There are many popular phrases in the world of gaming, but only a few of them build up expectations quite as much as “triple-A”. But what hides behind the term, and what titles fit into this group and can be described as AAA games? Let’s take a look.

The meaning of “AAA”

“Triple-A” or “AAA” is not a formal classification of games by any means. The terms generally refer to games that boast a large budget for both production and marketing. Due to that, they are expected to be of high quality and sell in a substantial number of copies, typically going into millions. AAA is the gaming industry’s equivalent of the word “blockbuster” that is used for the same category of products in the movie business.

Are triple-A games worth your money?

In the vast majority of cases, AAA games are at the top regarding the technical aspects: graphics, audio design, and a limited number of bugs. They can offer their high production value thanks to large budgets and teams of people working on every aspect of the presentation and mechanics.

If your main draw is the story aspect, triple-A games can be hit or miss, although recent bestsellers such as God of War, Red Dead Redemption 2, or Insomniac’s Spider-Man offer fantastic stories and competent storytelling, complemented by evocative and frequently relatable characters.

Now that we’ve established what AAA games are, let’s bring up some examples, including some most recent hits, to help you quickly find a game you might be interested in.

Update 2024

We’ve updated the list with some of the more recent AAA games, including a few sequels and remakes which deserved their time in the spotlight. Most, if not all, of these games you can find on Steam, some of them are even playable on Nintendo Switch, if you’d rather play AAA on the go.

GameReleaseGenreDeveloper
Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth 2024-01-25 Action Ryū Ga Gotoku Studios
Alan Wake 2 2023-10-27 Action RPG Remedy Entertainment
TEKKEN 8 2024-01-26 Fighting Bandai Namco Studios
Marvel's Spider-Man 2 (PS5) 2023-10-20 Action Insomniac Games
HELLDIVERS 2 2024-02-08 Action Arrowhead Game Studios
Starfield 2023-09-06 Action RPG Bethesda
Resident Evil 4 Remake 2023-03-24 Survival Horror Capcom Development Division 1
Cities: Skylines II 2023-10-24 City-building Colossal Order
The Last of Us Part I 2023-03-28 Action, RPG Naughty Dog
Hogwarts Legacy 2023-02-10 Action, RPG Avalanche Software
Atomic Heart 2023-02-21 Action, RPG Mundfish
God Of War 2022-01-14 Action SIE Santa Monica Studio
Dying Light 2 2022-02-04 Action Techland Publishing
Monster Hunter Rise 2022-01-12 RPG Capcom
Resident Evil 8 Village 2021-05-07 Horror Capcom Development Division 1
ELEX II 2022-03-01 RPg Piranha Bytes
Total War Warhammer III 2022-02-17 RTS The Creative Assembly
Grand Theft Auto V 2015-04-14 Adventure Rockstar North
Mortal Kombat 11 2019-04-23 Action NetherRealm Studios
Control 2019-08-27 Action Remedy Entertainment
Far Cry 6 2021-10-07 Shooter Ubisoft Toronto
Monster Hunter World 2018-08-09 Action CAPCOM
Death Stranding 2020-07-14 Sci-fi Kojima Productions
Mass Effect Legendary Edition 2021-05-14 RPG BioWare
Forza Horizon 5 Xbox / Windows 10 2021-11-09 Racing Playground Games
Assassins Creed Valhalla 2020-11-10 Action RPG Ubisoft Montreal
Battlefield 2042 2021-11-19 Shooter EA Digital Illusions CE
Red Dead Redemption 2 2019-11-05 Adventure Rockstar Games
Uncharted Legacy Of Thieves Collection 2022-10-19 Adventure Naughty Dog
Battlefield V 2018-11-20 First-Person EA Digital Illusions CE
Soulcalibur VI 2018-10-19 Action Project Soul
Forza Horizon 5 (Xbox Series X/S, Windows 10) 2021-11-09 Racing Playground Games
The Outer Worlds 2020-10-23 Action RPG Obsidian Entertainment
Age Of Empires 4 2021-10-28 Strategy, Real-Time Relic Entertainment
Gears 5 2019-09-10 Action The Coalition
Deathloop 2021-09-14 First-Person Arkane Studios
Doom Eternal 2020-03-20 Action id Software
Cyberpunk 2077 2020-12-10 Action RPG CD PROJEKT RED

Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth

Release:2024-01-25
Genre:Action
Developer:Ryū Ga Gotoku Studios

The most recent in the long line of Yakuza/Like a Dragon series, Infinite Wealth focuses its story around the previous instalment’s protagonist Ichiban Kasuga and series’ icon Kazuma Kiryu.

It also marks a certain revolution in the series: for the first time ever we’re getting a non-Japanese major hub for the game. Ichiban’s spending much of the game in Hawaii, hoping to reunite with his mother.

