The best Action RPG games are well known to the hardcore fans – there is no way for them to hide! Titles that last decades, and offer immense replay value is what this list is all about. Isometric hack n’ slash RPGs are a special niche of games, that those who enjoy can even put thousands of hours into, and come back year after year!
The order is “random”, and you won’t find fillers. You have to play all of these games sooner or later – if you want to decide for yourself which one is the best action rpg title for your cravings! Let’s not waste any more time, and drop the loot!
Release Date: February 25, 2016
Developer: Crate Entertainment
Publisher: Crate Entertainment
Platforms: Windows, Xbox One
Grim Dawn is hands down the best action RPG ever released – fight me! It was the answer to every hardcore aRPG fan’s prayers🙏🏻, and is still being developed and enriched with new content to this day. Crate Entertainment has licensed Titan Quest’s engine in order to develop Grim Dawn, and what they achieved with it is a milestone in gaming!
Now I have to stop praising it, and explain why it’s such a complete action RPG experience! Do you miss Diablo 2’s meaningfulness? Do you enjoy running calculations for your Path of Exile builds? Or maybe you wish Titan Quest was an actually modern game that looked good? Then look no further – Grim Dawn is what you are looking for!
The premise is that you can mix two classes, and create a new one – just like Titan Quest. This opens up myriad of possibilities for different and unique builds, catering to any playstyle imaginable. Gear and stats follow the same pattern, with dozens of damage and resistance types to help you mix things up.
Combat is slow, hard and strategic – without losing any of the fun – and you will encounter quite a lot of elites & bosses to offer you a real challenge, both to your wits and reactions. The main campaign contains a perfectly written (and most of the times voice-overed) scenario, where many of your choices will shape the world around you.
Path of Exile
Release Date: October 23, 2013
Developer: Grinding Gear Games
Publisher: Grinding Gear Games
Platforms: Windows, PS4 / Xbox One
Path of Exile has accomplished a great – and unique to aRPGs – feat. It’s being developed as an MMORPG, meaning there is a wealth of updates coming out every week, many online features and leaderboards, and a new “league” with unique mechanics coming out every few months.
The game is known by most from its hectic Passive Skill Tree, which is truly the most complex and BIG skill tree, ever seen in an action RPG game! I want to note however, that bigger is not always better, and the excitement you feel when first encountering the tree, will soon fade off once you realize its mechanics better. Spoiler alert – there are too many non-unique nodes, and the paths you can follow are heavily “restricted” by your class choice.
The gear system is very deep, and the RNG even deeper. The combination of stats is truly infinite, making gear hunting an exciting process – once you get to know a bit better how it works. Another amazing mechanic, is that gem slots in equipment, serve as “skill slots”. You can add Skill Gems to them, and they serve as your actual attacks. With more than a thousand skills gems to choose from, Path of Exile’s replayability is an example more games should follow.
PoE has the most fast-paced combat of any aRPG – you will literally be sweeping through dozens of enemies per second – which also applies to boss fights. Bosses can really 1-hit you in a split second if you do any major errors in the fight, or your build. Therefore following a build guide is heavily recommended when starting out, cause you will really not know what you’re doing without one. That’s what I chose to do, only to end up at Level 70 and truly unable to progress any further with my s**t build! 🙄
Release Date: May 15, 2012
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Platforms: Windows / Mac, PS4 / PS3 / Xbox One / Xbox 360 / Nintendo Switch
Diablo 3? Not 2? Let’s face it – anyone willing to play Diablo 2 today knows what he’s doing – he doesn’t need our list. With Diablo 4 right around the corner, it’s hard to know if 3 will stay on this list for long (hopefully it won’t). But enough with numbers, let’s see what makes Diablo 3 one of the greatest Action RPGs of all time!
Well.. Blizzard for starters! The famous developers / publishers are well known for the detail that goes into their games – anywhere from story, to artwork, to gameplay, to interface – the list never ends. So quality of life is the first thing you should expect from a Blizzar aRPG, and you’re definitely getting it!
Sure, Diablo 3 is not the hardest or more challenging aRPG. It’s actually casual. And grind-y (well, which one isn’t). But just the production standards are guaranteed to bring satisfaction to any aRPG fan! Amazing environments, animations, spells – everything is so colourful and alive – and using the interface is a breeze.
What’s more, there’s a new Season every few months, that brings more challenges and rewards for everyone, so even if the game itself is quite repetitive, there’s always new goals to look forward to. A must-have for everyone, even if you just finish the main campaign once with your favourite class.
Release Date: June 26, 2006
Developer: Iron Lore Entertainment & THQ Nordic
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Platforms: Windows, PS4 / Xbox One / Nintendo Switch, Android / iOS
Titan Quest came out back in 2006, can still offer thousands of hours of fun, and the developers have actually decided to start supporting it with new content again in 2017! Any game with such a loyal fanbase, can’t acquire it randomly. It’s one of the pillars of modern aRPGs – and trust me – the only game in this list that all of the other games’ developers have played (well, and maybe Diablo 2😁)!
There’s a huge modding scene for Titan Quest, letting you add or change pretty much anything in the game (and we really suggest you do so). That doesn’t mean that the base experience is not rich enough of course. The campaign is huge, and along with the 2 DLCs released, there are 10 classes to choose from, and mix 2 of them to create a new, unique one!
The difficulty curve is high in Titan Quest – but sadly that’s mostly due to its dated animations & user interface. Don’t let this dishearten you though, its age truly doesn’t affect its quality, or any of the fun you can have playing it! I’m pretty sure that old school gamers will actually enjoy it that much more. 😉
As “always”, the campaign will take you through various Acts, heavily following the Ancient Greek, Egyptian & Asian history. It’s worth noting that the “Anniversary Edition” of the game, offers a polished experience for modern systems, and a great 4K experience.
Release Date: September 20, 2012
Developer: Runic Games
Publisher: Runic Games
Platforms: Windows / Mac / Linux, PS4 / Xbox One / Nintendo Switch
Torchlight II is another classic action RPG title, that has lasted through the test of time! It strikes a perfect balance between fast-paced, cute & enjoyable animations, with deep builds, combat and progression. If you want to introduce someone to action RPGs, then chances are Torchlight II is your best bet to addict them in this style of gameplay! 😏
I’d say that only Diablo 3 comes close to the “damage number satisfaction” you get while fighting in Torchlight II, but that’s maybe because the aesthetics “allow” it. Even though there are only 4 classes to choose from, each one offers 3 separate paths you can follow (much like World of Warcraft), making for a wealth of different builds. And if you are not satisfied, mods are big in Torchlight, meaning that you can add a dozen custom classes without hassle.
The story, the voice-overs and the environment are extremely engaging, and the wealth of Quality of Life features stand to remind us that some years back, games were actually finished before being released. 😒
Make sure to add this gem to your collection, you can get it for less than 5$ in most sales, and it’s also included in Origin Access. It’s probably the least $ / hours of fun you will ever spend!