When it comes to games like Skyrim, there is not a long list. Looking for games like Skyrim requires a few elements that have proven to be quite hard to bundle into a single game. We’re going to run down a list of a few games like Skyrim, but we need to take a look at what makes Skyrim such an amazing title first.
Developed by Bethesda Software back in 2011, Skyrim is actually the fifth game in the Elder Scrolls series. In addition to Arena, Daggerfall, Morrowind, and Oblivion, Skyrim is an open world first person perspective role playing game that stresses freedom. There is freedom in how you develop your character. This freedom thankfully does not come at the cost of story as the Elder Scrolls series is rich in lore and stories to embark upon. Even in 2019, new fans are being introduced to re-released enhanced versions on consoles (even on the Nintendo Switch) as well as a virtual reality version.
So what makes Skyrim such a beloved game in the RPG community? Probably the best answer for that question is the immersion that the game allows. Players can build a home, get married, craft weapons and armor, join guilds, slay dragons, become a vampire, and so much more. From the moment the game starts until and beyond the battle with the dragon Alduin, players are inundated with tons of quests, battles, caves, mines, ruins, and NPCs.
Many players are guaranteed to spend at least a hundred hours if not more exploring it all. In many ways, the other games like Skyrim also fill that baseline need to freely explore and lose oneself in a fantastic virtual world that feels alive.
1: Fallout 3 and 4
Probably the easiest place to look when trying to find games like Skyrim is on Bethesda Software’s release list. Outside of other Elder Scrolls games, Bethesda has also made a name for itself with the recent releases of Fallout 3 and 4.
Set in a post-apocalyptic America, Fallout is also an open world action RPG that stresses the freedom of exploration. Players are sent on a journey that could unveil a plot to purify the world of the radiation left from nuclear warfare. There are a number of factions that can be joined or helped. Much like Skyrim, there are tons of side quests, random enemy encounters, and lots of places to discover.
While Fallout 3 is in the Washington DC/Virginia area, Fallout 4 explores the area of Boston in its post apocalyptic retro future. Fallout 4 takes all of the same gameplay and feel of Fallout 3 and adds the ability to build up and defend various bases with survivors.
2: Kingdom Come: Deliverance
When it comes to games like Skryim, Kingdom Come: Deliverance takes the more historical route. Developed by Warhorse Studios in 2018, Kingdom Come: Deliverance takes brutality to new levels. With an open world to adventure in, the player takes on the role of a peasant trying to survive in the midst of a civil war. With rampant dishonesty and a culture still rooted in Christianity, Kingdom Come: Deliverance stresses making the best out of what you’ve got. While Skyrim gets easier as your stats and skills increase, Kingdom Come: Deliverance keeps a steady difficulty level that keeps you on your toes even with combat training and earned skills.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance has some mixed reviews due to the number of bugs found around the time of the game’s release. Despite the difficult controls and the bugs, players have found enough substance in the open world realism to make it a worthy selection this list.
3: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
A mere year after the release of Skyrim brought yet another open world RPG setting its sights for the crown. Developed by 38 Studios, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning was a good action RPG with all of the makings of a hit. The deep and engaging story was developed by award winning author R.A. Salvatore (of Icewind Dale fame). With the perspective in third person, the combat could be likened more to God of War than Skyrim. Still, this great RPG shares the heart of what makes Skyrim great.
With the freedom to choose how your hero or heroine plays, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning gives total freedom to craft the skills and weaponry how you see fit. Also, the large and dangerous world you battle through is filled with various monsters, bosses, and side quests to keep you engaged well over 100 hours. With immersion in a new fantasy world, great story, and freedom galore, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is a solid addition to this listing of games like Skyrim.
