Grinding games are very specific and you can either love them or hate them – it’s hard to remain neutral. It’s true, however, that it’s often a matter of implementation.

Some loot systems may seem appealing even to those, who usually prefer to keep a safe distance from titles with similar mechanics, while in other games looting can be so horribly done, that even the biggest grinding fans couldn’t force themselves to like it. Today we’ll take a look at certain games having possibly the best loot systems out there.

Best Grinding Games with Awesome Loot

Considering there are worse and better grinding games available on the market, we decided to pick the ones that seem the most fun and where looting is actually an added value – and here’s the list of such games, in no particular order.

Path of Exile

Release year:2013
Genre:Hack and Slash
Developer:Grinding Gear Games

What could be a better game to open such a list than a game considered by some the killer of the legendary Diablo. Even its developers are adequately called Grinding Gear Games.

Path of Exile - gameplay

Path of Exile is a free-to-play H&S online game where you will travel the land of the damned, Wraeclast, as one of many who got exiled for minor and major sins. Here one of the most innovative things in terms of looting is the orbs that serve the purpose of both currency and enchantment items.

For example, chaos orbs can be used to reroll rare items’ modifiers, while alternation orbs can be used to add a new modifier to a magic item. This makes the currency actually valuable as people need them to improve their gear and each orb is consumed and removed from the game after use, preventing the market flood. But there is so much more to loot – skill gems, cards, essences, maps, map fragments, splinters…

Key features
  • In-game currency that can be used to directly improve equipment
  • Enormous skill tree that could be better described as a skill forest
  • Incomparable number of possible randomizations on found items

Diablo II

Release year:2000
Genre:Hack and Slash
Developer:Blizzard North

If we already mentioned Diablo, then let’s add this legendary franchise to the list. From all games of the series, Diablo II, especially with its expansion pack Lord of Destruction, earned probably the most praise, thus making its way here.

The game features a quite complicated loot system – items can come in different rarities and can have random attributes. They can lose durability over time, forcing you to repair them. Equipment items can belong to a set and if you somehow manage to find or trade for the entire set, you will be able to get an additional completion bonus while wearing it. It’s worth noting the presence of runes that can be used to further enchant the equipment, and some of the runes are available only on the hardest difficulty level.

Key features
  • 5 entirely different playable character classes
  • Randomly generated dungeons full of valuable treasures and dangerous enemies
  • Tons of powerful randomized items that can be further enhanced with runes

Borderlands 2

Release year:2012
Genre:Action RPG/FPS
Developer:Gearbox Software

The entire Borderlands franchise is definitely worth trying out if you didn’t already, but we had to choose just one game from the series and it’s Borderlands 2. This game perfectly shows what a game would look like if you took a hack and slash and turned it into an FPS.

Borderlands 2 - shooting

Huge world, tons of achievements to earn, a multitude of side quests, increasingly-difficult monsters and bosses, epic and humorous narrative, and of course – the randomized looting. Looted items in Borderlands 2 are mainly weapons. They can come in different rarities including legendaries and may have various effects, depending on the manufacturer. For example, Vladof weapons have a high fire rate while Jakobs offer unparalleled damage.

Key features
  • Tons of crazy types of weapons to try
  • A huge explorable world full of dangerous enemies and exciting sidequests
  • A crazy dose of humor and numerous references to the pop culture

Torchlight II

Release year:2012
Genre:Hack and Slash
Developer:Runic Games

It shouldn’t be surprising that yet another game on the list is a good old hack and slash. After all, grinding proved to work best in these kinds of games. Torchlight II improved on virtually every aspect of its predecessor, and the looting system wasn’t left untouched.

Torchlight II - gameplay

As you kill your enemies you will find a variety of usable equipment and consumable items split into different rarities including the Legendary. Legendaries are one-of-a-kind items and have their own unique names and pre-defined statistics, making them not only powerful things to use in combat but also a valuable addition to any item collection. Once you finish the game you can start an NG+ playthrough for even more loot.

Key features
  • 4 unique playable classes to choose from, each with 3 separate skill trees
  • Dozens of powerful legendary items to find
  • An unlimited number of playthroughs with the New Game Plus

Destiny 2

Release year:2017
Genre:FPS
Developer:Bungie

Now let’s forget about H&S for a moment to make the list more interesting. It’s hard to choose between Destiny or Destiny 2, but for the sake of simplicity let’s take the second one as it is more recent.

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep - gameplay

The game apparently strikes a perfect balance between raiding, fast-paced gunplay, and grinding for loot and is best described as an FPS with MMO elements. Destiny 2 allows you to participate in various PvE and PvP activities that will reward you with some sweet items you can use to become more powerful and progress further. Though time-consuming, completing an entire item set is a satisfying experience.

Key features
  • An exciting campaign that can be played alone or in cooperation with friends
  • 3 unique playable classes and several sub-classes with their own upgrades, perks, and special abilities
  • Addictive PvP allowing teams of 6 players to fight other teams

Monster Hunter: World

Release year:2018
Genre:Action RPG
Developer:Capcom

If you’re up to a challenge and always had a dream of becoming a professional monster hunter hunting the most dangerous creatures then you should definitely try Monster Hunter: World.

Monster Hunter: World - water fighting

The gameplay revolves around hunting monsters alone or in groups of up to 4 players online in order to obtain monsters’ materials. These can be used to craft more powerful gear, allowing you to hunt more powerful monsters – a standard looting cycle. An interesting gameplay mechanic allows you to decrease the amount of grind by playing smartly and knowing your business. For example, cutting the tail of the creature gives you a higher chance of actually getting the tail.

