When it comes to action role-playing games, you always sit a little between the chairs. There are role-playing games with an action-heavy combat system, there are action games with RPG elements and in between: an extremely wide field of great titles that are difficult to squeeze into one category. Where do you draw the line? A fundamental discussion that we keep having from Diablo to Deus Ex to Cyberpunk 2077. And even if you can't please everyone, we still dared to give it a try and selected ten great role-playing games with a particularly high proportion of action for this special. Regardless of whether it is an open-world adventure, hack & slay or rock-hard soul-like: We did not base the selection on the rating or platform, it is all that matters that the games are really worth their price and your time.

Don't feel like reading? Here you can find the complete special as a video.

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release: December 2017

In its 16 years of service, Capcom's Monster Hunter series has seen tons of offshoots, but compared to Monster Hunter: World, the predecessors look pretty old. The action role-playing game sold around 15 million times in the first two years alone, not even counting its Iceborn add-on. The gigantic success is no coincidence, because Monster Hunter: World is by far the best and most beginner-friendly game in the Japanese action RPG series. Unsurprisingly, everything revolves around the joy of hunting monsters – which is not to say that there is no nice main quest series, but it has to be clearly behind the motivating gameplay loop. Your job is primarily to study one of the many varied, well-animated giant critters carefully and to find out their weak points. Then you try to flatten the beast in an exciting duel, either alone or in fun co-op. And if you succeed, there will be new raw materials as a reward, which you can then bring to your headquarters. There you use the collected material to manufacture and improve new equipment with which you can then attack the next XXL monster. With its multi-layered crafting system and motivating combat mechanics, you can easily spend a hundred hours or more in Monster Hunter: World; if you get involved, you will get a lot of games for the money here.






Monster Hunter: World



Monster Hunter: World

Source: PC Games




Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Relase: November 2015

There were times when Fallout was still a game of calm, tactical gameplay, that had nothing to do with action. But under Bethesda's leadership, Fallout became a real open-world game that threw its round battles overboard and instead focused on shooting fun in the first-person shooter style. Where the action in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas was comparatively limited, it takes on a much larger role in Fallout 4 – also because the developers have noticeably reduced the role-player core. Although there is still an extensive talent system, tons of loot, dozens of interesting quests, crafting and so on, the character system has been streamlined compared to its predecessors, as has the freedom of choice in quests and dialogues. Of course, not every fan liked that, but the bottom line is that Fallout 4 is still a very good end-time action RPG that is still very popular. With its huge, well-designed game world, the many weapons and items and the fun battles, Fallout 4 has a lot to offer. An active mod community also makes sure that the game is constantly expanded and improved – this is what makes Fallout 4 recommendable even today, especially on the PC.






Fallout 4



Fallout 4

Source: PC Games




Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release: March 2016

Demon's Souls may have laid the foundation, but only with the successor Dark Souls did the concept really take off: The action role-playing game from From Software set standards with its dark design, indirect storytelling and uncompromising standards and influenced dozens of other development studios. It is a title that takes its players seriously, that wants to be learned and mastered, that is only available to those who have the necessary skill set and who do not expect to be constantly taken by the hand. The Japanese hit the bull's eye: Since the first Dark Souls, its influence has been palpable in all possible genres, not just in RPGs, but also in action adventures, platformers and many more "Souls-like" long established. If you ask the fans which part is the best, you get different answers: Some love the first Dark Souls, for example for its famous level design, for others the successors are clearly superior. We picked Dark Souls 3 for this recommendation because from our point of view it offers the most complete gaming experience, but this is where it matters naturally also personal taste. Ultimately, every Dark Souls is a rock-hard, fascinating and enormously satisfying action RPG that has more than earned its place on this list.






Dark Souls 3



Dark Souls 3

Source: Bandai Namco




Platforms: PC, PS4
Release: February 2017

A game like Horizon would hardly have been expected of the Killzone makers. But the Dutch had a real box office hit in 2017, which was able to inspire fans and critics alike. The end-of-time adventure about heroine Aloy, who defends herself against powerful robot creatures in a breathtakingly beautiful wilderness, was able to achieve top ratings and is one of the best-selling PS4 games ever. No wonder, because Horizon has become an excellent playable mix of action, adventure and role-playing game, which is also held together by a good story.






Horizon: Zero Dawn



Horizon: Zero Dawn

Source: Guerilla Games / Sony




So you explore the beautiful open world, fight tactically demanding battles against fantastically designed machine creatures, sneak your way through dangerous situations, collect equipment and raw materials. In addition, you collect experience points, rise in the level and develop the heroine further using a small talent tree. There are new main and side jobs in lively villages full of NPCs, at the latest here the role-playing influences can be seen clearly. The quests are linear, but at least you can occasionally make decisions in dialogues that affect how some characters react to the heroine. All in all, a first-class action role-playing game that, after three years of PS4 exclusivity, is finally available as a very good implementation for the PC.

Platform: PC
Relase: February 2016







Diablo 3 & nbsp;



Diablo 3

Source: PC Games




At this point we thought back and forth for a long time: do we recommend Grim Dawn or rather Diablo 3? Because even if Blizzard's monster hunt was never able to match the shine of Diablo 2, there are still a lot of fans behind the game. There are good reasons for this, for example because you can hardly find a hack & slay, especially for newcomers to the genre, that slips like Diablo 3 from the first click. Because hunting for prey is still a lot of fun. Or because it has been implemented perfectly from PC to switch for all current platforms, including co-op mode, which is perfect for a few laps on the sofa. But: Is the overall package really enough for the top league today? The answer is on the next page!

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