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20 Best Hack and Slash Games for PS4 in 2020

The Hack and Slash genre is growing increasingly difficult to define. Is it synonymous with dungeon crawlers? Can it be open-world? Do shooters count? Where do Souls-likes fit in? Indeed, many a forum thread has devolved into an all caps dumpster fire, with users arguing over what exactly Hack and Slash refers to.

In this case, we’re going to use a broad definition that includes most games that incorporate high numbers of enemies, an emphasis on equipment gathering and upgrades, character customization, and combo systems. Whatever your specific tastes, each game on this list is handpicked for its overall quality and should enthrall gamers of all stripes. Enjoy!

Diablo 3

  • Released: 15 May 2012
  • Developer: Blizzard
  • Price: $59.99

The Diablo Franchise is to Hack and Slash what Fortnite is to the battle Royales. The figurehead of the genre. Diablo remains the epitome of dungeon crawling, loot-gathering goodness and gives players a wide variety of enemies to slay en-masse, isometric levels to plunder, and skills to build and choose. Anybody looking for an easy to grasp Hack and Slash in the genre’s most recognizable form should definitely make Diablo 3 one of their first stops.

Download on the Playstation Store

Devil May Cry 5

  • Released: 8 March 2019
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Price: $24.99

Considered by many to be the zenith of Capcom’s venerable Devil May Cry series, DMC 5 picks up four years after the previous installment with the world under threat by the evil demon king Urizen. Players have a choice of three characters to choose from — Nero and Dante (who longtime players will of course recognize), as well as a brand new character, V.

The gameplay progresses in stages with frantic real-time combat and an extensive combo system at its core and exceptional, unsparing difficulty. At the end of each stage, players are given a style grade that accounts for things like attack variety, damage received, combo length and other factors. Fans new and old who want a Hack and Slash that comes with a real challenge would do well to check out Devil May Cry 5.

Download on the Playstation Store

Ghost of Tsushima

  • Released: 17 July 2020
  • Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
  • Price: $59.99

Set on the eponymous Japanese island of Tsushima during the first Mongol invasion of Japan, Ghost of Tsushima begins when Mongol forces sweep across the land, plundering and laying waste to the hitherto peaceful home of Jin Sakai, samurai. When an attempt to repel the invaders, led by the brutal Khotun Khan, ends in disaster, Jin Sakai realizes his style of combat must evolve beyond the strict bounds of the samurai he was trained to be if he is to meet the new cataclysmic threat head-on.

The game follows Jin as he travels around Tsushima, murdering invaders by the dozen and picking up new combat techniques as he goes. The game even features a grayscale Kurosawa Mode for those who want to experience the story like an old school samurai film from the eponymous director.

Download on the Playstation Store

Path of Exile

  • Released: 23 October 2013
  • Developer: Grinding Gears Games
  • Price: Free

Path of Exile, created by hitherto unknown New Zealand based developer Grinding Gears Games, came out of nowhere back in 2013 and wowed players with its fundamentally sound Hack and Slashery combined with immensely deep character customization by way of an expansive skill tree that seems more like a skill forest.

The game has a complex equipment and upgrading system that makes character building a primary focus of the game. Anybody who appreciates the classic dungeon crawler format but seeks a little more character building options than Diablo 3 will find what they’re looking for in Path of Exile.

Download on the Playstation Store

Dark Souls Remastered

  • Released: 24 May 2018
  • Developer: FromSoftware Inc.
  • Price: $39.99

The Souls game of all Souls-likes, sequel to Demon Souls, and widely considered a strong contender for the greatest game of all time, Dark Souls is the unimpeachable masterpiece of FromSoftware. It’s nothing like a Diablo or a Path of Exile,  with a much more thoughtful (and punishing) combat system at its core, but has a distinct emphasis on combat, upgrades, and exploration that makes it a good choice and interesting departure from the traditionally more grind-heavy Hack and Slash genre for those looking for something more nuanced than pure button mashing.

Download on the Playstation Store

Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition

  • Released: 14 August 2012
  • Developer: Vigil Games
  • Price: $29.99

In Darksiders II, players don the hooded black robes and take up the scythe(s) of Death himself, one of the Four Horsemen, as they set out to clear their brother, War’s, name for the annihilation of humanity. Yeah, it’s not exactly the cheeriest game in the world, but it is one of the best Hack and Slashes on PS4, with an immersive open-world, tons of quests, deep dungeons, and a wide arsenal of varied weaponry and an engrossing story for players to invest in.

