The 32 Best Games Like Skyrim (Kinda)

Tired of roaming the frozen, war-torn province of Skyrim? Then you may want to take a look at our list of games like Skyrim. 

May 8, 2023

It is not a stretch to say that Skyrim is one of the most popular fantasy role-playing games in recent history. After sinking hundreds of hours into the game and completing all of the DLC and user-created overhauls, a gamer must eventually look beyond Skyrim for other games to sate that ever-present craving for adventure, glory, treasure, and magic.

So it falls to me to let you know what I think are some great games like Skyrim to delve into.

In its simplest terms, Skyrim is a first-person fantasy action role-playing game. Does a replacement game have to embrace all of these subcategories in order to be a game like Skyrim? Not necessarily. That is why I have decided to break this list into three separate lists each of which will hopefully have enough games in each of them for those of you seeking new adventures to find something you will enjoy.

As a disclaimer, I would like to note that I did not include any MMO games, so if you are expecting games like WoW, or Neverwinter, or even Elder Scrolls Online to make this list, you would be incorrect.

The categories I have chosen are:

  • Fantasy Action Role-playing Games
  • Fantasy Role-playing Games
  • Action Role-playing Games

Fantasy Action Role-playing Games

There are many games in the world that can fall into the classification of a Fantasy Action Role-Playing Game. In picking this list, we must first address the two games that are the most similar to Skyrim. This is primarily because they are the direct predecessors to Skyrim and were made by the same development company. I of course, refer to Morrowind and Oblivion. Not all of these entries will be first-person, like Morrowind, Oblivion, or Skyrim, but I will note which are and which are not.

32 Morrowind (2002)

Initial Release Date: May 1, 2002
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Xbox
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Publisher: : Bethesda Game Studios
Morrowind games like skyrim

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, Image Source: Bethesda

The first entry in our list of games like Skyrim is, quite unsurprisingly, Morrowind, a.k.a. the one that most, if not all, hardcore fans of the franchise consider to be the best of the series.

Released when I was a mere boy of 15 or so, Morrowind was my first real journey into a truly open-world experience. While games like Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, or Diablo threw you headlong into an epic adventure, it was pretty clear that, despite the ability to branch away from the main story in a limited sense, the game had a goal in mind for you. Morrowind was very different.

After being released into the world as a newly freed convict, it was up to you to decide your path. There was, of course, a story to follow and quests to perform, but you didn’t have to do that.

You could simply explore the world at your whim and the free-form design of the game put very few barriers in place to prevent you from doing anything you wanted. If you were looking for a game like Skyrim, you should look no farther than the game that really set the tone for the fourth and fifth entries into the Elder Scrolls series.

31 Oblivion (2006)

Initial Release Date: March 20, 2006
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Publisher: : Bethesda Game Studios
Oblivion games like skyrim

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Image Source: Bethesda

Oblivion follows in the footsteps of Morrowind as a free-form first-person action role-playing game. Much like its predecessor you are a recently freed convict who is actually the savior of the world and it is your job to go forth into the world and solve everyone’s problems. Along the way you will encounter factions to join, quests to perform, and many enemies to kill.

Oblivion, having been released four years after Morrowind, saw a marked improvement in graphics and had quality of life improvements that made it more playable, in my opinion, than Morrowind. It did, however, suffer from a lot of bugs and glitches initially. This is unsurprising due to the fact that Bethesda games always seem to have a similar array of bugs in every game they build in the Gamebryo (or Creation) game engine, but you just get used to it. Also Oblivion had perhaps one of the best expansion/dlc areas I have ever experienced, The Shivering Isles.

Now that we have gotten those two obvious entries out of the way, we will move into some other Fantasy Action Role-playing Games.

30 The Witcher (2007)

Initial Release Date: October 26, 2007
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, OS X
Developer: CD Projekt Red
Publisher: : CD Projekt Red
the witcher games like skyrim

The Witcher, Image Source: CD PROJEKT RED

I won’t deny that the first Witcher game was a little rough around the edges. It was painful at times, combat was not particularly fluid, and sometimes it was easy to lose track of what you were supposed to do. 

That said you would be doing yourself a grave disservice by skipping out on the game that really brought the world of the Witcher into a more mainstream light. It should be noted that the Witcher is not a first-person game, but you can play it in an over-the-shoulder third-person mode, that is somewhat similar. 

In the Witcher, as with the other games, you take on the role of Geralt of Rivia. Geralt is a witcher, which is a genetically mutated human, gifted with enhanced strength and powers in order to become a superior monster slayer. It seems, however, that the world is not content to simply allow you to travel around killing beasts and demons. You will often be pulled into political problems with nobles and nations vying for your aid to help them obtain their goals.

