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9 Games Like Skyrim - Popular Action Role-Playing Games

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Fantasy Action RPGs - 9 Games Like Skyrim

Craving epic role-playing games like Skyrim? Try this list of popular open world RPGs that will let you explore large fantasy worlds while you complete countless quests.

Skyrim is the fifth edition in the Elder Scrolls franchise and features a massive open game world along with many deep role-playing mechanics. The game is highly praised by fans and critics as being a standout action RPG, winning many Game of the Year awards. The title is also popular in the mod community with thousands of mods extending the life of the game thanks to new quests, locations, art and gameplay.

I'll admit that I didn't really enjoy the Elder Scrolls series before Skyrim, but it truly blew me away. Hundreds of hours later I still love to load up my current Skyrim game, get on my horseback and ride from one side of the game to the other.

From the time I first played Skyrim I've been searching for similar experiences to enjoy so I hope you like my favourites below. Please share your own opinions in the comment section and let me know about any that I have missed.

Which Elder Scrolls Game Is Your Favourite?

All images on this page have been provided by publisher media departments for the purpose of critique.

The Elder Scrolls (Series)

Fans of the Elder Scrolls series may think that this is a blatantly obvious option to include on this page. However, don't forget that many gamers were introduced to the Elder Scrolls series with Skyrim and simply do not consider the previous games in the series after they enjoy it so much.

If you are yet to experience other games in the Elder Scrolls series, then the previous games are a great place to start and will help build up the world of Skyrim once you understand more about the background of the series.

The two games before Skyrim (Oblivion and Morrowind) still offer similar gameplay and the graphics still hold okay against modern game. Due to their age I would not purchase Morrowind outside of GOG.com who specialise in making older games compatible with newer systems.

If you aren't too worried about weaker graphics then consider travelling back to the previous games in the series before you play the others featured on this page.

Elder Scrolls III: Oblivion Game of the Year Edition (GOG)

The Elder Scrolls Franchise

Games in brackets are expansions.

Main GamesSpin-offsNovels

Arena

Battlespire

The Infernal City

Daggerfall

Redguard

Lord of Souls

Morrowind (Tribunal, Bloodmoon)

Travels

 

Oblivion (Knights of the Nine, Shivering Isles)

Elder Scrolls Online

 

Skyrim (Dawnguard, Hearthfire, Dragonborn)

Legends

 

Elder Scrolls : History and Lore

Age of Conan

Age of Conan

1 - Age of Conan

A Free-to-Play Option

With plenty of people seeking free-to-play alternatives to Skyrim, Age of Conan is the first game to be featured on this page.

While a free-to-play game (and an MMO at heart) the game has many elements that make it a similar experience to Skyrim that is worth considering if you're a little light on money but still want a deep role-playing experience.

Graphically the game is beautiful, especially when turned up to max. There is plenty of good variety in the game locations as well to keep things interesting and encourage exploration in a similar way to Skyrim. Combat also has a Skyrim-like feel to it with an action RPG approach that allows you to swing your sword and dodge attacks with proper timing.

Class and race options provide plenty of depth, which when combined with the lore in the game world lets you carve out your own story. Thanks to its MMO roots it is also a game that you can easily tackle with friends while also adding a great end-game experience through the likes of high level PvP.

Age of Conan Gameplay

2 - Dragon Age (Series)

A Popular Role-Playing Franchise With Great Strategy Elements

Dragon Age is a popular RPG series with a dark fantasy setting that is based on party mechanics. The original game, Dragon Age: Origins, was released in 2009 with Dragon Age 2 in 2011 and Dragon Age: Inquisition in 2014

Dragon Age offers many similar features to Skyrim, like gender selection and comparable character archetypes (Rogue, Mage and Warrior). The world also shares a fantasy setting and a deep amount of lore for players willing to explore it.

Players will quickly fall in love with the characters and environments of the Dragon Age game series. Combined with the extensive customisation options and near-endless gameplay hours, Dragon Age is a great game that keeps delivering new adventures just like Skyrim.

