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One of the most popular genres around on any platform, RPGs are a flexible genre that can encompass a wide variety of themes and ideas. In 2022, those ideas gave birth to a rich tapestry of fantasy, sci-fi, and superhero action that set the charts ablaze. There was no shortage of engrossing role-playing games to play on consoles and PC this year, which was certainly welcome during yet another year where escapist entertainment proved to be a great distraction.
Elden Ring is obviously the biggest and most mainstream example here, as From Software’s grim and dark sandbox earned rave reviews on launch day and has been a monumental success in the sales department as well. Popular and critically acclaimed, Elden Ring still faced some stiff competition from a number of other great games available in the RPG space this year. For a more intimate experience, indie RPGs were an amazing exploration of alternate themes and experimental ideas.
I Was a Teenage Exocolonist is a surprisingly tender look at life and love when charting the stars for example, and on the more established side, Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream from Koei Tecmo is a delightfully cathartic romp through familiar territory. Remakes of cult classics also arrived this year, shining a spotlight on forgotten gems from yesteryear. This year also brought an interesting departure from the norm for one of the biggest RPG franchises on the planet: Pokemon. Game Freak’s Pokemon Legends: Arceus reinvigorated the long-running series with fresh ideas.
To find the best RPGs of the year, we crunched the numbers from GameSpot’s sister site Metacritic and listed the best of the magical best below.