Delays are a tough pill to swallow, and in 2022, gamers were certainly force-fed their medicine. For context, we lost out on Starfield, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, Forspoken, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, Hogwarts Legacy, and The Day Before, just to name a few. And for that reason, gaming was considered quiet.
Sure, we endured longer-than-usual dry spells, but you know what? The quality of the games that did release was immeasurable. As guardians we defeated the Witch Queen, as gods we concluded an epic, expansive Norse tale. We warped to the past catching ancient pocket monsters, reached mach speed as the Blue Blur, and developed an addiction to a new superhero card game. C’mon, we even worshipped a cultist lamb and survived a cyberpunk city as the most adorable orange cat in media.
But the one land that Attack of the Fanboy collectively traveled far and between was…
AOTF’s Game of the Year 2022 Winner: Elden Ring
Diehard “Souls” fans were practically foaming at the mouth for the first truly open-world FromSoftware experience. But when Elden Ring finally launched in February, no one expected it to become the topic of conversation outside of its own “Souls” circle.
To think that such a brutal, unforgiving game could top Call of Duty sales is, well, unthinkable. But so it did. For the first time in FromSoftware’s magnificent catalog, the Souls formula reached mainstream status on a level that director and developer legend Hidetaka Miyazaki couldn’t even comprehend. Wherever you consumed media — TikTok, YouTube, Twitter, Reddit — chances are your feed was filled with Elden Ring content. Hell, the conversation surrounding discoveries was nearly as fun as the gameplay.
More important, though, is that Elden Ring lived up in every way. From getting trolled by a teleporter trap to finally stomping the ever-living daylights out of Malenia, everyone’s got a unique Elden Ring story to share. Beyond setting the gold standard for game design that will no doubt influence open-world games across the next decade, the eternal Elden Ring stories that continue to spread from gamer to gamer are truly something special.
To no one’s surprise, Elden Ring is Attack of the Fanboy’s Game of the Year in 2022. Until next year, we’ll see you in the Colosseum.