In video game discussions, the term "power fantasy" often tends to pop up. It refers to the types of experiences that offer opportunities for players to feel like gods. These often feature satisfying mechanics, such as environmental destruction or fluid combat.
They're the opposite of hardcore, punishing titles like Elden Ring or Enter the Gungeon. But don't mistake these to be easy either, because they're not. Some even require at least a basic understanding of the mechanics to make the most out of gameplay.
Here are 5 power fantasy games across multiple consoles and PC
1) Saints Row 4: Re-Elected
First released in 2013, Saints Row 4 (also SR4) is the most recent main entry in the underrated Saints Row series. It began life as a DLC expansion to Volition's Saints Row: The Third (or SR3), and eventually became its own thing - which is also why it is basically a reskin of SR3 with superpowers.
Narratively, it follows the Boss who becomes the President of USA after stomping down a terrorist threat. Things quickly turn sour though, as an alien invasion of the Zin end up transporting the Boss and the rest of the cast into a virtual rendition of the city of Steelport.
This simulation is where all the action takes place. Following in the footsteps of a GTA clone, SR4 is an open-world action adventure. The Boss is fully customizable and can use a number of weapons and vehicles to wreck havoc.
While the mechanics are unchanged from the previous title, the addition of superpowers makes it a brand new experience. Players can glide and run faster than vehicles and have several elemental abilities at their disposal.
Investing in upgrades can essentially make your character nigh invincible, and the fun combat makes for a laid-back experience.
Re-Elected is the remastered version for PS4, XB1 and Switch. The complete package with a DLC is known as Game of the Century Edition on PC. A brand new reboot is coming later this year.
2) Dishonored: Definitive Edition
Arkane Studios blew away critics and fans with 2012's Dishonored. The first-person stealth action game was an obvious nod to classics like Thief, while putting its own spin on it. Dishonored follows the journey of Corvo Attano returning to the industrial city of Dunwall to meet the Empress and deal with a rat plague.
Things head south as a group of assassins kill the Empress and kidnap her daughter Emily. Ultimately, Corbvo is blamed for the assassination and branded a killer.
What follows is a tense and atmospheric journey through the alleys and corridors of Dunwall, as Corvo is granted super-powers and must assassinate the culprits behind the city's troubles.
The world is highly vertical, allowing players to teleport between locations or hijack rats to transport themselves between areas. Players may also go gun or knife swinging, take down enemies stealthily or sneak past foes altogether. There are many ways to solve a problem.
Setting up ambushes for enemies and chaining kill-combos using various abilities is a cathartic experience. Dishonored is still one of the best stealth titles available today, despite two sequels.
Definitive Edition is available on PS4, XB1 and PC.
3) Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
Star Wars, the legendary sci-fi series from LucasArts, continues to have fans who cherish its contribution to entertainment media even today. Thanks to its popularity, the franchise has spawned a number of video games across many systems.
The Force Unleashed, first released for PS2, Wii, PS3 and X360, is fondly remembered as one of the best entries in the series.
Players control Starkiller, a secret apprentice to the one and only Darth Vader. He is tasked with taking down the Empire and must begin his journey by killing Jedi survivors across the galaxy.
Players engage in real-time lightsaber-swinging action across various linear levels. The combat is largely flashy but by no means shallow or bad. Starkiller can also utilize the force to push enemies off edges and throw objects at them. It's quite chaotic and fun.
The Wii version will soon be coming to Nintendo Switch as a remaster. The Ultimate Sith Edition is available on PC (although the PC port is quite subpar).
It's not often you see games that let you play as the bad guy. Carrion goes a step further and lets players take the reign of a carnivorous alien mass. It's a Metroidvania horror game - except here you play as the horror.
After being captured and contained inside a Relith Science facility, the alien creature escapes and must find an exit. Dubbed The Monster, the alien can sneak through vents, cause carnage using the 2D physics and munch on any encountered humans.
It's a satisfying, gory rampage that doesn't stop even during quieter moments. The world requires backtracking, features enemies to overcome and puzzles to solve. Players can also gain upgrades and new abilities to become even deadlier.
Flinging corpses at terrified engineers or sneakily hooking claw-like tentacles through an unsuspecting foe feels nothing short of empowering.
Carrion is available on PS4, XB1, Switch and PC.
5) Red Faction: Guerilla Re-Mars-tered
Released in 2009 for PS3, X360 and PC, Red Faction: Guerilla is an open-world third-person shooter. The plot sees Alec Mason arrive on the planet Mars to meet his brother Dan.
Things turn awry as the Earth Defense Force's (EDF) mistreatment of the Martian citizens comes to light. This leads him to joining the Red Faction to battle against injustice.
It is a part of the Red Faction franchise of shooters from Volition. While the game itself is alright as an open world game, what makes it stand out is its physics destruction.
Objects are made of finer assets which fall realistically apart when attacked with heavy damage or force. Players can destroy a foe's cover or drive a vehicle through a building's wall. Its all pretty amazing and there's nothing like it on the market to this day.
Guerilla Re-Mars-tered is available on PS4, XB1, Switch and PC.