The 25 Best Action Games On PC

You probably like action games. But which ones should you like best?! We’ve narrowed it down to 25, and then put them in the unimpeachably correct order. Read on for details of the best action biff-zap-collect-me-do gaming you can stuff down your trousers.

The action game is perhaps one of the toughest genres to pin down. More often than not it can be defined by which games aren’t in it, rather than those that are. They’re definitely not RPGs, so that’s Mass Effect, The Witcher 3 and so on out. Third-person shooters – they’re another thing, we’re certain. But is a game a shooter simply because it contains shooting? What’s Max Payne? Eh? EH? Platform games – they’re even tougher. Where’s the line? Well, it turns out it’s wherever we say it is, and arguing is simply forbidden. That simplifies things.

It’s also a genre that has, it’s fair to say, seen most of its success away from the PC. From Zelda to Ratchet & Clank to Banjo & Kazooie, their likes have never graced our door. And more’s the pity. But plenty of absolutely stunning games have – phew, eh?

Remember, if you don’t see your favourite action game appearing on this list, that’s because your favourite action game is rubbish, and you’re a complete fool. Or it’s because we limited it to 25, and there are at least 27 good action games.

Click on the links below to leap to a particular section, but if you just skip to number one first, you’re not getting any pudding. You’ll find details of where you can buy the games, what we’ve previously written about them, and suggestions for other games you might like to try if that one ticked your boxers.

25-21

20-16

15-11

10-5

5-2

Number ONE

Complete List & Postscript

165 Comments

Top comments

  1. kud13 says:

    Number 26: Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. (1997?)

    Another one by Crystal Dynamics, written by Naughty Dog's Amy Henning. After wrestling the rights from Silicon Knights in a protracted legal battle, Crystal Dynamics went on to turn the world of Nosgoth, which was a pretty typical Zelda-esque affair, only with vampires and all gothy, into a post-apocalyptic Tomb raider with demons.

    Soul Reaver's not the prettiest game. Its combat is tough and often annoying- enemies don't really die unless you finish them off taking advantage of their vampiric weaknesses (and also eat their souls). It has far too many block puzzles.

    For all that, it's engrossing. The entire gameworld is one gigantic map, the loading of transition between areas limited by the opening and closing door animations.

    The game's platforming adds an extra dimension via gliding on Raziel's tattered wings. And then it literally adds a new dimension--by introducing the mechanic of Spirit Realm, which was a parallel dimension, where architecture was warped, allowing Raziel to reach places he otherwise would not-at the expense of dealing with the life-sucking Shadow Wraiths...

    And speaking of Raziel. The voice acting-what made this game, nay, this series. Every word narrated by the protagonist drips scorn, self-loathing and desperation. The world is huge. The world is dying. Kain, the supposed antagonist (or is he?), who caused all of this. Raziel's former brothers, each made monstrous, as the hulking bosses that require something other than combat to beat. Secret areas that become available Metroidvania-style with new powers-areas containing complex puzzles (not always blocks), initiating gigantic machinery built by God know who to reveal hidden collectibles- new attacks, or bonus HP.

    Soul Reaver wasn't the first in what it did. It's not the best platformer. But it's combination of platforming, exploration, spooky ambience and a sometimes high-winded story make it one to look for among console action titles that made in onto the PC.

    Note: originally intended to be the conclusion of Legacy of Kain, the ending was re-written to provide an opening for a time-travel filled sequel. Lots of the original code was recovered by enthusiasts from the PC, Playstation and Dreamcast code, to reconstruct what shoud have been.

    Where to get it? GOG, Steam, square Enix's own Web store, etc.

    Similar titles: despite being direct sequels, Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2, and Legacy of Kain: Defiance both abandoned the pseudo-open world feel of the original, focusing on the intricate storytelling in the former and DMC-like combat in the latter. Closest equivalents would probably be the Darksiders series (Death even looks a lot like Raziel). Tomb Raider games by Crystal Dynamics are another obvious pick.
  2. Premium User Badge

    Skabooga says:

    26: Little Big Adventure 2 - Colorful, lovely, packed full of adorable characters, and having a bigger heart than most any other game I've seen. True, the controls could be fiddly and frustrating at times. And genre-wise, it might be more action-adventure than action (a distinction I'm not sure I could parse). But it makes me feel good every time I play it. In many ways, Beyond Good and Evil was LBA2's spiritual successor, with improved platforming and control.

    27: Cave Story - Another overwhelming lovely game. Again, perhaps its genre is more platformer than true action, but I'm willing to bend definitions a little. Everything from the visuals to the music to the controls were tight and of the highest caliber, and all the more remarkable for being the work of one person. The atmosphere and setting were, if not coherent, quite unique, and the game contains some of the most lovable characters.

    28: Crusader: No Regret - Now this was unreservedly an action game. I suppose I've always had a soft spot for isometric views and art, and Crusader: No Regret won me over. Everything from the FMV to the synthy verging on dancy soundtrack are a perfect encapsulation of how the mid-90s felt. I don't think any game has made being a terrorist so fun, going around sabotaging bases and wantonly blowing up equipment.
  1. axfelix says:

    I’m amused that I actually find myself agreeing a lot more with this list than some of your others! Good on you putting SRIV on top. It’s wonderful.

  2. Freud says:

    Haven’t read yet, but I just want to get this out of the way. I disagree with your list.

    • Metalfish says:

      I haven’t read your comment yet, but I’m furious.

    • Minglefingler says:

      I haven’t read the article or its title and neither do I know what it’s about or indeed the reason that I visited this website but I find myself in nodding agreement with what was written.

    • Axyl says:

      I don’t have a computer, nor internet access, I am unable to read and haven’t actually been born yet, but I’m disgusted by this list, your (dis)agreement with it and won’t stand for this sort of thing any longer.

    • caff says:

      I haven’t read the article, and at first I only half-read your comment. I then skipped up and down the page a few times until the text got all blurry and I had to have a nice sit down with a cup of tea.

      I also disapprove wholeheartedly, except for the top 25, which are quite good.

    • Premium User Badge

      Dez says:

      As a citizen of Neutropolis, I have no strong feelings one way or the other. (If I don’t survive, tell my wife, “Hello.”)

  3. Kitsunin says:

    Oni, oh man. If there were ever a game I want to replay after well over a decade, that would be the one. Yup, gonna do that this weekend.

    In particular I recall a highly above-par story, though whether that’s at all true and what actually happens…all I remember is vigilantism and a vaguely spoilersy something about a pink-haired android girl.

    • Kitsunin says:

      Oh, and props for including it. I don’t think I’ve even thought of the thing in the last thirteen years, so I am very excited to rediscover this piece of nostalgia.