It is important to note that the console and PC versions of Dragon Age offer slightly different combat mechanics, with the PC version of the game offering more strategic combat and the one that I encourage players to purchase if they have a PC with the system requirements.

I played both of the Dragon Age games on my PC and loved everything about them and I'm sure you will too. The RPG elements were well-polished and provided enough depth that I didn't feel overwhelmed, but also felt there was enough strategy to use in the later stages of the game when it becomes important.

As the games have some connections starting with the first game is my recommendation.

Dragon Age Release Summary (Main Games Only)

Metacritic scores are for Windows only, refer to Metacritic.com for other platforms.

Game (Year of Release)PlatformsMetacritic Score (PC)

Dragon Age: Origins (2009)

Windows, Mac, PS3, Xbox 360

91

Dragon Age II (2011)

Windows, Mac, PS3, Xbox 360

82

Dragon Age: Inquisition (2014)

Windows, Mac, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One

85

3 - Dark Souls (Series)

One of the Toughest Games Around

Dark Souls is an action RPG originally developed for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, with a PC port released in August 2012 (Prepare To Die edition). Dark Souls is one of the few games that comes close to offering a similar level of detail to Skyrim and will appeal to hardcore gamers especially.

The game is well known for its steep difficulty level, granting it the title of one of the most hardcore dark fantasy RPGs available. Gameplay mostly involves dungeon crawling through various environments in a dark fantasy setting. Its difficulty stems from the way in which achievement and rewards work along with penalties for death.

The only safe game areas are the bonfires which are scattered scarcely around the game world. These bonfires serve as saving points and allow players to regenerate various statistics, but also re-spawn all non-boss enemies.

If you are after a challenging fantasy game then Dark Souls will not disappoint. Darks Souls 2 is particularly difficult and the more polished experience of the two, which is why I recommend you play it over the original.

Dark Souls II Gameplay

Fallout Boy

Fallout Boy

4 - Fallout 4, 3 and Fallout New Vegas

A Post-Apocalyptic Game

Fallout 4, 3 and Fallout New Vegas offer post-apocalyptic role playing at its finest. These three titles are the latest additions to the Fallout series and offer a great mix of FPS and RPG style gameplay with an amazing backdrop.

The Fallout games drop you in the middle of a post-apocalyptic environment and let you control the story. You can either become a feared villain or the saviour of the wasteland. As you explore the vast environment you'll level up and invest in stats and skills that cater to your preferred play-style.

While the game doesn't share Skyrim's fantasy-style setting it does offer countless hours of gameplay, plenty of build customisation and countless side quests, each with their own unique backstory.

The most unique feature of the Fallout franchise though is VATS, an automatic targeting system that allows you to pause time (slow it down in Fallout 4) and select the particular part of your enemy you wish to fire on. This is great for those that want to play but aren't very good at FPS games.

My favourite was definitely Fallout 3, but that is simply because I liked the game setting and direction compared to Fallout New Vegas. Both of them are truly amazing experiences in terms of game mechanics. Fallout 4 is equally impressive but leans more towards shooter than role playing game so your preference will depend on your ideal game.

Fallout 4 (Kinguin)

Fallout Games - The Games in The Fallout Series

Fallout 4 Trailer

5 - The Witcher (Series)

A Medieval Fantasy Game

The Witcher games are based on a series of books by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski.

The game takes place in a similar setting to Skyrim and focuses on the Witchers, who are powerful hunters with various special abilities.

The game offers very fun and exciting combat and combined with its interesting main storyline The Witcher game series is great. The original game scored 81 on Metacritic with the second scoring a high 88.

I agree with Metacritic in this case and suggest players start their adventure with the second game in the series (which can be seen below).

The most interesting and unique gameplay feature is the moral decisions that the player faces throughout their journey. These decisions aren't your standard black and white choices making it very difficult to decide which path to take.

Witcher 3 is particularly impressive thanks to the breadth of the game world, the large number of free DLCs released and refined combat. If you're wondering where to start your Witcher experience I can't recommend the third game enough.

The Witcher 3 (GOG)

The Witcher Release Summary (Main Games Only)

Metacritic scores are for Windows only, refer to Metacritic.com for other platforms.

