Calling all pro-gamers who wanna know where they stand in the community by tackling the most challenging action games. Yep, today, it’s a test of grit and patience but also of muscle memory and quick thinking. The 5 picks we’ve got today represent the peak of action gameplay; from power fantasy or grinding progression, you’ve got your work cut out. So, let’s see how many you tackle.
Which Challenging Action Games Represent the Pinnacle Of The Genre?
Alrighty, so y’all wanna know which challenging action games are the best of the best? Well, good! That’s what we’re gonna do here! Now, prepare for a list of masochistic titles that will eat away at your spirit every time you fumble up. Well, not really, but we’re dramatic like that.
So, anyway, let’s find out our top 5 picks that made the cut today on our list. As Dante would say, let’s get this party started!
5.) The SoulsBorne Games (Dark Souls Trilogy, Demon’s Souls, Elden Ring, BloodBorne)
Wow, we’re not kidding around with our list of challenging action games, are we? Yep, our first pick, the most obvious one, we might add, is the notorious series of SoulsBorne games. Yep, from the original Demon’s Soul, its stupendously gorgeous remake, the punishing Dak Souls trilogy, the gothically majestic Bloodborne, and the jaw-dropping Elden Ring, they’re all included.
So, essentially, for those who don’t know, the SoulsBorne games offer an unparalleled level of difficulty. The learning curve involved isn’t impossible, but it might as well be if you’re a casual gamer. You’ll experience terrifying boss battles and unforgiving enemies swarming you from all angles, plus nailbiting platforming. You’ll be at the edge of your seat at every new location, oh and raging.
Another aspect of the SoulsBorne games that you’ll definitely find intriguing is that they offer rewarding experiences. This is especially true if you take your time to learn the layout of every level, discover shortcuts, and pay close attention to enemy patterns. You’ll suddenly notice the jump in your skill level as you conquer the challenging series of action games.
4.) Mega Man 11 – One of the Most Fun Yet Challenging Action Games
Next up, we’re taking a step back from the grim and dark fantasy vibes of the previous entry. Instead, we dive into the colorful and bright visuals of Mega Man 11, but don’t be fooled. Mega Man 11 is very much one of the more challenging action games around. The 2D side-scrolling action is a perfect throwback to the retro era of gaming, but there’s enough of a modern edge to Mega Man 11.
The gameplay of Mega Man 11 is deceptively difficult; you’ll realize this during the traversal and enemy dodging. Though, this point is hammered home the most during the nerve-wracking boss fights. Oh, and the non-linear choice of level selection is a pretty nifty little feature that you can use to tackle the easier/difficult ones first. The beautiful aesthetics of Mega Man 11 is a gorgeous sight.
If you’re a fan of platforming games, you gotta try Mega Man 11. An incentive to get good at playing the game is that you unlock enemy bosses’ weapons and skills that you can use against other enemies. The power and speed gear abilities for Mega Man in the game create some rapid-paced and enjoyable showdowns. Trust us: Mega Man 11 is one of the most fun and challenging action games.
3.) The Nioh Duology (Nioh 1, Nioh 2)
Another collection of challenging action games nabs a spot on our list; this time, it’s a duology. Specifically, The Nioh Duology, is basically the remastered version of two PlayStation console exclusives, Nioh and Nioh 2. The Nioh games are basically the over-the-top Souls-like games where you gotta mind your surroundings. Demons are everywhere and can pop out at any time.
Thankfully, the great thing about The Nioh Duology is that both titles, Nioh and Nioh 2, offer in-depth play-styles. Yes, plural, and you can adjust your gear, weapons, and abilities to suit whichever approach works best. Oh, there is a greater emphasis on dodging and blocking, but you also gotta manage distance from powerful demonic bosses. There are even stances with melee weapons, too.
If you feel like the melee and up close and personal strategy of rushing enemies isn’t working out, go with ranged weaponry. Or better yet, switch things up by including magical summons to give that extra bit of oomph. The Nioh Duology is gonna scratch that itch between more accessible action adventure games and challenging souls-like titles. So, yeah, definitely check them out; they’re great.
2.) Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection (Sigma, Sigma 2, Razor’s Edge)
Our runner-up spot for the most challenging action games goes to a beloved franchise. The Ninja Gaiden Master Collection is a remaster of the three enhanced versions of the Ninja Gaiden trilogy. Believe us when we say this series has the OG hardcore style you often see implemented in the best hack-and-slash games today. Know what else? Ninja Gaiden Master Collection holds up really well.
The sheer raw speed, strength, finesse, and mobility with which the protagonist, Ryu Hayabusa, does his thing is a sight to behold. No matter how terrifying and deadly his enemies, the guy’s calm, collected, and cool as a cucumber. Depending on how quickly you learn the moves of Ryu’s arsenal and how each weapon works, you’ll be slaughtering enemies by the dozen. Ninja Gaiden is just epic.
If you wanna master this game, you really gotta work on your button presses and develop a knack for chaining together longer combos. Don’t let an intimidating character design of an enemy deter you. Pairing aggression with calculated risks is the best way to win against monstrous boss fights. Well, that and mastering super attacks and Ryu’s uber-powerful Ninpo abilities make Ninja Gaiden Master Collection one of the most challenging yet pretty epic action games.
1.) Devil May Cry 5 – Power Fantasy With A Slice Of Challenging Action Games
Finally, we’re gonna cap off our list of dope yet challenging action games with the king. The one and only Devil May Cry 5. It’s got everyone’s favorite wise-cracking, dual-wielding, charisma-oozing, demon-slaying badasses. Dante, of course, is the forerunner, but so are V, Nero, Virgil, Lady, and Trish. Each character has a distinct style and will let you see some really cool moves.
The unique thing about Devil May Cry 5, in particular, is that you start off with every character already more powerful than the average enemy. You only grow stronger from that point onward. The trick is using the vast array of moves while also switching them up to maintain a flow of combat. You also gotta watch out for enemies that flank you from all directions to interrupt your combos.
Avoiding enemies by taking to the skies and then going back down is a must-have skill. Using projectile attacks, the different devil trigger forms, and, most importantly, not getting hit are the keys to winning style points. Playing Devil May Cry 5 is easy, but getting good at it and overcoming its challenging gameplay? That’s a whole other story. Still, it’s without question the crown jewel of the most challenging action games ever.
Final Thoughts On the Most Challenging Action Games Ever
Well, that was a rush, but we’re through with our list of the most exciting and challenging action games ever. Yeah, we know, we’re probably skipping out some obvious picks, but that’s our take. So, anyway, what do y’all think of our selection for today? Leave your feedback, criticism, and if possible, appreciation, in the comment section below. While you’re at it, tell us your own thematic choices, too.
If you’re still hankering for some more action gameplay-style options, don’t worry. We’ve got plenty of suggestions for you to check out. For instance, take a gander at our top fantasy action RPGS for something within the same ballpark as today’s list. Welp, that’s gonna do it for today, but check back in soon for more fun gaming lists. Until next time, take care, stay safe everybody, and happy gaming!