    • Elusiv3Pastry says:

      All I remember about Oni is that it had a unique combat mechanic that was completely overshadowed by the fact that it was an unfinished game. I recall levels all being big empty rooms with one or two guys standing around inside. Did it get better in the latter half of the game?

    • aoanla says:

      I was terrible at Oni, but it’s still a game I’d stick in any list of top action games (and I’m glad it’s mentioned in this list in the context of doing fluid movement better than and before Mirror’s Edge – while I was terrible at both games, I felt like I was being awesome in Oni, while I just felt like I was messing up in ME).

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      As somebody who loved Oni to pieces, I was really surprised to see it in the tags. Heck, I’m not even sure it should be here, though the article made a very convincing case.

      It was heaps of fun though, with particularly satisfying combat where the challenge was nearly always spot-on. I also loved the little incidental glimpses into its setting. Actually that’s the stuff I love most in all bungie’s games, I eat that speculative sci-fi stuff up.

    • nearly says:

      I feel obliged to warn you, I tried playing Oni again (a few years ago, even) and it was not anywhere near as pleasant an experience. It did not hold up very well, but it’s nice for at least showing what a major foundation it was in the development of 3rd person shoot and punchers.

      • Papageno says:

        For today’s standards, yeah, Oni’s melee combat probably doesn’t hold up compared to something like Sleeping Dogs, but back in the day is was freaking amazing.

  4. Iceman346 says:

    I applaud you for the first place, wouldn’t have expected that and I guess you will get quite a bit of flak for that.

    Speaking of: While I quite enjoyed Tomb Raider: Legend in my opinion Underworld is far far superior. The levels where more grandiose in scale, there was a greater emphasis on puzzles and barely any human enemies. Also no quick time events. For me it’s the best game in the franchise so far.

    • Vandelay says:

      It has been a while since I played them, but I definitely agree that Underworld was a really great game and often forgotten. Anniversary was also spectacular, brining the original game bang up to date and expanding on many of its ideas to create something very special.

      As I say, it has been a while since I played any of those games, but I would rate either of them higher than Legend. Legend was a very good first stab and Tomb Raider by a new studio, setting the template for the games that followed. It suffered somewhat from a lack of scale and feeling to fleeting. The following games built on the foundations to create something special, but it wasn’t there in the first attempt.

    • jamesgecko says:

      I’d actually put Underworld at the bottom of the trilogy for a variety of reasons.

      They used mo-cap, so Lara’s wonderful smooth animation from the first two games is gone. The tweening has been greatly diminished; changing between different animations has much more of a jerk to it.

      The levels were large, but many of them were also kinda awful. This was an early next-gen title on consoles, so there was a focus on realism, at the expense of landscape readability. Many ledges that looked like they should be grab-able were not. Some that looked like they were just part of the wall were required handholds. I had to check YouTube several times when I got stuck because there was no obvious way to move forward (“Wait, what do you mean I can climb up that?! This is BS”).

      This was also the first game in a new engine; many of the levels were designed in the absence of a way to play-test them until far too late in the development process. This resulted in things like a frustrating maze level with tight corners that you were supposed to take a motorbike through while being constantly assaulted by undead.

      Finally, the story jumps the shark so hard that it goes into orbit and careens to its death in a collision with the moon. Twists like “Lara has an evil twin,” and “there is literally an ancient tomb in the basement of Croft Manor,” are not even the most ridiculous story beats (although they are the most coherent).

      It’s true that there were no QTEs or bosses. Those are things in Underworld’s favor. The 2013 reboot is the only Tomb Raider that has combat I enjoy, so any previous games that give me a break on the fighting definitely get bonus points. But I’ll take the sublime Anniversary over Legends or Underworld any day.

  5. jonahcutter says:

    Don’t play Red Faction: Armageddon. It’s awful, and it is the reason the series died. The very fact that you can immediately rebuild everything you just destroyed shows how misguided it is. Plus it also wants to be Dead Space to the point of stomping bugs, watering down it’s own unique identity. It’s just bad.

    Oni is great, and really should be a rival fighting system to Batman’s. One developers can also cheerfully rip off and plug into their game.

    • karthink says:

      Do play Red Faction: Armageddon. It’s great. The very fact that you can immediately rebuild everything you just destroyed shows how wonderful it is. Plus it also borrows from Dead Space the bugs, while adding its own bonkers overpowered weapons to the mix. It’s just fun.

    • Kempston Wiggler says:

      Red Faction: Armageddon is AWESOME. Not as good as Guerilla overall (although better in some aspects) but a really good time all by itself.It understands fun the way RPS wished the Just Cause 3 developers do…

  6. Gabbo says:

    Some nice, and unexpected choices in there (Of course I mean Oni).

  7. Jenks says:

    Darksiders was a far better game than its sequel.

    • Spider Jerusalem says:

      Yeah. I thought this was A Thing That Was Known. Darksiders 2, on it’s own, is a pretty dreadful, unfinished mess of a game.

      • PancakeWizard says:

        Nope, it is only known by a subset of rps commenters presumably typing their thoughts from inside an asylum. Darksiders 2 is far better than the fun, but limited Darksiders. Having a protagonist that doesn’t like he’s constantly trying to pass a particularly troublesome turd helps.

        • PancakeWizard says:

          Sound*

        • Jenks says:

          “Nope, it is only known by a subset of rps commenters presumably typing their thoughts from inside an asylum.”

          Metacritic. Farewell, your argument!

          Also having one of the most emo protagonists of all time absolutely does not help in any way.

          • PancakeWizard says:

            Either you dont know what emo us or you haven’t played it. He may be Death but he’s way more light-hearted than War is. He even jokes. It’s Guy of Gisborn ffs

          • Jenks says:

            Darksiders 2 is filled with all the whimsy of the trenchcoat mafia. I see you wisely backed off pretending that the majority opinion is that the 2nd game was better than the first.

          • PancakeWizard says:

            Not at all, I was trying to save you the embarrassment of relying on Metacritic scores as a form of critique.

      • Kempston Wiggler says:

        Have to say I enjoyed Darksiders 2 far more than the the first game.

    • Arona Daal says:

      IMHO “Blades of Time” is superior to Darksiders I and II.
      Posess all three and although the Story (of BoT) is cringeworthy,Blades of Time is a faster and more fluid Action Experience.

  8. Eight Rooks says:

    Not a bad list, and while I don’t know if it would be my number one (probably not, but it’d definitely be close) it’s really good to see Saint’s Row IV at the top. Shadow of Boredom, Resident Evil 4 and Darksiders II have no business being on there, though.

    • Alecthar says:

      How does the best Resident Evil ever not make this list?

      • Eight Rooks says:

        Resident Evil 6 is the best Resident Evil ever. Tank controls alone should keep 4 off any “best of” lists.

