Elden Ring to Pokémon Legends: The can’t-miss games of 2022

Yahoo Finance tech editor Dan Howley explains his list of the top video games of 2022.

Video Transcript

JARED BLIKRE: Welcome back. Holiday shopping deals and cold winter weather means cozy fireplaces, hot chocolate, and quality gaming time. But before you crack open those brand new releases, let's take a look back at this year's can't miss games. Here. With more is Yahoo Finance's Dan Howley.

DAN HOWLEY: From punishing games that will test your will to continue playing, to cozy games that'll make you feel like you're wrapped in your favorite blanket, 2022 gave us a wide array of titles for every type of player out there. To that end, I've rounded up some of my favorite games of the year. That's not to say each game here is perfect, but they are the ones that I think are worth getting to know a little bit better the next time you're in need of some time in front of your TV.

One of the biggest hits of 2022, and one that I've personally poured more hours into than I'd like to admit is FromSoftware's Elden Ring, an expansive punishing title that will test you time and again. Death is as much a part of this game as survival. And each time you go down is a chance to learn from your missteps. Yes, the first boss, Margit, the Fell Omen is a nightmare by early game standards. But once you break out into the broader world of the lands between, you'll be able to explore and grow at your own pace. As for that optional fight with the boss, Malenia, it's as hard as you've heard.

Pokemon Legends: Arceus brings some of the biggest changes to the legendary franchise in years, an open world style title that lets you wander the vast wiles capturing and battling pokemon. But now, you can sneak up on them and snag them without having to fight. Get too close though, and you might scare off your target, or they might come after you, not very fun. Even the fighting mechanics have been changed letting you swap between styles to add extra power or gain an extra turn.

Horizon Forbidden West lets you jump back into the shoes of Horizon's Zero Dawn's protagonist, Aloy, as you traverse a post-apocalyptic version of the American West. You'll craft your weapons and do battle with massive mechanical versions of long extinct animals and dinosaurs, hoping to uncover the secrets of this game's world. But you can't mention Horizon Forbidden West without talking about how absolutely stunning this title looks. Play it on the PS5, and you'll get improved graphics and colors for a more vibrant experience.

Love cats? Love games? Then Stray is for you. You play as a curious cat lost amidst a neon drenched cyberpunk style city populated by sentient robots and monsters. Your goal, to get back to your fellow feline friends. It's a wonderfully designed game that lets you explore the world as your own mischievous kitty would. You can knock items off shelves, waltz across computer keyboards, and of course, scratch up carpets and furniture. And yes, there is a dedicated meow button.

Kratos, and his son Atreus, are back to take on more Norse gods in Valkyries in God of War, Ragnarok. The sequel to 2018's Stellar God of War, Ragnarok lets you travel across the nine realms as you wield the Leviathan ax and blades of chaos, not to mention a variety of new skills and abilities. You'll face off against monsters and the kind of brutal battles and beat downs only a God of War game can offer. And once you do all of that, you'll still need to throw hands with the Mighty Thor.

- Well, that was Dan Howley's list. Brian, we were talking about this over the break, video games have gotten stunningly realistic. And I guess Dan was talking about a dedicated meow button. The future really is here, but they've changed a lot over the years since you and I were kids.

- Yeah, we're still pretty young, Jared. Don't us out to pasture just yet.

JARED BLIKRE: Well, we're not kids anymore.

- OK, all right. Well, I'm going to take issue with the folks that created that Stray game. They should have made it a dog. And they should have called the game Wolf, and made it like a killer doberman that eats through buildings. I think that would have been more exciting.

JARED BLIKRE: Or Clifford the Big Red.

- Yeah, why do you have to do a cat? I mean, come on, cats? I mean, look how timid that cat look walking through the city. It's a scaredy cat, Jared.

JARED BLIKRE: Oh, OK. I'm not going to take issue with the cat here. But I get it, yeah, there we go. This seems interesting, the secret life of cats. Why not? I'm used to the old platform games, Super Mario Brothers. What was the other one with that-- were Slim Jim? Anyway, Earthworm Slim Jim. I got to tell you that these games are somewhat intimidating, but I have it on good word that they've gotten a little bit easier. I don't know. You going to try any of these?

- No, only if they came out with Wolf, and killer dobermans. That's where my head is right now on this Black Friday.