As it turns out, 2022 was a fantastic year for gaming, in spite of a dry patch toward the middle. While we’ve already written about the best games of 2022, our selections cover only a handful of what came out over the past 12 months. As such, the Tom’s Guide staff has decided to put together a list of games you may have missed — especially if you stuck to blockbuster titles, such as Elden Ring and God of War Ragnarök.
Some of the games you missed in 2022 are runners-up from our “best games” story. Others are more niche titles, which we personally loved, but may not appeal to a wide audience. This list contains action games, strategy games, adventure games, sports games, shooters and more, so there should be something to suit almost every taste. If you’re looking for something a little off the beaten path to play over the holidays, check out these games that might have flown under your radar the first time around.
Bayonetta 3 is one of the finest action games I’ve played in years. In this stylish adventure you’ll take control of Bayonetta, an Umbra Witch with a stylish arsenal and a killer sashay. This time around Bayonetta has to take on a threat that could end the whole multiverse, and she does so by punching, kicking and shooting a variety of creative adversaries into submission.
The graceful, balletic combat is Bayonetta 3’s main draw, particularly since you’ll take control of both Bayonetta and a new witch called Viola, who fights with a katana and avoids damage with parries rather than dodges. However, the game’s over-the-top story and offbeat sense of humor are just as vital to the overall experience. While the aging Switch hardware can’t always keep pace with the fast-paced battles, that does little to diminish the overall package. — Marshall Honorof
Considering its less-than-stellar reputation you might be surprised to see Gotham Knights included in a roundup of games you missed in 2022, but I’m here to argue this open-world action game deserves another chance.
In many ways, it seems to me that Gotham Knights has been harshly judged for what it isn’t rather than what it actually is. Let’s get the bat in the room out of the way: Gotham Knights is not up to the quality standards of the Arkham games. But that’s a very high bar to clear. So, even if it’s not among the greatest superhero games ever made, it’s nevertheless one I’ve found myself constantly coming back to since launch.
Perhaps it’s the appealing treadmill of upgrading your preferred Knight with new gear and abilities, or maybe it’s the game’s stunning recreation of Gotham City that is a joy to glide over. Yes, its infamous performance issues are unfortunate but If you’re looking for some mindless comic book thrills, Gotham Knights is sure to satisfy. Just make sure to keep your expectations in check. — Rory Mellon
High On Life
High On Life came out too late in the year to earn a spot in our “best games” list, but I think it could have been a strong contender. In this anarchic first-person shooter, you take control of an everyday slacker who becomes an intergalactic bounty hunter after his or her house gets blasted into the far reaches of space. From there, you pick up a variety of sentient, talking guns, and blast your way through a whole host of alien threats.
The big draw of High On Life is that it comes from Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland. As such, the game has a bizarre, offhand sense of humor that starts with the very first lines of dialogue and never lets up until the end. While not every quip is a laugh riot, the game hits you with so many, you’re bound to laugh a lot — and if you don’t, there’s a rock-solid first-person shooter underneath. — Marshall Honorof
The Last of Us Part I
The Last of Us Part I generated a fair amount of controversy at launch, with some people grumbling about its full $70 price tag and others questioning the necessity of remaking a game not even a decade old. Did we really need this from-the-ground-up remake of The Last of Us? Perhaps not, but there’s no question it’s now the definitive way to experience the landmark PlayStation exclusive.
Joel and Ellie’s arduous trek across post-apocalyptic United States hits just as hard in 2022 as it did back in 2013, and now with completely overhauled visuals, the already cinematic experience has been taken up a further notch. The lack of any new content is a little disappointing, but Naughty Dog has done a phenomenal job making The Last of Us look every bit as jaw-dropping as its 2020 sequel. With The Last of Us HBO show due to premiere next month, now is the perfect time to relive The Last of Us Part I, or experience it for the very first time on PS5 — Rory Mellon
Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope
Mario + Rabbids is an idea that probably shouldn’t have worked even once — but now it’s worked twice. In Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope, you’ll take control of Mario, Luigi, Peach and Bowser, as well as a bunch of their Raving Rabbid counterparts. While this may sound like a setup for a breezy party game, Sparks of Hope is anything but. Instead, it’s an intense turn-based strategy/RPG, where every battle requires tight tactical thinking.
