2022 was another standout year for RPGs, from brand new IPs from the progenitor of the Souls subgenre to indie darlings that surprised in more ways than one. Whether you prefer your RPGs more verbose or leaning more towards stylish action, there’s plenty to fill entire weeks of your free time.
Notably, it was an especially great year for JRPG fans. Almost every game on this list comes from Japan, although something like Elden Ring cannot truly be classified as a JRPG. Without further ado, here's our list of the best RPGs released in 2022.
Weird West (8)
Former Arkane founder Raphaël Colantonio went all out with Weird West, the debut game of his independent WolfEye Studios. The game designer, previously known for his work on Arx Fatalis, Dishonored and Prey, successfully managed to translate immersive simulation elements (usually reserved for first-person games) into an isometric RPG. Weird West got a warm reception from gamers, having sold 400K units in less than two weeks since launch, and critics alike. Our own Francesco De Meo wrote:
With its gripping story, wacky characters, solid action role-playing game mechanics, and masterfully crafted immersive simulation features, Weird West is one of the very few role-playing games on the market where players truly shape the world with their choices and actions. Some balancing and technical issues damage the experience, but if you're looking for a truly immersive RPG to play, you won't find anything better than Weird West.
Elden Ring (10)
A 2022 list of best RPGs could not possibly avoid mentioning Elden Ring, arguably From Software’s most ambitious role playing game to date. Bringing the tinier crafted dungeons into an open-world setting might scare some from starting on a grand adventure in The Lands Between but soon after venturing out and getting smacked around by the Tree Sentinel, players will find themselves in an action RPG that continuously surprises players with more and more. Elden Ring got a perfect score in Wccftech's review:
Elden Ring is not only the best action RPG developed by From Software but one of the best open-world titles ever made. A masterclass of game design, Elden Ring isn't just a game but an epic dark fantasy journey that no one will be able to forget for a very long time.
Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin (8.2)
One of the more surprising spinoffs to come out of Square-Enix, Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin gave us an origin story of an antihero in the unlikeliest of places. Before he was Garland and was knocking fools down, the protagonist Jack sought to struggle against the forces of Chaos as a man that’s lost his memories and is driven forward by that singular driving focus. Jack is perhaps the most single-minded Final Fantasy protagonist since Final Fantasy IV’s Kain’s personality was set to Constant Backstab. Here's an excerpt from the review:
It’s no isekai, but Stranger of Paradise is absolutely a stranger even in its own land. If you’re fresh off of running through the original as part of the Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster series, you owe it to yourself to take this chaotic road trip across Corneria and relight the four crystals once again.
Star Ocean: The Divine Force (8)
Following the underwhelming release of Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness, developer tri-Ace pulled off a surprising comeback with a new franchise installment that is well worth being listed as one of the best RPGs of 2022.
Even with some issues here and there, Star Ocean: The Divine Force is undoubtedly a return to form for the series by tri-Ace. The game delivers a solid JRPG experience that both fans of the series and newcomers will enjoy thanks to the best battle system in the series to date, likable characters, and an engaging but a little slow and not particularly surprising story. Some technical issues and by-the-books game design do take something away from the experience, but for those looking for a traditional JRPG with plenty of heart, Star Ocean: The Divine Force is the game to get.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 (10)
Monolith Soft once again delivered a masterpiece game with Xenoblade Chronicles 3, worthy not only of being named among the best RPGs of 2022 but also among the best JRPGs of all time. The game got a perfect score in Wccftech's review.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 has its flaws like any other game. However, its qualities more than make up for them, bringing a beautiful JRPG experience like none other before seen in the series. The Class system is varied and fun to experiment with, the story is one of the best in the series history, and the aesthetic and production values are incredibly high. This game offers tons of content that will keep you glued to your Nintendo Switch and last a long time.
For avid roleplaying game fans, here's another five titles that nearly made our best RPGs of 2022 list.