The Best Hack And Slash Games On PS4 & PS5

Highlights

  • Hack-and-slash games offer a satisfying experience of running around and defeating enemies directly with weapons, providing a cathartic gameplay style.
  • The genre has evolved with newer games that add modernized elements to the traditional formula, offering deeper combat mechanics and challenging gameplay.
  • From Devil May Cry to Monster Hunter World, there are plenty of fantastic hack-and-slash games available on the PS4 and PS5, providing exciting and enjoyable experiences for players.

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The world of gaming is full of all kinds of genres and gameplay styles. More strategic games are fun in their own way, but sometimes you just need to be able to run around and kick butt directly with some weapons. You need Hack-and-slash games, which have been around since the early console days.

Related: Best Open-World Games With Hack-And-Slash Combat

With the evolution of consoles come newer hack-and-slash games that modernize and add to the formula you know and love. Defeating a bunch of enemies at once is satisfying, but you still have to be mindful, or it’s you who’ll wind up defeated.

Updated August 25, 2023 By Matthew Mckeown: Sick and brutal combos with big overly designed weapons are always satisfying to pull off and it’s incredibly cathartic to style all over a bunch of creatures of varying size whilst a killer soundtrack pops off in the background. Throw in the occasional spectacle boss fight and ridiculous story and you’ve got a general gist of what sells the hack-and-slash genre to a lot of people.

There are plenty to pick from like the wacky pizza time shoot-bang circus that is Devil May Cry, or the spectacular set pieces of Bayonetta, there’s always a good time to be had with these kinds of games. If you’ve been out of the loop for a while, here’s a fresh look at some of the best hack-and-slash games on the PS4 and PS5.

Thymesia

Thymesia: Corvus Using His Scythe On A Plague Infected Creature

Thymesia

Platform(s)
Amazon Luna, PC, PS5, Switch, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S

Released
August 15, 2022

Developer(s)
OverBorder Studio

Publisher(s)
Team17

Described as a grueling action RPG, Themsia takes a lot of pages out of the Soulsborne approach to development. In that death means a reset back to a previous rest point, there’s a lot of combat mechanics to dig into and everything you’re fighting against can plant you into the dirt with one good hit and a badly timed dodge.

Developed by OverBorder Studio, you take control of Corvus, a mysterious and amnesiac warrior who wields the power of disease in a kingdom that’s become blighted by a mysterious and mutative pestilence. At will, Corvus can shift into a powerful Raven form during battle as he battles corrupted and twisted monsters on his quest to piece together his shattered mind.

Bloodborne

Bloodborne: The Second Phase Flame Blades Of Lady Maria Of The Astral Clocktower

Bloodborne

Platform(s)
PS4

Released
March 24, 2015

Developer(s)
From Software

Publisher(s)
Sony

A game that needs no introduction, Bloodborne was a shift in gears from Fromsoftware away from their usual medieval monster fantasy into a realm of eldritch beings and nightmare creatures from beyond the star and below the sea. Combat takes a much faster approach than its predecessors and aggression is encouraged.

As you make your way through the twisted lands around Yharnam, the story starts to unveil a sad tale of a town cursed by ancient otherworldly beings held together in a never-ending nightmare. Featuring transformative weapons, massive bosses, hidden endings, and creatures to kill, and some absolutely jaw-dropping vistas and level design, Bloodborne is a must-play for many.

The Surge

The Surge: Evading A Large Robot Using The Leopard Suit

If you like a cyberpunk souls-like then The Surge by Deck13 is worth checking out. Though its sequel saw some mixed reception, the original still stands up as you battle your way through the ruined remains of CREO. Equipped with a surgically attached exoskeleton, it’s up to you to make your way out of this battered complex.

Standing in your way are giant droids, rogue construction machines, and other cybernetically enhanced individuals who have gone a little loony. Featuring a unique combat and loot retrieval system that involves hacking off individual body parts and armor pieces, there’s a surprising amount of complexity in The Surge. If you enjoy smashing apart big industrial robots then the Surge has a lot of cyborg combat catharsis.

Final Fantasy XVI

Final Fantasy XVI: Ifrit Squaring Off Against Titan Inside A Mountain

Final Fantasy 16

Platform(s)
PS5

Released
June 22, 2023

Developer(s)
Square Enix

Publisher(s)
Square Enix

The latest in a long line of highly successful games, Final Fantasy XVI took things in a new and more action-packed direction. Turn-based combat is gone completely and instead, you’re zipping around performing Devil May Cry-style combos in challenging hunts and boss fights that can dramatically escalate in scale at times. The set-pieces are fantastic and the soundtrack takes a tour de force of old classics and more modern Final Fantasy games throughout the series.

The story at the cory of this follows Clyde, a warrior of noble birth who has his family taken from him. The land is ruled by warring factions and a Game Of Thrones-esque tale of intrigue, power plays, and backstabbing ties it all together. It’s the epitome of spectacle-fighters with relatively deep RPG mechanics, so if you enjoy flashy attacks and cinematic brawls then FFXVI should be on your list.

