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The 10 Most Beautiful Games of 2022

Published Dec 9, 2022
Includes affiliate content

There is something quite magical about picking up a controller and immersing yourself completely in a brand new experience.

Video games have the ability to transport us to different worlds, expand our perception, and present us with tough challenges that are a joy to overcome.

There was a time when video games were seen as a simple pastime, or a children’s toy, but the medium has evolved to a point where no other art form can rival its compelling power of storytelling. When playing a game, you’re not only part of the story, you’re actively determining the outcomes of your own trajectory.

Modern game design combines elements of art direction, photography, animation, character creation and sound design to produce captivating narratives.

In this article we take a look at the visual accomplishments of games released in 2022. These are the ones we couldn’t stop taking screenshots of this year.

Stray’s atmosphere is captivating. © BlueTwelve Studio

Stray

Developed by French indie developer BlueTwelve Studio, Stray is a visually stunning adventure in which players take on the role of a cat exploring a mysterious futuristic world.

Stray © BlueTwelve Studio
Stray © BlueTwelve Studio

Stray’s atmosphere is captivating with towering cityscapes, winding alleys and intriguing back streets. You get the sense that every scene has been crafted with love and care down to its smallest details.

Stray © BlueTwelve Studio

You can get a digital copy of Stray on the PlayStation Store or Steam if you’re on a PC.

The game was released July 2022 on PS4, PS5 and Windows.

The Artful Escape is a stunning journey through a musical world. © Beethoven & Dinosaur

The Artful Escape

The Artful Escape is an immersive experience that will take you on a journey of music and art. Set in a vibrant and colorful world, this game allows players to explore the dynamic landscapes through its unique art direction.

The Artful Escape © Beethoven & Dinosaur

The character designs are particularly captivating, bursting with life and personality. While exploring the world, players can enjoy the cheerful music, and contribute with their own guitar solos and flourishes.

The Artful Escape © Beethoven & Dinosaur

The Artful Escape is available on Nintendo Switch, Steam, Xbox consoles, and it’s currently free for Game Pass subscribers.

You can get the game digitally on all platforms, and iam8bit is also releasing a physical copy for the Switch and PS5.

The Artful Escape was released January 2022 on Nintendo Switch and September 2021 everywhere else.

Tunic’s world is packed full of secrets and interesting puzzles. © Isometricorp Games Ltd.

TUNIC

Featuring a small fox as the hero, Tunic is an action-adventure game created by Andrew Shouldice and published by Finji.

The isometric, top-down view gives the game an old-school feel reminiscent of classic games like Zelda. If you’re a fan of retro gaming you will surely enjoy the nostalgia and beauty of this adventure.

TUNIC™ © Isometricorp Games Ltd.

The carefully crafted backdrops are stunningly beautiful and filled with secrets waiting to be uncovered. Players can explore lush forests and dungeons, fight off monsters, and uncover hidden treasures as they make their way through the world—all while taking in its vibrant colors and delightful art style.

TUNIC™ © Isometricorp Games Ltd.

You can get a digital copy the game on all platforms. Sadly for collectors, there is no word yet on a physical release.

Tunic launched March 2022 on Windows, macOS, Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One.

Elden Ring is an open world masterpiece. © FromSoftware Inc.

Elden Ring

FromSoftware’s visionary art direction has produced some of the most interesting visuals in video games, and Elden Ring is no exception. Fans of the studio’s past works were thrilled to see Hidetaka Miyazaki’s take on an open world game.

Elden Ring © FromSoftware Inc.
Elden Ring © FromSoftware Inc.

The landscapes and environments within Elden Ring’s sprawling open world are truly something else, as you explore a number of different areas filled with secrets waiting to be uncovered.

Elden Ring © FromSoftware Inc.
Elden Ring © FromSoftware Inc.

With its grand scale, daring plotlines, and memorable characters; it’s safe to say that Elden Ring sets a new bar for creative storytelling in gaming.

Elden Ring © FromSoftware Inc.

You can pick up a physical copy of Elden Ring here, and the digital version is available on all platforms.

Elden Ring was released February 2022 on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

The Last of Us is set in an immersive post-apocalyptic world. © Naughty Dog

The Last of Us Part 1

Rebuilt from the ground up to take full advantage of the PlayStation 5 hardware, The Last of Us Part 1 is a stunning recreation of the beloved classic. From its heart-wrenching storytelling to its jaw-dropping graphics, the game has become an international phenomenon since its 2013 release.

The Last of Us Part 1 © Naughty Dog

The art direction in The Last of Us has been widely praised for its ability to draw players into this post-apocalyptic world with a strong atmosphere and incredible visuals.

The Last of Us Part 1 © Naughty Dog

With highly detailed environments and character models featuring authentic expressions that look almost real, it’s hard to take our eyes off the screen as we explore the ruins of post-pandemic America.

The Last of Us Part 1 © Naughty Dog

Every inch of this world is rendered incredibly realistically, making us feel like we’re living inside a movie as we play through it.

The Last of Us Part 1 © Naughty Dog

You can grab the game on Amazon, or digitally via the PlayStation Store.

The Last of Us Part 1 was released June 2022 exclusively for the PS5.

