Hack-and-slash games are perfect for fans of exhilarating gameplay and fast-paced action. They emphasize putting you in cramped locations with loads of enemies and then make you unleash a visceral arsenal of the most overpowered weapons you could imagine. The over-the-top swordplay puts you in the heat of the moment, making hack-and-slash games perfect if you love nonstop action. There have been many memorable journeys in the genre and in this list we’ll be ranking some of the best hack-and-slash games of all time.
Best Hack-and-slash Games, Ranked
From the many stellar hack-and-slash games we’ve seen over the years, this list aims to name the best of the best. Some first-hand opinions will ultimately wiggle their way in here, so be sure to let us know which entries you would rank differently in the comments.
5. NieR: Automata
Platinum Games’ NieR: Automata takes players to a dystopian future where humans have abandoned Earth and sought refuge on the moon. Now, the human-made androids back on Earth must deal with the thousands of malfunctioning machines that plague the lands in hopes of making them habitable again.
NieR gives us an action-packed experience in which there is a seamless blend of melee and ranged combat, as well as a melodious soundtrack every step of the way that makes fights look like a dance. The emotional undertones of NieR charge up the story even more and the anarchic combat will leave anyone hungry for pure hack-and-slash with a full belly.
Darksiders 2 stands out as one of the top hack-and-slash games ever and for good reason. It allows players to wield a diverse toolkit consisting of scythes, giant hammers, claws, and unimaginable other arms to overpower beasts from different realms.
The dynamic combat system allows for a satisfying mix of ranged and melee combat. The cherry on top is that the dark atmosphere, aesthetic, and narrative just complement the hack-and-slash carnage tenfold.
Furthermore, Darksiders 2’s beautifully crafted open world is filled with over 11 intricately designed dungeons that are delightful to see but hell on earth to explore. Fitting since you’re technically playing as the one who’s responsible for the job, Death, who is a member of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Overall, Darksiders 2 is a masterpiece that every fan of the best hack-and-slash games should try.
Join Zagreus, as he embarks on an epic journey through the underworld and encounters many Gods and mythical creatures. Hades is an innovative blend of Greek mythology and a roguelike narrative. Its narrative is compelling, but best of all, the hack-and-slash combat is beyond satisfying.
You’ll see its fast-paced, snappy, and highly customizable. You have multiple playstyles available, and as you clear an area, you’ll be presented with choices that either boost or go against the build you’re going for with Zagreus.
Hades supports variety in gameplay and its art direction, game design, and fusion of strategy and skill showcase its artistic brilliance that’s worthy of being ranked among the best hack-and-slash games of all time.
After a long and painful hiatus, Devil May Cry 5 brought the series back on top with one of the best hack-and-slash games the genre had ever seen. The massive upgrade from its predecessors and the four playable characters set a new bar for hack-and-slash games.
Each character brings something new to the table. From Dante’s iconic demon-slaying sword, The Rebellion, to Nero’s devil breaker arms, each character has a stylish combat system to annihilate demons with. Devil May Cry 5 is the complete package for anyone looking for pure fast-paced hack-and-slash fun.
1. God of War 3
God of War 3 marks the final chapter of Kratos’ Greek saga as he embarks on a rage-fueled journey to overthrow the Gods of Olympus. Hellbent on getting his revenge, Kratos goes to war with the Gods leaving nothing but death in his wake.
What sets God of War 3 apart is its awe-inspiring scale where Titans themselves serve as battlefields. It boasts a relentless combat system, as you juggle mythical beings around with diabolical combos using weapons like the Blades of Exile and Nemean Cestus. God of War 3 has one of the strongest narratives in the series and its combat is nothing short of top-notch. It’s so good in fact that it might arguably be the best PS3 game on top of being the best hack-and-slash game ever.