Action-adventure games are now placed among the most popular video game genres, blurring the lines between slow-paced adventure experiences, and those packed with adrenaline-fueled action. Since the Xbox One's launch in 2013, the console has amassed a strong library of action-adventure titles.
With over three years of releases behind the console, a varied collection of action-adventure titles is now available on the Xbox One. We've compiled a list of our top ten action-adventure titles available today!
Update 12 April 2017: We've added Ghost Recon: Wildlands to this list. Let us know if your favorite title is missing for our next update!
Tom Clancy's: Ghost Recon Wildlands
Few games on this list provide an action-adventure experience on the same level as Ghost Recon Wildlands.
While the game errs more closely to a classic tactical shooter, the sheer capacity for open world mayhem, both on the ground and in the air, make this an adventure title worth exploring.
Set in a subverted Bolivia, a merciless drug cartel has overtaken nearly the entirety of the country, feeding crime and narcotics into the US. As part of the Ghosts black ops team, its your mission to take down the Santa Blanca cartel, starting from the lowest drug smugglers to the biggest crime bosses.
Taking place in an absolutely huge open world complete with land, water, and air vehicles, 4-player co-op, and piles of loot to unlock and discover, Wildlands will keep you and your friends busy for weeks.
Watch Dogs 2
Watch Dogs 2 takes Ubisoft's hacking-themed action franchise to the streets of San Francisco, improving upon a majority of the first game's mechanics.
Thrown in the shoes of Marcus Holloway, players take on the role of an up and coming hacker quickly gaining a reputation. Using a combination of hacking and fighting skills, he aims to uncover the secrets behind the bustling interconnected city. With a funky cast of characters and a dynamic open world, Watch Dogs 2 has prevailed as a truly welcome addition to today's action-adventure lineup.
Dead Rising 4
The latest entry in the Dead Rising franchise is here, delivering large-scale zombie-slaughter for the second time on the Xbox One. Bringing back the series' iconic hot shot, Frank West, players return to a more festive Colorado for the zombie-infested holiday celebrations.
Building the strengths of earlier games in the series, Dead Rising 4 introduces more zombies, more weapons and more chaos than ever before. With a new four-player cooperative mode alongside the single player campaign, Dead Rising 4 delivers unrivaled, merry anarchy to the masses.
Quantum Break was crowned our favorite action adventure game of 2016 – and rightly earned its title. The latest narrative-driven action game from Remedy strives to accomplish great things and mostly exceeds ambitions in every sense of the term.
Following an experiment that goes horribly wrong, Jack Joyce gains the ability to manipulate time at will. Upon obtaining his powers he learns that time is breaking down, which leads to a mysterious string of events surrounding the end of its existence. However, with an all-powerful corporation out to kill Joyce, he must use his powers to fight back and save time.
The narrative's most unique trait is its delivery, spanning a live-action show and traditional video game campaign. With each of the game's acts followed by a full-length TV show, Quantum Break is among the most innovative and memorable experiences on Xbox One.
Following on from the series' critically acclaimed debut in 2011, Dishonored 2 gives players control of both Corvo Attano and Emily Kaldwin in the coastal town of Karnaca. After the first game's events left the throne to Emily Kalwdin, an 'otherworldly usurper' has deposed the Empress in an attempt to seize power of the empire. Taking control of either protagonists, players must fight through enemy forces to take back the throne once again.
Sporting an engaging narrative, a wide range of playstyles and overall replayability, Dishonored 2 is a great package for fans of story-driven action experiences.
Agent 47's journey in 2016, simply named Hitman, took the franchise in a new direction offering an experience across a monthly episodic model. With gameplay moving over to more expansive sandboxes with increased replayability, six core episodes were delivered over an eight-month period.
Although controversial at first, the decision to move Hitman to this new business model has paid off in the long term. Maintaining player engagement with these valuable releases – each of Hitman's levels feels dynamic with true player freedom. Available to purchase as a season or per episode, Agent 47's murderous ventures are back in all their glory.
Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto V initially launched before the Xbox One hit store shelves, but the title still sits among the best action-adventure experiences on the console. The game has broken a surplus of records since launch, making its way to current generation platforms and managing to hold its place towards the top of the video game charts into 2017.
The Grand Theft Auto franchise is infamous across the globe, having stirred up its fair share of controversy in recent years. The series isn't shy of discussing adult themes and displaying excessive violence, which has resulted in numerous incidents of public outcry. The latest title, Grand Theft Auto V, has been praised for its engaging storytelling, following three criminals who band together to execute a set of daring heists.