Beacon Pines captivates players with its storybook art style. © Hiding Spot

Beacon Pines

Beacon Pines immediately caught our eye with its unique storybook art style and endearing characters.

As you explore this beautiful little town, you’ll encounter cute creatures and work together to uncover the mysteries of a world filled with secrets and danger.

Beacon Pines © Hiding Spot

The game provides hours of entertainment for younger audiences, while still offering plenty of challenge and intrigue to keep older players engaged too. Solve puzzles, make new friends and go head-to-head against a sinister force lurking in the shadows.

Beacon Pines © Hiding Spot
Beacon Pines © Hiding Spot

With its charming atmosphere, captivating visuals, and an immersive narrative with branching paths, Beacon Pines is a truly memorable little adventure.

The game is available digitally on all platforms.

Beacon Pines was released September 2022 on the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Windows and Mac.

Journey across the Nine Realms in God of War Ragnarök. © Sony/Santa Monica Studio

God of War Ragnarök

Set in the world of Norse mythology, the long awaited sequel to the critically acclaimed God of War series, God of War: Ragnarök, delivers incredibly detailed graphics and visually stunning backdrops across the Nine Realms.

God of War Ragnarök © Sony/Santa Monica Studio

The impeccable art direction by Rafael Grassetti, combined with compelling voice acting by an incredible cast, contribute to draw players into its gripping storytelling.

God of War Ragnarök © Sony/Santa Monica Studio

Playing as Kratos and his son Atreus you’ll fight gods, monsters and other creatures through exciting Nordic landscapes.

God of War Ragnarök © Sony/Santa Monica Studio

Get ready for breathtaking set pieces and some epic boss fights that are sure to test your skills as you unravel all the secrets Ragnarök has to offer.

God of War Ragnarök © Sony/Santa Monica Studio

You can get Ragnarök on Amazon, or digitally via the PlayStation Store.

The game launched November 2022 on the PS4 and PS5.

It Takes Two is a thrilling co-op adventure. © Hazelight Studios

It Takes Two

One of our favorite co-op games in recent memory, It Takes Two arrived on the Nintendo Switch in November 2022. This delightful adventure features stunning graphics, adorable characters, and an engaging storyline.

It Takes Two © Hazelight Studios

Players can expect some thrilling action as they traverse through each level, and they’ll have to work together in order to progress through the story. With plenty of puzzles and fun sections along the way, It Takes Two is sure to keep you entertained for the entire journey.

It Takes Two © Hazelight Studios
It Takes Two © Hazelight Studios

Through its ingenious mechanics, the game allows you to connect with someone special while enjoying an unforgettable adventure.

It Takes Two © Hazelight Studios

You can get the game on Amazon, or digitally through your preferred platform.

It Takes Two launched November 2022 on Nintendo Switch, and March 2021 on Windows, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

The amount of details in Horizon’s world and its machines is astonishing. © Guerrilla Games

Horizon Forbidden West

Horizon Forbidden West is one of the most visually stunning open world games ever created. The game takes you on a journey through an expansive post-apocalyptic landscape filled with breathtaking vistas, ruined cities and lush forests.

Horizon Forbidden West © Guerrilla Games

In this sequel to the award-winning Horizon Zero Dawn, you’ll play once again as Aloy, a brave and resourceful hunter who embarks on a quest to discover the truth about her world. Fans of the first installment can look forward to an even more thrilling story, filled with exciting characters and exotic environments.

Horizon Forbidden West © Guerrilla Games

The engaging combat also returns, with powerful new machines. From scaly raptor-like predators to giant mechanical monsters, Forbidden West is packed with a variety of robotic adversaries.

Horizon Forbidden West © Guerrilla Games

Get your copy of the game on Amazon, or digitally via the PlayStation Store.

Forbidden West was released February 2022 for the PS4 and PS5.

A new adventure for “mighty pirate” Guybrush Threepwood. © Terrible Toybox/Devolver Digital

Return to Monkey Island

Return to Monkey Island is the unexpected, but much-awaited new chapter of the Monkey Island series, which sees the return of original creator and legendary game designer Ron Gilbert at its helm, as game director.

Return to Monkey Island © Terrible Toybox/Devolver Digital

The beloved series follows the adventures of Guybrush Threepwood as he navigates through Caribbean-style islands full of pirates and a cast of amusing characters.

Return to Monkey Island © Terrible Toybox/Devolver Digital

The return of the series was a pleasant surprise, but it has also sparked strong debate in the gaming community due to its unique art style – which features bright colours and exaggerated facial features for many of its characters.

This particular style was purposefully chosen by Gilbert in order to emphasize humour and playfulness within the game’s narrative – a key characteristic of the series.

Return to Monkey Island © Terrible Toybox/Devolver Digital

We were initially taken aback with the new look, but it has certainly grown on us. So much in fact, that it definitely deserves a spot on this list for its distinctive art style.

Return to Monkey Island © Terrible Toybox/Devolver Digital

The game is now available digitally on all platforms.

Return to Monkey Island was released for macOS, Nintendo Switch, and Windows on September 2022, for Linux on October 2022, and for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S on November2022.


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