        And no – because I always feel like I have to make this clear – I’m not trolling, or being contrarian or anything else. I’ve played, and beaten, 4 and 6 and I honestly believe 6 is the better game.

        • Alecthar says:

          As someone who has played the numbered RE games on their original platforms, the controls in RE4 are such a massive improvement that it’s immaterial that they’re “tank” controls. If RE4 was like controlling a tank, then RE1-3 were like controlling a square-wheeled wagon pulled by a dying goat.

          The fact that they didn’t embrace standard 3rd person shooter controls at the time was, so far as I know, a philosophical decision as much as a practical one. Frantic movement to take a firing position, deliberate aiming in deadly conditions, it was all part of the atmosphere.

          And even if the controls in RE6 were an objective improvement, the game simply didn’t nail the balance between horror and action the way RE4 did.

        • trn says:

          I just wanted to say, you aren’t alone. I adored RE6 and spent too much time invading other people’s games as zombies and killing them. I don’t understand why everyone got so po-faced about it. I don’t think I stopped grinning playing it.

        • Philomelle says:

          Unfortunately, this list isn’t for the most vapid sequel to a popular franchise, neither is it for the most vapid attempt to clone Left 4 Dead’s success. So Resident Evil 6’s triumph will have to wait until another day.

  9. FriendGaru says:

    I am completely on board with the top pick. Is Saints Row IV perfect? No, it’s kinda short, too much focus on the minigames, and loses any sense of challenge one you accumulate a decent number of upgrades. But good lord, it is just a complete joy to play. Running around at super speeds and flying around, smashing into the ground to take out groups of enemies, wielding increasingly ludicrous weaponry, it’s all just pure fun. It’s the kind of game I get 100% on not out of some sense of duty, but just because I don’t want the experience to end. Then I reach a point where there’s nothing left to do and feel kinda sad.
    I’m usually extremely critical of games writing. Even the stuff that’s supposed to be very good is usually pretty bad compared to other media. But, Saints Row IV has some legitimately good writing. Well defined characters, solid plot framework, well written jokes, and some pathos that contrary to all of my expectations actually lands. It knows what it wants to be and delivers.
    It’s a really solid pick for #1.

    • meepmeep says:

      Thankfully this commment appeared in the main website sidebar, thus saving me the effort of reading the article before discovering which game was at #1.

    • RimeOfTheMentalTraveller says:

      Lol, when I read GTA IV, I immediately though “Hey! Why isn’t SRIV on this list?” And sure thing, it was most deservedly in first place :D
      I know they aren’t really good games, but I would add BloodRayne to the list, even with the repetetive combat, it was so much fun slicing off ears, hands and legs.

  10. mouton says:

    THERE IS NO NUCLEAR THRONE, I HEREBY FORSAKE RPS

    • vlonk says:

      YOU ARE CORRECT! NUCLEAR THRONE BELONGS ON THE LIST! Except it is mentioned favorably under “what else should you be playing” at No. 11 which is Hotline Miami 1. Seems fair to only put 1 top-down delightful frustration machine in the list. Nuclear Throne has a lot going for it except one thing: Still in early access. In my opinion it is a pretty finished game but luckily Vlambeer polish it to perfection. On the official launch of Nuclear Throne we shall return to this thread and demand an update to the list. One thing that Hotline has the edge though: a real killer soundtrack.

    • hypocritelecteur says:

      The only reason I read the article was so that I could become furious that it was missing Nuclear Throne.

      • Kaeoschassis says:

        It is getting so, so difficult to wait for v1. I have never been so tempted to crack and buy an early-access title in my life.

    • Premium User Badge

      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      What is the big deal with Nuclear Throne? I have it and enjoy it but it’s just a twin-stick shooter.

  11. Hillbert says:

    Yeah, it’s definitely the case that action games are probably one of the few areas where some of the best are on consoles.

    Naughty Dog do big cinematic action games fantastically. The Last of Us was one of my favorite games from the last few years, and the Uncharted series have been consistently great.

    Then there’s something like Shadow of the Colossus, a phenomenal game perfectly balancing art and the business of being a game.

  12. Crafter says:

    Why the San Andreas hate ?
    I think it holds up better than the previous entries of the 3d era of GTA.

    Otherwise, I agree that Niko Bellic is probably the most interesting GTA protagonist. It is too bad that the game as a whole feels extremely conflicted. It seems that the different writing teams have worked entirely independently. One team wrote the main story with a focus on Niko’s morality and guilt.
    Another wrote the overworld and filled it with pointless satire.
    It does not feel like the two come from the same game.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      I prefer Vice City, but San Andreas is superior to GTA4 in just about every way. Except for some long boring drives in the countryside.

    • wyrm4701 says:

      Yeah, I’d have to agree. Niko Bellic could have been a fascinating protagonist, but the game never really gives the player that experience. San Andreas is the definitive GTA game – fun, varied missions, a vast open world, and a consistent world that balances satire, drama, and jevenile humour very well. Whereas GTA:IV is the same terrible three missions, repeated far too often in the service of some nebulous concept of grim realism.

      • fish99 says:

        Trouble with Niko Belic is they start the game hinting he’s got this dark history, but it turns out he really doesn’t. He’s seen bad things, but the stuff he does during GTAIV is worse than anything you find that he did during the war.

        My guess is a lot of stuff was cut for fear of offending (Serbia).

    • kool says:

      I’m fine with the rest of the list, what i’ve played is good, and the rest is probably cool too.

      But yea, GTA IV, i really don’t understand that one, i feel that’s one of the weakest GTA-games, it really didnt hit me like the rest of them. To me the best GTA was San Andreas, and i thought the most common opinion was that either Vice City or San Andreas was regarded as the best one and very few people i’ve talked to even liked GTA IV, so that’s very surprising.

  13. Premium User Badge

    Grizzly says:

    Saint’s Row 4 is the Keiron Gillen of Video Games.

    • Stellar Duck says:

      The best of the bunch but largely not the way things are going?

      If so, yes!

      • LennyLeonardo says:

        Also Saint’s Row IV likes to type “Kieron” under all its comments.

  14. Premium User Badge

    Aerothorn says:

    Why only 25?

  15. Palimpsest says:

    I would never say a list is wrong, or a game is missing, but I’m compelled to say that this list is just… bizarre!

  16. Matt_W says:

    I have checked the list twice and can find no mention of HALF LIFE 2. I’m certain it’s meant to be there and just got left on the counter next your keys and the missing sock from your favorite argyle pair. I find it hard to quibble with Saint’s Row IV, which I have trouble believing in because it’s so fun I must be on drugs when I okay it, but surely the most refined action experience of all time deserves a top 5 mention?

