Top 13 Games Like Skyrim
The Elder Scrolls series has long been known for bold, expansive, and immersive game design. The addition of Skyrim to the series is definitely the most successful iteration, making it one of the most popular and best selling games across all genres and platforms.
If you are like me, then playing Skyrim for the first time was awe inspiring. The immersive world, the beautiful graphics, and the multi-faceted character choices really set the standard for open world games. After playing for some time, you probably wondered if there were any other games like skyrim that could entertain and immerse you for hours on end. This site is dedicated to the game of Skyrim itself as well as all the related games that players who loved Skyrim might enjoy.
First off, we need to set the benchmark for just what qualifies for a game like Skyrim. First, the game has to be open world based. Second the game has to offer the player exstensive choice. The storyline should be more towards the non-linear end of the spectrum. Also, while fantasy elements are not required it is an important factor to consider. Some games are in completely different genres but offer the same features as Skyrim.
Witcher 2: Assasination of Kings
Witcher 2 places the player in the shoes of Geralt, a famed monster hunter. This RPG is full of political intrique, hack and slash monster hunting, and emotionally charged decisions with grave consequences. In fact, the consequences are perhaps the deepest part of this game. Your decisions impact other game characters and irrevocably affect the course of gameplay. Even more so than in Skyrim, you really get the feel that you are integral to the game world, not just an adventurer passing through.
This is a game not just of role playing, but of strategy. Integrating your choices in the equation and the combination of various tactics to achieve results, makes this grown up game an addicting and immersive. The characters are deep as is the storyline. This might just be one of the best games of its generation.
The gameworld itself is large and vibrant. Like Skyrim, there are cities to explore with different vibes, problems and dispositions to the game universe. There are main cities like the bustling river port of Flotsam, but also a frontier of border garrisons, small towns, and castles. Visually, the world is impressively rendered. While better on the PC, the XBOX version is still comparable or better than Skyrim on many fronts. However, it does have more of a “high fantasy” vs “dark fantasy” feel. If you are looking for a game that closely mimics Skyrim in terms of shear depth, production value, and open map to explore, Witcher 2 is definitely a top pick.
The original Witcher did not make it to the XBOX 360. Today, you can play Witcher 2 both on the PC and on the 360. We recommend the “Enhanced Edition” because it is only a few bucks more, but adds some nice gameplay elements. This is definitely one of the closest games like skyrim we have experienced. An added bonus is that the game itself contains far fewer glitches than Skyrim does, making the massive medeival fantasy world even more immersive and believable.
Fallout: New Vegas
Fallout: New Vegas is an expansive reformulation of the original Fallout 3, full of things to do with no forced narrative to follow. While not in the same class as Skyrim, it is still a fantasy realm (of sorts) based in a post apocalyptic scenario. New to his edition of the popular series is an expanded emphasis on role playing, making it even more similar in some respects to Skyrim.
Like Skryim the number of quests, side vignettes, things to create, and places to explore is almost endless. At times it might even be overwhelming. Chances are, this type free roam open world of environment is what you are looking for. Some quests are shorter and some longer and more complex, making the game unpredictable and unique.
One central element to New Vegas is the effect a player’s choices have on the experience of the game. There are almost always multiple ways to proceed with decisions, making for divergent gameplay that varies from game to game. In some cases, quests may cross each other and effect each other, either enhancing or even altering the outcomes respectively. This enhances the replayability of the game (if you ever come close to “completing” it the first time).
The initial versions of this game had some serious glitches which at times frustrated an otherwise enthralling experience. Fortunately, all of these bugs have been fixed in later versions of the game (originally released in 2010). If you were on the fence before, now is probably a good time to pick the game up. Plus, it is pretty cheap at Amazon right now for roughly $15-20.
Dark Souls so successfully recreates a living breathing game world that it is quite literally scary. Released in 2011, this game was an instant artistic hit, although it flew under the radar of many mainstream gamers. This dark fantasy RPG delves deep into the realm of evil lizardmen and maniacal demons bent on killing you. And they do. Over and over again.
You see, that is part of the game. It features a punishing difficulty that even experienced gamers will struggle with. But even so, because death and rebirth are the crux of the game, this does not necessarily impede the fun. In fact, it makes defeating powerful bosses and finishing the game an even greater accomplishment.
Based off of the original Demon Souls game, Dark Souls continues in the vein of a dungeon crawler game. In this sense it is more specific than Skyrim and less expansive, but while it lacks miles of high plains and windswept peaks, it does offer and immersive and extensive world (albeit underground). The game is definitely more focused, but still tons of fun to play and explore.
Like Skyrim however, Dark Souls provides a non-linear storyline. Mysteries can be unlocked, but not everything is explained to you in black and white. There is room for the players imagination and intelligence to take root. This “thin” story telling is actually quite successful and leads to a rich game in a subtle manner. For a more in depth comparison check out our Dark Souls vs Skyrim article.
