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What are you top 5 favorite action games of all time?

Oct 25, 2017
2,497
Las Vegas
#1
Official Staff Communication
Post your reasons why your top 5 is your top 5. Don't make this a list thread.

You can post any order you want if you don't want to rack your brain too much. But with DMC5 looking fantastic and coming out soon I'm reminded that there aren't really that many games in the genre. Which kind of sucks since it's my favorite type of game to play.

Anyway for me:, my favorite 3RD PERSON ACTION GAMES.

Devil May Cry 3
Ninja Gaiden Black
God Hand
Viewitful Joe
God of War 2

Honorable Mentions:

Bayonetta 1
Devil May Cry 4
God of War 3
DmC: Devil May Cry
Ninja Gaiden 2

*not in any specific order*

PS: I don't really consider From Software games 'action' games. But if I did, Bloodborne would be up there as well.

What say you?

PS: I've never played KH2 on Critical Mode. But I hear it's actually pretty fun.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Oct 25, 2017
7,849
#2
The Wonderful 101 is probably my favorite.
A lot of PG's stuff ranks up there, Bayonetta 2, Vanquish, MGR, etc.

Love Viewtiful Joe as well, hope we get a new one eventually.

Do action RPGs count?
Recently came to the realization I think I prefer that to pure character action. KH2FM, the best KH game, is what got me into these types of games. KH3 is loads of fun even if it's in someways a step back. Loads of variety and options.
Nier Automata combines Yoko Taro's unique style with good gameplay.
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,061
#3
Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix
Devil May Cry 3
Bloodborne
Bayonetta 2
Metal Gear Rising

All pretty different and stellar action games.

Honorable Mentions:
W101, NGB, NG2, DMC4, Tales of Graces F, God Hand, and MH4U/World.
 
Last edited:
Oct 27, 2017
9,506
Netherlands
#4
Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix
Metal Gear Rising
Nier Automata
Devil May Cry (reboot)
Bloodborne (hey with a whip it feels like classic vania in 3d kinda)

If it does not count castlevania lords of shadow 1 instead. Cuz i legit loved that game.

I own bayo 1 and 2 and vanquish i will play em soon and see where they rank up.
 
Dec 28, 2017
7,767
#5
Ninja Gaiden 2
Bloodborne
Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix
The Wonderful 101
Devil May Cry 3 SE

Basic bitch as fuck, I know.
 
Last edited:
Oct 26, 2017
4,046
#6
Kingdom Hearts 2 FM
DmC DE
DMC 3 SE
Graces F
MHW

Honorary Mentions:
Metal Gear Rising (Game is super basic and easy compared to the other titles on this list, but something about it is just addictive)

Xillia 2 (The amount of weapons and abilities Ludger has is crazy. Only reason this is below Graces F is that the other characters aren't as fun to use, while the rest of cast besides Cheria are actually fun)

FFXV (Easy difficulty is my only issue... Well and magic is kinda broken too lol. Teleporting and air dancing is fun. All the attacks have weight to them, and have great feedback wen you hit an enemy. Jus wish there was a hard mode)
 
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JEH

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,024
#8
No Order

Ninja Gaiden Black
Ninja Gaiden 2
Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix
Vanquish
Resident Evil 6

If we don't count shooters as "action games" then Devil May Cry 3 and Bayonetta replaces vanquish and re6.
 
May 17, 2018
2,161
#11
The OP should include a description of what an action game is. Like, Uncharted, Ninja Gaiden, Halo, they are all different kinds of action games. Even Street Fighter could qualify the same way that martial arts movies are a subgenre of action movies.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,084
Canada
#12
Devil May Cry 3
Ninja Gaiden Black
God Hand
Viewitful Joe
God of War 2
Nice list.

I'm not exactly sure how we are defining action here, if it's character action games and brawlers I'd go with:
God Hand
Bayonetta 2 (I'm a casual)
Devil May Cry 3
Yakuza 0
No More Heroes


God hand, Bayo 2 and DMC 3 are some of my favourite games to play, they feel just right, are incredibly enjoyable and offer tons of depth.
No More Heroes and Yakuza 0 have far more simple gameplay, but the experiences I had with those games were beyond many of their better performing / playing rivals.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,626
USA
#16
For me,

1) Resident Evil 4
2) God of War 2018
3) Devil May Cry 3 Special Edition
4) Bayonetta
5) DmC: Devil May Cry

DMC5 feels amazing from the demo, IMO. Can't wait to play the full game, easily my most anticipated game now that RE2 has come out!
 