Kiryu’s side of the game is less joyful, as he’s struggling with serious health issues. Of course, it’s still a Yakuza game, so there is a generous mix of serious storytelling, goofy side stories, and optional activities to engage with, such as Ichiban’s holiday resort turning Infinite Wealth into Animal Crossing a little bit. Which is only fitting, seeing how the combat system turns it into a turn-based RPG again.

Key features
  • A glorious return of Ichiban Kasuga and the fantastic, dynamic turn-based combat system
  • A trip to Hawaii, the first time the series has left Japan
  • Engaging, personal, and appropriately dramatic main stories
  • Plenty of side activities and ministories to divert attention from main plots

Alan Wake 2

Release:2023-10-27
Genre:Horror
Developer:Remedy Entertainment

For many long years it seemed like it wouldn’t happen, that the franchise is dead.

And then rumors started, trailers appeared, and finally in October 2023 Alan Wake 2 arrived, with an incredibly production quality, a complex(and complicated) story, and many outstanding moments of fright and delight alike. It was one of the biggest releases of the year, and an almost seamless follow-up to its predecessors.

The game follows two characters: writer Alan Wake trying to get out of a horrific alternate dimension he’s bound to, and Saga Anderson, an FBI agent inspecting a string of recent murders. The two cross paths and aid each other in solving the mysteries of Bright Falls and their own fates. If you’re in a mood for an excellent and very weird survival horror about writing, AW2 has got you covered.

Key features
  • Outstanding graphics and fantastic audio, including original music
  • A sequel 13 years in the making
  • Dual protagonist with interwoven storylines
  • Connection to Remedy’s previous game, Control

Tekken 8

Release:2024-01-26
Genre:Fighting
Developer:Bandai Namco Studios

The Tekken series has long been one of the most important fighting game franchises in the hobby, and it certainly isn’t ready to surrender that reputation.

The latest instalment, Tekken 8 is an improvement across the board. It has a new engine, new tweaks to the combat system thanks to the Heat mechanics, and even improves accessibility and entry threshold for potential newcomers.

With Heihachi out of the picture, the everlasting Mishima family feud now revolves around the pretty much fully demonic Kazuya Mishima and his son, Jin Kazama who has had enough of the devil gene-wrought chaos. The game begins with a wonderfully over-the-top action sequence, and while after that it tones things down a bit, it’s only to turn them back up to eleven in appropriate moments.

Key features
  • You can make your own customizable avatar for the single-player Arcade mode
  • Explosive, spectacular combat
  • Lots of cosmetic customization
  • Over-the-top story

Marvel's Spider-Man 2

Release:2023-10-20
Genre:Action
Developer:Insomniac Games

The title is deceptive, because Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is actually the third in the series, after the first one and its Miles Morales-centered follow-up.

Now both Peter Parker and Miles join forces to protect New York from a new batch of superpowered and overly ambitious villains. Of course, things go sideways, putting people in danger and straining relationship. It’s not easy being a Spider-Man.

There’s no denying the production quality developer Insomniac Games poured into this game. From character designs to environment, animations to voice acting, Spider-Man 2 shows an incredible amount of care and effort, managing to outshine even its excellent predecessors. It is a PlayStation 5 exclusive at the time of writing, but its appearance on PC is likely, given the precedent of previous entries.

Key features
  • Two protagonists you can swap between during free-roam
  • Web-swinging around Manhattan feels incredibly satisfying
  • Acrobatic, energetic combat
  • Venom

Helldivers II

Release:2024-02-08
Genre:Shooter
Developer:Arrowhead Game Studios

Nobody expected Helldivers II to be such a massive hit, not even developers Arrowhead Game Studios, but perhaps everybody should have?

It’s a spectacular, co-operative science fiction military shooter with room for both fun and tension, and a fascinating galactic war metagame responding to players’ victories and losses to shape the conflict between Super-Earth and everybody else.

HD2 drops a team of up to four soldiers onto a map overrun by enemies, with an objective to fulfill and a number of possible reinforcements ticking down every time you get munched on by a gigantic bug or become an accidental target of your teammate’s badly timed destructive stratagem. Friendly fire is on at all times, and much like in Arrowhead’s first game, Magicka, it’s a source of much hilarity.

Key features
  • Co-operative PvE horde survival
  • A wide range of possible loadouts
  • It’s all fun and games until the reinforcement numbers become single-digit
  • Looks great and plays even better

FF7 Rebirth

Release:2024-02-29
Genre:Action RPG
Developer:Square Enix Creative Business Unit I

The first part of the ambitious, grand-scale remake of stone-cold classic Final Fantasy VII was a massive hit, and part 2 is even better.

