Saturday, April 30, 2016

My top 5 "The true Diablo 3"s

Ah, Diablo 3. A game that strayed so far away from its predecessor that it created something like a sub-genre for action RPGs. Numerous games followed and tried to capture the spirit of the old Diablo games that many fans couldn´t find in Diablo 3. And they did capture it quite well, outstanding action RPGs are all over the place. And this is the list of my personal top 5.

Error 37 from Diablo 3
A common sight for Diablo 3 players.

Place 5: Din´s Curse

Combat scene from Din´s Curse
Definitely not the prettiest game around
It doesn´t look like much but this is a fascinating game with deep mechanics and unique ideas that you won´t find in any other action RPG out there. Your duty is to defend a randomly generated town from the horrors that lurk below. But unlike other games the monsters don´t stay around and wait for you. They build traps, train and can even invade your town and threaten the villagers you are bound to protect.

Read my detailed review
Homepage of the developer
Buy the game at
Trailer of the game

Place 4: Diablo 3

Wallpaper of Reaper of Souls
One addon later, the game has improved significantly
Are you surprised to find it on this list? I was one of the unfortunate souls that played it right from release day. But I have made my peace with the game. After all the adjustments made, it is a fun but short-lived brawler with an excellent console port. It is also very accessible so if you want to introduce your friends to the world of action RPGs, this is a very good starting point.

Official Game Site
Cinematic Trailer on YouTube

Place 3: The incredible Adventures of Van Helsing (the whole trilogy)

Van Helsing art from the incredible adventures of Van Helsing
The son of the famous Van Helsing is the main character
This game offers an enjoyable combat system and an avalanche of mechanics to modify your equipment and powers, all neatly organized in your own personal hideout. There are even some side-activities like tower defense (where you can still take matters into your hands and fight among your deadly towers). But the real star here is the charming atmosphere. Especially the dialogue between the main character and his undead sidekick. Action RPGs usually don´t have much story going on but this one does it quite well.
Special note: I recently played the Final Cut which combines the trilogy into one whole game, read the review here.

Homepage of the developer
Watch trailer for Final Cut on YouTube


Place 2: Path of Exile

Skill tree from Path of Exile
Yes, this IS a skilltree
Definitely more of a hardcore experience. The huge and complex character building, the dark and threatening atmosphere and the unforgiving difficulty of Wreaclast make this game unique. And it never stops growing as the developers add new mechanics with every season. This is the biggest, deepest but also hardest action RPG in existence (and you can even play it for free). Recently I wrote a guest blog entry for which happened to be a review of Path of Exile.

Homepage of the developer
Watch trailer for Ascendancy (latest expansion) on YouTube

Place 1: Grim Dawn  

Combat against Dermapterans in Grim Dawn
Capturing the frenzied combat in a picture is really difficult
Perfection! From the energetic and deeply satisfying combat to the endless possibilities for character builds. This is the only game that can compete with Diablo 3 in terms of fluid and dynamic combat. There are only 6 character classes but you can combine two of them and so far I did not find a single combination that didn´t work and each offered a twist to the combat. Throw in a huge and detailed world full of secrets to explore and you will surely understand why I am playing through the game with my fifth character already.

Homepage of the developer
Buy the game at
Watch trailer on YouTube

Are you interested in reading more about these games? What are your top action RPGs? As usual, I would be glad to know. So thanks in advance for any comment.

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