokemon game that players have been dreaming of since the launch of Red & Blue. The greatest push toward Pokemon perfection that the series has made in years.

4 - Victoria 3

GGRecon's Top Ten Games Of 2022
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Paradox Development Studio

Many strategy games are known as being ill-accessible to newcomers. And let's be clear - Victoria 3 makes a strong case for this stereotype. But, what it offers to those who are willing to persist and truly learn the way it works, it gives an experience unlike any other.

The game's dedication to its financial domineering and its limited periods between the 19th and 20th Century allows it to focus and go hard on the specifics of running a country. Its intricacies all add up to create a deeply compelling and immensely rewarding strategy game if you're willing to reciprocate its hard work. Paradox has made a name for itself in the builder and strategy genres, but this is easily a new high for the company.

3 - God of War Ragnarok

GGRecon's Top Ten Games Of 2022
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Santa Monica Studio

It would be of no surprise that Kratos and Atreus' return would be a grand spectacle, but it was truly difficult to foresee the veritable smorgasbord of wonder that God of War Ragnarok is.

Closing the God of War saga as we know it, the game somehow manages to tower over the near-masterpiece that 2018's soft reboot was, with tight storytelling aided by music, voice-acting, and visual detail that set a new benchmark for the industry.

Santa Monica Studio had a lot to contend with, but by the time the story comes to its Midgard-shattering close, it's clear that the new standard has been set for narratives, action, and games that keep up a perpetual forward motion without confusing its player.

God of War: Ragnarok is Santa Monica Studio's masterpiece - and that's saying something after we said the same of its last game only a few months ago.

2 - Elden Ring

GGRecon's Top Ten Games Of 2022
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FromSoftware

You knew it was coming. With the loftiest ambitions that FromSoftware have ever brought to public attention, the reveal of Elden Ring was deeply fascinating, and it almost immediately leapt to the top of players' most anticipated games lists. They weren't wrong to expect a lot because the game delivers on every front.

The freedom of the beautiful and varied open-world that is The Lands Between - paired with the gruelling difficulty of FromSoftware's development style - Elden Ring offers an experience that is endlessly expansive and equally as fascinating when assessed under the microscope. There's no denying that Elden Ring is tough, but its satisfaction in overcoming adversity is like nothing ese, and its whopping in-game averages prove that it's not an adventure to be taken on lightly.

Thankfully, FromSoftware has delivered a fantasy property for the ages that somehow lived up to its ungodly hype and then some. Elden Ring is FromSoft's greatest achievement, and in many ways, it is likely to go down in history as one of the best examples of what video games in the modern age can accomplish. Play Elden Ring.

1 - The Last Of Us Part 1

GGRecon's Top Ten Games Of 2022
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Naughty Dog

Okay, hear us out. We appreciate that The Last of Us Part I isn't precisely a new game in the same way that the others on this list are - and even despite the criticism that the game didn't need a remaster by any stretch. Still, that doesn't keep The Last of Us Part I from being what it is. And what it is is perhaps one of the greatest video games ever made.

We know already that Joel and Ellie's story is one of hardship, heartbreak, and desperation in the face of a world torn asunder - but there are still a few problems with the game's original cut. Upon reflection, it's gameplay struggles in the wake of The Last of Us Part II's breathtaking combat. The upgrades offered to the original game have not only surpassed the almost-perfect mechanics of the second title, but breathed new life into the PS3 game's presentation in a way that few could accomplish with a similar project.

There was a lot of speculation that the changes made to this new version of The Last of Us wouldn't be worth the AAA price tag on entry - and while that is still well up for debate, it's impossible to deny just how tear-jerkingly and heart-poundingly essential Joel and Ellie's story is. Naughty Dog had already proven themselves to be some of the greatest storytellers in the gaming industry, but to present The Last of Us in this way has proven that they're the best game developers on the planet. 

The Last of Us Part I is easily one of the greatest interactive experiences that anyone could ever hope to have. If there were ever to be a time capsule for future generations to discover the majesty of video games, this should be the only example in it. Let's just hope the spores haven't taken over by that point.

Joseph Kime
About the author
Joseph Kime
Joseph Kime is the Senior Trending News Journalist for GGRecon from Devon, UK. Before graduating from MarJon University with a degree in Journalism, he started writing music reviews for his own website before writing for the likes of FANDOM, Zavvi and The Digital Fix. He is host of the Big Screen Book Club podcast, and author of Building A Universe, a book that chronicles the history of superhero movies. His favourite games include DOOM (2016), Celeste and Pokemon Emerald.
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