Top Ten Best Video Game Combat Systems

Before you vote please note:
1. This list is based on the combat systems themselves not the games they appear in.
2. Therefore don't just dismiss the system for appearing in a bad or overrated game.

The Top TenXW

1Batman: Arkham series

Or how to drop an entire roomful of people. The combat in these games are based on hand to hand combat, stealth, and gadgets. Essentially hand to hand combat is limited to take downs, a single true attack, counters, acrobatics, and a very strong autotargeting system. Overall, however, it is very fluid, allowing for armies of enemies to be fought at once with little difficulty. Stealth features many different takedowns relative to enemy and player position, with varying "loudness" or levels of "unstealthiness". Gadgets vary and assist both other forms of combat. Overall this system is excellent in allowing the player to toy with many enemies and just be a total beast, but quite bad at making a single man be a threat, relying on stealth and gadgets instead of physical combat. This system has been imitated by the Amazing Spiderman games and the Lord of the Rings: Shadow of Mordor, and is destined to be imitated many more times.

It's fluid, it's satisfying and it's hard hitting. What more could you want.

2Soul Series

You will die oh so many times during these games but you keep coming back to take some more pain just because the combat is so very cerebral. Fighting each enemy is like a puzzle and you really have to watch its attack patterns a few time before you can really have a go. It feels unfair at times but the moments of elation when you finally beat a section and are able to go back through with ease makes you feel like a complete bad-ass.

Combat has huge variety, takes strategy to master, and will punish you if you're not careful. Definitely the best combat of all time; while the Arkham series is renowned for its fluent and fast combat, the Souls series has more moves and slightly higher fluency (in 3, at least). - MKBeast

Hard but fair, but most importantly, it works! Shields block the way they are supposed to block, and weapons hit with real force. No other third-person action game creates such a thrill of tactics combined with a fear of death and the joy of success!

Definitely a great system. Requires that you use strategy before you charge to your eventual demise.

V2 Comments
3Assassin's CreedV1 Comment
4Witcher 3

Combat is great, although it looks silly at times. It makes Geralt look like a ballerina. - MKBeast

5Star Wars: Jedi Knight series (Outcast and Academy)V1 Comment
6Super Smash Bros series

A.K. A "brawler"
A very unique fighting game format, the Smash Bros combat system is simple, but elegant, as inspired by the Kirby game series. The series takes place in open yet limited 2D environments. Combat is built around two buttons, but the attacks change with direction of movement, position (grounded or aeriel), and whether or not the fighter is running. The system is also unique in deaths being caused by knocking the opponent out of the environment. The series also features multiple techniques (often born from glitches) that vary between games and add complexity, with melee containing the most. This system has been imitated in PlayStation All Stars battle Royale.

I REALLy enjoy SSB. I play it with my friends & wolith people at game parties all the time. It feels good to unlock characters, which is really hard to do further into the game. There is a new one that came out last month. - ruJILLous

7Lugaru / Overgrowth

An Indy game and it's upcoming sequel demonstrate what happens when you take human animal cross species and put them in the Matrix. In short the combat is quick and visceral, featuring parkour, hand to hand combat, weapons, stealth, and everything in between. The attacks are based off of distance from opponent, character movement, blocking, dodging, countering, opponent position, held weapon, and whether you are in the air or not. Essentially the combat allows for both single and multiple opponent fights without too much frustration aside from personal ability. It currently has no imitators.

8Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor

Fluid, responsive, looks awesome. What's not to like?


Yes, here it is, and lemme explain why. While not the best, it's definitely one of the most unique combat systems around. Mixing bullet hell with RPG elements actually pays off here. - MKBeast

Not the best but definitely the most unique as you can either fight or befriend and convince them not to fight

You have a choice between befriending and killing enemies.

10Red Steel 2

This is the pinnacle of motion controlled combat. The system features 1-1 precision in both swordplay and gunplay, button and motion combo attacks, motion strength sensitivity, and 4 guns. The system flows between gunplay and swordplay.

The Contenders

11God of War series

This is the third person action combat system many were, and often are still, trying to create. The system consists of long ranged varying attacks used in a multiple input combo system. It speciallizes in fighting groups of opponents with brutal efficiency and performing just okay with one on one fights (often reverting to spamming a single combo). However this system is not very good at creating difficulty. Any attempt to do so results in combo stopping and frustration. This system was used in Star Wars: the Force Unleashed with some success.


Yes, I know you have never heard of it. This combat system combines 2d fighting game combat with a third person shooter to create a deliciously anime combat system. The melee attacks are dependent on what position you are in, what buttons you press, where the enemy is located, and what character you are playing as, featuring punches kicks grabs and disarms. The gunplay features varying weapons with overall impotency to highlight physical combat. The system flows well between ranged and physical combat and features combos similar to standard fighting games.

13Chrono Trigger

One of the first RPGS to have a non-turnbased system, Chronic Trigger's combat is very deep for its time. - MKBeast

14Dark Messiah of Might & Magic
15Bravely Default

Sure, the potency of the weaponry is based around what mods you've equipped, but that doesn't change the fact that every weapon has some use in some levels, and that the Stance System is a rather decent way to keep Melee combat from being boring, while the Quick Melee Ability can be chained with gunshots to allow you to increase the potency of the other via Status Procs.

18Kingdom Hearts: Chain & Re: Chain of Memories

This is what happens when you combine a card game and a real time rpg. The result is a strategic and frenetic system where you have to not only be aware of when to attack but also what card you should use for that attack, what the opponent is using to attack and when you will have to reload. You have to construct your own deck and use it effectively for this combat system that blends card games and 3rd person (or beat-um up) action.


20Xenoblade Chronicles
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