    Oh, and though I’m not a fan of multi-play myself, I find it curious that various very very popular on-line man-shooters with Counter and Duty and 4Dead in their names get no mention.

  17. DarioL says:

    So, there’s space for Oni and Project Eden, but not for Giants:Citizen Kabuto?? WTF??

    • Alecthar says:

      Ooooooh, good point.

    • RimeOfTheMentalTraveller says:

      Good point, although fuck that game. On the other hand, don’t. I mean, I liked what I played of the GOG version, but the lack of a save system, even just some checkpoints, is so fucking annoying! I only got to the first base building mission where you use the Princess too, had to get up an hour of progress in, and never went back. I have the same complaint about Hitman 1.

      • DarioL says:

        I got Giants sice 2001 and i never felt the need for in mission savegames, and tbh, i dont understand people that ask for them. Base building missions are way too easy. On the other hand i understand it for hitman codename47, cause it had a weird auto save system that basically resurrected the player once for play, mantaining all the mayhem he eventually created.

    • Urthman says:

      Grow Home made me happy in ways that reminded me of playing Giants, both the jetpack movement and the feeling of vertigo from being so high up in the air. And the aesthetic is somewhat similar too.

    • Rao Dao Zao says:

      Hrmm, not sure about Giants. It is hilarious and brilliantly written but the actual gameplay is pretty wobbly throughout. Being Kabuto is not quite as fluid and fun as it sounds. So, yes, but no.

      • DarioL says:

        Yeah, kabuto’s campaign is terrible. But i think most ppl didnt try the MP, there all 3 races are a blast to play.

      • Urthman says:

        I found the Merc and Reaper campaigns to be really solid (except the Reaper base-building levels were maybe too hard and frustrating without being able to save the game mid-level).

        The movement mechanics in particular were great. The Merc jetpack was very satisfying, especially in levels with (for the time) incredibly tall structures (also combined really well with the ability to place floating platforms in the base-building levels). And the Reaper’s turbo jumping was one of the first times in a game I felt like I was moving like a superhero. It felt as cool then as Batman’s grapple & glide does now in the Arkham games.

        • Kempston Wiggler says:

          Kudos to you, sir. Using the Sea Reaper Turbo ability is the most amazing feeling, managing to always make you feel like you are blasting through the air at ridiculous speeds, whilst also giving you an amazingly precise control over where you landed.

          I must have played and replayed the Reaper demo for longer than I did the entire game. It’s still one of my favourite game experiences ever.

  18. Vandelay says:

    Some strange picks and ones that I thought went against the common consensus of RPS (Saint’s Row 4 instead of 3, Arkham City and not Asylum, etc.)

    I am disappointed you didn’t go for Dark Souls as number one again for the lulz though.

    • Vandelay says:

      Oh, your list says Arkham City, but the write up has Asylum. That’ll teach me for commenting without reading the article!

    • Senethro says:

      I was hoping for Dark Souls as #1 as well.

      Just keep making these lists for all genres with Dark Souls as #1 until we get a comments thread where noone argues what genre it belongs in.

  19. ThomasHL says:

    Well you said action games were hard to nail down, and you certainly showed us how to not nail down action games with this list!

    Although seriously Resident Evil IV, Max Payne and Red Faction: Guerilla?

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      I’ve never played a Resident Evil so I have no idea about that, but those other two clearly are shooty bang bang games.

      “Action” is obviously an awful, vague, meaningless category that could be applied to just about everything except for turn-based games.

    • Alecthar says:

      Respectively: incredible game that represents the height of its franchise; great game that has had influence in the third/first person shooter genres ever since and holds up remarkably well today (excepting its drug trip levels); hilarious exercise in random destruction.

    • Cederic says:

      Max Payne was genuinely ground breaking when it was released, and continues to be one of the best narrative driven FPS I’ve played. Plus it was just damn good fun.

  20. marksman says:

    What about Devil May Cry 4?

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      Yes, this list needs more games with a 4 or IV in the title! The optimal number would of course be 4 games with the number 4, but the current list only has 3. Although, it’s in no. 1-6 and 3 and 6 also appease my numerological mind.

  21. FurryLippedSquid says:

    Assassin’s Creed II easily beats IV, for me.

    I mean, come on, you get to kick the shit out of the Pope.

  22. Stellar Duck says:

    Wait, people like Oni? I’d not have though that in a million years.

    Oh well.

    Only thing I really disagree with to any degree is SR4. The SR4 games are shite, by and large. They’re empty calories and boring as hell. And the “humour”, such as it is… oh Lord.

  23. shagen454 says:

    While it might not be the best action game, I finally picked up RAGE on Steam. Wasn’t really interested in it at the time, but I also don’t think my computer could run it well at the time either. I was skeptical, but I think RAGE is one of the funnest action games I’ve ever played. The combat feels amazing and the game looks great – I love the way the characters look and the game is simple & streamlined. The loot plays out far better than Borderlands (I hate exploding loot based games) and the guns are fucking awesome when you come across new ones early on. And the game gets NO love, so I’m here to give it some.

    • Barberetti says:

      RAGE was number 42 on their top 50 FPS list, and yeah, the gunplay was pretty fantastic.

  24. Arglebargle says:

    Perusing this list, I can tell that I don’t like action games.

    Though while it’s not my piece of cake, Saints Row did strike me as well done and quite funny.

    • Premium User Badge

      Andy_Panthro says:

      Same. It took me until 11 (Hotline Miami) before there was one I’d played, the others being Max Payne and Beyond Good and Evil (finished MP, almost finished HLM didn’t like BG&E).

  25. kud13 says:

    Number 26: Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. (1997?)

    Another one by Crystal Dynamics, written by Naughty Dog’s Amy Henning. After wrestling the rights from Silicon Knights in a protracted legal battle, Crystal Dynamics went on to turn the world of Nosgoth, which was a pretty typical Zelda-esque affair, only with vampires and all gothy, into a post-apocalyptic Tomb raider with demons.

    Soul Reaver’s not the prettiest game. Its combat is tough and often annoying- enemies don’t really die unless you finish them off taking advantage of their vampiric weaknesses (and also eat their souls). It has far too many block puzzles.

    For all that, it’s engrossing. The entire gameworld is one gigantic map, the loading of transition between areas limited by the opening and closing door animations.

    The game’s platforming adds an extra dimension via gliding on Raziel’s tattered wings. And then it literally adds a new dimension–by introducing the mechanic of Spirit Realm, which was a parallel dimension, where architecture was warped, allowing Raziel to reach places he otherwise would not-at the expense of dealing with the life-sucking Shadow Wraiths…

    And speaking of Raziel. The voice acting-what made this game, nay, this series. Every word narrated by the protagonist drips scorn, self-loathing and desperation. The world is huge. The world is dying. Kain, the supposed antagonist (or is he?), who caused all of this. Raziel’s former brothers, each made monstrous, as the hulking bosses that require something other than combat to beat. Secret areas that become available Metroidvania-style with new powers-areas containing complex puzzles (not always blocks), initiating gigantic machinery built by God know who to reveal hidden collectibles- new attacks, or bonus HP.

