Arcade, fighting, survival, fast pace – action. Whenever you are in need of some extra dose of adrenaline, action games are the answer. These will test your reflexes and won’t give you much time to rest, so you better prepare in advance before you find yourself in the middle of hell.
The whole gaming world holds its breath until Cyberpunk 2077 will finally be released, but until then, there are still some fun action games released recently, that should definitely make the waiting easier.
Check out some of the best action games you can play right now. The list focuses on the most recent games released in 2019 and 2020.
Best Action Games to Play in 2020
The first title on the list is a solid way to relive the past. Classic shooter marks its return and is more addictive than ever, so grab the iconic BFG 9000 and face demonic powers as you battle for life and death in this action-packed nostalgic production.
Doom is considered one of the most influential video games ever made – it shaped entire generations of shooters and had a heavy impact on the gaming industry in general. Thankfully for players, the series is still going strong, and with its 2020 release, it offers even more dynamic action, this time accompanied by the introduction of new fluid movement mechanics and modern top-notch graphics. There are also some similarities to the original, mainly in terms of available weapons, so it will feel like home to the veterans.
Call of Duty: Warzone
|Genre:||Battle royale, first-person shooter|
|Developer||Infinity Ward, Raven Software|
Although battle royale games are with us for quite some time and it would only be reasonable to think that their popularity should start to decline soon, it’s not exactly the case. In fact, CoD: Warzone proves it’s exactly the opposite.
Warzone is a battle royale game, but it does some things differently. One of the most interesting features introduced by the game is its gulag system. When you are defeated, instead of getting the usual game over screen with detailed statistics, you are given a second chance. Once per match you will be able to enter the gulag with another defeated character, where you will need to defeat him in a 1 vs. 1 duel – the winner gets respawned into the game once more. It’s worth noting that the game is free to play, so there is nothing stopping you from playing – go ahead and give it a try.
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout
|Genre:||Battle royale, platformer|
If traditional battle royale is not entertaining enough for you, then maybe a fresher approach to the genre will prove to be more appealing for your taste. Throw away your weapon and forget scavenging for resources, as Fall Guys focuses entirely on simple mini-games for up to 60 players.
The game is cute, adorable, and even silly to a certain degree – it has colorful and bright graphics but it doesn’t mean that the competition isn’t real. As in other battle royales, there’s no place for two winners so you better focus and don’t make stupid mistakes while moving your jellybean-like character. Fall Guys lets dozens of players compete in a series of short mini-games that will test their wits and reflexes. At the end of each round a few of those who weren’t fast or clever enough to complete the level are eliminated and the routine goes on until only one character remains – sounds simple, but it’s insanely addictive.
From the creators of League of Legends, please welcome Valorant on the list – a team-based shooter with several playable characters, each having access to his own unique set of abilities that can be utilized to gain upper hand during battle.
If you played either CS: GO or Overwatch, you will quickly realize some similarities, allowing you to jump on a more competitive level right away. In Valorant two teams of players meet on closed arenas – one team is tasked with placing and detonating the bomb in a designated area, while the other team has to secure the place. While most of the time you will be using your traditional gun to deal with the opponents, each playable agent has also access to some useful stuff, such as calling in an orbital strike or resurrecting a fallen comrade.
We already mentioned Doom, but there’s one more doom-like game that is definitely worth a mention, especially considering the fact that it originally started as a Doom mod. Although the Amid Evil project from 1997 was left unfinished and eventually abandoned, the idea was not.
Amid Evil is like a perfect marriage of a classic game, that borrows heavily from titles such as Quake or Unreal, with a modern environment. Fast-paced action for which retro first-person shooters were known for, comes back and allows players to relive the history of gaming in a much more accessible fashion, suitable not only for veterans of hardcore games but also for slightly less experienced newcomers. Expect to fight hordes of enemies scattered across well-designed levels while picking up valuable power-ups that should keep you alive for a little longer, possibly allowing you to pass some seemingly unbeatable sections.
