Right now, we’re in the middle of a summer gaming drought. But in just a few weeks, the fall gaming season will begin. As in other years, the period between September and November 2022 is when publishers will put out some of the biggest games of the year, particularly new entries in long-running series. This year, we’ll get a new Overwatch, a new Bayonetta, a new Call of Duty, a new God of War and a new Pokémon — or perhaps two new Pokémons, if you count the Scarlet and Violet editions separately.
There are also a few high-profile original titles coming out, including a new comedy title from Rick and Morty creator Justin Roiland, as well as Ubisoft’s long-awaited pirate game, Skull & Bones. While we can’t promise that every single one of these games will be a smash hit, we can promise that the big-budget gaming drought is about to come to an end. Also note that we’re playing a little fast and loose with the “fall” season, but the bottom line is that these games will be out relatively soon.
The Last of Us Part I (September 2)
Are you ready for The Last of Us, Part III? So are we, but it’s probably not going to happen for another few years. In the meantime, The Last of Us TV series on HBO is in the works, as is The Last of Us, Part I on PS5. This remake of the first game seems to have fans split down the middle. While some gamers see it as an excellent opportunity to bring new fans into the fold, others don’t see the point, as The Last of Us already has a perfectly good PS4 remaster. Either way, the game appears to be a faithful remake of the PS3’s The Last of Us, with the suspenseful story and intense combat intact.
Overwatch 2 (October 4)
Overwatch 2 isn’t exactly a sequel to Overwatch. It’s more akin to a new season of the popular hero shooter, since it will essentially replace the first game when it launches. Either way, Overwatch 2 will introduce some big changes to Blizzard’s multiplayer hit, including retooled characters, new maps and story-driven player-versus-enemy events. Unlike the first game, Overwatch 2 will be free-to-play, and will offer new “seasons” of content on a consistent nine-week basis. While Overwatch still has plenty of players, games such as Fortnite and Apex Legends have made the multiplayer shooter market much more competitive than it used to be. We’ll see whether Overwatch 2 can win back some of the original’s fans.
Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope (October 20)
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle was one of the most delightful sleeper hits on the Nintendo Switch, and Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope looks like a worthy follow-up. In the first game, Mario and co. teamed up with Ubisoft’s Raving Rabbids in an anarchic turn-based strategy adventure. Sparks of Hope seems like the same basic idea, but with more playable characters — and set in outer space. Like Kingdom Battle, Sparks of Hope promises tight, tactical battles alongside plenty of silly humor. If you’ve complained that all Mario games tend to be variations on the same formula, Sparks of Hope might be a pleasant surprise. Kingdom Battle was, after all.
Gotham Knights (October 25)
While it’s been a while since we had a new Batman: Arkham game, Gotham Knights might be the next best thing. After Batman dies in defense of his beloved city, it falls to his sidekicks to carry on the fight. In Gotham Knights, you’ll play as Nightwing, Robin, Batgirl and Red Hood as they fight run-of-the-mill criminals, as well as some of the Caped Crusader’s deadliest foes. The game will combine action, role-playing and open-world elements to (hopefully) create a satisfying superhero sim. Warner Bros. has already delayed Gotham Knights a few times, leaving fans to wonder whether it’s really good to go this time. But if nothing else, it’s an excellent concept for a Batman game.
Bayonetta 3 (October 28)
It’s been eight years since Bayonetta 2 came out, and gamers are more than ready to play Bayonetta 3. This game will continue the titular witch’s adventures as she fights against the forces of Paradiso and Inferno alike. If you haven’t experienced a Bayonetta game before, there’s no other series quite like it. The sassy tone and epic story play surprisingly well against one another, and Bayonetta herself is a pleasantly peculiar protagonist. She wears high heels that double as pistols; she devours demons with her hair; she taunts her foes with bizarre one-liners. Then there’s the combat, which is about as tight, refined and stylish as action games get. Bayonetta 3 could be well worth the wait.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II (October 28)
Another year; another Call of Duty game. This time, it’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II — not to be confused with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which debuted back in 2009. This game will pick up where 2019’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare left off, with a somewhat darker and more realistic campaign. There will also be a robust multiplayer mode with plenty of opportunities to customize your character and weapons. Frankly, the Call of Duty series has been going on for 19 years, and at this point, you probably already know whether it’s your thing or not. If it is, though, you’ll want to pick this one up so that you and your friends can start mastering this year’s version of the multiplayer mode.
Skull and Bones (November 8)
One of the more interesting concepts for a competitive multiplayer game in a while, Skull and Bones has had a troubled development history. The game started life as an offshoot of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, adapting that game's pitched naval battles into a multiplayer format. However, the game took almost nine years to complete, changing creative directions quite a few times in the process. Now, the game is almost done, and players will be able to judge for themselves whether it was worth the wait. You can customize your own 18th-century warship and test your prowess against other captains in the South Pacific, which admittedly makes it pretty different from the other multiplayer games on this list.
God of War: Ragnarök (November 9)
There’s never been a bad God of War game, but God of War (2018) was unusually good. Rather than simply continue Kratos’ deicidal story, the game made its protagonist a little calmer and more introspective. Set in a world of Norse mythology, Kratos waged a riveting battle against the tortured god Baldur, as well as against his own murderous tendencies. God of War Ragnarök will complete Kratos’ arc in the Norse lands, pitting him against thunder god Thor in addition to other godly foes. Sony has actually not shared that many details about Ragnarök’s story or gameplay, which means fans will have a lot to discover when this PS4 and PS5 exclusive finally arrives.
Pokémon Scarlet/Violet (November 18)
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are the latest entries in Nintendo’s storied monster-hunting franchise, and it looks like they’ll be trying something new. Like Pokémon Legends: Arceus, Scarlet and Violet will incorporate open-world elements, with no clear borders between towns and wilderness areas. This innovation helped Arceus stand out from previous Pokémon entries, and both fans and critics seemed receptive to the change. Beyond that, Scarlet and Violet will let you collect, train, evolve and trade Pokémon, just like previous games in the series. There will also be a whole new region to explore, as well as new creatures to catch. By this point, players should be pretty familiar with the Pokémon formula, so if you’ve been eagerly awaiting a new one, your wait is almost over.
High On Life (December 13)
A few years back, Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland released Trover Saves the Universe: a bizarre comedy game that felt like a playable episode of one of his shows. Now, Squanch Games is hard at work on High On Life, which sounds equally bizarre. You play as a high school graduate who must fight off an alien invasion with a collection of sentient weapons in hand. High On Life looks more action-packed than Trover, with first-person shooter gameplay and a variety of different equipment to try out. While High On Life is one of the more niche titles on this list, it’s almost sure to entertain fans of Roiland’s work, and give gamers a brand-new IP to check out.