To many gamers, Game of the Year 2022 was hands down going to Elden Ring. Aside from a few shoutouts to God of War Ragnarök, if you took a look online, there was no discussion to be had. Though the majority of our writers here at CGM would agree, there were a few mentions of other games that could hold the title, like Stray, The Last of Us Part I and even Kirby & the Forgotten Land. Last year saw the title handed off to Resident Evil Village, with Hades winning Game of the Year in 2020 and Resident Evil 2 (Remake) taking the title in 2019.
Game of the Year is a largely sought-after title and one that the games industry is eager to crown, sometimes long before the year is over. Back in February, Horizon Forbidden West and Elden Ring were the front runners, and it remained that way for most of the year. It wasn’t until The Game Awards that people saw that GoW stood a chance at taking the title. Though it came away with many awards, Elden Ring still pulled through.
At CGMagazine, we go about our final decision in a multi-step process. First, we compiled all the highest-scoring games of the year that made it onto CGMagonline. Some of the contenders this year were Tactics Ogre: Reborn, Pentiment, Pokémon Legends Arceus, Sifu and TUNIC. Our 30+ staff members voted for their top 3 of 29 games. From here, we took our top for to Twitter and our homepage for public voting.
Our final four came down to God of War Ragnarök, Horizon Forbidden West, Elden Ring and Cult of the Lamb. Twitter didn’t surprise us. Though we received an underwhelming response, Elden Ring came out on top with 51% of the votes, and GoW tailed behind with 32%.
On our site, the results were more surprising. For a good amount of time, Elden Ring and Cult of the Lamb were neck in neck, leaving GoW and Horizon behind by almost 20% each. But, before we get to our final winner, we wanted to highlight our contenders this year, bringing insight into just what made them Game of the Year 2022 material.
Here are our Game of the Year 2022 Honorees:
Game of the Year 2022 Honoree: Cult of the Lamb
Cult of the Lamb was one of the most surprising games to come out of 2022. Executive Editor, Dayna Eileen, nominated the game for Writer’s Choice, stating, “Cult of the Lamb combines action and a sim game, with some slice and dicing, and all covered in a thick layer of murder and comedy, a perfect recipe for my Game of the Year.”
With elements from multiple genres like sims, roguelikes and action-adventures, this indie title from Devolver Digital took off, releasing in June across all major consoles and PC. Not only were people loving the game, but its social media presence blew up, creating a community that may be able to rival the likes of Stardew Valley thanks to Community Strategist Jared J. Tan.
Scoring a 9/10 during its review, Cult of the Lamb brought in 7% of the votes from both Twitter and the CGM staff but gave Elden Ring a run for its money during our public vote on the site with 29% of all votes. The little indie that could, it seems.
Game of the Year 2022 Honoree: Horizon Forbidden West
The Horizon series of games are cursed by their launch dates. The original title, Horizon Zero Dawn, though successful, was left in the dust behind The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It seems nothing was learned, as the sequel, Horizon Forbidden West released just days before one of the most anticipated in years, Elden Ring. This made a stunning game feel almost forgettable in the grand scheme of things, especially when making nominations 10 months later.
That being said, Guerilla Games and Sony produced one of the most stunning games of the year with Forbidden West. Reviewer David Walters said, “A sequel should always be better, and Horizon Forbidden West is much better than its predecessor, by a distance as great as the journey itself,” regarding the title.
Another nine from the reviewer, Horizon Forbidden West earned 12% of CGMs writer votes, 9% of Twitter votes and 17% of our site votes. This was a game not forgotten—once we remembered it happened in 2022.
Game of the Year 2022 Honoree: God of War Ragnarök
The Elden Ring killer, or so many thought. God of War is a beloved franchise, with God of War 2018 winning The Game Awards Game of the Year and even releasing for PC earlier this year. Releasing on November 9th, it took seven months for a game to come out that people thought could compete with FromSoftware’s Elden Ring, and it did.
God of War Ragnarök took away six awards at The Game Awards 2022 including Best Action Adventure and Innovation in Accessibility. It received 11 nominations overall, not including those for Sony itself. Elden Ring came away with four. With a review that states, “God of War Ragnarök is an absolute monument to the action-adventure genre and weaves a beautiful story that spans entire worlds,” it is no surprise to see Ragnarök on this list.
Scoring a 9.5 on CGM, God of War Ragnarök also brought in 15% of CGM writer votes, 32% of the votes from Twitter, and 15% of the votes on our site. Game of the Year isn’t the only award out there, and Ragnarök has deserved—and won—a fair few.
Game of the Year 2022 Winner: Elden Ring
It is no surprise to see Elden Ring win CGMagazine’s Game of the Year 2022. According to Dualshockers, the FromSoftware title has won 324 Game of the Year awards this year, beating out the Last of Us Part II, which held the previous title at 322. This comes as no surprise to CGM, as when working on our Writer’s Choice Game of the Year, the majority of our writers sold Elden Ring for the title.
Whether you want to call it an action-adventure or a roleplaying game, Elden Ring was likely at the top of the list this year. The FromSoftware game came out back in February, and people haven’t stopped talking about it since. It has been a hot topic in the gaming industry, with countless guides, news stories, mods and even a Pokémon crossover.
There was often debate over the difficulty of the game, taking on Soulsborn-like qualities, but that didn’t stop players from diving in, with almost one million players just on Steam in the first week. As of 2023, Elden Ring has sold 17.5 million copies across PlayStation, Xbox and PC.
Elden Ring took the world by storm, outselling all previous Souls games worldwide. The game takes everything that fans have come to love about the studio’s work and creates something that goes above and beyond, capturing a world filled to the brim with things to do and quests to complete while rewarding players with every new challenge they overcome. From the stunning visuals to the tight gameplay and controls, Elden Ring is one of FromSoftware’s most polished and well-realized efforts to date.
Elden Ring scored a 9.5 with reviewer Preston Dozsa, held 29% of our staff votes, 51% of Twitter votes and beat out everyone on our site with 40% of the public opinion with over 1300 votes. Elden Ring is a game that ushered in countless new players who may never have considered playing a Dark Souls-style game in the past, making it easier than ever to explore, take on and slay the many creatures and monsters that lie in wait.