The 15 Best RPGs Of 2022, Ranked

The year 2022 produced a variety of RPGs for multiple platforms. From the highly anticipated "Elden Ring" to the dark and twisted world of "Weird West." While some publishers have built upon award-winning formulas, others have attempted innovation in the hopes of capturing a new generation of gamers.

But who has been successful, and have they delivered on their promises of immersive gameplay, detailed stories, and unique progression systems? As the holidays loom toward us, it is now more important than ever to separate the truly great RPGs of this year from those that are likely to disappoint.

Therefore, we have compiled a list of the 15 best RPGs of 2022. We've based our decisions on review scores, community responses, and some of our own personal favorites. While all of us may have a theme preference, who knows, you might just find a sleeper hit that you did not expect!

15. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Complete Edition

Back in 2015, "The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt" sent shockwaves through the gaming industry, receiving numerous Game of the Year and Best Role Playing Game awards. While most RPGs gave you a choice between good and bad, "The Witcher 3" explored the grey area in between, deciding the greater or lesser evil. The fantastic storyline, open world, gameplay, and memorable characters made "The Witcher 3" something truly beautiful and unique.

With the release of the 2022 Complete Edition, "The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt" now takes everything that we loved so much about the original and throws it into the next generation of gaming platforms. This expansion is accessible on PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch. "The Complete Edition" will be sold as a standalone game, but will also be available as a free update for existing owners of the original.

Some of the new features many fans are excited about include ray tracing, integrated mods, faster loading times, photo mode, bug fixes, Netflix DLC, and a new secret quest! Next-gen consoles such as the PS5 have the most to gain here with the option to enable Ray Tracing mode at 30 FPS with enhanced visuals, or, Performance Mode which maintains a steady 60 FPS. With so many improvements, now has never been a better time to try out "The Witcher 3," or relive the epic experience all over again!

This entry would be ranked higher if it weren't only a newly-packaged and refreshed version of the original — but we couldn't just leave it off of the list just because it'd be released in a different form before — it's too good!

14. Thymesia

"Thymesia" is another Souls-like action RPG in which you play as Corvus, a royal operative tasked with discovering what has happened to a kingdom ravaged by plague and disease. Wielding dual blades and a number of mystical powers, Corvus must battle against monstrous foes, while unlocking the secrets of his past.

As a Souls-inspired game, "Thymesia" is extremely difficult with an unforgiving system. Combat requires practice and patience, so you'll need to learn multiple enemy weak points and patterns. At checkpoints, players can then level up, recover healing supplies, and unlock skill trees to further improve their character. The downside of course is that all enemies nearby respawn.

However, copying a successful formula can lead to its own problems if not applied correctly. Critics have outlined that there are some balancing issues that make the game feel confusing in the direction it wants to take. While you're primarily forced to emulate the slow methodical approach of "Dark Souls," you may also be required to react with lightning speed and aggressive combos unexpectedly.

You may find that by the time you run into a real boss fight, you aren't yet sure what mechanics to employ. Additionally, there's no voice acting, just subtitles, which can prove distracting during a battle sequence.

All things considered, the game delivers a creepy atmosphere and an excellent soundtrack setting an oppressive atmosphere. If you can look past the combat issues, "Thymesia" is another winning Souls-like experience for FromSoftware fanatics.

13. Steelrising

"Steelrising" is an action RPG set in an alternative timeline of the French Revolution. King Louis XVI has unleashed an army of deadly clockwork robots on the people and now rules Paris with fear. Players, therefore, assume the role of Aegis, a lone automaton warrior who must now face the king's mechanical army and save the revolution.

The alternative history concept is certainly intriguing, with many reviewers celebrating the game's setting and detailed graphics. Areas of "Steelrising" will shift from the beautiful gardens of Saint-Cloud and the lavishness of the Versailles to the war-torn streets of Paris. As the player progresses, more areas will unlock, including shortcuts through existing environments.

