The best action-adventure games available in 2021

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Getting lost in a story is one of the best things about video games, no matter where you end up. From huge single-player hits that pit you against enemies across the galaxy, like Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, to small heartwarming adventures that you can experience with a friend (such as It Takes Two), you can find it all on Xbox, so we’ve compiled a list of awesome adventure games we’re sure you’ll love.

To assist you in deciding which game you should be looking to play next, we’ve narrowed down the choice by using a combination of site review scores and your community ratings to put together our list of the best action-adventure games available on Xbox in 2021.

Valiant Hearts: The Great War

Set during the brutality of World War I, Valiant Hearts: The Great War tells the stories of four characters that help a German soldier find his love in a story about friendship, survival, and sacrifice. The characters are accompanied by Walt, a dog that will help you solve the game’s puzzles, along with finding collectable items hidden within each chapter that reveal more information about the war. Valiant Hearts: The Great War is a heartwarming adventure about the love of others while also highlighting the grim reality of war.

Hyper Light Drifter

You take on the role of a Drifter in a 2D 16-bit world, a purveyor of knowledge, lost technology, and broken history. But the Drifter is also suffering from a curious illness and the need to subjugate it will take you on a journey through the lands of Buried Time — a land of violence, treasure, and blood. The RPG elements of Hyper Light Drifter allow you to find new weapons and abilities, enhancing your character as you progress through the game by using ‘modules.’ When things get too hairy or you’re running out of bullets, you have a handy energy sword as a backup, and it’s learning to correctly rotate your weaponry and hone the tactics that’ll allow you to progress through the increasingly difficult levels.

Hyper Light Drifter

Explore a beautiful, vast and ruined world riddled with dangers and lost technologies.
Echoes of a dark and violent past resonate throughout a savage land, steeped in treasure and blood. Hyper Light Drifter is an action adventure RPG in the vein of the best 16­bit classics, with modernized mechanics and designs on a much grander scale.

Darksiders Warmastered Edition

The Warmastered Edition of Darksiders released in 2016 and brought with it a vast improvement in the game’s graphics and performance, offering us the same demon-filled story with hellishly good visuals. Darksiders has grown into quite the action-adventure series in recent years, and if you’re yet to experience them for yourself then the first game is probably the best place to start. When a war breaks out between heaven and hell on Earth, War, one of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse falls in battle. The Charred Council blame the horseman for starting the apocalypse and destroying the world’s balance, but gives him a chance to prove his innocence and find the one responsible. We take control of War when he is sent back to Earth 100 years in the future for a third-person adventure, slashing through demonic beings with the wonderfully-named sword, Chaos Eater.

Darksiders Warmastered Edition

Darksiders Warmastered Edition

• If you have purchased the Darksiders 3 Blades & Whips Edition in order to play this content, please note it will only become playable on the 26th November

Deceived by the forces of evil into prematurely bringing about the end of the world, War – the first Horseman of the Apocalypse – stands accused of breaking the sacred law by inciting a war between Heaven and Hell. In the slaughter that ensued, the demonic forces defeated the heavenly hosts and laid claim to the Earth.

Okami HD

Releasing as one of the last games on the PlayStation 2, Okami had a pretty bumpy start to life, managing only somewhat poor sales. But players and critics loved it nonetheless and that pushed Capcom to remaster it and launch it on multiple systems a few years later, titled Okami HD. The game is set in classical Japan and sees you playing as Amaterasu, the Shinto sun goddess who takes on the form of a white wolf and attempts to save the cel-shaded land from evil. Okami HD has a mix of action, platforming, and puzzle gameplay, heavily influenced by early Zelda games.

ŌKAMI HD

ŌKAMI HD

Experience the critically acclaimed masterpiece with its renowned Sumi-e ink art style in breathtaking high resolution.

A Way Out

Designed with split-screen co-op in mind but also allowing for online play, A Way Out tells the story of Leo and Vincent, two convicts who need to break out of prison. It’s a third-person adventure that is focused on cooperation to progress through the game and tells both characters stories simultaneously. One great feature of A Way Out is the ability to join a friend online whether you own the game or not, entirely for free, although this does disable achievements for the guest. You’ll be able to get up to plenty of mischief without having to pay for the game twice — and there is plenty to be had.