Free from the urban confines of Midgar and venturing out into the world, including many iconic locations from the original game, such as the lovely holiday resort Costa del Sol, the Cosmo Canyon, or the mysterious Shinra Mansion.

FF7 Rebirth is a massive game, both because of its scale and its density. The plot, kickstarted in Remake spins up to higher intensity, there are many, richer, more diverse locations, new friends join the crew, and there’s a wealth of minigames and memorable moments to make sure your time’s well-spent. Of course, it’s important to play the previous game first, or the plot will be rather confusing.

Key features
  • A fantastic sequel to 2020’s FF7 Remake
  • New members of the team, including Cid and Yuffie cementing her presence after Intergrade
  • Dynamic combat mixing responsive action and Active-Time Battle mechanics
  • Introduces twists not even veterans of the original would see coming

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Release:2023-05-12
Genre:Action & Adventure
Developer:Nintendo EPD Production Group No. 3

Another wildly successful sequel on the list, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’s story kicks off a few years after Breath of the Wild ended, and both Link and Hyrule itself have… changed a lot in this time.

Link got a new, magical hand, Zelda went missing while Hyrule’s skyline is dotted by floating islands. That’s already a lot to deal with, and that’s just the fallout of a single incident.

While the fancy physics-bending tools from BotW are gone, don’t worry, you get new ones, and they are somehow even more miraculous. The Ultrahand alone, introducing mechanical engineering to the game, would be an absolute game changer, and you get three other skills too, as well as a vast, complex open world as your sandbox. It’s incredible.

Key features
  • New toys to play around with
  • The world now also features sky islands and dangerous underground world
  • The story is set a few years after BotW, some of your favorites may have even grown up
  • Nintendo Switch exclusive

Ghostrunner 2

Release:2023-10-26
Genre:Action
Developer:ONE MORE LEVEL

The original game’s concept was so solid and well-executed that all that remained for Ghostrunner 2 to do was not mess it up and add something cool.

In this case, there were big expansions and improvements to mobility options, including the ability to burst through walls, use exploding barrels, and, perhaps most importantly, ride a really cool bike.

Otherwise, it’s more of what made the first Ghostrunner such a blast.

It’s a first-person action game with a huge emphasis on parkour and combat, with a deadly, one hit – one kill approach to both your enemies’ and your own health. GR2 makes the levels more open-ended, leaving more room for creative approaches. Getting a perfect run is hard, but feels incredible when it happens.

Key features
  • Psychologically complex exploration of humanity in a post-apocalyptic world
  • Brutal setting
  • Many nerve-wracking sequences
  • The hit HBO TV show is based on it

Lies of P

Release:2023-09-19
Genre:Action
Developer:Round8 Studio

There aren’t enough Bloodborne clones.

PlayStation players have been hording all that good Victorian cosmic horror game for themselves, but in 2023 all major platforms (except Switch) received a new contender: Lies of P, a horrific (and terrific) take on the story of Pinocchio, who in this version has to find a way to deal a city full of rebellious puppets, crazed humans, and a weird disease.

Lies of P is a fantastic, tightly designed game with a distinctly Soulsborne-like structure and a really interesting weapon customization system. There are also shades of Sekiro, particularly though the importance of parrying and a handy mechanical arm you can equip with useful gadgets. It’s one of the best Soulslikes in years, and if you’re craving a stylish and hard action game, say hello to Lies of P.

Key features
  • An interesting, grim version of Pinocchio
  • Tense, challenging combat against puppets and humans alike
  • Several endings, partially influenced by your P’s tendency to lie
  • Plenty of room for functional customization

Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon

Release:2023-08-25
Genre:Mecha
Developer:FromSoftware

We didn’t get a new FromSoftware Soulsbourne in 2023, but the long-terms fans of the studio got something even cooler: a new AC game.

Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon was the first new full game in the series since 2012. When it finally arrived, fans rejoiced to get back into the fancy mecha and wreak havoc on enemies for money and glory.

Of course, the mecha are deeply customizable with a wealth of weapon choices, chassis options, and cosmetic tweaks, all to make sure your engine of war truly is your own. Of course, not even the best paintjob will save your skin if your build is trash, because between regular combat challenges and boss fights, Armored Core 6 is still very much a FromSoftware game and wants to kick your ass.

Key features
  • Hop into your mighty mecha and join the war for control of a volatile resource
  • Several endings
  • Deep customization
  • Exciting PvP

Final Fantasy XVI

Release:2023-06-22
Genre:Action
Developer:Square Enix Creative Business Unit III

Another FF on the list, but this time it’s a fully fresh story and world, rather than a juicy remake of a classic.