Fans of Souls-likes who would love to see what a gritty FromSoftware-esque setting would be like if fitted with more traditional Hack and Slash gameplay should definitely check out Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition (or any of the Darksiders games.”

Download on the Playstation Store

Nioh

  • Released: 7 February 2017
  • Developer: Team Ninja
  • Price: $9.99

Nioh is an incredibly detailed Hack and Slash set in Japan’s late Sengoku Period (the latter days of the Samurai) and follows a fictionalized version of the story of William Adams, a real-life English navigator, certified badass, and one of the few Westerners to successfully pull off an ACTUAL Last Samurai.

Players step into the shoes of Adams as he chases through mission-based instances after Edward Kelley, real-life occultist and in-game Sorcerer, while cleaving through numerous human and supernatural enemies. Awesome for fans of Samurais, Yokai, and any of Koei Tecmo’s other games.

Download on the Playstation Store

NieR: Automata

  • Released: 23 February 2017
  • $Developer: PlatinumGames
  • Price: $39.99

A spinoff of the Drakengard series, the game follows a band of humanoid androids as they battle a force of alien machine-beings. Players quickly find themselves traveling an expansive dystopian open world, completing quests, building their character, and engaging in explosive combat that comes with the trademark combo system.

NieR: Automata employs a branching narrative that requires multiple playthroughs and provides many, many hours of content for Hack and Slash Games to dive into, so players looking for something more story-driven than your typical murderfest should check it out.

Download on the Playstation Store

Hellblade

  • Released: 8 August 2017
  • Developer: Ninja Theory
  • Price: $29.99

Considered by many critics to be one of the best indie games ever made, Hellblade combines gritty real time combat, masterful storytelling, incredible character depth and stunning graphics to create something that truly has to be experienced to be believed.

The game follows Norse woman Senua as she strives for Helheim in a bid to save her dead lover’s soul from the spiteful goddess Hela. The game cloaks its deep, and surprisingly honest exploration of psychosis and mental illness in incredible gameplay, and its utter lack of an on-screen UI emphasizes a sense of immersion that is chilling to behold.

Download on the Playstation Store

Titan Quest Anniversary Edition

  • Released: 31 August 2016
  • Developer: Iron Lore Entertainment
  • Price: $19.99

First released way back in 2006, Titan Quest is one of the certified OGs of Hack and Slash dungeon crawling. Sprawling maps, an extensive lore based on the mythologies of ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt and beyond alongside tons of quests and a massive equipment pool earned it a massive following back in the day that was reinvigorated with the release of the remastered Anniversary Edition in 2016. Anybody looking for a straightforward, no-frills dungeon crawler of epic size and scope should look no further than the Titan Quest Anniversary Edition.

Download on the Playstation Store

Borderlands 3

  • Released: 13 September 2019
  • Developer: Gearbox Software
  • Price: $59.99

The epitome of the looter-shooter, for those who don’t mind poking holes at a distance with an immense array of firearms rather than up close and personal, Borderlands provides the same onslaught of enemies to mow down and emphasis on chests and looting that is key to any traditional Hack and Slash. Except as an FPS with a great sense of humor and unique Mad Maxian meets Cyberpunk art-style that make it one of the most memorable franchises ever made.

Download on the Playstation Store

Victor Vran

  • Released: 24 July 2015
  • Developer: Haemimont Games
  • Price: $39.99

Victor Vran is essentially Van Helsing in the form of a dungeon crawler. Players assume the role of the titular demon hunter, arming themselves with a variety of weaponry and equipment before heading out for some high octane demon-slaying. On top of the traditional Hack and Slash gameplay, Victor Vran uses a timing-based reaction mechanic that makes combat a little more three dimensional than one might expect from a cursory glance at the game. Anybody looking for a Hack and Slash that preserves the traditional formula with a few subtle tweaks will love Victor Vran.

Download on the Playstation Store

Dragon’s Dogma

  • Released: 22 May 2012
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Price: $29.99

Dragon’s Dogma is essentially Skyrim meets Shadow of the colossus. Players play as the Arisen, a hero prophesied to defeat the dragon Grigori who is considered the harbinger of the apocalypse (sound familiar?). The game features an open world replete with enemies ripe for the hacking, alongside huge bosses that can be climbed on, Colossus-style, to search for vulnerable spots. One of the game’s most unique features is the Pawn system in which players can recruit a band of up to three AI-controlled followers (no, there’s no Lydia) to help on their quest to kill…  well, everything in sight.