29 The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (2011)

Initial Release Date: 17 May 2011
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, OS X, Linux
Developer: CD Projekt Red
Publisher: : CD Projekt Red
Witcher 2 games like skyrim

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, Image Source: CD PROJEKT RED

Four years after the release of The Witcher, CD Projekt RED released The Witcher 2. It improved in almost every aspect of the Witcher and is still one of my favorite games to date. Combat, in particular, showed a marked improvement and was much more fluid and easy to navigate than the first Witcher game.

 The game’s graphics were also improved a great deal, making the world more immersive. This game is also primarily played in an over-the-shoulder third-person perspective.

In the Witcher 2, you again take on the role of Geralt of Rivia. You are still a Witcher, obviously, and, amusingly, like Skyrim, you start the game as a prisoner. Charged with regicide, you are freed pretty quickly and set off in search of the real killer.

From then, you must navigate the complex political and war-torn landscape of the World. If you are a fan of the Witcher 3, or if you are curious about the world of the Witcher before the Netflix adaptation of the book series comes out, you could do worse than to take a glance at the Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings.

28 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (2015)

Initial Release Date: 19 May 2015
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Developer: CD Projekt Red
Publisher: : CD Projekt Red
Witcher 3 games like skyrim

The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt, Image Source: CD PROJEKT RED

In 2015, a game was released that quickly became one of the most popular games of all time. The Witcher 3 continues to improve upon the foundations laid by the Witcher and the Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings.

Combat in the Witcher 3 is visceral, easy to navigate, fluid, and above all, truly fun. Conversely, when you are not in combat, movement is less fluid, jerky, and sometimes annoying to do. The graphical update between the Witcher 2 and the Witcher 3 is nothing short of breathtaking, and the soundtrack in particular is magnificent.

You again take on the role of Geralt, who, in combat, is a whirlwind of blades, spells, and death, and who, when not in combat, has the walking ability of a blackout drunk barely capable of seeing where he is going. Your goal is to find Ciri, your not daughter but kind of daughter who you love and want to protect because she is super powerful.

Standing against you is the Wild Hunt, an Elven army of terrifying power and skill who will stop at nothing to claim Ciri’s powers for their own goals. The Witcher 3 also has two DLC expansions which are nothing short of incredible. Blood and Wine in particular is one of the best DLC expansions ever created.

27 Dragon Age: Inquisition (2014)

Initial Release Date: November 18, 2014
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Developer: BioWare
Publisher: : Electronic Arts
dragon age Inquisition games like skyrim

Dragon Age: Inquisition, Image Source: Bioware

Some of you may be wondering why I skipped over the inarguably superior Dragon Age: Origins and jumped straight to Inquisition. The answer, quite simply, is that Dragon Age: Inquisition has a much more “action” oriented combat system than Origins.

Origins will be on this list, fret not, but Inquisition offered a marked departure from both the Camera system and Combat style of the first game, and to a lesser extent the second. The Camera angle is usually third-person over-the-shoulder, and though you can control other characters, you will usually be controlling your primary character while your followers will rely on AI scripts.

In Inquisition you take on the role of world-savior. There are Breaches occurring throughout the land where demons are entering reality from the Fade. It is your job to find and close these breaches to ensure the safety and security of the people of the world. Along the way you have to engage in world politics and try to unite lands and armies to your cause.

26 Dark Souls (2011)

Initial Release Date: September 22, 2011
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Developer: FromSoftware
Publisher: : Namco Bandai Games
Dark Souls games like skyrim

Dark Souls, Image Source: FromSoftware

Though a little dated now, Dark Souls lays a strong foundation for its successor games. Often considered to be ruthlessly difficult, Dark Souls is not a game for those easily frustrated.

There are times where the game is unfair and it falls to you to figure out how to get past those situations. Dark souls is undeniably a game about trial and error. Some may wonder… is it worth it? Yes.

In Dark Souls you select a class and enter into a large, continuous open world. You can travel between the various areas of the game at will, though some will be locked until you complete required events or fights.

Speaking of fights, while the world of Dark Souls has a minimalistic but deep and grim lore base, for the most part you will be trudging through myriad fights in your quest. Dodge roll will be your friend through thick and thin.

25 Dark Souls 2 (2014)

Initial Release Date: March 11, 2014
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Developer: FromSoftware
Publisher: : Namco Bandai Games
Dark Souls games like skyrim

Dark Souls 2, Image Source: FromSoftware

While Dark Souls 2 is set in the same universe as Dark Souls 1, there is no direct connection between the two. You do not have to have completed or even played Dark Souls 1 in order to enjoy Dark Souls 2. The graphics in this game are greatly improved compared to its predecessor and the enemy AI has been expanded to be more challenging and dynamic. The world itself is a dark, cold reality which I really enjoy the aesthetic of.

