With the action movie, Jack Reacher, in theaters on Dec. 21st, we take the time to look back at our favorite action games.
There are shooters and there are action games. Shooters feature action, but action games don't always involve shooting. Over the past five years -- what most of us would consider the meat of the current console hardware generation -- we've seen a diverse assortment of action titles from any number of talented developers. Soon enough, possibly even as soon as 2013, the gaming world will be starry-eyed for the next generation's slate of hardware.
Before you start celebrating what's to come, why not take a look back now on the best action games of this generation. From the must-play sleepers to the AAA marquee blockbusters, these are all backlog titles that you should make a point of finding some time for before they're all outclassed by the video game industry's shiny, new toys.
Batman: Arkham City
Rocksteady Studios took everything that worked about Batman: Arkham Asylum and dumped it into the content-filled open world of Arkham City. The improvements are legion. Exploration gets a renewed focus thanks to a wider offering of Riddler puzzles and a hefty helping of secondary story arcs, each of which amounts to a multi-mission challenge. The combat continues to be just as tight as it was before, with the added bonus of respawning bad guys and an open world that supports any number of approaches to a given challenge.
Wrapped around all of it is a Batman story that knows exactly who its audience is. This is a comic book game for comic book fans. The characters are elevated by top-notch performances by the likes of Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, and Troy Baker. The main narrative thread carries actual consequences within the fictional world, a daring-yet-successful move. This is a game that can be enjoyed by a Batman fan of any stripe, and it continues to stand as one of the most entertaining action experiences of this generation.