Did you love our list of the best games of 2022 (so far)? Thrill to our recap of the best Switch games of 2022 (so far)? Well, get ready, because the midyear regurgitation of paragraphs we first published months ago keeps on trucking. This time we run down the best PlayStation games of the year, and since there are still two PlayStation generations getting full support from publishers, we’re not going to break it down by console. Hell, I’m pretty sure it’s still stupidly difficult to even find a PlayStation 5, so it’ll probably be
a while still before the PlayStation 4’s time comes to an end. Either way, every game on this list is playable on the PS5, although for a few that means buying and downloading the PS4 version; meanwhile, only one game on here isn’t available for the PS4, and we’ll make a note of that when the time comes. (Okay, it’s Ghostwire Tokyo. You can only play Ghostwire Tokyo on the PlayStation 5.)
If you’ve got a PS4 or PS5 hooked up to your TV and need something new to play, you can’t go wrong with any of the games below.
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is a fine reintroduction to the looter-shooter space, drawing on multiple RPG heritages to make a fun, if somewhat adolescent, experience. It might be more fun to play than to listen to, but it’s far from intolerable. In fact, a good time should be had by all party members. The combination of ranged and melee weapons with magic, special skills, and companions like a tiny dragon make for frenetic and exciting gameplay in a colorful, surprisingly engaging world.—Kevin Fox, Jr.
The King of Fighters XV lives up to the series’ standard by delivering blazing-fast fights, vibrant character designs and an electrifying soundtrack. In fact, its biggest battle is against the past. Its barebones tutorial and missions do little to welcome new players, making it unlikely to attract anybody who isn’t already familiar with the series. Despite King of Fighters XV’s quality-of-life shortcomings, there’s no arguing that it’s still a good fighting game. It’s just as fast and entertaining as previous entries in the franchise and brings the series into a new era with vastly improved netcode, but it puts up so many barriers of entry that it’s hard to recommend to newcomers to the genre or franchise.—Charlie Wacholz
Platform: PlayStation 5
Not only is Ghostwire Tokyo’s world rich, but the imagery and the themes are also rich as well. This is a game about bodies. It’s a game about the way people handle loss and memory. It isn’t the cliched, unsubtle expression of these topics that we typically get in videogames, either. There are so many games that try to engage with the topics of memory, throw the player into someone’s dreams and then call it a success. Ghostwire: Tokyo doesn’t necessarily nail all of the narrative and thematic beats it is aiming for, but it still experiments with them. By taking clear inspiration from artistic cinema and rethinking how to contextualize space, Ghostwire is impressive even when it doesn’t quite succeed.—Rosy Hearts
Good toys are, at their core, fun to play with, and Legos aren’t just good; they’re incredible toys. Every Lego Star Wars game nails this sense of play and fun as it plays with what it means to be Star Wars, turning fascistic wizards, soldiers, politicians, killer robots, and pirates into charming toys. Skywalker Saga is no different, and its unabashed enjoyment of Star Wars is infectious. Even as an un-lapsed fan, I felt my admiration and passion for this rich world surge the same way visiting Galaxy’s Edge or a good episode of Clone Wars would. A simple beat-’em-up with a few puzzles and John Williams’ masterful music doing a lot of the heavy lifting would be fine. Instead, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga doesn’t just go above and beyond to remind you why you should love Star Wars, but is a testament to how much the people who made it love Star Wars.—Charlie Wacholz
It starts with a familiar enough Western trope. Bandits raid your character’s homestead, killing your child and kidnapping your partner. Instead of working for an evil rancher or railroad man, though, you soon learn the attackers work for man-eating Sirens. Weird West’s world is full of such supernatural horrors, including wraiths and werewolves. Kindly townsfolk and roving robbers are both somewhat acclimated to dealing with these beings, though some civilians have it harder than others. Aside from seeing the setting as an overhead view combination of Dishonored’s steampunk dark magic and Red Dead Redemption’s prestige Spaghetti Western formula, I found myself comparing Weird West to Fallout: New Vegas, which had a Wild Wasteland optional perk setting that tuned up the wackiness. It’s a fun world that ends up being darker and more intense than silly, with humor often coming from absurdity.—Kevin Fox, Jr.