    Soul Reaver wasn’t the first in what it did. It’s not the best platformer. But it’s combination of platforming, exploration, spooky ambience and a sometimes high-winded story make it one to look for among console action titles that made in onto the PC.

    Note: originally intended to be the conclusion of Legacy of Kain, the ending was re-written to provide an opening for a time-travel filled sequel. Lots of the original code was recovered by enthusiasts from the PC, Playstation and Dreamcast code, to reconstruct what shoud have been.

    Where to get it? GOG, Steam, square Enix’s own Web store, etc.

    Similar titles: despite being direct sequels, Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2, and Legacy of Kain: Defiance both abandoned the pseudo-open world feel of the original, focusing on the intricate storytelling in the former and DMC-like combat in the latter. Closest equivalents would probably be the Darksiders series (Death even looks a lot like Raziel). Tomb Raider games by Crystal Dynamics are another obvious pick.

    • welverin says:

      Regrettably Amy Henning is no longer at Naughty Dog, I believe she is working at Visceral on their Star Wars game.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      Yes. Yessss.

      I’d probably rate it a lot higher than 26, but definitely give it a mention. I recently decided to replay through the entire series (currently on Defiance) and yeah, SR1 is definitely the high point. (Although the sound bugs out quite a bit on modern systems which is frankly heart-breaking.

      Am I the only one who actually loved the block puzzles though? I mean sure I’ve played through the game so many times I can do most of them in my sleep, but first time through they were pretty interesting. The ability to flip and stack them made the puzzles a lot more enjoyable than the ones from, for example, the earlier tomb raiders.

      More games should shoot for the feeling that Soul Reaver 1 ALMOST captured, too; that of being a skulking parasite who, while technically immortal, was fragile as hell. The vamps felt genuinely powerful and intimidating back in the day, and everyone once in awhile the game would throw a combat situation at you that you’d actually have to think your way out of.
      Of course, by the end-game you’re so strong that goes right out the window, but still.

      I’d definitely recommend that anyone who enjoys SR1 play SR2 as well, though. It might drop the actual open world, but the feeling of exploring a real place is still very much there, and the story may be at its highest point of the entire series. The interactions between Kain and Raziel, always a highlight, are DEFINITELY at their best there. The puzzles are also great.

      • kud13 says:

        LoK story is consistently great, but the series really struggled with its mechanics.

        SR 1 took the “gothic Zelda” formula of Blood Omen, made it 3D and more Tomb Raider-y and it was nearly perfect.

        SR2 does the best dialogues in any PC game, ever. But it sacrifices depth of gameplay- the world is a corridor with 5 sets of (admittedly, massive) puzzles.

        Blood Omen 2 tries to recapture SR1, while being set in an actual city. I don’t consider it a red-headed stepchild-in fact I think BO2 got combat right, and the steam-era setting is great, along with the ambient dialogue you could listen to if you were sneaky and took your time (very much like NOLF in that regard). It also went back to the “kill bosses, get more powers” formula. The overall story, and the plotholes it creates, and the fanservic-y Umah…ugh, yeah, that’s poor

        Defiance is just something else. Story-wise, it’s basically SR3, with the quality of 2, albeit a bit heavy on exposition. The puzzles are much more “find missing thing to put in slot”, as well as “use correct Reaver”. The game tried to focus on combat-and while some combos look pretty sick, enemy variety sucks, and breaking the same freaking construct 6 tombs in a row gets VERY grating.

        I guess that’s why Squeenix cancelled 2 supposed LoK sequels – they just don’t know how to keep the same storytelling level, and they can’t settle on a new set of mechanics. Going back to SR1 formula, but with AAA standard is probably a ridiculously expensive option, and LoK remains somewhat of a niche series. As much as I yearn for a closure of Kain’s story, I don’t have much hope.

        • Kaeoschassis says:

          I’m with you on pretty much all of this.

          I’m actually one of the apparently few people who really likes Blood Omen 2. Like a lot. I was initially a liiiittle disappointed, sure, but I went into it already knowing what to expect, and I got a lot MORE than I expected. Combat is fantastic once you get used to the weirdly dated controls, stealth and puzzle solving is fun as heck, messing with the AI is amusingly satisfying. Yes the story is a mostly dull mess, but eh, it’s fun. Yes most of the writing is pants, but Kain still manages to be Kain, so all is forgiven. Well, not literally all, but you get what I mean.

          I still love both SR2 and Defiance dearly, for what it’s worth. But I’ll admit, for all I adore the madly eclectic mess that the LoK series is, I do frequently wish for a world where we’d got the mechanics of SR1 (or even the first Blood Omen, to be honest) with the plot and writing of SR2 and Defiance.

          And yeah, I’ve given up all hope of ever getting a decent ending for the series. It’s not “okay”, but I’ve come to terms with it, long since.

  26. Barberetti says:

    And if it pleases thee, replace this entry in your mind with your particular favourite in the run, be it Vice City, the original top-down Grand Theft Auto, or perhaps a spin-off like The Ballad Of Gay Tony. Just not San Andreas.

    So Vice City is number 2 then? Thought so.

  27. SuicideKing says:

    (request for top 25 space games)

  28. Premium User Badge

    Skabooga says:

    26: Little Big Adventure 2 – Colorful, lovely, packed full of adorable characters, and having a bigger heart than most any other game I’ve seen. True, the controls could be fiddly and frustrating at times. And genre-wise, it might be more action-adventure than action (a distinction I’m not sure I could parse). But it makes me feel good every time I play it. In many ways, Beyond Good and Evil was LBA2’s spiritual successor, with improved platforming and control.

    27: Cave Story – Another overwhelming lovely game. Again, perhaps its genre is more platformer than true action, but I’m willing to bend definitions a little. Everything from the visuals to the music to the controls were tight and of the highest caliber, and all the more remarkable for being the work of one person. The atmosphere and setting were, if not coherent, quite unique, and the game contains some of the most lovable characters.

    28: Crusader: No Regret – Now this was unreservedly an action game. I suppose I’ve always had a soft spot for isometric views and art, and Crusader: No Regret won me over. Everything from the FMV to the synthy verging on dancy soundtrack are a perfect encapsulation of how the mid-90s felt. I don’t think any game has made being a terrorist so fun, going around sabotaging bases and wantonly blowing up equipment.

