games like fallout 4

Games Like Fallout 4

Latest posts by Adam Braunstein (see all)

Fallout 4 has become one of the biggest games in Bethesda’s lengthy catalog over the past few years and the post-apocalyptic wasteland created in this game is nothing sort of majestic. It’s creepy and fun and weird in all the right ways and the characters you meet all have the quirky awkwardness that would embody someone being forced to live in this futuristic version of hell.

That combined with the combat, the locales, the enemies, and the weapons you can use made Fallout 4 an amazing experience that has yet to be replicated. What if you’ve already beaten it though? What if you’ve finished the main quest, done all of the side quests in the game, and still have that insatiable taste for more?

Well, plenty of games will satisfy in the same way Fallout 4 does including a few previous titles from the series. Let’s find out what we can turn to after we’ve conquered the Commonwealth. Each of these games like Fallout 4 satisfies one of the below criteria and some include all of it.

Selection Criteria

  • Post-apocalyptic or futuristic story
  • Massive open world with tons of content
  • Similar themes and multiple paths in take in different scenarios
  • Unique combat that feels similar to Fallout 4

Wasteland 3

Wasteland 3

Wasteland has always been a lesser-known series than Fallout, but did you know that Fallout initially took the idea from Wasteland? That’s right, in 1988, the first Wasteland game was released and then almost 10 years later, we were introduced to Fallout.

While the environments are similar, the stories are not and in Wasteland 3, you set out on a unique quest in control of the Desert Rangers on a mission to keep what remains of your home state Arizona from falling victim to the apocalyptic chaos that the rest of the country has suffered from.

You’ll create a¬† squad of up to 6 members who all have unique traits and classes and from there, you are free to explore. Of course, with that exploration comes combat and the combat here is of a different flavor than most RPGs. We’ve got a turn-based system here that emphasizes position and strategy over real-time combat and result is perfect and it fits the vibe of this world well.

The story and side quests in Wasteland 3 all have multiple missions where you can choose different outcomes and at times, you’ll have to make some painful decisions as your grueling quest carries on and that consequence is what makes these situations so fun to take part in.

It’s an underrated gem that has gotten tons of praise and has surely helped greenlight a 4th Wasteland game and you can’t find any post-apocalyptic RPG closer to Fallout 4 in its atmosphere than this.

The Outer Worlds

The Outer Worlds

If you can’t get enough of Fallout 4, how about a game from the developers of Fallout 2? Obsidian came to us a few years ago in 2019 with an excellent RPG that felt old school in all the best ways while delivering that same wit and quirkiness that Fallout has always been famous for.

The combat is largely first-person shooting, but there are melee weapons as well and you have some cool abilities to help you along the way as well, with each of them feeling like they were straight out of a Fallout game.

The vibe is distinctly tongue in cheek and on occasion, it can feel a bit too clever for its own good, but the overarching tale is engaging and the side characters you meet are all incredibly enjoyable and well voice acted which helps bring this awesome experience to life.

Fallout 3

Fallout 3

If you don’t mind going back to an older gaming era, the previous iteration of Fallout, Fallout 3 is fully available right now to experience in its entirety.

For my money, Fallout 3 is actually the better experience as it boasts a superior narrative and feels far darker and more serious than the more aloof tone that Fallout 4 aims for in both its Followers and its overall tone. Fallout 3 is similar in gameplay with many of the same systems in place such as the time slowing V.A.T.S.

Where it stands out though is its environment and the Capital Wasteland is just a more majestic and horrible place to explore if you ask me.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

sky

Another gem from Bethesda, though it’s 5 years younger than Fallout 4, it stands up just as well today as it did a decade ago and with the recent legendary edition being released, it pretty much looks as good if not better than Fallout 4 ever has.

Combat here trades in the guns for bows, swords, and magic and the variety of which you can take on your enemies is astounding. You can be a magic swordsman, a stealth archer, a deadly rogue, an assassin, a full-on warrior, or a mix of all of those, and how you want to fight is totally up to you.

The star of the show is without a doubt the game world as there have seldom been games that instill a sense of wonder as Skyrim does. Even though it’s 10 years old now, there are still secrets being discovered and players are still finding new missions they never experienced before.

Skyrim is a legendary game and an RPG that can last you for an insane amount of hours. Skyrim and Fallout 4 are two sides of the same coin, so if you’ve conquered Fallout 4, come take a journey as the Dragonborn in Skyrim instead.

Metro: Exodus

exodus

While it’s not exactly the same length of experience that Fallout 4 is, Metro: Exodus is a wasteland that is still worth exploring in its own right. A darkly serious series, Metro has always been on the cult classic status despite having some great games under its belt. Metro: Exodus was basically its introduction into the mainstream.

