2022 has been a beast of a year for games with some wicked new titles. Looking for a place to start on unfamiliar PS5 and PS4 turf? Our sister site TrueTrophies has a guide for the best games of the year for you Xbox-loving lot.
With Xbox having a year of fun and quirky titles that have tantalised the PlayStation corner, it has been the year of the blockbusters for the DualSense-wielding gamers. Having settled down with the majesty of historical romp Pentiment, laughed (or cringed) while shooting a chatty gun in High on Life, and blitzed Vampire Survivors to the detriment of your social life — you might now be looking to get started on games that those PlayStation players have been banging on about. Thanks to the TrueTrophies team, here is a guide to 2022’s year of gaming on PS5 and PS4.
God of War Ragnarok
It’s been a weird year, in some ways. Nothing has really surprised us from PlayStation Studios’ five published games of 2022 and God of War Ragnarok is no different. It’s so aggressively superb that I fundamentally lack the vocabulary to throw surprising compliments at it. Let’s try and be a bit interesting, though. It’s a continuation of the long-running God of War series spearheaded by Greek god Kratos. It doubles as a direct sequel to the story-driven Norse saga after 2018’s soft reboot of the former hardy action franchise. Fimbulwinter approaches and with it the end times, and Kratos deals with his son growing into his own independent godling.
So begins an adventure that will define PS5’s opening two years. The story here is touching and emotional, but moreover — it’s mature. Yes, it is often brash and spends the opening ten hours failing at humour, but it keeps building a riveting story from emotional building blocks. At its end, it smashes it down its complex construction with precision, leaving you sobbing at it’s beautiful remains. What a sublimely photogenic bit of construction it is too, with locations that totally immerse you in myth and adventure with gorgeous vistas and elegant touches of environmental design excellence.
The combat is a major victory. It has been opened up a little bit from 2018 by adding a touch of depth and a smattering of variety. The Leviathan Axe — a frosty rendition of the popular wood-cutting utensil — is the most satisfying weapon in gaming with its return-to-hand feature. Swinging the thing gives a mighty crunch upon entry with all manner of impeccably designed beasts. Some of the tough-as-nails endgame boss fights will remain my favourite memories from the year of video games. Ragnarok is sensational and, though I have tried to describe it to you, is often indescribably good — we at TT highly recommend it, as you can read for yourself in our full God of War Ragnarok review.
Gran Turismo 7
We know Xbox has Forza Motorsport and Forza Horizon. However, we also know a few of you racing nuts were unsatisfied with Forza Motorsport 7 and a minority aren’t massive fans of Forza Horizon 5. May we suggest you give Gran Turismo 7 a test drive? It is a track racer through and through, with a real focus on its love of racing. There’s a gosh-darn unskippable eight-minute intro video about the history of racing that goes from endearing to annoying to endearing again. If that doesn’t scream love, we don’t know what does. On the track, there is nothing better. Even if you aren’t into track racers, GT7 feels amazing to play and something about its pinpoint precision brings the arcade score-chasing feel back to serious racing.
Listen, it’s really Japanese in some ways. The menus are heinous and dear lord does it do some weird stuff with text boxes. The competitive online scene isn’t backed by a substantial or vigorous enough penal system and the economy is… well, bad. Put that aside, though. You’ll be so in love with this long-running PlayStation series that only the racing will matter and nothing beats GT7 at that — nothing. We promise, give it a go and it will make you a gearhead obsessed with ride height, gear changes, track humidity, and cornering speeds. As explained in our Gran Turismo 7 review, GT7 exudes love, so give it a little back and it will be a happy relationship indeed.
Horizon Forbidden West
Horizon Forbidden West is the most beautiful game we have ever played at TT. Set in post-post-apocalyptic America, society has revert back to tribalism as great terraforming machines shaped like animals roam the wilds. Armed with a bow and arrow, protagonist Aloy must explore the magnificent open-world to work out why these great beasts have turned against the people. Meanwhile, a strange growth starts spreading through the world killing everything it touches. If you love a good traditional open-world romp with a sublime story and magnificent performances, sit up and pay attention.
From the sweat on Aloy’s red cheeks as she roams desserts or the ray-traced dappled evening light wheedling through leafy treetops, you need to see what PlayStation’s Guerrilla Games has made to believe it. While Horizon can often feel machine tooled to boring perfection, the music is on point and the lore of this complex and intriguing world is sophisticated and dense. Horizon’s big beast slaying combat with bows, arrows, and other crafty bits of gear is outrageous fun, too. Sit down, play this big fabulous game, and we at TT think you are set for a fantastic 60-hours of beautiful sci-fi bambast. Find out more in our Horizon Forbidden West review.
Xbox Game Pass has day one exclusives aplenty. From the sidelines, us PlayStation lot are very jealous. With the relaunch of PS Plus into three tiers, though, Extra subscribers got a day one extravaganza in the form of the cutest cut ever. Aww, you are just so gorgeous, you — Stray, you are just so pretty… awww. Cats make people do weird things, but we’ll tell you what, it’s helped developer bluetwelve make an purring 3D platformer game, which we loved in our Stray review earlier in the year.
It’s pretty chill — you just roam a dystopian sci-fi city after a tragic opening act — but its environmental storytelling and easy adventuring don’t stop it being a fun cat-toting adventure that obsessed most PlayStation players this year. It clocks in with a short runtime, so you can snack on this tasty treat before leaping into the bigger games on the list. Fantastic little indie, this.
Well, look at us babbling on! Let us know if you are interested in any of these coming to Xbox or if you’ll make the leap to PS5 and PS4 to give them a whirl. Lots of love from the TrueTrophies team to you all anyhow, and see you in the New Year!