Game (Year of Release)PlatformsMetacritic Score

The Witcher (2007)

Windows, Mac

81

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (2011)

Windows, Mac, Xbox 360

88

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (2015)

Windows, Mac, PS4, Xbox One

93

The Witcher 3 Gameplay

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

6 - Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

A Great Single Player Role-Playing Game

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is an action RPG with hack and slash elements that is available on Windows (PC), Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

The game offers five different game regions, four races to play and three different class trees (Warrior, Rogue and Mage) with each offering a variety of different abilities.

As you gain experience and level up you earn ability points to improve the skills of your choosing (standard RPG levelling). Players can also gain positive buffs for their characters (called destinies) by completing Faction-specific quests.

The game uses an exciting combat system that involves a mixture of cutscenes and button timing. Players also have access to a slow motion mode if they acquire enough fate points during a battle. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is definitely worth a look for any RPG fan and one of my favourite stand alone games.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - For PC, Xbox 360 and PS3

Kingdoms of Amalur : Reckoning Review

Red Dead Redemption

Red Dead Redemption

7 - Red Dead Redemption

A Western Style Open World Role-Playing Game

Red Dead Redemption offers a massive open world that fans of Skyrim will enjoy.

The game takes place in the Wild West (1911 to be exact) and follows the story of a former outlaw as he brings his old gang mates to justice. Red Dead Redemption features a mortality system that changes how NPCs interact with you based on your honour level.

The game also features side quests, random events (ambushes, animal attacks and hostage situations), side activities (bounty hunting, duels and gambling) to create a compelling gameplay experience.

With its massive open world that players can explore, Red Dead Redemption makes for a great game. The experience is one that you will return to many times (like I did) so there is no debate on getting your monies worth from Red Dead Redemption.

Red Dead Redemption - Grab a Game of the Year Edition

8 - Fable (Series)

A Series Of Games

Fable is an action role-playing series that is available on Xbox, Xbox 360, Windows and Mac. The game series currently has three games released in 2004, 2008 and 2010.

The Fable series takes place in a fictional world in the nation of Albion. As RPGs the Fable games have a strong focus on character development but also has a strong focus on NPCs, trading, story-telling, relations and fighting.

Players can directly influence their characters advancement towards various attributes including strength, magic and social skills. Like many modern RPGs, Fable also includes moral decisions into its gameplay which directly effects how people treat you (in either a positive or negative way).

Fable 2 and Fable 3 introduced co-operative play into the mix, making the Fable series a great game to play with friends. Unfortunately Fable 3 was quite a let down and after the shut down of Windows Live the game is no longer being digitally produced making it hard to find a copy of the game. Accordingly I recommend playing the first two games only.

Fable Release Summary (Main Games Only)

Metacritic scores are for the first platform listed, refer to Metacritic.com for other platforms.

Game (Year of Release)PlatformsMetacritic Score

Fable (2004)

Windows, Mac, Xbox, Xbox 360

83

Fable II (2008)

Xbox 360, Xbox One

89

Fable III (2010)

Windows, Xbox 360

75

9 - Mass Effect (Series)

A Sci-Fi Role-Playing Game

Mass Effect is a popular and critically acclaimed sci-fi RPG. While the game setting is worlds away from Skyrim, the core RPG gameplay elements and open-world experience are definitely there.

Mass Effect has a trilogy of games under its belt and plays out from a third-person perspective, following the journey of Commander Shepard as he tries to save the galaxy.

You'll be able to pick and choose your followers and even have relationships with them in this realistic RPG.Mass Effect will please many RPG fans with its interesting storyline, intelligent AI, countless side missions and moral decision tree.

It is very easy to get lost in the universe of Mass Effect, as it is very detailed and has great immersion. I generally don't like games with a sci-fi setting but something about Mass Effect meant I could not put it down.

Due to the heavy story based gameplay and the fact that Mass Effect allows you to carry over saves between games (allowing your decisions and character to continue all the way through the game) I strongly recommend playing them in order. As the story arc has now finished you can find bundles with all 3 games on the major platforms which are convenient and generally cheaper than purchasing individually.

