gaming

The 30 Best Sword Fighting Games of All Time

MOBILE 5
Loveleen Kaur / ONE37pm

There's such an amazing thrill derived from unsheathing a blade from its casing and holding it out like the unbeatable warrior you envision yourself being.

Since it's such a rare occurrence you can't regularly enjoy, you're much better off experiencing it more often than not through the medium of video games. There's a great amount of quality action/adventure, open-world RPGs, and fighting games that present the finest sword-fighting mechanics you'll ever see. Whether you're clashing blades with your foe on the battlefield, slashing through waves of bloodthirsty demons, or stealthily picking off the opposition with your trusty katana in hand, these 30 sword-fighting games all provide the thrill of swinging your blade to cut down anyone and everyone that dare tries to defeat you.

Now's the time to prepare your blade and prepare for battle.

1. ‘Soul Edge/Soulcalibur’ (series)

Bandai Namco's hand-to-hand fighting game series is Tekken, while its weapons-based fighter is the Soul Edge/Soulcalibur franchise. The most recent entry in the long-running series is Soulcalibur VI, which acts as a soft reboot of the series that brings back fan-favorite mainstays and brand new combatants. Masterful sword wielders such as Mitsurugi, Ivy Valentine, Chai Xianghua, and even Geralt of Rivia are at your disposal in this furious fighting game that awards patience, careful positioning, and the usage of devastating combos that can even result in epic stage ring-outs.

Buy Now, $12.88

2. ‘The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’

Geralt of Rivia is recognized by many as a badass who sees each and every task afforded to him to completion. His most memorable series of adventures take place within The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, as he sets out to combat an army of spectral warriors that try to capture a young "Source" known as Ciri. Making your way through the game's massive open-world puts you at odds with all sorts of human and mythical enemies. And taking them down means utilizing a long line of powerful steel and silver swords that can be swapped out in order to get a power boost over the many baddies that want Geralt's head on a silver platter.

Buy Now, $27.40

3. ‘Samurai Shodown’ (series)

SNK's 2D weapons-based fighter has been around since 1993. And over the course of a few decades, Haohmaru and the rest of the game's eccentric roster have been dueling throughout several sequels and incremental updates. If you want to hop into the earlier games in the series, we suggest checking out the Samurai Shodown NeoGeo Collection (there are seven games included in that compilation, so you'll definitely get your money's worth there). As for the most recent entry in the series, 2019's Samurai Shodown is a welcome return to form that provides a natural evolution for fans and also introduces new battle mechanics that fit right in with everything else.

Buy Now, $29

4. ‘Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance’

Raiden has made quite the turn when it comes to transitioning from a hated protagonist into a beloved one. His cyborg ninja role from Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots gets the spotlight in this high-octane slasher developed by the masters of action games, PlatinumGames. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance gives Raiden several bladed weapons to rely on during his crusade against an organization known as Rival PMC Desperado Enforcement LLC. With Raiden's collection of formidable blades at his disposal, you'll get to hack and slash through all sorts of cybernetic baddies and stylishly finish them off via slow-motion cutting sequences.

Buy Now, $16.70

5. ‘Devil May Cry’ (series)

The half-human/half-demon hero known as Dante has had to protect the human race from the worst monsters known to man for several games now. And thankfully (aside from Devil May Cry 2), the blonde-haired series frontman's battles with the denizens of the demon realm have been amazing all the while. You can build up your combo meter through the flashiest sword combos you'll ever see and pull off through the game's earlier entries via the Devil May Cry HD Collection. It's also worth seeking out the special editions of Devil May Cry 4 and 5 to try out the flashy movesets of Dante's brother Vergil and Vergil's son Nero.

Buy Now, $34.84

6. ‘Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection’

Ryu Hayabusa has been putting his ninjutsu skills to good use since 1988. One of the gaming's most recognizable ninjas made his way over from the 2D realm to 3D once the series he's attached to got rebooted on the original Xbox. You can play that first game and the two sequels that followed it via modern means through the Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection. All three games are no easy walks in the park - the deluge of enemies that try to eliminate you can be overwhelming. But once you wrap your head around each game's controls, characters, and combat maneuvers, you'll enter a zen-like state as you use Ryu's Dragon Sword to cut down everyone that comes your way.

Buy Now, $57.24

7. ‘Bushido Blade’ (series)

You might be surprised to hear this, but Square actually used to publish its own fighting game franchise back on the first PlayStation. And what set that IP apart from the competition was its more strategic and tactical approach to weapons-based warfare. The Bushido Blade games embrace a more realistic fighting system where two warriors circle the battlefield, pick their spots, and try to land the finishing blow with their blade of choice. The weapons included in the first game's armory include a katana, a saber, and a broadsword, while the sequel features new weapons such as the yari. You'll need to get in as close as possible with your blade at the ready if you have any hopes of achieving victory in both Bushido Blade games.