Final Fantasy XVI is a rather grim, serious story set in a world of dwindling magical resources, and strong stigma against natural magic users, known as Bearers. The game puts the players in the unlucky boots of a man called Clive Rosfield, who gets tangled up in a complex magi-political situation.

On the gameplay front, Final Fantasy XVI is a mostly open world action RPG with dynamic combat empowered by magic and Clive’s ability to conjure powers from titanic, elemental Eikons. FF16 looks fantastic, its combat evokes Devil May Cry swordfights, and while the world is cruel, it’s also great to explore. A complete package, if you want both serious tone and incredibly powerful magic.

Key features
  • A brand new Final Fantasy story and world
  • Dynamic, action-packed combat mixing melee and magic
  • A generally grim, serious tone
  • Summons are given a key role in the story

Resident Evil 4 Remake

Release:2023-03-24
Genre:Survival Horror
Developer:Capcom Development Division 1

A good remake is always worthwhile, and Capcom’s been on a roll with revisiting classic Resident Evil games.

The most recent remake happened to RE4, bringing one of the best games in the series up to modern standards thanks to the incredible power of RE Engine. Join Leon S. Kennedy, a special US operative, on a trip to save the president’s daughter from a cult located in rural Spain.

The RE4 Remake keeps the essence of the original action horror intact, including managing the gear and dealing with mutated enemies. The biggest changes it introduces tend to either expand the story with new elements, or smooth over the gameplay. Leon can now move and shoot at the same time, and use his knife to parry attacks. RE4 Remake is what you remember the original RE4 being like

Key features
  • A faithful recreation of one of the best games in the franchise
  • Gameplay and story are largely the same, except for a few expansions and tweaks
  • Powered by the RE Engine
  • One of the best action/survival horrors in the genre

The Last of Us Part I

Release:2011 / 2023-03-28
Genre:Survival, Post-Apocalyptic
Developer:Naughty Dog

Coming from Naughty Dog, The Last of Us games boast the same polish and artistry that the Uncharted games do.

With excellent performances from renown voice actor Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker, nuanced animations, and emotionally heavy writing, both parts of TLoU, separated by an in-fiction time-skip, are grueling, challenging journeys through a post-apocalyptic world.

The plot of TLoU takes place long after the world was consumed by an outbreak of a brain-overriding fungus, turning some people into mindless mutants, and others into desperate survivors clinging to scraps of a fallen civilization. We’re playing as Joel, a broken man and a smuggler, who get a job escorting a young girl across the USA. Unfortunately, things get complicated fast.

Key features
  • Psychologically complex exploration of humanity in a post-apocalyptic world
  • Brutal setting
  • Many nerve-wracking sequences
  • The hit HBO TV show is based on it

Hogwarts Legacy

Release:2023-02-10
Genre:Action, RPG
Developer:Avalanche Software

After many years of drought in terms of proper games, the Harry Potter fans have finally received the video game epic they’d craved since the old days of movie tie-ins.

Hogwarts Legacy, instead of retreading the familiar story beats (but in HD) opts for an original storyline taking place in the deep 1800s, unattached to the gang of meddling kids which made the HP universe famous in the first place.

As a new student admitted to Hogwarts under special circumstances, you’ll get to explore some of the iconic locales, including the school itself and Hogsmeade. As the game is an RPG, you’ll also get to stray from the path through many sidequests, some of which might even give you access to spells you can’t get otherwise. It’s a real theme park ride for any fan of the setting.

Key features
  • Many spells to learn and master
  • Explores the concept of „ancient magic”
  • Great character creation
  • An original story, set long before the novels

God of War Ragnarök

Release:2022-11-09
Genre:Action, Adventure
Developer:Santa Monica Studio

2018’s God of War was a splendid soft reboot of the cult-classic series, taking Kratos from Greece to mythic Scandinavia, and bringing the camera closer to his ashen shoulders.

It was a fantastic story, and it got an ever better sequel in 2022, God of War Ragnarök. It takes place a few years after the previous game, and its scope is much grander, up to and including the titular apocalyptic event.

Gameplay doesn’t significantly change, you still get thrilling third-person perspective action powered mostly by Kratos’ mighty axe, but you also get a few other weapons, including one brand new to Ragnarök. As a neat change, this time you also get to play as Atreus/Loki, whose growing independence leads to him going on his own misadventures and discovering his own power.

 

Key features
  • Excellent story about personal growth, breaking a cycle of abuse, and killing gods
  • Punchy, exciting combat with several meaningfully different weapons
  • Epic scale
  • The graphics look amazing, and the soundtrack is fantastic

Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves

Release:2022-10-19
Genre:Adventure, action
Developer:Naughty Dog, Iron Galaxy

The Uncharted series used to be one of the system sellers for pre-PS5 generations of PlayStation, and it remains one of the finest action-adventure series in video games.