Lies Of P

Lies Of P: Pinocchio Grabbed By A Robotic Policeman

Lies of P

Released
September 19, 2023

Developer(s)
Neowiz Games, Round8 Studio

Publisher(s)
Neowiz Games

Another soul-like but with a classical twist, Lies of P takes the tale of Pinnochio and filters it through a lens of clockwork horror and elegance. Giant mechanoids prowl the streets, wild gangs burn and rule over what’s left, and at the center of it all is P, a puppet created by Gepetto that’s capable of advanced combat.

Stuck in the plagued city of Krat, Pinnochio faces madness and terror around every corner as he tries to untangle the twisted web of secrets at the heart of the beleaguered burgh. There’s a variety of period and fantasy weaponry to unlock, powerful P-Organs to use, and a grim narrative keeping things tight outside of combat time. It’s an interesting reimagining by NEOWIZ and one worth putting on your radar.

Devil May Cry 5

Dante using cavaliere as the two separate buzz saws in devil may cry 5

Devil May Cry 5

Released
March 8, 2019

Developer(s)
Capcom

Publisher(s)
Capcom

Devil May Cry 5 is a fun and familiar game if you’ve played any previous entries, but it also brings some new stuff to the table. You play as Dante and Nero, who have their own unique abilities and weapons. But there’s also the new playable character, V, whose gameplay is quite different, as he doesn’t directly attack his enemies until the finishing blow.

Devil May Cry 5 was originally made for the PS4, but Capcom released a Special Edition version for the PS5. This version includes additional content that you could only buy separately from the original game, a few new game modes, playable Vergil, and PS5 optimization.

Nioh Series

The player attacking an enemy with a spear in nioh

The Nioh Collection

Publisher
Koei Tecmo Games Co., LTD.

Release
2020-11-05

Genre
Action, RPG

The Nioh games are often compared to Dark Souls, because they need a certain amount of attention and strategy to beat enemies. If you try to just mindlessly attack, you’ll probably end up with a game over soon after.

You’ll be able to use different kinds of melee weapons to fight your enemies while expertly dodging and blocking their attacks, and you earn skill points that go towards skills that can make or break your combat experience. Nioh and Nioh 2 were originally released for the PS4, but they have Remastered versions that are optimized for the PS5.

Chivalry 2

Vanguard class in Chivalry 2

Chivalry 2

Released
June 8, 2021

Developer(s)
Torn Banner Studios

Publisher(s)
Tripwire Interactive

Chivalry 2 definitely stands out among others in the hack-and-slash genre for two reasons: it uses a first-person perspective, and it’s multiplayer. The game is set in medieval times, and you play as a knight at war with other knights. A single game can hold up to 64 players, so that’s a lot of bloodshed. Every time you get a hit in, you can hear the sound the other person’s body makes.

Related: PS5 Games With The Best Storylines

If you’ve ever wanted to re-enact a battle scene in a medieval movie, this is your chance to do so. The game was originally made for PC, but it’s now been released on both the PS4 and PS5.

Darksiders 3

Darksiders 3 Fury using Force Wing in purple room full of enemies

Darksiders 3

Platform(s)
PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, Stadia

Developer(s)
Gunfire Games

Publisher(s)
THQ Nordic

Instead of the regular melee weapons, you get a cool whip to start with in Darksiders 3. There are also weapons you can get along the way that are more common, like a lance. FURY has different forms you can unlock, known as Horsemen Transformations. Each form gives different moves and weapons to use against your foes.

Overall, there are four different forms, making four different playstyles you can switch between as you like. Darksiders 3 is a PS4 game but is backwards compatible with the PS5.

Nier: Automata

Nier: Automata A2 Versus Machine Warriors On Earth

Nier: Automata is the sequel to the original Nier game. Its combat is fluid and satisfying, and there are a lot of ways you can customize your battle experience. There are three different playable characters, and each one has their own way of fighting. The different Android weapons you use also give 2B, 9S, or A2 unique fighting styles.

In addition, you can equip different plug-in chips with different effects, such as regenerating HP after not being hit for a while or increasing their critical rates. Nier: Automata was made for the PS4, but it’s backwards compatible with the PS5.

Diablo 3

Diablo 3 a player battles a boss in the Sanctum of Blood

Diablo 3

Released
September 3, 2013

Developer(s)
Blizzard

Publisher(s)
Blizzard

In Diablo 3, you can choose between five classes, all with different abilities. Of these skills, you can equip six active ones and three passive ones to make your own special build. No matter how many times you run through the same stage, it’ll never feel the exact same because the maps are procedurally generated.

Related: Best Games With Pixel Art On PS4/PS5

A strong point of Diablo 3 is that you can spend hours on it. You can follow the story or just spend time farming the heck out of the experience, gold, and gear to become more powerful. The game was released for PS4, but it’s backwards compatible with the PS5.