If you prefer AAA games with a deep and engaging story, we’ve also got you covered – prepare for a journey of your life in one of the most recent and genre-defining Hideo Kojima’s creations.
Death Stranding tells the story of a porter tasked with delivering cargo to isolated cities and connecting them to what’s known as the Chiral Network. Sounds simple, but as you might’ve thought, there is more to it than meets the eye – there is no one to hold your hand, so you will be the one responsible for planning how much cargo you throw on your back, and which route you take to get to the destination as fast as possible without damaging the package. Easy to learn gameplay in conjunction with phenomenal graphics, amazing voice acting, and famous cast results in a truly unique experience you wouldn’t want to miss.
Streets of Rage 4
|Genre:||Beat ‘em up|
|Developer||Dotemu, Lizardcube, Guard Crush Games|
Beat ‘em up games were wildly popular a few decades ago, especially when arcade game machines dominated the gaming industry, as consoles and computers weren’t commonly found at people’s homes at that time. Since then the genre went rather quiet but sometimes a gem like this one appears.
Streets of Rage 4 is a classic formula brought back to life to entertain us once more. The fourth title in the seemingly forgotten Streets of Rage franchise returns with style, picking up the story where it was left off and looking better than ever with pixel art being completely redesigned and replaced by high-quality comic-like graphics. Gameplay-wise you can expect a lot of dynamic melee fighting with the use of occasional weapons and disposable items in a 2D side-scrolling environment, and believe us, it feels just as good as it was over 20 years ago.
Risk of Rain 2
|Genre:||Roguelike, third-person shooter|
Speaking of returning games, one can’t forget about Risk of Rain 2 – a sequel to the acclaimed rogue-like production focused on surviving never-ending hordes of enemies in a hostile environment.
Sometimes resorting to already proven gameplay mechanics works best, but a bit of innovation is always welcomed to fight boredom and repetitiveness. The biggest change that can also be instantly spotted is the game’s transition from 2D to 3D. It was a risky move that doesn’t always work out well, but Risk of Rain 2 is an example of how to do it properly and without making sacrifices on the gameplay side. Use a variety of skills and explore vast worlds but beware of monsters that will try to end your journey untimely.
Resident Evil 2
We’ve seen a lot of remakes released in the recent years, so why not put one on the list, especially considering the fact that it’s incredibly fun and brings a lot of quality of life improvements to make the experience even more awesome than it originally was.
Resident Evil 2 is a remake of a 1998 game – it’s not simply an overhaul, it’s a completely new game that is much better suited and accessible for a modern generation of players. Story-wise it’s more or less the same with some minor changes and the same goes for the characters we will meet during play. What changed the most is graphics and gameplay. It’s no longer a static camera and no clumsy movement system – now it’s a full-fledged third-person shooter that makes things not only a lot more convenient but also significantly more immersive.
|Genre:||Third-person shooter, action-adventure|
Control is quite unique on several levels, but most importantly it’s a great action game, and its appearance on the list is completely justified. If you like games with paranormal elements, this one is a must-play.
Control revolves around mysterious Objects of Power – items connected directly to the Astral Plane and able to alter the reality. The game takes place in a skyscraper that serves as headquarters for the Federal Bureau of Control, an organization tasked with investigating said objects as well as Altered World Events. The building itself is an Object of Power and it constantly shifts, which is an interesting idea and makes it so players can’t ever feel entirely safe and can’t be certain there’s no danger nearby.
While some players already lost hope that Half-Life 3 will be ever created, we’ve got a pleasant surprise in 2020 that makes the future of this legendary franchise slightly brighter. Unfortunately for some, it requires a VR set to play.
