The Outerhaven's top 10 games of 2022

The Outerhaven’s Top 10 Games of 2022

With 2022 winding down, it’s time for us here at The Outerhaven to share our top 10 games of 2022. This year in gaming delivered a few heavy hitters and some sneaky surprises. This list has major AAA releases that players have adored exploring and smaller indie titles that may wind up as cult classics. The last month alone has produced some major follow-up titles for beloved franchises, but even games from the start of the year appear here due to how memorable they’ve proven.

In compiling this list, I asked each site contributor to share their top ten games of the year along with any honorable mentions. Each game received points corresponding to its ranking on each person’s list. Honorable mentions and review scores broke any ties that occurred. Interestingly, the top ten games here ranked highly on multiple people’s lists. As such, we decided to have multiple people share their thoughts on each game this year. We explored fantastical and frequently frightening lands, went old-school with some retro-style titles, and recruited allies in a number of epic quests. And now, we share these adventurous games with you.

Enough talk! Here are The Outerhaven’s top 10 games of 2022! We hope you enjoy!

10. Bayonetta 3

Bayonetta 3 is just a fantastic time. Even with the contentious ending aside, just to see the spectacle of Bayonetta again after all these years is the PlatinumGames experience you expect. With the action, the bonkers segments, and the quips of the cast of characters, this game offers a great time in the Bayonetta universe. -William Kok

Honestly, I didn’t play many Nintendo Switch games this year. But I gave Bayonetta 3 a go. Even with all the controversy surrounding the story choices in Bayonetta 3, it was still every moment as good as the previous two entries in the series. This a true testament to the idea of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I spent many hours getting my flashy combo on with the sexy witch with the very weird costume from beginning to end, something that I came to expect from this series. However, my bias does show when I say its time for this series to be released from the Nintendo exclusive contracts (I know they funded the game in part) and let us get the whole trilogy out on all consoles so that this magic can be shared with everyone regardless of what console they own. -Karl Smart

9. Cult of the Lamb

Image via Devolver Digital

Who thought managing a town full of cultists could be so much fun? Cult of the Lamb‘s cuteness, along with its amazing blend of roguelike gameplay, combined with the chaotic nature of a management simulation, handling the demands and needs of those who you’ve indoctrinated into your flock, is not only addicting but more fun than it legally should be allowed to be here. -Keith Mitchell

I’m not the biggest fan of roguelike titles or resource management games, but Massive Monster and Devolver Digital mashed the two genres together and won my devotion. Cult of the Lamb alternates between the humorous management of keeping cutesy cultists content and the fast-paced combat of carrying out crusades, striking the ideal balance for a satisfying gameplay loop.  -Andrew Agress

8. A Plague Tale: Requiem

A Plague Tale: Requiem blew me away, in every way a massive step up from its predecessor, A Plague Tale: Innocence. Not only is Requiem what I would consider the best game this year, but it’s one of my favourites of all time–largely because of its deeply human story and fantastic performances. It was the first game to make me cry in years, and the tears were well deserved. -Jordan Andow

Asobo Studio has worked its magic with A Plague Tale: Requiem, showing the world its first go at this amazing adventure series showcasing two siblings wasn’t a fluke. The story is so damned good that I felt it got robbed during The Game Awards this year. Meanwhile, its gameplay is second to none, only beat by its musical score and voice acting. Elden Ring, who? God of War, what? A Plague Tale: Requiem is a game that everyone needs to play–unless they’re deathly afraid of rats. -Keith Mitchell

7. Pokémon Legends: Arceus

Pokemon Legends Arceus Review

Pokemon Legends: Arceus was the game that no one wanted at first, and now stands as one of the peaks of the Pokemon franchise. If you look at my reviews for it and for Scarlet/Violet, you’ll see that I gave Arceus a higher score. The bugs/glitches of Gen 9 held it back, while Arceus soared with pretty much everything it did. It’s the benchmark for all future mainline games, and I hope they continue this spinoff series in the future. -Todd Black

Though Pokemon Legends: Arceus stops just short of its full potential, it nevertheless delivers that sweet open-ended adventure many craved. Pokemon appear in their natural biomes, and players can watch them eat, play, and interact with one another like it’s a digital David Attenborough documentary. But of course, the fun ramps up with a classic “catch ’em all” collect-a-thon supported by a surprisingly nuanced story. -Andrew Agress

6. Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- Reunion

A prequel to the legendary story of Final Fantasy VII, Crisis Core has you in the shoes of Zack Fair, Soldier second class, who is looking into the disappearance of Genesis as he discovers the underbelly of Shinra’s corruption. A remaster that is extremely ambitious in scope as it translates one of the absolute best games on PSP to modern consoles. -Scott Adams

While we’ll have to wait a whole other year for the next part of Final Fantasy VII Remake, Square Enix delivers a worthy interim title with a remake of the PSP prequel Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core. More than a remaster, the new Crisis Core features updated character models, locales, and voice acting. The combat also received several quality-of-life updates, solidifying this version as the definitive way to experience Zach Fair’s journey from soldier to hero. -Andrew Agress

