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NPR's top 3 video games of 2022 — plus a few honorable mentions

Many critics prophesied that “Elden Ring” would be the most celebrated game of 2022.

Sure enough, after stiff competition from “God of War Ragnarök” and in a broadcast that far eclipsed the Oscars in viewership numbers, The Game Awards anointed “Elden Ring” with its highest honor.

But it also bears another distinction — It was the most nominated game in a NPR survey of staff and contributors for an article I edited for NPR.

While that list contains an easy interface to sift for recommendations, there are some details we couldn’t fit in there. In particular, three games stood out for how often they came up.

NPR’s most-nominated games of 2022

3. “Pokémon Legends: Arceus”

The first of two huge open-world Pokémon games to come out in 2022, “Arceus” feels like the more successful one. NPR staff praised it as a welcome evolution to what has become a predictable formula.

Caption: “Horizon Forbidden West” and it’s beautiful post-apocalyptic vision of the San Francisco bay. (Courtesy: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

2. “Horizon Forbidden West”

A long-awaited sequel to the robot-ridden “Horizon Zero Dawn,” “Forbidden West” won acclaim from NPR staff for its gorgeously realized, post-apocalyptic world.

1. “Elden Ring”

The favorite by a wide margin, “Elden Ring” came recommended not just from fans of the developer’s “Dark Souls” series, but from many who never thought they’d be able to conquer its challenging combat. It truly was a breakout hit.

In addition, indie games “Citizen Sleeper” and “Tunic” also tied for fourth place.

“Citizen Sleeper” is one of several sci-fi life simulators to gain acclaim this year. You play an android in the far future, scraping together a life as a fugitive from the company that literally owns your body. It’s like “Blade Runner,” but you’re the replicant.

“Tunic,” by contrast, takes place in a brightly polygonal fantasy world. While it plays much like a classic “Zelda” game, beneath the surface lurk deep mysteries and incredibly clever puzzles.

These five games are more than enough to keep you busy until the New Year — but if you’re wanting more, there are many more for every taste on NPR’s broader list.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.