Buy Now, $21.98

8. ‘Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice’

FromSoftware, the development studio behind the best "Soulsbourne" games ever made, went back to its roots with this Tenchu-like foray into feudal Japanese action. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice will enrage you and satisfy you in equal intervals as you explore vast locales filled with some of the toughest foes you'll ever clash blades with. Sekiro's katana can be utilized to throw off each enemy's posture/balance so you can take them out as efficiently as possible. Everything from the regular foes right on up to the big bosses that make you work for each victory will push you to the absolute limit. You'll get so much satisfaction from sneaking up on the game's weaker adversaries and quietly eliminating them with a gory katana kill.

Buy Now, $29.36

9. ‘For Honor’

For Honor deserves a lot of credit for sticking close to its roots while doing everything in its power to produce a wealth of content that's intriguing enough to bring in casual onlookers. This game offers a ton of worthwhile gameplay through its single-player and multiplayer components. You can choose between five different classes of historically accurate warriors who all stick to their own sword-wielding battle class. Mastering the game's intricate combat system is a must as you get caught up in some 1v1 battles and even multi-person encounters. It feels so good to slash through a crowd full of weaker troops and emerge victorious during a hotly contested one-on-one confrontation. Side note - the Peacekeeper, Kensei, and Tiandi warriors are so damn cool!

Buy Now, $16.25

10. ‘Onimusha’ (series)

Oh, how we miss Capcom's Onimusha series! During the height of the PS2's popularity, this action/adventure series put a demon-hunting samurai at the center of it. And all four of the main action/adventure games produced by it are worth going back to. The best way to play the first game is through its modern-console rerelease, which cleans up the visuals to a satisfying degree. And just like the other games in the series, you'll command the elemental attributes of several swords and make your way through a huge ensemble of demons with those powerful weapons by your side. Mastering the art of the game's lightning, fire, and ultimate Bishamon Sword weapons is so much fun. Be sure to check out the spinoff party fighting game Onimusha Blade Warriors, by the way!

Buy Now, $59.99

11. ‘Way Of The Samurai’ (series)

One of the best ways to take a trek through the time period of 15th century to 19th century Japan, then it's definitely worth hopping into the Way of the Samurai series. Each game lets you take on a role of a wandering samurai who gets caught up in the middle of some intense faction warfare. The decisions you make along the way impact the way the story unfolds, which gives each game tons of replay value since it's worth taking on new playthroughs with different decisions. And of course, you can hop on the offensive and let your katana do all the talking. The latest game in the series goes for a top-down action RPG gameplay style, which is a surprisingly nice change to the series' traditional third-person approach.

Buy Now, $29.99

12. 'The Nioh Collection'

Only the most patient and battle-hardened "Soulsbourne" fans will be able to complete the two action RPGs released within the Nioh series. Developed by Team Ninja, both games take players to Sengoku-era Japan and pit them against a wide range of daunting human & mythical foes. Your main battle tactics rely on an armory filled with all sorts of single and dual swords, which can be utilized in various ways through stance changes that switch up your attacks. Plus you can morph into a monstrous Yokai demon to really do some big damage to Nioh 2's super tough bosses.

Buy Now, $33.30

13. ‘Ghost Of Tsushima Director's Cut’

One of the best PS4 exclusives is now available on PS5 in its finest form. Sucker Punch Productions' open-world jaunt through the age of the samurai is a breathtaking experience through the gorgeous locales on Tsushima Island. In order to quell the first Mongol invasion of Japan, you must take on the role of Jin Sakai and embrace the ways of the samurai & guerrilla warfare. That means you'll be cutting down your foes with focused strikes, engaging in nail-bitingly tense duels, and pulling off sick multi-kills in mere seconds with your katana in hand. The PS5 Director's Cut is the best way to play thanks to its inclusion of the story expansion DLC, multiplayer component, and improved visuals.

Buy Now, $39.99

14. ‘Chivalry’ (series)

Hacking and slashing alongside your online cavalry has never been more fun than it has been in the Chivalry games. Chivalry 2 updates everything to a fine degree and presents the series' traditional team-based and free-for-all skirmishes through newly improved visuals and gameplay mechanics. The medieval warfare that goes down in Chivalry 2 is super gruesome and bloody, which should be right up the alley of some of you bloodthirsty gamers out there. Swinging your long sword to and fro is so much fun here, trust us.

