Review – Cricket 22

Nacon doesn’t get enough recognition for what they do with, uh, “sports that aren’t as popular as football and basketball”. While EA and 2K focus on their gargantuan sports titles, the French publisher goes out of its way to ensure that the market is also satiated with games based on less popular sports like rugby and handball. Their latest sports title is possibly the least appealing so far, at least when it comes to visualizing how its rules would be adapted in gaming form. Cricket 22 is out, and it made me wonder… how can you make cricket appealing as a video game, as well as appealing for a global market that has no god damn clue about how its rules work?

Cricket 22 Bowling

Apparently, this is called bowling. That doesn’t resemble those scenes from The Flintstones.

Cricket 22 follows the same trend established by other Nacon sports titles. As in, the fact it’s clearly devoid of a significant budget. That can be seen not only on its paltry amount of licensed teams (its main focus is clearly on having England and Australia as its flagship licenses), but on its overall presentation. It’s a game that looks dated for PS4 and Xbox One standards, let alone on modern, next-gen machines. There is no licensed music, and the commentators sound ungodly unenthusiastic, as if they wished they could leave the match before it ended. Thankfully, its developers had the smart idea of focusing what little resources they had to make the game run and play well.

The framerate is excellent, never skipping a beat. Granted, cricket isn’t exactly a demanding sport in terms of animations and fast-paced action, but in no moment did I notice glitches or anything of the sort. The controls are also really intuitive: simple to learn, simple to remember, but complex enough to allow you to come up with different strategies on the fly. The game also features a really lengthy tutorial meant to teach newcomers about what the hell cricket is all about, not only in terms of how to play the game, but also its rules, different formats, and other intricacies. All in all, Cricket 22 does a great job being a cricket game. But this is also its main issue.

Cricket 22 Kenya

“So, uh, how long does this match last? I gotta pee.”

Sadly, cricket is a sport that just doesn’t translate well as a video game. You can’t just pick this game up and play a quick match. Smaller formats of cricket, such as Twenty20, may last for over an hour if you don’t score ten wickets (the equivalent of a baseball “out”) on an inning. And this is the short format of the sport. A full test match goes on forever, to the point of letting you create a savefile so you can go back and tackle it later. It’s also really repetitive, as it takes ages for players to switch between batting and bowling (throwing the ball).

Sure, cricket fans will have a blast with how realistic Cricket 22 is in terms of simulating the pace (or lack thereof) of the sport, but that becomes nigh unsellable for newcomers. Something that cannot be said about Nacon’s own rugby titles, or Sony’s MLB series. Simulating the rest of a match isn’t ideal either, for it removes the possibility of acquiring achievements. You will also become dependent of the game’s subpar AI.


Cricket features a confusing scoreboard, but the game features an excellent tutorial that will make you understand what the hell is going on.

I need to commend Cricket 22 for featuring a wide assortment of teams, modes, and a really interesting tutorial mode that can easily teach newcomers pretty much everything they need to know about the sport in order to understand what the hell is going on. Sadly, here’s the problem: even though Cricket 22 is an excellent cricket video game, the sport of cricket just doesn’t translate well into video game form. You can’t just play a quick arcadey match when the sport is so slow, everyone around you (players and commentators) look and sound unenthusiastic, and matches take forever to complete. It’s just like chess: sure, it can be fun in real life (I guess), but not everything was meant to be turned into a game.


Graphics: 5.0

Cricket 22 just doesn’t look impressive for a supposedly next-gen title, even though its framerate is excellent.

Gameplay: 9.0

It’s easy to pick up and play. Controls are incredibly responsive, the framerate is smooth as butter, and there is a fantastic tutorial when you boot the game up for the first time.

Sound: 5.0

The commentators sound even less enthusiastic than I am when I’m playing Cricket 22.

Fun Factor: 5.0

I need to commend Cricket 22 for featuring a wide assortment of teams, modes, and a decent tutorial for newcomers. Sadly, cricket just doesn’t translate well in video game form. You can’t just play a quick arcadey match when the sport is so slow, and matches take forever to complete.

Final Verdict: 6.0

Cricket 22 is available now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PC and Switch.

Reviewed on Xbox Series S.