This game's core strengths come from its "Souls-like" formula. Combat revolves around light or strong attacks, while weapon or skill upgrades are applied at checkpoints throughout the world. Casual players or newcomers to "Souls" games have also welcomed the somewhat easier difficulty level. Aggressive playstyles are encouraged, requiring less patience and a lowered risk of punishment, in addition to challenging boss fights that don't take hours to figure out.

Having said that, "Steelrising" will still get your palms sweating and your heart thumping with its punchy instrumental soundtrack. Its unique theme of the French Revolution is an invigorating spin-off to a now-increasing skilled-based RPG influx. If you're waiting for the new "Elden Ring" DLC to arrive, "Steelrising" offers around 20 hours of playtime to soothe your anticipation.

12. King Arthur: Knight's Tale

"King Arthur: Knight's Tale" is an RPG that tells a different story from the legend. You play as Sir Mordred, King Arthur's mortal enemy, who must assemble his own knights, and slay the monsters who have infected the land (thanks to Arthur no less). The game has beautiful visuals which convey a dark tone throughout, and a lead protagonist whose voice is matched only by his ruthless nature.

Gameplay-wise, "King Arthur: Knight's Tale" is a straightforward tactical turn-based game that requires some economic and resource management. You'll command a party of knights with different classes and abilities who will engage in combat to gain experience, gold, loot, or new party members.

While it's fun at the start, the mechanics do occasionally get somewhat slow and repetitive. The game tries to give you various classes to choose from, but many players have outlined that it's essentially the classic: warrior, mage, and rogue archetypes. You'll be better off choosing "Marvel's Midnight Suns" if variety is what you're after.

But all is not lost, combat aside, you'll be given a unique opportunity to restore the legendary Castle Camelot. As you upgrade the stronghold, you'll receive better equipment or spells for your party. There's also the interesting morality system which shifts based on your actions in-game. Are you a rightful ruler, or a tyrant? Since it's a post-apocalyptic fantasy world, we went with the latter.

"King Arthur: Knight's Tale" is an acquired taste. If you want a simplified turn-based RPG with Gothic themes, you've arrived at your destination.

11. Dying Light 2 Stay Human

"Dying Light 2 Stay Human" is a post-apocalyptic, open-world, action RPG from Techland. The game is set two decades after the original "Dying Light" and places you in the shoes of Aiden Caldwell. A wandering pilgrim who searches for his sister Mia across the zombie-infested metropolis of Villedor.

Before getting into the good stuff, players need to go into "Dying Light 2" knowing that the main storyline is lackluster. The voice acting is good, but the game struggles to create any memorable story-rich moments. Reviewers have heavily criticized the main quest for being rushed and feeling all over the place. However, what the game lacks in storied lore, it makes up in phenomenal gameplay.

Thanks to an excellent progression system, and impeccable parkour mechanics, "Dying Light 2" is one of the best first-person games you'll have the pleasure of experiencing. Scaling towers or moving through the city feels amazing. You'll sit at the edge of your seat as you jump from one building to the next while avoiding the flesh-eating zombies.

Everything you do slowly levels up your protagonist and makes you feel like you're getting stronger. As you take down stronger enemies, your combat will improve, while attempting new leaps of faith will level up your parkour abilities. "Dying Light 2" accomplishes what many open-world games fail at — keeping things fun as you journey through the playable area. Moving from locations is never a choir, it's an opportunity to refine your ever-improving skillset. Add in the coop experience and you've got your very own "I Am Legend" parody with friends, but this time, you're on the dark side.

10. Tiny Tina's Wonderlands

"Tiny Tina's Wonderlands" is a spin-off from the "Borderlands" series, and a sequel to "Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep." Similar to its predecessors, Wonderland is a first-person shooter which has Tiny Tina setting up a fantasy-themed RPG campaign for new characters.

The comical story occurs within a tabletop game called "Bunkers & Badasses," in which you and two characters must defeat the Dragon Lord before he takes over a fantasy kingdom ruled by Butt Stallion. The game plays like any other Borderlands title — exorbitant gun variations, snappy combat, and meaningful side quests with ample rewards.

