We're an exacting bunch here on PC Gamer, and we have the highest standards. We know our gear, and we'll only hand out the highest review scores to the kit that meets, or exceeds those standards. And, of the 200+ PC gaming products we've reviewed over the course of 2022, only 19 have managed to get over the 90% mark.
Yes, we still use the hundred point range, get over it.
It's a somewhat surprising list, with some names you might not expect to be in there, and some you might have thought would make it into the top echelons of PC gaming gear this year. I definitely reckon you'll be surprised to see which brand managed to get the absolute highest score of the year.
The fact there's no AMD or Nvidia kit repping in the top tier of our reviews is likely not a surprise, and is largely a symptom of the fact that both have launched new hardware with unrealistic price tags. And that doesn't win them any favours with us.
But with everything from gaming headsets, to CPUs, to PCs and screens, there's a good spread of gear to whet your appetite. And then, just to balance out all the positivity, I've dropped the five lowest scoring products in at the bottom.
Seems like I'm the mean one, too, because all of the lowest scores were handed out by yours truly. Ain't I a stinker?
The highest rated PC gaming gear of 2022
If the high price of X670E motherboards turns you off, this affordable X670 alternative delivers almost all of the goodies at a much more affordable price.
- Good value for money
- Strong VRM
- Good connectivity options
- Cheap audio
- B650/E competition
On the eve of a new generation of PCIe Gen 5 SSDs, SK Hynix has rolled out what proves to be one of the very fastest Gen 4 drives yet. There are cheaper options that are only slightly slower, but if you want the very best, this is the drive to beat right now.
- Excellent all-round performance
- No major weaknesses
- Competitive on price with direct rivals
- Runs a tiny bit hot
- Unspectacular 4K performance
- Better value is available elsewhere
The Aftershock Ultracore (opens in new tab) is a highly customizable and gorgeous machine with impeccable attention to detail. If you want a desktop to show off as much as enjoy using, it'll be hard to find something better.
- Immaculate presentation
- Highly customisable
- Easily upgradeable
- Expensive compared to a DIY build
- No Radeon graphics option
- The 5800X3D is overkill unless you are a gaming purist
The Razer Enki Pro has plenty of premium appeal with a price tag to match. It's extremely comfortable, well built and will work for most body heights and weights, making it a fantastic addition to luxury gaming setups.
- Extremely comfortable for a racing seat
- Magnetic memory foam headrest
- Premium metal construction
- Eye-wateringly expensive
- Not especially rich in features
I couldn't recommend a better wireless gaming headset than the HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless. They sound amazing and the battery lasts what feels like forever. Plus they're comfortable for long sessions. These may not have the versatility of headsets with more connections, but if what you want is a wireless headset that works amazingly with your PC, this is the one to buy.
- Battery life that can only be described as witchcraft
- Excellent for listening to music
- Precise, powerful audio is great for gaming
- Very comfortable
- Microphone isn't up to par with the rest of the headset
- They aren't the loudest headphones
The Kone XP has everything the discerning gamer needs: great ergonomics, tons of accessible buttons, and glorious RGB lighting.
- Excellent feel in the hand
- Outstanding RGB aesthetics
- Buttons are all easily accessible
- Excellent performance in games
- Great for productivity too
- Not wireless
- Limited control over RGB
The Wooting 60HE (opens in new tab) is a superb gaming keyboard with genuine benefits for PC gamers of all kinds. The Wootility is one of the best peripheral applications out there too.
- Leading analogue features
- Genuinely beneficial in-game
- The best application around...
- ...which can even run in your browser
- Vibrant RGB effects
- Excellent quality
- Highly customisable
- Spare switches included
- No adjustable feet
- 60% size isn't for everyone
- PBT keycaps currently US only
- F1 games don't play nice with analogue functions
It's a lot of money if you're thinking about it as just a chassis, but with a bundled 750W PSU, liquid cooling, and routed cabling, it's your best bet for a quality minimal fuss, mini-ITX gaming PC build.
- Great to build into
- Extra cooling
- Routed cabling is a blessing
- Doesn't support tall RAM modules
The NZXT Streaming Plus BLD Kit (opens in new tab) isn't exactly a pre-built PC, as you have to actually piece it together yourself. Still, a cut above the competition when it comes to component selection, and you'll understand and care about your PC that much more too because of it.
- Good components for the money
- Genuinely fun to put together
- Clear building guide…
- Some parts of the guide are generic
- And it takes time
Seasonic maintains its top spot in the power supply game with its excellent PSU platform, and with a stellar 12-year warranty you can be sure this PSU is built to last.
- High performance and silent operation
- High-quality components and top build quality
- Fully modular
- 12-year warranty
- High OCP on all rails, especially the minor ones
The Thronmax MDrill One Pro comes out of nowhere to unseat some of the better-known and pricier brands. Offering excellent audio, stylish good looks, and onboard controls with no need for extra software, this is an excellent mic.