A Way Out

A Way Out

A Way Out is an exclusively co-op adventure where you play the role of one of two prisoners making their daring escape from prison.
Play the entire experience with your friends using the friends pass free trial feature.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

Ninja Theory’s dark fantasy world of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice was inspired by Celtic mythology, and takes players on a journey that portrays the brutality of psychosis. Designed with a team of around 20 developers, neuroscientists, mental health specialists, and people who live with the condition, Hellblade tells the story of Senua and her struggles with an entity called The Darkness. The game’s story is a metaphor for the condition and sees Senua descend into Helheim by destroying demonic creatures, in search of her dead lover’s soul. It has a mixture of psychological horror elements, hack-and-slash gameplay, and puzzle-solving to create an experience that’s worthy of everybody’s game collection.

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

From the makers of Heavenly Sword, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, and DmC: Devil May Cry, comes a warrior’s brutal journey into myth and madness.

Set in the Viking age, a broken Celtic warrior embarks on a haunting vision quest into Viking Hell to fight for the soul of her dead lover.

Created in collaboration with neuroscientists and people who experience psychosis, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice will pull you deep into Senua’s mind.

LEGO Harry Potter Collection

After the darkness of the title above, you probably need something slightly more lighthearted, and it doesn’t get much more lighthearted than Lego. This collection merges the ridiculous and blocky universe with the wizarding world of Harry Potter. There’s not much else you can say about this game, except for it being a perfect example of humour the Lego games are known for and the fantastic stories of Harry Potter. It’s extremely accessible to players of all ages and doesn’t require any magical qualities to complete.

LEGO® Harry Potter™ Collection

LEGO® Harry Potter™ Collection

The LEGO® Harry Potter™ Collection brings LEGO® Harry Potter™: Years 1-4 and LEGO® Harry Potter™: Years 5-7 with both top-selling video games remastered!

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Much like FromSoftware’s Dark Souls titles, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is mainly focused on epic boss battles and difficult-to-master combat. You play as Wolf, a shinobi in pursuit of revenge against a samurai clan who kidnapped his lord after attacking them. The game was an instant hit both critically and commercially when it was released in 2019 and mixes combat, stealth, and exploration in an alternate version of Japan. If you loved the Souls games then Sekiro might just be right up your street… if you feel brave enough.

Sekiro™: Shadows Die Twice - GOTY Edition

Sekiro™: Shadows Die Twice – GOTY Edition

Game of the Year – The Game Awards 2019
Metacritic Must Play

Carve your own clever path to vengeance in the award winning adventure from developer FromSoftware, creators of the Dark Souls series.

Take Revenge. Restore Your Honor. Kill Ingeniously.

A Plague Tale: Innocence

Take a trip into the past in A Plague Tale: Innocence and experience the horrors of The Hundred Years War, and the brutal English invasion of France. We play as Amicia de Rune, a young noble girl who’s desperately trying to save her sick younger brother, Hugo, from a blight plague, French Inquisition soldiers who’re seeking out Hugo, and swarms of plague-ridden rodents. The journey is fraught with peril and horrifying to witness — especially if you’re not a fan of squeaky critters. A Plague Tale: Innocence is full of stealth-action and being caught by your enemies means certain death. Distract enemy soldiers with various objects including your trusty sling, ward off rat swarms using fire, and solve environmental puzzles to clear the way so you can pass safely. If you enjoy story-driven stealth gameplay, you don’t want to sleep on this title.

A Plague Tale: Innocence

A Plague Tale: Innocence

Follow the critically acclaimed tale of young Amicia and her little brother Hugo, in a heartrending journey through the darkest hours of history.

The Outer Wilds

The Outer Wilds is about an unnamed astronaut caught in a 22-minute time-loop — think interstellar Groundhog Day — which resets by one of the stars going supernova and disintegrating everything. You need to help this unfortunate soul uncover the secrets of an extinct alien race called the Nomai. These beings had visited the solar system before and left clues that can help you fix this warped time zone. Much like other games with this particular mechanic, once you’ve learned information or completed an activity it will carry over to the next time loop. The Outer Wilds offers plenty of puzzling moments, environmental and otherwise, that’ll keep your attention from start to finish — or leave you scratching your head in confusion.

