10 action games that should be turn-based

As the game has progressed over the years, more and more titles have embraced real-time combat with great effect. Most of the biggest names in the gaming industry are using real-time action to deliver a memorable experience. While this form of action is generally the norm in most modern games, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for other styles of play to invade the mainstream.

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If anything, there are several memorable games that have adopted turn-based combat with great success. The Yakuza series is a great example of a franchise that has moved away from its roots of real-time action to try out turn-based combat, and they’ve managed to accomplish the same in a brilliant way. Here are other such action titles that could also benefit from a move to a turn-based system!

The devil can cry

Dante in Devil May Cry 3

The Devil May Cry series recently made a comeback in the form of the critically acclaimed Devil May Cry 5. Dante’s return to form was widely celebrated by fans, who absolutely loved the show’s real-time combat.

At a glance, Devil May Cry may not seem like a series that requires turn-based combat. However, this change – if executed correctly – can be a vastly different and engaging experience in itself.

God of the war

God of War game director Ragnarok spoke about the game's finale

God of War is the last franchise you would think of when talking about action games that could take a turn-based format instead. After all, God of War’s appeal comes from its action-packed combat system that allows players to wail over their enemies with carefully constructed combos and more.

However, this idea is not completely out of left field. With intelligent integration of Kratos’ movements and abilities, God of War can certainly have the potential to transform into a challenging yet rewarding tactical turn-based game.


bayonetta 3 flashing at the camera

Bayonetta is easily one of the more original games on this list. Platinum Games has been leading the development of some really wacky titles, and Bayonetta definitely fits the bill in that regard.

Related: The Best Action RPGs On The Sega Genesis

The systems required to make Bayonetta combat satisfying in a turn-based environment can be a bit tricky. However, that doesn’t mean this idea is completely impossible, and Bayonetta can certainly provide the backbone of a turn-based title that can challenge you while being extremely stylish to boot!

Batman arkham

Batman Arkham Knight

Arkham Knight marks the end of the Batman Arkham series. With Rocksteady taking a bold new approach in The Suicide Squad, it’s not a far-fetched idea to try and revamp Arkham games with a turn-based system governing the game instead.

The stealth and combat sections can be made quite tactical with turn-based mechanics. It certainly sounds interesting, although Rocksteady is highly unlikely to go ahead with this course of action.

Assassin’s Creed

Assassin's Creed Odyssey - Kassandra overlooking a body of water

If there’s one franchise that needs an overhaul, it’s Assassin’s Creed. While the franchise did this for a while to revamp its identity with the release of Assassin’s Creed Origins, it didn’t take long for the same formal approach to permeate every aspect of Assassin’s Creed once again.

Ubisoft is the latest company associated with taking risks. However, if the company decides to turn Assassin’s Creed into a franchise with turn-based gameplay, it will certainly grab the attention of the gaming community again.

Dark souls

Dark Souls Trilogy Cites 5 Ash Lords

Dark Souls is the quintessential action-adventure game that has taken FromSoftware and Hidetaka Miyazaki’s name to great heights. The third game in the series was meant to serve as the finale to this trilogy, and it wrapped up all the threads admirably.

With the main series finished and dusted off, there’s no reason FromSoftware couldn’t experiment with the Dark Souls IP. After all, a turn-based hardcore Dark Souls game doesn’t sound that bad!


Hades - via Supergiant Games

Supergiant Games is one of the biggest independent developers around. The perfect way in which these developers manage to merge the story with the gameplay is absolutely spectacular.

Hades is just one of the many projects they have carried out that offer excellence at all levels. Considering the experience Supergiant already has with creating turn-based titles like Transistor, it’s not hard to imagine a title with the art style and story of Hades, paired with mechanics at the turn-based engaging to start.

Metal Gear Solid 5. Solid Snake sitting in a helicopter.

After Kojima left Konami, Metal Gear Solid was in limbo for a while. The company apparently can no longer find a way to get people interested in these games.

Related: The Best Action JRPGs On Nintendo Switch, Ranked

A great way to grab attention would be to introduce a turn-based Metal Gear Solid game. It can be a tough sell, but the game can certainly intrigue players if the mechanics involved are strong enough to warrant this genre change.


Darksiders 3: Save Location

Darksiders is another action-adventure series that has had some rough times recently. After the release of Darksiders 3, the general buzz surrounding this series has pretty much died down.

A great way to refresh the game’s combat and generate some hype would be to incorporate some excellent turn-based combat instead of the lazy gameplay present in the third game. It’s a tall order, but the great execution. of these mechanisms will do wonders.

Kingdom Hearts

Woody In Kingdom Hearts 3 pushes Sora away to talk to Young Xehanort

Kingdom Hearts is one of the greatest franchises of all time … and also the most convoluted. For the most part, the gameplay of these titles has been quite good, although some people have issues with Kingdom Hearts III.

A new game in the series can take a while, especially with the fiasco surrounding the last game in the series. However, given this franchise’s ties to Final Fantasy, it’s easy to see why Kingdom Hearts is the perfect candidate for an action game series that can easily turn into a turn-based title.

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