Action! We all love it, and some of the best games have it, whether that takes the form of a bombastic shooter, sword-clashing melee fest, or good old-fashioned brawler. Action is one of the most universally beloved genres, so we’ve compiled a list of upcoming games that already have our adrenaline pumping. Rather than rank them, each game is arranged in chronological release order so you’ll know how long you’ll have to wait before you can get your hand on them. And hey, just because an action game didn’t make the cut doesn’t mean it won’t be worth a look! These are just the titles that, at a glance, raised our eyebrows the highest.
Sifu is as pure as an action game can get. As a skilled martial artist, you’ll take on similarly capable foes in fast-paced yet thoughtful fisticuffs. The penalty for dying is that the protagonist ages one full year, meaning you can potentially drop thugs as a wizened old man if you get your butt kicked enough. Developer SloClap’s previous game, Absolver, proved its chops for designing satisfying melee combat, and that carries over to Sifu’s impactful and beautifully animated brawls.
Horizon Forbidden West
Forbidden West packs in a slate of new machines – several of them prehistoric themed – for Aloy to dismantle. Fending off packs of mechanical raptors or bringing the mighty Slitherfang down to its non-existent knees promises to be better than ever thanks to new weapons and a revamped skill tree to mold Aloy as you see fit. Horizon Forbidden West is also jaw-droppingly gorgeous on PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4, and the story promises to be as captivating as the original.
From Software perfected its Souls-style combat long ago, but now it gets to apply it to an open world. Sign us up. After all, getting our butts handed to us by a challenging, gargantuan beast, then having the freedom to escape by leaping up a cliff atop our magic horse sounds like an amazing godsend. Discovering every inch of Elden Ring’s enigmatic world makes us salivate more and more the closer we get to release. From Software hasn’t missed since Demon’s Souls, and everything we’ve seen of Elden Ring indicates it has another hit on its hands.
Few series delight in unbridled chaotic action like Bayonetta, and the long-awaited third entry doesn’t appear to relent. Boasting the over-the-top action of its predecessors – plus Kaijus made of hair – the action we’ve seen thus far knocked our socks off. We can’t wait to see what Platinum has in store for Bayo’s Switch outing and, whatever it is, will be worth the long, agonizing wait.
Do you know what’s cooler than the inherently awesome cowboy? A cowboy that uses advanced technology to battle flesh-eating hellspawn. Evil West’s supernatural brand of gunslinging looks like bloody fun, whether your filling holes using a six-shooter or punching foes to bits with electric-charged boxing gloves. If that sounds silly, the game comes from Shadow Warrior developer Flying Wild Hog, so wackiness is both expected and very much welcomed. Keep an eye on this potential gem.
Getsufumaden: Undying Moon
GetsuFumaDen marks Konami return to making non-sports video games with this striking roguelike Metroidvania. A follow-up to 1987’s GetsuFumaDen on Super Famicom, Undying Moon gives you swords, axes, and other weapons to slice and dice demons and send them packing from the mortal plane. Thanks to a vibrant presentation inspired by Japanese art, the game is a visual delight, and map layouts change with each death to keep you guessing. Don’t want to wait? GetsuFumaDen is playable right now on Steam Early Access, and it’s coming to Switch as well.
Ghostwire: Tokyo looks positively batty. Tokyo has been invaded by malevolent spirits unleashed by a masked occultist, and it’s up to you, an unknown superpowered man fighting to save his family, to stop them. Some of the abilities look like a trip, including an ethereal grapple line used to slingshot up buildings or to tether enemies and cast energy blasts to blow yokai to bits. We couldn’t tell you what’s actually happening, but the first-person combat looks awesome and a fascinating change of pace for Tango Game Works, which created The Evil Within series.
God of War: Ragnarok
We haven’t seen much gameplay from God of War: Ragnarok, but it’s clear it retains the visceral over-the-shoulder combat of the 2018 game. Works for us. God of War’s more intimate reinvention of its hack n’ slash combat was a blast, so if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. We can’t wait to take on Thor and any other Norse deity or creature foolish enough to cross blades with papa Kratos, not to mention getting to see what new tricks Atreus has up his sleeves.
As cool as it is to clean up Gotham as Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, and Red Hood, the real reason we’re psyched about Gotham Knights boils down to three words: Court of Owls. Confronting this terrifying secret society in a video game is a dream come true for Batman fans, and it helps that the combat looks like a comparable, if not flashier, take on the stellar Arkham battle system. Punching our way through anything the Court throws alongside a buddy only sweetens this bat-tastic package.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Sequel
This is the yet-to-be-named follow-up to one of the best games ever made. Of course, we’re amped to play it. Much of Link’s next adventure remains shrouded in mystery, but the tantalizing glimpses of gameplay have seized our attention. Link can use a portal to travel through surfaces, seemingly manipulate time, and explore a fractured floating landmass a la Skyward Sword. Whether Nintendo can one-up the original remains the biggest question, and we’re not entirely convinced the game makes it out this year. But believe us when we say we’ve crossed every finger and toe we’ve got in hopes the game accomplishes both goals.
Donut County creator Ben Esposito’s next game, Neon White, is intentionally aimed at a cult audience. Its anime-infused blend of Quake-style action and a strategic card system, along with a zany story of a Hell-born assassin killing his way into Heaven, doesn’t exactly scream mainstream. But if you’re a fan of speed-focused first-person action, classic anime like Cowboy Bebop or Trigun, and Japanese cult games like God Hand or Vanquish, Neon White should be a huge blip on your radar. It looks like a riot.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
Rocksteady created one of the best combat systems of all time with its Batman: Arkham series, but we’re excited to see it shake things up in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. The game, which can be played alone or with up to three other teammates, functions as a frantic action shooter that resembles a superpowered Sunset Overdrive. Will we actually get to off Superman and Co.? Given the wild directions Rocksteady took Batman, anything is possible, which is why we’re so excited to see how things shake out.
Which action game on this list or otherwise are you most excited for? Let us know in the comments!