Over the years, the definition of a game as an “action” category has become more ambiguous than ever, as many games now incorporate aspects of multiple core genres. However, one thing remains certain – games in this category offer the player a polished, exciting experience. So what is this list about? This is not a list of the 10 best action games of all time, or a list of the 10 best action games of a generation. Instead, we’re approaching this topic from the perspective of what’s important, what’s incredible, and what’s fantastic right now. Like today. In this week. This month. Therefore, if you don’t see a Dark Souls game on this list, I would recommend that you play through Dark Souls 3 every day. This ever-changing list aims to capture the highlights of the now and what we think you’d like to be playing at that moment. This list is presented in no particular order, keeping it fresh. Let’s dive in!
From a pure combat standpoint, Bayonetta’s third mission proves to be her strongest. The witch’s new Demon Masquerade and Demon Slave mechanics enhance an already fantastic combat system with a host of fun weapons and abilities. Whether it’s flinging a giant yo-yo, summoning a demonic train, or crushing enemies with a dragon-infused cannon, we couldn’t get enough of the game’s offensive variety. It also feels great to summon giant demons to end long combo strings with a powerful exclamation mark. The Viola and Jeanne sections may be weaker, but when Bayonetta takes the spotlight, she proves once again that few series can outshine her on the battlefield. | Our rating
What can we say about the latest version of From Software that hasn’t already been said? A seemingly perfect evolution of the Soulsborne formula, the Elden Ring brings a newfound and unprecedented level of freedom to its punishing combat. Shield parries, razor slashes, cascading arrows, and magical shockwaves erupt in wondrous swirls of colorful sparks, while necromancy, weapon art, and multiplayer companions add to the mayhem. Horse fights also up the ante; Well-timed double jumps ensure avoiding ax swinging or incoming infernos feels suitably cinematic. And we’d be remiss not to mention the various entities that call The Lands Between home. From the older but swift-footed Margit, the cruel omen, to the red-haired Malenia, blade of Miquella, the Elden Ring has no shortage of unforgettable encounters. | Our rating
Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut
Spirit of Tsushima impressed on many levels during its first release in 2020, letting players explore stunning landscapes while engaging in immersive combat. Small details like the Kurosawa mode, which transforms the game into a black and white vision that you might remember from films like Seven Samurai, make all the difference here, as you can tell that a skilled and practiced hand went into the creation every element has flowed that makes up the whole Ghost.
The Director’s Cut is simply the best way to play Ghost today and comes with the new Iki Island expansion that gives players a lot more content to engage with. Director’s Commentary adds significant depth for players wanting to learn more about the making of the game, the real events that inspired it, the setting and more. Since its release, Ghost has also received other major updates, including a massive multiplayer experience that you can battle with friends. | Our rating
God of War Ragnarok
Kratos and Atreus’ second outing might not differ much from their last in terms of action, but that doesn’t make it any less of a fun adrenaline rush. Fine adjustments and new tricks (specifically for Atreus) add fun creases to the brutal action. Overthrowing the deadliest creatures and deities Norse mythology has to offer remains a thrill, and this bloodshed is wrapped around an immersive narrative brought to life by powerful performances. From its hot start to its epic conclusion, God of War Ragnarök is the total package. | Our rating
Roguelikes get a lot of recognition these days, however Hades could be the one to get everyone chasing their next run and push the genre into the spotlight for years to come. The “just one more playthrough” cycle has never been more evident, and Hades adds a story to unravel and fantastic characters to meet adds a little pizzazz to the equation that’s hard to beat .
Hades has style, it has constant progression to keep things going, weapons to master, and all kinds of secret unlocks to find. Why on earth are we talking about Hades now? You probably already knew that this game rocks. However, it just came out for big consoles. You used to have to play on Switch or PC, but now you can take that journey through hell on Playstation and Xbox. It is absolutely worth a trip. | Our rating
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
To the Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, if you can play it on the PlayStation 5, you should. Suppose PS5 performance is unavailable due to the various factors impacted from the impact of COVID-19 or scalpers on console availability. In that case, you could always go back and play Marvel’s Spider-Man, but if you have the means, Miles Morales on PS5 is the pick of the moment.
While it’s significantly shorter than the original game, it’s packed with epic moments and battles. Miles’ abilities change the gameplay quite a bit and it’s an incredible feeling to whiz around the city. Miles Morales on PlayStation 5 not only plays exceptionally well, but is also one of the few games currently available that uses current generation hardware to showcase what video games can currently do. | Our rating
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Ori and the Will of the Wisps is action-packed and challenging, but also an absolute work of art. With stunning visuals paired with razor-sharp gameplay, few games within the Neo-Metroidvania genre can match this level of performance. Ori could melt your heart as you maneuver through his top-notch platforming and combat combo.
The story and set pieces will guide you through wonderful, whimsical and fleeting moments of terror, so get ready for an immersive, enchanting adventure that loves to show off and completely engages the player. While Ori and the Will of the Wisps can be brutal, progression mechanics help keep things going, even if the journey can be difficult. | Our rating
Ratchet & Clank: Rift apart
So early in the console cycle, we’re looking for these big games to pave the way and demonstrate the power of the new systems. Ratchet & Clank: Rift apart does that and how. While there’s nothing new about jumping around and blasting enemies, things ever look good here as you zip through rifts with absolutely zero loading time, something that will delight even the most die-hard game connoisseur.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart feels great, and more importantly, all of the action feels like it was center stage with fun. The cartoon world is a cohesive delight to explore, and everything from the DualSense feel to the stunning graphics make this a rollicking, celebratory ride. | Our rating
Terrifying, exhilarating and epic, Housemarque successfully translates fast-paced arcade action into a mysterious alien shooter. One of the best games of the year, Returnal brilliantly blends different genres and features to create something special. From solving the mysteries of the alien planet to confronting unforgettable bosses in a fear-infused atmosphere, Returnal delivers suspense with unrelenting action.
The only place you can play Returnal right now is on PlayStation 5, but maybe we can hope for it to come to PC in the future. | Our rating
Villain Legacy 2
On the one hand, Rogue Legacy 2 simply offers more of what its beloved predecessor offered. On the other hand, it makes it just as difficult, if not more so, to put down. It’s almost frightening how quickly time melts by as generations of warriors lead one entertaining run after another through the gauntlet of enemies, traps and bosses. Expanded classes, new items, and game-changing house rules keep each run fresh and strategically deep. In the roguelite genre, Rogue Legacy 2 is at the top of its class. | Our rating
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