In Dark Souls 2 you again decide upon a class and jump right into the game. The world is still open, but the story is less minimalistic than the first game. You are an undead human who has been cursed never to die. Eventually you will become a hollow, which is a pretty terrible fate. So your job is to break that curse and to do so you have to travel across the world. I won’t spoil anything but you have a lengthy and challenging journey ahead of you. Good luck.

24 Dark Souls 3 (2014)

Initial Release Date: March 24, 2016
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Developer: FromSoftware
Publisher: : Namco Bandai Games
Dark Souls 3 games like skyrim

Dark Souls 3, Image Source: FromSoftware

Dark Souls 3 is the latest installment in the Dark Souls universe. The game design closely mirrors Dark Souls 2 and there isn’t much difference between the two games in terms of gameplay. Graphically Dark Souls 3 is superior to Dark Souls 2, as it should be after two years of graphical advancement.

Dark Souls 3 has less maps than Dark Souls 2, but each map is larger and encourages exploration. Like the previous iterations of Dark Souls, the game is challenging, and sloppy gameplay usually ends with your untimely death.

In Dark Souls 3 you are the Ashen One, which is a type of undead known as an Unkindled. The premise of the story is that the First Flame is guttering out and the person in charge has buggered off to play water polo or something. It’s your job to wrangle up Prince Lothric (the aforementioned water polo hopeful) and the other Lords of Cinder in order to manipulate the First Flame. No spoilers but you get a few choices at the end of the game in what you actually want to do with that First Flame.

23 Assassins Creed 4: Black Flag (2013)

Initial Release Date: October 29, 2013
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Wii U
Developer: Ubisoft
Publisher: : Ubisoft
Black Flag games like skyrim

Assassins Creed 4: Black Flag , Image Source: Ubisoft

The next spot in our list of games like Skyrim has to go to Assassin’s Creed: Blacck Flag. Assassins Creed is a game series well known for its very tenuous tether to historical events, and primarily the game focuses on ferrying you from one important historical event to the next as you become a better assassin.

Black Flag throws all of that out the window and tells you to explore. Combat is similar to previous Assassins Creed games in that you will be blocking and riposting a lot. Stealth elements are still there and of course you will be stabbing people in the throat frequently with your hidden blade.

You take command of a ship in the golden age of piracy and are sent out into the world to make your mark. The plot takes place in a not-at-all glorified alternate history of the Carribean, where pirates are the goodish guys and the British and Spanish are the baddish guys. Along the way you will discover intrigue, drama, and lots and lots of murder.

You do not need to have played the previous Assassin’s Creed games to enjoy Black Flag, just know Templar Bad, Assassins Good, and that’s all the foreknowledge you really need. Also your boat can sometimes ascend from a rectangular glitch that leads into the depths of the ocean. It’s pretty amusing.

22 Kingdom Come: Deliverance (2018)

Initial Release Date: 13 February 2018
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Developer: Warhorse Studios
Publisher: : Deep Silver
Kingdom Come deliverance games like skyrim

Kingdom Come: Deliverance, Image Source: Warhorse Studios

Kingdom Come Deliverance is more of a historical fiction than a fantasy game, but since it doesn’t really tie to any real events it can stay in this category. This game is a First-Person Action Role-Playing Game, similar in style to Skyrim, with some important differences.

Perhaps the most important difference is that combat is much more intensive and visceral than Skyrim. If you expect to charge a knight and hammer attack until it falls down without blocking or dodging you should also expect to take considerable damage and probably die. It also favors planning ahead for fights. Swords against full plate are pretty worthless, while a mace or war hammer will ruin that knight’s day.

You are a simple peasant when your father (blacksmith) and mother (peasantess) get merc’d by a bunch of Cuman soldiers. You begin your quest to avenge your parents deaths and join up with Lord Radzig Kobyla who fights against this Cuman incursion. You will become caught up in an effort to restore a rightful king all the while exploring a large open world map with tons of NPCs all of whom have their own patterns of behaviour and relationship modifiers for you. There are also a lot of quests to complete and you will be required to sleep, eat, and drink throughout the game. There is a pretty significant focus on realism.

21 Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (2012)

Initial Release Date: February 7, 2012
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows
Developer: 38 Studios, Big Huge Games
Publisher: : 38 Studios, Electronic Arts
Kingdoms of Amalur games like skyrim

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Image Source: 38 Studios, now defunct

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is another third person over-the-shoulder fantasy action RPG. Very similar in gameplay style to Dragon Age Inquisition or Fable, you will be using your mouse to perform primary attacks and blocks, and your number keys to use special abilities.

