The 16 Best Hack and Slash Games on Steam

Image credit: Capcom

There are games we love because they have good stories. There are games we love because we can play with our friends. There are games we love because they force us to think creatively.

Although all those types of video games are just fine, there are gamers who just want some mindless fun. Some of us appreciate an easier-to-learn set of rules from time to time. There are even those who enjoy simple concepts and test them in the hardest possible difficulty modes.

Whatever your reason, there is probably one Hack and Slash game that you like. Whether you are taking a break from an overcomplicated J-RPG or you want to test your demon hunting skills to their limits, here are the 16 best Hack and Slash games on Steam.

Devil May Cry 5

Devil May Cry 5 is the ultimate triple-A Hack and Slash. It has some of the best 3D graphics that the RE engine can provide. It also has many memorable characters from one of Capcom’s most beloved franchises.

The thing that I love about the Devil May Cry franchise is how self-aware it is. There is a dramatic story going on. The plot has a rivalry, betrayal, and unresolved family issues. It is pretty well written, and I love it. However, it is also a game that doesn’t take it too seriously.

There are many clichés like Dante’s childish behavior, Vergil’s over-the-top edginess, and Nero’s constant anger. The characters make jokes while the world is at risk, make fools out of powerful demons, and Dante even has dance scenes in most Devil May Cry games.

This is a game that is meant to be mechanically fun, and it is. In fact, the mechanics are the most fantastic thing about it, but there is a story if you care. I do. After all, Devil May Cry is filled with charismatic characters that are now part of pop culture.

Darksiders

I didn’t know what to expect from Darksiders when I first played it, but I was pleasantly surprised. I saw a badass Nephilim slashing demons and angels and became instantly interested in War’s design and motives. Although I already felt like playing the game, Liam O’Brien’s voice coming out of War’s mouth sealed the deal for me.

Darksiders is a great game that could have gone wrong. I say that because it uses many elements from other games. It has a hub area, exploration, stylish combat, and Zelda-like puzzles. You even advance in the game by unlocking skills that let you traverse certain areas like a Metroidvania game.

Although there are many different elements, none of them make the game less of what it is. In fact, they are good distractions that make you not to feel overwhelmed by the many battles you will face. You might have to deal with puzzles and exploration, but the game is basically a Hack and Slash game.

When controlling War during fights, this game might feel familiar and different. This game is a perfect mix of Devil May Cry and old God of War games. The first Darksiders has the best horseman and the best voice actor in the franchise, so I highly recommend it.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Released in 2013, Revengeance is an excellent hack-and-slash game with a full story campaign that’s around 8 hours long. It’s made by Platinum Games, known for over-the-top action titles, and is easily one of their best releases to date.

The game has you play as Raiden, who was featured heavily in Metal Gear Solid 2 but never got his own starring role until now. Raiden is a badass cyborg with a katana sword who can cut through enemies with ease. You can also use your sword to deflect bullets back at enemies or cut them into hundreds of pieces.

There are a few boss fights in Revengeance, and they’re all very fun. Each requires different strategies and quick reflexes if you want to win. They add some variety to what would otherwise be an easy game where you can just button-mash your way through every fight. You can try the most challenging difficulty modes if you like a challenge. That way, button mashing is not an option.

Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection

If you’re looking for a package with two great hack-and-slash games and Ninja Gaiden 3, I highly recommend Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection.

It’s true that the third game is not very good, but Ninja Gaiden Sigma and Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 are more than enough reasons for you to get this collection. These are updated versions of the original 3D games that feature Ryu Hayabusa, adding levels with other characters, new weapons, and more.

Each entry plays a little differently and has different themes, but the main appeal of the series is the combat. Although this is a hack and slash franchise, Ninja Gaiden games are far from being button-mashing games. The technical aspect is present in each game, and they are all very challenging. This is not an easy game, and if you’re going to beat it, you’ll need some patience.

Ryu Hayabusa is one of gaming’s most iconic ninja characters, and he’s just plain fun to play. In Ninja Gaiden, you get to be a badass ninja, but you have to earn it. If you appreciate that kind of challenge and if being an overpowered ninja is your kind of power fantasy, this game is for you.

Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition

Devil May Cry 4 is one of my favorite games in this franchise. They introduced a hot-headed new character named Nero, whom I wasn’t a fan of at first. However, Nero grew on me over time and became a character I was looking forward to seeing in Devil May Cry 5.

The introduction of Nero was clever. Capcom didn’t remove Dante from the franchise and used a new character to introduce new gameplay elements. That way, it managed to please fans and pave the way for the new protagonist of the series.

Nero fights similarly to Dante, but he doesn’t have many fight styles. He has his fun and sword, but he also has unique ways of dealing with his enemies. His demonic arm, the Devil Bringer, can grab and pull enemies from afar. His sword, the Red Queen, can be revved to deal more damage, perform cooler moves, and leave fire trails.

