This year was supposed to be huge for PlayStation fans. Sony made a lot of huge promises heading into 2021 as it looked to sell the then-new PS5s with an incredible lineup of games. It seemed too good to be true — and it was. Very few of Sony’s big-ticket games actually made it in time for the holidays this year, leaving PS5 owners with little in the way of exclusives to pick over.
That’s going to change in 2022, if only because the games that were supposed to launch in 2021 are actually finally coming. Heavy hitters like Horizon Forbidden West, God of War Ragnarok, and Gran Turismo 7 are just a few of the games looking to make 2022 the best year yet to be a PlayStation owner.
Here are the PS5 games you can look forward to in what’s shaping up to be a historic year for video games.
Sifu (February 8)
Sony has upped its commitment to indie games in recent years, locking down excellent titles like Kena: Bridge of Spirits as console launch exclusives. That trend will continue into 2022, starting with Sifu. Developed by Sloclap, Sifu is a kung fu action game where players age one year every time they die. From our short time playing a demo for the game, we’re already sold on the concept. The martial arts combat is quick and impactful, making this an indie action game to keep an eye on during a busy month.
Horizon Forbidden West (February 18)
Horizon Forbidden West was supposed to be Sony’s big holiday 2021 release, but it ended up moving to February 2022 instead. The initial delay announcement stung, but now that date is right around the corner. The sequel to one of PS4’s best exclusives looks astonishing. Fights against gigantic robots present a jaw-dropping sense of scale that builds off its predecessors’ strengths. The sequel is also taking some design cues from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild with more mobility options, which is always a welcome change.
Elden Ring (February 25)
Mark my words: Elden Ring is going to be the game of the year. Even as someone who hates Dark Souls-style games, I was absolutely won over by FromSoftware’s latest when I demoed it. The game’s art direction is impeccable, and combat feels more forgiving thanks to additional build options. Following a successful closed network test, it feels like FromSoftware is primed to deliver its best Souls-like game yet, which is saying something.
Gran Turismo 7 (March 4)
Forza Horizon 5 gave players a newfound appreciation for the racing genre in 2021, and Gran Turismo 7 could capitalize on that momentum. The legendary franchise returns in March with its flashiest entry yet, thanks to PS5 power. The game is set to include a campaign, returning features like Brand Central, and new modes. And naturally, it’ll be full of shiny digital cars for players to drive around a number of scenic tracks.
Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin (March 18)
Frankly, I have no idea if Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin is going to be good. From what I’ve seen so far, the game is full of “WTF” moments that make it seem like it’ll enter “so bad it’s good territory.” Sure, that’s a backhanded compliment, but my hype for the game is real nonetheless. Final Fantasy is at its best when it’s a big melodrama that’s broody and goofy in the same breath. When I see a character yell, “I’m here to kill Chaos,” eight times in one trailer, I know that I’m going to get exactly what I want from a Final Fantasy game.
Forspoken (May 24)
Forspoken shows a lot of promise, even if an awkward press event has dulled its shine in recent weeks. Developed by Final Fantasy XV studio Luminous Productions, the open-world game has a lot going for it. It features stunning visuals, seemingly complex magical combat, and freeform traversal that lets players fly above the world. Considering this is a brand-new IP, it could go either way, but it’s always nice to see studios like Square Enix taking a gamble with something new.
GhostWire: Tokyo (TBA)
No matter how good GhostWire: Tokyo is, it’ll be a significant game. This is likely the last Bethesda game we’ll see on a Sony console for some time as the mysterious action game was set to be a PlayStation exclusive before Microsoft acquired the publishing giant. That deal is being honored here as it was with Deathloop, so this will hopefully be a strong goodbye to Bethesda on PlayStation. Unnerving visuals, a mysterious story, and intriguing first-person magic promise to make this a creepy good time.
God of War Ragnarok (TBA)
I don’t think anyone realistically expected God of War Ragnarok to land in 2021, no matter what Sony initially promised. Judging by 2018’s God of War, the sequel would be a massive undertaking requiring lots of development time. That became especially apparent when the game got its first trailer, teasing an gargantuan adventure that builds on its predecessors’ epic world. I’ll wait as long as Sony wants if it means I’ll get to do battle against Thor.
Oxenfree II: Lost Signals (TBA)
Oxenfree was one of 2016’s best indie games. The atmospheric, narrative adventure was notable for its dialogue system, which had characters speaking in more natural ways that felt closer to real-life conversations. So far, Oxenfree II: Lost Signals looks like a worthy follow-up that doubles down on what made the original such a gem. A debut trailer teases an even creepier supernatural horror experience with some gorgeous 2D landscapes.
Stray is a video game that lets you play as a cat. If that hasn’t sold you, I don’t know what else to say. Published by Annapurna Interactive, the indie certainly looks like 2022’s cutest video game, at the very least. Players will roam around a city solving environmental puzzles and doing normal cat activities, like scratching a couch. With 2022 shaping up to be a hectic year full of intense battles, it’ll be nice to simply explore the world as a savvy street cat.