The very first Devil May Cry game was released in 2001 on the PlayStation 2. What initially began as an early concept for Resident Evil 4 became the standard for a new sub-genre of hack-and-slash action-adventure games.
Despite being looked at as a sub-genre of its own, the Devil May Cry series harked back to classic beat em ups like Golden Axe, Double Dragon, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade. The major difference, of course, is that games in the same genre as DMC are usually single-player affairs giving its players a sense of power.
It didn’t take long for other developers to work on games that used the same power fantasy action hero concept of their own. With many of those titles becoming critically acclaimed in their own right we take a look at some of the best games to play if you like Devil May Cry.
10 Conan (2007)
The THQ published Conan was released in 2007 on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It was an overlooked title because of its similarities to the God of War series. While it may be fair to call the Conan videogame a God of War clone, its counter-attack system, equipment mechanics, and weapon variety were far superior to Kratos’ PS2 and PS3 outings even if wasn't quite as epic.
Furthermore, Conan the Barbarian was the ultimate power fantasy in fiction long before God of War and Devil May Cry. Additionally, Conan features artwork inspired by the original works of Frank Frazetta, an award-winning soundtrack, and great voice work from Ron Perlman and Claudia Black in the lead roles.
9 Transformers: Devastation
Developed by PlatinumGames and released in 2015 Transformers: Devastation was an action title that combines hack-slash gameplay and shooting mechanics similar to Devil May Cry and other Platinum titles. Players take on the roles of Autobot heroes Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Grimlock, Sideswipe, and Wheeljack.
Just the like Devil May Cry series, Transformers: Devastation incorporates fast action, gameplay variety, timing, and of course a memorable boss battles. Players can also upgrade their move sets with TECH enhancements that increase the Autobots' stats as the game progresses.
8 Dante’s Inferno
During its early development, Capcom openly stated that Devil May Cry took inspiration from Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy. EA’s Dante’s Inferno released in 2010 and is another hack and slash action-adventure video game that took inspiration from the same piece of literature.
The entire game’s story is based on the first canticle of the epic poem Inferno. The combat isn’t as fast or as complex as the Devil May Cry series but it is just as visceral and the game’s hellish level design is just as impressive as anything found Capcom’s series.
7 God Hand
God Hand is a cult PS2 action title that was developed by Clover Studio of Okami fame. Many of the same members of Clover Studio went on to form Platinum Games should give Devil May Cry fans an idea of God Hand’s pedigree in the action beat-em-up genre.
In addition, the game was directed by Resident Evil 4’s Shinji Mikami and who wanted to make a game where the character didn’t rely on weapons. The game’s characters and the action take inspiration from the Fist of the North Star manga and its outlandish sense of humor from JoJo’s Bizare Adventure.
6 Metal Gear Rising: Reveangence
Released in 2013 on the PS3 and Xbox 360 Metal Gear Rising: Reveangence was an action game developed by Platinum Games. The development studio is comprised of many of the same staff that worked on the Devil May Cry series.
Metal Gear Rising features Metal Gear Solid 2’s Raiden as its main protagonist. The game’s "free slicing" mechanic is one of the most accomplished in the action genre and allows for a lot of versatility in combat. Initially, the game features Matrix-style effects allowing players to slice bullets and even rockets mid-flow.
5 Ninja Gaiden Sigma
Ninja Gaiden was released in 2006 on the PS3 and was created by Nioh and Dead or Alive developer’s Team Ninja. The series is beloved by fans of the action-adventure genre and is notorious for its punishing difficulty.
Sigma was a director’s cut of the critically acclaimed original game on the Xbox and featured enhanced visuals, new gameplay mechanics, and weapons. Fans of Devil May Cry will appreciate the blistering speed of the combat and the strategy required to defeat enemies.
4 Castlevania: Lord Of Shadow
Castlevania: Lord of Shadow was released in 2010 on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 was co-developed by Mercury Steam and Kojima Productions. It was a departure from the side-scrolling originals in the series but there was an element of platforming and puzzle-solving like the originals.
The core gameplay of Lords of Shadow is its combat with up to forty unlockable combos where skill and timing are paramount. Additionally, the game is absolutely loaded with content and like Devil May Cry it’s a Gothic demon-slaying epic that deserves another look.
3 Astral Chain
Astral Chain was released exclusively on the Nintendo Switch in 2019 and was developed by Platinum Games. Getting released the same year as Devil May Cry V means there are two contenders for the best action-adventure hack-and-slash games in 2019.
Astral Chain was directed by lead gameplay designer for Nier: Automata Takahisa Taura and Devil May Cry director Hideki Kamiya. The game’s Legion summoning mechanic works similarly to Devil May Cry character V’s demon summoning ability but better. The game's pace isn’t as relentless as DMCV though due to the exploration and RPG elements.
2 God Of War (2018)
God of War was released in 2018 exclusively for the PlayStation 4 and although it was the fourth mainline entry in the Kratos saga it was very much a reboot. The original games had more in common with Devil May Cry but the newest entry is hailed as one of the best action games ever made.
God of War finally made Kratos a likable and relatable character thanks to the new voice actor Christopher Judge, but controlling him is still the same power fantasy that it has always been. The game’s combat works similarly to the Dark Souls series and the semi-open interconnected world functions in a similar manner too.
1 The Bayonetta Series
The Bayonetta series was developed by Platinum Games and released in its entirety on the Nintendo Switch and Wii U. The game was directed by Devil May Cry director Hideki Kamiya and feels as much of an evolution of the DMC formula as its most recent sequel.
The combat feels very similar to Devil May Cry instead players are placed in the shoes of the titular Bayonetta a witch capable of inflicting magic and melee combos as well as being able to summon contraptions like an Iron Maiden to perform devastatingly creative attacks.