The 2022 holiday video game season is looking stacked

Because Elden Ring and some other fantastic games made a strong impression early in 2022, it’s easy to feel like there’s not much left in store this year outside of God of War Ragnarok, which just got a release date. Fortunately, a quick look at this fall’s game lineup reveals that this couldn’t be further from the truth.

From experimental indie and AA games to remakes of great games to sequels for some critically acclaimed AAA titles, it’s clear that we’re in for a busy holiday season. Even outside of God of War Ragnarok, fall 2022’s game lineup features a wide variety of titles that should please all types of players. Although few of these games will probably be as revolutionary as Elden Ringthere are still plenty of reasons to get excited about what’s on the horizon.

A strong start…

By pairing Dark Souls’ tried-and-true difficult action formula with a vast open world that players can explore without much direction, FromSoftware scored a massive hit this year with Elden Ring. Once-in-a-generation games obviously don’t come along very often, and they also make it harder for the rest of a given year’s games to stand out. Elden Ring will be the measuring stick every other game is compared to this holiday season, and few (if any) games will topple it in the public’s eye. We’ve already gotten a taste of that early in the year, as the game overshadowed great titles like Horizon Forbidden West, Sifu, OlliOlli Worldand Kirby and the Forgotten Land that launched around it in February and March.

A blue witch with a big hat.

As such, it’s understandable why some people are having trouble getting excited about what’s still in store despite the fact that May and June had some standout games. That stigma worsened as some highly anticipated games like Starfield, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, Forspokenand red fall were delayed into 2023. While the absence of those games is disappointing, look a little bit closer, and you’ll find that there’s still plenty to look forward to on every platform later this year.

… and a strong finish

While you might not be playing the new Zelda or Bethesda game this fall, many notable AAA titles are still launching. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 will probably be one of the year’s biggest games because of that franchise’s stature. God of War Ragnarok looks like a great follow-up to one of the best games of the last decade. And for those looking to revisit a classic, The Last of Us Part 1 will bring the PS3 classic to the technical level of its equally lauded sequel. Those three games alone make this fall pretty great for gaming, but they aren’t the only AAA titles set to be released.

On the Nintendo front, Xenoblade Chronicles 3, Pokemon Scarlet and Purple, Splatoon 3, Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hopeand Bayonetta 3 (the latter still doesn’t have a firm release date) will give Switch players plenty to enjoy in lieu of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2. As for offerings from third-party developers, Skull and Bones, Digimon Survive, Saints Row, Soul Hackers 2, Madden NFL 23, NBA 2K 23, Valkyrie Elysium, Sonic Frontiers, Marvel’s Midnight Suns, Gotham Knights, Star Ocean: The Divine Force, The Callisto Protocoland Dragon Quest Treasures help round out a varied AAA lineup.

Ellie and Joel driving.

Even though the prelaunch hype of those games might not match that of Elden Ring gold Starfield, it doesn’t discount their existence. That lineup gets even better if you decide to look beyond AAA games. So far, 2022 has been home to a diverse and experimental lineup of AA and indie titles, and that trend will continue in the back half of the year. Every kind of gamer should be able to find something that appeals to them, whether that’s a turn-based JRPG, a narrative adventure, or a game where you play as a cat. We recommend giving these titles a second look if you’re looking for something to fill the Elden Ring-shaped void in your heart this fall.

If you think 2022 has no compelling games beyond Kratos, you aren’t looking in the right places. The year peaked early and some highly anticipated titles were delayed, but that shouldn’t make us ignore what’s still here. God of War Ragnarok’s November release date doesn’t make it the only worthwhile game to release this fall; it simply gives the rest of 2022’s lineup the spearhead it needs to leave a lasting impact.

As we predicted last year, 2022 has been and will continue to be a fantastic year for gaming.

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