Released back in November 2011, Skyrim is still played by the thousands. It regularly sits at around 20,000 peak players in the Steam charts thanks to its vast amount of mods allowing the game to still feel fresh.
But for those of you that are looking for a new experience altogether, you are probably looking for games like Skyrim to scratch your itch.
When Skyrim was released it became the benchmark for open world RPG games. Since then we have had the luxury of experiencing some fantastic worlds and stories that have set the bar even higher.
This is some of the best games available that are similar to Skyrim. I will outline the similarities and the differences and try to convince you into picking one up.
#1 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
You can’t make a list around RPG games without The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt being at the top of the list. This is the single best RPG game ever made. That is my opinion but we all know the praises that the Witcher 3 gets. You have likely already played it but it deserves the top spot.
The game isn’t perfect but CD Projekt Red have gotten close and set the benchmark for story driven RPG games. If the story is important to you then you can’t go wrong with the Witcher 3.
It isn’t just the main story that draws you in, the side quests are written with purpose and importance. You get your usual quests from go kill this, go collect this but in amongst the generic quests are multiple gems that pull you in.
Some of the side quests have their own storyline because they are so deep. No other game has impressed me the way the Witcher 3 has when it comes to gripping side quests.
The dialogue is mature but it doesn’t take itself too seriously because Geralt (the main character) provides a lot of humour to conversations. You have the option to answer questions and some of these answers influence the game as a whole.
The game should be played on hard to get the most out of it. You have so much more to think about such as oils to apply to your weapons or carefully choosing your attacks.
The one pitfall of the Witcher 3 at times is the combat. It can sometimes become repetitive and somewhat forgiving with how Geralt dodges attacks. If you are playing on PC, there are mods out there that fix this among other things.
If you play one game off this list play the Witcher 3. You owe it to yourself as an RPG fan as it is truly the best RPG game ever made.
#2 Divinity: Original Sin 2
One of the best role-playing games ever made. Divinity Original Sin 2 is the sequel to the highly successful Divinity Original Sin and it is bigger and better. Earning accolade after accolade including PC game of the year, it is one game you really shouldn’t miss.
If you are looking for a game to lose yourself in then this is it. It is different to Skyrim in terms of gameplay as it is an isometric top-down view but it is also closely related in many ways.
It has a fantastic class system that provides a huge range of combinations and depth to your character. Or you can choose one of the pre-made characters and follow their story through the world. If you decide to make a custom character you choose your race and build type.
As the game unfolds you recruit companions on your travels. Each of these companions can be built exactly the way you want them and each of them has a compelling story that you can follow and help them with.
The combat is turn-based and if you play on the harder difficulties it can be very difficult forcing you to play tactical and take your time. The combat is incredibly rewarding once you start to understand your teams potential and combos.
The story is intriguing but does take a few hours to get going before you are hooked. The side quests are really well written especially when you follow the paths of your companions. All the quests are voice acted brilliantly and the NPCs have real character to them that adds to the immersion.
An extensively deep, tactical and fun RPG. It has the replayability of Skyrim and then some and boasts fantastic graphics. It is a must play for any RPG fan.
#3 The Fallout Franchise
The other instalment from the guys at Bethesda. Everyone knows Fallout by now but I would recommend Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas primarily. Fallout 4 was still good but it didn’t capture my interest as much personally.
It has a similar feel to Skyrim with character progression, a skill system, questing and an open world to explore.
The story is great, I actually prefer the Fallout story compared to Skyrim’s but that comes down to personal preference. The side quests are also good and have a variety to them to keep you interested.
The range of weapons is great but the VATS system, although initially really fun, starts to make the game a little easy. It is basically a point and click which can take you away from the game.
Aesthetically the Fallout franchise gets better and better but there is something a little more special about Fallout New Vegas. The world feels more authentic and interesting.
On PC Fallout New Vegas has a few issues with crashing and corrupting saves so if you are interested in playing it then definitely check out this stickied thread for fixes:
Below is the trailer for Fallout New Vegas, it is a little dated looking but don’t let that put you off.
#4 Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
A cinematic masterclass in storytelling while touching on mental health in a way that hasn’t been done before in gaming.
