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The top 10 games of 2022 according to Post Arcade

From epic RPGs to tactical brawls to a cat simulator, our list proves 2022 had no shortage of variety

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Trying to identify some sort of common tissue that can connect my 10 favourite games of the past 12 months is futile. It’s like trying to draw parallels between Immanuel Kant and Vanilla Ice, or Hawkins Cheezies and steel i-beams. The best I can do is note that they’re games (though in the case of Stray even that’s debatable) and they’re viewed on screens. 

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And that’s all the preamble you get. Here are my top 10 games of 2022.

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Marvel’s Midnight Suns
Marvel’s Midnight Suns Photo by Firaxis /Firaxis

10. Marvel’s Midnight Suns (PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Series S/X, Windows, Switch)

At first glance, Firaxis’ turn-based superhero strategy game comes off as woefully dated for a $90 release designed for the latest consoles. Its stiff characters and simple environments feel lifted from a decade-old game. But as I played I realized the thoughtful and often funny depictions of the game’s roster of beloved characters combine with clever, gratifyingly challenging card-based combat to overcome any graphical shortcomings. Give it a chance and it may win you over as fully as it did me.

A Plague Tale: Requiem
A Plague Tale: Requiem Photo by SIE /SIE

9. A Plague Tale: Requiem (PlayStation 5, Xbox S/X, Switch Windows)

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If you don’t like rats, best avoid this sequel to French game maker Asobo Studio’s 2019 surprise hit A Plague Tale: Innocence. Rodents are once again a pestilence upon the 14th century French countryside, and they are still somehow linked to Hugo, little brother to primary protagonist Amicia, a teen who simply wants to keep what’s left of her family alive amid political strife and rampant disease. It’s a dark, beautifully realized tale filled with tragedy and terror that’s unlike anything else you might have played this year.


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Stray
Stray Photo by SIE /SIE

8. Stray (PlayStation 4 and 5, Windows)

BlueTwelve Studios’ Stray is a classic example of a journey more important than its purpose. This serene cat simulation is set in a dystopian future in which robots inhabit our ruins. We take on the role of a stray feline wandering amid the rubble. There is progression and a conclusion, but the real joy comes from our four-legged avatar, whose modelling, animation, behaviour, and hijinks are simply superb and the reason why this game spawned a meme that saw people filming real-world cats intensely watching and reacting to the game’s furry protagonist. Stray is short, sweet, and a lovely example of how games have much more to offer than just guns and gore.

Nobody Saves the World
Nobody Saves the World Photo by DrinkBox /DrinkBox

7. Nobody Saves the World (PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Series S/X, Windows, Switch)

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Toronto-based Drinkbox’s Nobody Saves the World is the sort of game that will keep you smiling from start to finish with its charm, wit and visual panache. A top-down dungeon-crawling action RPG, its titular star is a shape-shifting hero who takes on all manner of guises necromancer, slug, mermaid, dragon and monk, just to name a few each of which has its own set of powers and abilities that have distinct uses and synergies. There’s almost no end to its well of creativity, which brings welcome new life to a genre now nearly 40 years old. 

The Callisto Protocol
The Callisto Protocol Photo by Striking Distance /Striking Distance

6. The Callisto Protocol (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S/X, Windows)

This sci-fi horror game is almost criminally derivative, but when you’re deriving from sources as great as Dead Space and Aliens Striking Distance creative director Glenn Schofield executive produced the former chances are the end result will be spooky good fun. It’s also perhaps the prettiest game of the year, giving us a darkly beautiful Jovian moon to explore and some truly scary monsters that do a fine job of ripping our hero apart in all manner of imaginatively gory ways. Aside from a couple of painful, poorly designed boss fights near the end, I had a grand time.

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Cult of the Lamb
Cult of the Lamb Photo by Xbox /Xbox

5. Cult of the Lamb (Switch, Xbox One and Series X/S, PlayStation 4 and 5, Windows)

This deliciously weird little indie makes fun of cults while also making cults fun. As a lamb saved from slaughter by an elder god, your second coming positions you as the leader of a fledgling religious sect. You do what you must to build your community of devotees, conducting dark rituals including sacrifice! to keep them sheepishly obedient, all while occasionally ducking into randomly generated dungeons to fight weird cthulu-like beasties. Think Binding of Isaac with a little construction/community management simulation thrown in. 

Mario + Rabids: Sparks of Hope
Mario + Rabids: Sparks of Hope Photo by Ubisoft

4. Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope (Switch)

The original Mario + Rabbids was a breath of fresh air for turn-based tactics fans, hiding some surprisingly complex and original strategy mechanics underneath its cute, kiddy facade. Ubisoft Milan/Paris’ follow-up refines the experience, giving us larger, Super Mario Galaxy-inspired overworlds to explore that are filled with quick but satisfying bite-sized battles punctuated by the occasional epic, white-knuckled megabrawl. Just do yourself a favour and play on the hardest difficulty; the easier settings in this one really are meant for kids.

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God of War Ragnarok
God of War Ragnarok Photo by Sony Interactive Entertainment

3. God of War Ragnarok (PlayStation 5)

Loaded with memorable characters old and new (Angrboda!) and featuring absolutely top notch world-building that sees the environment and dialogue working together to create a deeply convincing sense of place, Sony Santa Monica’s latest chapter in Kratos’ epic story is a treat. It doesn’t stray too far from its immediate predecessor’s formula in terms of action, puzzles, or exploration, but it hardly needs to, given it was also one of the best we’ve seen in recent years.   

Elden Ring
Elden Ring Photo by Bandai Namco

2. Elden Ring (Xbox One and Series X/S, PlayStation 4 and 5, Windows)

If there’s an afterlife and I’m called before whatever deity runs it to defend the choices I made while in corporeal form, I’m pretty sure I’ll be asked to justify the amount of time I spent in 2022 playing FromSoftware’s sprawling fantasy masterpiece. My answer would be simple: I’m a hedonist who revels in the masochistic joy of fighting an endless procession of brutally hard enemies scattered across a wondrously weird world. No regrets.

A screenshot from Horizon Forbidden West, captured on PlayStation 5.
A screenshot from Horizon Forbidden West, captured on PlayStation 5. Photo by Sony Interactive Entertainment /Sony Interactive Entertainment

1. Horizon Forbidden West (PlayStation 5)

The follow-up to Guerrilla Games’ speculative fiction triumph builds upon the original’s gripping far future tale in which humanity first succumbs to and then is reborn from its technological hubris, and ends with a cliffhanger for the ages that left me drooling for the series’ third (perhaps concluding?) chapter. The sugar on top is the pulse-pounding combat, which is equal parts satisfying strategy, deft co-ordination and cinematic spectacle. I wasn’t bored for a single minute. 

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