Buy Now, $24.99

15. ‘Monster Hunter’ (series)

Capcom's Monster Hunter franchise went from a niche franchise that only the most hardcore fans could wrap their heads around to a more streamlined action RPG with mainstream appeal upon the release of Monster Hunter: World. It's still worth venturing into that entry in the long-running series to see what all the fuss is about. A ton of new monsters, equipment, and special events have been added post-launch, so the best time to play it is now. Over on the Switch, you can check out Monster Hunter Rise and enjoy a feudal Japanese take on the series' familiar formula. Utilizing all sorts of Great Swords, Long Swords, Dual Blades, etc. make up the gamut of fun when it's time to go out and cut down some massive monsters.

Buy Now, $29.99

16. ‘Mortal Shell: Enhanced Edition'

This love letter to FromSoftware's long line of Soulsbourne games got its most definitive rendition in the form of Mortal Shell: Enhanced Edition. For those of you that missed it the first time around, this action RPG gives you the power to take over numerous fallen warriors and master their weapon of choice. And of course, that melee arsenal includes lethal blades such as the Hallowed Sword, Martyr's Blade, and Axatana. You'll need to choose your moves wisely during Mortal Shell's difficult combat encounters, so be prepared for a tough adventure within the game's downtrodden world.

Buy Now, $29.79

17. ‘Demon’s/Dark Souls’ (series)

You've probably already seen, heard, and read about FromSoftware's collection of challenging action RPGs. And if you think you have the patience needed to get through the Demon's and Dark Souls games, then have at it. Just be prepared to die...like, a lot. But once any of these games get their claws into you, you'll find a hard time putting them down. It's worth starting with the excellent PS5 remake of Demon's Souls, then returning to the three Dark Souls games to get acclimated with its huge collection of swords and insanely difficult bosses. You're going to need to swing all those swords as efficiently as possible if you hope to make a dent in any of those games' ruthless enemies.

Buy Now, Prices Vary

18. ‘Elden Ring’

Oh, Elden Ring. FromSoftware managed to deliver the most newsworthy game release of 2022, which is pretty much an open-world version of the Dark Souls games. As a Tarnished warrior, you set out into the vast Lands Between on a mission to become the true Elden Lord. And that means you'll run into a bevy of killers that can only be quelled by a mixture of melee weapons, magical spells, and the usage of summonable allies. You'll definitely pour an unhealthy amount of hours into Elden Ring thanks to its massive open world. If you're lucky enough to obtain the Sword of Night and Flame, then you might just have a shot at beating Elden Ring.

Buy Now, $59.99

19. ‘Hellish Quart’

If you've been on the lookout for a modern-day rendition of the Bushido Blade games, look no further than this hardcore dueler. Hellish Quarter focuses on 1v1 battles where both players engage in realistic-looking sword fights within the time period of 17th century Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The game's amazing ragdoll physics, bloody action, and a nice selection of usable blades make it one of the most rewarding fighting sword fighting games on the market today.

Buy Now, $16.99

20. ‘Mount & Blade’ (series)

The Mount & Blade series offers a tactical multiplayer experience that incorporates building up an army over the course of a match, hopping into battles scattered across the battlefield, and getting embroiled in epic sieges all the while. Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is the most recent installment in the franchise and it's definitely worth spending some time with. The game's well-made single-player campaign and multiplayer suite let you swing your sword to and fro as much as you'd like. Its intuitive combat system makes you feel like such a badass whenever you pull off a successful sword strike in the heat of battle.

Buy Now, $49.99

21. ‘Mordhau’

Mordhau is a game of choices - you can choose to swing your vicious blade from a first- or third-person viewpoint. It doesn't matter what point of view you play from because you'll have an awesome time either way. You'll be involved in some chaotic medieval warfare as your custom mercenary fights among 80 other online warriors. Mordhau also lets you hack and slash alongside your friends via a co-op Horde Mode, so you'll have plenty of options are your disposal once it's time to put in work with your greatsword.

Buy Now, $29.99

22. ‘Tenchu’ (series)

Before the Dark/Demon's Souls gave it a huge upsurge in popularity, FromSoftware delivered a series of games based around sticking to the shadows and pulling off the stealthiest of kills. Those games belong to the Tenchu series, which features the crafty ninjas known as Rikimaru and Ayame. Rikimaru is the best way to go if you want to feel empowered via his Izayoi blade. If you're in the mood for some Japanese-themed stealth-based gameplay, then give the Tenchu games a try.

