Looking to fill that Elder Scrolls gap in your gaming library? Check out our selection of games like Skyrim: The Elder Scrolls series, each of which is sure to provide countless hours of entertainment to any Skyrim fan.
Games like Skyrim are hardly few and far between in the current generation of gaming. However, with the wide selection of games available, which ones will best fulfil that craving for exploration, discovery and adventure?
Despite the fact that it’s been almost a decade since the release of Skyrim: The Elder Scrolls V, Bethesda Game Studios still haven’t released any more information about what to expect from the upcoming sixth iteration of the open world game franchise, besides a 30-second teaser trailer at E3 2018.
Sadly for us die-hard Elder Scrolls fans, the agonizing wait for Elder Scrolls VI looks set to continue for years to come. Despite Skyrim’s vast scale and extensive replayability – both of which contributed to it becoming one of the best-selling games of all time – even the most die-hard fans will, after nine years, be exploring alternatives to give them that Elder Scrolls fix.
But never fear! If you are looking for a new epic Skyrim-esque high-fantasy RPG to play whilst you wait (and who knows for how many years it could be), here are our selection of games like Skyrim to fill that Elder Scrolls-sized hole in your gaming life.
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Games like Skyrim: The Elder Scrolls
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Released in 2015 to critical acclaim by developer CD Projekt Red, the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is widely considered to be one of, if not the, best high-fantasy role-playing games ever created.
Based on the original Polish Book series ‘The Witcher’, players of Wild Hunt control Geralt of Rivia, a monster slayer or ‘Witcher’ as he journeys through a fantasy world inhabited by a variety of magical races – humans, elves, dwarves and monsters; think all the classic assortment of characters and races we have come to expect from high-fantasy RPGs.
The Witcher 3’s setting of a hero protagonist traversing a giant medieval-cross-fantasy land split between two major powers – the Empire of Nilfgaard and the Northern Kingdoms – will feel familiar to any Skyrim fans, as will the opportunity to battle mythical beasts and monsters as you progress through the overarching main narrative. Concurrent side-quests and storylines provide endless hours of open-world gameplay even if the main quests are disregarded – this game truly is massive.
CD Projekt Red has managed to create an incredibly immersive and intricate open world RPG filled with genuinely interesting things for gamers to do, and a surprising lack of boring ‘filler’ side quests that we are all-too-familiar with in most other RPGs. A progressive levelling system and the ability to tailor the development of Geralt to your preferred playstyle is ideal for those who gamers who enjoy the character customisation of role-playing games.
Yet where the Witcher 3 sets itself apart from other RPGs is through its cinematic storytelling – the main quest is far more engaging, interesting and relevant to the player’s experience than that of many other RPGs. If you are somebody who loves getting stuck into the story of your protagonists and experiencing the lore of the world they are inhabiting, this game is definitely for you. Check out a more extensive review of ‘The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’ here.
Dragon Age: Inquisition
Hate useless AI that has no idea what it’s doing? Do followers in Skyrim do little more than irritate you by getting in the way? If so, the battle mechanics of the Dragon Age series and, in particular, Dragon Age: Inquisition will likely appeal to you.
Not only does Inquisition give you the choice to invite some of the various NPCs you meet throughout the game into your ‘party’, allowing them to follow you on your adventures, but you can also switch between party members in combat and coordinate their actions to better deal with various enemies, monsters and of course the titular Dragons. No more falling foul to a Restless Draugr because your useless follower blocked your path at a crucial moment (looking at you Lydia). Players also have the choice of flying solo and adventuring alone if this is more your cup of tea.
Another medieval fantasy game, Inquisition puts you in control of a character called ‘The Inquisitor’, and players can enjoy a classic RPG experience of adventuring, meeting different characters and enemies, and of course, fighting Dragons. The scale of the world created by developers BioWare is genuinely mind-boggling – those who enjoy the experience of exploring massive maps will particularly love this game, as its various major regions include deserts, swamps, forests and much more.
Its diverse story allows players much more freedom to choose their own path than that of, say, The Witcher, as your decisions have a far greater impact on how the game plays out rather than simply following a linear progression. It doesn’t quite offer the same level of autonomy as a game like Skyrim, but then again, what game does?
