Diving into our top ten, we’re getting to the pointy end of our list of games we want to play in 2022. As ever, it’s delightful mix of shoo-ins and smaller games with big potential.
10. Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II
Watching the credits roll on Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, it felt very much like a standalone experience. One and done. However, in an industry bursting with sequels and a growing love for all things Norse mythology, we can’t wait to revisit this character and the grim yet nuanced world she must once again brave her way through. For what was revealed at The Game Awards, it looks absolutely stunning.
A lot has changed for developer Ninja Theory since that original game’s release, the UK indie studio having been snapped up by Microsoft. This has led many to believe that Hellblade II will be a much bigger game compared to its experimental debut which was sublime yet smartly restrained.
While Xbox fans would no doubt delight in having a counterpart to PlayStation’s God of War, we’re more excited to see how Ninja Theory further explores Senua as a character and her battles with psychosis. Speaking with the game’s director, Tameem Antoniades, this will still be central to the Hellblade experience, albeit coming from at it with a renewed approach.
9. Gran Turismo 7
The granddaddy of racing sims is back, promising to be the richest Gran Turismo experience to date. It’s been the best part of decade since the last numbered game in the series, with GT Sport having taken an interesting detour to emphasise multiplayer and encouraging good sportsmanship out on the track.
Gran Turismo 7 will steer fans back to what they’re most familiar with: an extensive single player campaign (which was only added after launch to GT Sport), the most lifelike visuals yet on PS5, and a huge lineup of cars to race in. Famed developer Polyphony Digital appears to be cherry picking the best bits from its flagship franchise. Although the wait has been long, there is hope GT7 will be a redefining hit when it launches in March 2022 for PS4 and PS5.
Where The Elder Scrolls wraps players in a medieval fantasy and Fallout drops you into a post-apocalyptic wasteland, Bethesda’s next big game is far more optimistic, flinging us into the far future and the deep reaches of space. The acclaimed studio is known for its expansive roleplaying experiences in which we’ve lovingly lost countless hours.
There’s still so much we don’t know about Starfield, yet the promise of suiting up as a space explorer and leaving your mark on this universe will make the upcoming AAA title tough to resist. Starfield currently has a planned release date of November 11, 2022, but PlayStation owners won’t be joining Bethesda’s interstellar expedition as they were acquired by Microsoft last year.
7. Splatoon 3
Online shooters are among the most popular games on the planet, and Nintendo decided that they wanted a piece of that pie. But this is Nintendo – the creators of Super Mario, Donkey Kong, Animal Crossing, and more. Family friendly experiences that very rarely seek to emulate real-world violence, and defining genres instead of bowing to industry trends.
Splatoon may be in a different league to the likes of Call of Duty and Counter-Strike, though you might be surprised at just how popular this fledgling Nintendo series is. Splatoon 3 will feature an even wider selection of weapons than before as players clash across new maps, engaging in battle modes such as the returning Turf War. Expect even more ways to customise your Inklings and a meatier campaign that take a chaotic turn from the setting of the second game.
6. The Lord of the Rings: Gollum
Gollum has managed to sneak his way pretty high up our most wanted list. With The Fellowship of the Ring having just turned twenty and an Amazon TV series on the way, The Lord of the Rings is back in the spotlight once again. Middle-Earth is still bursting with legends to tell, and hopefully even more LOTR video games are in the works.
Something we didn’t anticipate was a video game dedicated to the snivelling, ring-obsessed Gollum. At first it seems like a very strange premise, but this could actually be one of the most interesting adaptations to date – a retelling of the LOTR saga through the eyes of an antagonist who serves neither the forces of good or evil. A stealth action game with plenty of platforming and puzzles, we can expect Gollum to launch sometime in early 2022.
As we begin to wrap up our most wanted list, each game in our top 5 will receive its own entry starting with the return of a beloved franchise that has been long dormant.