10 Games Like ‘Skyrim’
What do you mean, I can't be an elf IRL???
Hey, y’all, it’s me. I’m back on my fantasy bullshit.
In case you’re new around here and you’re just genuinely here for video game recommendations, first of all, welcome sweets, hope you stick around. Second of all, why wouldn’t you want more of Skyrim? It sold as many copies as it did for a reason (for better or for worse).
While it might have aged quite a bit since it first released, there’s also a plethora of timeless qualities to this game that keep players engaged with it well after the fact. It’s incredibly easy and rewarding to replay, the modding community is probably the best out there, and I mean, damn, it’s Skyrim. Hate on it all you want, it’s one of the most iconic games of the modern era. Even my mom likes Skyrim, and she’s a genuine fan of the Minions.
So, if you’re left wanting even more of it after the fact, but don’t want to replay it, then you’ve come to the right place, and you’re lucky that the fantasy RPG market is as desirable as it is. Here are ten games that should help scratch your Skyrim itch.
Well we gotta kick it off with my girl Enderal, which might be the best game I’ve played all year (or at the very least, it’s up there). This game is a total conversion mod of Skyrim, and it takes place in the world of Vyn, which we previously saw in the conversion mod Nehrim (which you can play using Oblivion‘s engine).
Yes, it lacks the polish of a game published through a “proper” game studio, but what does it say about those game studios that Enderal still managed to blow it out of the park? This game is philosophical, narratively rich, and by god, it gave me a headache for a full two weeks after playing as I continued to digest it. If that wasn’t enough to grab your attention, how about this: it’s completely free to download provided you have a copy of Skyrim downloaded on your computer. So, you know. Get to it.
Dragon Age: Inquisition
I happen to think that Dragon Age games tend to decrease in quality in chronological order, but compared to most games on the market, that’s like saying I like carrot cake slightly less than chocolate cake. It’s still cake. And in this case, the cake I’m serving you is Inquisition because it’s the most “Skyrim-y” game in the series.
Oh, it’s got crafting, open-world roaming, absurd power trees, and the least intensive narrative of the series (just like Skyrim!). Which isn’t to knock either game’s story! I’ve come to understand that Inquisition fans enjoy it the most because it’s the most fun to play and immerse themselves in, and I can’t really argue with that; even though Origins is by and large my favorite game in the series, I gotta admit, its chocolatey interior is a bit too dense for me to chomp into on a regular basis. But carrot cake? That’s easy. And it’s still sweet enough.
I finally got around to playing Oblivion recently, and I gotta say, all the superfans were right: it really is better than Skyrim in so many ways. The gameplay, while simpler, is much more enjoyable, with a plethora of different kinds of spells and a difficulty curve that makes leveling really feel earned. The writing is also more engaging, making me really feel like a part of the world, instead of a visitor.
Where it does get points taken off is in its dated appearance (which you can fix via mods—this one is, in my opinion, essential), and in its lack of a romance system. Which, yes, is not a big deal in the slightest, but Martin Septim deserved all the smooches and then some.
The Witcher 3
To be completely honest, now that seven years have passed, I’ve always thought that The Witcher 3 was a little overhyped. It’s got that same sense of bloat that starts to put me off Skyrim after a few hours of playing. But if you’re into that sort of thing, and somehow haven’t touched this game yet, then it’ll probably be a match made in heaven!
The Witcher 3 has the same sense of scope and aesthetics as Skyrim, but the story is much more engaging, and the characters even more so. Although it’s ever-so-slightly more linear in design, it’s a vast enough game that no play-through is ever quite the same.
If Dragon’s Dogma has one hundred fans, I am one of them. If Dragon’s Dogma has twelve fans, I am one of them. If Dragon’s Dogma has only one single fan, then that fan is me. I will never stop talking about how good this game is. It’s my Skyrim, in the sense that I own multiple copies of it on various different platforms … don’t hate if you can’t relate.
In this game, you can fully customize yourself and your companion, and although the world and story are both fairly sparse, everything is explorable, and every monster is climbable. There’s truly nothing cooler than stumbling upon a chimera in a shaded copse, shooting a barrage of light arrows into its various heads, then climbing on its back to finish it off.
…well, I guess the cooler thing to do would be to not kill all the cool animals, but alas, video games.
I’m not even gonna lie, I’m still scared shitless of Elden Ring, but that’s just because I’m a Weenie Hut General. I stopped playing Dark Souls after the Taurus Beast because I was so proud of my progress and wanted to leave it at that. But it’s something I hope to rectify at some point, because the worlds of these games are absolutely phenomenal, and I know I’m missing out by not giving them a fair chance.
Of these FromSoft worlds, I think Elden Ring‘s whole deal is right up the alley of anyone who’s super into Skyrim. It’s got all the fantasy tropes we love to see, but cooler, and more interesting. And it’s the sort of game that truly rewards heavy exploration.
Divinity Original Sin 2
The top-down perspective of these types of RPGs might throws might throw newcomers off, but they’d be remiss not to at least try them. I could have thrown in any number of them, such as Pillars of Eternity and Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous, but as good as those games are, they really can’t hold a candle to Divinity: Original Sin 2.
Divinity 2 is just … that bitch, you know? She does it all. She has incredibly varied and engaging gameplay, an epic story that manages to play on cliches in a way that makes it unique, and YES, the game has romance. Oh yeah, baby, you can romance the following: a rockstar with a demon in her head, a stabby killer elf, a DILF, a lizard-man, and a literal skeleton. The DILF is my favorite, but YMMV.
Baldur’s Gate 3
Also by the same devs who made Divinity, Baldur’s Gate 3 is slowly becoming That Bitch, but she’s still cooking in early access, so it makes sense if you’d want to save your $60 until she’s done. That being said, I also think this is an investment worth making, because this game slaps so far.
It feels like a beautiful blend of Divinity, Dragon Age, and Skyrim, all with some of the best character creation I’ve ever seen in a video game. I truly can’t wait to see what the finished product looks like, although I also anticipate that it’ll eat up at least 75% of my social life once we get there.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Really, though, are cowboys and fantasyboys that different? Both roam the wide open land doing good and evil, and both are romanticized to the umpteenth degree. Specifically, I think Skyrim fans would love Red Dead Redemption 2 because of the heightened emphasis on travel and exploration.
Both games are the sorts of games I’d put on to unwind, because I can just go in a direction and somehow always find something new. In Skyrim, you screw around and find the Headless Horseman. In Red Dead, you screw around and find a head on a spike while riding your horse. In both scenarios, you’re rewarded for your curiosity as you seek to solve the mysteries of these headless horsemen, and that’s while not even touching the main quests.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
I really was about to write another entry on why Breath of the Wild is so great and perfect for fans of this genre, etc. etc., but I’m sure you’re as sick of hearing that as I am of writing it. Breath of the Wild is great! You should play it! But I think I’d like to diversify the narrative for a second and give some attention to the upcoming sequel, in case you haven’t heard anything about it.
Our resident Zelda Superfan, Kirsten Carey, has been giving us all the hottest news about this game, and it sounds like it’s gonna be a real treat. It’ll be different in many ways from its predecessor, sure, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Skyrim was different from Oblivion, different isn’t bad. I’m looking forward to different!
(Featured Image: Bethesda)
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]