The hack and slash RPG genre sort of evolved from the brawler or beat ‘em up genre from the early days of games. A good example of this evolution can be seen in the Dynasty Warriors franchise. The basic concept of a brawler was mindless fun without much of a story getting in the way.

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While these games are occasionally described as mindless, they tend to be fun to play even if they are not always all that deep. That is the difference between a hack and slash game and an action RPG. Dark Souls is an example of an action RPG because the player has to be more methodical and strategic about moves. Whether one agrees with that clarification or not, these are all great games regardless.

10 Diablo III

Diablo 3 promo art

Diablo III might be an obvious pick but there is a reason this game has been active for nearly a decade. This is the ultimate hack and slash RPG that has near-endless hours of gameplay.

Between replaying it with friends and going after new difficulties or classes, Diablo III is the gift that keeps on giving. The combat system is addictive, accessible, and also allows for a solid amount of creativity and variety.

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9 Champions Of Norrath: Realms Of EverQuest

Champions of Norrath gameplay screenshot and box art

This is, unfortunately, one of those cases of a celebrated game being trapped on the PS2. Champions of Norrath is a spin-off of EverQuest, the MMO, and played similarly to Diablo or Baldur’s Gate.

That is to say, it is a top-down hack and slash looter RPG. What made Champions of Norrath and its sequel so great in 2004 was that they were available on a console, something Diablo could not claim. It may look dated now, but it’s still a blast alone or with friends.

8 Dungeon Siege III

Dungeon Siege III promo art

This gem comes from Obsidian Entertainment, a studio that has proven great at highlighting the strengths of existing properties. Square Enix acquired the rights for Dungeon Siege but only made use of the license.

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Dungeon Siege III faired averagely in reviews, as some didn’t think the story and gameplay were anything special. It was also buggy. That said, it is underrated, allows co-op, and can still be played via Xbox Backwards Compatibly.

7 Hyrule Warriors: Age Of Calamity

Hyrule Warriors gameplay screenshot

There are so many Dynasty Warrior games one could mention for this article. They are all highly underrated as the most straightforward hack and slashers around.

While most Dynasty Warriors titles are just action games, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity does introduce quite a few RPG elements, and it is also the most recent release until Persona 5 Strikers arrives. This Zelda spin-off has some crazy ties to Breath of the Wild that fans need to see.

6 Genshin Impact

Genshin Impact gameplay screenshot

This is a good game to recommend because it is free. Genshin Impact is like the anime version of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. There is a story to get into but the most fun someone will get out of this game is through quests and exploration.

The game offers a beautiful landscape to explore and there is even co-op, albeit limited and tucked away far into the game.

5 Children Of Morta

Children of Morta gameplay screenshot

The roguelike genre is a fine example of another evolution of the hack and slash concept. Imagine if dying in Diablo sort of reset progression. That’s the idea with Children of Morta and others like it.

That said, in terms of difficulty for this genre, Children of Morta is actually pretty inviting as not much is lost in death. Plus, it includes two-player co-op, a rarity in this genre.

4 Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning

Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning gameplay screenshot

When it originally came out in 2012, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning got overlooked. Last year, it was remastered and also sort of didn’t explode on the scene. However, those that played it know how special it is.

While the story tries to be as vast as a BioWare game or The Elder Scrolls, it isn’t very engaging. Thankfully, the same cannot be said for the gameplay. There are so many weapons to choose from, making Kingdoms of Amalur a distinct option in this genre.

3 .Hack//Infection

hack Infection gameplay screenshot

This is another game trapped on the PS2. There were four games in this first series, with it getting a sequel trilogy also on PS2. The G.U. games did get a recent remaster but the original quadrilogy is still lost. The overall .hack series was very ambitious at the time, with a lot of tie-in products to help flesh out this universe. It produced anime, games, and books.

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This game/series has a lot to take in with some pretty monotonous gameplay and a lot of repeating dungeons. Sticking with it proves to be rewarding though.

2 Trials Of Mana Remake

Trials of Mana promo art

Trials of Mana is another remake/remaster from 2020 that didn’t take the world by storm. It came weeks after the bigger Square Enix remake, Final Fantasy VII. It lived in its shadow and didn’t have the same polish.

That said, as an upgrade to a SNES game, Trials of Mana is remarkable. Some of its downfalls are in its voice acting and backtracking, but it is still an enjoyable hack and slash RPG.

1 Dragon’s Crown

Dragon's Crown Pro gameplay screenshot

As mentioned in the intro, hack and slash games were sort of like the evolved form of brawlers. Therefore, it would be wise to at least recommend one brawler with a hack and slash mentality.

Dragon’s Crown is exactly that. It has beautiful art, tons of characters, and lots of replayability. The best part is that it comes with four-player co-op. It is like a 2D Diablo mixed with some Dungeons & Dragons.

NEXT: 10 JRPGS That Are Better Than You Remember, Ranked According to Metacritic

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