Top Action Games of All Time

Cor blimey mate, action’s brilliant innit? You seen that Expendables? Everything blowing up, Statham getting a one-liner, morgues overflowing with moustachioed baddies. Bleedin’ nora. Well, action games, right, action games do that, except they’re games. So it’s YOU leaping off an improvised zip-line to plunge a sword into someone’s skull, it’s YOU exploding a load of poorly placed cannisters of flammable liquid and not even bothering to look at the resulting carnage, as you speed away on a motorbike, rolling a tab.

Action games are the meat and potatoes of the medium. As much as we all love our complex RPGs, our patient stealth games, our impenetrable turn based strategy, sometimes you just want to bullet some git in the face with a gun that you shoot, like a proper hard bastard.

Health and safety? Don’t make me laugh. Check our list to see which bone-crushing, man-deceasing, gun-shooting blow-em-ups made it in. Then go and chin the next geezer who looks at you funny, innit.

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  • 30.

    Rise of the Tomb Raider

    Crystal Dynamics has made a game that expertly rekindles memories of the series' triumphant past and yet still feels incredibly modern. A captivating romp that should cement Lara as a modern icon. Rise of the Tomb Raider... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox One

  • 29.

    Rise of the Tomb Raider (PC)

    Rise of the Tomb Raider was one of the best games of 2015 and nothing has been lost in the months since its release. On PC it can look even more spectacular, so just buy it, yeah. I like Rise of the Tomb Raider a lot, yet... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 28.


    Sometimes games just feel right, and Superhot is such a game. It takes something familiar and turns it on its head to create what I expect will become an indie classic. I'm not a cool person. I dress like a supply teacher,... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 27.

    Hitman Episode Two – Sapienza

    A superb second instalment, and one which shows off Hitman's greatest strengths. If IOI still has something to prove with this episodic version of Hitman - and judging by the amount of people saying they'll wait and see how... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

  • 26.


    The more you play Overwatch the more you realise Blizzard thought of basically everything you might criticise it for. It's not clear if a bunch of developers got the same memo about team shooters, or if they accidentally... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

  • 25.

    Rise of the Tomb Raider

    After a year-long wait, PS4 owners finally get to play one of the best games of this generation. Tom and Colm discuss what's new in Rise of the Tomb Raider on PS4.What exactly do you get in Blood Ties and Lara's Nightmare?... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC, Xbox 360, PS4, Xbox One

  • 24.

    Gears of War 4

    A brilliant debut from The Coalition that should delight fans and thrill newcomers. Gears of War 4's campaign is bloody good fun Shooter campaigns aren't always that good these days, but Gears of War 4 combines wonderful... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC, Xbox One

  • 23.

    Half-Life 2

    Half Life 2 represents the culmination of the best aspects of recent FPS development, wrapped in a setting rich with atmosphere and truly immersed in physics - hail to the Freeman indeed You might not realise this, but it's... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC, Xbox

  • 22.

    Resident Evil 4

    With every new development, every new fight and scenario, the player likes to believe he now has a handle on how far, how high, this game can go. Yet, it keeps raising its game, upping the pace. Please bear with me because... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Cube, PS2

  • 21.

    Gears of War

    Gears of War is simply an astounding game, and there's little doubt that it'll be remembered as a true classic. Reviewing Gears of War is a lose-lose situation for video game critics. If you say it's one of the greatest games... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360

  • 20.


    To put it simply, BioShock is a brilliant game; one that sets the proverbial benchmark not only for first-person adventure titles, but also for all future games to come. I had always been passionately against giving out perfect... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PC

  • 19.

    Halo 3

    There is absolutely no way any Halo fan will be disappointed by this game. You better believe the Chief has triumphantly returned. Now buy the game, cock the Assault Rifle, and finish the fight. There are video games, and... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360

  • 18.

    Gears of War

    Must have, if for nothing more than to see why 360-owners say the Lancer/chainsaw one of the best videogame weapons ever. When Gears of War came out as an Xbox 360 exclusive, it blew me away. The graphics were mind blowing,... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 17.