Mass Effect 3 Trilogy (Kinguin)

Mass Effect Release Summary (Main Games Only)

Metacritic scores are for the first platform listed, refer to Metacritic.com for other platforms.

Game (Year of Release)PlatformsMetacritic Score

Mass Effect (2007)

Windows, PS3, Xbox 360

89

Mass Effect 2 (2010)

Windows, PS3, Xbox 360

94

Mass Effect 3 (2012)

Windows, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U

89

What Is Your Favourite Game Like Skyrim?

Pet on November 02, 2017:

What about Enderal? It blew my mind.

Bill on March 10, 2017:

Great list though you need knights of the old republic 1 and 2

Sophie on February 28, 2017:

Kingdoms of Amalur is a beautiful game, I really really like it! I highly recommend this game to everyone :)

James Whittington on February 09, 2017:

Skyrim is awesome!!!

99dominopoker.biz on October 22, 2016:

amazing game..

Melanie on September 30, 2016:

I loved Dragon Age, Elder scrolls, fable, Mass Effect and Fallout, but my FAVE is Kingdoms of Amalur (tho i heard the sequel went broke and that was going to be online) - it is truly an amazing game.... Haven't tried Conan or Dark souls (tho have been meaning to try the later) , The witcher has a nice feel to the costumes scenery etc.

and yea great review.

Z on February 11, 2016:

Dragon's Dogma??

TheTechSkull on December 22, 2015:

Where's Guild Wars?

samajamado on July 30, 2015:

where are Gothic and Risen?

Liann on May 17, 2015:

You somehow included all of my favourite games on one list, amazing!

LargeCat on April 03, 2015:

Really great list! Some games on there I didn't know but would be keen to try! I love fallout NV, Fallout 3, and Skyrim the most.

Dude on January 06, 2015:

"If you are after a challenging game like Skyrim then Dark Souls will not disappoint."

Lol Dark Souls is not as open and varied as Skyrim, but it's level od detail is far from Skyrim's, and Skyrim is in no way a "challenge".

mudspackler on January 05, 2015:

awesome to see all my favorite games on this list! especially dark souls, witcher, dragon age, mass effect, and all the rest too!

Phatnaru on December 27, 2014:

Fable is the only game that you listed that comes close to being like skyrim, and its really outdated at this point.

fred on November 18, 2014:

this info is not very accurate! I have thought the same thing at first but these games are far from what skyrim provides

james25882 on June 24, 2014:

some cool games here.. I will check them out! Thanks

Niktravelfit on June 19, 2014:

Nice list! I love all Bethesda RPGs, but Red Dead Redemption was great too.

astinax on December 10, 2013:

Dragon age is a really awesome game, but I feel that it's kinda underrated (or maybe is it only in France ?) Skyrim gets a lot of attention, but there are lots of other hack and slash games like the ones in your list, awesome lens !

lovettuk on December 09, 2013:

Great list! Everyone of these games are awesome! KoA is a great under the radar game, excellent combat that satisfies the button mashing tendencies. Fallout and Elder Scrolls are great and I can't wait till Fallout 4 and ES Online.

Film_addict on November 17, 2013:

Dark Souls is awesome, but don't forget demon's souls :)

Christopher1977 on August 24, 2013:

Fallout New Vegas is the best. Skyrim has its moments, like Oblivion and is a great game, no denying, but the arsenal you get to choose from in Fallout is fantastic. Excellent lens btw.

DarkLuxium on July 10, 2013:

Morrowind is my all favorite all video game.

anonymous on June 05, 2013:

I think the Gothic series is great! If you like the style, you must try it!

anonymous on May 24, 2013:

@BrandonCase: I loved the game space of BioShock, but the game play sucked, too much hand holding, and it took less than 10 hours to beat.

Margot_C on April 23, 2013:

I've looked at several of your pages looking for gift ideas for my husband. This is the first page that I have to admit I have never heard of any of the games. But they look like they'd be right up his alley (dragons and all). Thanks for putting together all these great lists.

