It feels like games come crashing down on us in waves these days. Unlike movies, which have fairly predictable release patterns, games seem to come out all at once or not at all. The last big wave came in February when Elden Ring, Horizon Forbidden West, Dying Light 2, Lost Ark, Total War: Warhammer 3, Pokemon Legends: Arceus, and Destiny 2: The Witch Queen all released within the same four week window. While we’ve had a handful of notable games since then, the rest of 2022 has felt like one long recovery period as we wait for the year’s final wave to hit. If you thought February made a big splash, just wait for the tsunami coming for us in the next two months.
There are 18 major triple-A games releasing between October 2 and December 2. With Crisis Core and High on Life launching December 13, that’s 20 big games to play before the end of the year. That’s as many major titles as we typically have in an entire year, and more than that last two years within the same time frame combined – and that includes the new console launches in November 2020. I am a sick person who feels obligated to play as many games as possible, partly so I can share my little opinions about them on the internet, and partly just to feel something. If you have the same disorder I do, you’ve come to the right place. What follows is a chronological breakdown of big games launching between now and the end of the year along with an estimated time to beat. You probably won’t be able to play them all, but hopefully this will help you prioritize and come up with a plan.
Overwatch 2 – Tuesday, October 4
Overwatch shuts down for good this coming Sunday, just two days before the global launch of Overwatch 2. The free-to-play sequel is making some controversial decisions, including reducing team size from six to five and introducing new characters that will be locked behind battle pass progression, but a promise to the end of the two and half year content drought is enough to make most Overwatch players excited for what’s to come. Overwatch 2 will likely launch on every platform (except Stadia) at 11am PT next Tuesday, as that’s what time each of the betas have started.
Estimated time to beat: Only Overwatch PvP will be available at launch, we’ll have to wait until next year to play the new story mode.
Scorn – Friday, October 14
The first major Xbox-exclusive since Halo Infinite. Scorn is a first-person shooter that takes a lot of inspiration from H.R. Gieger’s brand of horror. The developers say progression is largely based around puzzle solving, but that they expect most players will be able to overcome them.
Estimated time to beat: 6-8 hours, according to a recent Reddit AMA
A Plague Tale: Requiem – Tuesday, October 18
This direct sequel to A Plague Tale: Innocence follows Amicia and Hugo on a mission to find a cure for Hugo's blood disease. This is a narrative driven, third person action-adventure game with stealth and puzzle solving elements. Fans of The Last of Us will enjoy this series, but just like TLOU, you’ll definitely want to play the first one before jumping into the sequel.
Estimated time to beat: 15-18 hours, according to lead level designer Kevin Pinson
Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope – Thursday, October 20
The original Mario + Rabbids is still the best introduction to tactics-style RPGs of all time and one of the best games on Switch. The sequel introduces new characters (including an edgy new Rabbid named, er, Edge), new battle mechanics, and a longer season pass that will eventually bring Rayman out of retirement. Among these 20 games, it’s difficult to find one I’m more looking forward to than this.
Estimated time to beat: The original was about 20 hours if you mainlined the story, but almost double if you did all of the side missions. We know that the development team tripled in size for the sequel, and the game’s file is nearly three times larger than the first (7.1vs 2.3). That doesn’t mean it will be three times longer, but to be safe reserve 30-40 hours for this one.
Gotham Knights – Friday, October 21
Three big games in one week, I told you the rest of the year was going to be brutal. Gotham Knights from WB Montreal is an open world co-op game about fallout in Gotham City surrounding Batman’s death. You and up two three friends can play as Batgirl, Robin (Tim Drake), Nightwing, or Red Hood and take on Gotham’s Villains, including Mr. Freeze and the Court of Owls.
Estimated time to beat: Unlike Rocksteady’s Arkham series, Gotham Knights is a loot-based RPG, so expect a significant endgame if you’re interested in farming the best gear for your characters. The developers haven’t offered a time to beat, but Arkham Knight had a 16-hour campaign with nearly 50 hours of optional content. If you play a lot of open world games, you’ll likely get the same kind of time value out of this one.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – Friday, October 28
The first of three games releasing on October 28, Modern Warfare 2 is a sequel to 2019’s Modern Warfare, not a remake of the 2009 game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. You can get access to the campaign on October 20 at 10am PT if you preorder.
