Games Like Overwatch – The BEST Alternatives

Dan Westrop
Dan Westrop
16 Min Read

It’s been four years since Blizzard first released Overwatch, the multiplayer FPS that changed the landscape of online shooters in the current generation. In that relatively short time, tons of games like Overwatch have flooded online stores, but few have lived up to expectations. One of the defining features of Overwatch is its distinguishable sense of personality, embodied by the game’s evocative cast of playable heroes.

Instead of focusing the game on upgrades and unlockable weapons like online shooters before it, Overwatch provides players with a lively roster of interesting heroes, each with their own unique abilities and play-style. This smart change has caught on, with tons of popular FPS franchises following suit.

Although Overwatch still holds the crown as the best hero shooter around, there are plenty of other games fighting to take that title. Amidst the sea of hero shooter clones that have been released in the past few years, there are a few games like Overwatch that manage to stick out from the rest. Whether you’re looking for a new cast of lovable characters to check out, or you’re simply interested in a more tactical experience than the standard FPS, you should check out any of the seven games listed below!

1. Valorant


Valorant is the latest game from the prestigious developer Riot Games, best known for their work on the mega-popular MOBA title, League of Legends. In many ways, Valorant is a fusion of both Blizzard’s Overwatch and the ever-popular FPS Counter-Strike. While Valorant utilizes the character-selection aspects of Overwatch, the gameplay itself is far more punishing and tactical, as players die quickly and rounds only last for a little while. Depending on the game mode you choose, you and four other teammates must attempt to defuse or activate a bomb-like object known as the Spike before the opposing team wipes you out. There are multiple game modes to try out, including ranked play, allowing you to practice up before diving into the real competition.

When picking through the various games like Overwatch, a title with personable and interesting characters always takes the cake. In Valorant, there is a growing roster of dozen characters and counting, each with their own set of unique abilities and strategies. For instance, Brimstone is a soldier-like agent that utilizes smoke grenades and airstrikes, while also offering damage buffs to his teammates. Alternatively, the stealthy agent Omen is perfect for those who like to be sneaky, as he can slip through walls and avoid detection.

Each of the dozen agents has a unique ultimate ability as well, which can be activated for big plays. While you won’t see big team-fights in Valorant the same way you see them in Overwatch, things like team composition, spacing, and tactics play just as big of a role in your journey to victory. Between rounds, players must purchase new weapons and abilities from the vendor, forcing you to strategize early in the match. When compared to Overwatch, Valorant can be pretty tough, but just as addictive.

2. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

Call of Duty Black Ops 4

Black Ops 4 marks another entry in the prolific Call of Duty first-person shooter franchise, a series that helped popularize the genre and bring online multiplayer into previous console generations. Over time, Call of Duty: Black Ops has grown from a somewhat simplistic FPS to one with layered mechanics, tons of nuance, and plenty of fun new features. Black Ops 4 marks the first entry in the series to not include a single-player campaign mode, so a lot of attention was paid to the multiplayer portion of the experience. In addition to the new battle royale mode called Blackout and the consistently entertaining Zombies mode, Black Ops 4 also brought back Specialists, a feature that brings it closer to the Overwatch experience.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 immediately succeeds where other games like Overwatch fail. Before you even jump into a match, you’re free to fire up the Solo Missions mode, which helps you familiarize yourself with the unique characters in the game. Just like in Overwatch, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 features specific characters (known as Specialists), and each one has a unique ability and piece of equipment to utilize. Solo Missions mode teaches you the ropes and makes it easier to figure out which Specialist you prefer, so you’re not trying to figure things out in the middle of a competitive match.

Although Black Ops 4 doesn’t have characters that are as wild and cartoon-like as Overwatch‘s heroes, there are still plenty of reasons to settle down with one specialist. Certain specialists offer immense strategic advantages, such as Seraph, who can deploy a beacon that allows teammates to spawn at your position. Players who like to watch the world burn will surely be interested in Firebreak, a specialist whose “Purifier” ability quickly douses enemy players in a sea of flame. There are also choices for more tactical players, including Recon, who can provide radar pings and scout out enemy players. In the base game, there are 10 total specialists to master, offering plenty of replayability as you enter the battlefield time and time again.

3. Paladins: Champions of the Realm

Rainbow Six Seige.jfif

When you consider the art design, the overall gameplay, and the roster of cartoon-like characters, Paladins: Champions of the Realm is a free-to-play shooter that is very similar to Overwatch. In fact, when compared to other games like Overwatch, Paladins chooses to go for an experience that is mostly the same, with a few key differences. Just like in Overwatch, Paladins: Champions of the Realm sees two teams of five players duking it out in objective-based game modes. There are over 40 unique characters to try out, separated into four categories: Damage, Frontline, Support, and Flank.

If you play Overwatch a lot and are looking to try out a new game, Paladins should be pretty easy to pick up. A lot of the heroes in Paladins are equipped with abilities similar to the ones you’ll find in Overwatch. For example, the frontline tank Inara uses a rock wall to create diversions, while the flank character Maeve can dash around the map using her pounce power. There is a great selection of game modes to try out, including the standard Seige mode, King-of-the-Hill, and Team Deathmatch. Timed playlists pop up every now and then, providing players with a more unique gameplay experience. Since it’s free to try out, give Paladins: Champions of the Realms a go! You might just find your next favorite hero-shooter.

