Next year is shaping up to be a huge year for gaming. I’m sure there are a few that are going to be missing from the list, but it doesn’t mean I’m not excited for them, so bear with me.
2021 has been a solid year for gaming in general. I can’t really say it’s been as good as other years, but there have been many gems I have played so far which were very entertaining. However, looking ahead, 2022 is shaping up to blow it completely out of the water and I’m looking forward to seeing if all these release dates hold and I can finally play some of these games I’ve been longing for. From console games (PS5, Xbox, and Nintendo), to PC games, here are the 22 games I’m most excited for. I usually do 10, but it’s difficult narrowing down a list like this to only 10 titles.
There are some games I’m incredibly excited for, such as the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic remake, as well as Beyond Good & Evil 2, Avowed, The Outer Worlds 2, Babylon’s Fall, Final Fantasy XVI, Metroid Prime 4, Atomic Heart, The Wolf Among Us 2, Marvel’s Wolverine, the new Mass Effect, and so on and so forth. I feel I can keep going for days about announced games with no release dates, but you get the idea. So, if you don’t see them on the list, it’s more than likely because I don’t think they’ll be coming next year. I could be wrong about a few of them, though.
22. The Callisto Protocol (TBD 2022)
Details are mostly scarce on this project, but ever since I saw the first trailer, I’ve been intrigued by it. Being developed by Striking Distance Studios under the tutelage of Glen Schofield (co-creator of Dead Space), The Callisto Protocol has aspirations to be “the scariest game on next-gen platforms,” according to Schofield. The game is supposed to be set in the same universe as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which is quite interesting to me since PUBG is everything but a horror game. I mean, I have no interest in PUBG, but a narrative-driven game being set in this world can work if done correctly. If it plays anything like Dead Space, then it’ll cater to many fans of the genre. I wasn’t always big into horror, but I’ve dabbled with it as of late and I’m starting to become a big fan of it. I’ll be looking out for this one in the future, which is hopefully next year.
21. Tiny Tina’s Wonderland (March 25, 2022)
I can’t say I’m a fan of the Borderlands series. I’ve never played any of the games in their entirety. In fact, the only knowledge I even have about the series, at least extensively, is Telltale Games’ Tales of the Borderlands series, which is an original story in itself. It’s understandable if you think I shouldn’t be all that excited for Tiny Tina’s Wonderland, but there’s a certain charm about the first trailer I loved. Tiny Tina is a very likable character, apparently, and it must be true since she’s getting her very own game. It also looks to stay true to the Borderlands formula and I think it’ll be good place to start, even if I’m 12 years late. I can even circle back and play the other games in the series. The best route would be to play them beforehand, but I don’t think I’ll have enough time to do so before March, especially with all the other highly anticipated video games I’m expecting.
20. Forspoken (TBD 2022)
It seems Forspoken will most definitely be my jam. Being someone who enjoyed Final Fantasy XV much more than most, based on the footage I’ve seen of Forspoken, the game looks incredibly similar to FFXV. It is being worked on by the same developer, Luminous Productions, so it makes a ton of sense. The details are still minimal, but the gameplay looks very familiar, as well as the combat and the character interactions. The world is massive in scope as well, and the game will have an interesting and entertaining way to travel in it. I can’t wait to hear more about it. It isn’t a new Final Fantasy game, but it’s not hard to see how it’s inspired by it.
19. Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope (TBD 2022)
This crossover is one almost nobody expected, but everyone welcomed. The first game, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is underrated, in my opinion. It has that XCOM gameplay to satisfy the RTS and turn-based fans, while also keeping the charm the Mario and Rabbids series is known to have. It’s no surprise the game is receiving a sequel with Sparks of Hope. This is looking to improve on everything the first game already established while also introducing new gameplay features and characters. In what will probably be a huge year for the Nintendo Switch, this one shouldn’t go unnoticed and I’m excited to put some time into it.
18. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge (TBD 2022)
I’ll always remember going to the arcade to play the side-scrolling Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles beat-em up game with friends. It’s some of the most fun I’ve had playing any arcade style game ever. In reality, games like these are rarely made anymore, with the exception of last year’s Streets of Rage 4. Seeing the trailer for Shredder’s Revenge was very nostalgic. I’m hoping I’ll still be able to get together with friends to play it once it releases, but I’m sure partying up online will be just as fun. I can’t wait to main Donatello again, who’s, by far, the best Ninja Turtle, and this isn’t up for debate. Putting all the biased memories aside, the game actually looks good, so it isn’t just my anticipation talking. The graphics are improved and updated for a new audience, but it’s the same designs of the classic TMNT we all remember, which is a welcoming factor for the old school fans of the series. There’s no doubt in my mind the majority age group who will be playing this game will range between 25-40.
17. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl (April 28, 2022)
I’ve never played S.T.A.L.K.E.R., so I’m pretty ignorant to the series as a whole. What I do know is the first game received generally favorable reviews. I also know it’s a first-person shooter, which is one of my favorite gaming genres, and it has plenty of horror elements, which is something I’ve been enjoying more and more lately. By the time S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl releases next year, it’ll be a little over 12 years since the last installment, which is an extensive amount of time for a sequel to be worked on, in my opinion. All the footage I’ve seen is extremely promising, showcasing visually stunning graphics, intense gameplay, and a story full of compelling character moments. I can’t wait to dive into this world.
16. Stray (TBD 2022)
Stray will more than likely be one of the most unique games I’ll play next year, and possibly this decade. The idea of playing as a stray cat who’s simply trying to return to its family sounds like an animated film I would love to see. Playing through it sounds even more interesting. What stands out the most to me is the scenery you’re in, the characters (robots) you’ll constantly be interacting with, along with the robot companion, B12, who will translate for you, and the strange-looking Zurks that’ll attack you in big groups. At first glance, the gameplay isn’t what stood out the most, so I’m not expecting to have an action-filled experience with this. However, Stray feels more like an interactive film and I’m hoping it delivers some quality, emotional, and memorable moments.
15. Gotham Knights (TBD 2022)
Although it isn’t Rocksteady Studios working on it this time around, it won’t be the first time WB Games Montreal is working on a Batman/DC Comics property (originally developed Batman: Arkham Origins). Gotham Knights was supposed to come out this year, but it was delayed to 2022, so I’m hoping it only means good things for the game. From what I’ve seen, you can see many of the similarities to the Arkham games in Gotham Knights based on the combat mechanics, the visuals, and how the enemies approach you. One glaring difference is how the co-op will be incorporated. You’ll be able to play as four characters, those being Robin, Nightwing, Red Hood, and Batgirl. The game can be played completely solo, but you can have a friend drop in to tag along, which is always a welcome feature. I feel multiplayer co-op elements have been pushed to the side in many games during this gaming era and it’s time they make a comeback. Let’s see if it works well in this game, which I’m sure it will.
14. DokeV (TBD 2022)
In a perfect world, DokeV should crack my top 10 list. But, as of right now, I want to keep my expectations in check. The latest trailer was phenomenal and showed so much to get excited about. As hard as it may be though, with recent experiences pertaining to highly anticipated games (Cyberpunk 2077 as the most recent example), I think I may need to tone it down a bit. Plus, it’s a brand-new IP and still unproven. That being said, it has a ton of potential as an action-adventure game. It’s giving me plenty of Pokemon vibes and it might be the Pokemon game, among other things, we haven’t gotten it just yet. I’m also a huge fan of the art-style and aesthetics, although it does look a bit weird. It has the recipe to be a fantastic game with a gorgeous world to explore and different kinds of creatures to encounter. It should release next year, but it seems this kind of game will probably get delayed to 2023.
13. GhostWire: Tokyo (TBD 2022)
There’s something incredibly atmospheric and chilling about what I’ve seen of GhostWire: Tokyo. Quite frankly, I’m still somewhat confused in terms of what it’s all about, although it’s giving off plenty of Dishonored vibes. From a gameplay perspective, how it’s managing to combine martial arts with magic is very interesting. Basically, from what has been said, most of Tokyo’s population has vanished and mysterious ghosts have taken over the city. As the main character, Akita, it’s your job to take them down once your powers begin to manifest and get to the bottom of everything. From the looks of it, there’s some detective elements as well. I still need to see more of it, but what I’ve already seen is enough for me to play it.
12. Sifu (Feb. 22, 2022)
By far, what did it for me with Sifu when I saw gameplay footage is the combat. Everything seems methodical and calculated, which I hope, in turn, translates into a challenging gameplay experience that I’ll enjoy. Being a revenge story, as a gifted kung fu student, you have to track down five assassins who killed your family. Surely, a mission of this caliber can’t be so simple, right? As mentioned, I’m excited to see how the combat truly feels while actually playing. It’s also worth noting you’ll have to take on hordes of enemies at once, which includes using different combos, defensive move-sets, and so on. I’m sure there will also be one-on-one boss battles. Hopefully the lore is equally as exciting. Sifu isn’t getting enough love in my opinion, and I hope it’s a surprise hit next year.
