There are a lot of video games out there and in this era of mobile and home-based gaming, the choices have never been greater. So how do you cut through the noise and find the “Best of” for any chosen topic?
Well, we’re here to help celebrate and shine a spotlight on some of the latest, greatest and unforgettable games through the years.
For our ongoing series of articles depicting the best video games, our attention this time turns to games with a monster theme. From stellar action RPGs to open-world exploration titles, there’s enough here to whet your appetite.
Of course, if we’ve missed any of your favorites, feel free to comment below and we’ll get them added on!
Monster Hunter (Series)
Capcom is known for dishing out a slew of action-oriented works. From the zombie-invested world of Resident Evil to the energetic hip-hop locales in Street Fighter, Capcom is notorious for creating games that’ll get players’ heart pumping. The Monster Hunter series is no different from the company’s other highly acclaimed works.
These games receive much praise for their addictive gameplay loop, beautiful visuals, and epic soundtracks. Each entry has you play as a hunter that you can customize from the game’s start. The story campaigns aren’t too exciting but later entries try to provide players with raw and rich storytelling. This game series is mostly adored for its gameplay.
You and three other friends will challenge the series’s slew of monsters. From the fire-breathing dragon Rathalos to the electric primage Rajang, Monster Hunter boasts an incredible roster of monsters for you to slay. After you finish slaying these beasts, you can carve them and receive materials. These materials can be used to give you more revenue or allow you to create better weapons and armor. This gameplay loop serves as the crux of the Monster Hunter experience.
Elden Ring recently took home the title of Game of the Year at 2022’s Video Game Awards hosted by Geoff Keighley. This game was adored for its phenomenal soundtrack, epic boss fights, and challenging gameplay loop. This world will send chills down any player’s spine and cause some to throw several tangents because of its overwhelming difficulty curve.
The locales wreak of dark fantasy and gothic aesthetic. The monsters and fierce warriors you’ll combat blend in with Elden Ring’s themes well and demonstrate feats that’ll make you sweat. Gamers should expect to defeat these adversaries after several attempts. It’s not an easy task and you should expect to grow frustrated over time.
However, that’s the joy to be found with Elden Ring. Defeating these warriors feels rewarding and helps you develop your skills at the game over time. The game also features some delightful online elements with great depth. If you’re looking for an open-world game with a dark setting, give Elden Ring a try.
For something on the lighthearted side, I’d recommend the popular monster-taming franchise Pokémon. These games have been putting a smile on human faces since 1998. The story revolves around your player character traveling a region full of Pokémon trainers, enthusiasts, and Pokémon. You must defeat the region’s eight gym leaders to obtain badges.
Once assembled, you’ll head for the region’s Pokémon League. There, you’ll challenge the elite four and eventually the champion. Defeating the champion will net you the title of the region’s new champion. Some games include fun post-game content where you’ll tackle some fun side missions with the region’s characters.
Not only will you battle these formidable trainers, but you can look forward to thwarting each game’s set of villains. Their plans vary per region, but mostly tie into the box art legendary Pokémon. These games boast incredible online play where you can trade and battle other players from around the world.
Although Pokémon’s graphics haven’t met players’ standards so far, the experiences they offer are unquestionably adventurous and charming. If you’ve never played a Pokémon game before, you can start with any entry from Red & Blue to Scarlet and Violet.
Dino Crisis (Series)
Capcom has many dormant franchises fans want to see a return with a modern revamp. From Viewtiful Joe to Okami, their catalog of abandoned properties is vast. Another game that falls in this category is Dino Crisis. This survival-themed action-adventure title has you battling hordes of flesh-eating dinosaurs. Each game offers something intriguing regarding plot and scope.
The series’ first and second titles are hailed as its best. Dino Crisis offers clever puzzles for players to complete. While some can be a breeze to get through, others may require players to ponder carefully. It adores placing its players in tight spots with the dinosaurs. This adds to the game’s chilling atmosphere and makes situations feel tenser as a result.
Like the puzzles, the dinosaurs may not frighten most players. However, the games feature enough memorable encounters with them to leave a lasting imprint on players’ minds. The first Dino Crisis game feels more close-knit while the second game leans into the game’s action elements more. If you adored the limited inventory space and confined nature of classic horror games, then you’ll find yourself at home with the Dino Crisis series.
Dragon Quest (Franchise)
Dragon Quest is an important JRPG for the genre. It went on to inspire many incredible game developers with its sense of adventure, impactful storytelling, and fun turn-based battle system. It’s one of the few JRPG franchises that hasn’t changed its formula since its inception. While the games have received graphical and world enhancements, the core aspect of the franchise remains prevalent.
These games follow a band of heroes venturing out into a world full of monsters, warriors, and mundane citizens. The locales they visit feel lively and contain beautiful scenery worth worthing admiring. The games offer self-contained narratives, allowing fans to play their boatload of entries in any order they desire.
