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Action RPGs To Play If You Like Kingdom Hearts’ Combat


Kingdom Hearts has been pleasing RPG fans since its 2002 inception on the PS2. Even though it has sometimes been many years between mainline entries & spin-offs, the series has never left the limelight. The combat is simple on the surface, but extremely fun & comes with a depth of its own.

RELATED: Things To Know Before Playing Kingdom hearts On PC

While no game is exactly like it, any fan might find some enjoyment from the games below. Some of them are simple hack-&-slash RPGs, while others are more advanced & offer a significant challenge. Even more so than turn-based RPGs, action RPGs live & die by their combat.

Updated November 18, 2022 by Jason Wojnar: The original Kingdom Hearts was a PlayStation 2 exclusive. Now, the entire series is playable on many platforms, making it more accessible than ever before. Once a new legion of gamers & fans have devoured the game, they might be looking for something in a similar vein.

Those players can read the updated version of this list to know what they can play next when in the mood for more games like Kingdom Hearts. Many of the games on this list are not exact copies, but they all have in-depth, real-time combat with a heavy dose of RPG elements.


15/15 Darksiders

A dragon about to go in to attack in Darksiders

What could make gamers feel more powerful than stepping into the shoes of one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse? Darksiders lets players do just this.

The adventure takes the protagonist, War, through a post-apocalyptic hellscape where they explore & make their way through numerous dungeons. The combat is a Enormous part of the equation, reminiscent of Kingdom Hearts. Several sequels have Approach out since Darksiders, including a co-op spin-off.

14/15 God Of War (2018)

Atreus & Kratos looking over the mountains God of War 2018

In the PS3 era, people thought Sony had put the God of War franchise to rest after Ascension. It came back stronger than ever in 2018 with the arguably confusingly titled God of War. This time, Kratos is older, wiser, & plagued with the guilt of his past actions while trying to raise a son on a better path.

As notable as the narrative is, it is the gameplay that puts this sequel on the list. This new incarnation of God of War is a genuine action RPG complete with EXP, currencies, & equipment to upgrade. Players can get by on the essentials, but those willing to see everything there is to see are able to access a variety of different abilities & armor that changes Kratos’ effectiveness in combat.

13/15 Hades

Death Defiance From Hades

Supergiant Games came out of the gate swinging with Bastion. It is almost hard to believe the developers could top themselves, but they managed to with Hades, which many consider one of the best roguelikes ever made.

The gameplay is fast & engaging & there is just enough progression between runs to keep players going & not make it feel hopeless. The narrative is also a real highlight. It feels like there is endless dialogue & character interactions.

12/15 Demon’s Souls

Avoiding the dragon's fiery breath in Demon's Souls

Demon’s Souls does not have a lot in common with Kingdom Hearts, but it is still an action RPG at the end of the day. Though there are a lot of systems in play under the hood, the gameplay still consists of simple swing attacks & magic spells.

RELATED: Easter Eggs In Demons Souls On PS5

Players cannot move as fast as Sora & they do not travel with party members, though. If Kingdom Hearts is too easy, try Demon’s Souls or other games from the same developer, including Dark Souls& the upcoming Elden Ring. The game is obtuse on purpose so gamers might be tempted to use a guide. The best way to play, however, is to just jump in & discover as much as one can on one’s own.

11/15 Ys

ys ix monstrum nox

The first Ys game distinguished itself from other action RPGs by making attacks automatic. Players simply bump into enemies to initiate damage.

This mechanic has not carried on throughout the entire series, but any entry will be good for fans of Kingdom Hearts. The aesthetic will be especially pleasing to those who like Japanese RPGs. The most recent release, Ys IX, is out on PS4, Windows, & Nintendo Switch.

10/15 Secret Of Mana

Secret of mana protagonist on a bridge

The Mana series feels like the closest to a true Kingdom Hearts predecessor. On the SNES, it was easily one of the finest real-time action RPGs. Players could also go through to story with at least one friend with convenient cooperative play options.

Many of the games have seen remakes in recent years as well. None of the games will challenge your skills, but they are all smooth & fun experiences, especially with a friend.

9/15 Persona 5: Strikers

Persona 5 Strikers character roster

Kingdom Hearts is far from a musou, but Persona 5: Strikers is not the average game from developer Omega Force. This action RPG carries many elements signature to the Persona series & serves as a direct sequel to Persona 5, one of the most celebrated RPGs of the generation.

RELATED: Mistakes Everyone Makes While Playing Persona 5 Strikers

Fortunately, it does not take 100 hours to beat & is instead a more manageable 30 to 40 hours. For an Omega Force game, the narrative is surprisingly deep.