Buy Now, $29.99

23. ‘The Legend of Zelda’ (series)

Everyone knows what the Master Sword is and what it's capable of. Link, who's the leading savior from The Legend of Zelda series, is its ultimate wielder and has used it on multiple occasions to defeat the evil Ganondorf. Swinging that signature sword and a wealth of other equally strong blades (we personally adore the Fierce Deity Sword and Great Fairy's Sword!) can be done through the 3D series entries. Go ahead and check out Breath of the Wild if you haven't already to enjoy Link's open-world foray so you can play around with a bunch of new and old swords.

Buy Now, $39.99

24. ‘Ghostrunner’

What we have here is one of the better cyberpunk experiences in gaming. You'll not only be enamored with its striking visual palette but you'll also get addicted to its fast-paced gameplay. The phrase "alright, just one more try" rings true here as you can die in one hit and are forced to map out your moves before every run. As Jack the Ghostrunner, you'll swiftly explore numerous stages and use your sword to eliminate your foes via one single slash. Going slow-mo will make you feel unstoppable at times in Ghostrunner, that's for sure.

Buy Now, $29.99

25. ‘Until You Fall’

Swinging a huge sword in a virtual reality world is such a mind-blowing experience. One of the best ways to try it out for yourself is through this widely available hack-and-slash roguelite. Until You Fall tests players' endurance by throwing them into tough randomized environments and giving them one- and two-handed weapons to defend themselves with. Pick up your chosen blade, cast some debilitating spells to stay on the offensive, and fight hard as the last remaining Rune Knight of Rokar.

Buy Now, $24.99

26. ‘Kingdom Come: Deliverance Royal Edition’

Warhorse Studios' historically accurate first-person, action RPG is one of the biggest and most feature-rich games out there. There are so many harrowing missions to get yourself tangled up in, a system that requires your character to get constant rest & sustenance in order to stay healthy, a wealth of stat-affecting minigames, and more. On the combat side of things, you'll need to truly master the ins and outs of melee encounters as you pick up your sword and use careful maneuvering & attack timing to gain the upper hand. If For Honor's melee mechanics spoke to you, then you'll have no problem getting acclimated to the ones presented here.

Buy Now, $39.99

27. ‘Nidhogg’ (series)

The Nidhogg titles look deceptively simple at first glance. It's just you and another sword wielder going head to head while taking advantage of the side-scrolling environments afforded to you. But what makes both games in the series so much deeper than expected are the many ways in which you change the tide of battle in your favor. You're capable of attacking from three different heights, running, jumping, sliding, throwing your sword, and even getting into some good old fisticuffs action should you lose your sword. The first player to reach the end of their opponent's side first attains victory, so you'd better cut your rival down before they accomplish that goal.

Buy Now, $14.99

28. ‘NieR: Automata Game of the YoRHa Edition'

NierR: Automata is one of the most deeply emotional and thought-provoking games you'll ever play. It's plot unfolds in shocking ways and its many endings will stay with you long after you've completed them. On the gameplay side of things, PlatinumGames made sure to infuse this action/adventure campaign against rogue machines with some of the coolest looking and incredibly fun melee combat the genre has ever seen. As the three YoRHa units 2B, 9S, and A2 you'll command, you'll swing a nice variety of small swords and large swords that have unique designs with all three fighters. You haven't lived until you've cut down a horde of machines with some flashy slashes with the "Virtuous Treaty", "Faith," or "Type-40 Blade" in hand.

Buy Now, $24.65

29. ‘Bayonetta’ (series)

Yep, we have to show PlatinumGames some much-needed love on this list yet again. And that's because the series that first brought the Japanese action game studio to prominence deserves mentioning here. If you have a Switch, then you need to go out of your way and play both Bayonetta games. Both entries in the series follow a cocky, alluring, and dominant witch that can summon demons through her mystical hair-based attire. Besides those magical attacks, the shape-shifting main character can dish out some vicious attacks with two death-dealing blades. Those blades include the "Shuraba" katana and the double-sword combination known as the "Rakshasa." You're going to have so much fun hacking and slashing angels and demons to death with the coolest witch in gaming.

Buy Now, $64.70

30. ‘Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade’

Square Enix did the impossible with one of its most iconic games of all time. Somehow someway, it managed to remake Final Fantasy VII in the most efficient manner possible by switching up the turn-based combat into that of an action RPG and greatly expanding upon the storyline established in the original 1997 release. Whenever that familiar battle music kicks in, you'll get to bring Cloud Strife's Buster Sword and its many variations into the fray as you slash through everything in your path. Over the course of this remake, you'll unlock so many cool special moves that make utilizing Cloud's massive swords even more fulfilling. You'll get massive satisfaction once you pull off a successful "Cross-Slash" and "Ascension" Limit Break on the game's larger opposition.

Buy Now, $53.53

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