10 Best Action RPGs To Play On PC
We all love a good RPG, creating our characters exploring worlds, and getting absorbed by a story. But in between all that good stuff, there’s something we love even more. Dressing up a character is all well and good, but we want to see that perfectly formed person swinging an axe.
We want to fight our way through a story, and the worlds are always more exciting when there’s some danger lurking around every corner. This is where the action RPG comes in and our chance to have our character-rich cake and eat it too by cutting off a slice with a sword.
There are so many great ones to pick from, so forgive us for trying to cram the very genre into just 10, but these are some of our favorites. So, now in no particular order are some of the best action RPGs to play on PC.
Character-rich and full of challenges, here are some of the best action RPGs to play on PC.
Once upon a time, we were excited for the chance to explore even one planet to go to a sci-fi future and visit slightly varied terrain. But now we’re spoiled, and you know what, a single planet doesn’t cut it anymore.
Now we want a whole solar system to visit, murdering aliens everywhere we go like we’re playing some kind of intergalactic killer bingo. Well, Outer Worlds has plenty of planets waiting for a gunslinging or knife-wielding player to try their luck against the local fauna and the local populace, as marauders are not a welcoming sort.
The Open Worlds are full of quests to follow and good old moral decisions to make. In one quest, a sweet old lady reveals that she’s been using corpses as fertilizer after I help her. Luckily there are other planets to go and make trouble on.
The interplanetary action is crisp first-person shooting that makes crossing off new enemies on your list a delight every time.
The world of Horizon Zero Dawn is a world like no other, dangerous, beautiful, and drenched in lore. The way that Horizon Zero Dawn was able to arrive on the scene when we were already oversaturated with the sequels prequels and non-canonical spiritual predecessors of other better-known franchises and still fire a rope caster straight around your heart remains impressive to this day.
As the campaign takes you from sun drenched settlements to snowy mountain tops, you might find yourself wondering if an apocalypse would really be that bad. Sure it would mean death and destruction, but afterward, we could all wear cool hats and live by a waterfall.
Horizon Zero Dawn is a beautiful oxymoron, and you play as an outcast with so much to offer everyone. In a world both futuristic and primitive, often peaceful and dangerous. Now is the perfect time to play as the sequel horizon forbidden west is on the way and hopefully also has a PC port in its future.
Dragon’s Dogma is a rare and beautiful oddity. It’s probably more famous as a game, and people chastise it for not playing than for its own merits. Maybe it was just too ahead of its time when it first came out in 2012.
Years have passed, and Dragon’s Dogma has become Dragon’s Dogma Dark Arisen. The janks have been shaken off and what remains is still one of the most compelling role-playing games around, and that’s large because it’s so completely different.
This is the kind of game where you’ll spend three hours in the character creator because your height and weight determine how strong you are or how good at carrying things, or how quickly you can clamber up skyscraper-sized three-headed snake things. Then there are pawns AI followers, designed by you who learn from everything they experience and get smarter as your journey progresses.
We’re straight back in with another entry from Capcom, albeit and very different one. Monster Hunter World is fantasy slaying at its best. Giant monsters are lurking about the world. You kill them, take the loot, fashion new armor out of their skin and head off to kill the next. Try and tell me you don’t want some mythical being moccasins.
It’s all about the action with tons of weapons to pick from that you gradually master. There are fluid fights that require careful movement rather than mindless hacking and varied monsters that require some research and strategy before you leap headfirst into 1v1 with a dinosaur.
That’s where the intricate crafting system comes in to prepare you for the next big fight. One of the absolute best parts of this game is adorable Palacios. Who wouldn’t want to bring their house cat to a dangerous fight?
They say sometimes you can’t see the wood for the trees, and while that’s nonsense in the logging world, I think it’s quite true of dark souls.
Dark souls didn’t change everything because it was hard. It changed everything because it dared to place you in a world without telling you the first thing about it and trusted you to figure everything out for yourself.