At the end of the game, you can take some serious pride in having persevered while also having plenty of terrifying fun along the way. If you are not afraid of some dark fantasy and enjoy becoming enthralled in an expansive game universe, check out Dark Souls at Amazon.com.
Fable III is another large open world fantasy game that at times evokes the gameplay of Skyrim. The world in which it is set is called Albion and it is a world brimming with character. While at times outright funny, this game definitely plays to a lighter note than Skyrim. It takes itself less seriously, but is still a fun, intriging and immersive world to explore.
Like other games in this genre, choice is a central element of character development and features heavily in Fable III. You can become a hero or a tyrant, it is up to you. The gameplay itself and the action is significantly easier than games like Skyrim. This can lead to a more enjoyable if slightly less satisfying experience for some.
Some have criticized this third edition of the Fable series as being too simplistic. There are some definite design and interface improvements however, that make the game far more accessible to a wider audience. Being able to invest and own property is also a nice feature for folks who really enjoy this type of roleplaying. The upset is that the cities are truly huge, perhaps even larger than the settlements in Skyrim. Even if you do not like the main storyline, playing the side missions and exploring the urban environments is still a blast.
You can pick Fable III up over at Amazon for a super cheap price. At this price, it is well worth the money if you want to have fun with a quality open world fantasy game.
Kingdoms of Amular: Reckoning
As is often noted, the best RPG games like Skyrim are often lauded for their in depth open worlds and sprawling environments. Such RPGs are not always recognized similarly for their action and gameplay. While the game world in Kingdoms of Amular is massive, it is not as unique or deep as Skyrim. Similarly, the storyline is enjoyable, but not quite as good as Skyrim. But this is all made up for by engaging and well developed action sequences that rivals games like Skyrim in terms of enjoyment (if not slightly more so).
The game world itself is definitely wide open to be explored. Occassionally there is a mountain peak that is incapable of being reached, but you will probably be too busy exploring other aspects of the environment to notice.
Because the action is such a central factor in the game, character development is not first and foremost. That said, you will gradually come to know more facts about your character. The storyline is much more linear than Skyrim, but there is still room to explore and do things your own way. In a way it is more reminiscent of Diablo in this respect.
Similarly, the graphics are relatively pedestrian. There is neither the charm of Fable or the unique identity and detail of Skyrim or Witcher. Still, the graphics are well rendered and do add atmospherics to the action.
This is also a nice versatile game, available on both PS3, XBOX 360, and PC. You can even do a digital download straight to your PC (click to see how).
Assasins Creed: Revalations
Assassins Creed is one of the long standing award winning open world adventure games in recent memory. Revelations is no different than its predecessors in that it is a joy to play, has deep gameplay elements, and a beautiful game world similar in size and scope to Skyrim in which to explore, wreck havoc, or just do what you please.
The story itself is entertaining, but hardly the main draw of this game. The superb graphics (even today) are dazzling. Like Skyrim, there are moments where you find a special perch and just soak in the environment.
Since the world is the main draw, we really focused in on it when comparing it to Skyrim. The setting is Constantinople in the 16th Century, bringing a little historical flavor and a huge center of the world to explore, full of intrique and adventure. Where east meets west you will find bazaars buzzing with activity, famous landmarks (like the Hagia Sophia), and soft sun rises and sunsets to mark the passage of time.
For long time fans of the series, one noted improvement is the much more open ended missions. You can achieve objectives in a relatively non-linear fashion which makes this edition a truly “open” world game.
You can pick up a cheap download for the PC, if you want to play now. Or, you can buy the physical copies on Amazon (click below to order).
Darksiders II is perhaps one of the more surprising titles in recent year. It is a combination of dungeon crawler and adventure/puzzle strategy RPG. While not an open world game per se, it does follow a similar dungeon set up like in Skyrim. The best analogy is a mix of Skyrim and Diablo.
The best part about Darksiders is the improved combat system. It is nuanced at each level without being overwhelming. It is certainly not just a hack and slash RPG. There are new moves to learn special one hit kills and an in depth combat evolution system for your character.
If you didn’t like the original Darksiders, this new version is definitely worth picking up. It makes vast improvements on its predecessor and is a great value for the money in terms of what you get out of the game.
Fortunately, Darksiders provides much more value for the money. You can pick up the PC version to download instantly now or check out the PS3 and XBOX 360 versions by clicking the “buy” button below.
Dragon Age II
Dragon Age II is not just a fun open world game to explore. It is a complex RPG story driven game that immerses the player fully into a world of questing and even political intrigue.
The game has been simplified in some key ways with the current iteration. This can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your perspective. Inventory management has been slimmed down as well as the initial character race selections. However, the streamlined game is still an enthralling adventure game that brings the world to life in a visceral sense.