OP
OP
lowhighkang_LHK
Oct 25, 2017
2,497
Las Vegas
#17
The OP should include a description of what an action game is. Like, Uncharted, Ninja Gaiden, Halo, they are all different kinds of action games. Even Street Fighter could qualify the same way that martial arts movies are a subgenre of action movies.
I've realized it's almost impossible to really describe it down, but I'm hoping people see some of my choices and get the idea that I'm generally referring to 3rd person action games. I'll specify this though.
 

Dahbomb

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,777
#18
Ninja Gaiden Z Yaiba
Devil May Cry 2
Tekken's Nina presents Death by Degrees
Too Human
Mortal Kombat Special Forces


Devil May Cry 3
Ninja Gaiden Black
Bayonetta
Nioh
God of War
 
OP
OP
lowhighkang_LHK
Oct 25, 2017
2,497
Las Vegas
#19
This is my main question, because I'm totally ready to list a bunch of Monster Hunter games.
Yeah, of course they do. We're really just shooting the shit here. I love talking about action games. It's my favorite genre and in another life time I wish I was a combat designer on a dev team. So these threads are always cool.
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,223
#20
Daddy May Cry 3
God of War
Ninja Gaiden Black

That's all I got bebbeh. I don't want to rank any others. BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT WORTHY.
 
Aug 24, 2018
5,173
#21
DMC3
God Hand
Ninja gaiden black
Gungrave:Overdose
DMC5 (soon to be 1)

Matrix path of neo for fun factor
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,542
#23
Devil May Cry 3
Bayonetta
The Wonderful 101
Metal Gear Rising Revengeance
Ninja Gaiden Black

Ask me again in about a month, because I get the feeling something might be getting added to that list...
 
Jan 27, 2018
2,659
#24
If not counting From games then probably in no particular order.

- Ninja Gaiden II
- Metal Gear Rising: Revengance
- Darksiders
- DMC (Ninja Theory)
 
Feb 8, 2019
243
#25
For action games
1. God Hand
2. Devil may Cry 3
3. Ninja Gaiden
4. Bayonetta
5. Wonderful 101

For action RPG's

1. Bloodborne
2. Dark Souls
3. Dark Souls III
4. Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix+
5. Nioh

It's important to mention that when I look at the combat of these games I'm not just looking at the theoretical applications of how the mechanics can be used against X enemy but at how it is practically applied to the entire game and all of the various enemies and bosses, not just that but how the spaces inbetween the action are filled. And of course combat isn't everything as well.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,698
#27
Not counting action RPGs or games with heavy emphasis on shooting (RE4-6, Vanquish)
Bayonetta
Viewtiful Joe
Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition
Ninja Gaiden Black
Bayonetta 2

Bayonetta is my favorite game, so kind of a no brainer. It controls perfectly and I love the mechanics (dodge offset is awesome). The enemy design is great too, and the way it handles its difficulties is genius.

Viewtiful Joe is kind of unorthodox compared to the others, but I love the aesthetic and story of the series, and the brilliant boss fights. Fighting basic enemies is a lot of fun too with Joe zipping all over and mixing in the VFX powers. 2 is good too.

DMC4SE could be swapped with 3SE, but I like the enemies/bosses more in 4 personally. Plus, I'm a big fan of Nero's gameplay. It's the perfect way to make the series more accessible without sacrificing the depth and qualities that make it so great. And of course, Dante here is a true test of anyone's dedication to pure action game mechanics with how deep and complex his kit works in conjunction with the universal mechanics. Add in Vergil and you got a definitive game. I will say I prefer Dante's loadouts/moveset, and the story, in 3, but I find 4 just more fun to pick up and play in Bloody Palace.

NGB is just a perfect game. It feels like a true action/adventure style game full of great levels and encounters. Nothing bad to say about it.

I debated between Bayo2 or Wonderful 101 for my last spot, but I prefer Bayonetta's gameplay so I went with this. The mechanics are more or less the same as 1, with the differences being more in how it approaches Witch Time. This makes it a lot of fun to play and compare, and really helps to create an excellent duology. The new weapons all feel much more unique and varied compared to the ones in the first too, and the co-op multiplayer is a blast. The more vibrant color palette does wonders for the art direction too. Shame the harder difficulties are kind of bleh though.
 
Oct 25, 2017
817
#28
Devil May Cry. The reason I love the genre, playing it for the first time there was nothing that came close. Played it last year and still as good as I remember.
Onimusha 2. The best Musha and I just loved the grounded gameplay and new weapons. Fights were precise and rewarding.
Ninja Gaiden. For my money this was the best action game I have played at the time. Ninjas are supposed to be stealthy but I'm glad Ryu wasn't. Masterclass in the genre.
God Hand. Incredibly rewarding to string moves together and customise your playstyle. Made the beat'em up fan in me very happy.
Bloodborne. Raw, visceral gameplay that carved another unique play style in the genre. Rewards you for being offensive and knowing when to back way.

