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Best Beat 'em Up and Hack N' Slash Games for Xbox One, Series X, and Series S 2022

Devil May Cry 5 Se Hero
Devil May Cry 5 Se Hero (Image credit: Capcom)

Beat em' ups and hack n' slash games have a lot of similar parallels with each other. They are power fantasies all about beating the snot out of hundreds of bad guys at once, making you feel like an unstoppable one-man army. The main difference being one focuses on fisticuffs, and the other focuses on swordplay. Here's our showcase of some of the best brawlers and slashers out for our roundups of best Xbox One games and best Xbox Series X, Series S games. Backward compatibility for Xbox Series X and Series S is available for all Xbox One games on this list.

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Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition (opens in new tab)

Featured Favorite

The over-the-top, demon-slaying, hack n' slash series is back with Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition. The world is under siege from a horde of demons, led by the almighty demon king Urizen. It's up to demon hunters Dante and Nero, accompanied by the mysterious demon summoner known as V, to kick Urizen's butt and send his army back to hell. The Special Edition includes Turbo Mode, Legendary Dark Knight Mode, and Dante's twin brother Vergil as a playable character.

Top knockouts

There are dozens of beat em' ups and hack n' slashes game out there if you want to plow through bad guys. Here are our top picks to cut loose on.

Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition (opens in new tab) contains everything that made the standard version great and adds even more. It features a surprisingly well-written story that pays homage to the franchise's history and wraps several loose plot threads from previous entries. The combat system makes you feel like a god, being able to pull off insane, seemingly never-ending combos to bring even the most challenging demons to their knees. Not to mention there's a rocking soundtrack that dynamically changes depending on how well you're performing in combat. With the Special Edition's inclusion of the fan-favorite Vergil as a playable character, the speed-enhancing Turbo Mode, and Legendary Dark Knight, which pits against you fighting dozens of enemies, this the definitive edition of one of the greatest comebacks in gaming history.

While Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (opens in new tab) may not have the tactical espionage of its main series brethren, it retains all the eccentric characters, political commentary, and over-the-top drama Metal Gear is known for but through a different lens. The combat system is superb, with loads of challenging enemies and memorable bosses to sink your sword into. Especially when you activate Blade Mode which allows you to hack off enemy limbs and reduce them into a satisfying pile of scrap.

Yakuza 0 (opens in new tab) is a strange and compelling beast of a game. It is a serious and dark crime drama with the over-the-top storytelling of an anime, complete with quirky, hilarious, and even heart-warming side stories. With two strong lead characters, a tight combat system, and a giant city to explore, Yakuza 0 is definitively worth visiting the dangerous streets of Kamurocho.

Alexander Cope is a writer for Windows Central and iMore that has been gaming since the 16-bit era.