Tom’s Guide Awards 2022: Our favorite gaming hardware and software this year

Now that current-gen consoles and PC parts are a little easier to find, it’s a great time to be a gamer. Last year we saw dozens of new games, peripherals and services, and a handful of them stood out above the rest. From open-world games that breathed new life into the genre, to headsets that could last hundreds of hours on a single charge, the last year has brought us some truly impressive gaming technology.

We’ve sifted through all of the reviews we’ve written over the past year to determine which products deserve a spot in this year’s Tom’s Guide Awards. If you haven’t played these games yet, now’s the time – and if you’re on the hunt for a new gaming system or peripheral, the ones listed here deserve special consideration. When you want to immerse yourself in a digital adventure, here are some award-winning ways to do it.

And discover all the winners of the Tom’s Guide Awards 2022.

Best Console: PS5

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The PS5 debuted in 2020, but consoles are growing and changing over time. In 2021 and 2022, the PS5 took off, hosting cross-platform hits, such as Elden Ring and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, as well as semi-exclusive titles, such as Ghostwire: Tokyo and Horizon Forbidden West. With its excellent library, fast loading times and innovative DualSense controller, the PS5 continues to deliver polished console games for hardcore and casual gamers. There’s also plenty to look forward to over the next few months, including God of War: Ragnarök and The Last of Us Part I. While PS5 restocks are still hard to come by, it’s a little easier than before, which is good news for gamers around the world.

Best Game: Elden Ring

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(Image credit: FromSoftware Inc.)

Gamers expected Ring of Elden to be good. It’s courtesy of acclaimed director Hidetaka Miyazaki and beloved developer FromSoftware, with story contributions from acclaimed author George RR Martin. And yet, the game somehow exceeded its lofty expectations. Elden Ring is an ultra-challenging open-world RPG, with tons of ways to customize your character and hidden secrets around every corner. Unlike most open-world games, Elden Ring doesn’t provide much guidance, just allowing you to explore and discover things at your own pace. And there is a tonne of things to discover, from a variety of detailed quests to a strange and atmospheric story. Games this good don’t come too often.

Best PS5 game: Deathloop

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To be scrupulously fair, Death Loop is not a PS5 exclusive, as you can also get it on PC. Nevertheless, the PS5 is the place to play it, due to the subtle DualSense haptics and a little more technical stability. However, regardless of your experience, Deathloop is well worth your time – especially since ‘time’ is central to the experience. You play as Colt: an amnesiac man who finds himself stranded on the mysterious Cold War-era island of Blackreef. He and everyone else on Blackreef are stuck in a time loop, and Colt is determined to break it. With open action and stealth gameplay and plenty of ways to customize your playstyle, Deathloop is a must have game.

Best Xbox Series X game: Forza Horizon 5

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The Xbox Series X/S has received a huge influx of great games over the past year, including Halo Infinite and Microsoft Flight Simulator. But in terms of reach and finish, it’s hard to beat. Forza Horizon 5. This open-world runner is set in Mexico, where you can explore sandy beaches, rugged mountains, ancient ruins, thriving cities, and everything in between. With tons of races to race, cars to collect, and challenges to complete, Forza Horizon 5 is a massive game where every activity is worth it. Between the gorgeous graphics and huge world map, it’s also an immersive title, especially if you’re playing with friends – up to 12 players in a single session.

Best PC Game: Age of Empires IV

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(Image credit: Relic Entertainment)

Age of Empires IV was a long time coming, but it was worth the wait. Taking the franchise back to medieval times, AoE4 lets you choose one of history’s great civilizations, then guide it from the Dark Ages to the dawn of the Gunpowder Age. . From English archers and French artillery, to Mongol cavalry archers and Delhi Sultanate elephants, each civilization has something unique to offer, but the competitive gameplay is beautifully balanced. Also be sure to try out the detailed Campaign mode, which includes 4K documentary footage of real medieval warfare.

