It’s no secret that looter shooters are one of the most popular and polarizing gaming subgenres out there.
From classic tabletop RPGs like Diablo and World of Warcraft, the potential to entice players to grind and mill in the hope of discovering that perfect “god roll” piece of armor or weapon arises.
In the era of Hellgate: London and Tabula Rasa, early incarnations of what we now call ‘looter shooters’ appeared as early as 2007.
Even while these games did not achieve the same level of notoriety as Borderlands or Warframe, they were an important milestone in the evolution of a gaming genre that is now loved by a worldwide audience.
As recently as this year’s release of Anthem, a looter shooter, many gamers were outraged by the game’s microtransactions and unfinished status.
Looter shooters have a long way to go before they can be considered a subgenre. Our hope is that gamers will continue to support good games while also raising their voices against terrible ones when they see them released by developers or publishers.
If you’re a fan of the looter shooter genre, this list will point you in the right direction.
Check back often, as we’ll be adding to this list.
The Division 2
The Division 2’s release couldn’t have come at a better moment, since weeks of bugs and glitches in Anthem left players with a terrible taste in their mouths.
The sequel is a culmination of everything developer Massive Entertainment has learned from player feedback regarding the first game. As well as end-game activities, it has a lot of content at debut.
This time around, you’re in the heart of a civil war in Washington, D.C., seven months after the original’s events occurred. In the game’s many ‘Dark Zones,’ four-player squads can embark on tasks or engage in PvP combat.
To date, Warframe has been delivering a refined and rewarding gameplay experience to users at no cost.
In the free-to-play, third-person shooter from Digital Extremes, gamers may design formidable builds without having to spend any real money on the game. For those who don’t want to buy any platinum in the game, this means a lot of time spent grinding.
Additionally, the Plains of Eidolon update adds a new threat and a slew of technological enhancements to one of the game’s open-world locations.
Risk of Rain 2
While Risk of Rain 2 is still in its early stages of development, it’s already garnering attention for its radical transformation from a 2D platformer to a 3D third-person shooter.
This is not the case, since the sequel has kept the series’ furious single-player and multiplayer combat and its Rogue-like gameplay. In order to leave a hostile planet, you must fight your way through swarms of alien monsters while gaining fresh riches.
Game creator Hopoo Games intends to enhance and add new content to the game’s six character classes, each of which has its own unique playstyle.
Several leading developers have thrown their hats into the ring to offer their perspective on the genre due to the popularity of battle royales.
Apex Legends, a free-to-play game that emerged out of nowhere and soon gained a cult following, is the most recent and impressive rival.
In order to survive and be the last man standing, you must scour containers and the corpses of your opponents for the latest and greatest weapons, attachments, ammo, and armor.
This is a promising start for Respawn, with new characters and rewards being added periodically.
Monster Hunter: World
There is still a lot of shooting to be done in Monster Hunter: World even if you utilize the Heavy or Light Bowguns, so we’ll be expanding our definition of “looter shooter” a bit.
In addition to making you feel more powerful, Monster Hunter gear looks badass, which we’d argue is at least as vital as making you feel powerful.
With a wide range of simplified mechanics and concepts, the game is able to appeal to a wide range of players.
For those that like to revisit the game frequently, Capcom constantly updates it with new monster variations and events. Despite its archaic multiplayer mechanism, hunting down gigantic dragons for their body parts has never been more enjoyable.
The looter shooter genre has never been stronger than it was thanks to Borderlands 2.
As a milestone in the evolution of the genre, Gearbox’s outrageously humorous first-person shooter offers countless hours of entertainment for groups as large as four buddies exploring Pandora and all of its post-apocalyptic delights.
Even in 2020, the unique cel-shaded aesthetic style of the game still holds up and has recently been updated to enable 4K graphics, even though the dialogue hasn’t.
Borderlands 2 features more environmental variables and more quality of life improvements than the original Borderlands, which is why we prefer it.
The Destiny series has received a great deal of criticism over the course of its first two games, with complaints about the game’s RNG-heavy loot system and the absence of meaningful endgame content.
Although Destiny 2 had many of the same flaws as its predecessor, Bungie has spent a lot of time listening to its customers and making fixes. New story-driven material and gameplay adjustments based on player input can be seen in the most recent Forsaken expansion.
For now, we’re hoping that Bungie will continue to listen to their loyal fan base, given the company now owns full ownership of Destiny.
Shadow Warrior 2
Shadow Warrior 2 follows the exploits of mercenary Lo Wang, who wields a deadly arsenal of weapons, including guns, knives, spells, and bad puns.
With up to four players, you and your friends may work together to defeat demon armies in the game. Shadow Warrior 2’s combat mechanisms, which feature showy kills evocative of Doom, are as thrilling as the game’s loot and upgrading systems.
As an added bonus, Flying Wild Hog, the game’s creator, has released three additional expansion packs, each including new content.
Isometric twin-stick shooter Alienation sees up to four players battling an extraterrestrial assault on Earth.
The game features a wide array of extraterrestrial races that are hostile to humans. There are three courses in this game, and each class works in groups to explore the vast levels. In addition to character advancement, Alienation contains random weapon drops throughout missions, as well as the ability to modify various characteristics of your weaponry, such as rate of fire, clip size, and damage.
The game’s bosses are spawned with random modifications, so each fight is unique and adds to the game’s overall replay value.
When Amazon released Lost Ark, it was met with significantly better reviews than any of Smilegate RPG’s prior efforts. It’s an RPG set in a lively fantasy world populated by enormous monsters and beautifully created worlds. Lost Ark is quickly becoming a fan favorite thanks to its unique blend of Diablo-style combat and FFXIV-style visuals.
One class that’s essentially Dante from Devil May Cry is included in Lost Ark, which features everything from screen-clearing wizardry to large meaty weaponry with Monster Hunter-esque movements. In spite of the servers bursting into flames at launch, if you can get online and play for free you should do so.
Nightmare Reaper is a classic FPS-inspired indie worth your time if you’re searching for an Early Access treasure to try out. Ultraviolence is ramped up to 11 in a crazy but wonderfully rewarding show of gore and good gameplay in the style of legendary games like Duke Nukem or Doom.
In Blazing Bit Games’ Nightmare Realm, you’ll have to fight your way through the savage depths of the cursed realm. In this ever-changing world, you’ll face monsters and use a range of gory weapons to dispatch them. Arcade minigames are a great way to earn coins, which you can then use to unlock new, more powerful skills and upgrades. Easy to start up, yet with a good challenge to keep you going, this is a meatgrinder of lunacy.
Gun Knight is a fun and free indie game to play around with, although it’s not very groundbreaking. This free-to-play roguelike, which is reminiscent to Enter The Gungeon, has a surprisingly extensive arsenal of weapons at its disposal.
With the help of various upgrades located throughout the game’s interminable halls, you may swiftly improve your starter pistol’s firepower, magazine capacity, and even the bullets themselves. There is a lot of depth for a free game in Gun Knight (available here), which is a simple Looter Shooter with strong gameplay and good graphics.
Top-down voxel-style dungeon crawler Vault Raiders boasts a large sweeping maze to explore and a blisteringly fast-paced shooting experience. You’re up against a bevy of Underworld-inspired monsters and strong bosses, but you’re well-armed to deal with the onslaught.
In spite of only being able to access the first level of the game (available here) and the games running a Kickstarter, what’s there is exciting and a solid step forward. However, whether or not Vault Raiders is able to launch remains to be seen, but the Indie Looter Shooter has a lot to offer and lots of space for growth.
If you’re sick of the continual din of gunfire, try Barbearian for a change of pace. A fast-paced, colorful isometric roguelike with a cute art design and intense gameplay, Barbearian was developed by Kimmo Lahtinen.
Slice through hundreds of randomly generated levels stocked with heaps of loot and experimental weapons as a bearskin-clad Barbarian battling skeletons and raiding monsters. As a beastly joy and a gorgeous loot-filled indie game, Barbearian is definitely worth checking out, thanks to its large boss monsters that can completely cover the screen with projectiles and its army building feature.
Necromunda: Hired Gun
Streum On Studio’s 40k-themed FPS Necromunda: Hired Gun steps into the fast-paced Doom-style arena. Playing an experienced Bounty Hunter in the criminal underground of the Hive City, you’ll be hunting down hardened criminals for money while uncovering a sinister conspiracy at the core of Necromunda’s underworld.
A variety of classic Warhammer weaponry are on exhibit in this fast-paced and violent game. There are a number of toys in this toy box, from Bolters to Heavy Stubbers, Grav Guns, and even the legendary Imperial Guardsmen Lasrifle, which can be found in various chests or by taking down mini-bosses.
Vapormaze, a game created by Felipe Rodrigues, takes place in a neon dreamscape full of robots, spiky traps, and other evil things out to get you.
For those looking for something to play quickly, Vapormaze has a roguelike approach and can be completed in less than an hour. As you progress through the game, you’ll find a variety of colorful and cartoonish weapons that can be modified, upgraded or replaced, even if your run is cut short. In addition, the bullets all have physics, thus ricochet shots happen frequently and generate a lot of confusion.
This simple but stylish shooter can be found swimming in the depths of the Indie seas. One thing Endless Firepower promises is a lot of guns, and it delivers on that one promise. Procedurally created weaponry have their own distinct and odd models, according to creators, who say there are millions in the game.
As you dodge laser-spewing robots and floating droids in this fast-paced shooter, the style is evocative of Borderlands. I recommend checking it out even though it’s currently in early access, because it’s easy but has a lot of content to keep you busy.
Alien Shooter: 2
Don’t be fooled by its traditional appearance. Sigma Team Inc., a group well-known in the early 2000s for its “shooter” series, is responsible for the game’s cruel isometric looter shooter core.
Alien Shooter 2 is an arcade action game with strong RPG elements and a focus on looting your environment for better gear, weapons, and other objects that is considered their greatest title in the long-running series. The swarming hordes of aliens you have to deal with are intimidating, but it’s also gratifying to witness them die in a barrage of gunfire as they’re blown apart.
The Division 2
Most looter shooters take place in a sci-fi or fantasy world, which allows the game’s creators to be as creative as they want with their item concepts. The Division 2 adopts a more contemporary approach in its gameplay.
The Division 2 has a post-apocalyptic premise, but unlike other looter shooters, it uses weaponry that are anchored in reality. However, it doesn’t detract from the originality of the products. In addition to their default talents, players can wield strong weapons with specialist powers. Set bonuses, unique stats, and PvP are all features of the game’s items.
Relic Hunters Zero: Remix
Retro-styled isometric shooter Relic Hunters Zero: Remix is a charming rehash of the original that plays more like a cartoon than an electronic game. Your mission is to defeat the evil Ducan Commander and his army of duck-henchmen, but that’s no easy task because there is a whole army standing in your way.
Enter the Gungeon and Nuclear Throne’s fast-paced roguelike scenario meshes well with Relic Hunters Zero: Remix’s Dungeon Floors, keeping you coming back for more on your next run. Relic Hunters Zero: Remix is a game that should be on your radar because it has seven characters to pick from, a terrific soundtrack, and is absolutely free to play. When it comes to shooting games, this one has a lot of charm and a surprising degree of difficulty.
Risk Of Rain 2
There are several similarities between Risk of Rain 2 and looter shooter games despite their appearance. As the game progresses, players must gather materials to enhance their character’s abilities before they are slain in increasingly chaotic battles.
In Risk of Rain 2, death isn’t a horrific outcome of failure. The opportunity to try anything new, whether it’s a new tactic or character, is an exciting one. Because of the game’s superb itemization and availability of goods, each run is unique. There is a lot of variety in the builds, the battle can be intense, and the runs never stop being enjoyable. Risk of Rain 2 should be on your radar if you’re looking for a taste of what looter shooters are all about.
Including the newest Borderlands game in any discussion about the best looter shooters would be a mistake. Gaming aristocracy at this point, this franchise is undoubtedly responsible for the rise of the looter shooter genre in popularity. There are plenty of well-known and intriguing new characters to meet in Borderlands 3, which takes place in the same beloved cel-shaded setting as the previous two games. New anointments have been added to the game’s item pool, and familiar makers have returned.
There is another anarchic Gearbox classic in this installment’s tale, with faster movement, punchier weapons, and some of the most rewarding items and boss encounters you’ll find in the usual Borderlands gameplay loop of kill, loot, repeat. In the wake of the release of the latest Battle Royale update, Borderlands 3 continues to be a treasure trove of weapons and loot.
Deep Rock Galactic
Until recently, Deep Rock Galactics’ alien-infested, randomly produced mines were largely unknown to the general public, but now they’ve received a massive new expansion in the shape of Rival Incursion. A free battle pass, as well as a variety of new gear, cosmetics and weaponry, as well as new foes. A new seasonal live service strategy by the developers has made this a great time to start up the game, as fresh material is constantly being released.
You and three buddies play Space Dwarves when you play Deep Rock Galactic, if you’ve never heard of it. Digging large holes and fighting bigger monsters on a variety of bizarre and distant locales is what these vertically challenged chaps do best. Every session in Deep Rock Galactic becomes a stressful, claustrophobic, and violent horde shooter with positions to fill, bugs to blast, and resources ripe for the grab, thanks to this hybrid of Minecraft and Starship Troopers.
It’s a top-down roguelike shooter where you play as an amnesiac exile trying to piece together their past in a decaying post-apocalyptic wasteland called BangBang Shooting.
BangBang Shooting, developed by GenmStudio, is an anarchic RPG that seems at parts like a Newgrounds flash project and a bullet hell game that keeps you on your toes. Even though it’s still in early access, this satisfyingly enjoyable shooter keeps you going back for more with a diverse array of monster-destroying weapons and a diverse list of skills.
Shadow Warrior 2
Shadow Warrior 2 is your best bet if you’re looking for a fast-paced looter shooter with a plethora of weapons and abilities. Only DOOM can equal this game’s abundance of loot drops and violent gameplay.
You take on the role of Lo Wang, a warrior who is tasked with destroying demons with a wide variety of weaponry, including guns, magic, and melee. To differentiate one item from the next, it is possible for items to have a variety of stats. In addition to 4 player co-op, the game offers a wide range of customization options. Shadow Warrior 2 is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a fast-paced looter shooter.
An indie favourite, to be sure, but Gunfire Reborn deserves the attention. Duoyi Interactive’s sweet looter shooter has gained a lot of attention for its adorable ensemble of highly armed animals.
Gunfire Reborn is a roguelike with a level-based system that lets you take control of a diverse cast of characters, each with their own special skills and powers. You may play solo or with a party of four to build your own furry slaughter squad, and there are a lot of random weaponry to pick up along the way.
This top-down twin-stick shooter is an anarchic bullet hell that will keep you on your toes from the very first minute of play. There are lasers, explosions and neon splashed all over Danger Scavenger’s futuristic skyline, which swarms with robots and highly armored soldiers.
It was developed by Star Drifters, and Danger Scavenger puts you in the role of the Scavengers, a group of people who are trying to halt the rampant AI that has taken over all of the machines in the globe. You have a large arsenal of weapons, characters with incredible abilities, and gizmos like the ability to call friendly drones with skin-melting laserbeams at your disposal. Danger Scavenger is a fun game to play if you enjoy massive explosions and bloody destruction.
At first, Destiny 2 was met with a lack of enthusiasm from gamers, but it has since evolved into one of the best MMO looter shooters available today.
There are three distinct classes to choose from in order to customize your abilities and play style. The game offers various storylines, competitive multiplayer, a wide variety of PvE content, and even a variety of endgame raids. Destiny 2 has something for everyone who enjoys looter shooters.
There are strong 50s-style sci-fi influences to be found in From Space. Top-down science fiction shooter The X Files meets Stranger Things, but with massive weaponry and meaty explosions, thanks to this basic, top-down shooter.
Crystal aliens are attacking Earth, and it’s up to you and a group of companions in From Space to stop them. Unlike the Among Us Imposter, these shambling pink monstrosities are easily dispatched after a few bullets and come at you in waves that appear never-ending. In From Space, players can customize their characters, take use of various perk systems, and use crazy weapons. While the game isn’t released until 2022, you may play a free multiplayer demo with your friends now. Even though it hasn’t been released yet, this is something you should keep an eye out for.
