Rugby 22 – Review
Follow Genre: Sports, Simulation
Developer: Eko Software
Publisher: NACON
Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Tested on: PS5

Rugby 22 – Review

Site Score
Good: Does have a fair amount of content, Elaborate mechanics
Bad: Too expensive, Dated graphics, Bugs, Lack of licensed content
User Score
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/10 (3 votes cast)

In the gaming landscape, some sports games get a lot of attention, while other sports tend to be underrepresented. We get to see a new release of FIFA, NBA 2K, and NHL pretty much every year. Even though these games often offer exactly the same experience as the year before, albeit with some roster changes, more microtransactions, and a few minor gameplay tweaks, they do have a massive following. Sadly, for enthusiasts of other sports, the games on offer aren’t that popular, or, the developers have to work with a lower budget. This is the case for the Rugby games that are published by NACON. Rugby 22 tries to offer fans of rugby a fun experience and manages to capture the core. That being said, there are still a few issues present to make this the next best thing in its respective niche pocket of the sports games world.


As expected, games such as these don’t come with expansive storylines or a bigger plot to uncover. The game does have a career mode in which you can propel your own brawny team of rugby players forward. This mode also incorporates some scheduling and other events, making it feel as if you’re truly the manager of a team of your own making. That being said, the game doesn’t really have any narrative value, and this is perfectly fine.


The graphics are probably the most offputting part of this title. Rugby 22 looks as if you’re playing an upscaled PlayStation 2 title, and even then, some animations truly look janky and buggy. The faces of most characters look as if they were pasted on a mannequin, as nearly every player seems to be made out of the same base model. There are a few details that are fun to behold, but for the most part, things feel dated and detract from the overall ‘simulation feel’ this game is supposed to give you. Even though we played the PlayStation 5 version, it felt as if we were running an old game via an emulator, rather than experiencing a next-gen title. The game also has clipping errors and we have even seen footballs pass through players.


As a whole, the menu soundtrack is serviceable and the commentary during matches is fairly decent. You won’t be blown out of the water by the quality of the sound design, but it’s quite alright, and with a bit of polish, this aspect of the game would reach a top-quality level.


As expected, Rugby 22 is all about the sport of rugby. This game will offer a similar experience as other realistic sports games and could be considered a proper simulation experience. The game itself offers different options, ranging from making your own team to kickstart your career, to playing quick matches, plowing through tutorials, and even duking it out online. Even though the offset is straightforward, the game does have a high threshold to overcome if you want to even have a tiny grasp of the basics. Due to this, the game is not really that accessible to non-gamers, and even gamers that have no experience with sports games at all.

Even though you can be playing after a few minutes, getting through the tutorials will already cost some time, and we do advise actually playing through them. If not, you might find yourself in a situation where you’ll be overwhelmed by the game’s different button commands to simply gain control over the ball. Even performing a simple pass in the game is actually quite the challenge. Add the fact that the game has quite a few bugs, such as physically impossible passes that are performed by the AI, and you’ll have yourself a tough nut to crack to actually make some progress. That being said, when you do invest some time into the basics, this game can actually become quite fun, and it is impressive that the developers did cram in so many different mechanics into one single title. With sufficient polish, this one might turn into a great series for rugby enthusiasts. We imagine that the game is also best enjoyed while playing against other people as this would balance the playing field a little. Sadly, however, we were never able to connect to other people online due to the low player base. Another hurdle the game runs into is the fact that the publisher is seemingly still struggling to get more licensed content to add to the current roster of teams and players.


Rugby 22 is a decent attempt at creating a proper rugby sports/simulation experience. It’s clear that NACON is investing in the limited option of rugby games available out there, and the game does have a moderately decent foundation that can grow into something quite nice. For the next edition, we would love to see a massive graphical update, some bug fixes, and perhaps a bit more accessible controls and mechanics for newcomers. That being said, if you’re truly a fan of the sport and like sports games, then if you can buy this one at a discount, you might end up sinking several hours into this one.

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Rating: 5.0/10 (3 votes cast)
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Rugby 22 - Review, 5.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

Aspiring ninja.

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