    Grand Theft Auto IV

    We all knew GTA 4 would be a great game and sell millions of copies, but we didn't expect it to shame pretty much every other game we've played this generation. It takes an awful lot for me to spend extended periods of time... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3

  • 16.

    Gears of War 2

    Gears of War 2 is arguably the greatest action game ever created. In a year full of incredible games, Gears of War 2 sits triumphantly at the very top. It's hard to describe the feeling you'll get after finishing Epic Games'... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360

  • 15.

    Grand Theft Auto IV

    If you've been waiting for the ultimate version of GTA 4, then this is it, providing you can put up with a fair amount of hassle to get the game running well. When we reviewed GTA 4 on Xbox 360 and PS3 earlier this year we... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 14.

    The Path

    By leaving so much open to interpretation in the mind of the player, The Path shows a maturity that belies its roots in a child’s fairy tale. Are video games art? It's a question that's launched a million threads of incendiary... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 13.

    Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

    Whether you're a GTA veteran or someone who's never played one of these games before, you should know that this is one of the best games available for your PSP. Is GTA: Chinatown Wars my favourite handheld game of all time?... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PSP

  • 12.

    Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

    With the best multiplayer shooting that money can buy, an incredibly action-packed campaign and plenty of superb two-player co-op levels, this is without a doubt a real contender for game of the year. I felt like I needed... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 11.

    God of War III

    God of War 3 is a hack 'n' slash video game developed at the very highest level and takes what I thought was possible to new heights. It sits comfortably as one of my favourite games of all time. Let's get this out of the... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PS3

  • 10.

    Red Dead Redemption

    So yes, the action rocks bells. But I still can't help but feel that for me, it's the less familiar elements that help to make Red Dead Redemption the best game of 2010 thus far. For years it seemed as if no-one in Hollywood... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3

  • 9.

    L.A. Noire

    We've had games that let us play cop before, of course, but it's hard to remember anything that's ever come this close to making us feel like we're actually doing the job. The following review is spoiler-free. more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3

  • 8.

    Batman: Arkham City

    It doesn't take the world's greatest detective to spot that this is an expertly crafted adventure, one that maintains a breathtaking pace and invigorating rhythm from beginning to end. Batman: Arkham Asylum's success hinged... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3

  • 7.

    The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

    Your favourite Zelda is usually your first. For many, come November 18, that won’t be the case any longer It's no surprise that Zelda has historically been a bit of a magpie. It does, after all, tell the story of a boy who... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Wii

  • 6.

    The Last of Us

    The Last of Us isn't just the PlayStation 3's swan song. It's the best exclusive on the console full stop. The Last of Us is one of the finest game experiences of this generation. Starting a review off with such hyperbole... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PS3

  • 5.

    Grand Theft Auto 5

    The best GTA game ever made. Unless you play it for yourself, it's near impossible to grasp how big GTA 5 is. It's not just the world. It's the gargantuan story, the sheer amount of missions and the variety introduced with... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3

  • 4.

    Dark Souls 2

    A refined, slicker version of one of the greatest video games ever made. Dark Souls. That's the really hard one, right? Sure, but the difficulty is far from why it is so memorable. The freedom of choice when it comes to every... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 3.

    Grand Theft Auto 5

    A beautiful, intelligent remaster that is worth double-dipping for. Editor's Note: Below is a rundown of the technical accomplishments of GTA 5 on PS4, and how they affect the game itself. Also featured is an overview of... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PS4, Xbox One

  • 2.

    Grand Theft Auto 5

    The definitive version of Rockstar's biggest world to date. Note: Below are impressions of the technical improvements and additions found in the PC version of GTA 5. For an insight into the characters and missions of GTA... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 1.

    Batman: Arkham Knight

    Batman: Arkham Knight is the best Batman game ever made and a classic in its own right. 'The Batman games wouldn't be any good if Batman wasn't in it' is a long cited, stupid criticism of the Arkham series. By that notion,... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC