The 10 best swordfighting games on PC
The best blade for your buck.
If a video game doesn’t give you a gun, then it probably gives you a sword instead. Swordfighting is a time-honored tradition in the gaming world, and there are many shining examples of excellent combat out there. If you’re a PC gamer looking to try them out, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best ones here, presented in alphabetical order. Note that we aimed to pick just one game from each series or specific genre — this list can’t just have every Dark Souls game.
Related: Best medieval games for PC and console
Yes, we’re starting with a rhythm game. The games on this list are all about swordplay, but only one actually lets you control a
lightsaber legally distinct laser sword in VR. Rift, Vive, and PSVR owners can all draw their blades and slice to the beat. New note types were just added this spring.
Few games evoke the feeling of a large-scale medieval battle like Chivalry 2. Three factions can duel on foot and on horseback, using a variety of weapons like swords, spears, and lances. There’s also a big comedic side to Chivalry 2, with often cartoonish gore and dismemberment — you can use decapitated heads as a weapon. Plus, the dedicated scream button lets you yelp at every victory.
For Honor stands out on this list thanks to its sheer variety. Where Chivalry offers different but similar factions, For Honor’s heroes hail from across the globe. Knights, Vikings, samurai, and Wu Lin warriors all clash in deep rock-paper-scissors-like duels that require you to understand a variety of classes and attack patterns.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance
Many medieval games lean toward fantasy, but you won’t find any wizards or warlocks in Kingdom Come: Deliverance. The game strives for authenticity, sending you to complete quests and explore locations that would be plausible during the Holy Roman Empire. It might not be as flashy as other games on this list, but it does offer a cohesive Bohemian experience.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum is Metal Gear Rising: a flashy, futuristic adventure that fits right in with other Platinum Game series like Bayonetta. This is pure anime action fantasy, as Raiden pulls off all sorts of acrobatic attacks while battling robots and other threats. It’s also brought us a whole lot of memes.
Mordhau and Chivalry 2 are two peas in a pod. Mordhau is all about big battles with medieval style, but with slightly more focus on simulation. Customizing your mercenary is fun, but it also affects your battle prowess. For example, heavier armor means slower movement speed.
When it comes to sword-fighting battle royales, Naraka Bladepoint is the champ. You can drop in solo or as part of a trio, scour the island for items and weapons, then throw down with your opponents to be the last one(s) standing. Battles work in a rock-paper-scissors manner, requiring you to pay attention to the color of your gear.
Of all the games on this list, only one is focused on fencing. On each screen, the two players must duel, poking at each other or taking a big risk by flinging their foil across the screen. Once one player is cut down, the other gets to proceed to the next screen, and the process repeats until someone reaches the final chamber. It’s a brilliant tug of war with a simple but elegant art style.
It was hard to pick just one fighting game for this list, but Samurai Shodown wins out by being a long-running series of nearly 30 years. Just about every fighter on the roster wields a katana, and they’re used for both offense and defense — you can also kick your opponent to throw them off. Battles are precise, intense, and usually quite bloody by the end.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Similarly, picking just one FromSoftware game is hard, since every title from Demon’s Souls to Elden Ring arms you with a variety of blades. Sekiro stands alone when it comes to precision and speed, however. While other From games offer a variety of playstyles, Sekiro demands that you learn its specific combat mechanics. Parries, counters, and deathblows will lead you to an exhilarating victory. There’s a reason that Elden Ring fans want to see how Malenia would fare in this game.