Best Switch Game: Metroid Dread

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Nintendo announced Metroid Dread just a few months before the game’s release, but the wait felt a lot longer. That’s because Metroid Dread is the first new 2D Metroid game since Metroid Fusion in 2002. After 19 long years, fans have been expecting a lot from Metroid Dread – and the game has fully delivered. Samus Aran’s latest adventure is a dark, mysterious, brooding affair with tight gameplay and an intriguing, minimalist story. The best thing about Metroid Dread, however, is that it doesn’t hold your hand, allowing you to explore the hostile planet ZDR and uncover its secrets at your own pace. We can only hope that the next Metroid game doesn’t take another two decades to make.

Best game subscription service: Xbox Game Pass

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Xbox Game Pass has been around for a while; in fact, he earned our award for “Best innovationin 2021. And yet, the service continues to improve every year. Last time out, Xbox Game Pass offered hundreds of downloadable and streaming games across Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC, Android, iOS, and web browsers. Now you can also stream games to consoles, allowing you to instantly try out any title that piques your interest. What is awesome about Xbox Game Pass is its steady growth from a limited game download service to a global ecosystem. Xbox Game Pass is essentially a glimpse into the future of gaming: any game you want, on any screen you own, from anywhere with an internet connection.

Best gaming monitor: Sony Inzone M9

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Sony is a new contender in the gaming monitor space, but it’s already scored a knockout blow with the Sony Inzone M9. This display is ideal for PC or PS5, with 4K resolution, 144Hz refresh rate, bright screen and rich color palette. At 27 inches, the Inzone M9 easily fits on most desks, and with DisplayPort and HDMI 2.1 connections, this best gaming monitor works great with just about any system you want to hook up. What sets the Inzone M9 apart from similar monitors is its striking design, with a black and white chassis and an unconventional angled stand. At $899, it’s not even that expensive like 4K gaming monitors do.

Oculus Quest 2Tom's Guide Awards 2022 logo

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The Meta Quest 2, aka Oculus Quest 2, has been out for two years. But like any good gaming platform, it has grown and changed in the meantime. The library of games is much better, for one thing, including hits like Resident Evil 4 VR and I Expect You to Die 2. much more intuitive welcome and more robust parental controls than before. However, the best parts of Meta Quest 2 are the same as they always have been: powerful components, compact design and intuitive controls. If you have an affinity for VR and don’t mind setting up a Facebook account, the Meta Quest 2 is an easy recommendation.

Best gaming keyboard: Corsair K70 RGB Pro

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Corsair’s K70 line of keyboards have generally been among the best gaming peripherals on the market since their debut in 2013. Since then, Corsair has tweaked and refined the K70’s design, ultimately culminating in this year’s launch. Corsair K70 RGB Pro. Like its predecessors, the K70 RGB Pro is an almost flawless device, with the best Cherry MX key switches, a sleek design, beautiful RGB lighting and robust software. There’s even an innovative tournament mode, which makes the device ready for competitive multiplayer matches at the touch of a button. It’s arguably as good as gaming keyboards get – until we get the next K70 iteration, anyway.

Best gaming mouse: Corsair Saber Pro RGB Pro Wireless

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The Corsair Saber RGB Pro Wireless demonstrates that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to create an award-winning product. At first glance, the Saber RGB Pro Wireless is about as simple as a gaming mouse can get. It has a plain black chassis, an ergonomic grip, an RGB Corsair logo on the palm rest, and a few extra buttons. But what sets the Saber RGB Pro Wireless apart from the competition is how well it performs. The device weighs just 2.8 ounces and lasts up to 60 hours on a charge, depending on your lighting options. It also works beautifully with just about any genre of game. The Saber RGB Pro doesn’t look fancy, but it packs a lot of performance.

Best Gaming Headset: HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless

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Wireless gaming headsets offer many advantages over their wired counterparts, but they also suffer from a huge drawback: constant charging. Most wireless gaming headsets last 20-40 hours, and those weekly charges can get rough after a while. Enter the HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless: headphones that can last up to 300 hours on a single charge. We were skeptical of HyperX’s claim when we first reviewed the product, but after our week-long review window, the battery was still far from drained. Like most other HyperX headsets, the Cloud Alpha Wireless also fits well and sounds great, which are the two most important qualities a gaming headset can offer.