Estimated time to beat: Modern Warfare (2019) was about six hours long. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2009) was about five and half hours. Of course, most of your time with Call of Duty is spent in multiplayer anyway.
Resident Evil Village: Shadows of Rose – Friday, October 28
The one and only DLC expansion for Resident Evil Village is launching alongside the Gold Edition of the game, which includes third-person mode for the base game and new characters and stages for Mercenaries mode. You can check out the preview from my hands-on Shadows of Rose demo here.
Estimated time to beat: Four hours, according to director Kento Kinoshita in an interview with IGN Japan.
Bayonetta 3 – Friday, October 28
If you play Call of Duty a week early and blitz through Shadows of Rose, you’ll have just enough time to settle in with Bayonetta 3 before the next round of releases. The threequel, almost a decade in the making, introduces new demon-summoning gameplay and some flashy transformations. Check out my hands-on preview here.
Estimated time to beat: The first two Bayonetta games were about ten hours long, but were meant to be played repeatedly. Count on 10-12 hours for a first playthrough though.
Sonic Frontiers – Tuesday, November 8
Congratulations, we made it through October. If you wanted to play all eight of the games it would likely only take you about 90 hours – not including the Overwatch and Call of Duty battle passes. Just you wait though, November is a doozy. First out of the gate is Sonic Frontiers, the first open world Sonic game and Sega’s big swing to revitalize the beleaguered hedgehog. We have several previews of Sonic Frontiers on the site, but here’s the most correct one (mine).
Estimated time to beat: Director Morio Kishimoto told IGN it will take 20-30 hours to complete, but double if you want to see anything. My gut says that estimate is likely too high, but reserve 20 hours just to be safe.
God of War Ragnarok – Wednesday, November 9
If there’s one game this year that can challenge Elden Ring at The Game Awards, it’s probably this one. God of War Ragnarok is the most highly anticipated PlayStation game of this generation and it has a lot to live up to, unless you ask TG Editor-in-Chief Stacey Henley.
Estimated time to beat: The last God of War was around 20 hours long, but up to 40 for full completion. Our only lead on the sequel comes from David Jaffe, who has claimed heard from “people in the know” that Ragnarok is 40 hours, but couldn’t clarify if that meant average playtime or 100 percent completion. Expect 20 hours with Kratos and BOY, minimum.
Pokemon Scarlet & Violet – Friday, November 18
At least Nintendo still remembers that games are supposed to come out on Fridays. The ninth generation of Pokemon brings us to the Paldea region for the first open world, non-linear entry in the mainline series. Scarlet & Violet will be a clear-your-calendar title for a lot of people, so this is your official reminder to get your time off requests into work right now.
Estimated time to beat: It’s a bit tricky since this is the first mainline Pokemon game that will really break the mold, but both Legends: Arceus and Sword & Shield were about 25 hours long, so expect a normal playthrough to be 20-30 from to start to whatever the Elite Four equivalent is this year.
The Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil In Me – November 18
While admittedly the most low-profile game on this list, I had to include The Dark Pictures Anthology, which has built up an impressive collection of co-op horror titles over the last four years. These are annual interactive movies from the creators of Until Dawn and The Quarry, and they’ve continued to improve with each entry. The Devil In Me stars Jessie Buckley and is based on the infamous serial killer H.H. Holmes. Check out our preview of it here.
Estimated time to beat: Each game in the series takes about five hours to complete, the perfect Halloween party experience, which is a shame since it’s launching three weeks after Halloween.
Evil West – November 22
I’ve played Evil West twice (which you can read about here and here) and I’m excited for people to get their hands on it – though releasing so close to God of War will certainly invite some unwelcome comparison. If cowboys and vampires are as potent of a combo for you as it is for me, you’ll want to check out this third-person action-adventure game from the creators of Shadow Warrior and Trek to Yomi.
Estimated time to beat: All of Flying Wild Hog’s games can be beaten in under ten hours, but Evil West is definitely the biggest budget game they’ve made so far. From what I’ve seen I would wager a 12-15 hour experience.
