Top 5 Action RPG Games Of All Time

Top 5 Action RPG Games Of All Time

The action role-playing game or action RPG is a type of role-playing video game which incorporates elements from action games or action-adventure games. Known as “hack and slash” games, Action RPGs are typically more action than roleplaying.

Action RPGs feature a heavy emphasis on raw combat, simplified stats or character customizations, and collecting mad loot.  Combat is in real time, which is where the action part of the name comes from, so there is a real degree of player skilled involved in selecting the right action or combo at the right time in the appropriate setting.  For example, shooting a magic missile at the darkness rather than at a target.

If it moves, kill it… grab the treasure it drops… upgrade your gear.  That’s the MO of a Action RPG.

Here Are The Top 5 Action RPGs:



Released in 1996, Diablo was arguably the first modern hack and slash action rpg game, creating the genre.  With its innovative online multiplayer, it connected you to other players on the fledgling internet through its free service.

While online multiplayer was a brand new experience for this type of game, it was rife with hackers cheating by creating new god-like items, killing people with hacked invincible spells, and overall griefing of other players.

Still, it was a game that made history and deserves the #1 spot in this list of top action rpg games.

All The Diablo Games




Made by former developers of Blizzard’s Diablo, Wild Tangent’s Fate, and Flagship Studios’ Mythos; the Torchlight series of games is critically one of the best Diablo clones developed.

Calling it a Diablo clone could even be considered an insult because it surpasses Diablo in many areas including gameplay and community.

With the ability to mod the game, the community can create new levels and completely hack the game to make it their own.

All The Torchlight Games




Path of Exile

Set in a dark fantasy world, Path of Exile is an indie free-to-play game supported by micro-transactions for vanity / cosmetic item sales.  Grinding Gear Games calls it “ethical micro-transactions” because none of the core gameplay requires paid items to progress through the game.

Online only, the diablo-esque game has completely randomized dungeon levels for potentially infinite replay-ability.  A majority of the gameplay is focused around finding well balanced and synergistic equipment.

All the Path of Exile Games




A sci-fi action rpg with a first-person viewpoint, Borderlands puts you in the role of a pre-defined character on an abandoned planet called Pandora.  Your goal is to explore the planet for searching for a way to open a fabled vault full of alien artifacts and advanced technology.

Visually, Borderlands uses a unique cell-shading graphics rendering technique that gives a cartoon-like look and feel.  This technique was inspired from a short film, Codehunters by Ben Hibon, giving specific quality that makes it stand out from the typical realistic-like rendering of other modern games on the scene.

Another quality of the Borderlands franchise is its frequent new missions from downloadable content, continuing to expand the game.

All The Borderlands Games

  • Borderlands – Gearbox Software (2009)
    • The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned – Gearbox Software (2009)

    • Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot – Gearbox Software (2009)
    • The Secret Armory of General Knoxx – Gearbox Software (2010)
    • Claptrap’s New Robot Revolution – Gearbox Software (2010)
  • Borderlands 2 – Gearbox Software (2012)
    • Mechromancer Pack – Gearbox Software (2012)
    • Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty – Gearbox Software (2012)

    • Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage – Gearbox Software (2012)
    • Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunt – Gearbox Software (2012)
    • Psycho and Ultimate Vault Hunter packs – Gearbox Software (2012)
    • Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep – Gearbox Software (2012)
    • Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack 2: Digistruct Peak Challenge – Gearbox Software (2012)
    • T.K. Baha’s Bloody Harvest – Gearbox Software (2012)
    • Golden Keys – Gearbox Software (2012)



The Witcher

The Witcher is based on the book series of the same name by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski.  Taking place in a medieval fantasy world, it follows the story of Geralt, traveling monster hunter for hire, gifted with unnatural powers.

Featuring a system of “moral choices” as part of the storyline, it was noted for its time-delayed consequences and lack of black-and-white morality.

All The Witcher Games


BONUS: Rogue

Developed around 1980, Rogue is a dungeon crawling video game possibly the first of its kind, written by a two individuals for early Unix computer systems.  With a cult following, there are still version of Rogue running on servers throughout the world.

It became a college favorite in part due to the procedural generation of game content, leading to infinite replay-ability.

Rogue started the dungeon crawling video game genre, and has influenced all Action RPGs to date.

All The Rogue Games


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Adam Colon
Adam Colon
Technophiliac, Geek, and proponent of logic & consistency in games... I am a critic with no patience for nonsense.

"Rogue started the dungeon crawling genre..."

Not to mention a little genre called, you know... ROGUELIKE :P


Pirate king is a game where players try to become the pirate king by smuggling cargo and capturing territories. It is a multiplayer online game comical in nature and has comical looking characters and creatures. Visit to play pirate king game online.


I would say Legend of Zelda is the first aRPG, not Diablo.


RPG genres in my opinion :

ActionRPG - focuses on one character from TPP/FPP view, has some cutscenes, dialogues, choices and stuff. F.e. Gothic, Witcher, Elder Scrolls, Dark Souls. Actually dealing with few enemies at once is more like ActionRPG to me than dealing with few groups of enemies. Your point is there's too much roleplaying. You know what RP stands for in RPG?

Hack-n-Slash - isometric point of view (at least in good oldschool H'n'Ses) with one character. No character creation, just choosing your class - mostly even genderlocked to make less armor models and shit. Then you beat the shit out of masses of enemies mashing your mouse and waiting for a good loot. Here goes your Diablo, Torchlight and Path of Exile.

  ClassicRPG - leading a group of heroes, active pause, strategy elements. F.e. Neverwinter Nights, Dragon Age, maybe Mass Effect. And they are still more "action" to me than those slashers.

jRPG - group of people, turns... I actually don't  give a crap about this genre and consoles.

MMORPG - a topic for a different day.

For me ActionRPG needs to make a good immersion with character development (well written heroes and also main character that you actually care about), interaction with the world (that gives you expierience not only for slaying monster and finishing quests for slaying more monsters) and close point of view that makes you feel the battle. Like comparing a strategy game when you are commanding a bunch of ants to Mount and Blade where you are a general, that one guy among others on the battlefield. That is intense - the connection to the game and its world. I don't feel that in H'n'Ses, it's a lot of fun, but I don't care about this dude, I care only about health bar, he's just my tool. Kinda like some God game, click "go there", click "kill this". This is how I was taught to see the RPG genre and noone will change it. It pisses me off that you put 3 slashers on your list. I also have mixed feelings about the genre of Borderlands (H'n'S with different perspective, shooter with RPG elements or truly an ActionRPG). If I think that way you could put f.e. Saints Row on the list (there's character progression, you get upgrades and you can fuck shit up - must be an ActionRPG). Kinda sad that there's any game from Bioware and just my native Witcher...


So... No Skyrim? This article is a piece of crap.


So because this list only deals with hack-and-slash and loot, Mass Effect doesn't rank?

SilkBD moderator

@Eldo Bah, Skyrim is definitely a full on roleplayaying game with an open world... it will have it's spot in an upcoming article.

SilkBD moderator

@CriticChris Mass Effect has a strong roleplaying component... I wouldn't lump that in the Action RPG category which is more action oriented.