Despite being one of the oldest genres in gaming, top-down shooters don’t always get the attention, praise, or recognition they generally deserve.
However, those looking for new top-down shooters in 2023 are in luck, as we’ve compiled a list of the best top-down shooters on Steam, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch.
If you enjoy these suggestions, make sure to share them with your friends and check out our growing library of curated gaming lists covering every genre!
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Platforms: Windows, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Switch
In it, players are tasked with surviving post-apocalyptic scenarios where they’ll have to fend off waves of zombie hordes using a suite of out-of-the-box weaponry and tower defense contraptions.
This encompasses everything from standard shotguns, machine guns, rifles, and flamethrowers to the more bizarre cat-launcher and magical wand.
As you progress, you’ll earn Slaycation Club rewards that can be used to unlock new destinations, even more crazy new weapons, and powerful upgrades.
Bounty of One
Reminiscent of games like Vampire Survivors, Bounty of One is a Wild West-themed top-down shooter that casts you as a disgraced fallen hero.
With endless hordes of bounty hunters gunning for you, you’ll have to grab your guns and fight for survival long enough to clear your name.
This can be summed up as bullet hell-style, top-down shooter combat with fast-paced gameplay that emphasizes mobility as you dash, dodge, and shoot your way to victory.
To keep the odds in your favor, the game gives you the option to upgrade skills over time as well as bring along a few gunslinger friends via local co-op multiplayer.
Platforms: Windows, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, Mac, Linux
Next up on our list of fun top-down shooters to play in 2023, we have a revival of the 1982 Atari classic title Yars’ Revenge designed for both single-player and local co-op.
In Yars: Recharged, you take on the role of an insect hero infiltrating their enemy’s homeworld to carry out an assault on its mechanical hives.
This trance-inducing shoot ‘em up offers 60 unique enemy encounters against waves of enemies armed with deadly cannons and swirling missiles.
Outside of completing missions, players can take on a challenging boss rush Arcade mode and compete with other players via global leaderboards.
Star Valor is a space-themed action RPG with top-down shooter elements that puts you in control of your own spaceship and destiny out in the cosmos.
Set in a procedurally generated galaxy, the game sees you exploring a vast open world while making a name for yourself by joining factions, mining asteroids, trading, and bounty hunting.
To this point, it features a dynamic and easy-to-learn combat system that centers on head-to-head dogfights and massive fleet battles.
Your ship can be outfitted with over 160 different parts or swapped out entirely with 80+ unique class-based vessels that allow for further customization via a weapon crafting system.
20 Minutes Till Dawn
Platforms: Windows, Android
The goal of the game is to make it through a hellish night by keeping your character alive for 20 real-world minutes as mobs of enemies surround you.
It offers a diverse selection of characters and weapons to pick from, each tailored for different playstyles that can be further enhanced using over 50 upgrades.
Requiring only 10-20 minutes for each session and coming in at 2.99 USD, the game is a great option for gamers on a budget or with limited time to play.
To survive, players must master every weapon at their disposal while investigating the disappearance of their missing pilot and friend in a world destroyed by rogue AI.
This entails traveling to both beautiful and devastated hand-crafted environments based on real-world locations like Barcelona, Hong Kong, and North America.
Combat in Uragun is fast-paced and will test your skills and reflexes by forcing you to wield a variety of deadly weapons with clearly defined strengths and weaknesses.
Super Animal Royale
Platforms: Windows, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Switch, Mac
The game casts you and up to 64 opponents as trigger-happy animals that have decided to bear arms and fight to the death on an exotic island.
After picking your drop location on the map, you’ll have to loot and shoot your way to victory by searching nearby crates for weapons, armor, and ability pick-ups.
In the spirit of Super Animal Royale’s “cute but deadly” design, each animal can wield an assortment of rifles, machine guns, grenades, blades, etc.
Platforms: Windows, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One
If you’ve been keeping up on the top-down shooter market, then there’s a good chance you’ve already heard of The Ascent as it was one of the more recent high-profile releases in the genre.