It helps that the protagonist, Nathan Drake, has the kind of roguish charm making a slaughter of hundreds of goons feel like a nice afternoon jaunt. Uncharted 4 is the conclusion of Nathan’s journey, and a spectacular one at that.

Developer Naughty Dog, famous also for The Last of Us 1 & 2, made A Thief’s End an exciting, cinematic experience filled to the brim with creative set pieces, interesting puzzles, and likeable, memorable characters. The quality of graphics and animations was top-tier as well, and it still looks great four years later (at the time of writing). Definitely one of the best games in the genre.

Thanks to the Legacy of Thieves Collection, Uncharted 4 finally came to PC in 2022, the first of the series to make the jump.

Key features
  • The conclusion of Nathan Drake’s life of adventure
  • Incredible, cinematic direction
  • Fantastic animations
  • Holds up really well years later, including the PC port

Total War: Warhammer III

Release:2022-02-17
Genre:RTS
Developer:The Creative Assembly

The final part of the Warhammer Fantasy-based subseries of Total War is also the final stage of the evolution of this fascinating venture.

Not only does it introduce new mechanics, but also fleshes out some factions which were only a marginal presence in the original wargame, such as Grand Cathay, Kislev, or Ogre Kingdoms. On top of that, you even get a customizable Demon Prince if you go Chaos.

Chaos itself has a mighty presence, with detailed armies of the Four Gods being as vibrant and disturbing as ever. If you have all three games, you can even merge their maps through the free Mortal Empires DLC, for a grand, sweeping tale of politics and conquest. If you played and loved the first two games, complete the collection with Total War Warhammer 3 and conquer the world.

Key features
  • A classic Total War blend of strategic faction management and real-time tactical battles
  • New detailed factions with their own mechanics
  • Customizable Demon Prince
  • Robust multiplayer

Red Dead Redemption 2

Release:2019-11-05
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Rockstar Games

Rockstar Games’ Old West epic presents one of the most incredibly detailed, immersive, stunning open worlds of its generation.

There are detailed, complex animations for most, if not all actions you can take; there’s a dynamic, immersive dialogue system; the massive map hides many secrets to discover, and prized animals to hunt for glory and trade. It’s easy to just wander off and got lost in this world.

The story is a prequel to the original RDR, and we get to play through the events which led to the fall of Van Der Linde’s gang. This time we’re in the boots of Arthur Morgan, rather than RDR1’s John Marston. We have a pleasant, but not distracting, degree of control over Arthur, including his behavior and appearance, and the kind of person we make him is going to influence what kind of ending he gets.

Key features
  • One of the most immersive and detailed open world games ever made
  • Arthur Morgan is a great protagonist
  • Massive map
  • Detailed animations and interactivity

Resident Evil Village

Release:2021-05-07
Genre:Horror
Developer:Capcom Development Division 1

Resident Evil Village is a sequel to RE7 both through its first-person gameplay and its story, once again putting you in the shoes of Ethan Winters, a man who can’t catch a break.

This time, after some time of peace, horror crawls back to his life: Ethan’s daughter gets kidnapped, wife gets killed, and Ethan himself wounds up in a creepy European village ruled by monstrous lords and ladies.

RE8 not only features many memorable locations based on different horror styles, but its plot also provides a new context to the overarching story of the series, including the backstory of the usual source of problems in the Resident Evil setting. If you can’t get enough of RE weirdness seen through the eyes of a person who really isn’t equipped to deal with any of it, Village is worth checking out.

Key features
  • The second chapter of Ethan Winter’s life story
  • Immersive horror
  • Looks awesome thanks to the RE Engine
  • Explores the history of a certain corporation

Ghost of Tsushima

Release:2024-05-16
Genre:Action-adventure
Developer:Sucker Punch Productions

Ghost of Tsushima is one of the best open world games of its generation with both style and substance to spare.

It’s story takes place during a real historical event: the Mongol invasion of Japan and follows Jin Sakai, a samurai who finds himself torn between rigid honor and fighting against invaders by any means necessary. After a few years as a PS exclusive, Ghost of Tsushima also received a PC port with a May 2024 release.

Ghost of Tsushima places you on a vast and beautiful map of the island of Tsushima and gives you both an open world worth exploring, and a dramatic storyline to follow. There’s an exciting combat system, with several unlockable stances, but you are also encouraged to use stealth and sabotage to terrify the invaders and thin out their ranks before entering open combat.

Key features
  • Diegetic navigation: follow the nature
  • Lots of unlockable cosmetic customization
  • Looks absolutely stunning
  • Engaging plot

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Release:2020-11-10
Genre:Action RPG
Developer:Ubisoft Montreal

With Ancient Greece and Ancient Egypt exhausted as a topic, the Assassin’s Creed series skipped Ancient Rome and plunged straight into early Middle Ages, specifically: the Viking era.