Some games’ narratives aren’t as dark as others. The ones that contain mature themes and scenarios are often regarded as the series’s best entries, though. It’s because of the impactful voice acting and body animations given to the characters during these scenes. The turn-based battles are fun to experience and fans will find themselves jamming to the game’s orchestral battle music. If you’re looking for a fun fantasy adventure game with incredible storytelling and cartoon-like visuals, give Dragon Quest a chance.
Carrion is a unique Metroidvania title. While it captures the spirit of its predecessors, it offers something new in return. In Carrion, players follow a monstrous organism–fueled by vengeance. This being is willing to do whatever it takes to achieve its mission. It’ll remind folks of Metroid Dread’s E.M.M.I. or Ridley Scott’s Xenomorphs from the Alien film franchise.
Players can look forward to picking up and hurling humans from afar with the monster’s tentacles. It can also slip throw crevices, vents, and doorways, thanks to its body structure. This useful ability helps players visit areas that’d be too challenging for mundane humans to enter. At the same time, the game boasts some incredible upgrades and other useful mechanics to keep you at bay.
Unfortunately, the game’s graphics might not appeal to everyone. However, if you’re a fan of pixelated Metroidvania type of games with a chilling atmosphere, Carrion is worth your time.
ARK: Survival Evolved
Ark: Survival Evolved feels like a strange mix between Dino Crisis and Minecraft. This game puts the player in a gritty environment with numerous dinosaurs and obstacles around every corner. Ark entices players to hunt, craft, and research their environments for useful information and resources.
As you walk around the game’s environment, you’ll come across many minuscule events that’ll catch your attention. From the game’s lush landscapes to its rocky terrains, there are a lot of sights worth seeing here. Like Dino Crisis, Ark knows how to build tension. You’ll find yourself in many rough encounters with dinosaurs, so it’s best to prepare before traversing its world.
The game’s building mechanics feel more complex than Minecraft’s. This game makes it easier for players to build structures that they deem necessary for survival. From ramps to generators, Ark promises to give players an easier time than most building-based games. If you’re searching for a dinosaur-themed survival game with fun crafting mechanics, give Ark: Survival Evolved a shot.
Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen
Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen showers players in a huge open-world environment rich in storytelling and ferocious beasts. In it, players can team up with AI adversaries with unique abilities to assist them with several tasks. This game’s vast setting allows for more exploration on the players’ part than anything you’d find in Monster Hunter.
You don’t need to fret about being sent to a silly hub or campsite after every victory. You can continue your journey seamlessly without interruptions. The game features a way for players to send their AI allies to friends. This gives your friends a chance to form a connection with the teammates who assisted you in your endeavors.
Participating in this activity can net you new awards, tips, and hints for defeating the title’s enemies. It feels like a combination of Monster Hunter’s Palicoes and that game’s monster info log. It’s a useful concept that saves players a lot of energy in the long run. Fans looking for a fabulously large game with exciting monster fights should look no further than Dragon’s Dogma.
Godzilla: Save The Earth
Godzilla is known for being the “King of the Monsters” to many fans. He’s fought numerous foes from Earth and outer space and even traveled and survived the bottomless pits of Hell on occasion. He’s a monster that never backs down from a fight and has the strength to triumph over many who stand in his way.
Like other movie properties, it wouldn’t be long until Godzilla stormed his way into the video game medium. Although Godzilla has had many fun games in the past, none compare to the fun arena-brawler titles developed by Pipeworks Studio. These games feature incredible rosters, addictive gameplay, and alluring modes.
In it, players can choose from a variety of monsters from Godzilla to his arch-nemesis King Ghidorah. It offers a slew of city-wide maps for you to play on and each boasts multiple structures that you can pick up and throw at your foes. Like other fighting games, your mission is to deplete your enemy’s health bar using grapples, attacks, and the monsters’ trademark powers.
From Godzilla’s Atomic Breath to King Ghidorah’s Gravity Beams, there are many neat ways to end your foes’ lives. The game boasts a fun arcade mode, a neat art gallery, and many options to make your experience with it better. Play Godzilla: Save The Earth if you want to feel as menacing as Toho’s several iconic kaiju.
With how popular Monster Hunter’s become, it makes sense for other game developers to create something of the same variety. Toukiden feels more Japanese-inspired with its monster designs and locales. The game’s core mechanics are nearly identical to Monster Hunter’s though.
Unlike Monster Hunter, this game was developed by Koei Techmo, the same studio known for gaming series like Ninja Gaiden and Dynasty Warriors. Toukiden 2 is fans’ preferred entry as it has better visuals and more monsters for you to slay. This game features Oni-like beasts inspired by Japanese mythology. You can fight these creatures alone or with friends.
Like Monster Hunter, Toukiden 2 features a hub area where you can level up your character. get new equipment, or take in the arena’s beauty. This game’s combat feels more fast-paced and it has a well-written narrative that gives your character a larger role to play. If you’re interested in a Monster Hunter clone with a Japanese influence, check out Toukiden 2.
So, there we have it, our pick for the best monster-themed video games over the years!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!