Visually, "Tiny Tina's Wonderlands" retains the colorful art style that has made the franchise distinct throughout the years. It's always fun to explore the world, with random encounters such as a town taken over by an evil beanstalk. It's this repetitive game style and lack of new features that have raised concern among reviewers — but not enough to bump this game off our list.

No doubt, the leveling-up system, and customization to fit your playstyle will never get old. Furthermore, maxing out abilities and steamrolling everything by the end of the game feels like an accomplishment in itself. It's still an enjoyable RPG for returning "Borderlands" fans, but more catered toward new players trying out the series for the first time.

9. Expeditions: Rome

"Expeditions: Rome" is a turn-based RPG in which you rise to command a Roman legion in order to avenge your father's murder. The grid-like combat system plays out similarly to a melee version of "XCOM," in that each of your players has a set of abilities determined by their weapon and class. The placements of enemies and the shape of the terrain demand different strategies, which can turn a fight from a joyful train of destruction to a hard-fought intense battle should you lose focus.

Outside of individual battles, your legion will also be responsible for conquering other landscapes. This is done via an overworld simulation that asks you to pick a tactic for your troops to use, which then shows you the results from the top view of the battle. While it isn't as exciting as turn-based combat, you can use auto results to speed things up.

The story is linear and immerses you in the history of Roman warfare in a fun way. Players can customize their characters, including their gender, which changes dialogue in-game. Additionally, you'll be able to choose your response to certain situations, such as being diplomatic or aggressive, however, this rarely affects outcomes.

"Expeditions: Rome" has a few shortcomings in that menus are occasionally clunky, and the lack of variety in places to capture can result in repetitive gameplay. However, if you can push past these minor inconveniences, "Expeditions: Rome" is one of the more friendly historical strategy games out there.

8. Weird West

"Weird West" is a supernatural dark fantasy twist on the stories of cowboys and outlaws. The game revolves around a five-chapter anthology that follows the lives of five heroes, namely: a bounty hunter, tribal protector, werewolf, magical zealot, and pig-man. As an immersive top-down RPG sim, "Weird West" is for those who really love role-playing with a sprinkle of action and unforeseen developments.

From the start of your adventures, you'll notice the similarities between "Weird West" and "Dishonoured." As the hero, you'll have a choice of stealth or action gameplay. Players can stay out of sight, hide bodies, or shoot whatever moves. Additionally, each character comes with unique spells or perks, so every chapter feels fresh giving you an opportunity to change your playstyle throughout.

Where "Weird West" really impresses though is the open world and the consequences throughout. There are dozens of towns to interact with, which include activities such as trading, helping strangers, or hiring mercenaries to join your party. And yes, for all you murdering NPC enthusiasts out there, you can even turn hard-working settlements into ghost towns. 

Now, back to the consequences. The smell of rotting corpses will lure in ghoulish monsters that turn a once-thriving town into a literal hell hole. When you decide to stroll back into town, perhaps the guilt will eat you before the monsters do.

As one of the most enjoyable sandbox experiences in a long time, horror enthusiasts should not pass this one up.

7. Citizen Sleeper

In the future delivered by "Citizen Sleeper," sleepers are artificial beings that have been emulated from the consciousness of another. They are then sold into corporate slavery and worked until they meet their end. In this Sci-Fi RPG, you are a sleeper who has escaped and made their way to Erlin's Eye, a space station in the far reaches of space. Players will then have to struggle to survive, carrying out odd jobs, all the while managing their body that is set to decay.

While many people have pointed out the similarities to "Bladerunner" with its dystopian future setting, "Citizen Sleeper" is a breath of fresh air in the Sci-Fi gaming genre. Modern Sci-Fi titles often place too much significance on graphical enhancements but tend to leave out the storytelling and content itself.

"Citizen Sleeper," therefore, puts you into a deep role-playing game that has consequences for every action. As you wake, you'll immediately have to choose what to do with your time. Tough choices between working for food and repairing yourself will be weighed against exploring and discovering secrets to advance the plot.

