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.

  • 30.

    Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate Review

    Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate

    A great action title and one of the best offerings on Nintendo's console. Castlevania Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate feels like an amalgamation of... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC,Xbox 360,PlayStation 3,Nintendo 3DS

  • 29.

    State of Decay Review

    State of Decay

    This is The Walking Dead: The Simulator, and it’s every bit as good as that sounds. It's ugly. The frame rate is terrible. It routinely stutters. The clipping... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC,Xbox 360

  • 28.

    Hotline Miami Review

    Hotline Miami

    A fine port of the original game. Before I go anywhere with this, if you've landed on this page thinking 'What... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PlayStation 3,PC,PS Vita,PlayStation 3,PC,PS Vita

  • 27.

    Skylanders: Swap Force Review

    Skylanders: Swap Force

    A brilliant, imaginative game for kids of all ages In the face of strong competition from Disney Infinity, Skylanders really... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PlayStation 4,Xbox One,Xbox 360,PlayStation 3,Wii U,Nintendo 3DS,Wii

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  • 26.

    Grand Theft Auto Online Review

    Grand Theft Auto Online

    GTA's online offering lives up to its billing. With a launch so devastatingly crippled by server issues, it's fair to say... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PlayStation 4,Xbox One,PC,Xbox 360,PlayStation 3

  • 25.

    LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Review

    LEGO Marvel Super Heroes

    The strongest Lego title yet, and the best Marvel game ever made. Lego Marvel Super Heroes is, for the most part, plastic proof that... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox One,Xbox 360,PlayStation 3,PC,Wii U,Nintendo 3DS,PS Vita,Nintendo DS,PlayStation 4

  • 24.

    Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Review

    Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

    A triumph of emergent gameplay, slightly let down by a heavily scripted ending. Forget the Tolkien association, and put aside its similarities with... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360,PlayStation 3,Xbox One,PC,PlayStation 4

  • 23.

    Bayonetta 2 Review

    Bayonetta 2

    Bayonetta 2 is a system seller. It's a Nintendo-published game that is rarely seen, and a game that will legitimately make non-Wii U owners jealous. I don't think I enjoy Bayonetta, and its sequel, for the reasons gaming's... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Wii U,Nintendo Switch

  • 22.

    Rise of the Tomb Raider (PC) Review

    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 sadly I really don't think it got... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

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  • 21.

    Rise of the Tomb Raider 20 Year Celebration Review

    Rise of the Tomb Raider

    An awesome adventure that delivers an epic sense of discovery. On PS4 Rise of the Tomb Raider is just as gorgeous as ever and packed full with some excellent bonus content. Tom and Colm discuss what's new in Rise of the Tomb Raider on PS4.What... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC,Xbox One,Xbox 360,PlayStation 4,PC,Xbox One,Xbox 360,PlayStation 4

  • 20.

    NieR: Automata Review

    NieR: Automata

    NieR: Automata has more creativity and self-awareness in its little finger than most games have for their entire run time. Don’t miss this because it’s sandwiched between other, bigger games. This review was kindly done for us by Adam Cook. Find other cool stuff he's... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PlayStation 4,PC,Xbox One

  • 19.

    Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice review

    Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

     Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is beautiful, discomforting, and compelling. It might challenge what you like about games, but challenge is good. You're doing yourself a disservice if you don't try it. Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is the sort of game that you'll either really... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PlayStation 4,Xbox One,PC,Nintendo Switch

  • 18.

    Monster Hunter: World review

    Monster Hunter World

    This long standing series makes an outrageously good current gen debut. The size and scope of the environments, and the monsters in them, is awe inspiring, making Monster Hunter: World a true (lizard) king of games.  There will probably, whilst playing Monster Hunter: World, come a moment... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox One,PlayStation 4,PC

  • 17.

    God of War review

    God of War (PS4)

    God of War achieves a very impressive balance between the epic and the mundane, between the ultra violent and the domestic. It's undoubtedly the coolest and most interesting God of War to date. The setting for God of War (2018 flavour), post Kratos' decimation of... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PlayStation 4

  • 16.

    Red Dead Redemption 2 review

    Red Dead Redemption 2

    Few worlds are as well-realised as the one Rockstar has created for Red Dead Redemption 2. Thanks to some wonderful scripting and stellar performances, the characters you randomly meet in the wild are captured as well as the ones you spend most of your days around camp. How do you follow Red Dead Redemption? You make Red Dead Redemption 2. Loyalty is important to everyone in the vast open world of Rockstar... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PlayStation 4,Xbox One

  • 15.

    Devil May Cry 5 review

    Devil May Cry 5

    Devil May Cry 5 revels in its own gleeful stupidity, presenting a world in which the most valuable commodity is style. At the beginning of Devil May Cry 5, the city of Red Grave – which... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox One,PC,PlayStation 4

  • 14.

    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 actually more difficult to review a... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360,PlayStation 3,Xbox,PC

  • 13.

    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... more

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

  • 12.

    Gears of War 2 Review

    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

  • 11.

    Grand Theft Auto IV Review

    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 made some... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC,Xbox 360,PlayStation 3,PC,PlayStation 3,Xbox 360

  • 10.

    Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars Review

    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? It's a... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: iOS,PSP,Nintendo DS,iOS,PSP,Nintendo DS

  • 9.

    God of War III Review

    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 way: the opening 45 minutes of God of War 3 are... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PlayStation 4,PlayStation 3

  • 8.

    Batman: Arkham City Review

    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 on the fact it would have been an... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Wii U,PC,Xbox 360,PlayStation 3

  • 7.

    The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Review

    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... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Wii

  • 6.

    The Last of Us Review

    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.... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PlayStation 3

  • 5.

    Dark Souls 2 Review

    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... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC,Xbox 360,PlayStation 3

  • 4.

    Grand Theft Auto 5 Review

    Grand Theft Auto 5

    The definitive version of Rockstar's biggest world to date. Editor's Note: Below is a rundown of the technical accomplishments of GTA 5... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC,Xbox One,Xbox 360,PlayStation 3,PlayStation 4,PC,Xbox One,Xbox 360,PlayStation 3,PlayStation 4,PC,Xbox One,Xbox 360,PlayStation 3,PlayStation 4

  • 3.

    Bloodborne Review

    Bloodborne

    A superb, intelligent evolution of the series. Update: Now that Bloodborne is out in the shops for real people to buy,... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PlayStation 4

  • 2.

    Batman: Arkham Knight Review

    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... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox One,PC,PlayStation 4

  • 1.

    Red Dead Redemption Review

    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 could make a successful... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PlayStation 3,Xbox 360