    • ansionnach says:

      Loved the Crusader games. They’re both the same but when I finished the first one I wanted some more. Another serving right about now would be nice. Might as well give me Ultima VIII: Agnostic and Bioforge 2 as well.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      The thing I love most about Cave Story – and I love a lot of things about Cave Story – is that it just drops you right into the game with absolutely no indication of what to expect, or even where or who you are. I actually managed to go into it totally unspoiled, and I was glad I had, because that gradual discovery is great, and it’s MOSTLY done without getting in the way of the gameplay.

    • Oozo says:

      Thanks for mentioning Cave Story, I was a bit sad to not seeing it mentioned. Such a wonderful, lovely game that has a very clear vision of what it wants to be and is one of the purest and best examples of that chosen genre ever done.

      Then again, as others have pointed out, “action” is a very, very, very vague category anyway, which makes it all the more baffling that they would limit it to 25 picks. Well, the alternative wouldn’t be too enticing, either: genre definitions that are so rigid that basically the lists become meaningless, or very short. Still, I hope for a “platformer” genre, because there are clear omissions on that list that are a bit surprising. And SHMUPS? Hm. I’d like to see them do even more abstract categories, for once, because they basically have already admitted that theirs are pretty useless, anyway — things like “most atmospheric games ever”, or “games that are too good not to be mentioned but didn’t fit in neatly on any list so far, which is awesome, btw”.

      Oh, and yes, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. One of the most exciting developer of action games of all times (btw, no Bitmap Brothers?) working on the top of their game — maybe not their best game, but representative for an exemplary studio and a genre a bit neglected on the list. Also, it’s basically as far out as Saints Row, even though it’s probably even more camp. What’s not to like?

  29. WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

    GTA4 is the worst of the 3D GTA games by far, and San Andreas is the best unless judge a game purely on the basis of its licensed soundtrack, in which case it’s Vice City. 4’s proponents always seem to mis-characterise its detractors as people who couldn’t handle a serious mob storyline, or who expected whacky humour, or didn’t want serious themes in their open world murder simulator. None of this is true. The problem is that, by common though by no means universal consensus, they *made a hash of it*. The cousins Bellic are not just unlikeable but hugely inconsistent. The cognitive dissonance between gameplay and cutscene is probably the single worst example of the phenomenon in mainstream gaming, and certainly the most famous. Mission design was the most samey and uncreative of the 3D GTAs, even including III which was no great shakes either. Car handling comprehensively failed to be realistic or weighty, and ended up being buttery and loose instead (see Mafia for how to do it properly). I could go on and on, but I think many people will agree that GTA5 is the series zenith mechanically, GTAVC is the zenith thematically, and GTASA is the best synthesis. GTA4 was a failed experiment which Rockstar immediately turned away from in the next installment.

    Finally, SR4 is not the best of the Saint’s Row franchise, that would be SR2. SR4 is just another shonkily written “satire” that has some two bit superhero mechanics clumsily added on top, with a city that was copy and pasted from SR3, which was itself a mediocre nothing game. SR2 may have had a terrible PC port, and may have been mechanically wonky to say the least, but it did have 3 great redeeming factors: 1.) Charles Shaughnessy’s phenomenal cockney VO for the boss, which was vastly superior to Robin Atkin Downes’ rubbish attempt in SR3&4. 2.) The best clothes and car customisation in any GTA-alike to date, and 3.) by far and away the most vicious sense of humour in videogames. It was an oversight, Volition were deliberately crafting something quite different from the GTA brand of cynical satire, it’s a genuine exploration of what it might be like to be a completely sociopathic and Machiavellian crime lord. By all means don’t enjoy it, but don’t have a go at Volition for being “misogynistic”, or whatever nonsense insults you can throw at them. I thought John was meant to be the great crusader for videogames not wanting the players to emulate their in game character? Put simply, being a vicious and society-hating killer is *fun*. Moreso than emulating a superhero in a badly designed world replete with “lol so randumb” meme humour, anyway.

    • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

      That should say that SR2’s humour *wasn’t* an oversight. Curse the edit button’s passing.

    • blastaz says:

      GTA5 is the series zenith mechanically, GTAVC is the zenith thematically, and GTASA is the best synthesis. GTA4 was a failed experiment which Rockstar immediately turned away from in the next installment.

      This is wisdom.

      I’d still probably argue that SA is the best GTA as it was quite simply the biggest and boldest. III added 3d. VC added you talking. SA added ALL the gameplay. IV then took a massive step back to try and create a story that didn’t really hold together. LCS then actually put a good interwoven story in that world. V then made something really pretty.

      But its still San Andreas that has me going back to the gym before saving after every mission to build up my stats and doing that initial run on a bike to get all the graffiti tags every time I start a new game. It’s the best combination of systems, theme and substance. Plus you get to wear that whack yellow suit & bowler at the end!

    • Premium User Badge

      Qazinsky says:

      Apart from actually liking SR3, just not as much as SR2, I agree wholeheartedly with your eloquent analysis of the two series and will now stamp it with my “Truth!” rubber stamp.

  30. Laurentius says:

    Well SRIV is one of the worst and dreariest games I have ever played and one that feel so incredible cheap and selling its cheapiness with disregard for player. Anyway it is so wierd choice but I can live with that but what happand to tons of timeless classics ? What is even going on here ? Action games started with Max Payne ?

    C’mon, check those games :
    Another World and Flashback
    Little Big Adventure 1 and 2
    Magic Carpet
    Wing Commander
    Speedbal 2
    Jedi Academy
    Heretic 2
    MDK
    Oddworld games :Abe’s Oddysey

    just out of the top of my head but there so many more…

    • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

      +1 for that whole list, and the on-point comment about SRIV (which was cheap cash grab with not a lot of quality in its design or its execution).

    • Christo4 says:

      I don’t really know about Saints row 4 since i didn’t play it, but damn, jedi knight should be there, at least jedi academy. I loved that game. Would play it again even now.
      Also, i believe abe’s exodus is a bit better than odysey.

      • Darth Gangrel says:

        Star Wars: Jedi Knight – Mysteries Of The Sith was featured in the best FPS games at number 28 and Star Wars: Dark Forces at number 27, so there is some Star Wars love here at RPS.

    • Urthman says:

      Yes to Heretic 2, the Jedi games, MDK 2, and also add Giants: Citizen Kabuto.

  31. Risingson says:

    Not a bad liABUSE.

    ABUSE. ABUSE.

    ABUSE.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      Ooo man Abuse. Everytime someone reminds me of its existence I have to go replay approximately half of it, and then ragequit.

  32. rodan32 says:

    Duck Game! Come on. Duck Game!

  33. ansionnach says:

    Don’t have much to say beyond a few observations:

    Oni: Played this about five years ago and really enjoyed it. It’s a bit clunky but it works well enough within its clunkiness (feels fair and you don’t die all the time because of it). Its positives certainly outweigh its negatives. Very fun game.

