The most innovative video games of 2022

What makes the video game industry so exciting is that it’s still relatively young. Developers are still routinely discovering new ways to disrupt the environment and redefine what a game is by defying trends. Although great productions God of War Ragnarok Undoubtedly impressive, the most groundbreaking titles are often the less obvious ones.

That was the case in 2022, which saw developers completely deconstruct some of the fundamentals associated with games. In some cases, this was expressed in new approaches to gameplay, creating experiences in the environment unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Others were even higher, forcing us to consider who certain projects were for. From a massive remake to the smallest action game, these were some of the most innovative games of 2022.

The Last Part I

Ellie tames a giraffe in The Last of Us Part I.

At first glance, The Last Part IThe inclusion of ‘ here may seem odd. Sony’s expensive remake was the center of controversy when it debuted earlier this year, as fans argued its presence was unnecessary. However, this PlayStation 5 exclusive is incredibly important for a reason that may not be immediately obvious: accessibility. The remake brought with it a plethora of accessibility features and settings, some potentially for the first time, to allow more players to try the game. In this sense, The Last Part I It is critical game preservation work that rethinks what the remake should do and who it should be for. It focuses on fixing the mistakes of gaming history by making its most important games more immersive experiences.

Vampire Survivors

In Vampire Survivors, a character fights bats.

To build something completely unique, Vampire Survivors had to deconstruct first. The graphics are old, the controls are simple. It’s an action game that looks completely primitive next to something flashy. Bayonetta 3. That’s exactly what makes it special. As the broader gaming industry moves towards bigger experiences, Vampire Survivors takes a step back and focuses on what makes a game really fun. It emphasizes effective decisions such as weapon upgrade options and basic movement rather than complex attack combinations and complex RPG systems. A stick is all it takes to create something both classic and unlike anything you’ve ever seen.


A woman stands outside in a city in Immortality.

Director Sam Barlow’s work has always thrown gaming traditions out the window. first out, his storyit simply had actors shuffling video clips while mentally putting together a murder mystery. Immortality it is not built on this idea alone; rediscovering it. like his story, players look at filmed clips to decipher the story of missing movie actress Marissa Marcel. To find these clips, players can click on characters or objects in a video clip and navigate to another clip containing their selection. The match-cut system feels like a magic trick that makes static video clips feel alive. It may not have an impact on the video game space, but it could revolutionize interactive media on a broader level.


Andreas chooses his past at Pentiment.

At this point, we are no strangers to games based on the idea of ​​choice. In series like Mass Effect, players choose their own paths, often allowing them to make black and white decisions that shape their characters’ morals. PentimeA narrative RPG set in the 16th century opposes this idea in an important way: It completely removes the concept of right and wrong. Instead, it makes no judgments about the choices you make as you try to solve murder mystery. Every action is a natural part of the story and shapes the future of the fictional town of Tassing. With a decades-old story, Pentime It allows players to feel the true weight of every choice they make, rather than drowning them in a flood of decisions that only determine whether you are good or bad.

As Twilight Falls and We’re OFK

An As Dusk Falls character looks worried at the diner in the evening.

Many modern games try to emulate TV and movies, but few dare to emulate their construction. Finally, God of War Ragnarok If it was a tight three-hour saga, it wouldn’t have sold so many copies. Two games this year took a new official approach to games, even the episodic games that preceded them: As the Twilight Fallsand We are OFK. Both play like interactive TV episodes that are split into five 30- to 60-minute episodes. We are OFK it even went the extra mile by releasing a new episode every week to generate conversation among fans. This approach had a notable impact on the pace of each, allowing their respective developers to tell more immersive stories in a digestible arc rather than leaking information to players.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus

Pokémon Legends: Hisuian Braviary in Arceus.

I hesitate to include Pokémon Legends: Arceus It’s on this list because what’s innovative for the Pokémon series often lags years behind the rest of the games. However, it’s worth emphasizing the spin-off because of its desire to become an established series that doesn’t need to be changed to be completely profitable. Arceus Packed with minor gameplay tweaks that totally refresh the monster catching experience. From mobile game-like progression goals to the ability to simply throw a ball to catch a Pokémon, the RPG is packed with small but impactful quality-of-life improvements that I think will set a new standard for the genre it inspired. Even lately Pokémon Scarlet and Violet feels like old news when placed next to it.

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