->''"Retake the city using the classic ''Diablo'' technique of hitting everything until it's dead, leveling up to unlock new ways to make things dead, and looting the world for items to make things dead faster."''
-->--'''[[http://www.pcgamer.com/previews/diablo-3-reaper-of-souls-hands-on-taking-the-fight-to-the-angel-of-death/ PCGamer.com preview]]''' of ''VideoGame/DiabloIII: Reaper of Souls''.

A RolePlayingGame mixed with ActionAdventure. In practice, "action RPG" (ARPG) usually means that the RPG in question gives the player direct control over the PlayerCharacter in real-time battles, as opposed to [[TurnBasedCombat turn-based]] and menu-based combat. Even though you will often hear "action RPG" touted as a "subgenre" of role-playing video games, there is no consensus about that, since it only narrows down how combat works in a game. Those who expect [[RPGsEqualCombat more than combat from RPG gameplay]] think of it as more of a "genre modifier" (see VideoGameGenres).

The ARPG genre, as well as the term "action RPG", largely originated from the {{Eastern|RPG}} tradition. The earliest ARPG examples, most notably the 1984 titles ''VideoGame/TheTowerOfDruaga'', ''VideoGame/DragonSlayer'' and ''VideoGame/{{Hydlide}}'', were produced in Japan in response to the turn-based and menu-driven combat featured in role-playing games at the time. This eventually culminated in ''TheLegendOfZelda'', an influential ActionAdventure influenced by ''Druaga'' and ''Hydlide''. The rival TurnBasedCombat mechanics were then [[TropeCodifier rigidly codified]] by series like ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' and ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' (though the latter eventually moved away from it to its signature more action-y, but still menu-based ActiveTimeBattle), and ever since then, the "turn-based RPG" and "action RPG" camps became firmly separate in the East, before eventually blurring the line between the two in more modern times.

The WesternRPG tradition, on the other hand, had a much more complicated history with action elements. The earliest [=WRPGs=], just like the earliest [=ERPGs=], were turn-based {{Dungeon Crawl|ing}}ers, and it wasn't until 1987 that real-time combat elements began entering the mainstream, with ''VideoGame/TheFaeryTaleAdventure'' (as well as ''VideoGame/DungeonMaster'' in a semi-real-time form). From the late 1980s, ''TheLegendOfZelda'' gradually influenced Western [=RPGs=] to lean more towards real-time combat, inspiring titles such as ''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Times_of_Lore Times of Lore]]'', which in turn inspired later ''VideoGame/{{Ultima}}'' titles. At the same time, the notion that RPGsEqualCombat was being challenged by ''VideoGame/UltimaIV'' (1985) and its sequels, which showed that the genre can be much more than that. Thus, instead of splitting along the line of turn-based vs. real-time combat, [=WRPGs=] gradually phased out the former in favor of the latter over the following decade, while exploring other aspects of RPG gameplay, such as [[InteractiveStorytellingTropes interactive narrative]] and [[WideOpenSandbox simulated worlds]]. Western [=RPGs=] eventually went MultiPlatform during UsefulNotes/{{The Sixth Generation|OfConsoleVideoGames}}.

By the time the move to real time ([[VideoGame3DLeap and, as it happens, to 3D]]) was completed, the term "action RPG" came to describe several specific types of gameplay:

* HackAndSlash games with RPGElements, usually played in third-person to show off flashy melee moves. This style was largely influenced by ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda''.
* {{Isometric|Projection}} [[PointAndClickGame point-and-click]] dungeon crawlers. These games are often referred to as ''VideoGame/{{Diablo}}'' clones.
* [[FirstPersonShooter FPS]]/RPG hybrids. This style was codified by the {{Immersive Sim}}s of TheNineties, though predated by UrExample ''[[http://www.giantbomb.com/star-cruiser/3025-2826/ Star Cruiser]]''.
* [[ThirdPersonShooter TPS]]/RPG hybrids. This style was largely influenced by TPS like ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'' and ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar''.

Combat-oriented games that did not fall under any of these categories (such as the ''VideoGame/IcewindDale'' series, which featured a tactical RealTimeWithPause) were not considered action [=RPGs=], while those that did, even when combat was [[CombatDiplomacyStealth just one type of gameplay they offered]] (such as ''VideoGame/VampireTheMasqueradeBloodlines'', which had FPS-like ranged combat ''and'' HackAndSlash-like melee), were. In the early [=2000s=], so-called "RPGElements" started bleeding into ActionGame subgenres, leaving role-playing video games with a severe identity crisis: What is an RPG? When does an RPG become an action RPG? And when does an action RPG stop being an RPG?