Diablo 4

Diablo 4: A protective bubble encases a Druid casting lightning

Diablo 4

Released
June 6, 2023

Developer(s)
Blizzard

Publisher(s)
Blizzard

Speaking of Diablo, if you’ve gotten your hands on the latest anticipated release, Diablo 4 offers so much of the older games in the series, albeit in a significantly more streamlined and immersive way. Not to mention, the significant graphical upgrade from its predecessors is a lovely bonus in Diablo 4.

As a Diablo game, it has everything you could ever want from a hack-and-slash looter. You more or less spam the same moves over and over until the hordes of enemies stop moving. Better yet, they explode into sweet loot if you’ve taken down a nasty boss enemy. Diablo 4 offers everything from the previous games, just better.

Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection

Ryu Hayabusa attacking with a sword.

Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection includes the three main Ninja Gaiden games. It also has most of the content sold as DLC included with it, and you get to play four other characters besides Ryu Hayabusa. The weapons range from a simple bow to a plasma saber, and the characters feel like they pack a punch without being too heavy or clunky.

As a ninja, Ryu can do things like run on walls and water, which makes for fun gameplay. The collection was made for PS4 but is backwards compatible with PS5.

God Of War Series

Draupnir Spear Skills, Releasing The Gale Attack

God of War

Video Game(s)
God of War, God of War 2, God of War: Chains of Olympus, God of War 3, God of War III: Remastered, God of War: Ghost of Sparta, God of War: Origins Collection, God of War (2018), God of War: Ragnarok

The God of War games is generally well-known because they include mythology, fascinating story, and fulfilling gameplay. This is even more the case for God of War (2018) and God of War Ragnarok. Though there aren’t as many weapons to choose from as a typical hack-and-slash, Kratos’ iconic Blades of Chaos are still usable. What more can you ask for?

Besides regular weapons, you can even use the environment, like poles and rocks, to obliterate enemies. Who needs an axe when you’ve got rocks? Both games have PS4 and PS5 versions.

Hades

An isometric view of a crimson clad figure fighting floating skeletons in a stony room

Hades

Released
September 17, 2020

Developer(s)
Supergiant Games

Publisher(s)
Supergiant Games

Hades is a game that took the world by storm, and rightly so. Its unique brand of rogue-like dungeon-crawling gameplay won over nearly everyone who plays it. It’s gorgeous to look at and completely crammed full of replayability as you play as the son of Hades trying to escape the Greek Underworld.

Each run is effectively unique, and dying is not a failure in any way. It is the means by which the game progresses along its narrative, making it feel like you always make progress even if a run doesn’t go the way you want it to. The art style, the voice acting, and the satisfying combat will have you hungry to take on the levels of hell over and over again.

Persona 5 Strikers

The Phantom Thieves From Persona 5 Strikers

Persona 5 Strikers

Released
February 3, 2021

Developer(s)
Omega Force, P-Studio

Publisher(s)
Atlus

A hack-and-slash game set in the world of Persona might not sound like something that should work, but Atlus and Koei Tecmo have pulled it off with P5 Strikers. As you may know, Koei is responsible for the Dynasty Warriors series, and this spinoff uses a lot of the same mechanics.

With that said, this is a Persona game more than it is a Warriors game. It continues the story of the Phantom Thieves after the events of P5. Not only does it spin a convincing and satisfying narrative, but it also gives you more time with the characters you loved from P5 and officially expands on the canon.

Warhammer: Vermintide 2

Vermintide 2 Wielding A Spear Against Skaven Warriors

Vermintide 2 is set in the Warhammer universe, during the Age of Sigmar. It is one of the goriest – and most satisfying – hack-and-slash games out there to date. The melee-weapon-based combat is extremely fun, as does slicing your way through hordes and scores of Skaven ratmen, beastmen, and other monstrosities from Warhammer.

This game is made for co-op, so you must bring your friends with you when you play this game. You have bot-controlled allies, but there’s nothing quite like strategising and facing down ridiculous odds with your friends. There’s a huge campaign to jump into, and there have been several paid expansions and free updates to keep the game fresh.

Monster Hunter World

Our hunter swings their sword at a Girros in the rotten vale in Monster Hunter World

Monster Hunter World technically isn’t the kind of game you would expect to see in a hack-and-slash list, but if you think about it, that is about 90% of what you do in Monster Hunter World. It is infinitely more nuanced than a typical hack-and-slash title, but you will find it endlessly satisfying to travel through amazing locales fighting terrifying monsters and Elder Dragons with your friends.

Monster Hunter World and its expansion Iceborn are incredibly long games. There is tonnes to do in World, and it is easily one of the best games to come out on the PS4. Not to mention, it is almost certainly the most visually-impressive and coherent Monster Hunter game that has ever been released. If you’re looking for an exemplary action-focused game, this is one to try.

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