->''"Retake the city using the classic Diablo technique of hitting everything until itís dead, levelling 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" usually means that the RPG in question gives the player direct control over the PlayerCharacter in real-time battles, as opposed to the older RPG customs of [[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).

Further complicating matters is the fact that historically, the term "action RPG" has been used differently in the {{Eastern|RPG}} and WesternRPG traditions. The earliest ARPG examples (to boot: ''VideoGame/DragonSlayer'', 1984) were produced in Japan in response to the turn-based and menu-driven combat featured in most American and Japanese role-playing video games at the time. The TurnBasedCombat mechanics were then [[TropeCodifier rigidly codified]] by series like ''Franchise/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 have remained firmly separate in the East, despite many attempts to blur the line between the two.

The Western RPG tradition, on the other hand, had a much more complicated history with action elements. The earliest Western [=RPGs=], just like the earliest [=ERPGs=], were turn-based {{Dungeon Crawl|ing}}ers, and it wasn't until 1987 (''VideoGame/TheFaeryTaleAdventure'' and ''VideoGame/DungeonMaster'') that real-time RPG combat really caught on in the West. By that time, however, the notion that RPGsEqualCombat had already been challenged by ''VideoGame/UltimaIV'' (1985), which showed that the genre can be much more than that. As a result, instead of splitting along the line of turn-based vs. real-time combat, Western [=RPGs=] 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]]. By the time the move to real time ([[VideoGame3DLeap and, as it happens, to 3D]]) was completed, the term "action RPG" came to describe three specific types of gameplay:

* {{Isometric|Projection}} [[PointAndClickGame point-and-click]] dungeon crawlers, a.k.a. ''VideoGame/{{Diablo}}''-clones.
* [[FirstPersonShooter FPS]]/RPG hybrids, codified by ''VideoGame/SystemShock'' and, particularly, ''VideoGame/DeusEx''.
* HackAndSlash games with RPGElements, usually played in third-person to show off flashy melee moves.

Combat-oriented games that did not fall under any of these three 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. Then, around 2003, just as Western [=RPGs=] were going MultiPlatform during UsefulNotes/{{The Sixth Generation|OfConsoleVideoGames}}, the so-called "RPGElements" started bleeding into most 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 victory in combat depends equally on player skill and PlayerCharacter {{skill|ScoresAndPerks}}. But the loose and more commonly accepted definition of ARPG (at least, of the contemporary Western ones) basically boils down to "the fights in this RPG occur in real time and you can play it with a GamePad". It's no surprise, then, that games as different as ''VideoGame/TheWitcher2'' (a choice-driven narrative game), ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'' (a WideOpenSandbox), and ''VideoGame/DiabloIII'' all get labeled "action RPG", despite being barely comparable in terms of gameplay. This is, perhaps, indicative of how meaningless the label is in WesternRPG context, where it becomes 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/{{Cadash}}''
* ''VideoGame/CarBattlerJoe''
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaIISimonsQuest''
** ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight''
* ''VideoGame/{{Chantelise}}''
* ''VideoGame/CIMATheEnemy''
* ''[[{{VideoGame/ClaDun}} ClaDun: This is an RPG!]]''
* ''VideoGame/ContrastSoul''
* ''Videogame/{{Cryamore}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Crystalis}}''
* ''VideoGame/DarkCloud''
* ''VideoGame/DarkChronicle''
* ''[[VideoGame/RaidouKuzunohaVsTheSoullessArmy Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army]]''
** ''[[VideoGame/RaidouKuzunohaVsKingAbaddon Devil Summoner 2: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon]]''
* ''VideoGame/DarkSavior''
* ''VideoGame/DragonsCrown''
* ''[[VideoGame/DragonsDogma Dragon's Dogma]]''
* ''VideoGame/DragonQuestHeroesRocketSlime''
* ''VideoGame/DragonSlayer''
** ''VideoGame/DragonSlayerIIXanadu''
** ''Dragon Slayer Jr: Romancia''
** ''[[VideoGame/LegacyOfTheWizard Dragon Slayer IV: Drasle Family / Legacy Of The Wizard]]''
** ''Dragon Slayer V: Sorcerian''
** ''[[KisekiSeries Dragon Slayer VI: The Legend of Heroes]]''
* ''VideoGame/DungeonMakerIITheHiddenWar''
** ''VideoGame/{{Faxanadu}}''
** ''VideoGame/LegacyOfTheWizard''
* ''VideoGame/DragonView''
* ''VideoGame/DualHearts''
* ''VideoGame/DustAnElysianTail''
* ''VideoGame/EVOSearchForEden''
* ''[[VideoGame/FairyBloom Fairy Bloom Freesia]]''
* ''VideoGame/{{Faria}}''
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasyCrystalChronicles''
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyCrystalChronicles''
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyCrystalChroniclesRingOfFates''
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyCrystalChroniclesEchoesOfTime''
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyCrystalChroniclesCrystalBearers''
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXV''
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyType0''
* ''[[VideoGame/CrisisCore Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core]]''
* ''VideoGame/{{Folklore}}''
* ''VideoGame/FortuneSummoners''
* ''VideoGame/FragileDreamsFarewellRuinsOfTheMoon''
* ''VideoGame/FreshlyPickedTinglesRosyRupeeland''
* ''VideoGame/GoldenAxe Warrior''
* ''VideoGame/GrimDawn''
* ''VideoGame/GuardianHeroes''
* ''Franchise/DotHack''
** ''[[VideoGame/DotHackR1Games .hack//IMOQ]]''
** ''VideoGame/DotHackGU''
* ''VideoGame/{{Hydlide}}''
* ''VideoGame/InazumaEleven''
* ''VideoGame/InfiniteUndiscovery''
* ''Franchise/KingdomHearts''
** ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsI''
** ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII''
** ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsChainOfMemories''
** ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts358DaysOver2''
** ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep''
** ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHeartscoded Kingdom Hearts coded]]''
** ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts3DDreamDropDistance''
* ''VideoGame/KingdomOfParadise''
* ''VideoGame/KingsField''
* ''VideoGame/{{Lagoon}}''
* ''VideoGame/TheLastStory''
* ''VideoGame/{{Legasista}}''
* ''VideoGame/LightningReturnsFinalFantasyXIII''
* ''VideoGame/LordOfArcana''
* ''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/OdinSphere''
* ''VideoGame/OtogiMythOfDemons''
* ''VideoGame/{{Overworld}}''
* ''VideoGame/PandorasTower''
* ''VideoGame/PanzerDragoon''
* ''VideoGame/ParasiteEve''
** ''VideoGame/ParasiteEve2''
** ''{{VideoGame/The 3rd Birthday}}''
* ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarOnline''
** ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarUniverse''
** ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarZero''
* ''VideoGame/{{Quest 64}}''
** ''VideoGame/QuestBriansJourney''
* ''VideoGame/RadiataStories''
* ''VideoGame/RagnarokOdyssey''
* ''VideoGame/RecettearAnItemShopsTale''
* ''VideoGame/ResonanceOfFate''
* ''VideoGame/RiverCityRansom''
* ''VideoGame/RogueGalaxy''
* ''VideoGame/{{Yakuza}}'' (''Ryu Ga Gotoku'')
* ''VideoGame/SomaBringer''
* ''VideoGame/SoulBlazer''
** ''VideoGame/IllusionOfGaia''
** ''VideoGame/{{Terranigma}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Solatorobo}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Spectrobes}}''
* ''VideoGame/StarOcean''
** ''VideoGame/StarOcean1''
** ''VideoGame/StarOceanTheSecondStory''
** ''VideoGame/StarOceanTillTheEndOfTime''
** ''VideoGame/StarOceanTheLastHope''
* ''VideoGame/SteambotChronicles''
* ''VideoGame/StickRanger''
* ''VideoGame/{{Sudeki}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Summoner 2}}''
* ''[[VideoGame/SummonNight Summon Night Series]]''
** ''[[VideoGame/SummonNightSwordcraftStory Summon Night: Swordcraft Story]]''
* ''VideoGame/SuperChinese''
* ''VideoGame/SwordOfVermilion''
* ''Franchise/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/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/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}}''
* ''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''
* ''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/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/TheIncredibleAdventuresOfVanHelsing''
* ''VideoGame/{{Nox}}''
* ''VideoGame/PathOfExile''
* ''VideoGame/{{Revenant}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Sacred}}''
* ''VideoGame/ThroneOfDarkness''
* ''VideoGame/TitanQuest''
* ''VideoGame/{{Torchlight}}''
** ''VideoGame/TorchlightII''
* ''VideoGame/UntoldLegends''
[[/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''
* ''Franchise/MassEffect''
** ''VideoGame/MassEffect1''
** ''VideoGame/MassEffect2''
** ''VideoGame/MassEffect3''
* ''VideoGame/NeonXSZ''
* ''VideoGame/{{STALKER}}''
** Videogame/LostAlpha
* ''VideoGame/SystemShock''
* ''VideoGame/VampireTheMasqueradeBloodlines'' (though a case can be made for placing it into the next category, as well)
[[/index]]