The one negative gripe with this game is the longer than normal load times. While fans of Skyrim are used to frequent loading screens, Dragon Age II has slightly longer loading times. This can be a drag if fluidity is what you are looking for.
You can pick up Dragon Age II over at Amazon for a very reasonable price of less than $20. Another nice aspect of this game is that it is available for pretty much every platform including PS3, XBOX 360, MAC, and PC. You can even download the MAC or PC version instantly and be playing within minutes.
Two Worlds 2
Two Worlds 2 by now is a bit of an older game, having been released in 2011. It nonetheless is a favorite among the fantasy open world game genre. The game is as much a “crafting” game as it is an RPG, letting the character create as well as employ myriad objects within the game world.
The story mode is not particularly spectacular, but the busy world and varied quests make this game an extremely open ended environment to create your own story in. One of the best parts of the game is a functionality that lets you create and experiment with differen potions and spells, even upgrading your armor and weapons. Fans of Skyrim will definitely appreciate this type of freedom and customization.
The deeper you get into the game, the more you fall in love with it. It does not hit you in the face right out of the gate with dazzling graphics like in Skyrim or other big name RPGs, but the nuanced gameplay and freedom grow over time. There are so many side missions and jobs, that you will find yourself frequently overwhelmed with the shear number of options available to you.
This is a classic game which will definitely appeal to fans of games like Skyrim. Two Worlds 2 is a steal right now at Amazon where you can buy either the PS3 or XBOX 360 version for less than $10.
Assassins Creed III
After originally writing this article, Assassins Creed III was released and it definitely deserves a mention on this list. While sticking to the open world style of play, Activision introduced a number of new touches that are unique and do push the envelope of open world games.
Stealth killing and rooftop hopping is now set in the New World. The 18th century colonial world is a nice change of pace for the series and killing Redcoats has never been so entertaining. Most of the action takes place in the urban settings of Boston and New York, but there is also extensive wilderness and frontier to explore, settle, and hunt. It is these open untamed areas where Assassins Creed really borrows from Skyrim to create a believable expansive open world vibe.
Out of the box the game was released with a number of glitches, some of which were quite annoying. However, Activision is set to release a major update that will fix many of these issues in the near future. Overall, the game is still well worth it.
It’s a bit pricey still, but that is because its a recently released game that is in high demand. It’s currently sitting on top of the Amazon video game bestseller list and you can get free shipping included for less than $50. If you want to wait, sign up for our email list below and we will update you when the price drops below $40.
Dishonored is one of those hard to describe games that includes so many compelling features, yet does not fit a specific general (at least fit easily into one). The game itself is centered around the industrial port of Dunwall, which is ridden with the plague.
Your character, Corv0 Attano, is hell bent on revenge. A former bodyguard of the Empress, Corvo is now sentenced to death. Sitting on death row, you take control of his destiny. You plot your escape with a group of co-conspirators, but at every point you face moral choices between ruthless bloodshed and subtle non-violent methods.
Exploring Dunwall is probably the most fun you will have. Much like Skyrim, part of the beauty of the game is the adventures you will have outside of the main story missions. Dunwall is a city rich from recent trade, but recently fallen upon hard times and the plague. It is most reminiscent of an Industrial Era London, full of tenements, dark back alleys, and a vast sewer network.
The game received top honors from most critics, garnering a 9.0 rating from the likes of GameSpot. Dishonored is available at Amazon for less than $20. There is a version for PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.
Dragon’s Dogma was not a commercially hyped release, yet behind the modest publicity shines a unique and credible open world fantasy RPG. It shares similar features to Skyrim, but plays more like a Dark Souls game. Still, it is hard to describe. It is definitely not a clone of either game, yet is similarly addictive.
This is an open world adventure game, centered around you “the Arisen” a powerful character that can control up to three additional characters to support you and your goals. These “pawns” as they are called will serve various purposes for you on your quest. And need them you will! Dragon’s Dogma boasts a complex tactical combat engine that will challenge you, occasionally frustrate you, but always reward you with an immense sense of accomplishment
The large free roam world has myriad quests for your little traveling band to explore. Like in Skyrim, the difficulty is not progressive. One quest will have you attacking wolves, the next will see you facing off against an dragon-like monster of epic proportions. Dragon’s Dogma takes a number of chances as a game. While it does not always execute flawlessly, it is an entirely original experience.
The game met with high marks from critics, averaging about an 8.5/10 across the spectrum of game critics. This is one of the relatively hidden games like Skyrim, but well worth a play. You can pick up Dragon’s Dagma over at Amazon for less than $30. It is available for both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
Still Trying to Decide What is the Best Game Like Skyrim?
With all of these games like Skyrim it is hard to find the best ones i.e. the ones which share the most similarities in design and genre. The top three I would recommend that you look at first is
1) Witcher 2,
2) Fallout: New Vegas, and;
3) Dragon’s Dogma.