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Mechanical Challenge Games Rated ESRB MATURE 17 and Older

Games offer us challenges on many levels. When someone plays a game too much it’s easy to think they are taking an easy route to something entertaining, like junk food. But video games are generally hard work. It takes time to understand their systems, mechanics, objectives and worlds.

There are a small group of games that hone this challenge down to the mechanics of moving around the environment. Whereas many games simplify getting around, these games make the complexity and depth of their movement systems part of the joy of playing them.

Rather than relying on the stats of your character or player, you have to execute the moves yourself with timing proficiency and instinct. Rather than offering assistance, these games leave you to it. Whether you rise through the league tables, or just improve compared to your family, the satisfaction or getting to grips with something so monumentally challenging is really satisfying.

This might be understanding how the propulsion of your car lets you take to the air and hit a perfect shot in Rocket League. Or, perhaps, it’s using the limited running and jumping slightly better than other players to get a win in Fall Guys. Maybe it’s learning the perfect combination of angles and trajectories in Videoball. Or it could be learning the complex move lists in a game like Street Fighter.

These games all have in common, a complex control system that can be put to use in imaginative and creative ways to get the edge over your opponents.

This list includes 32 games from the last 26 years, with 269 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to combine dexterity and instincts.

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 12 to PEGI 18
ESRB Ratings: ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: M to R 18+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Role-Play, Shooting, Simulation, Stealth, Strategy and Traversal
Total Likes: 269
 

 

Elden Ring

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Release Date: 25/02/2022

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Open World, Role-Play and Simulation

Accessibility: 23 features

Developer: Elden Ring (@EldenRing)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 4-player online game

Elden Ring is a role-play game set in a fictional world created by fantasy novelist George R. R. Martin, with a focus on combat similar to Demon's Souls and an open world with real time and weather like Zelda Breath of the Wild.

Demon's Souls (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 04/10/2011

Price: 38% off

Platforms: PS3 and PS5

Genres: Action, Adventure and Narrative

Accessibility: 8 features

Developer: From Software PR (@FromSoftware_PR)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 6-player online game

Demons Souls is first a series of fighting and exploration games recently re-released on PlayStation 5. From third-person perspective you navigate interconnected locations while fighting enemies with weapons and magic. Larger boss enemy encounters...

Free Fire (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 29/10/2018

Price: Free

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Action, Platform and Shooting

Accessibility: 2 features

Developer: Free Fire NA (@FreeFire_NA)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 50-player online game

Garena Free Fire (also called Free Fire Battlegrounds, Free Fire, Garena Free Fire-New Beginning) is a shooting game like Fortnite but only played on mobile phones and tablet devices. It is highly popular for its online battles where 50 players search...

Escape from Tarkov

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 27/07/2017

Platforms: PC

Genres: Open World, Shooting and Simulation

Accessibility: 1 feature

Developer: B State Games (@BStateGames)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 14-player online game

Escape from Tarkov is an online shooting game set in the fictional Norvinsk region in Northwest Russia. You play during a war between two private military companies and join matches to fight others for loot, survival and ultimately escape.

Hitman (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 01/01/2000, updated in 2021

Price: 60% off

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Adventure, Open World, Puzzle, Simulation and Stealth

Accessibility: 22 features

Developer: IO Interactive (@IOInteractive)

Players: This is a single-player game

Hitman 3 is a stealth game where you take on assassination missions and then figure out how to execute them. The dynamic situations you enter unfold as you play and you can try different approaches.

Outward

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 26/03/2019

Price: 75% off

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Role-Play and Simulation

Accessibility: 8 features

Developer: Nine Dots Studio (@NineDotsStudio)

Players: You can play with 1 to 2 players in the same room or as a 2-player online game

Outward is a fantasy adventure focused on an ordinary character surviving against the odds. There's a focus on realism rather than superpowers or magical abilities. You have to look after your warmth, hunger, fatigue, illness, and thirst as well as the...

Sifu

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Release Date: 22/02/2022

Platforms: PC, PS4 and PS5

Genres: Fighting, Narrative and Simulation

Developer: Slo Clap (@SloClap)

Players: This is a single-player game

Sifu is a martial arts fighting game with a flowing control system and ageing protagonist. You fight with Kung-Fu combat designed with impact and authenticity in mind.

Ready or Not

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 17/12/2021

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Action, Role-Play, Shooting, Simulation and Stealth

Developer: Void Interactive (@VoidInteractive)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 8-player online game

Ready or Not is a tactical shooting game, where you need restraint and discipline as much as a quick trigger finger. Like Rainbow Six Siege, you take on tactical missions with other people and must work together to apprehend suspects with minimal...

