Best Action PC Games 2021

Discover the best action-packed PC games and how to play them

Action games have a long history that spans all the way back to SEGA’s Jet Rocket, which launched in 1970. In the span of the 50 years since, action games have come a long way.  Features like dual shock controllers, hi-def graphics, theatrical-level cut scenes, and sophisticated sound effects make the best action PC games more immersive and thrilling than ever.

Action games are a must-play for anyone who lives for that adrenaline rush of navigating difficult maps while taking down hi-def enemies that feel like something real you could reach out and touch. Below we’ve listed 2021’s best action PC games based on their top Metascores. Get your preferred energy drink, because you’ll be up playing these all night.

Psychonauts 2

Best for: Platformer fans, people who love surrealist art in their games
Where to buy: Steam

Follow acrobat and psychic Razputin Aquato as he completes missions for the psychic espionage organization the Psychonauts. But the twist is that their headquarters has been invaded by a mole, and it’s up to the young Raz to stop them before they bring the murderous villain Maligula back from the dead. This game is known for its surreal worlds and challenging platforming, making it one of the best action PC games of the year.    

“This was a review I picked up on a whim, looking to try something new, and now I’m walking away with a strong new game of the year contender. Psychonauts 2 is fun, funny, heartfelt, and handles its themes with a deft and gentle hand.”

— VG247

It Takes Two

Best for: Two-player teams and whimsical fantasy game fans
Where to buy: Fanatical

Consistently a top-rated game of the year, It Takes Two elevates co-op gaming to the next level. This game is known for its varied gameplay and emotional storytelling. You and a friend play as May and Cody, who have been transported into their daughter’s two dolls as they go through a divorce. The quest to get back to their bodies takes them through wild fantasy realms.  

“Let’s not be afraid to say that It Takes Two is one of the best cooperative games available: the new Hazelight hits the nail on the head every time, with numerous, varied, and always very inventive situations.”

— Millenium

Hitman 3

Best for: World of Assassination trilogy fans
Where to buy: Humble

This game is the conclusion to the World of Assassination trilogy. Play as Agent 47 as you travel the world fulfilling his most important contracts yet. Agent 47 joins forces with his friend Lucas Grey and the two try to take down the partners of Providence.

This is a great game for fans who like high-octane realistic action in their best action PC games. An interesting feature is that if you’ve played Hitman before, you can import locations you own from the previous two Hitman games into Hitman 3. The progression systems in Hitman 3 will also work across all locations.

“Taken individually, Hitman 3 feels like great value, with plenty of variety and lots to do. When taken as a whole, the World of Assassination trilogy is hands-down one of the best and most complete-feeling trilogies in video game history.”

— VG247

Deathloop

Best for: First-person shooter fans
Where to buy: Fanatical – Exclusive Deal: Extra 5% off from 12/20-12/27

This first-person game follows two assassins on the lawless island of Blackreef as they’re locked in an eternal fight to the death with each other. The game has you hunting down targets to put an end to the cycle. The game is known for its stunning environments, customizable gameplay, and detailed levels. And remember, “If at first you don’t succeed, Die, Die Again.”  

“Deathloop is yet another clear example of Arkane’s potential, with the studio refining its Prey and Dishonored formula, injecting it with a massive dose of style, creating a game that overflows with confidence and creativity. Deathloop’s mix of genres and flawless execution makes it one of the strongest candidates for best game of 2021, burying any doubts about Arkane’s talent.”

— IGN Portugal

ENDER LILIES: Quietus of the Knights

Best for: Dark fantasy and 2D gaming enthusiasts
Where to buy: Steam

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If you like dark fantasy with your action, try ENDER LILIES: Quietus of the Knights. This 2D action RPG follows your character as you try to figure out the mysteries behind a destroyed kingdom. If you like immersive experiences in dark fantasy locales, this isn’t a game to be missed on our best action PC games list. 