If the story is one of the driving influences in how you pick your games then you can stop reading this list and pick up Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. It isn’t really like Skyrim apart from the fact it is an RPG game. But I am putting it here anyway because I know you will still enjoy it.
There isn’t a class system, there aren’t quests and there is no open world exploration but there is one of the most immersive stories to ever experience in a video game.
The developers have done so much right here, from providing you with no HUD which adds to the immersion to one of the best examples of sound design in a game.
Am I singing its praises enough here?
The combat is basic, hack and slash but it is still fun and the enemies are unique. While fighting there are clever touches that I won’t spoil that make you want to kick the living s**t out of the enemies.
There are also puzzles which play a special part in the game. They are quite easy but they have a deeper purpose.
A brilliant game developed and published by a small company, Ninja Theory, that deserves more recognition for what they have made here. Go get it.
#5 Horizon Zero Dawn
Horizon Zero Dawn, released in early 2017, is about a young female hunter called Aloy living on a futuristic planet Earth that has been inhabited by machines. A captivating and unique story that deserves the recognition its received since its release.
There is a variety of choice when it comes to combat including ranged weapons, spears and stealth. You also get to customise Aloy’s skill tree allowing you to play her in certain ways more effectively much like Skyrim. It provides you with choices to ensure you are playing to your own playstyle.
This is a unique RPG experience as there isn’t really a world like the one you get to explore in Horizon Zero Dawn. The machines are so varied and interesting that they have become some of my favourite enemies in a game in recent years.
The combat is a masterpiece and really sells the game. There are different parts on different types of machines that have vulnerabilities that you can expose to give you an advantage. The machines are huge which makes them more formidable and satisfying to fight.
Graphically the game does a fantastic job with a vastly colourful open world to explore. The quests are solid and there are fun twists on side quests that I really enjoyed.
On rare occasions, the AI did let the game down similar to other games on the list. I recommend playing it on a harder difficulty because sometimes machines didn’t see me when they should have.
There is also DLC – The Frozen Wilds, which I haven’t had the chance to try yet so there is plenty of content to sink your teeth into.
A brilliant world, progression system, story and combat with a memorable score by Joris de Man to boot. Pick up Horizon Zero Dawn and you won’t be disappointed.
#6 Dragon Age Inquisition
Released back in 2014 Dragon Age Inquisition was well received with many reviewers scoring it highly. The game boasts a huge amount of content, around 90 hours worth to complete the main quest line.
There are a lot of similarities between Dragon Age and Skyrim from the huge open world, combat and quests. The combat is particularly good allowing you to pause and perform actions in the middle of a fight.
The main questline is a little vague and didn’t keep me particularly interested but the game made up for it in its combat. The side quests are varied and the dialogue is witty and funny at times.
The quest map is really well done making it easy to navigate around the world and see the quests you need to do. This is something I found lacking in Skyrim.
Dragon Age Inquisition also has a solid co-op mode where you can play through dungeons with friends and includes the full crafting capabilities as the single player.
The game has great depth and you will definitely get your money’s worth. The combat is different but enjoyable. For its time the graphics were good and they still hold up today. A solid RPG game that is worth your time.
#7 Kingdom Come: Deliverance
Kingdom Come Deliverance is a blast from the past. I don’t mean that in a bad way, I mean that it is the perfect example of a true role-playing game. This is how games used to be, no hand holding, no easy tutorials, no button mashing to kill enemies.
It is a story-driven adventure RPG set in the Holy Roman Empire, the story is interesting and the dialogue is excellent. The combat is very different from most RPGs because it is actually difficult. You have time your swings, think about your movement and it takes practice.
This is what makes the game so rewarding. Once you start to understand the combat it feels awesome.
The quests are decent and have a good variation to them. They usually always have some kind of meaningfulness to them similar to the Witcher 3. I hate games where the side quests are just random rubbish that you have to do. The quests in Kingdom Come Deliverance have purpose.
The game does let itself down in graphics. It isn’t the most beautiful game you will ever play but it more than makes up for it in other aspects. There are also mods that add a great deal of depth and quality to the game too if you are bored of the vanilla version.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance is definitely worth a go, particularly if you like story driven RPG games and if you fancy something new in terms of combat.