The game is set in a cyberpunk city controlled by an authoritarian megacorp that ultimately collapses, leaving a power vacuum in its wake.
As gangs and other rival factions all vie for control, your character gets caught in the crossfire, prompting you to run and gun your way through hostile territories.
Along with top-down shooter combat, The Ascent layers on a cover system, robust RPG progression, and local/online co-op with up to three players.
Platforms: Windows, PS4, Switch, Mac, Linux
In it, players follow the story of two police operatives as they set out to infiltrate gang hideouts, rescue hostages, arrest perps, and handle other life or death scenarios.
Unlike most top-down shooters, players are encouraged to take non-lethal measures when possible and will face negative consequences for wrongfully killing civilians and non-threatening criminals.
With that said, some situations will call for it, so players will have to stay vigilant and look for any signs of danger while responding to calls.
In Voidigo, you take on the role of a colorful bird-like hero tasked with defeating a host of unique bosses in dynamic top-down shootouts.
The gameplay is fast and chaotic with an emphasis on dodging attacks and incorporates roguelite mechanics with many ranged and melee weapons at your disposal.
As mentioned earlier, Voidigo focuses primarily on ever-evolving boss fights where enemies can flee to different areas, requiring you to hunt them down or take a minute to rest.
Between battles, you’ll have an opportunity to trade weapons, power-ups, and other items to adjust your playstyle to your liking.
Synthetik: Legion Rising
Platform: Windows, Xbox One, Switch
Speaking of roguelite top-down shooters, one of our favorites is Synthetik: Legion Rising for its challenging combat and hardcore difficulty.
In it, you’re tasked with bringing down an army of cybernetic-enhanced machines using a wide array of weapons that can be customized using various parts and perks.
Gameplay-wise, Synthetik sets itself apart from other top-down shooters by including a unique active reload mechanic with high-risk stakes that can cause your gun to jam or overheat.
Additionally, there are several character classes to pick from, each with special abilities and weapons that impact how battles play out.
Platforms: Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, Linux
Players are cast as a wired psychopath on a mission to save his kidnapped brother and get revenge on the corrupt system that led to his circumstances.
To do so, he’ll have to team up with a mysterious hacker and uncover the truth across a series of industrialized locales occupied by enemy forces.
The game features brutal and unforgiving combat that revolves around augmented gadgets and high-tech guns that can make quick work of foes.
Brigador: Up-Armored Edition
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
Keeping with the cyberpunk theme, we recommend picking up Brigador, a mech-based top-down shooter that tasks you with hunting down and destroying an oppressive government.
Aiding you in your quest are 50+ powerful mercenary mech units with overwhelming firepower capable of laying waste to tanks and leveling entire buildings.
Brigador’s main Campaign mode offers 37 missions to tackle and there’s also a Freelance mode with fewer restrictions and over 20 maps to explore.
The best way to play the game in 2023 is through the Up-Armored Edition, which revises the game’s mechanics, balancing, and graphics for a better experience.
Helldivers: Dive Harder Edition
Platforms: Windows, PS4
Heavily inspired by sci-fi movies like Starship Troopers and Aliens, Helldivers is a hardcore top-down shooter designed for solo and co-op with 1-4 players.
The story centers on a team of elite combat soldiers tasked with protecting their home world by traveling across space in a never-ending intergalactic war against aliens.
Players can wield a wide array of weapons to define their playstyle as well as roll the dice with randomized loadouts and spice things up.
We suggest picking up the Dive Harder Edition as it offers a free upgrade to access all previously released expansions, the aforementioned loadout system, and a NG+ mode.
Hotline Miami Collection
Platforms: Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, Mac, Linux
To wrap things up, we’re recommending the Hotline Miami Collection, which bundles together both games in the series in one high-octane package.
As far as top-down shooters go, the Hotline Miami games are practically unmatched and have received countless awards and praise for their raw and brutal approach to gunplay.
In the original, you play as a mysterious antihero who goes on a murderous rampage against shady crooks after hearing strange voices on their answering machine.
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number escalates things even further by having you follow the paths of different factions with distinct weapons, motivations, and tactics for causing violence.