Download on the Playstation Store

Bayonetta

  • Released: 29 October 2009 (Original Version)
  • Developer: PlatinumGames
  • Price: $24.99

Bayonetta is something like if Devil May Cry starred Trinity from the Matrix. Players take control of the eponymous demonic witch, Bayonetta, and progress through a variety of levels with the insatiable bloodlust of a Genghis Khan multiplied by a starving T Rex. The combat is fluid, fast-paced, and features numerous combo mechanics and a grading system that take direct inspiration from Devil May Cry. Fans of fast-paced ARPGs or Devil May Cry fans that have played it all to death already would do well to check out Bayonetta.

Download on the Playstation Store

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

  • Released: 22 March 2019
  • Developer: FromSoftware Inc.
  • Price: $59.99

When his master is kidnapped by a very shortsighted Samurai Clan, his disciple, a Shinobi named Wolf (Seriously, why would you mess with a guy named Wolf?), sets out on a path of utter annihilation, painting an exquisitely detailed feudal Japanese landscape with the blood of many a wayward samurai. The game sports the trademark FromSoftware difficulty and bombastic boss battles, arguably dialing it up a few notches, even.

Download on the Playstation Store

Warframe (as Ash)

  • Released: 25 March 2013
  • Developer: Digital Extremes
  • Price: Free

In Warframe, players take control of members of the Tenno, an alien race that has recently reawoken to a solar system torn apart by war between several competing factions. Players can choose their own Warframe, a power suit that caters to a distinct playstyle, and embark on solo PvE missions or explore open worlds, taking part in PvE and PvP content. For those looking for some serious sci-fi Hack-and-Slashery, we recommend going with the Ash warframe.

Download on the Playstation Store

God of War 3

  • Released: 16 March 2010
  • Developer: SIE Santa Monica Studio
  • Price: $9.99

On a quest to seek revenge against his father, Zeus, the former-human-warrior-turned-god-of War-turned-former-god-of-War, Kratos, slaughters his way through gods, beasts and monsters from the pantheon of Greek Mythology. The game is actually the fifth installment in the long-running series and features some of the most incredible character and level designs of any game out there. Hack and Slash gamers will be enthralled with the combo-oriented combat and steady sense of growing power as Kratos acquires more abilities and weapons on his way to a final confrontation atop Mount Olympus.

Download on the Playstation Store

God of War (2018)

  • Released: 20 April 2018
  • Developer: SIE Santa Monica Studio
  • Price: $14.99

2016’s God of War picks up years after the events of the previous installment and takes the trademark Hack and Slash gameplay to a new Norse motif. The game follows Kratos and his son, Atreus, as they venture for the highest peak of the Nine Realms to scatter the ashes of Atreus’ mother. Along the way, the pair inevitably encounter wild monsters and deities from Norse Mythology and engage in the same gritty, high-velocity combat that defined the series — with a few salient tweaks.

Not only does Kratos conspicuously go full Viking this time around with a mean-looking battle axe instead of his signature chained-blades, but the game uses a new one-shot OTS perspective that helps fuel a deeper sense of immersion than ever before.

Download on the Playstation Store

Bloodborne

  • Released: 24 March 2015
  • Developer: FromSoftware Inc.
  • Price: $19.99

One of FromSoftware’s most beloved ARPGs, Bloodborne follows players as they suit up, grab their oversized cleavers and oversized firearms, and head into the ruined city of Yharnam to investigate the source of a twisted blood-borne disease ravaging the inhabitants and transforming them into Lovecraftian monstrosities.

The game features the hallmark Souls-like combat system and exceptional Gothic level design that brings out the nightmarish Victorian setting. Any fan of FromSoftware games who hasn’t tried out Bloodborne is doing themselves a disservice and needs to get Bloodborne now!

Download on the Playstation Store


For Honor

  • Released: 14 February 2017
  • Developer: Ubisoft
  • Price: $29.99

For Honor is a smaller scale action game that employs a Hack and Slash combat system that might interest veterans of the genre curious about how the same mechanic might be applied to a more PvP-heavy, duel-oriented format. Players can choose from four factions of historical Warriors, with Samurai, Knights, Vikings, and Wu Lin Chinese soldiers to pick from and six classes under each, personified as a unique hero that comes with their own weapons, equipment and playstyle. Fans of PvP and fighting games who enjoy the Hack and Slash style of combat will love For Honor.

Download on the Playstation Store


What’s your favorite Hack and Slash game? Are we missing any big titles here? Let us, and everybody else, know!