Half-Life: Alyx is not just a game, it’s an experience. When it comes to game development, Valve’s top priority is to make meaningful gameplay changes, hopefully shaping and impacting the genre or even the entire industry. With HL: Alyx the company did an impressive job and created a game that utilizes virtual reality sets to their fullest potential. Play as Alyx Vance and participate in events that occurred before the return of Gordon Freeman in Half-Life 2 – fight the Combine forces that finally managed to conquer the Earth and explore a hostile environment in order to find the answers.
If you loved Dark Souls, you might want to know that there was another souls-like game released quite recently. Mortal Shell tries to add its own flavor to the genre and makes some things work differently to give you a fresh and unforgettable experience.
Calling Mortal Shell just a copy of Dark Souls wouldn’t be fair – although Dark Souls influence is clearly visible and some similarities are present, the game does a fairly good job at creating its own dark atmosphere and introduces new gameplay mechanics that will keep you engaged as you try to discover and learn them all. The production focuses on the titular shells – bodies of fallen heroes you can occupy and use for your own purposes. Shells act like character classes. Each shell is different and has its own abilities, giving you the possibility to choose the one that fits your playstyle best.
Remnant: From the Ashes
|Genre:||Action role-playing, third-person shooter|
Speaking of souls-like games, there’s one more that was released recently and also deserves to be put on the list of the best action games of 2019 and 2020.
Remnant: From the Ashes heavily borrows ideas from the Dark Souls series, but it doesn’t have a problem with adding its own spirit to the final product, making the game considerably different than what it was originally inspired by. The most notable difference is the setting – thanks to taking place in much more modern times, you will be able to use not only classic melee weapons to fight, but also some traditional and some imagined pistols, shotguns, and rifles as well, which adds shooter elements to the well-established and recognizable kind of gameplay.
|Genre:||First-person shooter, survival horror|
There’s more action to be had in the post-apocalyptic world. If you’re up to the challenge, try Metro Exodus that gives players a lot more freedom when compared to previous games from the series.
Taking place one year after Metro: Last Light, the game follows the ongoing story of Artyom and allows players to once again enter the fictional universe where the Earth is devastated by the nuclear war. Story-driven experience mixed with addictive gameplay results in a production that will easily steal dozens of hours of your free time as you explore the wastelands of the former Russian Federation, where it’s not uncommon to meet mutated hostile creatures that will try to hunt you down. Having access to simple crafting and weapon customization should give you an upper hand, however, so feel free to utilize these and many more mechanics to your favor.
For the final entry on the list, take a look at the game from a more fantasy side of the action spectrum. Enter the magic world and start an epic adventure.
Outward starts with you having to pay the debt called Blood Price, and having very little time to do so. Soon enough, however, you will get involved in a bigger matter that will require you to join one of the three factions to progress the story further. The title introduces several familiar mechanics and adds some new ones to spice up the experience. There is an open world waiting to be explored, lots of dangerous creatures, and survival elements, such as hunger, warmth, and fatigue, but most importantly, there is a unique ritualistic magic system that allows players to combine different spells to achieve different results.
Best Action Games in 2020
Action games emphasize physical challenges and can take different shapes and forms, from fighting games and beat ‘em ups, to shooters, role-playing games, and platformers, among many others. The primary goal of an action game is to deliver a dynamic experience that keeps players busy and engaged at any given time, leaving little to no room to take a breath and rest. In addition, one of the genre-defining characteristics is focus on utilizing the player’s reflexes, hand-eye coordination, and personal skills to overcome obstacles and difficulties during play.
In action games, more often than not, we will control only one character or other controllable entity at a time. There is also usually some kind of health system in place – the controlled avatar will lose life points when hit by an enemy or by certain environmental objects, forcing players to think twice and prepare before engaging with more dangerous and potentially deadly content.
Action-packed games are quite popular and new cool titles appear regularly every year. For this reason, we have compiled a list of the best and most popular action games that focuses exclusively on the most recent games released in 2019 and 2020, so you will know what action games are worth trying and what titles you would have possibly missed otherwise.