Action-adventure games are a dime and a dozen. It is one of the easiest genres to make, as the scope of what can be defined as “action/adventure” is frankly quite large. As gaming became more mainstream and started to have a distinct identity, game developers had to make their games cater to specific audiences. The Mario games were unique in this sense as they allowed for a much wider net to be cast out.
The action-adventure genre boasts a massive number of games within it. These games must have the two following aspects: compelling action and adventure stories to boot. Action-adventure games that find a balance between the two often end up finding cult followings. The games featured on this list have been around for a while, but they are still incredibly viable to pick up and replay in 2022.
Note: This article reflects the author's opinions.
Here are 5 of the best action-adventure games that come highly recommended
1) Red Dead Redemption 2
This first entry is one of the best games available to play in the modern day. Red Dead Redemption 2 is an open-world action-adventure game that is more akin to a massive cinematic experience. Rockstar has always been at the forefront of delivering story-driven, dynamic open-world video games that pride themselves on freedom of gameplay. There is no doubt that in their past few titles, they have elevated gameplay and mechanics, and fans cannot wait to see what they come up with next.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is set a couple of years before the events of Red Dead Redemption. The story follows the fictional Van der Linde gang at a point in time when their place in the world became increasingly hostile. Led by their charismatic leader, Dutch Van der Linde, the gang tries to find its place in a world that does not need them anymore. Players play through the gang’s most loyal and high-ranked enforcer, Arthur Morgan, who is arguably one of the best-written characters in video game history. He has a distinct personality, and players will get truly lost as they see the world from Arthur’s perspective.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is a huge game, and it cannot be summarized in a way that does it justice. It remains one of the best games of the last decade, with masterful story-telling and easy-to-pick-up mechanics. The action-adventure game should be played by anyone who appreciates the finer things in life.
2) The Last of Us Part II
Fans look at the first title as a masterpiece, which it rightfully is. This sequel, however, was somehow even better than the first. The Last of Us Part II subverts player expectations beautifully, and the game definitely stands out amongst its peers. The action-adventure game is a direct sequel to the first one and follows Ellie on an amazing journey that involves vengeance, survival, and catharsis. The Last of Us Part II plays amazingly well, and the game has been beautifully realized. There are a few genuine flaws to the game, but they have been vastly overlooked as the game has been shredded by some of the worst aspects of society.
The game starts off somber but takes a dive straight into some heavy territory. The pacing is a little slow, but the action-adventure game makes up for this by having stealth gameplay that is exciting and fun. The portrayal of Ellie’s vengeful character and how the player empathizes with her every action is juxtaposed with Abby, another protagonist who is there to present a completely different side of the story. There are a lot of nuances that have gone into this game, and the end result is an incredible experience.
As stated before, there are a couple of issues with the game. Some characters do feel tacked on and out of place. The character portrayals throughout the story feel incredibly rushed. However, the game plays incredibly well and has environments that feel alive and dynamic. The Last of Us Part II is still a viable action-adventure game to pick up and play this summer.
3) Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Insomniac Games has been incredibly popular in the last decade. They are responsible for some of the best games to have graced the PlayStation console, and Marvel’s Spider-Man Miles Morales is no exception. Hot off the success of the first game, the team has stepped up a notch and provided fans with an expansion-like sequel that is as promising as its predecessor. The game provided fans with a deeper dive into what the future holds for Spidey in gaming.
On a technical level, the game looks absolutely gorgeous. The action-adventure title provides a compelling story, fun action sequences, and memorable encounters that give other titles a run for their money. Miles Morales is an excellent protagonist and carries the story extremely well.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a short game, but every hour spent in its amazing open world is worth it. Having a different Spider-Man adds a lot of flavor to the game, and with both Spider-Man games coming to PC soon, a lot more fans will be able to enjoy them.
4) Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
The next entry on this list is Nintendo’s best work in the Zelda franchise by far. Breath of the Wild eliminated all pre-conceived notions about what an open-world action-adventure game should be. There is just so much to do in Zelda that players will absolutely get lost in Hyrule. The scope for freedom of gameplay is huge, and every corner of the map is a treat to explore. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has been critically acclaimed, and the game has made ripples in the industry.
Zelda is a fantastic series in itself. The series is unique and has interesting characters that have carried the franchise for a long time. The protagonist, Link, is one of the most iconic characters in video gaming. He is always at the center of the story, and this is exceptionally true for Breath of the Wild.
The game features tons of different mechanics and ways to approach obstacles. Breath of the Wild encourages players to try something new every time, and no matter how they play, it's all equally fun and rewarding. The puzzles are especially fun to solve as they allow for out-of-box thinking, and this is perpetuated throughout the game.
Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one of the best games available today. The serenity of the open-world and its charm work well in this action-adventure game. It is definitely a game to pick up and play again this summer.
5) Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
Respawn Entertainment has made a fantastic stand-alone Star Wars game that has everything that fans have been wanting since KOTOR (Knights of the Old Republic). Fighting with a lightsaber has never looked better, and fans have been waiting for a sequel ever since. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order looks incredibly polished, and while the story lacks coherence at times, there is a ton of potential for this to turn into a full-fledged franchise.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is an action-adventure game that follows the story of a young Jedi, Cal Kestis, as he navigates through an increasingly hostile galaxy governed by the ruthless Empire. The brutality of the Empire and the Sith has been well-documented in the Star Wars films, and Cal must find a way to survive his unhinged pursuers in a world that has limited allies. The game is quite easy to pick up and play. The combat mechanics follow some traits of Soulslike games, but they also stand out on their own.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a brilliant action-adventure game that will excite any Star Wars fan. There is a sequel in the works, but for now, it is a fantastic game to replay this summer.