Outer Wilds

Outer Wilds

Outer Wilds is an open world mystery about a solar system trapped in an endless time loop.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

In a galaxy far, far away, Respawn Entertainment tried its hand at a Star Wars video game — and the Force was definitely with the team because it was a huge hit. Released back in 2019, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a third-person action-adventure game that sees Jedi Padawan Cal Kestis attempt to outrun two Inquisitors of the Galactic Empire. Armed with his lightsaber and the power of the Force, Cal is on a mission to complete his training, rebuild the famed Jedi Order, and outrun his unsavoury past. In June 2021, EA announced that 20 million people had played the game — which should be enough to start our own Imperial Legion if we felt dastardly enough.

STAR WARS Jedi: Fallen Order™

STAR WARS Jedi: Fallen Order™

Optimized for Xbox Series X|S. A galaxy-spanning adventure awaits in STAR WARS Jedi: Fallen Order. An abandoned Padawan must complete his training, develop new powerful Force abilities, and master the art of the lightsaber – all while staying one step ahead of the Empire.

Yakuza 0

The Yakuza series is an extremely successful collection of games, but for those of you that want to give it a go where best to start? Yakuza 0 just happens to be a prequel to the first game, making it the start of the series, technically. The origin story takes us to a fictionalised area of Tokyo in the late Eighties to help Kazuma Kiryu and Goro Majima fix a sticky situation Kazuma has ended up in (being framed for murder can be classed as a sticky situation, right?) and experience everything the world has to offer when not fighting for freedom — and there is a lot to do. You can indulge in mini-games, play Sega arcade machines, complete side quests, harass the locals, and much more. Yakuza 0 is the poster child of the franchise and an adventure that’s worthy of your time in every aspect.

Yakuza 0

Yakuza 0

The glitz, glamor, and unbridled decadence of the 80s are back in Yakuza 0. Fight your way through Tokyo and Osaka with protagonist Kazuma Kiryu and series regular Goro Majima.

Immortals Fenyx Rising

Ubisoft’s Mediterranean adventure takes you on a journey of mythic proportions as Fenyx, a young Greek shield-bearer who needs to stop the serpentine giant Typhon from overthrowing the Olympian gods. Fenyx’s story is narrated along the way by Prometheus and Zeus, giving the narrative of the game an entertaining bard-like twist. Gameplay graces you with an arsenal of weapons and abilities that plays out almost like a more over-the-top version of the modern Assassin’s Creed games, with the addition of fantastical creatures like Minotaurs, Gorgons, Hydrae, and more. Grab your sword, don some armour, and hit the road to see what exciting mishaps you can get yourself into!

Immortals Fenyx Rising™

Immortals Fenyx Rising™

Immortals Fenyx Rising brings grand mythological adventure to life. Play as Fenyx, on a quest to save the Greek gods from a dark curse.

Wield the powers of the gods to battle powerful mythological beasts in the air or on the ground, and solve ancient puzzles.

The fate of the world is at stake – you are the gods’ last hope.

It Takes Two

With no single-player option and only the ability to play co-op, It Takes Two puts us in the shoes of Cody and May, a married couple on the brink of divorce who end up as tiny dolls through magical means. The couple must work together and fix their marriage by listening to a talking therapy book if they hope to return to their bodies. It’s an adventure of epic proportions as you and a buddy (possibly a happy partner?) navigate the huge world, solving puzzles and navigating the platforming environments. It Takes Two is the perfect co-op adventure if you enjoy working as a team to get things done — thanks to the Friends Pass, you also effectively get two copies of the game for the price of one, so that’s a win.

It Takes Two

It Takes Two

It Takes Two uses Smart Delivery technology – buy the game once and play it on either Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S.

Embark on the craziest journey of your life in It Takes Two, a genre-bending co-op adventure. Invite a friend to join for free with Friend’s Pass* across an abundance of gleefully disruptive gameplay challenges with a heartfelt story

Got any adventurous recommendations of your own? Let us know below!


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