It’s safe to say that the introduction of Nero was a good thing, especially considering that you do get to control Dante later on. Besides, the Special Edition also lets you play as Lady, Trish, and Vergil. This is a game with a lot of replayability and still is one of the best Hack and Slash games ever made.

Darksiders III

Darksiders III is an adventure-action game that’s heavy on fluid combat mechanics. You play as one of four horsemen — Fury — armed with her hot temper and special whip.

The action takes place in an open world with slightly linear gameplay that has been influenced by action RPGs such as the Dark Souls series. As you fight through dungeons, ruins, and demonic domains, you also get to collect items and points that allow you to make Fury much stronger.

Although this is, at its core, a hack and slash game, it is quite different from the previous two games of the franchise. While the first game was clearly an action-adventure, the second one was heavily invested in levels and other RPG elements.

Darksiders III provides ways to make Fury more powerful. Still, you never get to be so strong that enemies become trivial, bringing players a more grounded and careful way of facing the dangers of the world in this game.

I truly appreciate the way that Darksiders manages to stay true to the franchise while always bringing new things to it. This is a great game that will likely please fans of the franchise and newcomers who enjoy the genre.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

Star Wars The Force Unleashed is a third-person action game that puts players in control of Darth Vader’s Secret Apprentice. He wields a lightsaber and uses various Force powers to obliterate enemies.

You’ll come across multiple Star Wars favorites as you seek to defeat famous Jedi and known characters of the franchise. This is one of my favorite hack and slash games because it has really cool fights, and it happens in the universe of Star Wars.

The story is decent, and the gameplay is very entertaining. Hack and Slash games with good mechanics are already fun, so doing that with a lightsaber is a great bonus. After all, who hasn’t ever imagined themselves holding one of those?

I’m sure we’ve all had dreams where we’re fighting off hordes of Stormtroopers or battling Sith lords or Jedi knights. Star Wars: Force Unleashed proves that Science Fantasy and Hack and Slash are a great combination, which is why this is also one of the best space games on Steam.

Castlevania: Lord of Shadow

This game is odd, but I’m glad it exists. Castlevania: Lord of Shadows is an alternative take on the Castlevania franchise. You play as a whip-wielding warrior who is fighting dark creatures. That warrior is called Gabriel.

He is sent by the Brotherhood of Light to the Lake of Oblivion. There, his deceased wife, Marie, tells him that spirits said that the Lords of Shadow’s power will save the world. His objective is to defeat a malevolent order known as the Lords of Shadow and resurrect his wife.

The game is heavily influenced by the first three God of War games, but you can also see elements of Shadow of the Colossus and other games. It has fantastic graphics for its time and good gameplay mechanics.

Castlevania: Lord of Shadow doesn’t follow the franchise’s original continuity. If that doesn’t bother you, chances are you will find this game’s story quite decent. This is a pretty good game. It isn’t very innovative, but it is polished and fun.

Darksiders II Deathinitive Edition

This is the game in which you control Death, the most powerful horseman. Although it’s similar to its precursor, Darksiders II also brings some interesting new elements to the hack-and-slash genre. There’s a heavy emphasis on RPG elements. Also, some enemy encounters might require you to take advantage of specific combat mechanics in order to survive.

The game is broken up into many dungeons and sections with puzzles or objectives you have to accomplish before moving on to the next area. There are also many sidequests, which include fetch quests and rewards for those who spend time exploring the world.

Darksiders II feels like Prince of Persia meets Darksiders but with RPG elements. You get to level up Death and equip it to make him fit your playstyle. Some items might make him more resistant; others might increase your damage.

There are also different weapons that might be radically different from one another and carry special effects. To those who enjoy Death and RPG elements in their Hack and Slash games, this might be a better game than the first one.

The Deathinitive Edition comes with 1080p native resolution, new balancing, and reworked loot distribution. Some levels were reworked, and the overall visual quality is very noticeable. It also includes all DLCs. It still is the same game. However, it was considerably improved.

Devil May Cry HD Collection

Combining Devil May Cry 1, 2, and 3 into one package, Devil May Cry HD Collection is full of fast-paced hack and slash action. The first three Devil May Cry games show signs of their age already. They are not equally good.

The first one is a bit stiff but fun nonetheless. The second one is not very good, and I will not attempt to defend it. However, Devil May Cry 3 is the game that heavily influenced how the series would be from the moment it was launched.

Although many ideas ended up being improved, the core gameplay of the following Devil May Cry games is reminiscent of the third one. Devil May Cry HD collection is worth buying for the first and third game; the second is just a bonus.

You also get to see how Dante’s personality changed since he was a kid and how seriously he became after he lost his brother. The cheesiness is still there, though, since the first game. Later, it would become a staple of the series.

DMC: Devil May Cry

DMC: Devil May Cry was Capcom’s attempt to reboot the series and appeal more to a western audience. Little did they know that the west loved their old version of Dante.

