There’s never been a better time to be a fan of pop culture, superheroes and their villainous counterparts, D&D, fantasy books, and just general nerd culture. That’s because some of the world’s most popular licenses are making their way to consoles and PCs this year. These games promise to give us new ways to interact with some of our favorite media franchises like DC, Harry Potter, Star Wars, and more.
What’s more is that each of these games is not only unique in license, but in gameplay too. That’s because these titles aren’t straddled to just one genre. Hogwarts Legacy is a third-person magic-casting RPG, while MultiVersus is a platform fighter. This list of games covers all kinds of genres and all kinds of licenses, and we can’t wait to check them out sometime this year. Here are Game Informer’s most anticipated licensed games of 2022, listed chronologically by release date.
Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
Lego creates some of the most unique and fun takes on beloved licenses such as The Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, Marvel/DC Comics, Harry Potter, and of course, Star Wars. Traveller’s Tales is returning to what is undoubtedly its most popular series with Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, and this bundle promises to give us our best (and blockiest) journey through all nine Star Wars films yet. It features beautiful graphics, a fully-voiced cast, new gameplay mechanics, multiple planets to explore, and so much more.
Evil Dead: The Game
How the hell does a modern Evil Dead: The Game not already exist? A multiplayer shooter (and surely slasher, right?) set in the world of Evil Dead, this title promises to bring all the groovy and gory action combat you’d expect out of anything that puts “Evil Dead” in its name with a fun four-player spin. Think Left 4 Dead meets, well, Evil Dead, and you have a pretty good idea of what we’re looking at here. Plus, there will be PvP action which is always a plus. We can’t wait to see what kind of characters from the iconic horror movies we’ll unlock, not to mention all of the locales we’ll get to visit when Evil Dead: The Game releases in a few months.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns
Marvel’s Midnight Suns not only represents an exciting opportunity to explore some characters not often seen in video games like Ghost Rider and Magik, but it’s a unique take on the comic book games Marvel and its development partners have been releasing as of late. While most superhero games feature third-person action gameplay, Marvel’s Midnight Suns promises a more tactical spin on the RPG formula. One part strategy game and one part deck builder, you’ll be using cards to determine what your hero does, all while strategizing new plans and building relationships with others outside of battle. We can’t wait to take down the dark and demonic forces that threaten the Earth in Marvel’s Midnight Suns, but we’re equally as excited to see if Marvel’s big bet on this fresher approach – courtesy of XCOM developers, Firaxis Games – pays off.
Avatar: Frontiers Of Pandora
Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is exciting for a lot of reasons. It’s being developed by Massive Entertainment, the Ubisoft-owned studio behind The Division series. It’s a new-gen exclusive title. Oh, and it’s based on the highest-grossing movie of all time, Avatar, created and directed by renowned director James Cameron. We’ve only seen a quick trailer for Frontiers of Pandora, and what was shown looked great…but it was all cinematic. We can’t wait to see what the actual gameplay looks like but we’d be lying if we said we weren’t more excited to see how the game performs financially.
Avatar was a massive hit in theaters, and other than a Disney World theme park, we haven’t seen much more of it. Still, Cameron is loading his basket with blue Avatar-themed eggs in the form of multiple movie sequels and Frontiers of Pandora. Does the franchise still have the juice, or was the 2009 movie a one-hit-wonder? Massive Entertainment’s upcoming game will be our first taste of the answer to that question.
Baldur’s Gate III
Baldur’s Gate II was released way back in 2000, so when news broke that Baldur’s Gate III was real and in development, generations of Baldur’s Gate and D&D fans cheered. Finally, it was time for a return to this beloved fantasy universe. Originally an RPG developed by famed Mass Effect studio, BioWare, Larian Studios is handling the threequel, and guess what? We already know it’s shaping up to be a great game because it’s been in Early Access for a year. Sure, it can be rough around the edges at times – it’s actively in development after all – but the first experiences have left a positive impression. That we’ll be getting the full Baldur’s Gate III sometime this year is exciting. In the meantime, we’ll be playing some D&D to get ready for it.
