The Best PC Games Of 2022 According To Metacritic
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It has been a fascinating year for PC gaming, as the platform has shown off its strength as a versatile system for all manner of games. Between original games finding an audience through early-access programs, plenty of ports, and hundreds of indie titles, it was easy to be paralyzed with choice in 2022 if you were a PC gamer.
One of the more noteworthy stories in the PC gaming space this year was the number of PlayStation ports that were made available. Sony has traditionally kept its titles exclusively on its PlayStation consoles, but this year, it released an even greater number of PS4 and PS5 games on PC thanks to the efforts of specialist studio Nixxes. God of War, Insomniac's Spider-Man games, and Uncharted all made a big splash, looking better than ever when rendered with the right hardware.
So which games were, according to the numbers from GameSpot's sister site Metacritic, the best then? The most critically acclaimed titles for 2022 encompass a wide variety of genres, studios, and ideas, but if there is a running theme here, it's that games with rich stories and strong narratives were the most beloved by critics and players. We've rounded up the best-scoring games of the year below, with the top spot going not to Elden Ring, but rather a game that many consider to be the best work of interactive fiction that Japanese developer Atlus has ever produced.
Persona 5 Royal
Persona 5 has been one of the most captivating JRPGs since it first launched in 2016, and with its latest upgrade, it won't be losing that title anytime soon. The best version of a lengthy and stylish adventure, Persona 5 Royal landed on multiple platforms this year and brought with it clever tweaks, new social elements, extra plot, and subtle changes that makes the game capable of devouring dozens of hours of your time.
Elden Ring has been a phenomenon this year, a game that fans couldn't get enough of and has dominated discourse for most of the year. It's not hard to see why, as Elden Ring pushes the From Software Souls-like formula to new heights, doubling down on what makes the genre so special and adding a layer of tragic elegance to the mix. It's massive, enchanting, and magical worldbuilding at its best, that sets a new benchmark for the genre.
God of War
2022 has been a paradigm shift for Sony, as several more of its PlayStation-exclusive games have made a successful hop over to PC. With PC porting specialist Nixxes leading the charge, PC players got a chance to dive into the gloriously brutal world of 2018's God of War, a beautifully vicious and emotional rollercoaster that looked better than ever on that platform.
The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe
There's a certain irony to how you'll need to be glued to your screen to fully enjoy a game about breaking free of sitting all day at your desk, and The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe wastes no time in dropping some fresh commentary on you just as you begin to realize this. As sharp as ever with its polished satire, this updated version of the cult-classic packs an obscene amount of new content into its upgraded frame and revels in taking advantage of opportunities to drop thought-provoking commentary on your head like a sack of bricks.
Neon White is one of those rare "just one more turn" games that manages to mix genres together into a cocktail of engaging fun. A combination of first-person action, speedrunning bliss, and anime-inspired visual novel storytelling, Neon White draws you in with a tale of saints and sinners and hooks you with its devilishly good structure as you bounce around the afterlife.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails From Zero
It has been a massive year for remakes and remasters in the RPG space, giving niche games a chance to shine. While this particular entry in the long-running The Legend of Heroes series has received updates in the past, the latest version plays like the definitive edition. The Legend of Heroes: Trails From Zero isn't just a well-executed update, it's a terrific jumping-on point for newcomers to the series. Even if you're not planning to dive fully into this gargantuan franchise, Trails from Zero is a mostly terrific standalone adventure with gripping gameplay and a wonderful cast of oddball characters.
The debut point-and-click adventure game from indie developer Geography of Robot, Norco feels all too real with its tale of a small town community living in the shadow of a giant conglomerate that has set up shop. There's a haunting beauty to the game, elegant despair, and fascinating puzzles on display here, and by the time you reach the end, its contemplative storytelling and gothic nihilism will stick with you long after the end credits have rolled.
Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course
You could call 2022 the year of Cuphead, as the animated Netflix series saw a number of new delightful episodes debut while the original game provided a second serving of decadent fun. Enhancing the first game with numerous tweaks and updates, The Delicious Last Course also shakes up the formula with gameplay improvements, new tools of destruction, and the inclusion of Ms. Chalice as a playable character. Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course is zany fun with a charming art style that makes a terrific game even better.
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales
While Marvel's Spider-man Remastered had been released on PC earlier in the year, its spin-off starring Miles Morales helped elevate the franchise to glorious new heights. Nixxes once again delivered a stunning port that improved upon the PlayStation version while also ensuring plenty of support for a range of hardware configurations, helping to make this version of the game feel and look like the ultimate Spider-Man experience.
I Was a Teenage Exocolonist
A new world full of wonder, danger, and beauty awaits in I Was a Teenage Exocolonist, and for anyone who jumped into this tale of growing up on an alien planet, it was a hard-hitting odyssey across the stars. With a story spanning a decade, choices made here have tangible consequences in an engrossing narrative that easily flips between teenage drama and emotional epiphanies in one of the best narrative adventures of the year.