#8 Far Cry Franchise
The Far Cry series is another hugely popular RPG experience having released its 5th instalment. It is hard to pick one Far Cry game to recommend but if I had to pick one I would suggest Far Cry 3.
Far Cry 5 is still a decent game although the storyline lets the game down and the villain is not as brutal or compelling as Vass in Far Cry 3.
The Far Cry series has great gunplay and sound design, the worlds are very pretty and vast with a range of quests available to the player. Far Cry 3 also has a great crafting system which makes the game much more in depth and adds an extra layer to it.
A few problems I had with Far Cry 5 are that they decided to get rid of the crafting system which is a real shame. Also the AI is particularly stupid which can make the game too easy and lifeless. You really need to play the series on hard otherwise it will be a walk in the park.
There is a wide range of guns available in each of the games in the series. The crossbow is super satisfying and fun to play with.
A few things Far Cry 5 did get right is that fact that they removed the minimap which makes the game more immersive. It also makes it a lot less of a ‘hand holding’ experience, something that a lot of more recent games suffer from.
Far Cry 5 also has removed the climbing of towers to reveal areas. Which is something that has always annoyed me about the Assassin creed series and Far Cry 3.
If you don’t care for the story or crafting then go for Far Cry 5. If you want the better storyline and compelling characters then go for Far Cry 3. I can’t speak for Far Cry 4 as I haven’t played it!
#9 Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen
Dragons Dogma didn’t do that well when it was released back in 2016 but I think people were probably a little pre-judgemental. Yes the game does look like Dog s**t, but if you don’t let visuals detract you from your games there is a lot here to enjoy.
It has a lot of crossover with Skyrim, a huge fantasy open world, class system, characterisation and more. You have three main types of classes you can pick from. This includes mage, archer/dagger/rogue, and sword and shield or two handed.
There is a little less choice than Skyrim but it still has a class that will suit most players needs. However, there isn’t the same flexibility you have with Skyrim.
The combat is decent, there are light attacks, heavy attacks and a modifier that makes your attacks different. Overall, it is solid RPG experience nothing groundbreaking but still good fun.
There is trading and crafting too which is important because like any RPG your gear is important here.
One of the stand out parts of Dragons Dogma is the pawn system. This is where you create your own AI ‘follower’ similar to Skyrim’s companions. Except these are better and they actually do stuff. They loot for you, kill for you and you can have numerous of them as you progress through the game.
You can switch out your pawns to make a new team and it brings a different dynamic to your gameplay. Other players can even use your pawns and when the pawn comes back from another person’s game they will react to places they have experienced before in that person’s game.
This is an awesome feature that I haven’t experienced in any other game before. It makes Dragons Dogma unique.
Finally, the monsters or boss battles are really enjoyable. There is a whole range of different beasts and things for you to kill. It is a solid RPG and will easily provide you with your money’s worth.
#10 Shadow Of War
Shadow of War is the sequel to the popular Shadow of Mordor, an RPG game set between the events of The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings.
The game builds on the nemesis system that was in Shadow Of Mordor where you gain followers and have to take down leaders of different camps.
Shadow Of War has tried to become less ‘hack and slash’ like its predecessor was, trying to have a more action role-playing approach. This allows you to tailor your character more personally compared to the first game.
The combat is really fun, although it can get a little repetitive towards the latter parts of the game. It is satisfying yet it can feel too easy so I would recommend putting it on the higher difficulties.
The dialogue is great and the Orcs in the game are often very funny. There are some satisfying fights where you can get ambushed by a particular leader you may have met previously which adds intensity to the battles.
The story line is a little bland, but the gameplay can keep you entertained. There is also a multiplayer mode which involves invading other players fortresses and conquering them, sort of like King Of The Hill.
Final Thoughts – Spoilt For Choice
10 games to get your hands on that might just give you an experience like Skyrim did all those moons ago.
The Witcher 3 does take the biscuit for being the best and the most like Skyrim so if you are going to start anywhere on this list, start with Geralt of Rivia and revel in the world of the Northern Kingdoms!