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Movement in video games is a very interesting thing. Because when it works, you never think about it (save for when you press the wrong button…), but when it’s wonky? It’s one of the first things you complain about. That’s why it’s always been cool when games emphasize movement above other things, like these 15 titles you can play on your PC.
#15 Dying Light
When Dying Light came out, it tried to blend two things together with relatively good success: zombies and parkour.
Because in this game, you’re set in a city that is overrun with zombies, you have a mission from your superiors to do certain things within the city, and how you do those things at times is up to you. Which includes using your incredible parkour skills to leap and bound and climb just about everything in the city.
The traversal element was very well-handled, and a true highlight in the game. Add that to the narrative, gameplay (see: killing zombies) and seeing your choices affect the world around you…and you can see why it got a sequel that you might hear about soon enough…
Ghostrunner is a title that prioritizes speed and movement in the way that it NEVER wants you to slow down, and it’s honestly better because of it.
In this game, the world has already ended, and those who are trying to survive are being slowly snuffed out by those with power. That is why you, a blade fighter, are the only one who can stop the tyrannical keymaster. The problem? He’s locked up in his tower and you need to go up floor by floor to get to him. No easy feat.
But, because you are the best there is, you have a variety of skills and abilities that’ll allow you to traverse the tower and kill enemies in the blink of an eye.
Just be warned, in this game? It’s one hit, one kill. Think you can handle those odds?
Hear me out on this. Dustforce is about…a janitor. No, really. You play as a janitor whose job it is to literally clean up the world from dust and debris.
That may SOUND boring, but in fact, it’s really clever because you’re basically a ninja janitor!!!! Yep, you’ll have to traverse over 75 levels in order to truly clean up the world, and get the best score while doing it!
As if that wasn’t enough, the free DX update adds more levels for you to do, AND the community has made even MORE levels! So while it may sound like a dirty job, someone has to do it! So why not have it be you?
#12 Human Fall Flat
Human Fall Flat is a very unique physics-based platformer title that you can play by yourself or with friends, and the more you play, the more you realize just how wacky the game is.
You’ll be able to fully-customize your human, and then set them onto a world of puzzles where you need to be clever in terms of how to get them solved. But as you’re likely to notice, things do and don’t move like they’re supposed to, so be wary of that.
And again, you play this with friends to ensure that you solve all the puzzles and make it to the next challenge. And with a variety of updates, the game won’t get boring for you.
There are plenty of games that try and “push the bounds” of movement and the visual size and elements of the game world in the biggest of ways. But in Inmomentum, they do the opposite. They take a minimalistic approach and FORCE you to pay attention to everything, else you’ll be going nowhere.
No, really, this game puts you in a world where color and shape are the clues to getting around, so if you don’t pay attention…you’re not moving. And since many of the modes of this game are all about racing other people and AI, you’ll want to make sure you get the gist of what’s going on.
It might throw you off at first, but once you overcome that, you’ll see the wonder of this game.
#10 Just Cause Series
If you want a game series that is just “irreverent” in the best (and sometimes worst) of ways, you need to look no further than the Just Cause Series. Over the course of its many games, it’s given you the freedom to do what you want, when you want, and cause as much destruction you want.
It’s given you the ability to fly and glide around the maps, to tangle with the weather itself, and cause so much wanton destruction that even Michael Bay would be proud (and likely claim it was his idea).
So if you want a fun game that’ll let you have fun with how you get around? This is the one for you.
Why? Just Cause.
#9 Dying Light 2
See? Told you the sequel would be here.
Dying Light 2 takes place quite a while after the first title, but that doesn’t mean that the game didn’t grow any. If anything, it learned its lessons from the first title to make a truly expansive sequel that embraces what made the first game fun.
And of course, that means the parkour elements. They even enhance the ways you can get around and use your skills to fight zombies and complete objects. Sounds fun, right?
Plus, like the original game, you’ll need to make some big decisions that are going to affect the entire city you’re in. As if all of that isn’t enough, you’re infected, and have to get back to safe areas at night or get turned! Fun!
#8 Sunset Overdrive
When Sunset Overdrive was announced…well it certainly made a statement with its reveal trailer…and let’s just leave it at that.
But after that controversy settled down and they actually played the game, they found themselves in a world that was not just grand, hilarious, colorful, and fun, but you could traverse in a variety of fun ways. You could run up walls, grind on various things to get around, leap off buildings without issue, and of course, wield a wide variety of items and weapons so that you could fight the monsters of your world.
Seriously, this game was built to be both irreverent and fun, and they absolutely did that. It’ll never get a sequel sadly, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the original title.
#7 Dishonored Series
While the Dishonored games haven’t continued on in some time, that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to be on this list. In fact, they were so good in their two entries that they are still praised today.
You are a former bodyguard turned deadly supernatural assassin, and when the city you’re in becomes endlessly corrupt? It’s your job to right the scales, even if it costs you quite a bit.
The game highlights the fact that you can improvise and use your powers in a variety of ways. Including using stealth however you want, becoming an unstoppable force of might or magic, or something in between.
That’s a lot of freedom, and you’ll definitely want to take part in it.
#6 Titanfall 2
Want to know just how good Titanfall 2 was? It’s so good that people are STILL demanding Titanfall 3 even though they have Apex Legends (which is set in the same universe) and likely isn’t ever coming out. Sorry.
But the reason it’s so beloved is because of its atypical style of shooter gameplay, mainly because it gives you not just a mech, but true freedom of movement in both your mech and human forms.
The gameplay loop you’ll find yourself in is fast and frenetic, but rarely in a way that is overwhelming. And even when you’re a human going up against a mech, you’re not instantly outclassed because of how you can move around the map.
It’s not too late to experience this game for yourself, jump in and see just how good it is to play.
#5 Mirror’s Edge Series
This one is a little harder to talk about, because Mirror’s Edge is a series that DID emphasize movement and parkour above all else (and long before key franchises on this list at times), but it was also one that never really fulfilled its potential due to delays and a lack of focus.
Granted, when you were playing as Faith and running through the various areas, it was a thrill. You could even go through the game without killing anyone or firing a weapon (a rarity in games overall). But, the franchise could never really capitalize on what it was offering, especially with its sequel that kind of wasn’t one…? It’s complicated.
Either way, we do have to praise the series for at least trying to be different, because most never do.
Deathloop is another more recent title for this list, and why it’s on here is evident to those who played it. In this game, you are a person who is stuck in a time loop, and to get out of it, you must kill a certain set of players on the island you’re on…all the while ducking an assassin that absolutely wants to kill you.
But the “movement” part here is very much about your abilities, and the ability to use the island to your advantage to get the kills you need in time.
You have to be creative and clever here, else it’s not going to work. And that’s the fun, going across the island, seeing all the possibilities, and then making it work.
#3 Assassin’s Creed Series
When the first Assassin’s Creed game came out, one of the things they emphasized was that you could climb up the buildings of the world, dive off them into bales of hay, run on certain objects even though they were off the ground, and so on.
As the franchise moved on, they knew that the true essence of this game franchise was making your assassin feel like they could go anywhere and do anything. Both in and out of combat.
Over time, that evolved into riding horses, piloting ships, and even being a part of full-scale battles and wars. Not every entry is a hit for obvious reasons, but it has made many think about how to handle open-world traversal.
#2 Batman Arkham Series
Movement isn’t just about how you walk in a game, it’s about how you PLAY the game via your character, and the Batman Arkham series absolutely delivered a freedom of movement that many still talk about years after Arkham Knight finally released.
Why? Because as THE Batman, you weren’t just running around the world, you were grappling, flying, diving and even driving through the world at your own pace. You could go from one end of Gotham City at times to another just by gliding around.
And that doesn’t even talk about the free-flow combat that has become VERY powerful in the gaming space. The freedom to chain together blows with a simple click of the mouse? That’s some fancy footwork…and punching…you get what we mean.
#1 Prince of Persia Series
We’re putting Prince of Persia at the top not just because it’s a classic game franchise, but when it came out with its first game, it was very much one that shocked everyone by its clever mechanics. Not just with the reversing of time, but by how you could run along walls and do incredible jumps (most of the time…) to traverse levels.
As the games entered the 3D space, they tried to improve that over and over so that you had so much more mobility and freedom.
Sure, not all of it worked, but when it did? It was awesome, and to this day, many people consider the original (and remastered) Prince of Persia game as one of the best ever. Very high praise considering where we are as a gaming culture.