AI: The Somnium Files - Nirvana Initiative
When you've got a gripping story, a well-structured mystery, and plot twists that you'll never see coming, then AI: The Somnium Files - Nirvana Initiative is an easy recommendation for any armchair detective. A murder mystery that'll have you analyzing clues and leads right until the final reveal, this original whodunnit is a masterpiece of suspense and sci-fi puzzles that slowly builds up momentum and doesn't take its foot off the pedal once it really gets going.
Rogue Legacy 2
The original Rogue Legacy is a genre-defining game, one that took familiar mechanics and overhauled them to help create the roguelite genre, inspiring plenty of other games to follow in its footsteps. Nearly a decade later, Rogue Legacy 2 doesn't quite reach those same influential heights, but it does manage to emerge as one of the best games in its genre. A sequel that's bigger and better, Rogue Legacy expands on the first game with plenty of satisfying new content.
Pentiment is the type of game that'll appeal to anyone who isn't in a rush. It's a story about stories, a visually luxurious love letter to how humanity has communicated over the centuries and passed down information. The fact that it has a delightful murder mystery, a story that slowly gains momentum over decades, and a lovable cast of peasants only sweetens the deal, showcasing just how Obsidian Entertainment's talent for worldbuilding and intricate plots.
Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection
PC gamers finally got a chance to experience the adventures of Nathan Drake this year, as this one-two punch of swashbuckling adventure arrived on that platform in grand style. Like other PlayStation ports, the effort to enhance a pair of games that already looked fantastic resulted in a stunning graphical tour de force on bleeding-edge rigs and even the more modest tech of the Steam Deck. Still as much fun to play as they were when they were first released on PlayStation 4, this Uncharted collection is a terrific showcase of PlayStation’s prestige power on PC.
Final Fantasy VI Pixel Remaster
In any Final Fantasy best of list, you'll regularly see a case for why Final Fantasy VI is the franchise at its very best. Almost three decades later, the Square classic got a second shot at life this year in a remastered package that spruced up the visuals, introduced a controversial choice of font, and several minor refinements. It's Final Fantasy VI just as you remember it, and if you were looking to finally scratch this monumental RPG off your bucket list, this reborn classic is the way to go.
Immortality is the kind of game for when you want your head to be messed with and your worldview rocked. A mystery that unfolds through lavish set design and incredible performances from its cast, its decades-spanning tale is soaked in atmospheric intrigue, NSFW content, and twists that'll have you second-guessing yourself every step of the way. To say anything more would spoil the experience, but if you're looking for a great PC game to play on a cold night, then Immortality is an essential purchase.
Like a perfect grind on a subway rail, OlliOlli World maintains a perfect balance between its two core appeals. A mix of competitive runs in a vibrant 2.5D world that is leagues ahead of previous titles, there's also a layer of meditative bliss on display here as you master your board and experience a unique feeling of freedom. Few games can be both challenging and cathartic, but OlliOlli World skates between both ideas and sticks the landing.
Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered
PlayStation gamers had long been singing the praises of Marvel's Spider-Man since 2018, and in 2022, PC gamers finally got to see what all the fuss was about. Bringing the beautifully remastered edition of the Insomniac developed game to PC, Nixxes optimized the web-slinging game for a range of systems and crammed it full of DLC. Arguably the best Spider-Man game looked better than ever, and on PC, it was nothing short of an amazing experience to see and feel in action.
The Case of the Golden Idol
Detective games thrive particularly well on PC, and with titles such as The Case of the Golden Idol, it's not hard to see why. With a structure that makes you feel like Columbo, an effective art style that looks like a surreal car crash, and small details that can help crack a case, this murder mystery grabs your attention and never lets go.
Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak
An expansion is usually more of the same, doubling down on what makes a game great and enhancing it for its established audience. While that does ring true for Monster Hunter Rise's Sunbreak expansion, the DLC does manage to introduce a number of new ideas and systems to the mix. That doesn't just make for an appealing slice of extra content for veterans, but when paired with Rise, it also helps create a meaty package that can help introduce a new audience to Capcom's popular monster-slaying action-RPG series.
Return to Monkey Island
There's a comfortable sense of nostalgia in Return to Monkey Island, like slipping into your favorite pair of jeans that have stuck with you over the years. Warmly nostalgic but boasting a number of stitches that help modernize it, Return to Monkey Island is retro gaming reborn without any of the hang-ups of the genre. Boasting a slick new look, a strong developer pedigree, and timeless humor, it's Monkey Island at its very best.
Tactics Ogre: Reborn
A modern rebirth of an all-time classic, Tactics Ogre: Reborn builds on the PSP remake and improves on it with a number of smart tweaks. It's a more user-friendly experience thanks to the subtle overhaul, highlighting a deep layer of strategy where every move has to be carefully considered and more tedious elements have been adjusted. Along with its slick presentation, new voice-acting, and a gripping story, it's a long overdue rebirth of a classic franchise that helped shape a genre.
Marvel's Midnight Suns
A supernaturally charged dive into the magical side of the Marvel universe, Midnight Suns mixes excellent tactical combat with power fantasy thrills and more personal moments where you learn more about your team between missions. With dozens of hours of gameplay, deep strategies to discover, and plenty of Hydra skulls to bust, it's an entertaining adventure that comic book fans will love.