Honourable mentions.
Devil May Cry 3.
Meta Gear Rising Revengeance.
God of War 2018.
 

Dahbomb

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,777
#30
I think its better for discussion if I actually explain my choices more.

Devil May Cry 3
Bayonetta
Ninja Gaiden Black
God of War
Nioh

Honorable mention: Godhand, Wonderful 101

I chose these 5 foe very particular reasons. IMO all 5 of these games offer something different from each other. Each of these games does somethings better than the other and they all greatly excell in some areas to the point that they are referred to as the benchmark in that category.

*God of War is still the action game to top when it comes to presentation and general epic feel. While the older GoW games felt like generic versions of other action games with QTEs, the new GoW offers something that is entirely its own. Its more intimate than any other action game and you feel the impact. It leans more towards being an adventure RPG than the others on the list but it has enough of a combat system and action parts to be considered as an action game. Also the best out of these that you can play once and be done with.

*Bayonetta is THE most over the top action game in the genre, supplanting DMC in this area. Bayonetta removes many restrictions in order to allow the player to freely dodge whenever. Finally a system of dial a combo that makes sense and is appropriately balanced into the overall combat system combined with dodge system. Great mobility options and weapon load system.

*Ninja Gaiden Black is THE marquee game that really enhances the intensity of fighting just regular enemies. It really feels like an intense fight for survival against combatants that are highly skilled. Some of the best wall jump mechanics in a game yet, extensive movelist and uses enemy resource drops as a combat mechanic. So many unique mechanics and systems that you only see in a NG and was one of the first true "git gud" type game.

*There are a lot of ground based, RPG based combat games now thanks to the Souls series, but Nioh is IMO the undisputed king. Combines the ruthless aggressiveness of the enemies of Souls and NG games but doesn't limit your combat options like a Souls game. It also doesn't give you exxeptional wall or air mobility like in other action games so the focus on pushing the limits of what you can do while grounded. With stance changing, ki pulse and a diverse weapon system.. Nioh is definitely one of the best action games around.

*Devil May Cry 3 is probably the game that out of these games that peaks the least in any one area. Its not as over the top as Bayonetta, it doesnt have enemies/bosses as nerve racking as NGB/Nioh and it doesn't have the production values or epic scope of GoW. However, DMC3 is an action game that excells in almost every department. The combo system has a lot of depth, there are a large number of bosses to conquer that all are unique, the cutscene direction is just right for an action game and the story keeps you engaged. Its well paced, has replay value and a high skill ceiling. Some of the mechanics seen in DMC3 are still not utilized in other games. And it has the best rival character in any of these games who is Vergil.


Going forward I expect to see some changes in my list. Unless something goes wrong, I expect to see DMC5 in my top 5 list. Maybe even Sekiro too.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,819
Australia
#31
Can I say Dragon's Dogma?
It's an Itsuno designed game, so it's action by default, right?

I mean it's also a class-based RPG, I guess...
But when you unlock dodge roll as a Strider/Assassin/etc the game can get really intense.
 
Oct 26, 2017
7,948
#32
Action is quite a huge genre actually. If I remember correctly most shooters are officially action games as well, unless it focuses on exploration and story-telling (in that case it would be action adventure).
 
Oct 25, 2017
700
#33
Bayonetta 2
DMC3SE
KH2FM+
Zone of the Enders 2
God of War 2

Bayonetta 2: It was, of course, between B1 and B2 for me here, and I think I like the variety in enemies/weapons here more, even if the bosses aren't *quite* as strong. I also just think the system itself is a little deeper, with a few more moves and stuff like the overdrive system (or whatever it was called; it's been a bit). I mean, really, what's not to like here?

DMC3SE: The granddaddy of them all for amazing action games. So much mechanical variety, so many different playstyles, virtually infinite skill ceiling, and best of all - no fat. Way too many action games give a player 50+ moves on a weapon (looking at you, NG), and then most of them are samey and mechanically boring and players just try to set up situations where they can do the same set combos. Not so with DMC3.Plus, of course, some of the best bosses in all of gaming, on top of all the extra stuff from SE. Vergil could have been his own game, honestly.

