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Swordfighting games: the best sword video games

Swordfighting games can range from the fast and furious to slow and impactful, but they all feel intensely cool

If you’re setting your game in any time period before the invention of guns then it’s going to be full of swords. While spears were actually the main weapon of soldiers throughout history, there’s something about swords that is so inherently cool we all agree to overlook that fact so we can swing them about.

The fact that almost the entire thing is a giant blade means we can jump, spin, and flip around to our heart’s content knowing that anything that gets in the way of our blade will be cut into pieces. Then there’s the other side of the coin, where swinging a sword feels heavy and impactful, with you really feeling the power behind each blow as it sticks in your enemy’s flesh.

The best swordfighting games need to properly capture one of those feelings. They need to make you feel powerful, be that through light-speed flurries of slashes, or by slow and strong stikes.

If you want something with a bit more tactical thinking, then check out our list of the best strategy games.

Devil May Cry 5

Devil May Cry 5 Dante slicin a lizard-like demon

There are a few different combat styles in Devil May Cry 5, but the swords are where the true fun lies. With such a huge array of abilities and combos to unlock, slaughtering demons has never been more enjoyable. It’s that classic style of an easy-to-learn, difficult-to-master combat system that lets you get something out of it no matter what your skill level is.

Nier Automata

Nier Uatomata 2B and 9S simultaneously attacking a robot

While the swordfighting isn’t especially high on the list of things that make this game so memorable, it can’t be overstated how polished of a hack-and-slash system Nier Automata has. The smaller swords are nippy and flashy, making the most of 2B’s skillset, while the big weapons add that extra layer of heft, without sacrificing how cool it all looks.

Blade & Sorcery

Beat Saber red and blue lightsabers slashing neon blocks

Certain things just work in VR, and swordfighting is one of them. Everyone’s picked up something resembling a long stick and waved it around like a sword at some point in their life, and now you can do it against AIs guilt-free, rather than the poor younger siblings of the world. Blade & Sorcery is all about giving you every opportunity to look like a badass, and you should throw yourself into that fantasy blade first.


Ghostrunner protagonist using their sword to block incoming bullets

“Cyberpunk ninja” is one of those phrases that just feels right, and it gets even better when you add “parkour master” to it. While it may sound like the original character of a 12-year-old boy, it’s so much fun to jump around slicing through everything in your path. It really tests your reactions, and you’ll slowly grow the skills you need to chain together mindblowing combos.


Mordhau holding a sword looking out at chaotic battlefield

If you want heavy melee multiplayer combat then you’ve got a few good options out there, but few are as much of a blast as Mordhau. With up to 60 players on either side, charging into war with nothing but a short sword and a tiny shield has never been so terrifying. The combat system is surprisingly deep, with directional inputs determining your swings and the ability to do things like feint and parry with incredible precision. Not to mention that the game lets you lop people’s limbs off and leave them looking like the Black Knight from Monty Python.

Beat Saber

Beat Saber red and blue lightsabers slashing neon blocks

Back to VR, Beat Saber doesn’t have you fighting people, but blocks. This unique rhythm game will see you wield a pair of lightsabers that you must use to slash away at a series of blocks to beat. If you like games that require quick reactions then you’ll love this, and get quite the workout in the process – for your arms, at least. The game has a huge selection of tracks with official artists from BTS to Green Day on offer, but there is a thriving modding scene as well for just about any kind of music.

Ghost of Tsushima

Ghost of Tsushima protagonist facing down three enemies

It’s no surprise that samurai games are among the first that come to mind when you think about swordfighting games. What’s great about Ghost of Tsushima is that it can be as complex as you want, depending on the difficulty. If you just want to be an immortal samurai slashing every enemy in half then breeze through on easy. If you want something challenging that requires quick reactions and a layer of strategic thinking, ramp it up to the harder modes.

For Honor

For Honor a knight dueling a samurai

There are lots of different styles for swordfighting, but what happens when they collide? With Knights, Samurai, and Vikings all on the same battlefield, there is such a great variety of encounters in For Honor. When two combatants begin a skirmish it can get very intense, and it’s even satisfying just to watch people duel each other.


Nidhogg yellow and orange man facing off with swords

Who needs realism? Not Nidhogg. It’s a simple fencing game where two people duel and the goal is to push your opponent back to the edge of the screen. It’s incredibly simple but once you’ve started you’ll never want to stop. With the ability to attack at different heights, tackle your opponent, or even throw your sword it’s incredibly tense with lots of back-and-forth action.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Sekiro protagonist and an enemy crossing blades

While the combat systems in FromSoftware’s other landmark titles have brilliant showcases of swordfighting action, Sekiro is the one that really put the focus on those high-stress scenarios of crossing blades with an opponent more powerful than you. Whether you’re striking stealthy or dueling dutifully, Sekiro makes every slash count.