Throughout the space station, you will also find a host of colorful characters from all walks of life. From engineers to bartenders, each has a unique backstory that has brought them to Erlin's Eye. The tabletop RPG style will no doubt find favor among "Disco Elysium" fans. The only downside is the length at 10-ish hours, but with multiple endings, you can attempt a few playthroughs.

6. Pokémon Legends: Arceus

Most "Pokémon" games have followed a winning formula that has stayed consistent with the original game launched in the '90s. Players will choose a starting Pokémon, move from one town to the next in a linear fashion, assemble a team, defeat Gym leaders, and finally become a Pokemon Champion. While this formula has made Pokémon one of the most successful video game series of all time, Game Freak and Nintendo promised an entirely new direction with its latest installment.

Judging by the initial impressions of "Pokémon Legends: Arceus," it's safe to say they have achieved this goal. "Arceus" is a semi-open world that allows players to run around in large segmented areas that are free to explore. The emphasis on battling trainers has been replaced with catching Pokémon. Players can now interact with Pokémon in real-time, physically walking up to them and throwing a Poke Ball. You can even catch rideable Pokémon such as Wyrdeer, who you can then use to traverse the landscape and access previously unreachable areas.

When players do decide to engage in combat, veterans of the series should find familiarity in gameplay. "Pokémon Legends: Arceus" follows a turn-based battle system, which has a few new features to stir things up. The Switch platform in particular responds quite well to this, delivering a smooth experience and entertaining quests. This game's new direction definitely raises excitement for the future of the franchise. We can't wait to see what developers have in store for us next.

5. Marvel's Midnight Suns

In "Marvel's Midnight Suns" you play the role of the Hunter, a revived hero that must battle an ancient evil that threatens to plunge the world into darkness. Players fight alongside familiar heroes such as Iron Man and Captain America, in an interesting turn-based RPG that offers a lengthy campaign and unique in-game character relationships.

While Marvel games usually rely heavily on fast-paced action, "Marvel's Midnight Suns" feature a positive change with strategy-focused gameplay. Players choose three heroes to aid them in battle and are dealt a deck of random ability cards. During the mission, the abilities either affect the player's heroes, enemies, or the environment. If this sounds familiar to the "XCOM" series, then you're on the right path, the gameplay and combat system are more-or-less the same. Those wanting a hack-and-slash Marvel experience should therefore stay clear.

Walking around the fully explorable hub called the Abby, your character will also be able to chat with all the Marvel heroes and engage in banter-filled conversations. This sets the stage for some humorous situations, such as watching Wolverine playing video games, or Spiderman talking in his sleep.

"Marvel's Midnight Suns," therefore, offers an amazing blend of turn-based combat and fleshed-out character interactions. If you're a fan of Marvel superhero movies (or comics, really), this game is your latest best way to enter the universe and interact as you see fit. 

4. Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord

"Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord" is the highly anticipated prequel to "Mount & Blade: Warband." In this strategy action RPG, the player acts as a faction leader who must build up an army, create a kingdom, and continuously expand through fighting or diplomacy. The early access version of the game was released in March 2020, gathering almost 250,000 concurrent players on Steam. With a lot of patch notes and bug fixes, "Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord" officially launched on October 25, 2022.

With a promise of improved graphics and refined gameplay, "Mount & Blade II" certainly delivered. Fans of the series have applauded the game for staying true to its core mechanics and expanding upon its predecessor. Kingdom management now felt deeper and more structured, while the roleplaying system included more skills and perks. Additionally, professions such as blacksmithing now added activities beyond the major combat emphasis.

That's not to say the battles have lost their level of enjoyment or entertainment. The atmosphere remains awe-inspiring with the sound of nearing cavalry, or trebuchets launching projectiles at you and your army. Knowing you're in the thick of battle with hundreds of soldiers, initiating a well-timed flank, or locating the enemy king all adds to a masterpiece of medieval gameplay.

As with any great RPG, "Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord" also has an active modding community. Looking at Nexus Mods, you could potentially turn hundreds of hours of gameplay into thousands! While it's up for debate whether "Mount & Blade II" is the RPG of the decade, it can certainly last for one.