You will also have access to magic, armor, and a variety of weapons to massacre your enemies, much like Skyrim. You will also be levelling up your character and must choose between Might, Finesse, or Sorcery.

In KOA: Reckoning you take on the role of the Fateless One (also your starting class) who is actually dead at the beginning of the game and is revived at the Well of Souls by a gnome (the indignity). You then have to escape the gnome’s lab when it comes under attack and embark on a journey to save the land from invaders. It isn’t a particularly original plot, but it does feature gnomes prominently. As a Fateless one you are also able to affect others and change their “fates” which is kind of neat.

20 Dark Messiah of Might and Magic (2006)

Initial Release Date: October 24, 2006
Platforms: Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows
Developer: Arkane Studios
Publisher: : Ubisoft
Dark Messiah of might and magic games like skyrim

Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, Image Source: Arkane Studios

When most people think of Might and Magic, the two thoughts that spring to mind are the strategy branch ‘Heroes of Might and Magic’ or the hybrid turn-based role-playing games of ‘Might and Magic’. There is, however, a few other branches in this expansive series, one of which is Dark Messiah of Might and Magic.

This game does first-person combat far better than Skyrim, despite being released some five years before it. It is, however, not quite as expansive and it only be loosely characterized as open-world. The game is much more linear than Skyrim, but what it lacks in exploration, it makes up for in gameplay.

In Dark Messiah of Might and Magic you are Sareth, a fighter-mage that is sent to recover an artifact known as the Shantriri Crystal. You return to your master to find his stronghold under siege. From there you have to battle a necromantic cult while trying to gather a powerful artifact known as the Skull of Shadows. The story offers a few neat twists and turns and is a fun journey from beginning to end.

19 Ryse: Son of Rome (2013)

Initial Release Date: November 22, 2013
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Xbox One
Developer: Crytek
Publisher: : Microsoft Studios
Ryse son of rome games like skyrim

Ryse: Son of Rome, Image Source: Crytek

Ryse: Son of Rome falls into that uncertain area of classification, where it is more of a historical fiction than a fantasy game, but at the same time none of the events in this game really happened so… here we are. Rise: Son of Rome is a third person action RPG where you will be hacking and slashing your way to victory against your enemies.

In a similar vein to God of War, there are a few quick time challenges, usually centered around an execution. Much like Skyrim, you are able to level up your character and place your points into attributes and to unlock additional moves.

In Ryse: Son of Rome, you take on the role of Marius Titus, a soldier who is going to be sent to the relatively relaxing post of Alexandria, in Egypt for his tour of duty. Before you go, you visit your family, which it turns out is a bad idea. Your visit is punctuated by a vicious barbarian invasion and your family dies.

You inherit their fortune and swear vengeance for your family, taking to the streets as a caped vigilante, beating people with your fis… what? This isn’t Batman? Oh uh… you swear vengeance for your family and follow the path of the blade. The story is actually quite good. I do recommend giving it a playthrough.

18 Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen (2012)

Initial Release Date: May 22, 2012
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Developer: Capcom, QLOC
Publisher: : Capcom
Dragon's Dogma games like skyrim

Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen, Image Source: Capcom

Dragon’s Dogma is a third-person, over-the-shoulder role-playing game similar to those mentioned earlier in this list. You create a character and functionally that is the only character you can directly control. You will be given three AI controlled teammates, but they can only be issued basic commands. Otherwise they just do their own thing.

The world of Dragon’s Dogma is pretty large and like most fantasy role-playing games it is full of monsters to fight and kill. There are also many side quests to complete.

You begin the story as “protagonist”. Your village comes under attack by a dragon who steals your heart… literally. Your goal is to hunt down the dragon and take your heart back. Also, by taking your heart, you are marked as the “Arisen”, which means it is your duty to kill the dragon and stop the apocalypse. Good Luck.

17 Fable (2004)

Initial Release Date: 14 September 2004
Platforms: Xbox, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Xbox 360
Developer: Lionhead Studios
Publisher: : Microsoft Game Studios, Feral Interactive (Mac OS X)
fable games like skyrim

Fable, Image Source: Lionhead Studios

Fable is a very similar game to Skyrim in that it is a first-person action-based role-playing game. It is a little bit more linear, but largely it offers an open world where you will be completing an array of quests. Exploring dungeons, ruins, and forests, and of course, beating up baddies.

In Fable, you take on the role of “random orphaned boy” who takes it upon himself to become a hero when his village is sacked by bandits and his sister is kidnapped.