8/15 Marvel: Ultimate Alliance

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 Heroes in battle stance

Few towns exist in Kingdom Hearts, meaning most of your gameplay time is spent going from room to room taking out enemies. For an even more concentrated combat experience, we’d suggest a dungeon crawler like Marvel: Ultimate Alliance.

Even if you are not a Marvel fan, it should still provide some solid entertainment. The most recent release, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, is a Nintendo Switch exclusive. The multiple characters also lend to gameplay variety.

7/15 Bloodborne

bloodborne monster about to strike player

Souls-likes might not be on the top of everybody’s minds when thinking about Kingdom Hearts, but similarities exist. The combat is way deeper, of course, & gameplay is given precedence over the story, but it is an action RPG nonetheless.

Character builds are more customizable as well, & each weapon has its own distinct move set. Just be wary of the game’s extreme difficulty. Bloodborne & other games from Hidetaka Miyazaki are renowned for their challenge.

6/15 The World Ends With You

The World Ends with You solo remix

The World Ends With You is worth playing for more reasons than the combat. This 2007 Nintendo DS game was produced by Tetsuya Nomura, the creator of the Kingdom Hearts series.

The combat is reliant on touchscreen controls, so it differs slightly from Kingdom Hearts in that respect. The game was re-released on Nintendo Switchwith updated gameplay & visuals, & a sequel is in development for both the Switch& PS4.

5/15 Ni No Kuni 2


The Ni no Kuni franchise started life on the Nintendo DS, but it really blew up when it came to the PS3 with Wrath of the White Witch.

The art style, crafted with the help of Studio Ghibli, shines on the more powerful hardware. The most recent mainline entry, Ni no Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom lives up to the series’ high st&ards. There is a separate battle screen & arena, but you are able to freely run around it during combat.

4/15 Bastion

Market hub with stairs in Bastion

Supergiant Games is currently riding high off the success of Hades, one of the most celebrated video games of 2020. The roguelike has an unprecedented amount of narrative content for the genre. Even after players beat it for the first time there is plenty of reason to keep on playing to discover more about the game world.

RELATED: Things That Make No Sense In Hades

The developer’s knack for telling great stories in unique ways did not start at Hades, however. Just go back to Bastion, Supergiant’s first game. In addition to being a fun isometric action RPG, it also tells a somber tale through the use of an omniscient narrator. As the game begins, players have no idea why the world is the way it is. After going through more of the levels, they Approach to slowly underst& what happened & the conflict between the characters.

3/15 Nier: Automata

Nier Automata's Combat

Nier: Automata might actually beat out Kingdom Hearts for a weirder narrative. It also actually makes sense, at least if you think about the game’s several endings & analyze them enough. The combat is fairly simple & similar to the Kingdom Hearts franchise.

In fact, the difficulty is its greatest weakness. Normal mode is too easy, while harder difficulties are just cruel. We wish a finer balance existed. All the same, Nier: Automata is a fantastic game for anyone interested in strange stories.

2/15 Hyrule Warriors: Age Of Calamity

Hyrule Warrior Age Of Calamity Playable Characters

The second game from developer Omega Force on this list, Hyrule Warriors: Ago of Calamity is a must-play for any Legend of Zelda fan based on how true it is to the franchise. Some are disappointed that it is not canon, but at least it gives fans a look at Hyrule prior to Breath of the Wild.

Unlike the original Hyrule Warriors, the story is more involved. It is a pleasure seeing familiar faces from the 2017 mainline Zelda game. There is still plenty of time to play it before the sequel to Breath of the Wild comes out. It is set for release in 2022, but who knows if that will be true.

1/15 Final Fantasy 7 Remake

Cloud striking a pose during combat Final Fantasy 7 Remake

Before making Kingdom Hearts, Tetsuya Nomura worked on Final Fantasy 7 & designed all the main characters. He eventually directed Final Fantasy 7 Remake in 2020. The gameplay perfectly mixes real-time combat with the ATB system from the original.

Many were worried the gameplay would be exactly like Kingdom Hearts, & instead, it manages to creatively marry the franchise’s gameplay with Final Fantasy. There’s no telling how the combat will evolve in future entries of the remake series. Even though the remake is out & still exp&ing with the upcoming sequels, it is still worthwhile to go back & play the original Final Fantasy 7. Players will appreciate the newer games more if they do.

MORE: Games With Weirder Endings Than Final Fantasy 7 Remake


Source link gamerant.com
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