- Excellent no-fuss audio
- Beautiful design and solid build
- On-mic level monitoring
- No software needed
- No control over sidetone
- Best audio requires a boom arm
Mountain has taken all it's learnt from its first keyboards and created the best-feeling, most usable 60% gaming keyboard I've ever used. It's solid, reliable, responsive, and offers the best typing experience around. It's also good-looking and surprisingly expandable with the numpad accessory, alternative switches, and PBT keycaps.
- Great typing feel
- Reassuringly robust
- Optional modular numpad is great
- Base Camp software remains a minor weak point
- Overall package gets expensive
The Beyerdynamic MMX 100 is as close to perfection as a wired gaming headset can get thanks to its impressive sound, comfort, and build quality.
- Excellent audio performance
- Comfortable for all-day use
- Beautiful design and build quality
- Very good microphone
- Fiddly volume dial
The Kaiser 3 is named well, it’s a great chair that coats your butt and body in plush PVC leather, accompanied by an adjustable magnetic neck pillow and lumbar support.
- Adjustable lumbar support
- 4D armrest
- Seat size
- Placement of the lumbar support knobs
The Top 4 best products of 2022
It’s been an incredibly long time coming. But OLED awesomeness has finally come to the PC. LCD technology still has the edge for latency, but this quantum dot-enhanced OLED screen is incredible when it comes to contrast, HDR performance, and response. Net result? Simply one of, if not the, best gaming monitors ever.
- Fabulous contrast and colours
- Stupendous pixel response
- Genuine HDR capability
- Not a great all-purpose panel
- Latency isn't a strong point
- No HDMI 2.1
Without the unprecedented overclocking potential inside the i5 12400 I'd be heartily recommending this chip forms the basis of your next budget gaming PC build. With it, this processor stands a good chance of becoming the legendary processor of Intel's Alder Lake generation.
- Great stock performance
- Low power
- Stays cool
- Holy hell, does it overclock
- BCLK OC may get patched out
- Requires a whole new motherboard
The inclusion of four more E-cores turns this processor into a 14-core chip with the multithreaded performance to deliver in high-demand applications, and that makes it a great fit for streaming, content creation, editing, and more. The Core i5 13600K is much more of an all-round powerhouse than I had expected it to be.
- Gaming performance close to a Core i9 12900K
- Multithreaded performance close to a Core i9 12900K
- Basically a Core i9
- Fairly efficient
- Cheaper 600-series platform available
- Hotter and hungrier than the Core i5 12600K
- Slower than last-gen in some games
The Corsair AX1600i is the highest performance PSU available on today’s market, even several years after its release. Corsair did well to be the first to adopt GaN MODFETs and the totem-pole APFC converter in a desktop PSU and this gamble paid off. If there were a PSU to get close, it'd be the Be quiet! Dark Power Pro 1500W, but Corsair takes the top spot here.
- Powerful with top performance in all sections
- High build quality
- Silent operation
- Software control
- Super expensive
- Small distance between peripheral connectors
The five worst products of 2022
Maybe the excessive bass response works for your musical tastes, but the weak battery life, and sacrificing audio in favour of low latency gaming, makes me want to swerve the Gravastar buds.
- Strong gamer aesthetic
- Doubles as a bottle opener
- Bass-heavy audio
- Weak battery life
- Low latency mode sacrifices sound quality
There's active noise cancelling, ambient mode, long battery life, and a long-range wireless connection. A great feature set, then, but the Barracuda Pro is absolutely a worse headset than Razer's far cheaper, and better-sounding BlackShark V2 Pro.
- Lots of features
- Long-range wireless
- Solid battery life
- ANC isn't great in games
- Connection static, and sometimes flaky
- Audio is a bit lacklustre
- Over $100 more than better headsets
- Poor mic clarity
A graphics card built to offer the barest minimum of hardware, fails to move the game on, and feels like the most cynical, GPU-crisis graphics card we've seen yet.
- It's in production
- Ephemeral MSRP
- Weak 4GB capacity
- Last-gen gaming performance
This is a gaming chair simply not designed for me. The mesh fabric should be comfortable, but the thick plastic frame keeping it taut jabs in all the wrong places.
- The armrests are nice
- The head cushion is squishy
- Really uncomfortable
- They want money for this
The MelGeek Pixel ought to be everything I'm looking for in a wireless enthusiast gaming keyboard. Ultra-customisation, from the switches to the keycaps, and with the added bonus of LEGO compatible studding across the entire board. And yet it delivers an abysmal typing experience and the brick compatibility is a definite let-down, too.
- Functional wireless
- Hotswappable switches
- Packaging is cute
- Terrible typing experience
- Too flexible plastic chassis
- Lot of money
- Lacks the QA of a genuine LEGO product