Dragon Ball: The Breakers
Name aside, everything about Dragon Ball: The Breakers looks bonkers in the best way possible so far. Imagine a Dragon Ball Z video game – whatever you’re thinking of, throw that idea out the window because it isn’t The Breakers. That’s because it’s an asymmetrical multiplayer title, not unlike Dead by Daylight or Friday the 13th. One player takes on the role of an iconic DBZ villain, like Cell, waltzing around town, looking for humans to consume so that they can level up to their final form. The other players control the likes of Bulma, Oolong, and ordinary civilians in an effort to avoid and (maybe) take down the threat. DBZ’s bread and butter in games has been the fighting genre, but it’s exciting to see a licensed franchise as big as this one stray from the beaten path.
Dune: Spice Wars
Dune II is a 1992 video game heralded by many as the birth of the modern tactical strategy RPG. That’s why it’s so exciting to see the franchise return to the genre in Dune: Spice Wars. Announced last December, Dune: Spice Wars is being developed by Shiro Games, the team behind survival game Northgard, and is a real-time strategy game with 4X elements. As you might expect, you’ll be able to control factions from Frank Herbert’s legendary sci-fi novels like Atreides and Harkonnen while fighting for land, control, and of course, spice. We can’t wait to see what a strategy game in the Dune universe looks like all these years later.
Gotham Knights is the promise of what Batman’s Bat-Fam has always been about: who watches Gotham when Batman is away (or in this case, dead)? Arkham Origins isn’t everyone’s favorite Akrham game, but you have to admit: for a non-Rocksteady developer, it was a pretty good romp through Gotham. Now, that team has the chance to create something new in a different Gotham using the likes of Batgirl, Robin, Nightwing, and the Red Hood. It will still feature the third-person action of the Arkham series, but it promises a much larger world to explore, tons of villains including a primary foe in the Court of Owls, plenty of Bat fam abilities to use, and two-player co-op. If you’ve ever wanted to see what Batman’s closest allies are up to without the Caped Crusader, then Gotham Knights is for you…which means, it’s for us because we can’t wait.
Believe it or not, somehow, a AAA RPG based on the world of Harry Potter has never really existed (at least, not one disconnected from movies). However, that’ll change this year when Hogwarts Legacy releases. Set in the late 1800s, 100 years before the events of the books, Hogwarts Legacy will let players customize their very own student at the renowned wizard school where you’ll decide to dabble in the dark arts or make like Hermione and stick to the books. The brief glimpses of gameplay we’ve seen show a lot of promise, and we can’t wait to eat some chocolate frogs, drink Felix Felicis, and take down some very big spiders sometime this year.
Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. franchise is obviously popular. While some have attempted to mimic that classic formula, nobody’s ever reached its heights. MultiVersus is looking to give it a shot, and everything we’ve seen so far looks great. It’s a Warner Bros. game that, like Smash Bros. has done for Nintendo, features characters from its many properties like Batman, Shaggy from Scooby-Doo, and even Arya Stark from Game of Thrones. That sentence alone is probably enough to sell many on the game, but going a step further, it seems to feature lots of fun and exciting platform fighting gameplay. If you’ve ever wanted to destroy Batman by throwing Jerry at him while playing as Tom like we do, then MultiVersus is not a game to miss in 2022.
Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League
“Kill the Justice League” is the best comic book video game sales pitch we’ve seen in years. That premise alone is exciting but add in that this Suicide Squad game is being developed by Rocksteady, the studio behind the excellent Batman Arkham series, and we’re seemingly in for a real superhero-killing treat. Instead of controlling a hero we’ll be in control of infamous villains like Harley Quinn, King Shark, Captain Boomerang, and Deadshot. Task Force X has one goal, courtesy of Amanda Waller: kill the Justice League, which, unfortunately for the world, is under Brainiac’s control. The excitement of this game hinges on whether or not we’ll actually get to murder Earth’s greatest heroes (Rocksteady, please, please, please), and we can’t wait to see how such an objective is handled sometime this year.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge
It’s hard to beat the cartoony action of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Shredder’s Revenge is bringing all of that over to the Switch and PC sometime this year. We can’t wait, either, because it looks like a classic 1990s arcade game in all the right ways (which means we won’t need a large bag of quarters to continue having fun). As you might expect, it’s a brawler that lets players control Raphael, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Leonardo, as well as some others like April O’Neil, as they fight through streets, sewers, and more to ultimately take down Shredder and his Foot Clan.
Which licensed game on this list or otherwise are you most excited for? Let us know in the comments!