Key features
  • Dozens of dangerous beasts you can hunt alone or in groups of up to 4 players
  • Possibility to carve creatures in order to obtain certain materials
  • Use gathered materials to craft more powerful equipment to hunt stronger monsters

Nioh

Release year:2017
Genre:Action RPG
Developer:Team Ninja

This game is a true gem and a must-play for anyone interested in Japanese history as it is set in the fictionalized version of Japan during the Sengoku period. You will play an Irish samurai, William, tasked with pursuing the dangerous sorcerer.

Nioh - fighting

As you play you will find tons of usable items, from equipment to consumables you can use to temporarily boost your strength. Equippable items you find during playing have various different statistics, allowing your hero to grow stronger as he progresses the story. For example, armors have different defense ratings and will offer different protection against certain types of damage. There are also various types of weapons, allowing you to use the one that fits your playstyle best.

Key features
  • Dark fantasy setting that allows you to experience a fictionalized version of medieval Japan
  • An incredible amount of loot to collect, including various types of weapons and armors
  • Possibility to continue the adventure in NG+

Darksiders 2

Release year:2012
Genre:Action RPG
Developer:Vigil Games

In Darksiders 2 you will play the role of Death, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. As you play you will be able to learn powerful attacks, gain experience levels and invest points into a skill tree.

Darksiders 2 - fighting

You will be also able to travel through open areas on your horse, Despair. But it’s not enough to face the biggest challenges and even Death will need powerful items in order to defeat demanding opponents – thankfully enemies drop tons of useful pieces of equipment you can use to make your character stronger.

Key features
  • The epic universe, where you will be playing one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
  • Powerful combo skills and character progression system
  • Tons of items to collect from slain enemies and from treasure chests scattered around

Warframe

Release year:2013
Genre:Action RPG/FPS
Developer:Digital Extremes

Warframe is meant to be played online and it lets you play as a member of the ancient race Tenno, awoken from centuries of cryosleep. The gameplay focuses on fast-paced encounters using advanced weapons and utilizing melee attacks.

Warframe: Starter Pack

Completing missions rewards you generously with powerful loot you can wear to make your warrior more efficient on the battlefield. It’s important to note that although the game comes with some microtransactions, you can earn sold items by simply grinding the game’s content. Warframe is free-to-play, so nothing stops you from giving it a try right now.

Key features
  • Fast-paced dynamic first-person shooting and melee combat
  • Futuristic setting with advanced robotics, laser technology, bio-mechanical suits, and more
  • Both procedurally-generated levels and a large open world

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing

Release year:2013
Genre:Hack and Slash
Developer:NeocoreGames

For the final position on the list let’s get back to the isometric H&S genre in the form of The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing. Here you will be able to explore the gothic-noir 19th-century Easter Europe as a son of the legendary vampire hunter, Abraham Van Helsing.

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: Final Cut

During your journey you will be aided by the ghost of a noble Lady Katarina who will provide you with additional inventory space, can pick up the loot dropped by enemies, can wear equipment, has her own skill trees she can develop, and can even help you in a fight, making her probably the most advanced NPC companion found in this kind of game.

Key features
  • Dark gothic-noir setting based on the Dracula novel
  • Tons of different types of enemies full of valuable loot for you to collect
  • Lady Katarina will aid you in battle as your trusted companion

Summary

Grinding in games has nothing to do with grinding wheat to make flour. Instead, it refers to repeating a certain sequence in the game, such as killing a particular type of enemy over and over again, usually in order to find an item, obtain in-game currency, or gain experience. It’s also sometimes called farming and this name may suit that action better, as content farming can be as tedious as real farming, requiring hundreds of hours of work.

When talking about grinding in a sense of item farming it’s hard not to mention RNG or random number generators. Games with item farming often use RNG to decide if the killed enemy should drop an item and – if looting is completely randomized, which is not always the case – what item it should be. There is no guarantee that the enemy will drop an item, and even if it drops, there is no guarantee that it will be the item we actually want, forcing us to kill that enemy, again and again, praying to RNG gods to have mercy upon us and bless us with whatever we need.

Rise of Looting

Believe it or not, but randomly generated loot is a thing since a rise of the popular board game called Dungeons & Dragons in the ‘70s and it was later popularized by the PC Diablo series, especially Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. For a really long time, random looting remained exclusive to the role-playing genre and was rarely found elsewhere. Being able to randomly find a piece of useful armor or a new weapon with better damage stats was adding that little bit of surprise and uncertainty – one of the important fun factors in games, allowing the title to be replayed without feeling that everything is exactly the same as it was in the previous playthrough. It was adding the replayability and excitement to the games and allowed worse players to compete with more skilled ones.

Over the years developers started to experiment, so they mixed various genres to create new games that combined elements from different ones. They took looting from RPGs and put that into other types of games. It worked especially well in action games, such as shooters, giving life to the new looter-shooter genre.

Implementing grinding in games may have different purposes, but the most obvious one is increasing the title’s longevity. Gating new content behind the need to spend hours upon hours will surely keep players busy for months to come. Or will it? If the system is poorly implemented and players don’t feel rewarded for the grind, they’d rather get frustrated and quit playing. Imagine if you had to kill twenty million monsters just to be able to find a certain quest item and progress the story – doesn’t sound like much fun, right?

Grinding and loot farming, if implemented well, can be a fun feature that adds that little bit of excitement when the needed piece of equipment finally drops. If done properly it rewards the time players had to spend on repeating the content. The feeling you get after finally completing a collection or after finding a super rare item can be incredibly satisfying. The key is to provide players with interesting gameplay that won’t make them feel like their hard work is pointless.

When speaking of grinding and looting, the aforementioned titles should give you a great gaming experience, but there are also other amazing games you could try. Terraria, World of Warcraft, Guild Wars 2, Minecraft, Grim Dawn, just to name a few possible choices.

Whatever game you pick – have a great time farming the rarest items and good luck.