Game of the Year 2022: Elden Ring (2023)

By Wes Fenlon

Contributions from

Tyler Colp, Fraser Brown, Lauren Morton, Sean Martin, Robin Valentine, Ted Litchfield, Sarah James


FromSoft's biggest and best.

Game of the Year 2022: Elden Ring (1)
(Video) ELDEN RING WINS GAME OF THE YEAR AWARD 2022 (The Game Awards 2022) Full Speech GOTY 2022

Here it is: our pick for the overall Game of the Year, 2022. Elden Ring was a clear winner among the team, a game that we've collectively poured thousands of hours into. Want to see what else made it into our awards this year? Head to our GOTY 2022 (opens in new tab) hub.

Wes Fenlon, Senior Editor: Has a whip ever awoken something in you? Take that question however you want—for me, whips were the catalyst for fully appreciating how much FromSoftware has improved the flexibility of its combat over the last decade. Compared to the Souls games that have pretty clear picks for the best weapons, Elden Ring lets you stick practically any ability and affinity on any weapon and dual wield for new moves. After playing some 60 hours with a pair of curved swords I threw away my muscle memory to become a whip guy, and it was a thrill. Instead of getting in close for quick combos I was staying back to poke at enemies or pouncing with a dual-whip slam.

The scale of Elden Ring's open world exhausted me, but the depth of that arsenal is going to keep me coming back for years. I mean, have you seen that twinblade with a scythe on it? I'll never go back to the monogamous sword life.

Sean Martin, Guides Writer: Weird builds are definitely one of the best things to come out of Elden Ring. Once you've honked an invader to death with a giant horn, electrified yourself to roll around like Sonic, or fired an endless stream of madness-inducing fire from your eyes, it's hard to see Souls' staple sword 'n' shield the same way.

Fraser Brown, Online Editor: Elden Ring's launch and the following months were the best part of my 2022. Easily. It wasn't just due to the game itself, but rather the event that it was at the centre of—the Elden Ring era. Most of PC Gamer seemed to be playing it, it was all over my social feeds, and my days were spent in endless discussions about it, or trawling for new build ideas or funky exploits. It was this beautiful oasis of pointless bullshit, offering a welcome reprieve from the apocalyptic state of the real world.

This is not to say that Elden Ring, on its own, is not an exceptional game. It wouldn't have so dominated the early part of the year otherwise. FromSoftware's stuff always does it for me, but I'm also impatient and easily frustrated by even the tiniest bit of adversity, so I'm often on the edge of packing it all in. Elden Ring's freewheeling open world and concessions to accessibility solves that problem nicely. It's still bastard hard, but there's so much more you can do when you get stuck here. And that's why I ended up putting 150 hours into it in just a few weeks.

Game of the Year 2022: Elden Ring (2)

Lauren Morton, Associate Editor: Elden Ring felt like a months-long moment inside and out of the PC Gamer team. Every morning I got to ask fellow PCG writer Jorge Jimenez for the daily Jorge Report—in which he told me which major or minor boss he'd killed the night before. And in the evenings I was playing co-op with one of at least three different friends. On a nightly basis I was asking things like "have you found the Prattling Pate for 'You're beautiful' yet?" which is an incomprehensible phrase to anyone who's not played but a gleeful little sidequest for me and a friend.

(Video) Why Elden Ring Is GameSpot's Game Of The Year 2022

Beyond my love of a good co-op romp though, my favorite bit of Elden Ring is how its open world should not have worked. It was common speculation leading up up to launch day that the classic Souls formula of tight corners and sneak attacks just wouldn't translate to an open world. Not only were there plenty of legacy dungeons and interior areas to keep FromSoftware's signature tight level design, but even open world encounters genuinely kept me on my toes with my Tarnished's head on a swivel.

Ted Litchfield, Associate Editor: In the months after beating Elden Ring I went back and replayed nearly every single Souls series entry sans Demon's Souls, which I hit just last Halloween, and Sekiro. I feel secure saying that Elden Ring's my very favorite, the pinnacle of that magic I felt when I first played Dark Souls back in 2014. I need its expansion pack yesterday.

Robin Valentine, Print Editor: I've really struggled to get invested in any of the Souls games, but Elden Ring hooked me right from the jump. Its more accessible story and open structure make it so much easier to love than its predecessors.

Game of the Year 2022: Elden Ring (3)

Sarah James, Guides Writer: Elden Ring has pretty much taken over the entirety of 2022 for me, so much so that I'm currently in the middle of my third full playthrough. I don't think there's anything not to love about the Lands Between. I mean, the first handful of hours can be pretty daunting—the amount of choice you have is almost paralysing, especially when you're not sure if you just died horribly because it's a hard boss that will take a few goes or if you're far too low level to have any business attempting it. Thankfully you get over that pretty quickly as you realise it doesn't matter because you'll always find stuff you can kill.

I expected Elden Ring to be good but didn't think I would end up playing it as much as I have. It's not my first FromSoft game either but I think I'd forgotten how enthralling I find its particular brand of storytelling. Even after completing Elden Ring, I couldn't resist revisiting areas to look for clues that I might have missed the first time around. Now it's just a case of impatiently waiting for the first story DLC.