You have the option of becoming a hero or villain, and depending on how good or evil you are, your physical appearance will change. There is no real benefit for staying neutral however, leaving you to either be a saint or murder babies.

16 Risen (2009)

Initial Release Date: October 2, 2009
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360
Developer: Piranha Bytes
Publisher: : Deep Silver
Risen games like skyrim

Risen, Image Source: Piranha Bytes

Risen is a third-person over-the-shoulder role-playing game. It is set in the fictional land of Faranga island, which is filled with catacombs, dungeons, and ancient ruins. It is technically an open-world game, but players will find the paths leading to higher-level zones blocked by challenging monsters, meant to blockade you from areas above your abilities. You will be leveling up, seeking equipment, and unlocking the story of the island as you explore the lands around you.

You begin the story as a stowaway on a ship that has the unlucky fate of running into a titan. Your ship is destroyed, but luckily you escape and end up on the island. There are different factions to join and your goal will become clear once you talk to some of the inhabitants. The Coles notes version is that the factions on the island believe that the secret of defeating the titans lies on this island and they want your help to find it.

Fantasy Role-playing Games

So, now we are going to depart a little bit from the “action” portion of Skyrim, and focus on games that fall into the Fantasy Role-Playing Game Archetype. Some of these will be top-down isometric games, others will be first person turn based games. This particular portion of the list may deviate more from the Skyrim gameplay standard than those above, but they are definitely worth a try if you are looking for a new adventure to embark upon.

15 Might and Magic 6: The Mandate of Heaven (1998)

Initial Release Date: April 30, 1998
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, 3DO Interactive Multiplayer
Developer: New World Computing
Publisher: : The 3DO Company
Might and Magic 6 games like skyrim

Might and Magic 6: The Mandate of Heaven, Image Source: New World Computing, now defunct

Admittedly, Might and Magic 6 is a dated game. Even over twenty years ago its graphics were never its strong point, but if you can get past that, Might and Magic 6 will lead you on an epic adventure.

You will travel through the game in first person mode, and control four party members. You are able to choose from a variety of classes and races and will level up each character as you journey through the world. Combat can be played real-time or turn-based with the simple press of the enter key and you will come face to face with many of dangerous denizens of the world of Enroth

After your town of Sweet Water gets wrecked by some particularly nasty looking devils, you will begin your journey on the edge of the hamlet of New Sorpigal. From here you can journey anywhere in the world, but you really shouldn’t it is a very dangerous place. Your goal is to stop the Devils who destroyed your home, but before you can do that, you have a lot of questing and levelling to do. Get to it.

14 Might and Magic 7: For Blood and Honor (1999)

Initial Release Date: June 8, 1999
Platforms: Microsoft Windows
Developer: New World Computing
Publisher: : 3DO
Might and Magic 7 games like skyrim

Might and Magic 7: For Blood and Honor, Image Source: New World Computing, now defunct

Let me just get it out of the way, much like Might and Magic 6, Might and Magic 7 is not particularly graphically impressive. But again, just like Might and Magic 6, it is a game that will sweep you up in its vast world, deep lore, and scores of quests.

You will again take control of a party of four characters and adventure through the world in first-person mode. Combat is unchanged since Might and Magic 6 and has the same hybrid real-time/turn-based option.

In Might and Magic 7, your group attend the Emerald Isle in order to take part in a tournament, the victor of which gets a lordship and their own keep. No one tells you that the keep is in the middle of lands, contested by the human and elven kingdoms, or that it is a dumpster fire full of monsters, but once you win the tournament it is home sweet home. As you progress through the game you will have to navigate loyalties between the Elves and the Humans, and later even the Heavens and the Pit. Choose wisely.

13 Might and Magic 8: Day of the Destroyer (2000)

Initial Release Date: March 7, 2000
Platforms: Microsoft Windows
Developer: New World Computing
Publisher: : 3DO
Might and Magic 8 games like skyrim

Might and Magic 7: For Blood and Honor, Image Source: New World Computing, now defunct

I would say Might and Magic 8 is the last of the “good” Might and Magic games. Obviously, this is subjective, but Might and Magic 9 changed too much and was not particularly well done in my opinion.

Might and Magic 8 follows Might and Magics 6 and 7 with its hybrid combat system and first-person perspective. It does change things up in that you create only one character in the beginning of the game.

From there you can have up to a total of 4 other npcs join you, for a total of five party members. It also adds the ability to have Dragons in your party, inarguably the most overpowered class in the entire game.

