There’s nothing as satisfying as a varied and entertaining action game where you can combine attacks to defeat minions and demons as gracefully as possible. Although hack-and-slash is a term that originated in the pen and paper role-playing game era (such as Dungeons and Dragons,) over the years the phrase has evolved and we now use it to describe 3D, third-person, weapon-based games and that’s what this article is all about. Below there’s a list with some of the best hack-and-slash games available.
10. Ninja Gaiden II
The Ninja Gaiden series is considered one of the hardest of all time, so the character action games aren’t for everyone. Those looking for a challenge though will feel right at home with the second entry. There’s not a lot of improvements in Ninja Gaiden II when you compare it to its predecessor, but that’s not necessarily a terrible thing, since the fast-paced gameplay, colorful visuals and gore are still here.
9. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
The Sands of Time has elements of adventure, puzzle and platforming, but you also hack and slash your way through enemies. But the combat was so refreshing when this came out and the ability of rewinding time was so creative that it has to be on this list. It may not all be about hacking and slashing, but Prince of Persia is at its best when you fighting enemies.
8. Asura’s Wrath
The sheer level of scale, spectacle and craziness of Asura’s Wrath is impressive from beginning to end. The story can be predictable and the balance between interactivity and gameplay will annoy some people, but Asura’s Wrath is one of a kind and for that alone, more people should give it a chance.
7. Darksiders II
In this version of a post-biblical apocalypse, you play as Death, one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. The best part about the action adventure game is that Darksiders II represents an improvement over its predecessor in pretty much every department: the world is bigger, there are more weapons, more upgrades, varied enemies and more challenging dungeons to explore.
Although anyone can enjoy this game, Devastation is a love letter to the first generation of Transformers television show and Platinum games captured the essence of the show. The gameplay is fast, the visuals look stunning, the combat system is gratifying. There are problems, such as the cumbersome camera, repetitive gameplay, but if you’re into Transformers, Devastation is a must play.
5. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
There have been dozens of Castlevania games before, but Lords of Shadow takes the series in a new direction, thanks to Spanish developer Mercury Steam. Needless, to say this one of the most divisive Castlevania games in the series, but if you’re up for something different, Lords of Shadow won’t disappoint. Note that the camera has some problems and the combat could be better, but when you’re combining attacks to defeat the enemies around you, that doesn’t matter that much.
Whoever thought of replacing the stealth sequences in favor of a fast-paced and utterly silly combat deserves some praise. I played Revengeance not that long ago and apart from telling you that you play as Raiden and you need to fight cyborgs in a futuristic world, I don’t remember anything else in terms of story. But for everything I’ve forgotten about the game, there’s something that stuck with me, such as cutting helicopters into little pieces in Blade Mode.
In God of War, the story couldn’t be more simplistic (you play as Kratos who’s always angry, has sex through quick time events and kills everything around him, including gods,) but God of War II was a technical achievement and a game that surpassed its predecessor in pretty much every department.
2. DmC: Devil May Cry
What would happen if a Western company took the Devil May Cry series and threw out the window pretty much everything that preceded it? That’s exactly what happened when developer Ninja Theory got ahold of the popular hack-and-slash franchise. While some elements from the story are still here, the combat and visuals suffered a massive overhaul and the result is one of the best Devil May Cry games in the series. It may not be difficult enough to make you cry, but this is still a strong characters action game.
There are exceptions, but Platinum Games has proven again and again that is a capable of developing modern classics. Bayonetta is one of those games thanks to its colorful presentation and tight combat. Its style might seem ridiculous, the story is forgettable and there can be some uncomfortable moments here and there, but hacking and slashing angels and demons has seldom been this entertaining.