11. Dead Space remake (TBD 2022)
I have a confession to make: I’ve never played Dead Space. I know, it sounds bizarre, especially considering all the good I’ve heard about this series (although Dead Space 3 is loathed by most people). The good thing, I’ll be able to completely get lost in it for the first time with this remake. It’ll be something entirely new from the ground up, but I’m sure it’ll be heavily inspired by the first game. Currently, we know it’ll have the same story of the first game while also having the same setting. The creatures you’ll be fighting against, the Necromorphs, will also be returning. Now, gameplay wise, it could have its differences to set it apart from the original game. I’m willing to bet it’ll try to stay true to the formula that made it work, though. There could be some quality of life upgrades, along with performance enhancements and new features to improve the overall quality of the game. Bottom line is I’m excited to finally play a Dead Space game.
10. Elden Ring (Feb. 25, 2022)
Other than Bloodborne, this is probably the only other Souls-like game I’ve been interested in for quite some time now. I’ve tried playing the Dark Souls series, but I couldn’t get into it, and mainly because I was absolutely horrible at playing them. I’ve heard great things about Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and the Nioh series as well, but I’ve never played those. The only one I’ve played extensively is Bloodborne, which I absolutely love. There’s something different about Elden Ring too. The fact that it’ll be set in a massive open world and the story is being worked on by George R.R. Martin means it has the makings to be completely different from the rest. The 20 minute preview was fantastic and it only sold me on the game even more. I’m probably still going to be terrible at it, but I think I’ll make more of an effort to, at the very least, be good enough to complete it.
9. Dying Light 2: Stay Human (Feb. 4, 2022)
This is another example of a game I’ve never played. It doesn’t mean I was never interested. I’ve always been fascinated by post-apocalyptic settings, especially when done right, both films, television, and video games. Some examples in each form of entertainment include I Am Legend, The Walking Dead, and The Last of Us. Now, I’m very much looking forward to a full blown open-world experience with the sequel to Dying Light, Dying Light 2: Stay Human. From what I’ve heard, the first entry is absolutely fantastic because of the parkour elements, the combat, and the zombies. The intriguing dynamic is how the zombies are slow and easy to deal with, but at night, they’re completely different beasts. I’m looking forward to seeing how this game sets itself apart from the first one with new additions to gameplay and upgraded performance/graphics.
8. Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League (TBD 2022)
For me, it’s sort of refreshing to see Rocksteady Studios doing something else that isn’t a Batman game. Granted, it’s still a DC property set in the Arkhamverse, but at least it’s something we haven’t seen yet. A co-op Suicide Squad game sounds extremely fun to play, especially when it’s four player co-op. It’s bringing me back to the good old days where you played with three other friends as different characters, something similar to Marvel Ultimate Alliance. Obviously, with Rocksteady’s track record, this has the potential to be everything that series wasn’t. Throw in the Brainiac mind-controlled heroes we’ll be going after and it should make for a challenging effort as well. As for gameplay, I’m not sure just how similar it will be to the Arkham games, but I feel it’ll be similar to what Gotham Knights will do. Only time will tell.
7. Starfield (Nov. 11, 2022)
Bethesda is finally developing a new game rather than publishing one with Starfield. Technically, they did release Fallout 76 in 2018, but it was a colossal misfire. The last good game it developed was Fallout 4 in 2015. Bethesda Softworks has published a variety of different games for a bunch of developers, but it’s good to see the company finally making games again. Gameplay still hasn’t been shown, but Starfield is probably going to be the biggest game Bethesda Game Studios has ever made. Seeing concept art of the planets we’ll be able to travel to, space travel itself, and how the overall game will be played is an exciting prospect. It’s still a little over a year away, but the hype remains the same.
6. Pokemon Legends: Arceus (Jan. 28, 2022)
Is Game Freak finally trying to do a different kind of Pokemon game? I mean, if I’m being honest, all the mainline Pokemon games are an open-world experience, but as a longtime fan, I’ve been yearning for a similar game with 3D graphics. I’m not entirely sure Pokemon Legends: Arceus will be able to scratch that itch. If I’m being honest, the footage I have seen has me a bit worried. The framerate looks awful and the graphics aren’t all too appealing. That being said, I’ve never not played a game because of graphics. Some of the best games I’ve ever played aren’t always the best looking. I simply want vast exploration, the ability to still catch ’em all, engaging combat, and a story to follow. So far, it seems to be promising to do all of this and more. Whether it’ll deliver is another situation entirely. I’m hopeful it will.
5. Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora (TBD 2022)
I don’t care if Avatar copied the story of Pocahontas. That movie has a special place in my heart and till this day, I still believe James Cameron is a cinematic genius on the director’s chair. I’m not sure what his involvement is with this game, if at all, but I’m still excited to play it. Ubisoft can be hit or miss at times, but the developer has shown a knack to create immersive worlds to explore with plenty to do in them. The Assassin’s Creed series, among other games, are perfect examples. If it’s able to emulate something similar with Avatar and the world of Pandora, the Na’Vi, and all the other inhabitants, then this could be the game I’ve always thought an Avatar game could be. Again, I’m not trying to get overly excited about this, but seeing the trailer and my bias towards the movie, I can’t help it.
4. Hogwarts Legacy (TBD 2022)
Yet another property I barely know anything about, Harry Potter is still a franchise I respect and I’ve always thought a video game based on it would be wonderful. It’s a bit unfortunate there won’t be any multiplayer aspects (as it stands). However, I still see it being a success with an open-world and action-RPG elements. You’ll have a ton of customization options, apparently, including creating your own student/wizard, choosing the house you want to join, and some morality decisions will come into play. As for gameplay, you’ll learn a variety of new spells, fight and tame wild beasts, create potions, and a bunch of other combat abilities. Based on the footage that has been shown so far, the game looks massive and visually stunning. Other than the books, films, and the theme parks, this will be yet another medium where players will be able to get lost at Hogwarts. As mentioned, I don’t know much about the series since I’ve only seen the first two movies, but I promise to catch up on them prior to playing through this, which will more than likely increase my excitement for it.
3. Horizon Forbidden West (Feb. 18, 2022)
If it wasn’t for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild‘s release shortly after Horizon Zero Dawn in 2017, I think it would’ve been the game of the year, easily. It’s one of the best games I’ve played both from a gameplay and a narrative perspective. I remember playing it for three, maybe four days straight and I couldn’t put the controller down. Getting lost in that vibrant world and exploring it to fight (or hack) different machines, and following the emotionally engaging and interesting story was one of the most memorable past times I’ve had playing games in years. I’m not sure if Forbidden West will be able to top it, or even come close to resembling the greatness it is, but Guerrilla Games has impressed me and has even surpassed my expectations for it with the last extensive gameplay trailer I saw. The graphics and performance look vastly improved, which says a lot since the first game still looks incredible. There seem to be new gameplay features and details as well, such as exploring underwater and traversing new areas in different ways. The combat is seemingly as fun as ever as well. This could be the game of the year next year, for sure, and it’s a day one purchase.
2. God of War: Ragnarok (TBD 2022)
God of War on the PS4 is probably the best thing that ever happened to the series. I’m pretty unaware of how the games before it were, but I’ve heard great things, especially in terms of the hack-and-slash genre. That being said, I don’t think it can compare with what Santa Monica Studio was able to accomplish with the most recent entry. It still kept some of its roots, sure, but it was also something entirely new. This version is much more cinematic, the lack of loading screens really lets it flow naturally and smoothly, and the story feels grounded and riveting, all while keeping the same kind of high octane combat and brutality. I noticed some people were complaining about how Ragnarok doesn’t look much different than the first game and how it looks more like an expansion. If I’m being honest, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and this is only with a few minutes of footage. Plus, we really don’t have any idea what the developer has in store for new gameplay features and the graphical improvements. We already know some of the new characters making an appearance, such as Thor, Odin, and the Norse God of War, Tyr. We’ve even seen some familiar faces making a return, including Kratos’ son, Atreus, looking much older. This is yet another strong contender for game of the year in 2022.
1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel (TBD 2022)
Was there any other game that would cap off this list? The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a revolutionary game for the open-world genre and sort of changed the conventions of Zelda games as we know it. In reality, the original game on the NES is open-world, but the technical limitations of its time didn’t really let the game showcase it the way Breath of the Wild did. Literally any point of interest on the map is reachable in Breath of the Wild and never has a Zelda game felt so open and full of freedom. It’s truly a masterpiece in that regard. A direct sequel is no surprise, considering the map is massive and has so much more potential. All I ask is for a more focused story, along with some traditional dungeons, and not only can it be the best Zelda game ever made, but one of the best games ever, period. It’s, easily, my most anticipated game of 2022 and it’s not even close. Let’s just hope for no more delays.