As a warrior called Eivor (Eivor can be male or female, or you can leave the decision to the game) you’ll raid and pillage English villages and found your own. Or you could go exploring.

The world of AC: Valhalla is beautiful, and more filled with activities than even Origins or Odyssey. Many of them are very thematic, such as flyting (Norse verbal battles), or working on cairns, a neat physics-based minigame. Valhalla is broad, deep, and thanks to a smaller commitment to historical accuracy than previous entries it can dig into Norse and old English myths in interesting ways.

Key features
  • The next step in Assassin’s Creed transition into fully becoming an action RPG series
  • Raid English settlements for glory and loot
  • Challenge others to verbal battles, participate in drinking contests, and build cairns
  • You can discover powerful artifacts, like Mjolnir or Excalibur, left by the Precursors

Jedi: Fallen Order

Release:2019-11-15
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Respawn Entertainment

Respawn’s Jedi: Fallen Order is a solid proof that there is still space and demand for story-based Star Wars games.

It is also a great game with great level design, cool combat system reminiscent of Souls-likes, and several vastly different planets presenting unique challenges. As Cal Kestis, a Padawan who managed to survive Order 66, you’ll regain your Force abilities, face your past, and fight the Empire.

The story is very well told, with memorable characters with messed up pasts, so Cal fits right in among them. There’s some customization, mostly through different ponchos and lightsaber colours Cal can equip and unlocking new Force powers over the course of the story can open new pathways on already explored maps. Many of them hide useful secrets, or at least open a shortcut.

Key features
  • Interesting story set between Episodes III and IV
  • Great combat
  • Satisfying exploration
  • Received a great sequel, Jedi Survivor

Control

Release:2019-08-27
Genre:Action
Developer:Remedy Entertainment

Remedy’s Control came suddenly and turned out to be an outstanding TPS/ Action-adventure game with some really cool ideas about its world and story.

You’re playing as Jesse Farden, a woman who, through circumstances you’ll discover yourself, ends up being a director of an agency collecting and cataloguing paranormal phenomena, in a manner similar to the SCP Foundation.

The game’s blend of superpowers, brutalist architecture, bizarre events, and more than a few horror elements makes Control a high-quality, highly engaging story on top of being a very good game. There are even ties to Remedy Entertainment’s previous work, Alan Wake. And on top of that, Control looks amazing, fully utilizing the modern tech to create eerie atmosphere and odd locations.

Key features
  • Inspired by the SCP Foundation
  • Interesting story
  • Great location design
  • Two solid expansions

Warhammer 40.000: Darktide

Release:2022-11-30
Genre:Action
Developer:Fatshark

You’re a convict, sent to serve out your sentence fighting mutated and violent cultists in the bowels of a megacity, on the orders of an inquisitor who could spell your death in an instant.

Welcome to Warhammer 40.000: Darktide, an intense team-based shooter set in one of the most famous futuristic settings in popculture.

If you are familiar with Vermintide, you already know the basics. If you don’t: Darktide is a first-person shooter (with strong melee element), which sends you and a team of up to three allies on a series of strategic missions. Killing all enemies is not the option, they are endless. If you hope to complete the mission, you must play the objective and, ideally, keep yourselves alive.

Key features
  • A phenomenal adaptation of the WH40k license
  • Unlike Vermintide: you can make your own characters with unique appearance
  • Four classes: Veteran, Zealot, Psyker, and a big lad — the Ogryn
  • Greater focus on shooting than in Vermintide

Doom (2016)

Release:2016-05-12
Genre:Action & Shooter
Developer:id Software

Before Doom (2016) came along nobody seemed to put faith in the old way of doing first-person shooters.

Intense, fast, focused almost entirely on running, shooting, and turning demons into blood splatter. This Doom is a kinetic joy, presented with great graphics, amazing heavy metal soundtrack, and one of the best shotguns in gaming. And, curiously, there’s even a pretty cool storyline. In DOOM!

The Doomslayer, a silent, but angry protagonist of the game begins the game chained to a stone slab while demons are ravaging the facility which recovered his sarcophagus. After that you occasionally listen to arrogant scientists, collect new weapons, and try to prevent hell’s armies from spilling into out reality. There are even fun collectibles and hidden levels from original Doom. It’s a full package.

Key features
  • Old-school shooter, modern presentation
  • Collectibles and secrets
  • Badass soundtrack
  • A great, even more intense sequel, Doom Eternal

Apex Legends

Release:2020-11-05
Genre:First-Person
Developer:Respawn Entertainment

Apex Legends launched out of nowhere, exploded momentarily, and even through the initial boom simmered down over time, it remains a thriving game steadily updated with new champions and balance tweaks.

