One of the best features of a good action-adventure game is being able to do a deep dive into an epic story. This, combined with quality gameplay and challenging boss encounters, are all hallmarks of action-adventure games. They can take players to any setting, from the Wild West or adorable fantasy lands. No matter how it’s served up, these games are almost always fondly remembered.
As July 2022 gets started, here’s a collection of quality action-adventure games that players can look forward to trying or returning to in order to get the summer started right. What better way to relax than to travel to a new or familiar place and set off on an adventure?
Action-adventure games come in all shapes and styles
Unfortunately, action-adventure as a genre is so vast that there is no way to possibly include all the games released under it. The action-adventure games have been around since the 70s, with games like Atari’s Adventure (1979) and SEGA’s Jet Rocket (1970).
However, the ones on this list are all modern action-adventure games, with some having remasters or remakes and others patiently awaiting ports to other platforms. These are among the best games in the genre and are all worth a try.
10 action-adventure games to revisit
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
- Shadow of the Colossus
- The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
- Elden Ring
- Resident Evil 4
- Red Dead Redemption 2
- Ghost of Tsushima
- Marvel’s Spider-Man/Miles Morales
- Horizon Forbidden West
- God of War (2018)
10) The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Many consider The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt to be among the greatest action-adventure games of all time, and it’s not hard to see why. A gorgeous fantasy world based on a series of Polish novels, it stars Geralt once again in an excellent action RPG experience.
Powerful monsters await, and the fate of humanity hinges on the success of Geralt as he explores the land and fights evil. But perhaps even more important than that, there are games of GWENT to play in the various taverns that dot the land. The choices of the player matter, with a total of 36 possible endings and a variety of DLC adventures to take part in.
9) Shadow of the Colossus
Shadow of the Colossus is a PlayStation 2 classic, which has also seen a quality remake. The action-adventure game has a tragic story to explore, paired with a vast open world. The focus of the game is simply seeking out and destroying these titanic colossus bosses, and each one is stronger than the last.
Players will have to do more than hack and slash to win; using the environment is also important, as is thinking tactically. It’s a gorgeous, enjoyable game that also doubles as a bit of a cautionary tale.
8) The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (Nintendo Switch)
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening was one of the biggest titles for Nintendo’s Game Boy and recently saw a remaster hit Nintendo Switch. With an adorable, colorful art style and the game lovingly recrafted, it’s one of the better Zelda adventures. It takes place in a faraway land, away from Hyrule.
To learn where he is and how to get home, Link will have to collect 8 instruments to awaken the mystical Wind Fish of Koholint Island. It’s cute, it’s bright, and it’s challenging. It’s a classic game and is one of the best action-adventure games to go take a stab at in 2022.
7) Elden Ring
Why not Elden Ring? It’s only one of the best games of 2022. The latest FromSoft title has players exploring a world crafted by Hidetaka Miyazaki and George R.R. Martin. It’s the latest and greatest Souls game and certainly a worthy challenge.
There isn’t a lot to say about Elden Ring that hasn’t been said already. It’s a vast, open-world where players pick a character class and explore it at their leisure. Powerful, horrific bosses await, as do some fun, challenging optional encounters. Fans of the Souls/Bloodborne titles will find a lot to love here.
6) Resident Evil 4
Is Resident Evil 4 the greatest game in the franchise? That’s debatable, but there are certainly fans who think so. Resident Evil 4 moves away from the slow survival-horror genre and more into the action-RPG/action-adventure games genre. Somehow, that didn’t disappoint fans.
From boulder punching, giant sharks, and of course, armies of the undead, Resident Evil 4’s Leon S. Kennedy must protect the president’s daughter at all costs. Visually stunning for its time, it’s also been remade and reproduced. Resident Evil 4 is truly one of the best games in the genre, and it’s incredibly easy to locate a copy to play on a variety of platforms.
5) Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption 2 isn’t just a GTA game that was reskinned into the Wild West. It’s a deep story with an amazing list of things to do, rich, deep characters, and incredibly fun combat. It’s one of the most memorable stories in recent memory, and it’s combined with gorgeous visuals and soundtrack.
There’s plenty to do in this open world, and many players find themselves absorbed in the trials and tribulations of the game’s characters. The world feels alive, and that’s just another brilliant part of Red Dead Redemption 2.
4) Ghost of Tsushima
One of the best games of 2020, Ghost of Tsushima, was a story of sacrifice and tragedy. Jin Sakai’s home island of Tsushima was overrun by the Mongol horde, and it’s up to Jin to take up his father’s blade and set things right. The choices he makes may stray away from the noble ideals of the samurai, but it’s all in the name of saving the people.
The world created is visually stunning, and there are many different ways to approach encounters. Players can opt to be sneaky and treacherous or fight with honor and challenge their foes to open combat. It’s a brilliant game and deserves its spot on this list.
3) Marvel’s Spider-Man/Miles Morales
The game is coming to PCs later this year, but this is still a terrific time to take a visit back to New York. It could be considered to be the best superhero game ever made, or at least the greatest Marvel superhero game. It’s a perfect recreation of Peter Parker and Miles Morales and stars many of the characters in Rogues Gallery.
Though Miles Morales isn’t a full sequel, it’s still a solid extension of the previous game, and it’s a blast as well. There are so many Easter eggs and tributes to the comic series in the game. The combat is fun, the missions are challenging, and the one-liners are hilarious. Don’t miss out on this game, one of the best action-adventure games of all.
2) Horizon: Zero Dawn
For those who can’t play Horizon Forbidden West yet, Horizon Zero Dawn is one of the most satisfying open-world action-adventure games. Guerilla Games knocked this post-apocalyptic adventure right out of the park. Aloy is a likable character, and she has to battle some ferocious robotic foes.
The game is visually striking, and there are many different ways to tackle the robotic foes she has to face. Not to mention, it does have a successful sequel in Forbidden West, which expands on the already compelling story.
1) God of War (2018)
Now that the God of War: Ragnarok is 100% confirmed for a November 2022 release date, this is the best time to go back to the 2018 release. Whether on a PC or console, Kratos’ latest adventure has him continuing to slay whatever gods are set in his path.
He’s less angry these days, trying to be a good father to Atreus, but still knows how to throw it down if need be. The Leviathan Axe is a solid replacement for the Blades of Chaos, and as he explores the frozen tundra that is now his home, danger awaits. But it’s nothing Kratos can’t handle.
There are simply too many action-adventure games that could possibly be on this list. Whether fans prefer The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time or something more contemporary like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, there is certainly a glut of games to choose from. Though this list is just the opinion of one writer, and fans’ thoughts will vary, it’s a solid list of incredible games that are worth trying.