Might and Magic 8 opens with a cataclysm. The intro movie shows a helmeted madman waving his arms around in the middle of a city and causing a great crystal to rise around him. The crystal launches some lightning causing a volcano to erupt, an explosion to level a forest, a flood to destroy a minotaur labyrinth, and a firestorm to destroy a troll city. You are caught up in the wake of the volcano eruption and must determine what has happened and how to fix it.

12 Tower of Time (2018)

Initial Release Date: April 12, 2018
Platforms: Microsoft Windows
Developer: Event Horizon
Publisher: : Event Horizon
Tower of Time games like skyrim

Tower of Time, Image Source: Event Horizon

This game is one of the four or so top-down games I have placed in this list. I have tried to keep this list as close as possible to the first-person perspective of Skyrim, but I felt this game in particular deserved some time in the limelight.

It was quietly released in 2018 and even I was hesitant to pick it up because I wasn’t quite sure if I would like it. It turns out it is an extremely good game.

The entirety of the game takes place in a bizarre tower where the rules of physics don’t really apply. The interior of the tower is vast and encompasses several unique architectural and technological styles. Combat takes place in a top down, strategic real-time system where you can slow time to give you an opportunity to use skills effectively.

You begin the game as a boy who stumbles, or more accurately, is summoned to an upside down tower jutting from the ground. An ethereal voice tells you that you are not ready and to come back later in life. You do so and thus begins your descent into the tower.

Well… Sort of. Your main character actually does not travel into the tower himself. He sits himself down in a crystalline chair from which he can see, hear, and influence his followers from far above. You begin with two such followers, your trusty and stalwart companions, and along the way you will encounter five other members who will join your team.

You can only have four in your group at any point in time and each has their own strengths, weaknesses, and damage types. The story is fantastic and I found myself immersed in the strange lore and information regarding this fantastical tower. I will always try to find a way to put this game into lists I make because I think it is truly an underappreciated role-playing game.

11 Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition (1998)

Initial Release Date: December 21, 1998
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Mac OS
Developer: BioWare, Black Isle Studios
Publisher: : Interplay Entertainment
Baldur's Gate games like skyrim

Baldur’s Gate, Image Source: Bioware

I can almost hear you guys saying, “But Eltimar, Baldur’s Gate is on everyone’s top RPG lists”, and while that is true, it is true for a reason.  The world of Baldur’s Gate is certainly not as open as Skyrim and the combat system is significantly different, but many of the things that make Skyrim an amazing game are present in Baldur’s Gate.

You will battle your way through an engrossing storyline from a top down perspective, deciding the fate of innocents and villains. You will slay fantastical and dangerous creatures, and your character will grow in power and skill over the course of the game.

In Baldur’s Gate you take on the role of a Bhaalspawn. Bhaal was the god of murder and foresaw his own death and proceeded to bang his way across half of Faerun in order to spread out the seeds of his power in hopes of being reborn after his death. As one of these tainted offspring, you possess a piece of godhood. But you are not the only one. Other Bhaalspawn want your fragment of power and they will stop at nothing to get it.

10 Baldur’s Gate 2: Shadows of Amn Enhanced Edition (2000)

Initial Release Date: September 21, 2000
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, Linux
Developer: BioWare
Publisher: : Black Isle Studios, Interplay Entertainment
Baldur's Gate 2 games like skyrim

Baldur’s Gate 2: Shadows of Amn Enhanced Edition, Image Source: Bioware

Everything that made Baldur’s Gate 1 fantastic was improved in its sequel. Your character can ascend to new heights of power and skill.

The enemies are more dangerous and varied. The map is larger, more detailed, and there are scores of quests to complete. Baldur’s Gate 2 is again a top-down isometric RPG like its predecessor, in which you control a group of up to 6 party members as you adventure through fantastical lands filled with treasure and danger.

Baldur’s Gate 2 follows in the wake of Baldur’s Gate 1. You awaken in a prison where a beautifully voice acted man named Irenicus is torturing you in an effort to unlock your power. You are freed by a familiar face from Baldur’s Gate 1 and must escape this dungeon. You emerge into a vast city and find yourself on a path to heroism or villainy.

If you enjoy deep lore, meaningful choices, and an epic story, this is the game for you. Also BG2 has one of the best expansions in existence: Throne of Bhaal, which concludes the Bhaalspawn saga. If you enjoy BG2:SOA, you absolutely have to play Throne of Bhaal.

9 Dragon Age: Origins (2009)

Initial Release Date: November 3, 2009
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Mac OS X
Developer: BioWare
Publisher: : Electronic Arts
dragon age origins games like skyrim

Dragon Age: Origins, Image Source: Bioware

Dragon Age: Origins is really a hybrid style of game, taking the isometric top-down aspects of Baldur’s Gate or Neverwinter Nights and mixing them with the ability to play the game from a third-person over-the-shoulder camera angle.