There’s over a dozen different playable characters with unique abilities and playstyles, many influenced by the mechanics of Titanfall 2, with which it shares the developer and setting.

A typical match of AL involves twenty three-player teams trying to get good gear and survive long enough to be the last team standing. Unlike games like PUBG or Fortnite, Apex Legends is also a hero shooter, so figuring out how to utilize your abilities to the team’s benefit is a key part of the learning curve. Best of all, Apex legends is free to play at its core, so you can check it out at your leisure any time.

Key features
  • A character-based battle royale first-person shooter
  • Free-to-play with microtransactions
  • Steady updates
  • Team-based by default

Doom: Eternal

Release:2020-03-20
Genre:Action
Developer:id Software

Somehow Doom: Eternal managed to be even more metal than it’s immediate predecessor, 2016’s Doom, described earlier on.

Set some time after the Mars adventure concluded, Earth has fallen to the demons, which mean the Doomslayer has a lot of work to do in a target-rich environment. What more could you want from a first-person shooter in this series?

There are new weapons, such as the Crucible Blade or an armor-mounted flame thrower. There is expanded movement, useful when you’re looking for secrets hidden on the maps. There are new miniboss- and boss-level demons for you to kill, and oddly enough, we even get more information about Doomslayer’s background, mostly just hinted at in the previous game. This game is a lot.

Key features
  • Even more intense than Doom 2016
  • New toys to play with
  • Surprisingly many platforming sections
  • Many new enemies and brutal finishers

Baldur's Gate 3

Release:2020-10-06
Genre:RPG
Developer:Larian Studios

Larian Studios are no strangers to epic-scale RPGs and tactical combat, just look at their Divinity: Original Sin games, especially the second one.

Their skill made them the obvious chosen ones to make a new adventure revolving one of the most cities in D&D. Baldur’s Gate 3 has spent a few years in Early Access, but its momentous August 2023 put on the radar of not just cRPG fans, but gaming as a whole.

BG3 is based on the 5th edition of D&D, which works exceptionally well with the game’s turn-based combat, accommodating much of the original TTRPG’s complexity. The plot involves brain-eating mindflayers, a ticking clock in the form of a transformative parasite in your head, and a mysterious cult which threatens the stability of the region, all delivered with cinematic flair and great writing.

Key features
  • Tactical turn-based combat based on D&D 5e mechanics
    Lots of room for player freedom and roleplaying
    Guests from the previous two BG games
    Immersive, interactive environment

Monster Hunter: World

Release:2018-08-09
Genre:Action
Developer:CAPCOM

Monster Hunter World turned out to be massive hit, and for good reasons. Capcom’s action RPG features cool monsters, fourteen categories of oversized weapons, and several detailed, beautiful biomes.

When you’re not on a hunt, it’s fun to just get a ghillie mantle and just watch what small and big monsters do when they aren’t trying to eat you. It’s like walking among dinosaurs, in many ways.

Of course, the game is not a walk in the Jurassic Park, and getting used to its combat may take some time, because it’s more deliberate and sometimes less responsive than combat in, say, Devil May Cry. But it does feel great when a good hit with a hammer slams a monster’s head into the ground and stuns it for a while. Thanks to detailed believable animations, and complex preparations hunting feels amazing.

Key features
  • Monsters look great, and their animations are sometimes TOO believable
  • Hundreds of individual weapons and armor pieces to craft
  • Several tightly designed maps full of wildlife, natural traps, and interesting shortcuts
  • Massive expansion: Iceborne, with much deadlier monsters and environments

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Release:2015-05-18
Genre:RPG
Developer:CD PROJEKT RED

For many people The Witcher 3 is THE triple-A story-oriented action RPG.

CD Projekt Red’s game features vivid art direction supported by great graphics, vast, immersive maps, and a story which resonated with millions of players. It’s the last chapter in Geralt of Rivia’s journey to reclaiming his memory and his old life after a few years he’d spent being mostly kind of dead.

Even several years later the sunsets in Velen, or the raw beauty of the Kaer Morhen valley make a lasting impression. On a journey to find and help his adopted daughter, Ciri, Geralt gets tangled in the business of kings and mages once again, and he’ll deal with the fallout of his decisions. When you start your adventure with TW3 be ready to be glued to your PC/console for more than a hundred hours.

Key features
  • One of the most beloved triple-A games of the last decade
  • Gripping story with many twists and turns
  • Based on the bestselling novels of Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski
  • Two excellent expansions

Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey

Release:2018-10-05
Genre:Action
Developer:Ubisoft Québec

After the new formula to the Assassin’s Creed series got introduced in Origins, but before Valhalla went all-in, Odyssey kept exploring the action RPG direction.