The choice of different classes – warrior, mage or rogue – and the specialisation options offered as the game progresses will initially feel familiar to any seasoned RPG players; however what sets Dragon Age: Inquisition aside from many other RPGs is its combat system and the extensive variations it offers players in how to approach battles – from tactical, coordinated combat to the ol’ hack-n-slash.
Read more about Dragon Age’s combat system here.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance
Departing somewhat from the high-fantasy genre offered by Skyrim, Dragon Age or The Witcher, Warhorse Studios’ 2018 offering of ‘Kingdom Come: Deliverance’ thrusts players into the 15th century Kingdom of Bohemia (what is now the Czech Republic, or Czechia).
Developed with a specific focus on realism and historical accuracy, Deliverance follows Henry, a simple apprentice-turned-warrior, as he seeks to avenge the death of his parents before getting caught up in the political turmoil and warfare of the late Holy Roman Empire. A very likeable protagonist and an enjoyable storyline, coupled with interesting characters and at times excellent and humorous dialogue ensure an engaging experience for both players interested in the history of the time, and those that simply wish to have fun.
Its first-person perspective will particularly appeal to those who enjoy a more immersive gameplay experience, as will its realistic approach to combat – don’t try to wade in and hack-n-slash your way through 15 enemies; it wouldn’t work in real life and it won’t work here.
Additionally, the detail and complexity of the world around you will leave you astounded. Small actions will provoke genuine and realistic responses from NPCs in the game, as opposed to the classic RPG experience of them simply ignoring outrageous actions or responding with disproportionate force to the slightest provocation (the mistake of hitting that damn chicken in Riverwood springs to mind).
If you think Kingdom Come: Deliverance might be your kind of game, click here for PCGamer’s detailed review.
If this is a game you think you’ll enjoy, why not check it out on Green Man Gaming?
Horizon Zero Dawn
The setting of Horizon Zero Dawn, an apocalyptic 31st-century future, may initially suggest that it is a game with few similarities to Skyrim, however, the gameplay on offer will appeal to those who enjoy nothing more than adventuring around a giant open world game and beating up absolutely everything in their path.
The Horizon Zero Dawn world is inhabited by both humans and large robotic creatures, which as we learn early in the game are starting to turn against the human population. You play as an orphan named Aloy who leaves her tribe to explore the vast open world, fighting both human and mechanical enemies with a mixture of medieval and modern weapons including arrows, spears and explosives, thanks to Guerrilla Games’ creation of a unique post-apocalyptic world which incorporates elements of both the past and the future.
Fans of survival-esque games will enjoy the emphasis on looting, resource gathering and crafting, and progression and levelling-up are focused upon the advancement of 3 skill trees depending on your preferred playstyle. The combat system will feel familiar to any regular Skyrim or RPG gamers, although the use of stealth is far more beneficial in Horizon Zero Dawn than in many others. Guerrilla Games have managed to create a genuinely beautiful open-world for you to explore, selling over 10 million copies by 2019, so grab your horse, saddle up and take it all in.
For more details, check out IGN’s extensive review of Horizon Zero Dawn here.
If this sounds like your kind of game, why not consider going for the Complete Edition on offer over at Green Man Gaming?
Divinity: Original Sin 2
A dark-horse candidate for role-playing games like Skyrim is offered by Divinity: Original Sin 2, which was released across different platforms to widespread acclaim between 2017-2019, featuring a turn-based combat system and an overhead camera viewpoint reminiscent of the early and older RPG games from previous generations.
Set in the fantasy world of Rivellon, Divinity 2 at first glance appears to hold few parallels to Skyrim, however as you advance through the game, the similarities begin to emerge. The main quest of Divinity 2 revolves around overthrowing the ‘Divine Order’, a ruling regime which seeks to persecute sorcerers and users of magic. Players have the choice of 4 characters, each with their own rich backstory, individual qualities and unique dialogue when conversing with NPCs.
Additionally, unlike many other RPGs, Divinity 2 offers the opportunity to play split-screen locally, or online co-op with up to 3 other players. Progression and levelling through the game is attained via different attributes and their respective skill trees, with levelling up rewarding players with skill points to advance their preferred attributes.
Nevertheless, it must be recognised that due to Divinity’s turn-based combat system, a heavy emphasis is placed tactical play and success is often determined by whether you chose to approach battles in the correct manner, as opposed to the classic hack-n’-slash experience of most other RPGs.
