The year 2022 is almost over, but it feels like just yesterday that we were hyping our most-anticipated games, most of which are now in the rearview mirror. While 2023 is sure to deliver even more incredible experiences, we can’t move on before looking back at what defined this last year in gaming. From in-game clothing styles to the world of virtual sports, let’s take a walk down memory lane through the year that was 2022.
2022, the year that made cats humanity’s best friend
Cats are no strangers to video games, whether they’re cuddling up to our gaming machines for warmth or exploring in-game post-apocalyptic landscapes. This year saw cats take center stage in various titles, such as Annapurna and BlueTwelve’s Stray, a game about a cat that gets wrapped up in saving the world from a material-eating parasite. The feline-led feature Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series was also released. The highly-anticipated collection of remade 2.5D side-scrolling classics reintroduced the world to its titular plucky protagonist.
Of course, cats also graced the likes of Sonic Frontiers, Ghostwire Tokyo, and even Persona 5 Royal. And who can forget everyone’s favorite cult shopkeeper kitty, Forneus from Cult of Lamb? Each of these titles gives players a cat companion to help out along the way of the hero’s journey or offers players complete control of a kitten looking to save the world. Whether it’s Big the Cat helping Sonic learn to fish, Morgana teaching Joker the way of the Phantom Thief, or Ghostwire’s Nekomata handing out side-missions, it seems the cat has become humanity’s new best friend and, at times, our would-be savior.
2022, the year that gave everyone a chance to play
The push towards inclusivity and accessibility was seen in a big way this year. Games like God of War: Ragnarök and The Last of Us Part I included features that add to Santa Monica and Naughty Dog’s past accomplishments in this area. Options such as audio cues, cinematic audio descriptions, auto-platforming, navigational assistance, high contrast mode, and more appear in these titles. Horizon Forbidden West also gave players access to unique difficulty-changing features like automatically having protagonist Aloy sprint, heal, or deploy her trusty Shieldwing. Adjustable settings like these help open games to wider audiences than ever before so that more players can get the chance to experience some of this year’s most captivating adventures.
2022, the year that pushed sports beyond reality
Windjammers 2 brought extremity and otherworldly style to the world of virtual sports with its release back in January. In this hyper-real game of frisbee, players are pelted with super abilities, nutty obstacles, and outlandish venues in a 1-on-1 sport where reactions, wits, and coordination are tested.
This release kicked off a series of fantastic extreme sports titles that could only exist in the virtual world: OlliOlli World, a cartoony 2D skateboarding game that takes place in a world that appears to be made by a skate-loving god; Cursed to Golf, a roguelike golf game set in purgatory that pits you against death itself; and Rollerdrome, a bloodsport that tasks you with perf