The 20 Most Popular Video Games of 2022



If you’re connected at all to the gaming world — either through your kids or as a gaming fan yourself — you probably already know about some of the most popular trends in video games right now. But if not, the American market research company the NPD recently released its list of the best-selling video games leading into the 2021 holiday season. The company looks at digital and retail sales to determine what games people are buying.

While some longtime family favorites are still popular, violent video games like online multiplayer shooters are also dominant, which could be concerning for parents. That’s why each video game comes with an age and content rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board, making it crucial for parents to educate themselves about these ratings, so they can decide which video games are appropriate for their child. “Video games get a lot of scrutiny, but parents should also keep in mind the other places their kids might be exposed to violence like movies, TV and the Internet. At the end of the day, parents have to make a call when it comes to their kids and violent video games,” says Umang Jain, co-founder of the ed tech gaming company SplashLearn.

We’ve looked a NPD’s list, as well as a list of the best-selling games of all time from IGN, a popular video game site, to determine the best video games on the market right now. We’ve included their ratings so you can make an informed purchase if you decide to gift one of these to the gamer in your life.

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Rating: Mature, 17+

Call of Duty : Vanguard & Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War

Not one, but two Call of Duty titles top the list of bestsellers for 2021: Call of Duty: Vanguard and Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War. Both are fast-paced, first-person shooters, only the first takes place in the run-up to World War II, while the second explores the Cold War of the ’80s.

Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.


Rating: Everyone

Madden NFL 22

We may have lost John Madden in 2021, but his video game franchise goes on, and Madden NFL 22 was thankfully released before his death. The football simulation received mixed reviews from critics, but it was praised for having an improved franchise mode, which lets players lead teams over multiple seasons.

Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and Stadia.


Rating: Everyone

MLB The Show 21

MLB The Show 21 is a baseball simulator game, with features that make it easy for newcomers and others that would delight advanced players. San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatís Jr. is on the regular cover, but with each purchase of the Jackie Robinson, a portion of the proceeds goes to the Jackie Robinson Foundation, which gives scholarships for higher education.

Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.


Rating: Mature, 17+

Resident Evil Village

If you want your video games to be less in the sports mode and more in the horror-survival genre, Resident Evil Village continues the successful zombie franchise. Players control Ethan Winters, a man whose searching for his kidnapped daughter in a village full of zombies, in a game that mixes frights, action and puzzles.

Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and Stadia.


Rating: Mature, 17+

Battlefield 2042

This multiplayer-first-person shooter game is set in the future, so players can take advantage of futuristic weapons and technology. There’s also a portal mode, which lets players create their own environments using maps and features from past Battlefield games.

Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.


Rating: Everyone

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury

A game appropriate for the whole family, Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is an update to a 2013 Nintendo game where players are tasked with saving creatures called Sprixies. The new version has new features, including a power-up that turns characters into cats with the power to climb walls.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch.


Rating: Everyone

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Pokémon Shining Pearl

In 2021, The Pokémon Company celebrated its 25th anniversary, with a yearlong celebration that featured lots of new products and re-launches. As part of the celebration it remade these two roleplaying games from 2006, making it great for Pokémon fans new or old.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch.


Rating: Teen

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Players swing around New York City as Miles Morales, the Spidey featured in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (which is getting a sequel this year), in this comic-inspired game. As Morales completes different missions and assignments, he unlocks different gadgets and suits to help him along the way.

Platforms: Playstation 4 and Playstation 5.


Rating: Mature, 17+

Far Cry 6

Giancarlo Esposito, best known for playing Gus Fring in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, has a starring role in this first-person shooter. He plays Antón Castillo, a dictator of a fictional Caribbean island training his son to take over his rule. Players take on the role of a guerilla fighter trying to unseat him from power.

Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Stadia and Amazon Luna.


Rating: Everyone

NBA 2K22

Who wants to shoot some hoops? This basketball simulation game, based on the National Basketball Association, is the 23rd installment in the NBA 2K franchise, after (you guessed it) NBA 2K21.

Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and Nintendo Switch.

Developed by Epic Games and released in 2017, Fortnite remains one of the most popular video games. It has different modes, including Battle Royale, Save the World and Creative. Because it’s an online active shooter game, it can be controversial among parents and should definitely be played under supervision. 

Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, Windows, Mac OS, iOS and Android.

RELATED: I Won’t Let My Son Play Fortnite, and This Is How His Friends Reacted


Rating: Everyone


Minecraft is the best-selling video game of all time, and talk to any Minecraft-obsessed kid and you can easily see why. Released in 2011 and purchased by Microsoft in 2014, Minecraft has sold more than 238 million copies to date. The sandbox game allows players to move through and build structures in a pixelated, block-like world.

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, Windows, Mac OS, Android and iOS


Rating: Mature, 17+

Grand Theft Auto V

Released by Rockstar Games in 2013, Grand Theft Auto V is an open-world, action-adventure game. As its title implies, players in the game’s fictional world of San Andreas commit crimes and try to evade authorities. After Minecraft, Grand Theft Auto V is the second best-selling game of all time.

Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and Microsoft Windows


Rating: Everyone


Roblox is a massively popular multiplayer online game in which players build their own virtual worlds. It was released back in 2006, and now it has more than 202 million monthly active users, according to Backlinko.

Platforms: PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Amazon devices, Xbox One, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive


Rating: Everyone

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

As its name suggests, Mario Kart 8 is a kart-racing video game and the eighth installment in the series. By the end of 2021, it had sold more than 47 million copies around the world, making it one of the top ten best-selling video games of all time.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch.


Rating: Everyone

Forza Horizon 5

Get ready drive fast! When Forza Horizon 5 game came out in November 2021, it had more than 10 million players in its first week, making it the fastest-selling Xbox game. It also won Best Sports/Racing Game at The Game Awards 2021.

Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and Microsoft Windows


Rating: Everyone

Mario Party Superstars

Nintendo 64 fans might remember this one: Mario Party Superstars features 100 mini games from previous Mario Party games in five boards remade from the N64 version. The mini games make it easy to get the whole family involved.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch


Rating: Mature, 17+

Red Dead Redemption II

More than 39 million people have purchased Red Dead Redemption II, making it just outside the top-ten best-selling video games of all time, landing at No. 12. In it, players take on the role of outlaw Arthur Morgan, who adventures his way through the Wild West.

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows and Stadia


Rating: Everyone


This soccer simulator has had a long history in the video-game world: FIFA 22 is the 29th installment in the franchise. This one actually features motion-capture data from real, professional players who wore motion-capture suits.

Platforms: Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, Stadia


Rating: Everyone


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