Although the reboot was not well received, DMC: Devil May Cry is an excellent hack-and-slash game. It has good jokes and a decent enough story, but it also has well-designed enemies and good battle mechanics. The gameplay is solid, the combat is fun, and the game feels very polished.

DMC: Devil May Cry has enough content to keep you busy for hours upon hours. Truth is, this is an excellent hack-and-slash game. The only reason it wasn’t well accepted was the fact it was a bad reboot.

Thankfully, Capcom seems to have given up on this version of Devil May Cry. This might make it easier for fans of Dante to play this version as it doesn’t threaten the original anymore. If you can look past the weird take on Dante and Vergil, you will find a great hack and slash game that is fun to play.

Onimusha: Warlords

Onimusha was Capcom’s idea to bring the Resident Evil gameplay to feudal Japan. In this game, players onceSamanosuke Akechi, a samurai who must defend Japan from demonic creatures.

Unlike the resident evil series, the game focuses more on combat than exploration. Although it might not be for everyone, it certainly is for the people checking this list. Fans of old-school style hack-and-slash games will most likely enjoy it.

It’s a short game but challenging and fun while it lasts. It also shows a moment in gaming when the overall approach to the genre was changing. Onimusha: Warlords is a new version of the original game. It has improved graphics and controls.

If you couldn’t get into the series due to movement controls, this version will surely make you see Onimusha differently. Definitely worth playing, especially if you enjoy the mythical take on feudal Japan or just want something different for a change.

Bayonetta

This hack-and-slash classic from PlatinumGames set new standards for combat mechanics. Bayonetta was, in a way, PlatinumGames’ version of a Devil May Cry like game.

The gameplay is very similar, and it shows, but the developers also added many new mechanics and elements. Besides, there are weird choices that seem intentional, like how Bayonetta fights angels instead of the demons that Dante hunts.

This franchise also has the goofiness and humor that Devil May Cry fans are familiar with. Bayonetta’s character design, great story, and intense action make it a great and memorable game. This is by far one of the few games that can compete with Devil May Cry. There aren’t many games that capture that Japanese goofiness and awesome stylish action in a well-developed package.

If that’s what you are looking for, Bayonetta is the game for you. It’s got some mature themes, but nothing too extreme to put off most gamers. It’s definitely worth checking out if you want to see something different than just another run-of-the-mill button-mashing hack and slash.

Samurai Warriors 5

This hack-and-slash action game delivers a frenetic experience with intense melee combat, stylish characters, and plenty of replayability. If you’re looking for a power fantasy that lets you be a one-person army, Samurai Warriors 5 is an excellent choice.

Samurai Warriors is meant to be a version of Dynasty Warriors that happens in Japan instead of China. That being said, much of the Musou appeal of a Kung Fu warrior that can face hundreds of enemies was also used here.

Although it is based on Japanese history, Samurai Warriors take many liberties in how it chooses to portray the characters in the game. The visual design is very anime, and realism is clearly not what they were aiming for. Still, it is a fun historical fantasy with Musou elements that lets you relive part of a nation’s history in a very stylized manner.

There are many different characters in this franchise. Each of them plays differently from the others. Samurai Warriors can also be played cooperatively. As far as historical hack-and-slash titles go, Samurai Warriors 5 is among one of the best on Steam.

In Ryse: Son of Rome

In Ryse: Son of Rome, players take control of Marius Titus, a Roman soldier and aspiring heir to the Empire. He witnesses the murder of his family at the hands of barbaric bandits. He decides to go on a quest to bring them to justice and get vengeance for their family. 

Ryse: Son of Rome captures a detailed re-creation of ancient Rome. It exhibits the brutality and intensity of Roman warfare in visceral detail. This is an action-packed story about love, loyalty, and revenge. Still, it is also a very violent hack and slash game that is more realistic than most games of the genre.

This seems like a niche game, but over 85% of its player reviews are positive, meaning that this game is most likely surprisingly fun. Besides, although this game doesn’t rely on over-the-top fantasy, the combat is very well designed and mechanically fun. 

On top of that, the graphics are surprisingly good and seem way ahead of their time. If you like the idea of playing a more grounded hack and slash game, there’s no better title than Ryse: Son of Rome.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadows 2

Castlevania: Lords of Shadows 2 has a curious twist to the Castlevania formula. In this game, you control the most powerful vampire in the world, Dracula.

In this game, which is a direct sequel to Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, Dracula is tired of his immortality and seeks to end his curse by defeating Satan. However, before being able to challenge the devil, he must recover his powers.

Although it sounds a bit over the top, it is fitting to the Lord of Shadows series. This game was not very well received by the critics, but it seems to have pleased players. Over 80% of its player reviews are positive on Steam.

This game has a number of improvements since the previous title, and controlling a vampire instead of a holy knight feels quite different. You might enjoy this game if you liked the previous one and want something similar but different.

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