By the strictest definition, an ARPG is an RPG where combat success depends equally on player skill and PlayerCharacter {{skill|ScoresAndPerks}}. But the loose and more commonly accepted definition of ARPG (at least, of the contemporary ones) basically boils down to "the fights in this RPG occur in real time and you can play it with a [[UsefulNotes/GeneralGamingGamepads controller]]". It's no surprise, then, that games as different as ''VideoGame/TheWitcher2'' (a choice-driven narrative game), ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'' (a WideOpenSandbox), ''VideoGame/DiabloIII'', ''VideoGame/DarkSoulsI'', and ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXV'' all get labeled "action RPG", despite being barely comparable in terms of gameplay. This is, perhaps, indicative of how meaningless the label is, where it's becoming more and more synonymous with simply "RPG".

Compare {{Beat Em Up}}s, from which many Action [=RPGs=] derive their basic gameplay, but do not contain the RPGElements.
----
!!Eastern-style Action [=RPGs=]
[[index]]
* ''VideoGame/ArTonelicoQogaKnellOfArCiel''
* ''VideoGame/AvalonCode''
* ''VideoGame/{{Avarice}}''
* ''VideoGame/AvencastRiseOfTheMage''
* ''VideoGame/{{Bastion}}''
* ''VideoGame/BeforeCrisis: Final Fantasy VII''
* ''VideoGame/BeyondOasis''
* ''VideoGame/BlackRockShooter''
* ''VideoGame/BrainLord''
* ''VideoGame/{{Brandish}}''
* ''VideoGame/BraveFencerMusashi''
** ''VideoGame/MusashiSamuraiLegend''
* ''VideoGame/{{Briganty}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Cadash}}''
* ''VideoGame/CarBattlerJoe''
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaIISimonsQuest''
** ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight''
* ''VideoGame/{{Chantelise}}''
* ''VideoGame/CIMATheEnemy''
* ''[[{{VideoGame/ClaDun}} ClaDun: This is an RPG!]]''
* ''VideoGame/ContrastSoul''
* ''Videogame/CrossCode''
* ''Videogame/{{Cryamore}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Crystalis}}''
* ''VideoGame/DarkChronicle''
* ''VideoGame/DarkCloud''
* ''VideoGame/DarkSavior''
* ''[[VideoGame/RaidouKuzunohaVsTheSoullessArmy Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army]]''
** ''[[VideoGame/RaidouKuzunohaVsKingAbaddon Devil Summoner 2: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon]]''
* ''VideoGame/DragonQuestHeroesRocketSlime''
* ''VideoGame/DragonSlayer''
** ''VideoGame/DragonSlayerIIXanadu''
** ''VideoGame/{{Faxanadu}}''
** ''Dragon Slayer Jr: Romancia''
** ''[[VideoGame/LegacyOfTheWizard Dragon Slayer IV: Drasle Family/Legacy Of The Wizard]]''
** ''VideoGame/LegacyOfTheWizard''
** ''Dragon Slayer V: Sorcerian''
** ''[[VideoGame/KisekiSeries Dragon Slayer VI: The Legend of Heroes]]''
* ''VideoGame/DragonView''
* ''VideoGame/DragonsCrown''
* ''VideoGame/DragonsDogma''
* ''VideoGame/DualHearts''
* ''VideoGame/DungeonMakerIITheHiddenWar''
* ''VideoGame/DungeonsAndDragonsChroniclesOfMystara''
* ''VideoGame/DustAnElysianTail''
* ''VideoGame/EternalSenia''
* ''VideoGame/EVOSearchForEden''
* ''VideoGame/FairyBloom Freesia''
* ''VideoGame/{{Faria}}''
* ''VideoGame/FarawayStory''
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasyCrystalChronicles''
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyCrystalChronicles''
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyCrystalChroniclesRingOfFates''
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyCrystalChroniclesEchoesOfTime''
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyCrystalChroniclesTheCrystalBearers''
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXV''
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyType0''
* ''[[VideoGame/CrisisCore Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core]]''
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIIRemake''
* ''VideoGame/{{Folklore}}''
* ''VideoGame/FortuneSummoners''
* ''VideoGame/FragileDreamsFarewellRuinsOfTheMoon''
* ''VideoGame/FreshlyPickedTinglesRosyRupeeland''
* ''VideoGame/GoldenAxe Warrior''
* ''VideoGame/GuardianHeroes''
* ''Franchise/DotHack''
** ''[[VideoGame/DotHackR1Games .hack//IMOQ]]''
** ''VideoGame/DotHackGU''
* ''VideoGame/HolyUmbrella''
* ''VideoGame/{{Hydlide}}''
* ''VideoGame/InazumaEleven''
* ''VideoGame/{{Indivisible}}''
* ''VideoGame/InfiniteUndiscovery''
* ''VideoGame/InquisitorMartyr''
* ''Franchise/KingdomHearts''
** ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsI''
** ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII''
** ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsChainOfMemories''
** ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts358DaysOver2''
** ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep''
** ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsCoded''
** ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts3DDreamDropDistance''
* ''VideoGame/KingdomOfParadise''
* ''VideoGame/KingsField''
* ''VideoGame/{{Lagoon}}''
* ''VideoGame/TheLastStory''
* ''VideoGame/{{Legasista}}''
* ''VideoGame/LichdomBattlemage''
* ''VideoGame/LightningReturnsFinalFantasyXIII''
* ''VideoGame/LordOfArcana''
* ''VideoGame/LordOfMagnaMaidenHeaven'' (mixed in with the TurnBasedStrategy genre)
* ''VideoGame/MagnaCarta''
** ''VideoGame/MagnaCarta2''
* ''VideoGame/{{Mantra}}''
* ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork''
* ''VideoGame/MegaManLegends''
* ''VideoGame/MegaManStarForce''