I need to remind y’all that I write an irregular column about shoot ‘em ups, aka shmups—those old-fashioned games where players pilot some sort of craft or creature or vaguely Barbarella-inspired angel across the screen while shooting as many enemies as they possibly can. A core staple of any gaming diet in the ‘80s, the genre gradually fell out of favor with the masses, and exists today primarily as a cult curiosity or nostalgic throwback. Sol Cresta, the latest heir to the inexplicably difficult 1985 shooter Terra Cresta, probably won’t restore the shmup to the top of the gaming pyramid, but it’s not like it’s trying to. It’s a shoot ‘em up solidly for shoot ‘em up fans, and the latest high-energy action game from Platinum, the studio behind Bayonetta, Vanquish, and Nier: Automata. Terra Cresta’s defining feature is the ability to expand and contract the power-ups collected throughout the game; instead of just beefing up the ship’s weapons, they can be used as pods that orbit the ship and provide a wider range of fire. Sol Cresta pays tribute to that concept by letting players dock multiple ships together. It’s an exciting new entry in a largely overlooked genre, and while everybody else was venturing forth into Elden Ring for the first time, I was shooting up space again like I’ve done a million times before.—Garrett Martin
This loving tribute to the multiplayer beat ‘em ups of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s focuses like a laser on the nostalgia of a certain generation. It’s not just that it’s based on the version of the Turtles from the first cartoon and toy series (complete with the original voice actors), the same era that inspired the beloved arcade brawler from 1989; the entire genre is so inherently old-fashioned that it can’t help but feel like some long-lost game from 30 years ago. If you miss teaming up with your friends to bash generic punks and thugs in a cartoonish version of New York City, Shredder’s Revenge will wind back the clock for you. It wouldn’t make this list if it was just nostalgia, though; Shredder’s Revenge adds enough modern tweaks to drag that formula into the 21st century. It’s an example of a game that does what it sets out to do about as well as it possibly could.—Garrett Martin
The third in Roll7’s series of arty, lo-fi skateboard games follows the typical trajectory of a videogame series: everything is bigger, longer, deeper. Beefier, even. It has characters. A whole story, even. At its heart it’s still the thumb-aching, quick-twitch trick machine that OlliOlli has always been, but with the narrative and world-building elements expanded so thoroughly that it doesn’t always feel like the elegant puzzle engine it used to be. That’s neither good nor bad—it comes down to your personal tastes—but it’s all done with the same charm and the same cool aesthetic that the series is known for. And given that it’s been seven years since the last time we dipped into a new OlliOlli, this is very cool World is a welcome one indeed.—Garrett Martin
Horizon Forbidden West proves the open world genre doesn’t have to be as creatively bankrupt as it currently is, even while sticking close to the genre’s conventions. With the right focus, the right setting, and the right storytelling, a game can remain in thrall to a familiar format and still feel inspired. It isn’t a game that will surprise you or make you rethink the possibilities of what games can do, but it’s proof that games can still be really fun even if they don’t try anything new, and that’s something we don’t often see from big budget corporate games like this one.—Garrett Martin
You’d be forgiven for thinking Elden Ring was the only game that came out this year. For a solid three months it seemed to be the only thing anybody talked about, wrote about, or even played. From Software blew its signature RPG formula up into one of the largest open world games in memory, which makes it more accessible than their earlier Souls games, but also even more mysterious and unsettling. Its massive, secret-filled world is clearly influenced by The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but with the brutality and subtle approach to storytelling you expect from a Souls game. It might be a little too big, and devolves into a bit of a slog in the late game, but Elden Ring remains an almost unthinkable achievement. I’m dumped over 170 hours into it and still occasionally pop in again to look for any caves or ashes I might’ve overlooked. Elden Ring has a way of setting up camp inside your head and refusing to leave that few games can match.—Garrett Martin