A promotional image of Baldur's Gate 3 featuring the main characters .
Image via Larian Studios.

Best action-adventure games of 2023

The best action and adventure titles that 2023 had to offer.

This year was chock-full of action-adventure games, from indie titles to AAA behemoths. There was plenty to enjoy in 2023 with this genre, so we’re looking at 10 particularly great games that fall under the category of action-adventure. 

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Action-adventure can be a bit of a vague genre, but what I tend to think of as an action-adventure game is something that combines action-fueled gameplay with epic, high-octane elements. This means the genre can easily combine with other genres, such as role-playing, horror, fantasy, or shooters. 

As you’ll see from the games we discuss, action-adventure truly transcends the boundaries of genre, with all sorts of different kinds of titles fitting the action-adventure criteria. That said, let’s take a look at some of the best action-adventure games of 2023. 

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

A screenshot of Peter Parker and Miles Morales from the trailer of Marvel's Spider-Man 2
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is a great example of a sequel done right. Image via Insomniac Games.

The success of the first Marvel’s Spider-Man game from Insomniac Games in 2018 led to high expectations for the sequel. Thankfully, Insomniac delivered this and more with Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

Sequels are commonplace in the gaming industry, though a good one is a rarity. Insomniac went above and beyond with Spider-Man 2 by creating a sequel that not only does the first game justice but surpasses it by building on the story, improving mechanics, and introducing new characters in a way that makes sense to the narrative. 

Though the story of the sequel might have played it a bit safer than I would have liked, there’s no denying that Spider-Man 2 is one of the best action-adventure games of 2023.

Baldur’s Gate 3

A screenshot of the player character  from the trailer for Baldur's Gate 3.
Baldur’s Gate 3 was a favorite for many in 2023. Image via Larian Studios.

One of the biggest surprises in gaming this year was Baldur’s Gate 3, a sequel to the 2000 game Baldur’s Gate 2 developed by BioWare. Larian Studios took the reins in development this time around and in doing so, created one of the best RPGs in recent years. 

While the game is primarily an RPG—and an intense and multifaceted one at that—I included it here because it has plenty of action and adventure elements in both the narrative and the gameplay. The storyline itself is particularly typical of the standard DnD adventure campaign, with high stakes, multiple choices, and gripping character arcs. 

You don’t have to be an expert DnD player or familiar with the Baldur’s Gate series to enjoy Baldur’s Gate 3. I’ve never played DnD or any of the Baldur’s Gate games, and yet this was one of my absolute favorites this year. 

Dead Island 2

A screenshot of a zombie from the trailer for Dead Island 2
Dead Island 2 might not be a masterpiece, but it still managed to surpass expectations. Image via Dambuster Studios.

This might be a bit of a controversial choice since I know this game wasn’t as well received as some of the others on this list. However, when you consider the development hell Dead Island 2 went through, it’s amazing it turned out as well as it did. 

Dead Island 2 had an incredibly shaky development process, going through multiple developers before Dambuster Studios took the project on. When the game finally came out in April 2023, many were expecting it to be an obvious product of behind-the-scene turbulence. 

Much to everyone’s surprise, though, the result was an imperfect but fun zombie game packed full of enjoyable action.  

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

An image of Cal Kestis from the Star Wars Jedi: Survivor trailer.
The Force is strong with Star Wars Jedi: Survivor. Image via Respawn Entertainment.

A sequel to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Survivor did everything a good sequel should do. The game builds on the action-platforming elements from the first game while maintaining mechanics that worked so well to begin with.

Narrative-wise, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is a little bit stale, but it isn’t an issue to the extent that it ruins the experience while playing. 

The engaging lightsaber combat, intergalactic setting, and stunning visuals more than makeup for the slightly lackluster story. Just don’t mention the issues when it was first released on the PC. It was a traumatic time for all of us. 

Alan Wake 2

An in game screenshot of Alan Wake from Alan Wake 2
Alan Wake’s return was another gaming hit in 2023. Image via Remedy Entertainment.

Alan Wake 2 falls under the category of several genres, including psychological thriller and horror. However, the gameplay definitely lends itself to an action-adventure title as well. 