* ''VideoGame/MetalWalker''
* ''VideoGame/MonkeyHero''
* ''VideoGame/MonsterHunter''
* ''VideoGame/MuramasaTheDemonBlade''
* ''VideoGame/NayutaNoKiseki''
* ''VideoGame/{{Nekro}}''
* ''VideoGame/NightsOfAzure''
* ''VideoGame/OdinSphere''
* ''VideoGame/OtogiMythOfDemons''
* ''VideoGame/{{Overworld}}''
* ''VideoGame/PandorasTower''
* ''VideoGame/PanzerDragoon''
* ''VideoGame/ParasiteEve''
** ''VideoGame/ParasiteEve2''
** ''VideoGame/The3rdBirthday''
* ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarOnline''
** ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarUniverse''
** ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarZero''
* ''VideoGame/PopfulMail''
* ''VideoGame/PrincessCrown''
* ''VideoGame/PrincessRemedyInAWorldOfHurt''
* ''VideoGame/{{Quest 64}}''
** ''VideoGame/QuestBriansJourney''
* ''VideoGame/RadiataStories''
* ''VideoGame/RagnarokOdyssey''
* ''VideoGame/RecettearAnItemShopsTale''
* ''VideoGame/ResonanceOfFate''
* ''VideoGame/RiverCityRansom''
* ''VideoGame/RogueGalaxy''
* ''VideoGame/ShiningWisdom''
* ''VideoGame/{{Solatorobo}}''
* ''VideoGame/SomaBringer''
* ''VideoGame/SoulBlazer''
** ''VideoGame/IllusionOfGaia''
** ''VideoGame/{{Terranigma}}''
* ''VideoGame/SpaceSiege''
* ''VideoGame/{{Spectrobes}}''
* ''VideoGame/StarCruiser''
* ''VideoGame/StarOcean''
** ''VideoGame/StarOcean1''
** ''VideoGame/StarOceanTheSecondStory''
** ''VideoGame/StarOceanTillTheEndOfTime''
** ''VideoGame/StarOceanTheLastHope''
* ''VideoGame/SteambotChronicles''
* ''VideoGame/StickRanger''
* ''Videogame/StoriesPathOfDestinies''
* ''VideoGame/{{Sudeki}}''
* ''VideoGame/SummonNight Series''
** ''VideoGame/SummonNightSwordcraftStory''
** ''VideoGame/SummonNightTwinAge''
* ''VideoGame/Summoner2''
* ''VideoGame/{{Sundered}}''
* ''VideoGame/SuperChinese''
* ''VideoGame/SuperMario3D''
* ''VideoGame/SwordDancer''
* ''VideoGame/SwordOfVermilion''
* ''VideoGame/TalesSeries''
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia''
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfDestiny''
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfEternia''
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfDestiny2''
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia''
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphoniaDawnOfTheNewWorld''
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfRebirth''
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfLegendia''
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss''
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfInnocence''
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheWorld''
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia''
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfHearts''
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfGraces''
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfXillia''
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfXillia2''
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfZestiria''
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfBerseria''
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfAsteria''
* ''VideoGame/TheVagrant''
* ''VideoGame/ThreadsOfFate''
* ''VideoGame/{{Transistor}}''
* ''VideoGame/TrinitySoulsOfZillOll''
* ''VideoGame/TheTwistedTalesOfSpikeMcFang''
* ''VideoGame/ValdisStoryAbyssalCity''
* ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles''
** ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChroniclesII''
** ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChroniclesIII''
* ''VideoGame/ValkyrieProfile''
** ''VideoGame/ValkyrieProfile2Silmeria''
** ''VideoGame/ValkyrieProfileCovenantOfThePlume'' (mixed with TurnBasedStrategy)
* ''VideoGame/{{Wibarm}}''
* ''VideoGame/TheWitchAndTheHundredKnight''
* ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou''
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfMana'' (''Seiken Densetsu'')
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyAdventure'' (''Seiken Densetsu: Final Fantasy Gaiden'')
*** ''VideoGame/SwordOfMana'' (''Shinyaku Seiken Densetsu'')
** ''VideoGame/SecretOfMana'' (''Seiken Densetsu 2'')
** ''VideoGame/SeikenDensetsu3''
** ''VideoGame/DawnOfMana'' (''Seiken Densetsu 4'')
** ''VideoGame/LegendOfMana''
** ''VideoGame/ChildrenOfMana''
** ''VideoGame/SecretOfEvermore'': Not part of the series but plays the same.
* ''VideoGame/{{Xenoblade}}''
** ''VideoGame/XenobladeChroniclesX''
** ''VideoGame/XenobladeChronicles2''
* ''VideoGame/{{Yakuza}}'' (''Ryu Ga Gotoku'')
** ''VideoGame/Yakuza1''
** ''VideoGame/Yakuza2''
** ''VideoGame/Yakuza3''
** ''VideoGame/Yakuza4''
** ''VideoGame/Yakuza5''
** ''VideoGame/Yakuza0''
** ''VideoGame/Yakuza6''
* ''Franchise/{{Ys}}''
** ''Ys I & II''
** ''Ys III: Wanderers from Ys/Ys: Oath in Felghana''
** ''Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys/Ys IV: Mask of the Sun''
*** ''VideoGame/YsMemoriesofCelceta''
** ''Ys V: Kefin, The Lost City of Sand''
** ''Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim''
** ''VideoGame/YsSEVEN''
** ''Ys Origin''
* ''VideoGame/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink''[[note]]While the ''Zelda'' series is often mistakenly called an Action RPG series, the character growth system exclusive to ''Zelda II'' firmly makes it a true Action RPG[[/note]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Zeliard}}''
[[/index]]

