Our favourite games of 2022 so far

Against all possible odds, we’re officially halfway through 2022. What a year it’s been so far! After one of the busiest starts to the gaming calendar in recent memory (looking at you, Elden Ring), my backlog is barely keeping it together right now. I’ve started so many things on as many different services that just keeping track of what I’ve played when is fast becoming a second job. If you, too, have been feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of new and exciting releases coming out, then why not have a gander at this freshly compiled list of all our favourite games from the year so far? Maybe you’ll find something that will similarly catch your eye, just as it’s done ours. I’ll warn you now, though. It’s a big list.

Naturally, Elden Ring has been a constant presence in the RPS Treehouse these past few months, but FromSoft’s high fantasy epic is far from the only thing that’s been living in our minds and thumbs rent-free recently. From cosy, early access witch sims to big baroque space marines stomping through the galaxy, the first half of 2022 has been stacked with great indie games, double As, triple Is and all manner of XYZs. Not sure I’ll be saying the same about the second half of 2022 at this rate – every time I look at our release date calendar these days, a tumbleweed inexplicitly passes by my window – but that’s a problem for future Katharine to worry about.

Not content with our Jan-June favourites? Here’s what we’re looking forward to for the rest of the year.

In the here and now, though, these are (in no particular order) the 20 games that have kept us busy so far this year – and if you feel like there’s something that slipped under our collective radar, please do tell us about it in the comments below. Keep scrolling to read the entire list, or if you’d rather just skip to the game in question, here’s a handy set of links to each entry.


Elden Ring

Liurnia Of The Lakes in Elden Ring

Ed: I still wonder how Elden Ring is possible. Like, how is the game such a monstrous well of things? You swing your rope over the edge and slide down and what you hit isn’t water, but an elevator pad. A pad that leads to an ancient city. And that ancient city leads to a beach with giant crabs. The crabs ingest you, but you don’t die, you emerge in a cave overflowing with exploding maggots. Just to be clear, there isn’t a bit where this happens in game. Or at least, I haven’t discovered it yet.

I’ve said it a million times before and I’ll say it again: the game is dense and difficult. Perhaps overwhelmingly so, and especially if you’re a newcomer to Souls. Bosses will kick your ass. Quests are easy to miss. Your character’s stats are a confusing jumble of words and numbers. But its onboarding process is the most approachable of the lot, letting you adventure at your own pace until it clicks. And when it clicks, that’s it! That’s a story to tell! Get everyone round the pub, there’s a discussion to be had.

Hours of my life, those bastards took from me. But, like, in a good way. A really good way.

Ollie: I will remember the moment when I finally bested those fucking Twin Gargoyles for the rest of my life. Hours of my life, those bastards took from me. But, like, in a good way. A really good way.

I think I ended up playing something ridiculous like 300 hours of Elden Ring. As you’d hope after so much time, I got pretty good at the game. But the enjoyment stayed the same. Whether I was just starting out and dying ignobly to a random soldier, or carving a path hundreds of hours later through some of the most dangerous dungeons in The Lands Between, the gigantic open world to explore, hundreds of incredible bosses to defeat, and scores of hidden quests and fascinating little secrets to uncover never lost their charm. FromSoft’s masterpiece is also their most accessible game yet. G’wan, give it a go.

A Tarnished looking like Getting Over It's pot man in an Elden Ring screenshot by @Lam_taro on Twitter.

Hayden: At the start of 2022, the RPS Treehouse shared our longest playtimes. My most-played singleplayer game was Assassin’s Creed Origins with 92 hours, and I didn’t expect it to get shattered anytime soon. It’s safe to say that Elden Ring caught me off guard, then. After two months and over 300 hours like Ollie, Elden Ring became my defining anything of 2022 so far.

The thing I appreciate most about Elden Ring is its commitment to letting you get a little lost. My earliest RPGs were the likes of Skyrim and Fallout 3, so I’m used to following compass markers around without really appreciating the journey. Elden Ring does things completely differently, and lets you stumble around with minimal guidance. There’s a golden streak that you can loosely follow to head towards the main quest, but everything else is an unmarked mystery that’s begging to be explored. What’s more, new dungeons and areas are often extremely well hidden, meaning you might need to perform some awkward parkour feats if you want to see everything.

Sometimes, they’re so hard to find that, for a brief moment, you might find yourself wondering whether you’re the first to discover a new area. Elden Ring’s 12 million+ player count would suggest otherwise, but that split-second reaction of both shock and awe when you notice something new, such as the coffin that you can ride up a waterfall, is unforgettable.

Liam: I haven’t played Elden Ring as much as others in the RPS treehouse, but the fact that I – a notorious Souls disliker – played it for longer than an hour is a true testament to just how special this game truly is. I won’t lie, I fucking hated it when I first played it. I spent my first few hours moping around the Lands Between like a moody teenager, cursing every rotten beast that wandered over to smack me about a bit. But then, just as I was about to bin it off completely, I killed an early game boss (some kind of rattish goblin man), and something clicked. I felt… pride? A genuine sense of accomplishment? Like I’d overcome something insurmountable based on skill alone? From there, I was hooked. I haven’t finished it, and to be honest I doubt I ever will, but with 60 hours under my belt I’m more than pleased with the progress I’ve made. GOTY? Probably.


Tunic

Tunic fox looking over the West Garden with a telescope. River passes through ruins and wooden scaffolding

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