Set in the first person, you set out to explore a post-apocalyptic Russian wasteland and as you can expect, things get very scary, very quickly. Metro: Exodus fashions itself as a survival experience and with that means resource management, weather consideration, and health consideration at all times.

The shooting is loud and impactful in Metro: Exodus and recoil is more realistic than most games, so you’ll have to consider that when lining up your shots. You’ll be going up against some horrific creatures throughout your time in the Russian wasteland, but the most dangerous foes come in the form of humans.

The human enemies in Metro: Exodus are some of the toughest I’ve faced in any game. They use strategy, are tough to separate and are incredibly accurate with their shots and their prowess in combat makes the shootout scenarios feel all the more intense because of it.

Whereas Fallout 4 is an open-world experience that has a main quest, Metro: Exodus is far more focused and is really a narrative driven shooter. This focused approach makes the story feel more intimate and the journey you take on the Aurora train is an unforgettable one that feels movie quality at many points.

Death Stranding

Death Stranding

Do you like wandering wastelands after a world-ending event? Sure you do! That’s why you’re here! Death Stranding should be right in your wheelhouse then as you explore the remains of the USA after the Death Stranding event causes some very bad things to happen.

You play as Sam Porter Bridges, a futuristic postman whose mission is to reconnect the Chiral Network and bring America back online essentially. This involves you taking on missions to deliver packages across some increasingly difficult terrain.

Combat in this game comes in a few forms. During your travels, it will start to rain at certain points and when that happens, the dreaded B.T’s appear and if one catches you in its shadowy grasp, you’ll be dragged off to a mini-boss fight while all of your packages go flying. You’ll also fight human enemies as well which turns things into a more traditional third-person shooter. The fights are visually stunning as these oily creatures come to life in horrifying ways and although it’s not all that challenging, it’s still a sight to behold.

The gunplay in this game is pretty bizarre and revolves around both normal guns and guns that use blood and urine as their ammo. See, your DNA damages these B.T’s for some reason and because of that, your bodily fluids do a lot of damage to them.

I’m not going to tell you Death Stranding is the best game out there because it’s not, but it’s incredibly unique and throws cliche game mechanics out the window for a different kind of experience that can’t really be fully put into words until you play it.

Borderlands 3

Borderlands 3

If you’re tired of all these post-apocalyptic game worlds taking themselves so seriously, then step into the world of Borderlands 3 and up the insanity to 11 and throw the seriousness out the window

While the story has always been pretty entertaining in these games, Borderlands 3’s story will likely not land with anyone as the twin enemies it introduces are some of the most annoying characters ever conceived in a game. I pretty much put the game on mute whenever they appeared so I could get back to the action as soon as I could.

Guns-wise, things get completely nuts here and there are all sorts of wild combos of guns you’ll find here and they’re all as satisfying as ever. Your enemies are suitably insane fodder and the dangerous beasts and raiders that made up the first 2 games enemies are back here in weirder and over the top iterations and the missions are fast and frantic.

Graphically, there is some beautiful cel-shading going on here and while it doesn’t completely change Borderlands’ overall look, it’s still a great thing to see as the previous games seemed to still be using graphics from a decade ago.

If you can get over the two main villains being incredibly off-putting, the story is worth getting through for all the awesome rewards it has in store and the gun play is fun enough to make you forget anything else the game is throwing at you.

Fallout: New Vegas

Las Vegas

Fallout: New Vegas is for some reason the most underappreciated game in the Fallout catalog and while the die-hard fans know exactly why it’s one of the best in the franchise, it never reached the type of gargantuan success that Fallout 3 or Fallout 4 have. Part of the reason was definitely how soon it released after Fallout 3 and in the fan’s defense, it kind of felt like the exact same game all over again with just a new coat of paint. But that’s not exactly bad thing and the focus on RPG mechanics makes it shine.

New Vegas is the main attraction here and the incredible world on display here is the main reason to show up. Not only do you get a post-apocalyptic vision of what Las Vegas would look like, but you still have the same kind of sprawling wasteland to explore as you do in Fallout 4.

With this more hardcore approach comes so many more options on how to proceed through quests though. The true RPG goodness that Obsidian has always specialized in is on display here and there will be skill checks, behind-the-scenes dice rolls to determine damage amount, and all of the DnD mainstays that have to support the RPGs of old.

Along with this super in-depth dialogue and mission system comes the great combat from Fallout 3 and pretty much Fallout 4 as well. V.A.T.S is here and effective as can be and the enemies here are a distinct look to them that comes from the gritty and grimy nature of New Vegas.

If you’re wondering how a nuclear war would affect one of the most decadent cities in America, Fallout: New Vegas has an incredible amount of content for you to consume.