Tyler Colp, Associate Editor: I like Elden Ring even more than I did when I reviewed it. After another playthrough, dozens of videos and discussions about it, and some distance, I’ve realized how effective FromSoftware’s open world triumph really was for me this year. A couple months ago, I stepped back out into Limgrave with the co-op mod and heard the swell of the score as I looked out across the landscape, and that’s when I knew this game wouldn’t leave me. I’m already nostalgic for it, and at that moment, all the feelings I had playing it for the first time came rushing back.

As a long time Dark Souls evangelist, I am mostly happy to see FromSoftware impress so many more people with its weird and tremendous imagination. Elden Ring is packed with so much creativity. It’s rare to be so taken by a game like that, especially when many of them are sequels to existing franchises. Elden Ring synthesizes the open world framework with western fantasy in a way that is immediately familiar and inviting and then spends most of its length twisting your expectations. It’s what I adore about FromSoftware’s work, but at a scale that remains unfathomable to me even after having played it for hundreds of hours. If I think about it too long, I want to load it back up and be in it again. This year had a lot of outstanding games, but Elden Ring stole the show.

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Game of the Year 2022: Elden Ring (4)

Wes Fenlon

(Video) Elden Ring - Game Of The Year | PC Gamer Game of the Year 2022

Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter (opens in new tab) and Tested (opens in new tab) before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).

With contributions from

  • Tyler ColpAssociate Editor
  • Fraser BrownOnline Editor
  • Lauren MortonAssociate Editor
  • Sean MartinGuides Writer
  • Robin ValentineSenior Editor
  • Ted LitchfieldAssociate Editor
  • Sarah JamesGuides Writer

See comments


Will Elden Ring win Game of the Year 2022? ›

And now, we can see that Elden Ring is not just overall the most-awarded game of 2022, but it's the most awarded game of the year in… any year, for as long as this sort of thing has been tracked. ResetEra has a thread compiling all of the Game of the Year wins for titles in 2022.

Is Elden Ring easily Game of the Year? ›

Elden Ring, however, was easily the most obvious choice for a multitude of reasons that made it a much superior experience to all the other nominees. It is an honour to have been chosen as Game of the Year 2022 among so many great titles.

What is the most overpowered thing in Elden Ring? ›

The Taker's Flames ash of war is easily one of the strongest available to players. The ash of war coats the sword in flames before it is slammed into the ground, sending a wave of flames in front of the player. The flames also steal HP from the affected enemies.

How long does it take to 100% beat Elden Ring? ›

When focusing on the main objectives, Elden Ring is about 54½ Hours in length. If you're a gamer that strives to see all aspects of the game, you are likely to spend around 133 Hours to obtain 100% completion.

Has any one beat Elden Ring yet? ›

A speedrunner has managed to complete Elden Ring without dying in just two and a half hours. Many players are taking their time to explore the Lands Between in full, delving into every nook, cranny and catacomb, battling every boss, and gathering runes to ensure they're as strong as possible.

Has any one beat Elden Ring? ›

A Twitch streamer recently made Elden Ring history after successfully defeating every boss in the game without getting hit a single time over the course of the entire run. After months of planning and effort, the Elden Ring streamer claimed victory at the end of a nearly 9-hour long stream.

Is Elden Ring the longest game? ›

Elden Ring also has the distinction of being the longest game of 2022, at least by HowLongtoBeat's metrics. At 107 hours, it's followed by Nintendo's Xenoblade Chronicles 3 (99 hours) and Square Enix's Tactics Ogre: Reborn (68 hours).

Is Elden Ring as hard as a Souls game? ›

Elden Ring is a More Advanced Form of Soulslike

The difficulty discussion pertaining to Elden Ring is as complex as the game's many mechanics. The game takes after the enemy speed and complexity present in Dark Souls 3 and Sekiro, so one would assume it is more difficult than the oldest Souls titles.

Is it possible to make Elden Ring easier? ›

8 Use A Shield

One thing that will almost always make fighting in Elden Ring easier is making use of the plethora of shields included in the game. These shields allow you to block a portion or even the entirety of the damage from enemy attacks in exchange for stamina.

What is the number 1 hardest boss in Elden Ring? ›

1 Malenia, Blade of Miquella / Malenia, Goddess of Rot

The rest of the fight has a beautiful and deadly rhythm to it, one worthy of the hardest boss in Elden Ring. The satisfaction that comes from finally defeating this seemingly impossible (and optional) boss is perhaps unmatched throughout all FromSoftware titles.

What is Elden best weak to? ›

Holy damage will heal them, so avoid using it completely, and they have resistance to all status effects, meaning the Elden Beast weakness is pure physical damage. They also have a weak spot on their stomach which you can aim for to deal more damage.

What is the best sword to level up in Elden Ring? ›

The best weapons in Elden Ring are:

Rivers Of Blood. Sacred Relic Sword. Sword Of Night And Flame.

Is 150 max level in Elden Ring? ›

Can you level up too much in Elden Ring? The max level in Elden Ring is 713.