4. Rainbow Six Seige

Rainbow Six Seige

When it comes to games like Overwatch that are more realistic than cartoon-like, Rainbow Six Seige sits pretty on the pile. This team-based shooter originally released way back in 2015, but due to a rabid fan-base and a surge of popularity in the eSports world, Rainbow Six Seige has continued to dominate the market. Developer Ubisoft has also been excellent about updating the game and providing new content each and every year, making it one of the most successful multiplayer games on the block. In this intense, tactical shooter, two teams battle it out in objective-based game modes, similar in style to Counter-Strike. Communication is important and strategy is key, as one false move will spell your doom.

Rainbow Six Seige earns its spot on this list due to the hefty roster of playable characters it has. To date, Seige has over 50 unique characters to try out, each one with a differing play-style to experiment with. For example, the hefty attacker Sledge uses his iconic hammer to smash through walls with surprising speed. On the defensive end, the operator Mute provides impeccable support, littering the map with signal jammers that confuse and disrupt the opposing team. Like in any great hero-shooter, winning a match in Rainbow Six Seige comes down to having a solid team of balanced characters and executing your plan with precision. More than most games in the genre, Seige offers an exciting cast of characters to form your strategy.

5. Apex Legends

Apex Legends

Created by the talented developers at Respawn Entertainment, most well-known for their work on the Titanfall franchise, Apex Legends has quickly become one of the most popular battle-royale games on the market. Although the structure of the game is similar to many other battle royale games like Fortnite and Call of Duty: Warzone, the incredibly fast gunplay, focus on team-play, and a rich roster of cool characters has helped it stand out from the pack. There’s a character for every type of play-style, whether you’re a fan of flanking, brute-force, or precision shooting. With the recent launch of the seventh competitive season update, Apex Legends is seeing an even bigger surge in popularity, making it one of the most-played games across all platforms.

Although most games like Overwatch contain a fun cast of characters, Apex Legends really nails the character-building and personality that many fail to achieve. There are currently over a dozen playable heroes, known as “legends”, and each one feels wholly unique and identifiable. From the demented robot Revenant to the high-tech thief Loba, all of the legends in Apex Legends are charming in their own way. Each legend has a unique ultimate ability, passive ability, and tactical ability, providing a bit of extra strategy in the lightning-speed combat. For example, the tank-like Gibraltar has a unique gun shield to stop enemy bullets, a protective dome for teammates to use, and the ability to call in targeted mortar strikes on enemy positions. If you like Overwatch, but you wish things were a bit more violent and faster-paced, you should give Apex Legends a shot.

6. Gears 5

Gears 5

Gears 5 is the fifth entry in the prestigious third-person shooter franchise, Gears of War. While the campaign and majority of online multiplayer modes offer more traditional gameplay, the ever-popular Horde mode received a big update in Gears 5. By adopting the hero-shooter style of games like Overwatch, Horde mode has become a cooperative party full of character-based strategy. If you’re the kind of gamer who enjoys the collaboration and cooperation that hero-shooters bring, you’ll likely enjoy Horde mode in Gears 5.

Just like in previous iterations of Horde mode, up to four players team up and fight back against waves of vicious enemies, with the difficulty ramping up with each wave survived. Players can build various defense items, including barbed wire fencing, automated turrets, and more. The main difference in Gears 5‘s Horde mode is the inclusion of hero-specific abilities, ranging from automatic headshots to designated artillery strikes. There are six different heroes to choose from, with three additional heroes available through downloadable content. If you’re looking for a hero-shooter experience that’s far more cooperative than competitive, Gears 5 will satisfy your shooter cravings for hours.

7. Team Fortress 2

team fortress 2

Nearly 15 years ago, a little first-person shooter game called Team Fortress 2 hit store shelves. At the time, there was no Overwatch to speak of, and the most popular online shooters were games like Halo 3 and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Splashing onto the scene with all the charm and personality of other games developed by Valve, Team Fortress 2 made a name for itself in the PC gaming community.  In recent years, the game has seen a resurgence in popularity, due to constant updates and fanbase support. Simply put, Overwatch and other hero-shooters owe a lot to Team Fortress 2, as it laid the groundwork for many modern games to follow.

The beauty of Team Fortress 2 is its deceptively simple gameplay. There are five main game modes in Team Fortress 2, including classic King-of-the-Hill, Capture the Flag, and the Overwatch-style Payload mode. At the start of each match, each player chooses from one of the nine unique classes. Instead of unique heroes like in Overwatch, Team Fortress 2 contains character classes, each with a unique load-out of weapons and abilities to use. While seemingly simple at first, the abilities you possess can be used in a wide range of strategies. For example, while playing as the Spy character, you can disguise yourself as a member of the enemy team, sneaking into their ranks and taking out key players. Alternatively, the Engineer can use his turrets and teleporters to create pandemonium for unsuspecting competitors. Although Team Fortress 2 might not be as visually impressive as other games like Overwatch, the core gameplay is unbelievably addictive and fun, which is why the game has stuck around for so long.

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Dan Westrop, founder and Executive Editor for GadgetGang. Loves getting hands-on with the latest tech and only writes true, honest, and unbiased reviews.
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