Horizon: Forbidden West, God of War: Ragnarok, Immortality, Return to Monkey Island

Video games are no longer just a few pixels on the screen with 100% of the focus set on gameplay, as they evolved into a medium that is telling some of the most important stories in entertainment. A big part of why is the level of performances by world-class talent bringing the characters on screen to life.

2022 featured some remarkable performances, including Ashly Burch’s return as Aloy in Horizon Forbidden West, both Christopher Judge and Richard Schiff in God of War Ragnarok, Dominic Armato as Guybrush Threepwood in Return to Monkey Island, and Charlotta Mohlin in Immortality.

These are our nominees for the Best Performance in a Game in 2022… Be sure to check out next week for our winner!

Ashly Burch as Aloy in Horizon Forbidden West

Ashly Burch carries not only the fate of the world on her shoulders as Aloy, but a huge amount of pressure that comes with carrying a game of this size. Aloy is present through every second of Horizon Forbidden West, but Burch never once lets the mask slip, staying commendably in character throughout every line of dialogue (of which there is plenty). Stepping effortlessly back into her shoes, Burch displays the headstrong attitude we’ve come to expect from Aloy, but develops a newfound warmth in the sequel. She’s at the core of everything in Forbidden West, and Burch carries that weight with confidence and panache – displaying power in loud, pivotal moments, but also shining in the story’s quieter, more heartfelt pockets. Horizon Forbidden West is a game that demanded a strong lead performance, and in Burch, it got exactly that.”

Charlotta Mohlin as ‘The One’ in Immortality

Immortality, the strange mystery game about scrubbing through three unfinished films to uncover what happened to a missing actress, is chock full of incredible performances. But none moreso than Charlotta Mohlin as “The One,” a mysterious presence hiding between the frames, easter egg-like, waiting to be discovered. Mohlin walks an unusual tightrope for a video game – she’s not voice acting or motion capturing, but fully acting her role as a strange entity pulling the strings in a group of actors, while also occasionally slipping into the personas of those same actors, sometimes while on camera, sometimes not. In effect, she’s leaping between four or five roles, all while conveying the air of danger, temptation, curiosity, and strangeness at the heart of The One’s character. Mohlin’s The One is at times terrifying, and at all times, terrifyingly beautiful. While Immortality’s unique format may not jive with everyone, it’s worth scrubbing through just to experience Mohlin’s hidden, brilliant performance.

Christopher Judge as Kratos in God of War Ragnarok

Far from his origins in 2005 as a player avatar with one single emotion – rage, Kratos has become a nuanced and fully-fleshed character in the last two installments of the God of War series. Much of that shift has to do with the understated performance by Christopher Judge. While needing to assimilate attributes of a character with a long legacy, Judge still manages to convey a great deal of meaning with his curt delivery, subdued facial expressions, and gravelly voice in God of War Ragnarok, all while retaining the ability to cut loose and let the anger flow whenever needed. Ragnarok wouldn’t work without a main character that’s simultaneously mythic, relatable, and broken all at the same time, and Christopher Judge nails it at every turn.

Dominic Armato as Guybrush Threepwood in Return to Monkey Island

Dominic Armato has been Guybrush Threepwood for 25 years, but in 2022’s Return to Monkey Island he still manages to reproduce the boyish charm that left so many enamored by the wannabe fearsome pirate at a young age. Armato steps right back into the role as if no years have passed, consistently acting as a proxy for the player but also a close friend as you navigate through the many puzzles that Monkey Island has to offer, always a helping hand and never once a nuisance. It’s a consistent performance full of smart timing that makes sure the adventure’s many jokes hit right, as well as delivering an unexpected amount of pathos in the right moments. It’s a pitch-perfect return that provides all the warmth and humor we’ve come to expect from Guybrush, but should never take for granted.

Richard Schiff as Odin in God of War Ragnarok

When Richard Schiff’s Odin first stepped through the doors of Kratos’ home in God of War Ragnarok, it took most by surprise. Presented as a shuffling, seemingly harmless old man, Odin is far from the fearsome all-father we’d been led to believe throughout Sony Santa Monica’s Norse saga up to that point. In an adventure filled with many memorable performances, Schiff’s Odin is undoubtedly a standout as he plays the rest of the cast like a puppet show from the strings of his Asgardian home. It’s a subtle yet sinister performance that is wholly Shakespearean in its approach and fits the ominous themes of Ragnarok’s story to a tee. Whether it be in the West Wing or on the wings of a raven, Richard Schiff leaves his indelible mark on any project he plays a part in. His Odin is no different, leaving it hard to imagine God of War Ragnarok without him.

All IGN Best of Games 2022 Categories

  • Best Game of 2022
  • Best Action Game of 2022
  • Best Action-Adventure Game of 2022
  • Best Video Game Music of 2022
  • Best Video Game Art of 2022
  • Best Console Exclusive of 2022
  • Best Ongoing Game of 2022
  • Best Performance in a Game in 2022
  • Best Puzzle Game of 2022
  • Best Racing Game of 2022
  • Best RPG Game of 2022
  • Best Shooter Game of 2022
  • Best Game Story of 2022
  • Best Strategy Game of 2022
  • Noteworthy Advancement in Game Accessibility in 2022
  • Best Gaming Hardware of 2022

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