“The visual style and amazing soundtrack complement each other well, creating a sense of tranquility in a desolate and horrific world. The challenge hits that sweet spot where the difficulty is high but victory is never out of reach, learning the enemy behaviors and getting an understanding of the collected abilities will allow players who persist to see the story to its end.”

— Hardcore Gamer

Metro Exodus: Complete Edition

Best for: Anyone looking for an update to Metro Exodus
Where to buy: Fanatical – Exclusive Deal: Extra 5% off from 12/20-12/27

This re-release takes advantage of new tech like the Fully Ray Traced Lighting Pipeline and GPU-capable hardware from NVIDIA and AMD to upgrade the Metro Exodus game. It’s offered as an extra entitlement to all existing metro Exodus PC players. It requires Ray Tracing capable GPU for a minimum spec and is offered as a separate product due to how extensive the upgrade is.   

“Metro Exodus: Enhanced Edition is an amazing upgrade that no one will think they wanted until they play it. The free nature of it allows fans to return to a more immersive world, while those who have yet to play can experience the best version available.”

— Noisy Pixel

Death’s Door

Best for: Surrealist and light horror fans
Where to buy: Fanatical – Exclusive Deal: Extra 5% off from 12/20-12/27

Your character has a day job of reaping souls of the dead, but then his own soul is stolen and now it’s a race to chase the thief. You must travel to a realm untouched by death to battle the truly monstrous.

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The game combines dark mystery, a surreal art style, and a thrilling combat system. It features Talon Sharp Combat, which helps you use a wide array of weapons to fight inventive monsters and allows you to customize your stats. The world beyond the Door is populated by truly bizarre characters whom you’ll bring hope to as you uncover the secrets of the game.

“From the distinct, sprawling domains of your three primary marks, to the adorably avian way your crow tilts and juts their head around, the game never misses a moment to delight you with some new wonder, and just when you think it’s run out of surprises; whether it’s a new tune, a beautiful vignette, or a quiet moment of empathy, it’s always got something else tucked underneath its wing.”

— GamesHub

Guilty Gear -Strive-

Best for: Fans of fighting games
Where to buy: Fanatical – Exclusive Deal: Extra 5% off from 12/20-12/27

Out of the well-loved classic fighting game series, Guilty Gear -Strive- has stunning graphics. The franchise is made by Arc System Works and has been around since 1998, and it’s a must for anyone who loves anime-style artwork in games.   

“Guilty Gear’s latest chapter is its most accessible one yet, a righteous display of power and attitude that unleashes the sickest of heavy metal guitar licks and unrelenting style. Its online matchmaking may still need some work before it’s ready for the main event, but Arc System Works has delivered a captivating display of coolness and action.”

— Critical Hit

Unsighted

Best for: Sci-fi fans
Where to buy: Fanatical – Exclusive Deal: Extra 5% off from 12/20-12/27

For sci-fi and action RPG lovers, your character must help save the few remaining androids before they run out of Anima, the energy that grants them consciousness. In the game, you explore the ruins of Arcadia. Reviewers state that the world is accessible and has a wide, detailed, and immersive environment with plenty to do. It’s from the debuting indie team Studio Pixel Punk and has a Zelda-like feel.     

“Unsighted is awesome. More people should know about it and play it, especially considering that the game goes out of its way to be accessible even to people who usually find Souls-like titles too hard, or people who dislike the timer mechanic but still want to experience the game, or even people looking for a harder ride.”

— Gamer Escape

Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time

Best for: Classic gaming fans, platformer lovers
Where to buy: Battlenet

This classic platforming series is back with a long-awaited new installment, making it one of the truly notable best action PC games. Crash Bandicoot is known for its demonically challenging levels, which makes it that much sweeter when you complete them. The villain Neo Cortex and N. Tropy are out to take over the whole multiverse, and it’s up to Crash to reunite the four Quantum Masks to save the day.

“Crash 4 is an excellent purchase for all those PC players who really want to put themselves to the test with a tough-as-nails platformer… Definitely give it a chance, and don’t be discouraged by its difficulty – we’ve all been through it.”

— The Games Machine

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