Hand Cannon Virtuoso
This early access VR bullet hell game, created by a lone developer named Tadatota, is an incredibly fast-paced first-person shooter that will quickly wear you out, but in a good way. Hand Cannon Virtuoso is a looter shooter that plays like a hybrid between Doom VFR and High Hell.
To obtain additional cards, you must slay adversaries and complete stages without the use of weapons or equipment. Each one grants your hand cannons new ranged and melee attacks, giving you a variety of options for dealing with the ever-shifting robot hordes in the skyscraper you’re climbing up. If you’re looking for a challenging VR deckbuilding looter shooter, Hand Cannon Virtuoso is the game for you.
Deep Rock Galactic
- Ghost Ship Games is the developer of this title.
- 1 – 4 people
- Release: 2020
Get your hands on this. As a space dwarf in Deep Rock Galactic, you’ll fight your way through dynamically created tunnels crammed with strange enemies and colossal treasures. That’s really adorable!
Select a class of dwarves and form a party of three or more with your pals to begin the game. Jump into the game world and begin destroying the game’s destructible environment!
Deep Rock Galactic has a plethora of weapons, including a wide variety of assault rifles. Is a machine gun the weapon of choice for you? Definitely! An effective way to cook your opponents is using a flamethrower. I’d say yes to it.
There are many different kinds of weapons in Deep Rock Galactic, but it also has a comprehensive crafting system and surroundings rich of resources that may be mined, like as minerals and ores.
Everything you’ve just read is just wonderful. Looter shooter fans won’t want to miss Deep Rock Galactic’s nonstop action and adventure.
Risk of Rain 2
- Hopoo Games is the developer.
- 1 – 4 people
- Release: 2019
Risk of Rain 2, an indie darling with a wonderful sandwich of experiences that you have to play to believe, is the next game we’ll take a look at. Even though it’s ranked seventh, it’s capable of competing with any of the heavyweight triple-A contenders.
Because it’s a procedural game, every time you play it the levels are different. A roguelike where dying has a high cost, and the difficulty keeps increasing indefinitely until you’re swept away by the onslaught of attackers. It’s also a looter shooter, so that’s a given. This game is filled with wacky things to collect for yourself (because your buddy didn’t see it first, of course), and doing so has serious ramifications for your gaming. Hopoo Feather, Alien Head, and Goat Hoof are all items that can be used to boost jumps, lessen ability cooldowns, and increase movement speed. It’s one of those games, yes. You shouldn’t let your guard down because it doesn’t take itself too seriously.
With a simple but effective art style and bold tweaks on the formula for… well, it’s hard to tell what game it was trying to be in the end. It’s a typical indie game, therefore they didn’t hold back when it came to ingredients. What emerges on the other side, though, is utterly delectable. Fans of looter shooter games who want to fight until the end of time with their team on an extraterrestrial planet should definitely check this one out. It begins slowly, but quickly picks up speed. A good supper is like this.
If you think it’s too easy now, just wait until it reaches HAHAHA level of difficulty. That’s what it’s called, in fact.
- This game was created by Epic Games.
- 1 – 4 people
- Release: 2017
Rather than being number one, I’ve ranked Fortnite as low as number six. Just what the doctor ordered, eh?
Honestly, Fortnite wouldn’t be in my list of top looter shooter games if it couldn’t do everything well. Fortnite has it all, from its fluid mobility to its varied weaponry to its unique building system. To make it easier to determine which weapons offer an upgrade, there is an easy-to-understand color coding system. The map itself includes a wide variety of interesting areas to explore as well. Epic Games’ platform-in-a-box is now on par with the competition thanks to a renewed focus on cars. A Marshmello or Travis Scott concert can interrupt a fight to the death no other place.
Epic’s canvas is looking fantastic, and the game is also a lot of fun. The problem is that while its strong performance across the board, it falls short of mastery in any one of those areas. At high skill levels, the game’s development becomes a senseless blur on Twitch feeds.
Even so, you might enjoy it. That’s great, because the Battle Bus is the perfect place for you. Make sure you give the bus driver a pat on the back!
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive – Danger Zone
- Initiator and Designer: Valve
- The number of players in a squad is limited to 1-3.
