10 great new video games to entertain you until summer vacation (and beyond)

There are too many good video games out right now.

I mean that almost literally. I try to keep up with the latest and greatest stuff that comes out of this medium and I’m finding myself overwhelmed. Heck, on the day this story hits newspaper stands alone (March 25), three big, highly anticipated games are all being released at once. And they are all wildly different from one another, catering to different sorts of players.

If you, too, are overwhelmed by all these choices — or don’t even have a clue what’s new these days — here are 10 games released so far in 2022 that I think are worth a look.

Chocobo GP

If you’re a fan of chaotic go-kart racing games and need a break from Mario KartChocobo GP is one of the better kart clones in recent history. It will appeal most to fans of the Final Fantasy series, given that it’s packed with characters, locations and references to those games, but it’s a colorful and family-friendly racer that anybody can pick up.

The only downside? There is some pressure to purchase online currency for additional vehicles, colors and characters (similar to what you’d see in a free-to-play game like Fortnite). If the developer can make some of that process better and support the game with new tracks in the future, this could remain a party hit for a while.

Available now on the Nintendo Switch. There is also a free “Lite” version available as a demo.

Dying Light 2: Stay Human

If you just want to run (and climb) your way through a big city while also drop-kicking zombies in the face, Dying Light 2 is probably where you want to turn. It is primarily the marriage between two concepts: parkour and close-quarters combat. As you make your way through a city on the brink of collapse, you’ll discover more and more ways to survive both the undead and living enemies that stand in your way.

Just be careful when the sun goes down. Not only will zombies be stronger and more numerous, but you will also have to race against the clock to fight safe havens before you succumb to your own viral infection.

Available now on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series S|X.

Elden Ring

Elden Ring is a modern masterpiece, but fair warning: It might also be one of the most difficult games you’ll ever play.

Created by developer From Software (known for brutally hard games like dark souls) with world-building help from Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin, Elden Ring drops you into a massive world full of monsters, dragons, skeletons and more. It is intentionally obtuse and will never hold your hand, but those willing to push through its walls will be rewarded with an epic adventure that can easily last you more than 100 hours.

Available now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and PC.

Ghostwire: Tokyo

Without warning, nearly everybody in Tokyoishes without a trace, seemingly spirited away. Your character, however, was possessed by a ghost just beforehand (convenient, right?), leaving him to wander the city alongside the otherworldly spirits that have taken it over.

Ghostwire: Tokyo is a first-person adventure in which you run, jump and glide your way throughout Tokyo while fighting ghosts, solving some mysteries and completing a lot of side quests. Though it comes from the developer of some acclaimed horror games (The Evil Within) and has some spooky vibes, Ghostwire is more about action than scares.

The game might be most appealing to those with a fascination for Japanese ghost stories, as yokai and other supernatural creatures lurk around nearly every corner. But it’s also a game in which you can feed dogs and buy items from anthropomorphic cats that run corner stores, so… It’s got a little something for everybody, in that sense.

Available March 25 on PS5 and PC.

Horizon: Forbidden West

Centuries after a man-made apocalypse, humanity has been rebuilding itself in a world where self-sustaining machines roam the Earth like dinosaurs. You play as Aloy, a young woman who grew up with a Focus – a small device that allows her to see things that others can’t, including echoes of the previous human civilization. You will explore the vast wilds of a destroyed America while hunting machines, setting traps, fighting a rebellion and unlocking secrets of the past.

Forbidden West picks up more or less right where the first game, 2017′s Zero Dawn ended, though there’s a story summary at the start if you’re new or you’ve forgotten the events of the original game. This game is bigger and better in most ways, though not in a manner that shakes up the formula much at all. This is a by-the-books sequel that builds on what made the original game great, and you can’t fault it for that.

Available now on PS4 and PS5.