Dragon Age: Origins is an expansive role-playing game with scores of quests, NPCs, and monsters. Its main story is extremely immersive and will satiate anyone who enjoys a strong narrative.

In DA:O your background is chosen by you during character creation. Depending on your race or even your class, you will have certain backgrounds you are permitted to take. Each background has a unique origin story, but no matter what, ultimately you will be joining up with the Grey Wardens to fight the Blight. The Blight is a massive monster incursion that threatens the security of every kingdom and even the world itself. It falls on you to stop it.

8 Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines (2004)

Initial Release Date: November 3, 2009
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Mac OS X
Developer: BioWare
Publisher: : Electronic Arts
Vampire The Masquerade games like skyrim

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, Image Source: Troika Games, now defunct

Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines is admittedly a dated game. What it lacks in graphical finesse, however, it makes up for in story, dialogue, narrative, and lore. VTM:B is played through an over-the-shoulder third-person viewpoint and offers a fairly open game-world to explore and navigate.

This game has a mixture of combat, stealth, and subtlety required to complete it successfully, because if you reveal the masquerade and humans find out that Vampires are all around them, you will get executed.

You begin the game as a human who is killed and brought back as an unauthorized newbie vampire. Your sire is killed for being stupid, but your life is luckily spared.

You find yourself in the employ of the Vampire who killed your sire and soon discover that things are not as orderly as they seem in the Vampire world. You must determine who you will offer your allegiance, if anyone, and there are several endings to the game based on the decisions you will be forced to make.

Action Role-playing Games

It is not only fantasy games that can appeal to the staunchest Skyrim fans. There is a world of action role-playing games (even some made by Bethesda) that should appeal to those who love Skyrim.

7 Fallout 3

Initial Release Date: October 28, 2008
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Publisher: : Bethesda Softworks
Fallout 3 games like skyrim

Fallout 3, Image Source: Bethesda, now defunct

Fallout 3 marks the rather abrupt shift from the isometric, top-down perspective of Fallout 2, to the first person action RPG of the later Fallout titles. You can also play the game in an over-the-shoulder third-person perspective, but most people play in first-person mode primarily.

The world of Fallout is an alternate future where a Great War erupted between China, the U.S.S.R and the United States. Though the War only lasted a handful of hours, the world was functionally destroyed by nuclear warfare.

In anticipation of this possibility, numerous underground shelters were created by Vault-Tec to house populations of citizens, ensuring the survival of some American people. Fallout 3 is set in the vast open-world region of a ruined Washington DC. You will be able to explore the remains of some iconic structures of the Capital, but most of the region has been left in shattered ruins.

You are the Lone Wanderer, an individual who grew up in Vault 101 and who escapes the Vault in search of your father who has broken containment and left the Vault. You emerge into a blasted landscape seemingly devoid of life. Along the way you will find pockets of survivors, rival factions vying for control, sentient ghoulish monsters, vicious bandits, and a vast array of mutated or radioactive abominations to fight.

6 Fallout: New Vegas (2010)

Initial Release Date: October 19, 2010
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Publisher: : Bethesda Softworks
Fallout new vegas games like skyrim

Fallout: New Vegas, Image Source: Obsidian Entertainment

Released as a buggy mess, Fallout: New Vegas is now considered to be one of the best Fallout games in existence. It is also the only non-isometric Fallout game that was not made by Bethesda.

Obsidian Entertainment, building on the success of Fallout 3, released a new adventure set in the Nevada desert. It uses the same game Engine, combat style, and first or third-person camera angle as Fallout 3. You will be able to visit some iconic areas like the Hoover Dam and of course a reconstructed Las Vegas.

You begin the game as the Courier, and are ambushed and shot in the head. Left for dead, you miraculously survive a headshot, with no lingering negative effects apparently. You then begin your quest to find your attempted killer and to recover your package so you can finish the job.

You will encounter several factions, some of which you can befriend, while others will attack you on sight. Ultimately, it will be your support that will affect which faction controls the Mojave Desert at the end of the game, so choose wisely.

5 Mass Effect (2007)

Initial Release Date: November 20, 2007
Platforms: Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3
Developer: BioWare
Publisher: : Microsoft Game Studios, Electronic Arts
Mass Effect games like skyrim

Mass Effect, Image Source: Bioware

Mass Effect is one of the most iconic video game series of all time (as long as you ignore the abomination that was Andromeda). The primary gameplay takes place as an over-the-shoulder third-person cover based shooter with several distinct classes.