- Release: 2018
Counter-Strike is a game you’ve probably heard of. In the grand tradition of current competitive team-based shooters, perhaps you’ve even lost hundreds or thousands of hours to the game that started it all. I’m sure I’ve done this. That’s why when Valve unveiled CS:”Danger GO’s Zone” option, the gaming community was a little surprised. What would be the plan if they were to pull it off? Is it even worth it?
It turns out to be an amazing experience, as you could expect.
Here, the maps are the main problem. Large, expansive spaces are difficult to depict in the venerable Source Engine. While the maps are designed to take advantage of this, the number of players is also limited, making the mode less impressive than its rivals. Fortunately, Danger Zone has some of the best gunplay and player movement in the industry, and that translates directly to Counter-Strike. A high skill ceiling means that every encounter in the game is skill-based in a way that few other games are. The same as in the original.
Furthermore, since this is a looter shooter, you may expect to uncover numerous upgrades and weapons scattered throughout the level. Cash can also be found in bags or on the bodies of dead enemies. With the cash, you can make a high-risk, high-reward decision to have the weapon or equipment delivered to you by drone. An innovative change to the formula, it has a distinct Counter-Strike vibe to it and forces players to make interesting tactical choices at every turn.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s Danger Zone, despite its poor flaws, is an excellent looter shooter that lovers of the genre should at least attempt.
- Resident Game Developer: Respawn
- The number of players in a squad is limited to 1-3.
- Released: 2019
Titanfall 2 was a fantastic video game. It was developed by some of the same people who worked on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2’s fast and tight multiplayer. Parkour-style high-speed slides and aerial acrobatics support fun and practical guns in their large sandbox.
And so they must have looked at that and thought, “Why not develop a looter shooter with all that?”
It’s like Titanfall 2 all over again, but in a battle royale setting. You and three of your pals enter one of an increasing number of arenas, fight it out for color-coded loot à la Fortnite, and scramble for the high-value airdropped treasure to see who can collect the most of it all. To make things more interesting, dying isn’t the end. You can be summoned back into the fight by your comrades, who can reclaim your tags from your corpse. For heated firefights, this adds another element of intensity and keeps you interested long after your death.
In terms of looting and shooting, Apex Legends is the best of the best. However, this list of the best looter shooter games includes a few more titles…
- Gearbox Software is the developer.
- 1 – 4 people
- Release: 2009
The best looter shooter, in our opinion? As a looter shooter, Borderlands is the undisputed king.
Not simply the initial iteration of Borderlands comes to mind when we talk about the series. Each game in the series is a new twist on the looter shooter genre, allowing players to explore, blast away monsters, collect gobs of loot, and have fun!
You’re probably wondering what the premise of the Borderlands games is.
All the Borderlands games take place on Pandora, an extraterrestrial planet that is full of hidden treasures that are just waiting to be found. When you’re ready to begin your journey, you’ll take on tasks and face off against foes as the Vault Hunter. Even while there’s a plot, you’re free to explore however you choose, with minimal constraints and a plethora of side missions and surprises waiting to be discovered.
What about the spoils, then? In Borderlands, items fall like candy from a piata, making everything feel like a carnival. You’ll never know what you’ll get because it’s completely randomized. Additionally, as you progress through the plot, more standardized rewards become available, guaranteeing that you never get stuck or fall behind owing to a lack of sufficient equipment.
Since the release of the first Borderlands game in 2009, the series has continued to grow in popularity. Each game has gotten rave reviews from critics and fans alike, with praise for the inventive graphics, funny antics, and well-balanced gameplay in each.
The HGG staff highly recommends Borderlands if you’re a lover of the looter shooter genre!
What is a looter shooter video game?
Shlooters are a subgenre of shooters known for their use of procedurally generated weaponry and equipment, fast-paced action, and a grueling quest to obtain the finest possible fast-paced gunplay using such procedurally generated weapons.
What is a loot and shoot game?
Shooter games in which the player’s overriding purpose is to amass loot, including weapons, equipment, armor, and other items.
Is Apex a looter shooter?
The looting and shooting in Apex Legends is as excellent as it gets. However, there are a few more games on this list of the best looter-shooter titles.