Monster Hunter Rise was the game we most enjoyed playing with friends this year. For more of our awards, head to our Game of the Year 2022 (opens in new tab) page.
Sean Martin, Guides Writer: Rise is the perfect Monster Hunter: a game for those who love deep weapon mechanics and buildcrafting, and also those who just want to whack a monster in the face with a big sword. I've beaten 367 hunts with my beloved Insect Glaive and I still feel like I'm discovering its little quirks. Just like its weapons, Monster Hunter Rise is easy to learn, hard to master, and that's what makes it approachable to new players while still offering the series' iconic complexity to those who go hunting for it.
It's also impressive how Capcom continues to support and streamline the game. Since the launch of its Sunbreak expansion and the PC port, we've had an array of ever-deadlier monsters join the fray, as well as an infinite endgame loop that lets you reroll armour and fine tune your weapons. Even after 200 hours, I still haven't unlocked the final urgent quest monster, and by the time I do, there'll likely be even more to fight.
I may never defeat every monster in Rise, but as with other great co-op games like Deep Rock Galactic or Vermintide 2, it's such a pleasure to have the game there so you can dip in for a hunt. At its most basic, it's you and your friends working together to take down a fearsome creature. At its most complex, it's dismantling a monster with almost mathematical precision as you coordinate through status ailments, resistances, part breaks, and skills. Whichever you choose is up to you, but the fact that both are possible is what makes Rise special.
Mollie Taylor, News Writer: Monster Hunter: Rise does a great job at streamlining what made World great, offering a more approachable and agile experience than its predecessor. Additions like the wirebug let you zip around the monster effortlessly, and while weapons still hold a ton of depth and mastery to them, they feel a lot easier to pick up and perform well with. Longtime Monster Hunter fans will find the same fun monster-bashing there's always been, while newcomers will appreciate the game's willingness to welcome them to the series.
Phil Savage, UK Editor-in-Chief: Rise is one of the few co-op games where I can happily drop in with some random players and still be sure I'll have a good time. Yes, I could tackle the hub quests solo, or even with friends, but I love mixing it up with a matchmade team of hunters of varying skill and loadout. Each hunt brings something different: maybe I'm helping a struggling team secure a desperate kill, or watching in awe as a pure master of Rise's expressive combat system absolutely demolishes a giant beast. Where Monster Hunter: World could feel clunky in co-op, Rise is frictionless, and makes playing with others a joy.
Rich Stanton, Senior Editor: The way Capcom has streamlined Monster Hunter's co-op experience in Rise/Sunbreak has one enormous consequence: I play it more. I'm an old hand at hunting now and there would always come the point where your friend group began to peel off after 80 hours (lightweights) and you'd spend ages hanging around in G-Rank waiting for help to fight a Tygrex. With Rise it's so painless to get in and do exactly what you want it feels almost illicit, and Monster Hunter's unique mechanics are so suited to non-verbal communication with randoms that you can instantly be in a complex fight, co-ordinating perfectly with three other skilled hunters to take down something fearsome. Monster Hunter with others was always incredible, but this is the best it's ever been.