Best action/adventure games for beginners
Action-adventure games are some of the most ubiquitous in all of gaming. Due to this genre spanning a large amount of games across different platforms and generations, it can often be difficult for newcomers to know which games are best to start with. Of course, not everyone is the same, and some people will connect to different experiences in different ways. However, there are some bread-and-butter action-adventure games worth playing first.
From colorful and cartoon action-adventure games to more realistic ones, there’s sure to be a game in this genre for you. What makes this genre so special is that it can incorporate a variety of gameplay mechanics and isn’t limited by one or two design choices. The following action-adventure games are some of the best to play if you are new to this genre.
Updated on June 14, 2022 by Geoffrey Martin: Action/adventure games span an incredible range of aesthetics, presentation styles, and even gameplay concepts. No matter what type of gamer you are, there’s probably an action/adventure game you’ll enjoy, especially if you’re new to the genre. What generally makes this genre so appealing is that it offers a story, fun combat encounters, lots of exploration, and hopefully upgrades and progression for good measure. This growing list now includes a few more action/adventure games that are great for beginners.
Psychonauts 2 is a truly remarkable action-adventure game that perfectly blends platforming, action and exploration, even for those who have never experienced the classic cult original game. 2-Star Psychonauts Razputin Aquato, or Raz for short, a trainee psychonaut who must work with his fellow trainees and other professional psychonauts to find out who brainwashed their leader and planted a mole in the psychonauts’ headquarters.
It’s a fantastic starting point for the series and for those new to the action-adventure genre, especially those who want to pull off dazzling platforming feats while using Raz’s psychic powers. The game eases you into its psychic systems and mechanics and simply aims to give you a fun, whimsical, and heartfelt adventure to enjoy.
Batman Arkham Asylum
Batman games have come a long way since Batman Begins and Batman Vengeance. Once Rocksteady’s juggernaut, Batman Arkham Asylum was released for voracious Batman and action-adventure fans, gamers rejoiced. This focused, nuanced, and perfectly polished Batman game was one of the first to really make you feel like you’re playing the role of the winged bat detective.
Batman Arkham Asylum, as you might imagine, had you exploring the titular asylum, a place full of Batman stories and chilling secrets. Combining platforming gameplay, incredibly visceral combat and a boatload of gadgets, Arkham Asylum instantly became a hit with fans, but also attracted a whole new crowd who wanted to enjoy a new action-adventure game. .
The Darksiders Series
The Darksiders series is a long-running action/adventure series known for its incredible action combat, thoughtful exploration of the world, inventive puzzles, and hauntingly beautiful presentation. Any of the Darksiders games could be mentioned here, as each offers a meaty, chewable adventure.
However, the best place to start for newcomers to the genre would probably be Darksiders 1 or 2. Darksiders 1 plays like a more traditional Zelda game, filled with exploration, dungeons, and plenty of puzzles. For a different twist on the genre, Darksiders 2 offers a more loot-heavy experience mixed in with some RPG elements. Additionally, each game puts you in the role of one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, with the stories directly tied to each other.
Sackboy: A Big Adventure
For a lighter, more family-friendly affair, look no further than Sackboy: A Big Adventure. This PS4/5 action/adventure/platformer is downright charming and fun in equal measure. Sackboy, who was first made famous in the Little Big Planet games, is such a wholesome character. Now featured in his own adventure, Sackboy must jump and explore various creative stages while collecting tons of goodies.
Undoubtedly the best part of Sackboy: A Big Adventure is that the entire game can be played in 2-player co-op. While this is a wonderful single-player game, it’s the 2-player mode that really ups the charm factor. Being able to experience this deep and rewarding adventure game with a friend or family members makes it a fantastic game for newcomers to the genre.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
While any of the acclaimed Uncharted games could slot into this position, it was Uncharted 2: Among Thieves that truly revolutionized the way cinematic action-adventure games play out. In Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, you play as Nathan Drake, a charismatic adventurer who seeks fortune and mystery in a globe-trotting adventure.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is a fantastic action-adventure game for beginners because it can be perfectly tailored to your experience, not just in difficulty, but in how much you want to explore and adventure. Nathan will travel the world taking in the sights and sounds of ancient caves, snow-capped mountain temples, streets of abandoned cities, and more, while shooting bad guys, collecting loot, and discovering artifacts.
Ratchet and Clank (2016)
Ratchet and Clank is a long-running 3D action-adventure game with lots of crazy weapons, light platforming, and plenty of collectibles to discover. You can absolutely play any of the Ratchet and Clank games as a beginner because they are easy to pick up and play, yet endlessly rewarding. However, it’s the 2016 release of Ratchet and Clank that serves as a soft reboot to the series that really takes the cake.
Of course, you play as the eponymous duo as they defeat bad guys with a host of upgradable weapons, smash crates and boxes to get nuts and bolts, and solve plenty of puzzles along the way. The story might be a little derivative, but it’s a great distraction from Saturday morning cartoons compared to many of the medium’s other heavy emotional tales.
God of War (2018)
It would seem that some of the best action-adventure games for newcomers are also part of some of the oldest game series of all time. A perfect example of this is Santa Monica Studio’s 2018 release of God of War. This new God of War acts as a complete refresh for the entire series, removing some of the over-the-top, explosive action of its predecessors in favor of a more nuanced, story-driven affair.
God of War 2018 features a much older Kratos who, along with his son Atreus, must take the ashes of Kratos’ wife to a distant mountaintop. This simple setup belies a deeply character-driven game where every action you take as Kratos and Atreyus matters both in the context of the game world and the story. Plus, the game introduces new mechanics at a steady pace so you never feel overwhelmed.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
While most Zelda talk revolves around Breath of the Wild, beginners to the action-adventure genre should actually start with The Wind Waker. While the game was divisive when it first launched on GameCube, mostly due to its cartoony, cel-shaded graphics, it still manages to be one of the best Zelda games in the entire franchise.
If you’re new to the genre, Wind Waker offers a more linear experience compared to Breath of the Wild, something that can help new players not get too overwhelmed with “go anywhere, do anything” that Breath of the Wild offers. . The Wind Waker gives you plenty of beautiful islands to discover, a vast ocean to explore, and the classic Zelda dungeons that fans of the series love.
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is perhaps the most overlooked game in the franchise, mainly because it was a sequel to Assassin’s Creed Unity, a game that had a disastrous launch. However, Syndicate is easily one of the best in the series, at least for older unopened world titles.
In Syndicate, you play as twins Evie and Jacob Frye. You can freely switch between characters as you see fit, except for a few character-specific moments in the story. Each of them has their own skills, weapons and cosmetics. Oh, and the best part about the game is that it’s set in Victorian London. Syndicate refines the original Assassin’s Creed formula and brings you a fantastic and rewarding game world.
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