Part of Bethesda Softworks’ other flagship series, Fallout 4 is built using the Creation Engine, the same game engine as Skyrim, and at its bare-bones, the gameplay is surprisingly similar considering its future apocalyptic-world setting.
The freedom to explore the open world at your own pace and direction is one which will appeal to any Elder Scrolls fan, as although there is a main overall questline, an extensive range of side quests is also available, featuring different factions, and taking your character to different locations on the world map.
The skill trees and perk structure used in Fallout 4 are also reminiscent of those in Skyrim, and progression will feel familiar to any seasoned Elder Scrolls players, as will the crafting system required to gain new equipment. Nevertheless, Fallout 4’s combat system is focused primarily around the use of guns and gunplay, and this combined with its futuristic context may not appeal to those who love games like Skyrim for their medieval combat and high-fantasy setting.
If this sounds like your type of game, check out all of the many editions of Fallout 4 on offer at Green Man Gaming!
Middle Earth: Shadow of War
Not too fussed about getting deeply invested in an extensive cinematic storyline and really just prefer running around hitting stuff? Shadow of War is the game for you! The sequel to 2014’s Shadow of Mordor, Shadow of War places you in control of the Ranger Talion as you hack-n’-slash your way across an open world set in Tolkien’s Middle Earth.
Fans of The Lord of the Rings will recognise many of the characters in this game, although the locations on the world map may not be familiar to those who have only seen the films, as these cover only limited sections of the extensive world Tolkien created. Whilst there is an overarching storyline, in Shadow of War, Monolith Studios appears to have focused on the gameplay and combat, with the Nemesis system from Shadow of Mordor returning to ensure battles with enemies are unique to your particular playthrough. Read more about the Nemesis system here.
The combat in this classic hack-n’-slash RPG can most easily be summarised as a cross between Skyrim and Assassins Creed: Origins or Odyssey, and will certainly appeal to those who may prefer slightly more skill and variation than simply mashing R2 when you come across an enemy.
Additionally, as well as being a highly entertaining game, Shadow of War provides an opportunity to get further stuck into the world of Middle Earth beyond The Lord of the Rings; a world which is widely credited with inventing much of the epic-fantasy genre we know and love today.
If this is a game you know you’ll love, take a look at the starter bundle and expansion packs today!
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
If what you’re really looking for is to extend your Skyrim experience, what better game to pick up than its prequel, Oblivion? Released back in 2006 as one of the Xbox 360 generation’s earliest blockbuster games, Oblivion was hugely successful for Bethesda Game Studios and is well worth a playthrough for any Skyrim fan.
Although a critical masterpiece at the time, Oblivion does certainly look fairly dated – though what 15-year-old game doesn’t? Nevertheless, it still provides excellent playability and is certain to help fill an Elder Scrolls gap as the long wait for the sixth iteration continues, and the appearance of characters voiced by Sir Patrick Stewart and Sean Bean is sure to leave an impression.
Assassins Creed: Odyssey and Assassins Creed: Origins
Gamers who played the Assassins Creed series back in its golden age of the Ezio-era on the Xbox 360 or the PS3 may be slightly confused as to why Odyssey or Origins deserve a mention, and rightly so, as they are very different games.
However, Assassins Creed underwent effectively a soft-reboot with the release of Origins in 2017, as Ubisoft gave the game a breath of fresh air by moving away from the old stealth-focused format of AC games of old, and created a true RPG with elements of Assassins Creed. A renewed focus on RPG-style combat, crafting, skill progression and levelling up, boss enemies with health bars, and a huge variety of levelled weapons and armour have seen the Assassins Creed franchise move from a stealth adventure game towards far more of a fantasy role-playing style game than ever before; although the core setting of the game remains grounded in history.
So there we have it! Our selection of fantasy, apocalyptic and historical RPGs which fans of Skyrim can spend countless hours enjoying. Who knows, but the time you’ve finished with these, Elder Scrolls VI may have been released! (Wishful thinking, we know, but it doesn’t hurt to dream!)
If you enjoyed this post but you’re after a more exploration-heavy gaming experience, be sure to check out the list of our favourite games like Subnautica.