5. This Way Madness Lies

This Way Madness Lies

Have you ever thought about the Magical Girls genre meeting Shakespeare? This Way Madness Lies, combines the two seamlessly with a fun cast of characters and dialogue that will make you pause just to catch your breath from laughing! A turn-based battle system adds a lot of engagement to the traditional way you may be used to in playing the genre. You will never look at Pandas the same way again! -Scott Adams

As a big Shakespeare nerd and JRPG fan, I giddily enjoyed how This Way Madness Lies brings the battle to The Bard with magical girls defending the worlds of his plays against an ever-growing darkness. Zeboyd Entertainment not only created a fun and engaging game but added a Shakespeare-to-modern-English translator that gives Sparknotes a run for its money. With a short and snappy campaign that doesn’t overstay its welcome, you have to ask yourself–to play now or to play soon? That is the question. -Andrew Agress

4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge

shredder's revenge

My 2022 Game of the Year! If there is something that I love more than Resident Evil, it’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. My first real obsession gets an amazing new game done in the style that captured many people’s hearts and quarters back in the day. Replicating the Arcade look and feel of the original two TMNT arcade games, Shredder’s Revenge gives a huge dose of nostalgia wrapped in a modern online co-op experience that led to chaos and mayhem during almost 20 levels in some of the best group gameplay that I had the pleasure to experience in a long time… Plus this was the one game where we had many members of The Outerhaven staff playing at the same time. -Karl Smart

TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge is a game that took me back to childhood in all the best ways. It felt like playing a Saturday morning cartoon. The title shows what you can do with an IP when you genuinely understand it. Oh, and the co-op experience is one of the best out there. -Jordan Andow

The radical Green Machine has returned in a new adventure that can be taken on with friends or going solo. With a fantastic soundtrack combined with gameplay that surpasses the 2021 beat ’em up of the year, TMNT Shredder’s Revenge is not only a retro gamer’s dream, but it’s also damned fun for anyone looking for a good time. COWABUNGA! -Keith Mitchell

3. God of War Ragnarök

God of War Ragnarok

God of War Ragnarok is a tale of… “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Learning from and expanding on its predecessor all while telling the next chapter of Kratos’s story, Ragnarok makes the mythic anti-hero perhaps the best character on PlayStation. -Jordan Andow

Back in 2018, I thought God of War’s soft reboot was a good game. If you asked me back then, I would have told you that I didn’t think it deserved any awards, but I was definitely looking forward to its sequel. Fast forward to 2022 and God of War Ragnarok was simply one of the best games I played this year. While it doesn’t quite accomplish what Elden Ring did, Ragnarok absolutely fixes what I didn’t enjoy back in 2018. We get a better view of Kratos and Atreus’ ever-changing relationship and a front-row ticket to the destruction of Asgard. -Kyle Simcox

2. Xenoblade Chronicles 3

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is the TRUE GOTY (curse you, Elden Ring!) because it brings so much to the table that you wouldn’t expect. It has one of the most gripping and emotional stories ever and has characters you can’t help but love. Add that to a robust combat system, and you owe it to yourself to witness the greatness of this game. -Todd Black

An absolute masterpiece by Monolith Soft, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 takes place in a war-torn world where one learns the value of life. A musical soundtrack makes every moment impactful, and a great cast of characters engages you from the very start. You can finish the game in 50 hours, but you will want to spend even more time meeting characters and unlocking classes. -Scott Adams

Monolith Soft mashes up what we love most about the combat from Xenoblade 1 & 2 and gives us what I felt was the best game in the series. Not to mention it has much better voice acting than the previous games and a phenomenal soundtrack. It was simply hard not to get lost in Xenoblade 3 with hours of my days (and nights) vanishing before my eyes. -Kyle Simcox

What can be said about Xenoblade Chronicles 3 that hasn’t been said already? It is another great entry in a series that just nails what a JRPG is. From the moving story, the developed cast of characters, the gameplay, and a world that you can get lost in–plus the music that captures every situation–you will not go wrong with this game. -William Kok

1. Elden Ring

Elden Ring

Elden Ring is the pinnacle of Soulslike genre and has captivated me for an ungodly amount of time. From the Soulslike gameplay to the adventurous, open world that beckons you to explore every nook and cranny, it’s the stuff of legends. This is easily FromSoftware’s best title in ages, and if you’re a fan of Soulslike games, but haven’t played this one, you’re doing yourself a massive disservice. -Keith Mitchell

Elden Ring seems like a game where the developers took everything they learned from the Souls franchise and rolled it into an almost perfect package. The problems it does have are minuscule compared to what it manages to accomplish. Adventuring across the Lands Between attempting to become the Elden Lord is truly a wonderful experience worth taking. -Kyle Simcox

Elden Ring has the best open world design perhaps ever, combined with a sense of adventure that few games match. -Jordan Andow

Elden Ring isn’t just an impressive game, it’s an impressive undertaking. The collaboration between Hidetaka Miyazaki and George R.R. Martin delivers an expansive fantasy world with a deep amount of lore behind it. For those who don’t relish the punishing difficulty of FromSoftware games, Elden Ring sidesteps the issue with an open world in which exploration itself becomes a worthy endeavor. From a shy snake lady who just wants friendssss to a sentient jar that requests a good slap on the tuchus, the quirky characters prove as memorable as the challenging boss battles. Elden Ring is our game of the year, and a journey worth taking. -Andrew Agress