2022 has been a quieter year for gaming than most; outside a few high-profile releases—and one massive, medium-sweeping bulldozer courtesy of FromSoftware—major releases (at least, from the big-budget studios) have been few and far between.
But that, of course, only calls for deeper curation, and so The A.V. Club is here with a look at the best games published in the first half of 2022, whether smaller indie titles, Elden Ring, or big-budget games forced to exist in the unfortunate shadow of Elden Ring. Our list runs the gamut from open world epics to small-scale emotional adventures, and from obscurity-soaked love letters to the latest adventures of everyone’s favorite pink vore monster. But all our picks are united by one thing: These were the games we liked—and why—in the first half of 2022.