3. Horizon Forbidden West

"Horizon Forbidden West" is an action RPG developed by Guerilla Games and a direct sequel to 2017's "Horizon Zero Dawn." The game is set in a post-apocalyptic version of the United States, where players explore a land infested with malevolent machine creatures.

Players resume the role of Aloy from the original but are joined by a group of companions this time. In a nutshell, the main storyline focuses on a mysterious plague that kills all it infects. Aloy and others, therefore, journey to the arcane frontier in the hopes of finding the source of the outbreak.

The plot is well thought out, featuring new enemies that challenge players from start to finish. Following a third-person perspective mixed with skill trees and melee weapons, we couldn't help but feel as though Forbidden West is what "God of War" could have been if it had been completely open-world.

Speaking about the open world, there's good reason for all the review hype surrounding the landscape itself. "Horizon Forbidden West's" mission structure awards exploration as you discover new areas that range from tropical beaches to dry deserts and ruined cities. While some sequels promise a larger map size, "Horizon Forbidden West" truly fills out the playable landscape with rich side quests and unique places such as underwater discoveries.

As one of the best-looking PS5 games to date, "Horizon Forbidden West" builds upon its predecessor to deliver a spectacular experience. It makes you wonder, how Guerilla Games managed to optimize it so well for the console, and what surprises await when it launches on PC in a few years.

2. Xenoblade Chronicles 3

"Xenoblade Chronicles 3" takes place in a world called Aionios and follows two nations, Keves and Agnus, as they engage in a never-ending war. The story is self-contained and does not require any knowledge of the previous game, although there are plenty of references throughout. Players will join Noah, Mio, and their friends as they battle fierce creatures, traverse through epic landscapes, and fight to end the cycle of violence that plagues their homelands.

As one of the best games released on Nintendo Switch this year, "Xenoblade Chronicles 3" has everything JRPG enthusiasts are looking for: great characters, stellar voice acting, and a fun combat system. The combat system has received great feedback, thanks to its newer mechanics and class learning. You're now pushed to utilize all playable characters, forever switching up your play style.

While the graphics are somewhat lacking, the world is enormous, with fans claiming that the first area, is larger than "Pokémon Legends: Arceus" in its entirety. The game's story also has a darker undertone when compared to its predecessors, with many anti-war themes and a narrative that touches on forgiveness and regret. Even if you don't complete the side quests, "Xenoblade Chronicles 3" still manages to fully develop the main cast by the end of the story with incredible writing and pace.

If you're looking for the best JRPG in years, "Xenoblade Chronicles 3" offers a rollercoaster of emotions and leaves you wanting more, long after the completion of the main questline. After a hundred or more hours of gameplay, there's still so much to discover.

1. Elden Ring

"Elden Ring," the dark fantasy epic, is widely considered a masterpiece. Created by Hidetaka Miyazaki in collaboration with George RR Martin, "Elden Ring" is FromSoftware's most ambitious RPG yet, with an open-world design that takes the iconic "Souls" formula to new heights.

The first time you enter the mysterious world known as The Lands Between you'll notice a stark difference in the design when compared to previous FromSoftware games. Veterans of "Bloodborne" and "Dark Souls" have commended the color shift as more inviting, with glorious landscapes to behold.

Much of the combat system has remained the same from previous "Souls games," but there have been a few welcome additions. Players will need to strike, block, or dodge attacks while managing their stamina simultaneously. They'll also have access to a variety of weapons and spells to fit their playstyle, including the ability to summon creatures!

Newcomers to FromSoftware games might find "Elden Ring" more appealing if the so-called difficulty barrier was holding them back. "Souls" games are identified by their incredibly hard boss fights, unforgiving consequences of death, and linear worlds that force players to keep pushing in the same direction until they found success. "Elden Ring" is still a tough game, but the open-world aspect lets you explore alternative options and come back stronger.

While "Elden Ring" isn't suited for everyone, those who are up for the challenge will find a culmination of years of refinement. FromSoftware Inc. delivers everything it promised and more.