!!Western-style Action [=RPGs=]

!!!The Progenitors
Western [=RPGs=] with real time combat from before the ''Diablo'' era.

[[index]]
* ''VideoGame/DungeonMaster''
* ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsArena''
** ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIDaggerfall''
* ''VideoGame/TheFaeryTaleAdventure''
* ''VideoGame/SentinelWorldsIFutureMagic''
* ''VideoGame/TimesOfLore''
* ''VideoGame/UltimaVIII'': Could be considered a "proto-''Diablo''-clone", as it implemented the real-time click-to-strike isometric combat almost two years before ''Diablo''.
* ''VideoGame/UltimaUnderworld''
[[/index]]

!!!Top-Down Dungeon Crawlers
...a.k.a. ''Diablo''-clones. And, of course, the ''Diablo'' series itself.

[[index]]
* ''VideoGame/AncientEvil''
* ''VideoGame/BaldursGateDarkAlliance''
* ''VideoGame/ChampionsOfNorrath''
* ''VideoGame/{{Darkstone}}''
* ''VideoGame/DeathSpank''
* ''VideoGame/{{Diablo}}''
** ''VideoGame/DiabloII''
** ''VideoGame/DiabloIII''
* ''VideoGame/DinkSmallwood''
* ''VideoGame/DivineDivinity''
** ''VideoGame/BeyondDivinity''
* ''VideoGame/{{Dungeon Siege}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{FATE}}''
* ''VideoGame/GREEDBlackBorder''
* ''VideoGame/GrimDawn''
* ''VideoGame/TheIncredibleAdventuresOfVanHelsing''
* ''VideoGame/KultHereticKingdoms'' (also known as ''Heretic Kingdoms: The Inquisition'')
* ''VideoGame/{{Nox}}''
* ''VideoGame/PathOfExile''
* ''VideoGame/{{Revenant}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Sacred}}''
* ''VideoGame/StarWarsUprising''
* ''VideoGame/ThroneOfDarkness''
* ''VideoGame/TitanQuest''
* ''VideoGame/{{Torchlight}}''
** ''VideoGame/TorchlightII''
* ''VideoGame/UntoldLegends''
* ''VideoGame/VictorVran''
[[/index]]

!!!Role-Playing Shooters
First- or third-person shooters with RPGElements or [=RPGs=] with emphasis on ranged combat. Often sci-fi.

