Without a doubt, 2022 was a great year for video games. In the past year alone, the global video game industry grew by over 2%, leading to a market value of nearly $200 billion. No matter the genre, video games continued to make record-breaking sales, with various highly-rated and popular titles being released across multiple platforms.
Thanks to this massive growth in 2022, PwC projects that the gaming industry will maintain its rapid growth and capture a market share of $321 billion in the next five years.
This year-end article will be recapping the most loved video games in the year that has passed, as determined by critics and players alike. From action-packed adventures to immersive role-playing games, these titles are standout hits that contributed to the gaming industry’s success this year.
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Let’s take a look at four of the most loved video games of 2022:
1. Perfect Tides
Perfect Tides is a point-and-click pixel video game created by Meredith Gran for PC and Mac. Gran is known for her webcomic “Octopus Pie,” which rose to fame for its honest portrayal of life and relatable characters.
Perfect Tides follows the story of a teenager named Mara who is dealing with grief on an isolated island and trying to navigate the physical and digital worlds of the early 2000s. It does not have a specific end goal but allows players to experience Mara’s emotions and struggles through her perspective. Gran handles Mara’s often dramatic and unwieldy emotions with humor and sincerity, making Perfect Tides a poignant and relatable game for anyone who has experienced the challenges of adolescence.
From casual gamers to professional critics, Perfect Tides was a smash hit that received rave recommendations even months after its release. Currently, the sequel Station to Station is already under development and has surpassed its first $40,000 milestone on Kickstarter.
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2. Pokémon Scarlet & Pokémon Violet
Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet are role-playing video games published by Nintendo and developed by Game Freak for the Switch. These games were released in November 2022 and are the first in the ninth generation of the Pokémon series.
As a testament to the series’ popularity, Scarlet and Violet sold 10 million copies in just three days. This makes the two games the fastest and best-selling games on a Nintendo system in that time frame. The games take place in the region of Paldea on the Iberian Peninsula and offer three separate stories for players to experience.
They also introduce 103 new Pokémon, four new regional forms, and the Terastal phenomenon, which allows certain Pokémon to transform into their exclusive Tera Type. Although this installment got a later release than other games, its success highlights just how powerful the Pokémon franchise remains.
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3. FIFA 23
FIFA 23 is the most recent installment in the popular soccer video game series, featuring the brand-new Hypermotion 2 tech on PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S. This technology allows for more realistic player responses and animations, resulting in a more immersive and responsive gaming experience. In addition to the new Hypermotion 2 tech, FIFA 23 includes an improved dribbling system, new acceleration mechanics, and better shooting transitions.
The new features proved to be a hit with the series’ fans, with FIFA 23’s sales up by 10% compared to its predecessor. It’s also worth noting that EA Sports has a track record of accurately predicting the winners of the World Cup, and this year was no exception—they correctly predicted Argentina as the champion of this year’s games in Qatar.
Unfortunately, this will be the final installment of FIFA produced by the company after a 30-year partnership. The game will be rebranded as EA Sports FC next year and will not feature any of FIFA’s marks or symbols.
4. God of War: Ragnarök
God of War: Ragnarök is the highly anticipated sequel to the critically acclaimed God of War released four years ago. Within a week of the new game’s launch, Sony reported selling 5.1 million copies. This new installment manages to live up to its predecessor by telling a broader tale about an ensemble of characters attempting to survive the end of the world.
While the 2018 game reinvented the character of Kratos by turning him into an emotionally compelling character, Ragnarök focuses more on the characters surrounding him. However, God of War: Ragnarök provided a touching ending to its storyline, handling the relationship between Kratos and his son with genuine emotion and care.
This dynamic is something that many AAA games have attempted to capture, and Ragnarök met the standard set by the game it followed.
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It’s clear that 2022 was an excellent year for video games, with highly-anticipated titles being released and receiving widespread acclaim from esteemed gaming websites such as Polygon and CNET.
As we enter 2023, with new technologies and game engines being developed, we can look forward to even better and more immersive gaming experiences.
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