The highest-rated game of 2022 on Metacritic isn’t actually Elden Ring (although it is up there).
While Metacritic hasn’t released an official list of the best games of 2022 as they did with the worst, it’s not too hard to look at the game releases of this year based on their Metacritic scores.
Metacritic, as we know, is a review score aggregator that rounds up both critic and audience scores/reviews for movies, TV shows, and video games. While not always an accurate portrayal of a game’s worth (review bombing can be a kick in the teeth), it can be a fascinating look into how the gaming world views a release.
The “Game Releases by User Score” page for 2022 takes into account not only the critic’s Metascore but also the audience score, as well as how many reviews/scores the games received from critics and the audience. We won’t include any game repeats (the base list includes double-ups due to multi-platform releases).
All that being said, the list is… a little confusing! The Stanley Parable is lower than Dwarf Fortress despite having a higher user score, which I deduced to the fact that Dwarf Fortress has more audience reviews that The Stanley Parable.
However, the PS5 port of The Witcher 3 is higher than God of War: Ragnarok despite having a lower user score, and it has way fewer critic and audience reviews. It’s baffling. I do not fully understand.
Nevertheless, here are the 10 best games of 2022 according to Metacritic.
10. Cuphead in the Delicious Last Course (XBONE)
Metascore: 92 | User Score: 8.3
The DLC for Cuphead was a hit with critics and fans alike, rating even higher than the base game itself. Fans waited patiently for more content, and 5 years later they seem to be satisfied with what they were served.
9. Chained Echoes (PC)
Metascore: 92 | User Score: 8.7
This SNES-style RPG was made by sole developer Matthias Linda and only released this month, but has already leapt its way to the top of the list. People are going really wild for Chained Echoes, likening it to JRPG classics like Chrono Trigger.
8. God of War (PC)
Metascore: 93 | User Score: 8.5
The PC ports of previously PlayStation-exclusive games have been a big win for Sony thanks to the uncapped framerate, native 4K and ultra-wide screen support. Sure, the PlayStation 4 is a great console, but a strong PC can make for an even better experience.
7. The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe (XBX)
Metascore: 93 | User Score: 8.6
This is another one that did better on Metacritic than its base game. The console port for The Stanley Parable expands on the original game with additional content and the same engaging story. An undeniable classic.
6. Dwarf Fortress (PC)
Metascore: 93 | User Score: 8.5
Dwarf Fortress became available as freeware and went into development in 2002, and was officially released this year to high praise from all fronts. Its perfect scores from The Guardian, IGN, and The Washington Post were well deserved.
5. God of War: Ragnarok (PS5)
Metascore: 94 | User Score: 7.9
A well-made sequel to a well-loved reboot that also welcomes players new to the series? It’s more likely than you think. God of War: Ragnarok did very well for itself, even receiving a number of awards from… its own publisher. Nice?
4. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Complete Edition (PS5)
Metascore: 94 | User Score: 7.5
Seven years later and The Witcher 3 is still slaying the gaming game. The next-gen update for the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and PC was a hit for all, with various quality-of-life improvements and a graphical upgrade proving to be a big win.
3. Persona 5 Royal (PC)
Metascore: 95 | User Score: 8.5
Persona 5 Royal is another example of an already-popular game getting even more love thanks to the power of PC, but the availability on Steam Deck and Switch also gave it a leg up for portability. Great port for a great game.
2. Elden Ring (XBX)
Metascore: 96 | User Score: 7.7
You thought this was going to be number one, didn’t you? Don’t worry, so did I. It’s important to note that if we did include repeats, Elden Ring would appear three times in the top 10, as it did exceptionally well on all platforms. It’s a masterpiece, we know!
1. Portal Companion Collection (NS)
Metascore: 96 | User Score: 8.0
Now, THIS was unexpected. I mean, Portal and Portal 2 are masterpieces in their own right, and they run surprisingly well on the Nintendo Switch, considering it’s not usually people’s first choice when playing a multi-platform game. On top of that, it’s the first time the games have been in a bundle together on a console, and it was also going for a pretty good price!