The action-adventure genre is one of the bigger genres in the gaming industry and for good reason. Franchises like Metal Gear, Devil May Cry and Resident Evil are major paragons in the industry and they fall under action-adventure. With it being a very important genre that defined the modern gaming industry, it’s really no wonder why it’s so well thought of.
A lot of these franchises are found on the Xbox library with plenty of titles to mention. To the point that listing them all would take too long so I’ve decided to only mention ten and even then it was hard. Let’s get started with the entries, shall we?
Metal Gear Solid V (2015)
I’ve played many games this generation and I can safely say Metal Gear Solid V is one of the best games of it due to it’s fantastically well-refined engine. It gives the player so many options and way to overcome missions that you want to keep coming back to see how well and different you can complete objectives.
The visuals are great, the voice acting is stellar from the entire cast and some moments in the campaign are either downright haunting or just plain awesome (Sahelanthropus fits both). The story itself is probably the weakest part of the game, however, as it doesn’t really add much to the mythos of Metal Gear and it was unfortunately released unfinished due to internal struggle with the creator and company.
If you want to experience one of the better stealth games of the generation with one of the best engines to a game this decade, Metal Gear Solid V is the game for you.
Devil May Cry V (2018)
I think it’s safe to say this is one of the more triumphant returns to form a franchise has seen this generation. Devil May Cry 5 is fun incarnate and is a game that wants the player to enjoy every moment they can while feeling as awesome as possible while doing so. It succeeds with flying colors.
The story is fun and doesn’t take itself seriously (like a Devil May Cry game should), the characters are wacky yet awesome, the action set pieces are some of the best of this generation and the final boss is one of the more satisfying bosses of any game I’ve played.
If you haven’t played a Devil May Cry game, make this your first. It’s the most accessible one in terms of difficulty and availability and it’s one of the better, if not the best, entries in the series.
Nier: Automata (2017-2018)
Probably one of the more cerebral games of the 8th generation, Nier: Automata is not necessarily the easiest title to get into. But don’t let that scare you. This is one of the smartest games released on any platform and should be played by anyone who gets their hands on it. It is also an RPG so it’s a bit of a twist pic.
As an action game, it’s fantastic and just about what you expect from a Platinum Games title: excellent combat, grand scale bosses, one of the best musical scores of any game this generation and great visuals. However, what makes this game is the story. With it’s multiple endings and very heavy themes involving humankind, religion, loyalty, trust and even a meta-narrative, it’s essentially this generation’s Metal Gear Solid 2.
Like said, it’s not the easiest game to get into due to the story and it’s multiple endings, but don’t let dissuade you from playing one of the best action games of the past decade.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (2017-2018)
Another title that isn’t easy to get into considering it’s very heavy themes. However, this one came from Ninja Theory and was considered an independent AAA game. Considering how the game came out and looks, it’s safe to say they stuck the landing here.
The game itself looks stunning and while it has good action moments, like with Automata, what makes Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice what it is is it’s narrative. Themes dealing with psychosis and mental illness and the character experiencing auditory hallucinations. The entire game is a metaphor for it. Was it all in her head? Or was it all real?
It’s considered a piece of evidence of video games as an art form with the unusual yet heavy themes it tackles and how it handles them with grace. It’s not the easiest of games to get into, but it’s worth playing nonetheless.
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2015)
A sequel to one of the better reboots in gaming in my opinion, this game had a lot riding on it’s shoulders. Thankfully it did deliver as a sequel to the first game while still being great on it’s right.
Rise of the Tomb Raider is a stellar game with fantastic production values in terms of visuals, voice acting and set pieces. As a game, it takes the gameplay from the original and gives it a good polishing up and perfects what it was trying to do.
Square Enix really struck gold with this trilogy. While Shadow of the Tomb Raider was still a good game, it didn’t have the “wow” factor from the original and the focus and refinement this game had.
Batman Arkham Knight (2015)
The caped crusader makes his way into this list and thankfully, it’s not the…dreadful PC port. While it’s probably one of the more flawed entries on this list, the game itself is still a very polished action-adventure superhero game.
Arkham Knight plays the best out of any of the Arkham entries, polishing and refining the combat mechanics and engine used since Arkham Asylum. It’s also in my opinion, one of the best looking games of the generation on console. The graphical detail to this day is absolutely stunning and everything looks marvelous (woops…).
While the Batmobile certainly could have seen less use and the bosses could have been better, you certainly can have a good time with this game.
Resident Evil 2 (2018)
This was admittedly a very tough choice between this and Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. While RE7 is fantastic and is a game I recommend you play, Resident Evil 2 Remake is one of the best remakes out there and was one of the games that showed Capcom was back.
The atmosphere in this game is among the best in the survival horror genre and the tension due to Mr. X is insane. Seriously, with how Mr. X is, you’ll never be at ease outside of a safe room. Mix that in with the overall environment, scary enemy encounters and trying to find and maintain ammo, you’ll be tense every step of the way.
RE2 is one of the best remakes you can play and if you can get it, do it. You won’t regret it, especially if you are a Resident Evil fan.
Sunset Overdrive (2014)
One of the more underrated games on the Xbox One. While not one of the more successful titles on the XONE, Sunset Overdrive is one of the more creative ones in terms of style and gameplay and not the kind of game you’d expect Microsoft to publish.
This game takes a variety of styles and mixes them together to make something new. Jet Set Radio and Devil May Cry seem to be key franchises due to the game wanting you to be as stylish as possible with everything you do while still having a punk like aesthetic.
It does not take itself seriously and that is to it’s full benefit. It’s not the kind of game Microsoft would publish back then, but it certainly paid off. If only it was more successfuk.
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (2014)
Hey, Tolkien! Welcome to this list. While some may expect Shadows of War to make the list, Shadows of Mordor makes the list due to the sheer surprise factor that this title left upon release (even the creators didn’t have too much faith in it at first).
This game essentially is Assassin’s Creed meets Lord of the Rings with a very interesting mechanic with the Nemesis System. This marks you your primary target that you then hunt down. It’s a very addicting system that keeps you coming back for more in this gritty world of Middle-earth. The performances from the cast certainly help as well.
It is a little rough around the edges in some aspects but overall, Shadow of Mordor was a surprise to everyone upon release and is still today looked upon favorably.
Assassin’s Creed: Origins (2017)
Origins had a lot to live up to. The franchise was not in the best spot since 2014 (*coughs*Unity*coughs*) so when people saw a new entry, people were apprehensive. However, it surprisingly delivered as great entry in the series and brought new life into it.
Origins took the established formula that the Assassin’s Creed franchise set up since the first game and refined to be more open world while tuning up and polishing what was there. And it worked wonders. Take great visuals, addicting yet refined gameplay from the previous entries and a good story and you have the game that brought new life into this franchise.
Assassin’s Creed: Origins is considered the game that saved the series from being dormant and stale, giving it new life and a new direction that it continued on with Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey.