The Best Diablo-Like Games
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The Diablo series has been an iconic part of gaming as a pioneer in western RPGs, setting a foundation for others to follow and build upon. The lasting influence of Diablo 2 created a subgenre of similar action-RPGs that all aim to recreate its satisfying gameplay loop with dungeon crawling, loot, and multiplayer features. However, it's definitely fair to say that some Diablo-likes are better than others.
Now, with Diablo 4's launch on the horizon, we've taken a stab at crowning the nine best games that offer that same gratifying experience in the Diablo-like action-RPG genre. From well-known contenders like the Torchlight series to lesser-known fare like Victor Vran, we've covered nearly all the games in this style that you'd ever want to play. While the excitement for Diablo 4’s launch is high, the next time you feel that urge to grind, give one of these a try. You might be surprised how much you like it.
One of the oldest games on our list, Titan Quest doesn't quite belong to the first generation of Diablo-likes, but it's certainly not far behind them. It's an action-RPG with the familiar isometric perspective, though it trades Diablo's demonic milieu for an Ancient Greek setting. First conceptualized during the development of Age of Empires, Titan Quest has a throwback charm that will appeal to those who grew up with 2000s gaming, and its Anniversary Edition re-release from 2016 sands off some of its rough edges while keeping the experience authentic to the original. It's definitely not the best game on this list, but as far as solid ARPGs go, this is one worth considering.
Torchlight series (especially Torchlight 2)
The Torchlight games are some of the most renowned games in the Diablo-like genre, and that's for good reason. They combined the satisfying mob-killing action that made the series so enjoyable with a simpler approach that appeals to those who were scared away by the relatively complex builds and strategies required for the Diablo games. Torchlight 2 improved on every aspect of the original and is generally considered the peak of the series, though the new Torchlight Infinite is worth a look if you're interested in a version with a gacha system. Torchlight 2 also has a successful mod scene if you don't mind doing some research.
Path of Exile
Sometimes described by fans as the true successor to Diablo 2, Path Of Exile is a free-to-play ARPG that presents itself as a hardcore alternative to others in the market. Developed by a team of Diablo fans who were frustrated by the lack of new games in the genre in the early 2010s, Path Of Exile appeals the most to players who value depth of content over all else, as the game has received ten years of regular updates from developer Grinding Gear Games. Currently, Path Of Exile 2 is in its beta stages, so if you're interested in trying out the original, it's a good time to take the plunge.
Created as a spiritual follow-up to Titan Quest, Grim Dawn is a cult ARPG that combines complex mechanics with deep build customization. Unlike most games in the genre, Grim Dawn doesn't have randomized enemy camps and dungeons, instead opting for a hand-designed approach. Players praise it for its replayability and variety of builds, while also noting substantial support from developer Crate Entertainment and a vibrant mod scene that continues to this day. If you missed it on its original release in 2016, it's worth a look.
One of the newest games on our list, Minecraft Dungeons is a simple and fun take on the usual Diablo-like genre that can appeal to a wider audience. There's no complex build diagrams or multi-phase bosses requiring in-depth strategies here, just a lot of hacking, slashing, and watching the numbers go up. It's certainly one of the better-looking games on this list, as the voxel aesthetic of Minecraft stands out in the field, and its lighting is especially impressive. It's not a hardcore experience, but if you're looking for a grindfest that you can play with anybody, Minecraft Dungeons is very much in that ballpark.
One of the more obscure ARPGs to come out in the 2010s, Victor Vran is a different kind of Diablo-like. Like Minecraft Dungeons, it doesn't require a build guide or hundreds of hours of grinding to reach the end, though it does have a substantial endgame with fancy loot. The game is also surprisingly hard on the higher difficulties, but not so much that it requires you to look up a guide online. If you're looking for a forever ARPG like the Diablo series or Path of Exile, Victor Vran isn't for you, but it's a great game to play with a friend over a weekend if you want to relax.
A lesser-known spin-off of the Darksiders franchise, Genesis is an isometric hack-and-slash game with co-op support and tons of enemies to slay. It's less of an RPG than other games on this list, with fewer mechanics to explore, and not much in the way of proper builds. However, a lot of players feel that it's one of the best games in the franchise, perhaps even better than some of the mainline entries. Like Victor Vran, this is definitely an ARPG that is best picked up on sale for a weekend play with a friend, and it excels in that situation.
Initially dismissed at launch by APRG fans due to a lack of content, Warhammer: Chaosbane has improved in the years since its 2019 launch into a pretty decent budget ARPG. Players praise its beautiful environments and simple but fun combat as major highlights, while also noting that its DLCs have added much more content to the game. As a whole, it's definitely worth picking up on a deep sale rather than its usual asking price of $30. If you have three friends who have squeezed everything out of Vermintide and have a hankering for a Diablo-like, give Chaosbane a try.
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Diablo 2: Resurrected
Okay, yeah, perhaps you might consider this cheating. However, it would be silly to make a list of the best ARPG games without the game that popularized the genre to begin with. Even today, Diablo 2 is a really fun experience with deep builds, engaging combat, and a unique retro aesthetic that appeals even to new players. It's definitely not as newbie-friendly as some of the other games on this list, but the modernized Resurrected edition remasters all of the game's environments while letting you swap to the original visuals with a button press. Perhaps the nostalgia factor might not be there for everyone, but it's worth a try, especially since its tried-and-true gameplay loop has largely stood the test of time.