After some odd summer months that were dominated by indie and AA games, the AAA part of the video game industry is finally back in the swing of things. October 2022 saw the release of the year’s biggest games, and many of them didn’t disappoint. From ambitious sequels to games taking bold risks with established franchises, this October was the most exciting month for gaming since March 2022.
With so many fantastic games coming out, some of them might not be on your radar. That’s why I’ve rounded up the eight best games from October 2022 that you need to check out before the end of the year.
Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope
Ubisoft finally released a sequel to 2017’s surprise strategy game hit Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle and innovated while doing it. This game drops the grid setup common in the tactics genre, giving players the option to run around with their characters each turn, jumping off allies and dashing into enemies along the way. This change to the game’s turn economy was risky but ends up making the game much for free-flowing and approachable for newcomers.
“The sequel brings a host of important changes that improve on the original’s ideas rather than throw them out the window,” Giovanni Colantonio wrote in a four-star review of the game. “Less rigid combat, a greater emphasis on exploration, and a stronger approach to character building all make the sequel feel as fresh as the original did in 2017.”
The game’s story and visuals are full of charm too, making it feel like a first-party Nintendo game even though it was developed by Ubisoft Milan. Although it’s not the only fantastic Nintendo Switch game to come out this month, Switch players can’t go wrong in picking this one up. Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope is available now exclusively for Nintendo Switch.
A Plague Tale: Requiem
A Plague Tale: Innocence was a surprise sleeper hit in 2019, following a young brother and sister as they try to survive during an Inquisition and plague in the 1300s. Its sequel, A Plague Tale: Requiem, ups the ante on almost all accounts: there’s more story, more combat, and more rats to chase the siblings. It’s a beautiful game, one of the best-looking on current-gen yet, even if its story about violence gets a little muddled.
“A Plague Tale: Requiem is a fantastic sequel on several counts,” Giovanni Colantonio wrote in a 3.5-star review. “It improves on its predecessor in just about every way by finely tuning its stealth and navigation systems, adding more gameplay variety, and delivering a visually stunning world that puts games with much larger budgets to shame. Its weak spot comes down to its messy storytelling, which exposes the thematic limits of a medium that’s over-reliant on violence as its primary form of interaction.”
For a AA game from a somewhat smaller team at Asobo Studio, A Plague Tale: Requiem is a really impressive-looking current-gen game that expands on the formula established in its predecessor. If The Last of Us Part II’s story about violence annoyed you, though, parts of this game might feel like a slog to you as well. A Plague Tale: Requiem is available now for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S, with a cloud version playable on Nintendo Switch.
Despite a voice-acting controversy leading up to its launch, Bayonetta 3 didn’t disappoint upon release, launching to critical acclaim. PlatinumGames is known for its stylish action games, and the Bayonetta series remains its crown jewel. With a bombastic opening and fast-paced combat that feels great and rewards skillful combos and dodges, Bayonetta 3 was worth the eight-year wait. The game does push the Nintendo Switch to its limits, though.
“Bayonetta 3 is the series’ wildest entry to date, mixing PlatinumGames’ knack for fast-paced combat with unbelievably entertaining set pieces that just get bigger and bigger,” Giovanni Colantonio’s four-star review of Bayonetta 3 explains. “The massive scope of it all makes for some sloppy moments, both technically and narratively, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find an action game that’s having as much fun as this one.”
Even though the discourse around this game was messy leading up to its launch, don’t let that prevent you from checking this great game out. PlatinumGames continues to prove that no one can make action games that feel quite as refined and satisfying as its games. Bayonetta 3 is available now for Nintendo Switch.
Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed
Illfonic’s track record with 4v1 horror games based on famous franchises isn’t great, but they’ve finally nailed the formula with Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed. Unlike Friday the 13th: The Game or Predator: Hunting Grounds, Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed feels polished, decently balanced, and doesn’t take too long to get you into a match. Though an asymmetrical multiplayer game where one player haunts a building as a ghost and four Ghostbusters try to hunt them down and trap them wouldn’t be my first idea for a Ghostbusters game, Illfonic nailed that concept here.