Fallout 76

Fallout 76

Fallout 4 is an awesome experience, but have you ever wanted to wander the wasteland with a friend? Fallout 76 is for everyone who ever wanted to do that and while it had one of the worst launches of any game in recent memory, several updates have made Fallout 76 into a more than respectable title with hours and hours of great content to take on with a friend.

The scene is West Virginia now and things are less than ideal as the countryside is packaged with all kinds of nuclear horrors that you’ve been accustomed to seeing through years in the Fallout series as well as some new creatures who fit right into the lord perfectly. Initially, there were no human characters in the game and you instead were sent on quests via holotapes, but updates have added humans to the game as well

Combat-wise, you’re looking at pretty much exactly the same experience as in Fallout 4 with one big change. V.A.T.S. while present in Fallout 76 works much differently. The most glaring change is that there is no slowdown effect that happens here to help you aim your shots and instead what happens is you auto-lock onto enemy limbs which all have a hit percentage tied to them.

The negative here is that it takes away from the cool and unique part of Fallout which has otherwise been a pretty pedestrian shooter by modern standards.

The map of West Virginia is 4 times the size of the already sizeable Fallout 4 map, so you can expect to spend a ton of time here and the various DLCs added in recent years give you even more incentive to keep playing. What makes all of this the ultimate Fallout package is the fact that its free to play, so there’s no risk to jumping into the West Virginia wasteland.

Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077

Futuristic dystopian civilization? Check. The main character sent on obscure quest to save said civilization? Check. Massive map to explore with tons of side content to experience and multiple different factions to take on quests for? Check! It’s all here in Cyberpunk 2077 and although this version of the future is a bit more colorful and action-packed than Fallout 4’s decidedly more somber experience, much of the same kind of content resides here.

You’ve got a ton of stuff to do here and it’s all done in the first person. You play as V, a male or female or trans character who enters into the wild mercenary world of Night City and from there, your path is yours alone. There companions to ally yourself with or betray, tons of upgrades and weapons to unlock, and conversations to take multiple paths through as well.

The tone is pretty dark here too and although Night City is a bit more functional than Fallout 4’s decrepit Commonwealth, it is still every bit as corrupt and full of monsters both of humankind and the mutated kind..

Cyberpunk 2077 has all the content that Fallout 4 has plus some of the most gorgeous-looking visuals you’ll ever see. You will need a high power system in order to get this baby running, but if you’ve got it, you should give one of the more underrated titles out there a moment of your time.

Mass Effect: Legendary Edition

Legendary Edition

We’re going really far into the future for this one, but as far as open-world, futuristic RPGs go, Mass Effect: Legendary edition can do no wrong. You get Mass Effect 1, 2, and 3 here for the price of one game all completely remastered and that means over 150 hours worth of content for you to consume.

RPG-wise, Mass Effect is very relatable to Fallout 4 as you’ve got a leveling system, customizable party, engaging side characters each with their own quests and backstories, and tons of side content available to explore as you desire.

Mass Effect is a cover shooter, so it right away is a more modern feeling game than Fallout 4. You also have full command over your party at all times, so the party management is a bit more in-depth than the point-and-go system that Fallout 4 goes for. You also have a full arsenal of powers that you and your party both can use too.

With a truly epic story, memorable side characters, massive arsenal, gorgeous alien worlds and some of the best voice acting the industry has to offer, Mass Effect: Legendary edition is a journey you will never forget and would feel like a natural progression after beating Fallout 4.

Days Gone

Days Gone

A polarizing title when it came out, Days Gone is a game that was panned by the critics and beloved by the fans. This disconnect was bizarre and I for one loved my time with the post-apocalyptic zombie thriller that Days Gone is.

Immediately you’ll be drawn into the incredible visuals as everything is as near to real as possible looking and this goes a long way towards making the experience feel impactful. You have a massive map to explore here with tons of side quests available as well.

You travel post-apocalyptic Oregon on your trusty motorcycle and this bike turns out to be as much of a character as anyone in the game. You grow close to your bike and need to maintain it throughout the game. You’ll need this kind of maintenance often too as the Freaker hordes will decimate you if you can’t escape fast enough and there is no better exit strategy than hopping on your bike and high-tailing it the hell out of there.

Days Gone is a lengthy experience that will keep you busy for 50+ hours and even after you beat the main story, you will still have tons left to do as the wandering Freaker hordes are an endless challenge that requires the best of your smarts and equipment to survive.

The Surge 2

The Surge 2

The first Surge game was an interesting experiment that gave us a futuristic take on a Soul-like game. The Surge 2 embraced a full open world with characters, side quests, and everything you’d expect a modern RPG to have. Although it doesn’t take place on Earth, The Surge 2 is another wild look at what our future can have in store for us and is many ways a scarier experience than Fallout 4 is.

