RPGs are one of the most popular genres out there, though it can be hard to choose which role-playing game will suit your playstyle best. The number of RPGs that release year to year is up there, and players definitely have tough choices to make. Whether you like mature-rated or family-friendly titles, there is always an RPG for you. CGM’s got you covered with the plentiful supply of fantastic RPGs on this list, only one can be the best RPG 2022, let’s take a look!
Here are the nominees for Best RPG 2022:
Writer: Philip Watson
Console: Xbox Series X
Despite its colourful and approachable look, TUNIC will throw players through a gauntlet of varying degrees of difficulty. There are ZERO tutorials, which is an excellent game mechanic itself. The player’s intuition will be tested continuously in their playthrough, and while the main fox protagonist is cute, TUNIC is a difficult ride. Upon starting, the game’s fantastic graphics and landscape are a sight to behold, but enemies also greet you almost immediately. Sprinting away in the opening segment is the only option, as there is NO way to fight back.
The graphics feel like Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening’s remake DNA was injected right into the makeup of the title. A gorgeous setting is available to explore, and wandering around has a gravitational depth to it. The Foxy hero bounces along with each step, and the weight behind it feels like it should. Impact with enemies is also felt, narrow escapes are nail-biting, all the while a haunting musical score serenades the atmosphere, completing the entire setting with a flourish. The designers sign the game’s canvas heartily with care, as all the title’s inclusions work in harmony and don’t take away from the overall experience.
TUNIC is a genre-bending breath of fresh air that includes elements from other popular games that all grease the wheel for an exceptional gaming experience. A must-play for all gamers, especially due to its inclusion on Game Pass.
Pokémon Legends Arceus
Writer: Preston Dozsa
Console: Nintendo Switch
Let me be frank: Pokémon Legends: Arceus is a fantastic evolution of the Pokémon formula. It makes changes, both minor and major, to its systems to accommodate a shift to a quasi-open world format, retaining Pokémon’s charm while pushing the boundaries as to what the series is capable of. This doesn’t mean that it’s perfect, as there are still areas where Game Freak can improve both visually and in its battle system. Even so, Arceus is reinvigorating, effectively capturing the sense of adventure that the best games in the franchise invoke.
Coupled with the design of the world itself and the exploration mechanics, playing Arceus is invigorating. At one point in my playthrough, I spent an hour delving into a side quest that saw me solving an ancient mystery. I had to first uncover what the legend was, decipher how to fulfill its conditions, and then dive into a gruelling battle that saw me catch my first Legendary Pokémon. Few quests are similar to this, but it’s these surprises that emerge through the intersection of Arceus’ gameplay systems that make me want to keep exploring the world and catching Pokémon, even after I’ve seen the story through to the end.
Salt and Sacrifice
Writer: Jordan Biordi
Salt and Sacrifice has me well and truly hooked, not only improving on the elements of its predecessor; but finding a way to incorporate elements of newer From Software games while still feeling uniquely its own. I revisited Salt and Sanctuary in the lead-up to reviewing this game, and it’s amazing how different it feels while still maintaining Ska Studios’ unique style.
I honestly didn’t expect to love Salt and Sacrifice as much as I did, considering I didn’t fully get into its predecessor, despite my love of Ska’s previous games and my love of Soulsborne games. But this game managed to hook me not only with intense, methodical gameplay; but a great sense of style and improvements on its own gameplay that make the whole thing insanely fun. If you’re a fan of the series or the genre, then you’ll definitely enjoy this one!
Tactics Ogre: Reborn
Writer: Chris De Hoog
Console: Nintendo Switch
Tactics Ogre has remained even more niche than the cult classic it inspired, commanding high prices on the resale market. Its PSP update did moderately well, despite not living up to the success of Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions, which enabled it to see the light of day in the first place. Now modern-day Square Enix has put the horse before the cart, giving the progenitor its due. However, a lot has happened in this department since that PSP revival in 2010—namely, the sweeping mainstream success of Fire Emblem Awakening and its kin. How does this hidden gem shine today?
Now I’m actually a little disappointed that I didn’t try this game twelve years ago with the PSP remake. It’s like playing another faithful installment in a series I loved, which veered off in a different direction long ago—a hefty experience worth revisiting, with branching paths I must investigate in full.
WINNER Best RPG 2022 Elden Ring
Writer: Preston Dozsa
Elden Ring is a saga penned by George R. R. Martin and Hidetaka Miyazaki. One that slowly expands to reveal new mysteries, conquests, and people over the course of its many, many hours. At times, the pacing is glacial, as progress feels marginal, and your abilities evolve in fits and starts as opposed to the steady rhythm found in previous FromSoftware games. Yet the world itself never loses its sense of wonder, and so too did I never lose my sense of wanderlust. I want to continue to explore its plateaus, forests, and rotting wastelands. Because with each new face, enemy, and monument I encounter, Elden Ring reminds me that the journey is far more important than the destination.
Elden Ring is a saga, one filled with glory and struggles, conquests and mystery, and failures and victories. It’s a journey that feels personal, and is one that I don’t think will be experienced in an identical way by anyone else who plays it. It’s an adventure, a triumph for FromSoftware, and most importantly, a game that should be played.
2023 is going to be a blast with all these fantastic RPGs, especially Elden Ring! It seems like we’ve got a lot to look forward to in terms of gaming, lets kick it off by playing some of these awesome RPGs, why don’t we?