As one of the most popular game genres out there, action adventure games command worldwide affection. These are the titles that combine fast-paced action with exploring new landscapes, providing opportunities to see and do things we could only dream of in the real world.
The action adventure games genre is also one of the oldest in gaming, evolving with each generation to unlock new levels of possibilities. From the first days on simple consoles to enormous worlds on the fastest PCs today, action adventure games enjoy a long history of excellence.
With so much to draw from, we decided to create this ultimate list of 12 awesome action adventure games you should consider knowing if not playing today. From Nintendo titles to the best action adventure games that PC has to offer, the following entries have got to get your imagination going.
Starting our list of action adventure games is the most recent entry in arguably the most famous action adventure series of all time: The Legend of Zelda. Tears of the Kingdom on Nintendo's Switch builds on the legacy of Breath of Wild by introducing new building mechanics, new dungeons, and that classic Zelda gameplay.
No list of action adventure games would be complete without mentioning the first Tomb Raider. This is the game that solidified the genre on PlayStation, giving rise to one of gaming's biggest icons. It's a little rough today, but the reboot trilogy is also great at showing Tomb Raider's tomb raiding.
Uncharted 4 easily finds itself as one of the best PS4 action adventure games. As the final in Nathan Drake’s tales, this game has you exploring ancient ruins, gunning down enemies, and making quips that bring to mind problems of ludo narrative dissonance.
Star Wars titles have been included in everything from MOBA games to straight action games, but Jedi Survivor blends action and adventure in a way most can only dream of. Explore worlds, build a lightsaber, and wield Jedi powers as you take on the evil empire.
As one of the most memorable action adventure games on Xbox One, PlayStation, and PC has to offer, Control gets weird with its non-euclidean setting. Adopt psychic powers, throw boulders, and take control as Jesse Faden seeks out the mystery of The Foundation and Awe. Check out Alan Wake 2 to explore this universe further.
The first of the action adventure games on PS5 to really show what the new system could do, Rift Apart brought new playable characters into the long-standing universe of Ratchet and Clank. Use rifts to travel through dimensions, fly between planets, and harness the newest iterations of the series’ famous weapons.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is still considered one of the best action adventure games on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox has to offer. Whether you're going through the immense story, or bounty hunting online in one of the diverse game modes, the breadth of RDR2 is one of the most profound in gaming. Action adventure games in the Old West have a lot to live up to after this one.
One of the more recent action adventure games to release on the PS5, Marvel's Spider-Man 2 had a lot to live up to, and it delivered. Play as both Peter Parker and Miles Morales as you swing through New York City, take down legendary villains, and marvel at some of the best graphics modern systems have to offer.
Many action adventure games have taken place in the past, but few even attempt what Ghost of Tsushima sets out to achieve. Join Sakai Jin as he tries to protect his honor against a savage enemy who brings out a side of the samurai he can’t bear to face. A great PvP and PvE game mode also adds a fun multiplayer experience into the mix, for those who want to do battle online.
The title that pushed terms like Dad games into the gaming glossary, the God of War reboot places Kratos in a series of 1v1 battles against the Norse pantheon. With predictably bloody results, Kratos balances his passion for murder with his attempts to set a good example for his young son. Few could have predicted this softer take on the deity of destruction, but it works surprisingly well.
Shadow of the Colossus leans more into the adventure games side of the action adventure equation, but the action is so intense it had to be included on this list. Each enemy in SotC is a boss fight, as you take on enormous titans to return life to a lost princess. A truly beautiful game that’s still well worth experiencing today.
Like debating the difference between RPG and MMORPG games, our very own RAID: Shadow Legends is a fusion of many different genres. It’s just one of the kinds of evolution that action adventure games take, and it's found a strong basis on mobile and smartphone systems. Build an army, go on adventures, and use a range of spells and abilities in this popular F2P title.
The very first action adventure game was the Atari 2600 title Adventure, released in 1980. This game set the first standards of the genre and can be played as one of the original adventure games still to this day.
While there is overlap between RPGS and action adventure games, RPGs will tend to have more of a focus on leveling, stats, story, and character building. Action adventure games usually lean more toward direct and fast-paced story and action.
Any of the Uncharted titles are great examples of action adventure games. These AAA games lean into both action with shooting and adventure with exploring. Join Nathan Drake as he seeks out treasure in these PS3, PS4, and PS5 action adventure games.
The best action adventure games are some of the most imaginative and gripping in all of gaming. Whether exploring a fictionalized version of the real world or setting out into a fantasy landscape, the combination of wonderous adventure and heart-racing action is something we all love. No matter if you’re an old-school gamer or a newcomer to the world, there’s something here for everyone.