Unless you happen to have been born in the past few months (in which case, you wouldn’t be reading this), you’ve probably played Skyrim. The legendary action-adventure RPG was originally released 11 years ago, but has been re-released no less than four times in that period. Those subsequent re-releases have resulted in the game selling over 30 million copies as of last year.
If you didn’t play it after that 2011 release, you probably played one of those later versions just based on the hype around the game, and have since finished it. So, if you’re a gamer who is constantly chasing that high they felt the first time they played Skyrim, here are 10 games that are awesome enough to challenge Skyrim’s throne.
10. Far Cry 6
Since the release of Far Cry 3, the series has been associated with the phrase, “Like Skyrim with guns”. The comparison is slightly comical, but true nonetheless. Far Cry keeps that same open-world, explorative spirit that made fans fall in love with Skyrim all those years ago, and the arsenal each game has is absolutely absurd.
So, if you’re looking for a Skyrim-like experience with a little more firepower, you can’t go wrong with Far Cry 6. The latest entry in the franchise offers plenty of action, an incredible villain played by the iconic Giancarlo Esposito, and, of course, guns.
9. Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen
The next game on this list is less inspired by Skyrim in terms of its gameplay and mechanics, but it is definitely a truly entertaining game that is often overlooked. Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen takes place in a medieval fantasy setting similar to Skyrim, and it has plenty of awesome characters for you to interact with.
Now, for the fun part. The action in Dragon’s Dogma is incredibly fluid and dynamic. You’ll go up against a number of mythical monsters, but to take them down you’ll need to climb them, find their weaknesses, and sever pieces of their body away until they fall. If you’re looking for a Skyrim-like setting with way better combat, then Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen should definitely
8. Fallout New Vegas
The Elder Scrolls series is often seen as one of the premiere RPG experiences in the video game industry, and for good reason. Bethesda Softworks has a long history of excellence in the genre, not the least of which is their overhaul of the Fallout series.
Following the initial reboot with Fallout 3, Bethesda gave their new series to Obsidian Entertainment, another huge name in RPGs. The studio then created Fallout: New Vegas, which in terms of the quality of its story, gameplay, and world-building, closely rivals its sister series including Skyrim.
7. Dragon Age: Inquisition
Another go-to name in the RPG world is Bioware, a studio responsible for bangers like Baldur’s Gate, KOTOR, and Mass Effect. Dragon Age, their medieval fantasy RPG series, sits right alongside Skyrim as some of the best versions of that part of the genre.
Dragon Age: Inquisition, in particular, is beloved by many and was widely picked up by Skyrim fans who had just wrapped up the game’s final DLC content when the new game was released. Everybody loves a good fantasy story, and a fantasy story written by the minds at Bioware is all but guaranteed to be excellent.
6. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
If you approached a handful of gamers and asked them what the most iconic fantasy action RPG was, half of them would say Skyrim, and the other half would say The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Truly the only game that comes close to rivaling the rabid fanbase and intense critical acclaim of Skyrim is CD Projekt’s end cap to their Witcher trilogy.
It’s not strictly like Skyrim, since it is a third-person action-adventure game with a bigger focus on an established character rather than a player-created one, but both games give you the feeling of exploring a huge world full of magic and wonder, where there’s a new story around every corner.
5. The Outer Worlds
The Outer Worlds is more similar to Borderlands and Fallout in execution, but there is more to it than that. It is another Obsidian Entertainment game, so you know that the writing quality of the narrative and its world will be through the roof.
In Skyrim, you can stumble into an entire, self-contained story just by exploring, not even seeking out new adventures. The Outer Worlds also does this but in a more dystopian, sci-fi setting.
4. The Elder Scrolls Online
You can’t get any more like Skyrim than a game that isn’t exactly Skyrim, but still allows you to go there and visit. You can do that in The Elder Scrolls Online, the Elder Scrolls MMO that takes the deep lore of the franchise along with its fully fleshed-out worlds, and combines them into a single online experience.
In it, you can go to the many different locations featured throughout the series to complete missions and meet characters new and old.
3. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
For some people, Skyrim isn’t even the peak of The Elder Scrolls series. That would be the game that was released before it, titled The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Sure, by today’s standards it’s a little janky and not as well-polished, but without it, we would have never gotten the Skyrim we have today.
If you want to see the origins of Skyrim without going too far back in the catalog (Morrowind might even be unplayable for some gamers), Oblivion has plenty of awesome things to show you.
2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
These two games received plenty of comparisons after the latter game was released, and it’s pretty easy to see why. The staggeringly massive world that is open to you in Skyrim is actually dwarfed by The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
If you want a fantasy RPG with a huge interactive world to explore while an amazing story unfolds, then Breath of the Wild is a good place to go after Skyrim.
1. Elden Ring
For many years, Skyrim was untouchable. It’s had its throne challenged a few times over the years with games like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Breath of the Wild, but players kept going back to the comfort that Skyrim provides.
Until Elden Ring was released. FromSoftware’s take on the stupid-massive-open-world-fantasy- RPG genre has completely dominated the mindshare of the video game industry, and possibly even replaced Skyrim in the hearts of the players who held it so dear. If you can manage the game’s extreme difficulty, Skyrim can’t even hold a candle to the world or stories within Elden Ring.