When you get right down to it; pretty much every video game has elements of action and adventure in it (Yes, even Pokemon Snap), making it incredibly difficult to choose just ten to label as the "best." But after much debate, a few broken jaws, a carpet now stained in blood and tears, and a room burnt to the ground, we were able to decide on ten titles that best summed up the action/adventure genre. We also noticed one thing they all shared in common; every game has released within the last six years, showing just how far the action/adventure genre has come from just being about jumping on the heads of hapless monsters and finding hidden flutes.
10. Batman: Arkham Asylum (Xbox 360, PS3)
Even though this game just came out, it’s one of the best the action/ adventure genre has to offer because all the pieces come together so perfectly. Running around Arkham island in your bat-pajamas gave plenty of incentive to uncover secrets, as well as learn about the history of Gotham’s favorite nuthouse, and the game’s sneaking and fist-fighting gameplay literally put you in the boots of the Dark Knight. God help any game coming down the line that tries to match what Rocksteady did with the hand-to-hand combat of Arkham Asylum. It was flawless. And when it comes down to it, we did give Batman: Arkham Asylum a perfect score. So not including it here would be pretty dumb on our part. You know how it is, gotta stick to our guns.
9. Jak 3 (PS2)
Jak 3 was the culmination of a series that had great storytelling, awesome action, and fantastic graphics that pushed the Playstation 2 to the limit. And let us not forget, Jak 3 was freakin’ hilarious, the perfect sendoff to these beloved characters. In fact, when Uncharted was first announced, some were really pissed they wouldn’t be seeing a next-gen Jak & Daxter title. Funny it turned out that Uncharted was amazing, calming the ever-growing fanboy rage. But that doesn’t mean Naughty Dog is off the hook, a PS3 version of Jak & Daxter still remains one of the most sought-after series yet to make the leap to this generation.
8. Prince of Persia: Sands of Time (Xbox 360, PS2)
The remake of Price of Persia on the Playstation 2 and Xbox 360 was amazing. While the game is definitely better known for it’s platforming segments, the rest of the game was no slouch either. Prince of Persia: Sands of Time easily ranks as one of the best action/adventure titles ever made and there’s reason why it’s being adapted into a major motion picture. The story was that classic.
7. Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)
Shadow of the Colossus remains one of the greatest video games of all time because from a conceptual level, it’s the simplest game ever made. You fight bosses. That’s it. But in order to get from one boss to the next you have to traverse one of the most beautiful barren wastelands you’ve ever seen in gaming. And also, there has never been a better world built in video game through unspoken backstory than Shadow of the Colossus. And if you don’t want to cry after beating this game, there is something evil inside you. Shadow of the Colossus is proof art exists in video gaming.
6. Metroid Prime Trilogy (Gamecube, Wii)
Yes, we know; blasphemy that Metroid Prime was chosen over Super Metroid, the gran-daddy of the Metroid franchise. But when it comes down to it our reasoning is quite simple; the Metroid Prime Trilogy takes everything great about the Metroid series (exploring, upgrade hunting, platforming, and shooting space pirates) and wraps it in a cool, cohesive story.
Retro Studios performed a miracle that nobody though possible; turning Metroid into an fps without eliminating what makes the franchise one of the most influential video game series of all time. Metroid Prime is a prime example of how to take a classic and update it for the current generation.
5. Resident Evil 4 (Gamecube, PS2, Wii)
RE4 was the first in the series to ditch the tank controls, awkward shooting mechanics, ridiculous puzzles, and any mention of a virus starting with a "T" or "G" for an action heavy extravaganza. And thank god they did, cause it’s hard to remember life prior to this new bold direction for the franchise. Many still argue Resident Evil 4, and now Resident Evil 5, are too wild a departure from the series’ roots, but odds are they haven’t tried to replay those often times frustrating original titles.
RE4 also featured the return of Leon S. Kennedy of Resident Evil 2 fame, who could literally round-house kick anything. If it wasn’t for his awesomely emo hair and lack of a beard you could easily confuse him for Chuck Norris. But if round-housing isn’t your style, RE4 featured a plethora of upgradeable weapons which made blowing off the heads of Los Ganados (not zombies!) so satisfying. Like mentioned, RE4 ditched the puzzle solving for huge explosions (of the head variety) and it paid off..big time. Earning Resident Evil 4 a spot among the best action/adventure titles ever released.
4. God of War I & II (PS2)
With much more focus on "action" than "adventure," the God of War series is one kickass bloody affair. If theorists want to make the claim that video games are a man-child’s power fantasy then God of War would be their prime example. But that’s why it’s so great. So consider most gamers boneafide man-children. At least we know we’re getting the last laugh as we ferociously rip the heads off bitches.
3. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (PS3)
When it comes to epic there is no other gaming franchise quite like Metal Gear Solid. And Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is the cherry on top of an amazing Solid Snake sundae. Why you ask? Because Solid Snake is old and rocks a porno ‘stache like a champ.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots also pulled a switcheroo in the gameplay department that allowed players to approach the title any way they saw fit. If you wanted to continue the MGS tradition of sneaking into complexes and snapping necks without being seen, you could do that. But if you had a really shitty day at work, or your girlfriend just broke up with you, you could load up MGS4 and blow away soldiers till you felt better without the fear of being penalized for your play-style choice. MGS4 gave the player control of their own destiny, you know, when it wasn’t playing hour long cutscenes.
2. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Gamecube, Wii)
Resident list-man Joey Esposito was pretty pissed about this decision, but screw ‘um. The definitive Zelda experience comes from the most recent offering, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Sorry Ocarina of Time. Because let’s face facts; Zelda games haven’t really done anything different in years. Our hero is still as speechless as he’s always been, and the tenants of Hyrule still act like they’ve suffered from strokes since they only speak in bleeps and bloops. In the gameplay department, things remain roughly the same as well, with the only real innovation coming through motion-control. So taking these factors into account, Twilight Princess builds on the already great foundation of games like Ocarina and Wind Waker and adds the best narrative the series has seen to the mix. Therefore justifying it as the best Zelda game to date. Twilight Princess also has you morphing into a wolf. ‘Nuff said.
1. Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune & Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)
When first drafting up this article we hadn’t played through Uncharted 2: Among Thieves yet. And while the first Uncharted was great, it wouldn’t have ranked this high on it’s own. But when you factor in the second adventure of Nathan Drake, there is no way the Uncharted franchise isn’t the greatest action/adventure gaming franchise to date. Playing these games is like interacting with your favorite summer blockbuster films, with stories that are even better than most of the crap Hollywood puts out. The two Uncharted games are worth shelling out the dough for a Playstation 3. Easily.