[[index]]
* ''VideoGame/AlphaProtocol''
* ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Consortium}}''
* ''VideoGame/DeusEx''
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}''
** ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas''
** ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 4}}''
* ''Franchise/MassEffect''
** ''VideoGame/MassEffect1''
** ''VideoGame/MassEffect2''
** ''VideoGame/MassEffect3''
** ''VideoGame/MassEffectAndromeda''
* ''VideoGame/NeonXSZ''
* ''VideoGame/{{STALKER}}''
** Videogame/LostAlpha
* ''VideoGame/SystemShock''
* ''VideoGame/VampireTheMasqueradeBloodlines'': A case can be made for placing it into the next category, as well.
* ''VideoGame/ZanZarahTheHiddenPortal'' is a very weird case: it is a HighFantasy game split between ActionAdventure and RPG at an almost perfect 50/50 ratio, but the fairy combat, where most of its RPGElements come to bear, is 100% FirstPersonShooter.
[[/index]]

!!!Role-Playing Slashers
3D HackAndSlash games with RPGElements or [=RPGs=] with elaborate melee combat. Often fantasy.

[[index]]
* ''VideoGame/AnvilOfDawn''
* ''VideoGame/{{Bloodborne}}''
* ''VideoGame/BoundByFlame''
* ''VideoGame/TheDarkMeadow''
* ''VideoGame/DarkSouls''
** ''VideoGame/DarkSoulsI''
** ''VideoGame/DarkSoulsII''
** ''VideoGame/DarkSoulsIII''
* ''VideoGame/{{Darksiders}}''
** ''VideoGame/DarksidersII''
* ''VideoGame/DemonsSouls''
* ''VideoGame/DivinityIITheDragonKnightSaga''
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition''
* ''VideoGame/DragonsDogma''
* ''VideoGame/{{Drakengard}}''
** ''VideoGame/Drakengard2''
** ''VideoGame/Drakengard3''
* ''VideoGame/DroxOperative''
* ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind''
** ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion''
** ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim''
* ''VideoGame/{{Gothic}}''
* ''VideoGame/HandOfFate''
* ''VideoGame/InfinityBlade''
* ''VideoGame/JadeEmpire''
* ''VideoGame/KingdomComeDeliverance''
* ''VideoGame/KingdomsOfAmalurReckoning''
* ''VideoGame/{{Krater}}''
* ''VideoGame/LordsOfTheFallen''
* ''VideoGame/MiddleEarthShadowOfMordor''
** ''VideoGame/MiddleEarthShadowOfWar''
* ''VideoGame/NieR''
** ''VideoGame/NierAutomata''
* ''VideoGame/{{Nioh}}''
* ''VideoGame/OfOrcsAndMen''
* ''VideoGame/{{Risen}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Scalebound}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Soulbringer}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Stonekeep}}''
* ''VideoGame/TheSurge''
* ''VideoGame/TheTowerOfDruaga''
* ''VideoGame/TwoWorlds''
* ''VideoGame/UltimaIX''
* ''VideoGame/UnderworldAscendant''
* ''VideoGame/UntoldLegends''
* ''VideoGame/WarriorsOfMightAndMagic''
* ''VideoGame/TheWitcher''
** ''VideoGame/TheWitcher2AssassinsOfKings''
** ''VideoGame/TheWitcher3WildHunt''
[[/index]]

!!!Miscellaneous

[[index]]
* ''VideoGame/BigSkyTrooper''
* ''VideoGame/{{Bombshell}}''
* ''VideoGame/DarkSunDome''
* ''VideoGame/DungeonDefenders'': Combined with elements of TowerDefense.
* ''VideoGame/FortZombie''
* ''VideoGame/HorizonZeroDawn''
* ''VideoGame/HyperLightDrifter''
* ''VideoGame/KidMystic''
* ''VideoGame/MarvelFutureFight''
* ''VideoGame/MarvelHeroes''
* ''VideoGame/MarvelUltimateAlliance''
* ''VideoGame/TheMightyQuestForEpicLoot'' (attack phase)
* ''VideoGame/MoonstoneAHardDaysKnight''
* ''VideoGame/ShadowmasterChronicles''
* ''VideoGame/TooHuman''
* ''VideoGame/{{Unepic}}''
* ''VideoGame/ValkyriaRevolution''
* ''VideoGame/XMenDestiny''
* ''VideoGame/XMenLegends''
[[/index]]