Xbox: the 10 most breathtaking games released in 2022

Xbox has plenty more titles in store for fans in 2022. While some of them are continuations of well-known franchises, others are original ideas or licensed from non-console brands. With next-gen technology powering the visuals, alongside improvements to the engines these titles run on, there’s a remarkable shift in how games to come will look.

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Most of the projects debuting as Xbox exclusives are sure to be stunning, but some stand out for their imaginative design, clever character choices, immersive world-building, inclusion of brilliant colors, and intense graphics. These titles are sure to live on thanks to their cinematic appearance!


Ark 2

vin diesel video game ark 2

Following Ark: Survival Evolved from Studio Wildcard and Snail promises to be even more gorgeous than the original episode thanks to the incredible way the title captured the human likeness. The emotions of the story are sure to reverberate on the screen thanks to the performances that have been displayed in these stunning character renders.

With huge names like Vin Diseal lending their faces to this survival title, it’s not just the heroes’ personalities that are well represented by cutscenes. The footage also showed a lush world to explore, with vibrant plant life that was both imaginatively created and realistic despite looking sci-fi.

STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl

stalker 2 ferris wheel

While Xbox fans will be familiar with the variety of shooters available on the platform and in particular Game Pass, the next installment of the HARLER The saga promises to be one of the most thrilling to date as it takes audiences through the eerie landscape of Chernobyl.

Creating a game based on a real-life location creates certain expectations, but thanks to the use of Unreal Engine 5, this GSC Game World production looks both accurate in its depiction while taking some bold creative license. Its muted and grungy aesthetic matches the tone of the room perfectly.

slime farmer 2

Slime Rancher 2 Biome Exploration Features

Many Xbox titles are murky and gritty, so it’s refreshing to see a release that offers a much more whimsical point of view. Slime Rancher 2, another sequel to Microsoft’s calendar, promises to be a colorful and eclectic change of pace for gamers.

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It’s cartoonish and stylized in its design, but the simple use of shapes combined with its rainbow palette ensures there’s something interesting to look at in every shot. The ever-changing range of creatures and diversity of habitats are sure to give this Monomi Park game a much longer lifespan for players.


Tunic wielding a sword

Xbox continued to win in 2021 thanks to its focus on indie titles, but the highly anticipated Tunic was still not on the agenda for its release. 2022 changes that as gaming finally begins to shine after the hard work of Andrew Shouldice and Finji.

The Unity engine allows this quirky title to reach its full potential as the action-adventure genre is about to get a complex addition to the archives. In many ways, the room’s visuals are much more like a Nintendo Switch exclusive, with the fox character in particular immediately standing out with his distinctive look.


Somerville where the protagonists are in a forest by the water

Jumpship’s third-person adventure game has players controlling a family through an ongoing apocalypse. The platformer uses Unity as an engine to try and create a range of unique cinematic sequences that reflect an altered world, one that feels authentic despite the neon sci-fi elements embedded in it.

This is perhaps the environment in which the protagonists venture Somerville which really sells the tone of the game, with a startling range of techniques used to paint a planet on the brink of total annihilation. It’s an austere image, but one full of bold touches of natural beauty contrasted with harsher man-made infrastructure.


Replacement of the Gampelay train

retro side scrolling, Replaced, focuses on a more cyberpunk aesthetic while taking advantage of both the limitations and benefits of relying on an 8-bit inspired system. A cornucopia of environments, both natural and concrete, provide a dark backdrop for this tale.

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Every shot, from the camera framing to the tiny inclusions in the background dressing and character animation, is clearly well thought out. There’s a cinematic edge to the game, which also has some surprisingly great costume choices that pop off the screen.

star field

Action-adventure games are easy to locate on Xbox Game Pass but star field pushes the genre in bold new directions with its ambition and scale. The piece’s concept art alone demonstrates the commitment to visual splendor Bethesda Game Studios is aiming for.

The creative engine is certainly going to do a lot of work to ensure that these intergalactic visuals retain their conceptual roots, as currently the game’s images look like paintings rather than a segment of an ongoing narrative. The imagination put into both the sets and the technological designs is a good sign of things to come.

red fall

Game Redfall Arkane Bethesda Xbox Gameplay Fight

Open-world first-person shooters have a mixed history on Xbox, but the legacy of Arkane Studios, backed by Bethesda Softworks, is hard to ignore. With the use of Unreal Engine 5, red fall seems like a title that can stand out among the best releases of 2022.

Maybe it’s the use of color that really sells the piece, or maybe it’s the customization of each character that draws attention to so many tiny inclusions that really build the individual. Admittedly, the creatures aren’t particularly interesting in their design, but the stylized elements of the rest of the action-adventure show great promise.


image from the game Shredders showing people snowboarding in a snowy area

Sports titles have always been a key part of Xbox’s success; they largely master the genre. Grinders is an attempt by FoamPunch, I-Illusions and Let It Roll to bring the world of competitive and extreme snowboarding to the public.

There’s not much to work on when it comes to visuals in a game that relies so heavily on snowy settings. That’s exactly where the genius lies in this original concept, with the physics and interactions with the environment creating a title that feels like a cover of the sport itself. It is certainly not easy to make so much snow so attractive.

Lana’s Planet

Lana Planet Summer Game Fest 2021 Kick Off Live

Every once in a while, an indie game allows itself to create a truly unique space within the larger market, catching the attention of fans and earning critical acclaim for its artistic choices. Lana’s Planet potentially promises to be one of those projects, with Thunderful Publishing and Wishfully crafting a title that reflects a painting more than a video game.

The release appears to be a side-scroller of significant scale as it follows a young girl and her cat as they travel across this fantastical planet. There’s a uniformity to every shot and sequence in the game, but it continues to be jaw-dropping no matter what plants, creatures, or characters are in the frame. Subtle shadows, shapes and animations effortlessly tell this sci-fi story.

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