World of Warcraft: Dragonflight – Monday, November 28
Say goodbye to your nights, weekends, and sleep for that matter, a new WoW expansion is on the horizon. Dragonflight takes us to the Dragon Isles and introduces a new race and class, the Dracthyr Evoker. While Shadowlands received a lot of negative feedback, this one has dragon riding, so I’m sure all will be forgiven, right?
Estimated time to beat: Do I even have to tell you this? It’s WoW, you’re going to need a lot of time. The average player can finish most World of Warcraft campaigns and reach max level in about 70 hours. Of course, that’s when the real game starts.
Warhammer 40,000: Darktide – Wednesday, November 30
It may seem like a new Warhammer game comes out every other week, but this is one you’ll definitely want to pay attention to. Fatshark has built a massive audience over the years with its highly successful Vermintide series, and now the studio is bringing that formular to the 40k universe with Darktide, a four player co-op first-person shooter with an emphasis on character building and melee combat. Check out my preview here ahead of the release.
Estimated time to beat: Similar to Left 4 Dead and, of course, Vermintide 2, Darktide isn’t the kind of game you run through only once. The levels are semi-procedurally generated and will change significantly with each new run. Think of this like a mission-based RPG and set aside at least 40 hours in order to get the full experience.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns – Friday, December 2
As we enter December, there’s only a handful of major titles left. If you’re somehow done with WoW, Pokemon, God of War, and Darktide, check out Marvel’s Midnight Suns, a massive turn-based tactical RPG from the creators of XCOM. Based on the ‘80s comic series, Midnight Suns follows familiar Marvel heroes on a mission to stop a god-level threat called Lilith from corrupting the entire world with her demonic touch. It has cards, it has strategy, and it’s kind of a dating-sim to boot. Check out this interview with creative director Jake Solomon and producer Garth DeAngelis from this year’s D23 Expo.
Estimated time to beat: Solomon and DeAngelis tell me a single playthrough will take at least 60 hours, but you’ll need to do multiple playthroughs to see every character at their highest power level.
Calisto Protocol – Friday, December 2
The spiritual-successor to Dead Space has been shown off a lot over the past couple of years, but it finally launches this December. The survival horror game from Striking Distance Studios was once a tie-in to PUBG, but now stands alone as its own original story. Check out our preview from this year’s Gamescom.
Estimated time to beat: Our best estimate comes from the Dead Space trilogy. While they got longer as the series progressed, they all took roughly 10-15 hours to finish.
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 Reunion – Tuesday, December 13
Reunion is billed as a remaster of 2007 game Crisis Core, rather than a full remake like Final Fantasy 7 was. However, there will be some significant changes from the original. Aside from new 3D models, music, and voice acting, the battle system has been overhauled to more closely resemble the one in Final Fantasy 7 remake. This prequel establishes Zack and will help get new players ready for Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth.
Estimated time to beat: The original took about 18 hours to complete, but with everything new in the remaster, expect a 20-25 hour experience
High on Life – Tuesday, December 13
Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland founded his studio Squanch Games in 2016 and has already released several VR titles, including 2019’s well-received Trover Saves the Universe. High on Life is a non-VR shooter that maintains Roiland’s signature sense of humor and bizarre alien settings. Here’s an interview with Roiland about High on Life from PAX West earlier this month.
Estimated time to beat: Squanch Games executive producer Matty Studivan says High on Life will take 8-12 hours to finish, but 20-25 to 100%.
This is not an exhaustive list of games coming out this year. I didn’t mention Marvel Snap, the digital CCG launching October 18, or New Tales from the Borderlands, which comes out October 21. There’s also a Xenoblade Chronicles 3 expansion, a Dying Light 2 expansion, a new season of Destiny, and a bunch of new characters in Multiversus and Pokemon Unite. Uncharted and The Last of Us are coming to PC, It Takes Two is coming to Switch. Goat Simulator 3, Portal with Raytracing, Resident Evil Re:Verse!
Steady yourselves gamers, you only have a few more days before the floodgates open. Good luck, and hopefully we’ll see you on the other side.
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