Squad

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 14/12/2015, updated in 2020

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action, Open World, Shooting, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 1 feature

Developer: Off World Ind (@OffWorldInd)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 100-player online game

Squad is an online-only shooting game where you fight in a team of 50 players against an opposing team. It is unusual because of a deep emphasis on teamwork, co-ordination and strategy, as well as being as realistic to real modern day warfare as...

Doom Eternal

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 20/03/2020

Price: 67% off

Platforms: PS4, Stadia, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action and Shooting

Accessibility: 33 features

Developer: id Software (@idSoftware)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 3-player online game

Doom is a shooting game with a focus on movement and close-quarter combat in tightly designed arenas. Originally released in 1993, it was one of the first 3D shooting games to be made and spawned numerous sequels, novels, comic books, board games, and...

Arma 3 (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 12/09/2013

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action, Shooting and Simulation

Accessibility: 29 features

Developer: Bohemia Interact (@BohemiaInteract)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 32-player online game

Arma 3 is a realistic military simulator. Unlike games such as Call of Duty or Battlefield Arma focuses on realism. Rather than blockbuster effects, it spends time simulating the...

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 12/08/2012

Price: Free

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS3 and Xbox 360

Genres: Action, Shooting and Strategy

Accessibility: 26 features

Developer: Valve Software (@ValveSoftware)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 10-player online game

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (commonly abbreviated as CS:GO) is a competitive first-person shooting game. You play either a counter-terrorist or terrorist. The objective changes based on the game-mode you play but generally, game modes are...

Bioshock Infinite

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds

Release Date: 26/03/2013, updated in 2020

Price: 60% off

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Role-Play and Shooting

Accessibility: 13 features

Developer: Ghost Story Games (@GhostStoryGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Bioshock Infinite is an adventure shooting game. Although the story is unconnected to the previous games in the series, it raises similar themes of dictatorship communities and alternative to capitalistic society. It's another nuanced and complex story...

I Am Alive

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Skill Rating: 15+ year-olds

Release Date: 07/03/2012, updated in 2013

Platforms: PC, PS3 and Xbox 360

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Platform and Simulation

Developer: Ubisoft (@Ubisoft)

Players: This is a single-player game

I Am Alive is an action adventure in a post apocalyptic future where an event has reduced cities to rubble. You traverse the country to find your wife and child. It draws on end of humanity fiction like The Road, and stands out for its commitment to...

Mortal Shell

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 18/08/2020

Price: 60% off

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting and Role-Play

Developer: Mortal Shell Game (@MortalShellGame)

Players: This is a single-player game

Mortal Shell is a fighting role-playing video with difficult battles. It invites you to explore and fight your way through a shattered world where the remains of humanity wither and rot.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 22/03/2019

Price: 50% off

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative and Strategy

Accessibility: 8 features

Developer: From Software PR (@FromSoftware_PR)

Players: This is a single-player game

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is an adventure fighting game set in the Sengoku period in Japan. You play a shinobi known as Wolf, who has lost an arm, as he attempts to take revenge on a samurai clan who attacked him and kidnapped his lord.

Sniper Elite 5 (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 26/05/2022

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action, Fighting, Shooting and Traversal

Accessibility: 45 features

Developer: Rebellion (@Rebellion)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 2-player online game

Sniper Elite 5 is the latest game in the shooting simulation series that focuses on tactical third-person combat, advanced gun physics, traversal and an enhanced slow motion kill camera. With realistic environments and real-world locations, customise...

Replaced

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Fighting, Narrative, Platform and Shooting

Developer: Coatsink (@Coatsink)

Players: This is a single-player game

Replaced is a platform game set in a grim dystopian alternate 1980s America. You play as an Artificial Intelligence trapped inside a human wanting to escape.

Back 4 Blood

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 12/10/2021

Price: 55% off

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action, Shooting and Simulation

Accessibility: 33 features

Developer: Turtle Rock (@TurtleRock)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 8-player online game

Back 4 Blood is a multiplayer shooting game where a team of four players work together to survive zombie-infested areas.

Ghostrunner

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 27/10/2020, updated in 2021

Price: 65% off

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action, Fighting and Simulation

Accessibility: 13 features

Developer: Oml Games (@Oml_Games)

Players: This is a single-player game

Ghostrunner is a challenging, fast-paced fighting game with a puzzle solving element. Played from a first-person perspective, you navigate the world using parkour-like skills, running on walls, sliding through gaps or jumping and swinging over them....