Samuel Franklin (author) on April 22, 2013:

@portie123: Number two was definitely the peak of the series for me. I was also let down by the promises of number 3. Still a decent game just a disappointment because I knew what it could have been. Thanks for all your comments!

Samuel Franklin (author) on April 22, 2013:

@portie123: It's hard building these lists because I like to take into account everyone's personality and preference to offer a good range of games, I'd be surprised if someone liked every single game. Can't say I've played them but doing a Google search they look like alot of fun.

portie123 on April 22, 2013:

Also i feel as if fable was overhyped, nonetheless its a pretty decent and fun game, but i felt like it could have been so much more from what the final product was. I remember the creator had all this grandiose idea and features but it never got put in. but i never played the 2nd one which i heard was really awesome. Played the third and wasnt that impressed

portie123 on April 22, 2013:

I agree with like 60 percent of your lists the other parts are basically i didnt play or i didnt enjoy as much as i thought i would, but have you played any of persona or games like smt nocturne? those games are pretty cool.

BigBadBear on April 15, 2013:

Didn't care for Dragon Age but the Fallout series is great. Must give Fable a whirl.

earaja on April 11, 2013:

i never play those game but only red dead and i haven't been able to play my mass effect trilogy

Samuel Franklin (author) on April 10, 2013:

@anonymous: Its hard to find something that comes close to Skyrim because it is such a great game. I definitely think Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is as close as it gets though. Dark Souls is also good but be prepared for a challenge!

anonymous on April 10, 2013:

after i read your page i buy Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and oahhh... i think you wrong... skyrim is the best.. i want try dark soul... (i hope skyrim have new series)

sory my english bad

BrandonCase on March 25, 2013:

Wow, great lens... those are almost all in my personal list of favorite games!

I personally think that BioShock falls into a similar category, despite being categorized by most as a 'shooter'. In many ways it's quite akin to Fallout, with an FPS layout over a compelling RPG-like story that engulfs and engrosses you!

anonymous on March 21, 2013:

Iv played the entire Elder Scrolls serese and i have to say these games look awesome but that's just me but my favert elder scrolls game is Daggerfall but a close second is Morrwind and Redgard even tho it only let you play as one race it was still fun

Actiongames LM on March 15, 2013:

The Elder Scrolls games and Fallout series are my favorites. Dragon Age is way to limiting in emersion. Fable was good but just a drop in the bucket to Skyrim.

Stickypony LM on March 06, 2013:

You don't need anything ells then Skyrim! :D

Neil Spencer from uk on February 23, 2013:

Very interesting lens and very well put together :-)

Hal Gall from Bloomington, IN on February 20, 2013:

Oblivion got me started on the Elder Scrolls series, and Skyrim is awesome!

anonymous on January 23, 2013:

dragon age is nothing like skyrim, it's all fixed area after fixed area.

anonymous on January 19, 2013:

@anonymous: Oblivion is part of the same series, the Elder Scrolls. Obviously, it's similar then.

anonymous on January 18, 2013:

@anonymous: Fallout

anonymous on January 14, 2013:

Mass effect series is one of the all time greats thats for sure.

anonymous on January 05, 2013:

Oblivion is like skyrim

anonymous on December 23, 2012:

which of the ones other than oblivion can be played in first person mode

Benjamynn on December 10, 2012:

Another great lens Sammy!

RandySturridge on December 06, 2012:

Couldn't agree more

TorbenC on December 02, 2012:

Morrowind!

saludsalud on December 02, 2012:

oblivioooooon awesome

anonymous on December 02, 2012:

@syauqy: Aha me too! Good times! I do prefer Elder Scrolls because of how open world it is and the seemingly everlasting hours of gameplay, but Fable was great!

anonymous on December 02, 2012:

I'm definately gonna check out the Dragon Age and the Witcher series. I've already played Fable and Oblivion. I want to play Dark Souls but I have the feeling that I won't last ten minutes :P Can you change the difficulty on Dark Souls? (It ssounds awesome but I've only had my xbox 360 for a year and a half so not quite an experienced gamer!) Also does Morrowind work on xbox 360 or just the original xbox?

anonymous on November 26, 2012:

I love Oblivion, though the movements are a little choppy. They seem awesome when you've only played Oblivion, but once you've played Skyrim and seen how smooth it is, then Oblivion sticks out like a sore thumb. :-) Still a freakin' fantastic game, though. I really wish that Bethesda would release the entire Elder Scrolls series for PS3, because I don't PC game, and I'd really like to play Morrowind. Great lens!