Although there isn’t any specific action platforming in the game, there’s plenty of action when it comes to the combat. As well as that, there’s a surprising amount of exploration in Alan Wake 2. Choosing to venture off of the beaten path can lead you to puzzles, emphasizing the adventure themes of the games. 

Though not the genre that is at the forefront of Alan Wake 2, the game is still one of the best with action and adventure elements from 2023. 

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

A screenshot of Link from the trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
Creating your own vehicles was the big, new feature in Tears of the Kingdom. Image via Nintendo.

Much like its 2017 predecessor Breath of the Wild, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is another action-adventure smash hit that was one of the best games released this year. 

TOTK expanded on the open world introduced in BOTW, while also taking note of and improving issues players had with the first game. It also included new gameplay elements, a must for every successful video game sequel.

The most noteworthy new addition to the sequel was the ability to build your own contraptions and vehicles to aid you in your exploration. As you can imagine, this led to tons of content from players around the world as they showed off their builds, adding to the fun and creating even more player engagement. 

Resident Evil 4 Remake

A screenshot of Leon  from the trailer for the Resident Evil 4 remake
Leon Kennedy returns in the Resident Evil 4 remake. Image via Capcom.

The remake of Resident Evil 4 was another of the most highly anticipated games of 2023, seeing as the original 2005 game was one of the most well-received games in the Resident Evil franchise. Thankfully, the remake did not disappoint and was one of the best action and adventure games of the year. 

There are puzzles to be solved, as there were in the original game, but also a new crafting system that encourages the collection of resources to create ammo and other useful items, a popular trope in action-adventure titles. 

There are also new side quests in the remake, as well as an update to Leon’s combat, all of which come together to make Resident Evil 4 more of an action-adventure game than ever before. 

Hi-Fi Rush

A screenshot of Chai from the trailer for Hi-Fi Rush
Hi-Fi Rush is a rhythm-style action-adventure game. Image via Tango Gameworks.

Another surprise hit released in 2023, Hi-Fi Rush comes from developer Tango Gameworks and combines rhythm-style gameplay with action to create a truly unique action-adventure gaming experience. 

The combination of rhythm-game elements with action-based platforming and features such as unlockable perks, abilities, moves, and upgrades fuses well with the cell shading animation style. 

Remnant 2 

A screenshot from the trailer of Remnant 2
Remnant 2’s procedurally generated levels make for plenty of replayability. Image via Gunfire Games.

While primarily a third-person shooter, Remnant 2 also has action and adventure features that add another layer of depth to the game. This includes a class system that offers various character archetypes with different abilities for players to choose from. As you progress through the game, you can also unlock the ability to dual-class. 

A good portion of Remnant 2 is randomly generated, so you won’t get the same experience twice. In an interview with IGN, the Gunfire Games CEO explained this was so players and their friends could have different experiences as they play. 

The replay value added by the procedural generation system along with the introduction of archetypes and classes makes for a game that goes far beyond the simple shooter genre, expanding to action and adventure with a sprinkling of role-playing. 

Hogwarts Legacy

A screenshot of Hogwarts from the trailer for Hogwarts Legacy
Exploring Hogwarts in Hogwarts Legacy is a gaming highlight from 2023. Image via Avalanche Software.

Last but not least is a game that saw controversy surrounding it due to the opinions of Harry Potter creator J. K Rowling. Personally, I always felt it was unfair to judge a game based on one person’s actions and views, especially when so many talented people worked on it. 

Considering Hogwarts Legacy solely as a game in its own right, it earns its place as one of the best action and adventure games of 2023. The game is the first in decades to allow players to explore Hogwarts and attend classes as a student in the Harry Potter universe, and the first to do so in modern gaming. 

Hogwarts Legacy is not only a must for fans of Harry Potter, but it’s also a great action-adventure game in its own right and one that deserves a spot on this list. 

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Antonia Haynes
Antonia Haynes is a freelance general gaming writer for Dot Esports who resides in a small seaside town in England where she has lived her whole life. Beginning her video game writing career back in 2014, and having an avid love of gaming since childhood, she became a staff writer in 2018 before becoming freelance in 2023 with her role at Dot Esports. Her ideal day would consist of junk food, fluffy pyjamas and video games because quite frankly going outside is overrated.