What happens when you reach 1000 hours in Elden Ring? ›

Elden Ring Devotee Plays For 1,000 Hours, Breaks The Game's Clock.

What percent of players beat Elden Ring? ›

How many people completed Elden Ring? From these stats, we see that the difficulty of Elden Ring is justified as only 8% of players have beaten the game in its entirety. When it comes to that part of the player base that is not as dedicated, we see that 25% of all players have never even beaten the final boss.

Who beat Elden Ring the fastest? ›

The first successful Elden Ring speedrun was met with much fanfare when, on March 9, 2022, niko bellic managed to beat the game in just 2 hours and 35 minutes, and without a single death. Simply playing Elden Ring without dying is amazing on its own, let alone while pushing the pace.

Is it possible to beat Elden Ring without armor? ›

A talented Elden Ring player defeats boss Malenia with no armor, shield, and minimum health, among other achievements. Elden Ring player Dodgenator91 defeated the boss Malenia with no armor, shield, summons, and minimum health.

Can you beat Elden Ring without leveling up? ›

This Elden Ring player completed the game in 2.5 hours without levelling up or taking a single hit. "In my opinion, a 'challenge' run is supposed to be challenging." Someone has completed Elden Ring in two and a half hours without levelling up or taking a single hit.

Does Elden Ring scale with level? ›

Elden Ring enemies do not scale. You can eventually overlevel them.

Is Elden Ring worth beating? ›

Since the game launched last week, most of them agree that it's beautiful, detailed, and absorbing, but intimidating for newcomers. While critics seem to concur that it will stand as one of the best video games of the year, we'd also suggest that Elden Ring isn't for everyone, exactly.

How many people quit Elden Ring? ›

Around 261 players gave up on playing the game, according to the data. Even though the number is meagre, it still makes Elden Ring the most-quit game of 2022.

How many hours to max out in Elden Ring? ›

As JayzRebellion15 explains, the game has a 999-hour time limit. This means that the internal clock maxes out at 999:59:59 and the system will not recognize a second more of playtime.

Is Elden Ring making DLC? ›

On December 6, FromSoftware announced that Elden Ring will finally receive DLC, in the form of a PvP Colosseum arena. The Colosseum DLC will launch for free across all platforms on December 7, 2022.

Is Elden Ring too hard for beginners? ›

It's pretty safe to say that Elden Ring is a tough game. Frequent ambushes and enemies that can kill you with a single hit can make the first few hours very difficult.

Is Elden Ring frustrating? ›

Elden Ring, however, will never achieve that status—the gameplay is just too grueling to appeal to every player. FromSoftware, the developer behind Elden Ring, is responsible for notoriously difficult games, namely the Dark Souls franchise.

What is the easiest starting class in Elden Ring? ›

Vagabond: The Vagabond is arguably the best Elden Ring classes for beginners. Melee builds are generally easy to pick up without having to familiarize yourself with loads of in-game systems, making them great for players unaccustomed to FromSoftware gameplay.

Is Elden Ring grindy? ›

Elden Ring requires heavy time investment and quite a lot of grinding for runes in order to level up and get better gear. The best way to enjoy the game isn't to rush through all the quests but to focus more on exploration.

Is Elden Ring fun for beginners? ›

The ability for new players to explore and tackle the game in the style that suits them best makes this the most accessible Souls-like game to date, and arguably one of the best gaming experiences of the last few years.

What is the best starting character in Elden Ring? ›

Confessor. If it's a balanced beginners' class you're after, you won't do better than the Confessor. The Confessor has the highest starting level of any origin and starts the game with a decent shield, which is a valuable tool to have in hand if you're not quite up to speed with FromSoft combat yet.

Can you cheese Malenia? ›

There's finally a way to cheese Malenia. Malenia, as you may know by now, is by far the toughest boss to beat in Elden Ring. Thankfully, FromSoftware showed us an iota mercy by making her optional boss, and put her all the way on a part of the map you don't even need to go near to complete the game.

Who is the easiest boss in Elden Ring? ›

Depending on who you ask, Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy, is either one of the easiest encounters in Elden Ring or is an impossible and unfair nightmare to deal with. And while he is undoubtedly a nightmare, this encounter can be trivialized entirely if you use the Serpent-Hunter great spear found within the boss arena.

What game will win Game of the Year 2022? ›

The Game Awards 2022: The full list of winners God of War Ragnarök won big with 6 awards, but Elden Ring managed to steal the show by winning Game of the Year and Best Game Direction.

Which game won Game of the Year 2022? ›

Elden Ring won Game of the Year, as well as Best Game Direction and Best Role Playing Game. Several new games were announced during the show, including Crash Team Rumble, Death Stranding 2, Hades II, and Judas, and the first full clip for The Super Mario Bros. Movie was shown.

Is Elden Ring the best selling game of 2022? ›

The best video game of 2022 was only the second best-selling game, though FromSoftware's Elden Ring managed to stay on top of the charts for most of the year. The best-selling game, according to the NPD Group's tracking, was Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare II, which continues the franchise's yearly chart-dominating trend.

What awards did Elden Ring win 2022? ›

Elden Ring


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