Sean Gagne from Tampa Bay Area on November 24, 2012:

rpgs are my crack! the morrowind series is the best IMO

anonymous on November 19, 2012:

Hi i played skyrim and got hooked on it straight away till i near enough completed it(It was my first RPG game btw) I want another game like it but need to know which would be the best as i obviously havnt played any of these games as i have been hooked on CoD for the last 5 years lol, any recommendations?

anonymous on November 11, 2012:

@anonymous: They do plan on having more DLC add ons for skyrim though. Dawngaurd is already out, but they do plan to come out with at least one more add on.

anonymous on November 11, 2012:

@anonymous: They do plan on having more DLC add ons for skyrim though. Dawngaurd is already out, but they do plan to come out with at least one more add on.

achesh on October 29, 2012:

Dragon Age was amazing. Can you briefly add how the dialogue is and any npc interactions (like Dragon Age companion quests)?

Voltarbear on October 28, 2012:

I can certainly vouch for Dragon Age and Kingdoms of Amalur. Click on those links folks. I promise you won't regret it. Both have tremendous replay values, too.

anonymous on October 23, 2012:

@anonymous: And there is nothing to say it won't be better than Skyrim ;)

If you remember correctly, when Oblivion was first popular, no player of the game every though anything could come out that would be of the same style and better - then we had Skyrim xD

anonymous on October 20, 2012:

fallout is better than skyrim

SAVAAAGE on October 02, 2012:

Honestly, I though Dark Souls was better than TES: V Skyrim... js

dream1983 on September 23, 2012:

I enjoy reading your lens, well done!

anonymous on September 12, 2012:

there will not be another skyrim, however there will most likely be another elder scrolls

anonymous on September 12, 2012:

will there be a new skyrim?

syauqy on September 11, 2012:

Fable! yes, i fall in love with RPG skyrim-like series because of fable!

JoseJackson LM on August 24, 2012:

MASS Effect series

VatsalMakhija on August 17, 2012:

Dragon Age, although it's more of a play-and-pause! I've played most of the games on this list. Love all of them. Great list!

WriterJanis2 on August 16, 2012:

Fantastic ideas. Will need to check these out.

Stevenx816 on August 02, 2012:

Thanks!, im going to have to get the Witcher games and kingdoms of amalur: reckoning

entertainmentev on July 13, 2012:

Great information! I think I may give Dark Souls a try. :)

tonyplaysthemambo on July 12, 2012:

When my brother brought home Oblivion, we all got addicted. He had to kick the entire family out of his room and off his Xbox so he could get to sleep at night!

nicks44 on June 07, 2012:

Not bad, quite a nice list you have here! Should give me some more titles to try :)

DundeeP on June 02, 2012:

Kingdoms of Amalur looks promising. I know it's been out for a bit. I just haven't gotten around to it.

Andrew Po on May 31, 2012:

Well, Neverwinter Nights and Neverwinter Nights 2 are quite different from Skyrim (they're not first-person, and are a lot more linear) but since your list contains games like Dragon Age, I thought I'd mention NWN as well.

Both games have several expansions, and can be purchased in "Platinum" packs real cheap. They have an excellent story, especially NWN2: Mask of Betrayer. Players can usually accomplish quests in different ways and customize their character in many ways that D&D ruleset provides.

If you enjoy games like Icewind Dale & Baldur's Gate (or even Dragon Age) I highly recommend NWN and NWN2 + expansions :)

ImmatureEntrepr on May 31, 2012:

Great list! I really want to try out the Witcher series. Squid Angel blessed!

wolvyz on May 30, 2012:

I have not played these games, but they look enjoyable.

Hypersapien2 from U.S. on May 30, 2012:

Nice lens, and great selection of games. I have a couple of these myself and find them really enjoyable.

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