If the year of gaming in 2021 taught us anything, it's that you should always prepare to see some games get delayed. This year saw several games get pushed back and, because of that, 2022 is loaded with big titles that will make will no doubt make a huge impact.
With how overwhelming 2022's schedule is looking, we've rounded up a list of games that will likely make the upcoming year one to remember. But if you need a refresher of what stood out in 2021, then check out our feature on the best games from 2021.
Pokemon Legends: Arceus - Jan. 28
For all the tweaks and changes Pokemon has undergone over the years, the series has never strayed very far from its original formula, which is what makes Pokemon Legends: Arceus so intriguing. While Sword and Shield offered a tantalizing taste of open-world Pokemon hunting with their expansive Wild Area, Legends is the first true open-world-style Pokemon game. It trades in the series' traditional routes and random encounters for sprawling environments teeming with roaming wild Pokemon. Even the hallmark battle system has gotten an overhaul, placing a more significant emphasis on real-time action -- a true rarity for the series. These elements combined make Pokemon Legends the series' most daring departure in years, and we can't wait to dive into the Hisui region and see what awaits. - Kevin Knezevic
Dying Light 2: Stay Human - Feb. 4
(PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Switch)
Dying Light 2 has steep expectations to meet. As a sequel to the fantastic open-world zombie parkour game, Dying Light 2 is leaning further into the fantasy of surviving in a hostile and irreparably changed world. But unlike the original, you'll have the agency to shape how the ruined world will evolve. With warring factions in conflict for resources, the protagonist Aiden Caldwell will have to decide which group will take control of sections of the city. These choices will inevitably turn the world's last remaining city into a powder keg as the faction wars escalate and the roaming infected increase in numbers.
I played a few hours of Dying Light 2 recently, and it's making good on its conceit of surviving in a ruined world filled with zombies and desperate people trying to survive. With some brutal combat and some stellar platforming gameplay, Dying Light 2 might be the sequel the series needs. It'll be among one of the many games out in early 2022. - Alessandro Fillari
Sifu - Feb. 8
(PC, PS4, PS5)
I recently played a short demo of the kung-fu action game Sifu, and it's one challenging game. Yet, that challenge, and its remarkably taut and slick combat gameplay, always pushed me to get back up after a defeat – even if it cost the hero dearly. In an unusual twist, Sifu's approach to respawning comes at a price, with each revive adding a year to the protagonist's life. If you fail too many times, the martial artist will reach the end of his life before finishing his quest, forcing you to start over from the beginning. It's a daunting proposition to embrace, but from my early hands-on time with the game, Sifu's themes of adapting and learning from your mistakes are compelling enough to make me want to keep playing. And it has also got some extremely fluid and smooth combat that will make classic beat-em-up games like Streets of Rage and Final Fight proud. - Alessandro Fillari
Horizon: Forbidden West - Feb. 18
To say I am keen for Horizon: Forbidden West would be a gross understatement. I am so excited I could punch a hole through a wall.
Alright, look: I definitely won't be punching any holes in walls, but I'm still pretty hyped. The first game, Horizon Zero Dawn, is one of my favorite games ever. The detailed world-building and combat of HZD were like nothing I'd ever really played before. Even in the years since it first came out, it still stands out in my mind today. It's a game that kept me guessing until the emotional and bittersweet end (I'm not ashamed to admit I sobbed like a baby when I finished). I love the character of Aloy, and I'm so keen to play as her again, revisit that world and see where her story goes next. I might hibernate until Feb. 18 when Forbidden West comes out. Do not disturb me until then! - Nicole Archer
Elden Ring - Feb. 25
(PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X)
Fans of the Soulsbornekiro games by developer From Software have come to expect some specific touchstone: A tough sense of challenge, a gradually pieced together narrative, and engaging combat. Elden Ring has all that, but it adds one big change -- a large open-world to explore. When playing in the recent Elden Ring network test, the execution of the open-world approach was both exciting and terrifying. There's a thrill to exploration, but everything in that vast landscape can kill you -- over and over again. - Oscar Gonzalez
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 - TBD 2022
Nearly five years after its launch, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild remains not just the best game on Switch, but one of the finest games Nintendo has ever produced -- which naturally raises high hopes for its sequel. Although Breath of the Wild 2 is still largely shrouded in mystery (we don't even know its true title yet) the E3 2021 trailer offered a tantalizing glimpse into the adventure that awaits, showcasing floating islands and a slew of intriguing new abilities that Link will command. But as eager as we are to see what direction the narrative takes, we're mostly excited to explore the rolling plains and vast forests of Hyrule once more and discover what new secrets it holds. If the game is even half as good as the original, it'll be another instant classic for Switch. - Kevin Knezevic
God of War: Ragnarok - TBD 2022
When I tell you the scale of my excitement for this game is bigger than Jormungandr after a huge meal, I mean it with my whole body. After the incredible success of its predecessor, God of War: Ragnarok is easily one of the most hyped-up games, not just this year but for the last three years. After its recent E3 trailer, it's easy to see why. The previous game showcased an emotional resonance you didn't expect from the brutal Kratos, particularly when it came to parenting his son Atreus. The narrative of God of War (2018) felt so refined, the world was stunning, and all the Norse mythological characters breathed new life into the franchise. I don't know about you, but I'm hanging on every word from Sony Santa Monica Studios about release dates and gameplay -- and if the real Ragnarok ever does come for us all, I hope it comes after we get the chance to play this game. - Steph Panecasio
Starfield - TBD 2022
(PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X)
While people have continued toiling away at Skyrim and Fallout 4 for thousands of hours, the developers at Bethesda Softworks have been working on their next game, Starfield, a new kind of open-world sci-fi RPG. As its first original IP in decades, Starfield focuses on exploring a large universe, coming into contact – or conflict – with alien races and rival groups. We've only seen small pieces of footage of the game in some trailers, but the developers have gone in length explaining what's to come with the game's increased scope and evolution of the familiar Bestheda-style RPG. It will also be released exclusively on PC and Xbox consoles, making it one of the major exclusive games releasing for Xbox Series X|S in 2022. - Alessandro Fillari
Splatoon 3 - TBD 2022
Between Breath of the Wild 2 and Bayonetta 3, Nintendo's release calendar for next year is already pretty stacked. But one other game that should be on everyone's radar is Splatoon 3, the newest entry in the company's delightful shooter series. Like previous installments, Splatoon 3 is a team-based online shooter that pits players in colorful 4v4 firefights, where the objective isn't to rack up the most kills but rather to spread the most ink across the map. It's an inventive -- and family-friendly -- take on the multiplayer shooter genre, and Splatoon 3 is introducing an array of new stages, weapons, and special abilities to freshen up the gameplay and inspire new strategies.
On top of all that, the next game has an even deeper story mode, not to mention new Splatfest online events to look forward to every month, easily making Splatoon 3 one of the most anticipated games coming to the Switch in 2022. - Kevin Knezevic