KH2FM+: MOstly for the added battles, but I think the way it works in forms and special moves is great. The triangle stuff is a little hokey, and they could definitely do a lot more with it, but for the fights that Sora gets into, it's honestly all about the "big picture" moves. I don't mean things like "I need to do move A, then move B, then C, which sets up for a combo" (but that can happen too, sometimes), it's more like "I need to react to this big boss move by moving here, and then a guard, and then I can start inflicting damage". Which seems more elemental, and it is, but it quickly ramps up in the end game stuff.

ZOE2: Some very neat movement mechanics tie together with some very straightforward - yet satisfying - attack types, and it all feels and looks great. This one also has a ton of fun variety too, for how short the game is: taking down the airships, the psuedo-bullet hell sections, the colossal 1000 enemy battle or whatever it was, and last but not least - the final boss fight. No game has done "limitless teleportation between enemies" better.

GoW2: Not as deep as most (all?) others on this list, but it combines that which I love about action games: fun combat, fun enemies, fun situations. The weapons are much better than in GoW3, they add just enough wrinkles to keep things interesting in the combat system, they work in a better use of the magic stuff, and there's a huge array of some really fun bosses. One on one with a guy your size? Gone. Stationary bosses you need to use the environment on? Done. Bosses which are levels? Done (even if, yes, it's really just set dressing for another level). Just a very complete package.



I am utterly baffled as to how people can have DmC and then not DMC3 or 4 on their lists.
 
Last edited:
Oct 25, 2017
2,626
USA
#34
I think its better for discussion if I actually explain my choices more.

Devil May Cry 3
Bayonetta
Ninja Gaiden Black
God of War
Nioh

Honorable mention: Godhand, Wonderful 101

I chose these 5 foe very particular reasons. IMO all 5 of these games offer something different from each other. Each of these games does somethings better than the other and they all greatly excell in some areas to the point that they are referred to as the benchmark in that category.

*God of War is still the action game to top when it comes to presentation and general epic feel. While the older GoW games felt like generic versions of other action games with QTEs, the new GoW offers something that is entirely its own. Its more intimate than any other action game and you feel the impact. It leans more towards being an adventure RPG than the others on the list but it has enough of a combat system and action parts to be considered as an action game. Also the best out of these that you can play once and be done with.

*Bayonetta is THE most over the top action game in the genre, supplanting DMC in this area. Bayonetta removes many restrictions in order to allow the player to freely dodge whenever. Finally a system of dial a combo that makes sense and is appropriately balanced into the overall combat system combined with dodge system. Great mobility options and weapon load system.

*Ninja Gaiden Black is THE marquee game that really enhances the intensity of fighting just regular enemies. It really feels like an intense fight for survival against combatants that are highly skilled. Some of the best wall jump mechanics in a game yet, extensive movelist and uses enemy resource drops as a combat mechanic. So many unique mechanics and systems that you only see in a NG and was one of the first true "git gud" type game.

*There are a lot of ground based, RPG based combat games now thanks to the Souls series, but Nioh is IMO the undisputed king. Combines the ruthless aggressiveness of the enemies of Souls and NG games but doesn't limit your combat options like a Souls game. It also doesn't give you exxeptional wall or air mobility like in other action games so the focus on pushing the limits of what you can do while grounded. With stance changing, ki pulse and a diverse weapon system.. Nioh is definitely one of the best action games around.

*Devil May Cry 3 is probably the game that out of these games that peaks the least in any one area. Its not as over the top as Bayonetta, it doesnt have enemies/bosses as nerve racking as NGB/Nioh and it doesn't have the production values or epic scope of GoW. However, DMC3 is an action game that excells in almost every department. The combo system has a lot of depth, there are a large number of bosses to conquer that all are unique, the cutscene direction is just right for an action game and the story keeps you engaged. Its well paced, has replay value and a high skill ceiling. Some of the mechanics seen in DMC3 are still not utilized in other games. And it has the best rival character in any of these games who is Vergil.


Going forward I expect to see some changes in my list. Unless something goes wrong, I expect to see DMC5 in my top 5 list. Maybe even Sekiro too.
Excellent write up, hard agree on God of War and Bayonetta in particular.
 
Oct 25, 2017
7,851
Omni
#35
From what I played


1. Devil May Cry 3
2. Bayonetta 2
3. God of War 3
4. Devil May Cry 4
5. God of War 2


I dont consider Kingdom Hearts a strictly action game - my list mainly hack and slash action games - I'm still new to the genre in terms of how many IPs I played :p.
 
May 18, 2018
87
#36
Devil May Cry 3
Resident Evil 4
Devil May Cry 4
Bayonetta 1
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Wonder if there will be a game coming out soon that will top DMC3...