    Tomb Raider Legend: Played this on GameCube (maybe the most limited version?) and it was a huge surprise. Thought it was excellent, like playing the lead role in an action film. Similar feeling to Oni.

    Wasn’t a big fan of Sands of Time. Need to play it through, though. Would recommend Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame, though. Only cerebral gorillas with a pianist’s hands and cat-like reflexes can finish that one!

    Isn’t the first Max Payne terribly clunky now, but without the pay-off of something like Oni? Only played it recently for the first time and it featured terrible animation, which undermines the action. Even though it was on a tablet, I can’t imagine the controls being silky-smooth on anything.

    I’ve tried and tried but I can’t like Resident Evil 4 much. I don’t even think I could say it’s good from an objective point of view. Limited controls and game design that’s like playing D&D with a sadistic DM. The way it sets up surprises and drops enemies on your head just annoys me. It also deserves to be singled out and beaten for the plot, voice acting and all the backtracking. I’ve played the GameCube version, which is supposedly the best one.

    Never played Beyond Good and Evil that much… but it seems frightfully high up the list…

    Hotline Miami and Towerfall are great!

    • Christo4 says:

      What i HATE about re4 is that at a point in the game, if you don’t get the thermal vision you are basically fucked. Especially since there is an enemy that unless you have a ton of grenades (and you won’t), they are rather invincible to you shooting at them with anything else other than the rifle which has thermal vision to see their weak spots. So to someone like me who invested a lot in pistols and revolvers i was basically fucked and had to backtrack a lot. No ty.

      • ansionnach says:

        Sounds terrible. Not sure if I had the patience to get there but I do remember being chased around a characteristically small area for a seeming eternity by some big monster early enough in the game. I’m an ammo hoarder but by the time I finished the thing I was out of almost everything… and may have spent about twenty minutes wondering was the pistol doing anything. By the time I beat him I was actually bored. My weapons may have been impotent but terrible controls aside, the beast was pretty poor at getting me as well.

        The RE games specialise in design decisions that introduce unfair difficulty. They start by giving you very little ammo and health pick-ups and go from there with crappy controls and characters who move like a tank and awful camera angles. Sparse pick-ups are necessary to a degree in this kind of game as they increase that sense of vulnerability. If it was just the pick-ups it wouldn’t be so bad but they take every opportunity to take the piss out of you.

        In the case of RE4 I think its legend stems from the fact that it was a GameCube exclusive. I got the machine for all its offline four-player games so it was worth it to a degree, but its release schedule was like winter at Valley Forge. GameCube magazines and owners were itching for some long, “mature” adventure not made by Nintendo to call the best game of all time and validate their little machine that couldn’t. The rest of the world is to blame for its gullibility.

    • RimeOfTheMentalTraveller says:

      Well, speaking as someone who played Max Payne fairly recently (2011) and who hadn’t/hasn’t played much else from the action genre, I felt the atmosphere and coolness of the gameplay just as John describes it. So I’d say it still holds up, but depends what your background is. Also, Max’s face may look a bit constipated, but I like this sour, snarky, gaunt, lanky incarnation of him more than those from the sequels.

      • ansionnach says:

        Got a few 3D games for a tablet just to see what it could do. Was nice to see Max Payne and Jet Set Radio on the small screen… but they were pretty much unplayable (especially JSR). Next thing will be the embedded devices release. I’d imagine playing either of them on my fridge would be easier than with the touchscreen!

        Haven’t played the Max Payne sequels or many recent action games either. 3D action games certainly benefit from better technology, but then game design itself seems to be getting bogged down in anti-patterns quite a lot of late. Primary one when it comes to action games is difficulty (since about the first Tomb Raider, but more recent games make it look hard). Without it, what’s the point? Is anything on the list even remotely close to Prince of Persia 2 when it comes to this? Unless there are difficulty levels in Oni (can’t remember; would have selected the hardest if there was) it certainly isn’t an easy game towards the end and you’ll need to have mastered its combat to a decent level. Difficulty has pretty much gone from all genres, as though game designers think they’d be up in The Hague if somebody with two left hands couldn’t finish their game.

        Hotline Miami gets good marks when it comes to difficulty. While far from impossible, I’m sure there are people who’d never finish it if they had until doomsday. I’d gather that the hatred of difficulty comes from all those completely unfair games from back in the day. There were games that were hard but fair back then (e.g. D/Generation, Super Castlevania IV, Gunstar Heroes). The good ones. That was the minority of games. Perhaps those who couldn’t do it right eventually gave up and use some other parlour trick to extend game life? Collecting shit and fetch quests?

    • Buggery says:

      Max Payne is largely an excuse to play Max Payne 2 – quite possibly one of the best games ever.

      Ridiculous story, brilliantly simple but extremely addictive and deep gameplay, and some of the greatest level design in any game ever.

      And yeah, controls on a tablet are naturally going to be shite. Controlled like a dream with a keyboard and mouse.

  34. Hairball says:

    Samurai Gunn is a better game than Towerfall, hth.

  35. TheMopeSquad says:

    I’m very shocked that Sleeping Dogs is absolutely no where on this list.

  36. Premium User Badge

    gritz says:

    Are you guys going to do a list of Stealth Games? I have a hankering, and these lists are a good way to find gaps in my backlog.

    • Premium User Badge

      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      They’re waiting for Phantom Pain to come out so it can be placed at number 1.

  37. Shinard says:

    The main, obvious omission? Sleeping Dogs. Goddamn Sleeping Dogs. Top 10 material? No, probably not. But Top 25? Without a doubt. It borrows mechanics heavily – Max Payne’s shooting, Arkham Asylum’s fighting, Just Cause’s vehicles – and never quite equals the originals. A pile of content was undoubtedly, and rather obviously, cut, at one point making your character into an obsessive stalker for no real reason. But – Buuuuuut – it all really, really works. The heavy borrowing of mechanics means there’s no real bad one, ending with an open world where everything is fun to do. The cut content is irritating once you notice, but there’s more than enough in the open world for you never to be bored. There’s loads of little details, like the ability to buy food from street vendors and eat it as you walk along, that help immersion greatly and are just, well, cool. And the story. My God, the story. An interesting, engrossing classic triad story, with you playing an undercover cop. You question your allegiances, find hidden depths in seeming stereotypes of characters, try and do good while being forced everyday to compromise more for survival. It’s dark, clever and so engrossing.

    Play it. I know it looks like a GTA ripoff, but trust me. You won’t regret it.

  38. Lizergamid says:

    Where is Blade Of Darkness? Forgotten and undervalued game, so characteristic and bloody awesome.

