There’s plenty of appeal to the looter shooter genre. There’s always something to find and do and, if done right, the grind is barely noticeable. While some people love overly grindy games, a good looter shooter will have just enough of a grind to it that the progression doesn’t feel slow or tedious.
There have been a large number of looter shooter games released, on a variety of consoles. With so many available, it can often be tricky to find out which one deserves your time.
Today, we’re going to look at some of the best looter shooter games available in 2020. These all share gameplay features that fans of looter shooters will love and also have strong online and cooperative play.
Release Date: 13 September 2019
Platforms: macOS, Stadia, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Perhaps the most famous of all the looter shooters out there is the Borderlands franchise. The third installment of the game builds and refines on what made the past titles so great, while not forgetting to keep an absurd amount of weapons in the game.
This cell-shaded game has you taking control of a Vault Hunter on their journey to save your home from ruthless cult leaders. There are four playable characters available in the base game, each with their own distinct playstyle, set of abilities and backstory. You’ll see familiar faces in your playthrough from previous Borderlands games and the writing is as funny as ever.
The main fun to be had in Borderlands comes from customizing your character and their weapon set. There are so many randomly generated guns to pick up that it can easily clog up your inventory, but you’ll never see the same weapon twice. These guns don’t feel randomly generated either, each one feels completely different from the next and is perfect for different situations.
Once you’ve made your way through the base game, you’re not quite at the end. You’ll still want to hit max level, play around with your build some more and then start hunting for the best possible weapons out there. The Borderlands franchise also has a reputation for releasing top-quality DLCs and Borderlands 3 doesn’t stray from this. At the time of writing, there are three large DLC that you can play through as well as a bunch of cosmetics and weapon packs you can purchase.
Release Date: September 6, 2017
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Stadia, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Destiny 2 might be one of the most popular looter shooter games that you can get your hands on in 2020. With a massive online following, frequent content updates, and great game mechanics, you can’t really go wrong – oh and it’s free to play too! You can choose to upgrade your game at any time and purchase content though to keep the game fresh.
In Destiny 2, you’ll play the role of a Guardian on their journey to regain their light and defeat Dominus Ghaul, the leader of an alien race whose aim is to strip the Guardians of their light. The gameplay is as polished as ever in Destiny 2 and you’ll be zipping around the environment, destroying countless enemies without a care in the world.
There’s plenty to see and loot too. There are plenty of different guns as well as some extra-special ones you’ll have to grind for. Destiny 2 is also a great experience with friends who want to progress through the main story together – although it is focused more on solo play.
There is also an expansive endgame to enjoy in Destiny 2 which could easily keep you playing for months to come. That’s not all though, there are also daily events, Nightfall strike missions, PvP modes, Gambit modes, and rotating heroic missions to make your way through.
Release Date: 13 August 2013
Platforms: Windows, Linux, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
If you want to go for the more literal meaning of a looter shooter, Payday 2 is the perfect game for you. Payday 2 puts you in the shoes of a criminal who earns their money robbing banks, holding up stores, stealing important data, and a myriad of other illegal tasks.
There’s plenty to loot in Payday 2. All manner of things can be stolen and transported back to your getaway vehicle and you’ll get a nice sum of money you can spend at the end of each job. This can be used to customize your character’s mask, improve weapons, or buy contracts.
If you’re feeling social, this is a great game to play with your friends. Each character can be customized to fit a certain role using skill points. You can have someone who is great at firing guns, somebody who acts as the medic and transports bags, or even somebody whose job it is to hack electronics during the job. As each job always has the potential to ‘go loud’, you might want to bring a diverse team to cope with the situation.
Release Date: March 25, 2013
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X
In Warframe, you’ll play as a member of the Tenno race. These ancient warriors have awoken after centuries of slumber to find themselves at war. There is a robust class system to play around in as well as a detailed crafting system that allows players to make their own powerful builds. This does come with a fair bit of grinding if you don’t purchase any in-game currency, however.
There’s so much content available in Warframe that it can be a bit overwhelming at first. There are over 40 different frames to unlock and level up, each with their own unique skills and abilities as well as a whole load of guns that can also be leveled up.
If you love a good story, Warframe has 12 story arcs that you can make your way through and each has a great level of detail, great writing, and even voice acting that you might not expect from a free game. The game also receives constant updates with new content and features being added all the time. The community for this game is also larger than ever, so you’ll have no problems trying to find a game full of people.
Release Date: July 27th, 2017 (Closed Beta)
Platforms: Microsoft Windows
Although Escape from Tarkov hasn’t officially been released just yet, it’s still well worth checking out if you’re looking for more of a battle-royale looter shooter. If you pre-purchase Escape from Tarkov, you’ll be able to take part in the closed beta straight away and keep up to date with any future updates.
Escape from Tarkov will feel pretty familiar to you if you’ve ever given a battle-royale shooter a shot. There is more of an emphasis on survival in Escape from Tarkov and looting is the main way you’ll stay ahead. Realism is the name of the game in Escape from Tarkov too, each weapon has its own characteristics. Bullet ballistics and ricochets are also modeled which adds a new layer of immersion.
There are currently several modes available in Escape from Tarkov which include online raids, scavenger modes, and an offline mode. Once you’ve loaded into the map, you simply have to reach the extraction zone – looting along the way. If you die on your travels, however, you’ll lose everything in your inventory. If you make it out alive, you’ll be able to store this loot for use in future raids or even sell it to traders.
The looter shooter genre is definitely still alive and kicking in 2020. While there aren’t a lot of brand-new releases on this list, there’s more than enough content coming out for these existing games that it would take years to play through.
We’re particularly fond of Borderlands 3 when looking at the best looter shooter games. It’s cartoony aesthetic, witty writing, and an infinite supply of guns to find leads to hours of fun.
Can you think of any more looter shooter games that we could have added to our list? Feel free to let us know down in the comments section below what you’re currently playing. Better still, why not head over to our Community Hub to chat to other WePC readers.