Kirby and the Forgotten Land

One of Nintendo’s most iconic heroes has finally gone fully 3D. Mainline Kirby games have traditionally been sidescrolling adventures that emphasize the character’s ability to copy his enemy’s abilities. Kirby and the Forgotten Land takes that core copy mechanism and gives it the Super Mario 3D World treatment, allowing the pink puffball to explore an interesting world in all three dimensions.

The other big new twist is Mouthful Mode, which is basically just a buzzword term for Kirby’s new ability to become some of the things he eats, rather than just copy their abilities. This means you can become stuff like a car or a vending machine, with fun gameplay quirks attached.

Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a family-friendly adventure that is also playable entirely in two-player mode, with player two taking the role of Waddle Dee. There is no penalty to playing as Waddle Dee even if he is defeated by an enemy, making this a good way to share the joy with a younger child who wants to play with a parent or older sibling.

Available March 25 on the Nintendo Switch.

Pokemon Legends: Arceus

The world of pokemon has always felt like it is vast and contains a rich history, but we have never had much opportunity to see that up close. pokemon legends takes players back in time to the earliest days of humans catching Pokémon and fighting with them, exploring a world before huge stadium battles and modern technology.

This is also the most open the pokemon series has ever been, allowing players to directly interact with the world more than ever before. The biggest change? The ability to catch Pokémon without ever fighting them, making the game seem more akin to pokemon go than any of the main games before it.

Available now on the Nintendo Switch.

Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin

Stranger of Paradise is a prime example of a game being “dumb fun.” Its story and writing are, frankly, not great, leading a lot of critics to place it into the “so bad it’s good” category. The game excels, though, in the area that probably matters most: the part where you actually play it. It’s an enjoyable, fast-paced action game with an interesting “job” system, allowing you to constantly switch up your character’s strengths and abilities for a fresh experience throughout.

As a big fan of the Final Fantasy series that this game tries to be a love letter to, I find the story to be a huge missed opportunity. But since it’s still a lot of fun to play, I can see past its flaws and just enjoy it the way I would a popcorn-fueled action movie.

Available now on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series S|X

Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands

Dallas-based Gearbox Software struck gold with the borderlands series of “looter shooter” RPGs, so it makes sense that the developer would spin it off into something new, yet familiar. Tiny Tina’s Wonderlandsnamed after a popular (if somewhat divisive) character from Borderlands 2is framed as a group of people playing a tabletop roleplaying game called Bunkers and Badasses — an obvious play on Dungeons & Dragons, except it has guns and a unicorn named Butt Stallion, because why not?

Despite its fantasy setting and some twists along the way, Wonderlands is likely to appeal to the same sort of players who poured hours into borderlands† The meme-y, joke-heavy dialogue will turn off some people, but others will find it to be a lot of fun. It helps that the voice cast is headlined by Will Arnett, Wanda Sykes and Andy Samberg, alongside Ashly Burch (from the Apple TV series Mythic Quest) reprising her role as Tiny Tina, all of whom do a fine job delivering one-liners as you blast your way through dungeons.

Available March 25 on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Tunic

Remember the days of the very first Legend of Zelda game on the original Nintendo, when you had no guidance other than some pages from the manual? Tunic tries to re-create that feeling with a very Zelda-esque game starring a fox with a sword and a shield. It’s adorable, polished and quite a bit of fun.

It’s not easy, though. Tunic is a game you can play in front of your kids, but it’s probably too difficult for little ones to try themselves. The combat can be difficult and the puzzles tricky, with a lot of signs and menus intentionally written in a foreign language so as to obfuscate your next objective.

Available now on PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.

Honorable Mentions:

Triangle Strategy: A top-notch turn-based strategy game on the Nintendo Switch in the vein of Final Fantasy Tacticsit can be a little too verbose if you’re more interested in playing the game as opposed to reading it.

Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection: If you saw the Uncharted movie starring Tom Holland and want to see what the games are all about, this collection brings two of the series’ best games to the PS5 and PC.

Vampire Survivors: This game was technically released at the tail end of 2021, but regular updates have kept people playing it well into 2022. It’s a very simple PC game that could be the best $3 you’ve spent in a long time.

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