In this hellish futuristic world, people are clinging to the vestiges of society in Jericho City. This is where the majority of your gameplay will take place. The city is being slowly infected by a virus called Nanites, which are slowly turning the entire populace into insane, tech-infused people.

You play as a nameless warrior who gets broken out of prison and thrust into this strange and compelling world. There are multiple side quests to experience throughout the game, optional bosses, tons of weapons to upgrade, and multiple paths to travel in this RPG experience that will challenge you as much as it will intrigue you.

While there are long range weapons available, the majority of your combat takes place with melee weapons. The melee combat here is awesome and uses a system of dodging and parrying to make the massive robotic fights turn into a ballet of death that often ends in some slick execution animations.

The story is ever-present here and unlike the first game, you get tons of people to interact with and complete quests for and each one has different rewards in store for you. The Surge 2 is not as large as Fallout 4, but it’s a far more challenging experience that relies on your skill more than your gear or character level.

Mass Effect: Andromeda

Andromeda

Mass Effect: Andromeda is very much the black sheep of the Mass Effect series, but that doesn’t mean it’s not without merit. It brings back several key things that Mass Effect lost focus on with its highly narrative drive original trilogy and that’s exploration. In Mass Effect: Andromeda, you’re given back the Mako vehicle to explore tons of foreign planets with and each one has an incredible amount of things to do which makes the experience feel like an open world.

Combat-wise, it feels a little bit like Fallout 4 to start, but you’re quickly loaded up with an insane arsenal of guns, powers, and even various methods of moving like teleporting to deliver what is hands down the best combat in the entire franchise. Your enemies vary from humans to bounty hunters to gangsters as well as robots called the Remant and the main enemy of the game, the Kett.

If you’ve run through the original Mass Effect: Trilogy already and are still hungry for more space RPG goodness, you can be sure you’ll dig what Mass Effect: Andromeda has to offer.

Horizon: Zero Dawn

Zero Dawn

When it comes to post-apocalyptic games set in the future, you might not think that Horizon: Zero Dawn would be the best fit for that. On the surface, it looks like a game starring a tribal girl who is fighting robotic dinosaurs and while that may seem strange, it doesn’t scream post-apocalypse. That all changes once you start to delve into the game’s backstory and discover its secrets and without spoiling anything, you’re in for one of the most creative stories gaming has to offer.

The main attraction here though is fighting some giant robot dinosaurs and these fights deliver on all fronts. The AI controlling these monstrosities feels as realistic as it gets, so don’t expect to cheese your way through these fights by taking advantage of dumb AI.

You explore this strange world at your leisure and that means taking on side quests and optional activities whenever you see fit. There is a ton to discover here and that makes the experience a lengthy one.

We’re on the verge of the release of the sequel Horizon: Forbidden West, but you would be doing yourself a disservice to not at least checkout Horizon: Zero Dawn first.

Xenoblade Chronicles X

Xenoblade Chronicles X

A different kind of future for sure, Xenoblade Chronicles X is a reimagining of chapter 1 of an old game called Xenogears. For those unfamiliar, Xenogears is an RPG classic that had you piloting mechs and discovering what I think is easily the best story in gaming history. This pseudo retelling of that story is a whole different ballgame in terms of the gameplay, but it’s equally compelling.

The combat is an interesting mix of real-time and turn-based. You have full control over the movement of your characters, but all your attacks are on auto. This makes for a system that feels a bit like an MMORPG would, but the variety of abilities that you have full control of makes this work very well. Your enemies are an incredible mix of massive creatures that roam the world as well as mechs, aliens, and tons of other surprises.

Xenoblade Chronicles X can keep you busy for an absurd amount of time and gives you one of the more interesting game worlds to explore and an intriguing story and cast of characters are there to help you along the way.

FAQ

Question: What if I just want to play more Fallout 4?

Answer: If all you want is more Fallout 4, I get it, and you can totally do that if you wish. The main game has upwards of 80+ hours of content for your explore and the DLC’s add onto that considerably as well, so if Fallout 4 is what you want, you’ll never run out of experiences to have there.

Question: What systems are these games available on?

Answer: The majority of the games listed are available on multiple systems, but some, like Xenogears Chronicles X are limited to specific ones such as the Nintendo Switch.

Question: That’s a lot of games, what should I start with?

Answer: If you’re looking for the most similar experience to Fallout 4, I would start with Fallout 3 or Fallout: New Vegas. While they’re older games, many praise them as being just as good if not better than Fallout 4.

Conclusion 

Fallout 4 is in an incredible RPG that will provide you hours and hours of fun. Eventually, though, it will be devoid of content for you to experience and when that happens, the games I’ve listed should be perfect substitutes for all those hours you spent traversing the Commonwealth.

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