It takes place between 431 and 422 BC, and the vision of Greece it offers is rich in detail, vibrant colors, and interesting people. It also has quite a few monsters, which are supposed to be the remnants of the meddlesome and mighty Precursors.

The game allows you to pick which sibling you’re going to play, Kassandra or Alexios, and much of the game deals with family problems which you witness in the first stages of the game. Once you’re let loose on the world, you’re free to explore, complete quests and side quests, and just take in the views, because the vision of ancient Greece in Odyssey is stunning and full of climbable monuments.

Key features
  • Assassin’s Creed journey to the ancient Greece
  • Despite identical dialogues, Kassandra and Alexios have distinct personalities
  • Solid expansions continuing certain elements of the story
  • Mixes history and myth thanks to Precursor meddling

Cyberpunk 2077

Release:2020-12-10
Genre:Action RPG
Developer:CD PROJEKT RED

2020’s most anticipated release Cyberpunk 2077 was a long time coming, announced tenuously back in 2013 with a spiffy trailer.

CDPR’s newest action RPG takes place in Night City, the default setting for Mike Pondsmith’s classic tabletop RPG Cyberpunk -/2020/Red. The game lets you play as V, a young hotshot mercenary hoping to make a name for themselves in the futuristic city.

V ends up with a chip containing a digital spirit of a long-dead celebrity, and it’s going to be a source of many problems. CDPR spared no expense in creating Night City as a place full of life, activity, and many conflicting groups fighting for influence. Look for jobs from corporation, make deals in gang hideouts, have some fun in a club, have a ride out of town, the Night City is yours to explore.

Key features
  • Customizable protagonist
  • Large, detailed city
  • Fantastic Phantom Liberty expansion
  • You get to pick your character’s origin story

SoulCalibur VI

Release:2018-10-19
Genre:Action
Developer:Project Soul

The SoulCalibur series has a long history, and occasionally convoluted story involving a demon sword, its purified counterpart, and people who get to wield them.

SoulCalibur VI reboots the series’ story but keeps the essence: duels of melee weapons users of extraordinary skill. There’s also Geralt of Rivia, who fits in very well with the likes of Zasalamel or Mitsurugi, even with his magic Signs.

SC6’s presentation is top notch, and the animation system manages to work really well with the abominations you can made using the game’s extremely flexible fighter creation tools. If good old fisticuffs aren’t a flavor of fighting games you enjoy and you’d rather slice and dice an international cast with anything from swords to sharp hula hoops SoulCalibur VI is your best bet.

Key features
  • Very powerful character creation
  • Subtly reboots the franchise
  • Geralt of Rivia makes an appearance
  • Excellent combat mechanics

Mortal Kombat 11

Release:2019-04-23
Genre:Action
Developer:NetherRealm Studios

Mortal Kombat 11 introduced excessive time travel to the MK reboot’s storyline, and it resulted in a really fun, really cheesy game which allows you to have old Johnny Cage beat up your Johnny Cage.

Win-win scenario! Jokes aside, NetherRealm clearly knows how to make a great fighting game, and MK11 is a result of polishing the gameplay over almost three decades of experience with the franchise.

The Fatalities, Brutalities, and all other kinds of special attacks are meticulously animated, and benefit from MK11 detailed, if stylized, graphics. There’s even a healthy dose of customization. There are some pre-made loadouts, but you can also prepare your own, choosing the appearance and moveset for any fighter you want to play as. MK11 is absolutely worth checking out.

Key features
  • The storyline allows some degree of choice
  • Many different kinds of special attacks, including the returning Friendships
  • Time travelling storyline allows for interesting interactions
  • Fighter customization

Horizon Zero Dawn/Forbidden West

Release:2020 / 2022
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Guerrilla Games

Much has been said about the magnificence of Guerilla Games’ Horizon Zero Dawn, a fascinating action game set on post-apocalyptic Earth. The game received a big expansion,

The Frozen Wilds, and a 2022 sequel Forbidden West, so there’s plenty to enjoy. The games follow Aloy, a young hunter making a living among tribes coexisting alongside animalistic robots dominating the world

No matter which instalment you’re playing, you’re in for a stunning, vibrant world with a very interesting backstory. The first game covers the origin of Aloy, and her struggle to stop a corrupting influence which causes robots to become more aggressive. In the second game, she’s travelling to a distant land, seeking a cure for a weird plague troubling her people

Key features
  • Two excellent open world action games in a fascinating setting
  • Cool robotic monsters you must learn how to hunt
  • An amazing game and a fantastic sequel
  • Outstanding graphics

There are many more AAA games, across many genres. This article only presents a few of the coolest ones from recent years, but there are many more to find, often holding up quite well against the ravages of time.