Chivalry II

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 08/06/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action, Fighting, Open World and Role-Play

Accessibility: 21 features

Developer: Torn Banner (@TornBanner)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 64-player online game

Chivalry 2 is an online sword fighting game that recreates epic medieval movie battles. It's the sequel to Chivalry: Medieval Warfare and thrusts you first-hand into huge battles where you must survive clashing swords, storms of flaming arrows and...

Nioh 2

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 12/03/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4 and PS5

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting and Role-Play

Developer: Team Ninja Studio (@TeamNinjaStudio)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 3-player online game

Nioh 2 is a role-playing game that spans a period both before and after the original Nioh game. It's set in the devastated locales of Japan during the Sengoku period The novelty is the supernatural setting and thrilling horror of taking on hordes of...

Redfall

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action, Fighting and Shooting

Developer: Arkane Studios (@ArkaneStudios)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 4-player online game

Redfall is an open-world team shooting game set in a Massachusetts town under siege by a legion of vampires. You work with a handful of survivors to purge the town. It's a cooperative experience with diverse characters and wide-ranging ways to approach...

Sludge Life

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 28/05/2020, updated in 2021

Platforms: PC and Switch

Genres: Adventure, Open World, Platform, Point-and-Click and Puzzle

Developer: Devolver Digital (@DevolverDigital)

Players: This is a single-player game

Sludge Life is an open world adventure where you play as Ghost, a graffiti artist determined to put his tag all over Sludge City. You play in an adult world full of lived-in locations and intriguing characters. It requires some caution, but beyond the...

Trek To Yomi

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 09/05/2022

Price: 30% off

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Fighting, Narrative and Traversal

Developer: Flying Wild Hog (@Flying_Wild_Hog)

Players: This is a single-player game

Trek To Yomi is samurai action fighting game set in a mythical reimagining of the Edo period of Japan. You follow a young warrior on a journey to confront the people responsible for the destruction of his village. It's a short kaleidoscope of a game,...

Zero Hour

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 17/08/2020

Platforms: PC

Genres: Adventure, Shooting, Simulation, Stealth and Strategy

Developer: Zero Hour 2020 (@ZeroHour_2020)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 10-player online game

Zero Hour is a team-based shooting game played in realistic Bangladesh locations. (Not to be confused with Command & Conquer: Generals - Zero Hour, or Firewall Zero Hour that are different games). It focuses on realism in both scale and resources to...

Call of Duty: Vanguard (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 05/11/2021

Price: 50% off

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action, Open World and Shooting

Developer: SH Games (@SHGames)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 48-player online game

Call of Duty: Vanguard is a shooting game set during end of the World War II. It's the eighteenth instalment in the Call of Duty series.

Hell Let Loose

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 27/07/2021, updated in 2021

Price: 30% off

Platforms: PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action, Shooting, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 2 features

Developer: Black Matter S (@BlackMatter_S)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 100-player online game

Hell Let Loose is a tactical shooting game set during the battles of the Western and Eastern Fronts of World War 2. It focuses on the structure of warfare with large numbers of troops through chain of command communication. You must work with other...

The House of the Dead (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 01/01/1996, updated in 2022

Price: 20% off

Platforms: PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii, Xbox and Xbox One

Genres: Action and Shooting

Players: You can play with 1 to 2 players in the same room or as a 4-player online game

The House of the Dead is a horror-themed shooting game where you control the targeting but not the movement. Unlike general on-rails shooting games, this was controlled using a light-gun pointing at the screen (or similar controller). This gives the...

Red Faction (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 22/05/2001, updated in 2018

Price: 75% off

Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Open World, Shooting and Simulation

Accessibility: 2 features

Developer: Red Faction (@RedFaction)

Players: This is a single-player game

Red Faction is a series of shooting and sabotage games. Although the games differ in terms of player perspective, they all share the ability to destroy anything in the environment. The novelty is how believably building collapse. Bring down a wall or...

GTFO

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 10/12/2021

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action, Fighting, Puzzle, Shooting and Stealth

Developer: Ten Chambers (@TenChambers)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 4-player online game

GTFO (Get The F*%k Out) is a horror shooting game where you work with other players to survive. The game stands out for the high challenge it sets (and tension it creates) as you use stealth, strategy and teamwork to survive the deadly, underground...

Katana Zero

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 15+ year-olds

Release Date: 18/04/2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Fighting and Platform

Accessibility: 13 features

Developer: Askiisoft (@Askiisoft)

Players: This is a single-player game

Katana Zero is a noir-styled fighting game where you are a samurai assassin. At (literally) breakneck speed you slash, dash and jump your way through side-on missions. The twist is if you die the game rewinds time and you try that loop again.

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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