Between the single player and multiplayer modes, the game grants access to an extensive arsenal of weapons and vehicles alongside the ability to participate in various activities and sports. The ever-expanding world now carries a similar personality to a living city, which can be endlessly explored through hundreds of jobs and an expansive free-roam mode.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Following on from 2013's Tomb Raider reboot, Rise of the Tomb Raider continues Lara's evolution throught her quest for the source of immortality. Pitted against nefarious corporation Trinity and the dangers of the wild, Lara must utilise her combat and survival skills to pursue the leads her father left behind.
The game builds upon the mechanics of its predecessor with various new ways to explore and survive in the wilderness. A much-improved scavenging and crafting system has debuted, alongside combat improvements to better accommodate stealth approaches. The game's beautifully crafted landscapes are packed with challenging environmental puzzles, each with unique but fair solutions.
Sunset Overdrive has been one of the Xbox One's most innovative exclusive titles in recent years, and is easily among the top action-adventure experiences on the console. The game takes a comical stance on the increasingly popular post-apocalyptic setting, which looms over Sunset City once an addictive energy drink named 'Overcharge Delirium XT' gains popularity. After becoming a city-wide craze, it's discovered that the drink causes humans to mutate into ravenous monsters craving the beverage.
The fast-paced gameplay complements Sunset Overdrive's tone, with exaggerated movement mechanics and slapstick violence using a variety of unique powers and weapons. The game offers diverse customisation of characters, clothing, weapons and powers, each with their own unique exotic flair. Packed with hours of tongue-in-cheek humor and innovative concepts, Sunset Overdrive can easily be crowned one of the best action-adventure titles on the platform.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
At its core, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is one of last year's best action titles, but it also offers an established sandbox which provides perfect scenarios to promote covert warfare. The game comes from legendary developer Hideo Kojima and marks his last entry to the Metal Gear franchise.
While the Metal Gear franchise has a strongly-established storyline, MGSV is accessible for newcomers without affecting the experience of long-time fans. The title offers varied play spaces to explore, providing the opportunity to experiment with positioning and approach. Enemies are often given predictable patrol routes, allowing the player to plan out their attacks, providing they engage with foes at a reasonable rate. Advanced stealth mechanics such as enemy interrogation, movable corpses and the ability to create distractions adds to the overall depth of the game's stealth sandbox.
Just Cause 3
While the Just Cause franchise has always been associated with corny one-liners and parodic violence, Just Cause 3 is the first title developed by Avalanche Studios that truly embraces the series' persona. Infamous outlaw Rico Rodrigez returns to the series with a new look, ready to take on the evil dictator Sebastiano Di Ravello, who reigns over the fictional Mediterranean island of Medici.
Just Cause 3's gameplay is heavily influenced by previous releases, bringing back the iconic grapple and parachute which have come to be a staple of the series. The combat has also seen major improvements, with enhanced physics and explosions, expanding on the diverse sandbox.
Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor takes place before the Lord of the Rings movies, in an open-world digital representation of Tolkien's fictional world. The game places a unique spin on the traditional role-playing systems, presenting the player with decisions that can affect the surrounding environment. Aside from choices in approach to encounters, the 'Nemesis' system is what differentiates the experience from the crowd, giving enemies personalities influenced by the actions of the player.
The Nemesis system is what makes Shadow of Mordor feel unique, but a sturdy combat system influenced by the Rocksteady's Batman Arkham games tightly integrates alongside this. Despite delivering a slightly underwhelming storyline, the game expands on Tolkien's universe and is a great experience for fans of the franchise.
Accompanying the theatrical release of Mad Max: Fury Road in 2015, Mad Max offers a comprehensive action-adventure experience in the annihilated remains of human civilization. The game released shortly after the latest movie hit cinemas and while not officially tagged as a movie tie-in, it delivers a package of far higher quality than the most games based on feature films.
While some aspects of the game have their flaws, it delivers an immersive experience in the vast, desolate wasteland. The game's portrayal of the sterile environment doesn't diverge from the average post-apocalyptic shooter, but a majority of today's successful titles were influenced by the original Mad Max film. Concerning staying true to the movie series, Mad Max nicely matches the aesthetic of the cult classics. Also, it quite possibly has some of the best vehicular combat on the market.
Over to you!
What are your favorite action-adventure games on Xbox One? Are there any we've missed that you think should be included in our next update? Let us know in the comments!
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