Welcome to 2022! We're sure you're ready for the latest and greatest RPGs to hit throughout the year, whether you're a Horizon fan waiting to travel to the Forbidden West or Rune Factory 5 has your eye. However, we're here now to remind you, ever so casually, that you have a backlog that can be worked on while you wait.
While everyone's backlog is different, if these ten games have somehow found a place on it, now is a great time to check them out, see if you like them, and tear through them while you wait for your most anticipated game of 2022 to arrive. You might have played some of these before, or you may have never even heard of them, but they're all worth some time on your screen.
Tales of Arise
One of the most recent high profile JRPGs to hit the market, Tales of Arise impressed a ton of players with its epic story of overcoming 300 years of tyrannical rule and unique Linear Motion combat system. It quickly became one of the most popular games of the year, winning numerous awards and making multiple Best of 2021 lists. If you decided to address your backlog in late 2021, this would have been one of the games you'd missed, so we'd suggest fixing that as soon as possible.
Shin Megami Tensei V
If you missed Tales in September, you definitely missed Shin Megami Tensei V in November. While Persona gets a lot of the attention where Atlus RPGs are concerned, the core SMT franchise has put out some great games in recent years, and this fifth installment is a combination of what made III and IV great. Raising demons to aid in battle, a gripping story that spans dozens of hours, and classic JRPG battling against all kinds of monsters and demons. If there's a "most underrated" award to pass out for games that came out last year, Shin Megami Tensei V would be a top contender.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning
You might not consider this one in your backlog if you played it when it originally came out in 2012. While that's completely fair, things have changed in Amalur since you first visited. There's an entirely new post-game chapter in Fatesworn, set to bridge the gap between this game and the next one, and it's only accessible when you finish Re-Reckoning. If you want to experience this new chapter and see where things are going, it sounds like Re-Reckoning is back on the menu.
Ruined King: A League Of Legends Story
We're well aware that the name League of Legends does not usually follow or precede the acronym "RPG," but this exception to the rule is a fantastic game. Airship Syndicate (of Battle Chaser: Nightwar fame) has adapted the world and systems of LoL in such a unique and fun way, old JRPG fans with no experience in League can jump right in and be enthralled. The unique combat system with its Lane mechanic is a huge part of its success, but the sprawling worlds and well-written characters are just as great. Ruined King may surprise you, so give it a shot.
We love us some RPGs with unique mechanics – the Lane system from our last entry is a perfect example – but Cris Tales wields the most unique mechanic of any RPG on this list: time travel battles. This game lets you fight turn-based battles through three different timelines at once, with enemies and attacks affected differently by each timeline. We've never seen a battle system like this before, and that alone makes it worth checking off of your backlog, but it helps that the story is good and the world is beautifully animated. Cris Tales came out of nowhere, but man is it a good one.
The Ascent is Diablo with guns. That's selling it a bit short, but that's the basic gist. You'll be crawling through cyberpunk-themed dungeons, fighting enemies, organic and synthetic alike, with an ever-increasing loadout of major firepower. The story is filled with corporate intrigue, backstabbing, and copious amounts of bloodshed, and the character customization options are more robust than you'd expect. This is one you might not have thought twice about when it launched, but now is a perfect time to pick it up.
Mass Effect Legendary Edition
Perhaps this is cheating, since this is technically three games in one, but now that we've seen two teasers for the next game in this epic space opera series, there's no time like the present to live or relive this awesome trilogy. This entry goes double if you have Xbox Game Pass on console or PC, as this upgraded edition was just added to the service in its entirety. There's not much else we can say without spoiling things, so go play this fantastic trio right now.
Wasteland 3 sort of flew under the radar when it launched in August 2020, which is understandable considering the state of the world at the time could be best described as a wasteland…of boredom. However, now that things have (slightly?) improved, now is a good time to go back and check this one off the backlog list. The classic isometric turn-based combat hearkens back to the glory days of the PC, while the story of post-apocalyptic Colorado twists and turns in amazing ways. Or, if you haven't yet, go play the first two games, then come back and complete the trilogy. All three games are more than worth it.
Assassin's Creed Valhalla
We're not telling you to go play Valhalla for the first time, because if you're like us you've already done that. This is just a reminder to go back and make some more progress. The game is so dang big, with so much to do, that we wouldn't blame you if you put it down to try other things. However, with two DLC packs already out and a mammoth one on the horizon, Assassin's Creed Valhalla isn't getting any shorter. Go back and unleash some of Asgard's fury, young Vikingr, and have a blast doing it.
Yeah, we know. The poster child for tumultuous launches – and that's putting it lightly – Cyberpunk 2077 fell flat on its digital face when it hit shelves in December 2020. It needed more time, particularly on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and players were left completely unsatisfied. If you've upgraded from PS4 or XB1, or if you've joined the PC master race, maybe go back and give Cyberpunk a try. The changes made so far have been for the better, and the story is good enough to warrant a second chance…but we'd completely understand if the leash was tight.