4: Dragon’s Dogma
When freedom is a focus of the gameplay as in Dragon’s Dogma, the comparisons to Skyrim are likely to come. Set as a third person action-RPG, Dragon’s Dogma is an ambitious RPG developed by Capcom to rival Skyrim during its heyday. Crafted to have a combat system similar to Devil May Cry and other action Capcom games of its day, Dragon’s Dogma pulled players in with its addictive combat, huge and dangerous open world, and a curious Pawn system.
Where most RPGs have non player characters with their own backstory and such, Dragon’s Dogma dashed that trope for something a bit more useful. Pawns were AI controlled party members. You would always have your own personal Pawn that grows with you. The other two slots for your party, however, are filled by going to rift stones and recruiting the Pawns of other players. These pawns would then have info on quests and monsters that you haven’t faced yet and can help you. The drawback is that they do not gain gear or experience when with you. As a result, you constantly have to swap out Pawns as you progress inside the game.
This quirky feature along with plentiful, exciting, and difficult bosses made Dragon’s Dogma a cult classic that is frequently recommended to fans of Skyrim.
5: Neverwinter Nights
Dungeons and Dragons has had a ton of video games made based upon its tabletop content. Neverwinter Nights was almost as close to an open source tool kit to build DnD adventures as video games has ever seen. Originally built to become an MMORPG, Neverwinter Nights was versatile in that it could be played single player as well. Diehards would play on custom built servers modded and built to reflect their favorite worlds like Tolkein, Dragonlance, or any other fantasy realm.
Neverwinter Nights used the 3rd edition of Dungeons and Dragons ruleset and grew as multiple DLC modules were released. Each module included new single-player adventures as well as additional content to make custom adventures bigger and unique. Most games like Skyrim try to mimic the trademark Bethesda FPS combat in an open world. Neverwinter Nights instead gives you the freedom to create your own endless adventures.
6: The Witcher 3
Oftentimes RPGs nowadays lean on features rather than story to enhance the gaming experience. The Witcher 3, developed by CD Projekt Red in 2015, was brilliantly crafted on the foundation of an amazing storyline. Throughout the entirety of this award winning game, the player is treated to an amazing main story as well as sensible and impressive side quests. Excellent voice talent performances further engross the player into the world of the main character.
Underneath all of this story and atmosphere is a deep and engaging combat system. Filled with crafting, skill allocation, and other RPG elements, The Witcher 3 weaves in tons of loot, spells, enemies, bosses, puzzles, and exploration to package one of the most engaging RPG experiences this side of The Elder Scrolls.
As one of the newer games on this list, little is known about this game beyond the developer’s explanation. Still many gamers seeking an engaging storyline along with a long and exploration filled experience are placing a lot of hope surrounding this game.
Greedfall places you in the role of a diplomat seeking to colonize a troubled island. There, the natives are plagued with a sickness that you share with them as well. You seek to find the mystery behind this sickness along with others that will share the adventure with you. With the freedom to craft the abilities of your player as well as the path they take in the story, Greedfall looks to be highly anticipated.
8: The Outer Worlds
Touted as a spiritual successor to Bethesda’s Fallout: New Vegas, Obsidian Entertainment’s The Outer Worlds is another new game similar to Skyrim. Set as a sci-fi based FPS RPG, The Outer Worlds apparently has a story crafted by your decisions. As a colonist that crash landed, you are to explore and unveil all that your cast of characters have to show you. Created by the makers of another great RPG called Pillars of Eternity, The Outer Worlds looks to be the new standard for games similar to Skyrim.
Total Conversion Mods
Sometimes the best way to play something like Skyrim is to, well, play Skryim…modded. One of the biggest reasons Skyrim has remained in the hearts of RPG gamers all over the world is the contributions of its community. Passionate fans with tons of talent have added additional side quests, characters, gear, enemies, and even features to liven and change the Skyrim experience.
Things get particularly interesting when it comes to using total conversion mods. These mods completely change how the game is played, how the game looks, and even the storylines you play through. Built with tons of care, patience, and man hours, these mods are almost free games to play alongside Skyrim.
Here are two TES mods for Skyrim to try out.