Each class has specific abilities and weapons that it can utilize in combat, and all of them are viable for the completion of the game. A significant amount of exploration in the game is done through the galaxy map, which allows you to visit various star systems through the use of Mass Relays and FTL propulsion.

You will also land on planets using a ground based rover called the M35 Mako, which was equal parts all terrain vehicle and extremely buggy nightmare that could sometimes launch you a billion feet into the air if it clipped a rock wrong or just flat out fall through the world itself.

You take on the role of Commander Shepherd, one part bullet sponge, one part diplomat, one part James Bond, and one part mass murderer, as you are sent to Eden Prime to find an alien artifact known as Prothean beacon. There you encounter an alien race of robots known as the Geth. You find yourself at odds with a Spectre (the elite special agents of the Citadel Counsel) named Saren and must convince the counsel that the galaxy is in grave danger.

4 Mass Effect 2 (2010)

Initial Release Date: January 26, 2010
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Developer: BioWare
Publisher: : Electronic Arts
Mass Effect 2 games like skyrim

Mass Effect 2, Image Source: Bioware

Mass Effect 2 is the direct sequel to Mass Effect and improves the gameplay in a lot of ways. If you import your Mass Effect 1 character, which I recommend, the choices you made in that game can impact events in this one.

In this way your prior actions carry through each successive game and can actually impact the outcome. There is a moral system implemented in the game, but I find that the choices are generally, be a massive jerk, or be a goodie-two-shoes… there isn’t much middle ground.

Mass Effect 2 opens with your ship, the SSV Normandy, getting thoroughly annihilated by an unknown vessel. You actually die, but luckily a corporate entity known as Cerberus takes it upon themselves to recover your body and reanimate you. You are then brought before the Illusive Man, Martin Sheen, who tells you that he tells you that human colonies have been vanishing all over the galaxy and if you don’t solve the problem the galaxy will probably fall. Better grab a gun and get to work.

3 Mass Effect 3 (2012)

Initial Release Date: March 6, 2012
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U
Developer: BioWare
Publisher: : Electronic Arts
Mass Effect 3 games like skyrim

Mass Effect 3, Image Source: Bioware

Mass Effect 3 provides the conclusion to Commander Shepherd’s story, and it was this conclusion that came under heavy fire from critics and fans alike.

While the ending was changed at a later date, the laziness of the finale left a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths. That said, Mass Effect 3 is an incredible game with satisfying third-person combat, interesting abilities, and a generally competent AI system.

In Mass Effect 3 you know that the Reapers are coming and they are bringing all of their friends with them. The game opens with the invasion of Earth; an invasion that humanity thoroughly loses.

After escaping the planet you discover the existence of a super weapon that can destroy the Reapers and begin your game-long task of gathering allies and resources in order to both build the weapon and survive long enough to deploy it. There is a choice based ending of the game, in which you, and you alone get to decide the fate of the galaxy.

1 Borderlands (2009)

Initial Release Date: September 18, 2012
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, OS X, PlayStation Vita, Linux, Android
Developer: Gearbox Software
Publisher: : 2K Games

Borderlands 2 follows in the steps of the first Borderlands. It is a first person action role-playing game where the primary means of settling any sort of conflict is usually hundreds of rounds of ammo.

Negotiation and diplomacy are meaningless words on Pandora, so expect to blast your way through 99% of quests. You again take control of one of four Vault Hunters (or 6 if you get the DLC which I recommend doing) and it is your job to do a whole lot of quests, level up, and get really good equipment.

In Borderlands 2 you are again a Vault Hunter. You are on a train that is sabotaged by one of the most amusing villains ever invented, Handsome Jack. You are contacted by “Guardian Angel” and sent to a city called Sanctuary to join an anti-hyperion resistance known as the Crimson Raiders.

You are again in search of Vault Keys, but this time it is to thwart the plans of Handsome Jack and not because you want a sweet payday. The humor in this game is really what sets it apart from other looter shooters. I have never had so much fun murdering my way through a world. It is also better if you play with friends, but that is not a requirement.

That is going to be the end of our list for today. I hope you found some new games to play, or maybe you were on the edge about buying one of the aforementioned games and decide to take the plunge. No one list can encompass the literally thousands of games on the market, so hopefully these few will get you started on some amazing adventures. If you have any other games that are like Skyrim or you feel would be worthy additions to future lists, please leave them in the comments below.




I was introduced to the world of gaming at a pretty young age. My dad would invite his friends over, and they would descend into the basement for hours. At first, I was too young to really grasp the games they were playing; Dungeons and Dragons, Ravenloft, Greyhawk. But it was when they began to shift their focus to computer games, that I became really interested.



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