Top 10: Loot-Based Games

Destiny

Loot-based video games are a one way trip. As a player, there’s nothing as satisfying as having to go through numerous colored items that you can equip your character with. Although it’s easy to relate loot to grinding (the process of repeating an action again and again to improve your character’s statistics or progress through a specific game,) gathering loot can be extremely satisfying when the mechanics around it are entertaining. If you, like me, love loot, then the games below will be some of your favorite.


10. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V - Skyrim

Although the focus of The Elder Scrolls series has always been on the expansive worlds and a deep combat system, there’s still loot to pick up here and there. It can certainly slower in pace, especially when compared to most action-RPGs, but Skyrim has a diverse array of weapons you could obtain from defeated enemies.


9. Dark Souls

Never underestimate your enemies in Dark Souls.

Although there’s nothing particularly new and fresh about the loot system in the Souls series, I decided to include Dark Souls on this list because of its different approach. Over the years, Dark Souls has gained a reputation of punishment and high difficulty, so going off the beaten path just to look for items that might make your journey a bit easier is a risky endeavor. But when the enemies around you are overwhelming and you run to a new place in hope of a bonfire and instead you find a rare and powerful item that you get to keep, Dark Souls becomes a game that uses a popular system to do something completely different with it.


8. Dungeon Siege

Dungeon Siege

Another action-RPG series, Dungeon Siege is different because it’s much more linear than most of the games on this list. In the game, the main character is joined by additional adventurers and the gameplay combines ideas from some of the most popular action-RPG, including Diablo, Nox and Ultima. Apart from the single-player campaign, you have access to some multiplayer modes and the game engine also supports mods, so there’s content for a long time.


7. Destiny

Destiny

Like some of the games on this list, Destiny marries different genres. In this case, those are MMO, first-person shooter and action-RPG. The best part about the loot system is that all the mechanics work in its service which can create some remarkably memorable moments. So you can team up with your friends and each of the members of your team can assume a specific role (tank, sniper, pistol-wielder and so on) and develop a strategy that suits your needs. Once the task at hand is complete and a bunch of colored items are scattered on the ground, you’ll feel like you accomplished something.


6. Guild Wars

Guild Wars 2

Although it’s easy to dismiss Guild Wars as yet another Diablo 2 clone, the MMORPG was still really fun to play. So what was different? To begin with, this is a massively multiplayer online game that focuses on player-vs-player gameplay. It’s worth mentioning that even at the time of its release, there was a lack of subscription fees and as the name suggests, you could join several guilds.


5. Titan Quest

Titan Quest (PC)

Titan Quest has all the elements you’d expect from a loot-based game: this is an action-RPG with hack and slash elements where you spend dozens of hours killing monsters to level up. Innovations come in the form of classical world settings (Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece,) day-night cycles, three-dimensional graphics, ragdoll physics and some multiplayer modes. Take into account that the game had some problems, such as the cumbersome inventory system, so if you want to play this game make sure you get the expansion pack which improves most of those issues.


4. Borderlands 2

Borderlands 2

The Borderlands series always felt novel because it combined elements from different genres, but one of its best parts was the loot system. Whenever you wiped all the enemies in the area and reached an area at the end that had one of those large chests with powerful equipment in it, we all felt like we achieved something. Some of the boss encounters were also memorable because by the end, the floor was filled with colored items you could equip your character with and that made the game satisfying and memorable.


3. Torchlight 2

Torchlight II Loot

To a certain extent, Torchlight 2 is an improved version of Diablo 2. But unlike Diablo 2, Torchlight 2 has a pet that can carry items for you and sell them in town, you could play cooperatively with other players, there were extended modding capabilities and more. If you’re tired of playing Diablo 2 or the original Torchlight, Runic Games’ second attempt at the action-RPG genre is a title that you should definitely check out.


2. World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft

If there’s anything about I’ve learned about Blizzard Entertainment is that the company really knows how to craft a loot-based games. Of course, World of Warcraft stand out the most because the game is huge and there are so many items to choose from and so many enemies to fight that the game’s formula required loot so that players were hooked in the first place.


1. Diablo 2

Diablo 2

For a moment, I thought about including Diablo 3 instead of its predecessor, but Diablo 2 was the title that convinced millions of players of the advantages of having loot in an action-RPG and this encouraged dozens of developers to clone that system. In other words, if it wasn’t for Diablo 2, most of the games on this list wouldn’t exist. Frantically opening chest, exploring underground caves and defeating fire-spitting devils wouldn’t have been as fun and engaging if it wasn’t for all the money and equipment players got in return.


These are some of the games that were considered, but didn’t make it to the final cut: Path of Exile, Dead Island, Van Helsing, Sacred 2, Dragon Age, Darksiders II, Divinity: Original Sin, Defiance and Fallout.