2011 was the age of “press E” to look at the set-piece we spent ages on. So, when FromSoftware brought this out, it was like being transported to a parallel universe games industry. The effect is that you can feel like you’ve earned everything on your own. The slightly bigger health bar, every inch of the map you’ve explored, and every glimmer of plot in a surprisingly deep narrative.
Combat is challenging because it demands that you pay attention and actually block and counter, but we’ve had hard games for decades. Dark Souls is an all-timer for taking that old rule about writing to a new extreme.
What says great action in a story rich universe better than The Lord of The Rings. Middle Earth Shadow of War is hours upon days of orc slaying fun. The orc encounters are procedurally generated, each with unique personalities, strengths, and weaknesses.
They even remember who you are, thanks to the nemesis system. So, if a grunt kills you, they might just become a captain to face later on. This makes the world feel alive and gives your badass action meaning beyond hacking through waves of drones.
The orcs even fight amongst themselves, so you’ll find yourself more invested in the high school drama of petty revenge, gossipy badmouthing, and warring cliques than the main story. But that’s merely a testament to how perfectly the story interweaves with the thrilling action, stealthy rope walking, close-quarters melee, and beast riding.
However you imagined yourself conquering Mordor, you’ll be able to pull it off in Shadow of war.
The sheer badassery of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey should be reason enough to play it. Either that or the fact that we had to come up with a whole new word to describe just how incredible it feels to climb, sail, spart, and kick your way through Ancient Greece as Cassandra.
Although you would be forgiven for avoiding all combat in favor of just hanging around on a small greek island for hours on end, not that the mercenaries have any respect for our desire to laze about eating olives and having someone cool us down with one of those massive fans on a stick.
It’s hands down the most beautiful world we’ve seen in an Assassin’s Creed game. Made all the more beautiful when you nail a parry and kick a spartan warrior twice your size off the side of a tower. It’s just so beautiful.
If you are new to the Dragon Age franchise, we’ll start with a warning. Dragon Age Inquisition will leave you so invested in the lies of the unlikely band of allies that finishing the game feels like moving away from your home and saying goodbye to your childhood friends.
We’re getting ahead of ourselves, of course, because to finish the game, you’ll have to play through hours of exciting combat story lines and side quests with your group of elves, dwarves, and qunari.
Each of the characters has so much personality, and it’ll be impossible only to choose three to accompany you on the many adventures you’ll have on your journey to defeating Corypheus. This will be even more impossible to choose just one to romance. There are so many choices to be made and paths to take.
Starting from the minute, you choose your character’s race. You’ll already be planning a second playthrough as you play your first to see how the life of a duel wielding dwarf differs from that of an Elven Mage.
If you’ve yet to venture into the world of The Witcher 3 to step into the weathered boots of Geralt and explore one of the most realized enticing open worlds in gaming history, well, we could be jealous of you. But given that The Witcher 3 has so much to see and do that even on a third or fourth playthrough, you’ll still be discovering new characters and side quests.
Exploring the world of The Witcher 3 is like diving headfirst into a twisted fairy tale. Of course, the games have Andre Sapkowski’s books to thank for that. But The Witcher 3 takes the strange tales of its source material and asks you to make its narrative choices yourself to make definitive decisions about morally grey issues and decide the fate of characters who may have done wrong but for a good reason.
Let’s just say we’re glad to have Gwent (cards game) to take our mind off some of the impossible choices we’ve had to make in the side quests alone.
The inclusion of Skyrim on this list will come as a surprise to literally no one because you can’t have a list of the best RPGs and not include an elder scrolls game. That’s like having a list of the best ice cream flavors and not including mint choc chip, unthinkable!
In Skyrim, you can be whoever you want to be, go wherever you want to go, and pickpocket whoever you wish to pickpocket. I can’t say that it would be successful, but you could always give it a good go. It may not be the most polished game on this list, but that just makes us love it more.
From unexpected bandit attacks to a night of seemingly innocent drinking with a new friend that lands you in some trouble. The World of Skyrim is always surprising, with each random encounter feeling like you’re the first person ever to experience it. Skyrim manages to make each and every adventure feel like yours and yours alone.
So, those are some of the best action RPGs you can play on PC.