    • RimeOfTheMentalTraveller says:

      I have it on GOG, but the last time I tried to play it, everything ran too fast and I couldn’t fix it despite using the help forums. But from what I managed to play before it got fucked, it was maybe the only game I’ve played with such complex melee combat which actually works with mouse and keyboard properly. It also had a Dark Souls vibe, though to be honest I’ve never played DS. It just reminded me because of the gameplay and the atmosphere which were somewhat akin to what I’d seen of DS.

      • ansionnach says:

        This is a vague memory, but I used to use a programme called CPU Killer to play Daggerfall circa an aeon ago. Needed to run maybe five instances of it in parallel to slow my old Athlon down so that the climbing worked. There seems to be a version that works with modern systems and is free.

      • Farsi Murdle says:

        I originally got into the Souls series (Demon’s) because I was hankering for more games like Severance (Blade of Darkness in the US). If anything its combat is even more intimate than D* Souls. You tend to face fewer enemies at once, and all of them are dangerous. Severance’s combat is combo-based rather than the slightly more direct control in Souls, but they are very similar in many ways.

    • Sin Vega says:

      If that’s the Blade of Darkness that’s also known as Severance, then I’d imagine it’s in the bin marked “novel, but essentially crap” where it belongs.

      • blind_boy_grunt says:

        I think you think of Die by the Sword, which was novel and maybe a bit crap. But Blade of Darkness had a great atmosphere and the fighting was hard but fair and you had to be very methodical. The jumping “puzzles” were shit though.

        • Sin Vega says:

          No, I mean Severance. It was sunk by horrible camera/movement controls, and having all but one of the characters be disappointingly rubbish. Also the boss fights were an annoying slog.

          • blind_boy_grunt says:

            I responded to your: “novel, but flawed”, because i don’t see how that describes Severance. The other complains are surely not untrue but not a big factor for me, but if you say the one character not rubbish is the amazon, than you are playing it wrong (i’m so sorry). Because she is easy mode, with the others you really have to learn the system (although i still don’t like breaking shields)

  39. Dances to Podcasts says:

    “If we did a 25 Best Lovely Games”

    You totally should.

  40. Det. Bullock says:

    GTA IV?
    Well, in my expierence the missions were often dreadful, I never went beyond the one where you have to recover the drugs and get in a chase with Police, Swat and everything.
    Technically is no different from some missions in other GTAs but the driving physics makes it impossible for me.

  41. caff says:

    How well does Dead Rising 2 play now? I loved 3, and I’ve seen Dead Rising 2 on Steam but no idea if it looks a bit dated/pants now.

  42. Frank says:

    Never got around to SRIV. I got one and two in bundles and hated whichever one I tried so much that I’ve hidden them both in my steam library. It felt like shallow MMO mechanics.

    I like most of the rest of the list, though, and am glad to see the omission of (…digging through my other steam-hid games…) overhyped Super Meat Boy, Audiosurf, Cortex Command, bit.trip * and Freedom Force.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      Most of those ‘overhyped’ games you listed aren’t even action games.

      And Cortex Command is underhyped as hell.

  43. aircool says:

    I liked the look of Shadow of Mordor, but was put off by the controller thing and having to learn a ton of button presses.

    However, when it was £15 in the summer sale, I gave it a go…

    I think I’ve played it so much that my 360 controller has worn down to the size of a SNES controller. After playing the game for a while, I just couldn’t face playing Witcher 3 anymore because the combat in SoM is just so good.

  44. fish99 says:

    I wanted to like SR3, played the first mission and it seemed fun. Then I drove the cars.

    I’ll have to give SRIV a go since cars aren’t a big part of it, but having seen my brother play a good portion of the game, it looked rather repetitive. I know he didn’t finish it.

  45. criskywalker says:

    It’s a great list, but no Metal Gear Revengeance?

  46. Papageno says:

    I agree with a lot of your picks (Oni, RF:Guerilla,PoP:the Sands of Time), but have to add my voice to the chorus deriding your pick of GTA IV as the representative of that series for this list. GTA: San Andreas was 10X the game that GTA IV was. And I also strongly disagree with your assessment of the PoP 2008 reboot as whatever you called it. It had a lot of the charm of PoP:SoT, and the banter between the principals was reminiscent of that game.

  47. ansionnach says:

    Since I failed to mention it before:

    D/Generation

    It has always been considered an action/adventure but there are fewer games without some sort of adventure or RPG elements these days. Many on this list are more action/adventure. If an action game is one in which you’re mainly engaged in frenetic… action, then D/Generation is your… beastie. The final showdown with the D/Generation itself demands to be experienced.

    I tried to find out who owns the licence recently. Mindscape stopped making games but presumably they still have it? There’s an awful-looking freeware remake available and a not-too-terrible-looking 3D remake on the way. Its component parts don’t look too bad, but when put together they look incongruous… and it’s difficult to tell in which direction the torpedo periscope thingies are pointing.

    Whatever happens with the remake, it’d be better to just play the original. Last time I gave it a go was about six months ago and it ran really well in DOSBox. Game has (rare) physical (floppy) disk copy protection that can see through DOSBox emulation but that’s easily removed with something like Crackaid.

  48. melancholicthug says:

    Oni?? ONI?!?! That disgusting piece of crap?? That was my first dissapointment in life (not the last, sadly). Bungie sold it like it’d be the greatest thing since sliced bread, and it turned out an awful, awful game. Even for the time. Movement was crap. Fighting was crap. I was like taking a dump on my HDD. Shame on you.

    • ansionnach says:

      Can see why you think that, especially considering it fell well short of the hype. For those who picked it up for nothing in a bargain bin it might have been a pleasant surprise. Its worst aspects aren’t as bad as you say, especially considering the game’s design took into account its failings and was reasonably fair with predictable controls. It worked well within its limitations, which is about the most important thing any game could do. I completed it and found the challenge was always about right. Even when I died a lot in the same place I always wanted just one more go. It’s certainly a very clunky game, and even was at the time. Probably something that could easily be loved or loathed. It’s certainly a brave move to put it on a list like this. Even when I disagree with choices I’d prefer to see games you might love or loathe get picked rather than the usual safe choices full of games that are good because of “accepted wisdom” that the list makers may not have even played to completion (or at all).

    • DarioL says:

      Dude…this article is a joke…Oni…i tough the same think. I would pick Heavy Metal FAKK2 over it every day :D

  49. Premium User Badge

    DelrueOfDetroit says:

    How is Grow Home an action game? I haven’t finished it yet so unless there’s a giant boss monster at the end I have yet to do a single thing that could be described as “action.”

  50. Henas says:

    Was Vanquished released on PC? That was ridiculously awesome; you did rocket powered knee slides with transforming weapons. It did have some heinous QTEs though (replete with Mario Party esque, controller destroying stick rotations).