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

[[index]]
* ''VideoGame/TheDarkMeadow''
* ''VideoGame/DemonsSouls'': Even though the series was produced in Japan, it takes a very Western approach to its ARPG design.
** ''VideoGame/DarkSouls''
** ''VideoGame/DarkSoulsII''
* ''VideoGame/DivinityIITheDragonKnightSaga''
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition''
* ''VideoGame/DroxOperative''
* ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind''
** ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion''
** ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim''
* ''VideoGame/{{Gothic}}''
* ''VideoGame/InfinityBlade''
* ''VideoGame/JadeEmpire''
* ''VideoGame/KingdomComeDeliverance''
* ''VideoGame/KingdomsOfAmalurReckoning''
* ''VideoGame/{{Krater}}''
* ''VideoGame/LordsOfTheFallen''
* ''VideoGame/MiddleEarthShadowOfMordor''
* ''VideoGame/OfOrcsAndMen''
* ''VideoGame/{{Risen}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Soulbringer}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Stonekeep}}''
* ''VideoGame/UltimaIX''
* ''VideoGame/UnderworldAscendant''
* ''VideoGame/UntoldLegends''
* ''VideoGame/WarriorsOfMightAndMagic''
* ''VideoGame/TheWitcher''
** ''VideoGame/TheWitcher2AssassinsOfKings''
** ''VideoGame/TheWitcher3WildHunt''
[[/index]]

!!!Miscellaneous

[[index]]
* ''VideoGame/BigSkyTrooper''
* ''VideoGame/DarkSunDome''
* ''VideoGame/DungeonDefenders'' (combined with elements of TowerDefense)
* ''VideoGame/FortZombie''
* ''VideoGame/HyperLightDrifter''
* ''VideoGame/KidMystic''
* ''VideoGame/MarvelHeroes''
* ''VideoGame/MarvelUltimateAlliance''
* ''VideoGame/TheMightyQuestForEpicLoot'' (attack phase)
* ''VideoGame/MoonstoneAHardDaysKnight''
* ''VideoGame/ShadowmasterChronicles''
* ''VideoGame/TooHuman''
* ''VideoGame/{{Unepic}}''
* ''VideoGame/XMenDestiny''
* ''VideoGame/XMenLegends''
[[/index]]
----