Each character has a unique playstyle, from Luigi’s long-range sniper skills to Rabbid Rosalina’s sleep-inducing special abilities. Apart from combat, though, the game also has lots of levels to explore, puzzles to solve and character upgrades to pursue. Throw in a laugh-out-loud script and some of the most delightfully colorful graphics on the Switch, and Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope could become a cult classic, just like its predecessor. — Marshall Honorof
OlliOlli World is the embodiment of easy to pick up but devilishly difficult to master. Within minutes of booting up this vibrant skateboarding side-scroller you’ll be pulling off all manner of slick tricks, but if you want to reach the top of the leaderboards you’ll need to put in the work.
If the game wasn’t so perfectly balanced it could have veered into rage-inducing territory, but OlliOllii World always manages to fall on the right side of the fine line between frustration and fun. That’s thanks in part to its charming art style, but also because it’s just hugely enjoyable to play. It also helps that you’re consistently rewarded with a new cosmetic unlock or a fresh level to skate. Your progression is never halted even when you reach the game’s most challenging levels, and the feeling of nailing a tricky section after dozens of tries is seriously radical — Rory Mellon
While Pentiment won’t appeal to everyone, it will absolutely delight adventure gamers and history aficionados. You take control of Andreas Maler, an artist in the late medieval Holy Roman Empire. From there, you set out to solve a devious murder mystery. Pentiment has lots of dialogue, a handful of puzzles and not much else in terms of traditional gameplay. But the writing is strong, and you have a considerable degree of control over where the story goes next.
While this isn’t a traditional role-playing game, you’ll still develop your own unique version of Andreas, from his background, to his skills, to his education, to his previous travels across Europe. Your choices help guide your investigation, as do the relationships you build up with other characters. Even the murder mystery is only a hook for a much larger and more intriguing story. On top of all that, there’s also a striking and unique art style. — Marshall Honorof
The elevator pitch for Rollerdrome is an easy one: Tony Hawk but with guns. From OlliOlli developer Roll7, this cel-shaded skater shooter puts you in the shoes of contender Kara Hassan as you take on arenas of enemies in this lethal roller-skating competition run by the mysterious corporation Matterhorn. This is the perfect game to show off to friends, or if you just want to look cool grinding and wall-riding while taking out enemies with 4 different weapons. The flow of this game can reach rhythm action levels at times as you weave between bullets and complete tricks to keep your combo up. If you were ever disappointed there weren’t more mech battles in the Pro Skater series, this is the game for you. — Andy Sansom
Elden Ring was far from the only game responsible for broken controllers in 2022. In fact, action beat ‘em up Sifu is arguably even more demanding than FromSoftware’s GOTY frontrunner. Developed by French studio Slocap, in Sifu you play a martial arts student on a quest for revenge against the people responsible for the death of their father.
Sifu’s hugely rewarding and staggeringly deep combat system keeps things engaging throughout. And the stakes are intensified via its permadeath mechanic. When you die your character is instantly resurrected but will have aged up a few years. Become too old and you’ll permanently die and must restart from the beginning. This gives every defeat a real sense of weight as your age counter ticks up higher and higher.
Trying to complete the entire game in a single lifespan is a seriously tough task, and you’ll only manage it by truly mastering Sifu’s combat system. Yes, you’ll need plenty of patience for this one, but persist and you’ll be rewarded with an almost unrivaled feeling of victory. — Rory Mellon
Nintendo’s Splatoon 3 is a charming third-person shooter that merges online battles and a strong single-player campaign to great effect. The ink-slinging octolings and inklings face the possible return of mammals to the sun-scorched deserts of the Splatlands, which would cover the world in a fuzzy ooze.
The competitive and cooperative multiplayer features tons of distinctive modes and an abundance of fun. While Splatoon 3 doesn’t bring a lot of new ideas to the franchise, its quality of life improvements present a meaningful change to a highly polished formula. — Madeline Ricchiuto
Splitgate isn’t exactly a new game, but it hit its full and final release in 2022. This competitive multiplayer first-person shooter combines elements of Halo and Portal to create a unique and addictive experience. With a nice variety of weapons and strategies, Splitgate offers countless hours of fun as you hone your skills and complete challenges.
Being free to play, it does contain a season pass model with microtransactions to support the small developer. Everything is cosmetic-only, and you can also earn weapon skins through gameplay. It’s a fair game that rewards skill and thinking outside of the box. If you want to scratch that old school Halo multiplayer itch, then give Splitgate a try. — Jordan Palmer
While Stray is a short game that borders on being too simplistic, it’s a consistently well-paced adventure with rewarding exploration, gorgeous environments, and touching sentiments about companionship and hope. Plus, it gives players the opportunity to play a game as a cat.
The worst thing about Stray is that its short runtime leaves you wanting more cat-ventures in your life. Even if you’re not really a feline fanatic. — Madeline Ricchiuto