You can really tell they love this franchise too, as the Firehouse is lovingly recreated to serve as your base of operations between missions. Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson even return to voice their characters in this game and do it well, making it feel like a more credible licensed game. While Ghostbusters video games can be hit or miss, Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed will provide a good time for those looking for a new game to play with friends. Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed is available now for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
New Tales from the Borderlands
Tales from the Borderlands was one of Telltale’s best games, so it was great to see Gearbox Montreal finally deliver a follow-up, even if it features an entirely new cast. The aptly titled New Tales from the Borderlands follows a scientist named Anu, her hustler brother Octavio, and frogurt shop owner Fran as they find an object that can heal any injury and garner the attention of the evil corporation Tediore.
“Thanks to entertaining writing, strong characters and performances, and a different game engine that enables more seamless cinematography, I’d recommend New Tales from the Borderlands to fans of the original and those yearning for a very traditional Telltale-like experience,” I wrote in a four-star review of New Tales from the Borderlands.
Although it doesn’t really push the boundaries of what a narrative adventure game can be from a gameplay perspective, New Tales from the Borderlands tells a captivating story that should entertain fans of this sci-fi series. New Tales from the Borderlands is available now for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch.
Mobile games don’t have the best reputation, but Marvel Snap is one of the most entertaining games I’ve played this year. It’s a collectible card game based on the Marvel superhero universe where players fight for control of at least two of three locations, playing cards at the same time each turn. Add special location and card abilities on top of that, and you have a speedy card game with a whole lot of depth. And if you want to risk it, you can snap during a match to double your rewards. While its progression system to acquire cards is still flawed, even basic starter decks are fun to use in Marvel Snap.
Microtransactions are present in Marvel Snap but aren’t intrusive. You can buy a season pass or gold that can be used to acquire new card variants or currencies to level cards up, but those are purely visual upgrades. Marvel Snap is the best mobile game of 2022, and I highly recommend that fans of Marvel or card games check it out when they can. It’s available for free on the iOS App Store and Android’s Google Play Store.
The Case of the Golden Idol
Ever since playing Return of the Obra Dinn, I’ve learned that I love a good deduction game. We’ve gotten a few great ones this year, like Strange Horticulture, but The Case of the Golden Idol is an absolute standout. The point-and-click game places players in different murder scenes and asks them to piece together what happened. To do that, they’ll need to click on objects scattered around and collect keywords like names and verbs. The goal is to fill out a Madlibs-style crime report in each level, deducing who killed who just from clever sleuthing.
It starts simply enough, with a scene of one man pushing another off a cliff. However, it escalates from there in complex and surprising ways. By the end of the game, I’d uncovered a massive conspiracy that revolved around a creepy cult, a corrupt political party, and a mysterious golden idol capable of performing magic spells. If you’re looking for a challenging mystery game, you can check it out on PC. ~ Giovanni Colantonio
I’ve saved Gotham Knights for last because it’s the most divisive game on this list. WB Games Montreal’s first game in nine years takes some bold narrative swings, following four of Batman’s sidekicks as they fend off the Court of Owls in Gotham following Batman’s death. It also lets you go on patrol and explore the entirety of Gotham City with a friend. That said, some have been turned off by some gameplay issues and technical problems, so this game isn’t for everyone.
“It’s not as good as the best Batman games from the last decade due to a lack of gameplay ambition and performance issues,” I wrote in a three-and-a-half-star review of Gotham Knights. “Still, it overcomes those flaws to entertain Batman fans who have always wanted to play a game that lets them explore and defend the streets of Gotham with a friend.”
While Gotham Knights isn’t perfect, diehard Batman fans should still get a kick out of its story and patrolling the streets of Gotham City in co-op. There’s simply no other Batman video game that’s quite like this, for better and for worse. Gotham Knights is available for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S, but be aware of its technical issues before deciding which platform to pick the game up on.