Arkane Studios’ Deathloop was one of the most hotly-anticipated games of 2021. It married the studio’s usual emphasis on modern immersive sim gameplay with a take on the time loop trend that’s been dominating the indie sphere recently, and did so to excellent effect. The game’s clever interweaving of character routines, systems, and minor roguelike elements made it a joy to play, and if you loved it like we did, you’ll be pleased to know there are plenty more games out there to enjoy. Here are the 12 best games like Deathloop to play right now.
1. Prey (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
If you loved Deathloop’s interconnected levels and emphasis on exploration, then Prey is where you should start. This game has nothing to do with the 2006 title of the same name; rather, it’s a spiritual successor to legendary immersive sim System Shock, presenting a huge space station to explore. You can build your character however you like, too; will you focus on engineering, hacking, or flat-out combat? The choice is entirely yours. The DLC, Mooncrash, is even more similar to Deathloop, so play that if you love Prey.
2. Dishonored 2 (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Both Dishonored and Dishonored 2 are excellent propositions to consider if you loved Deathloop. They’re essentially spiritual successors to Thief (can you tell Arkane loves immersive sims yet?), and although they lack the gritty humour of that game, they are incredibly-designed experiences with great levels and a variety of ways to explore and complete those levels. The tale of Corvo Attano and the cities of Dunwall and Karnak are worthwhile additions to the immersive sim canon.
3. The Forgotten City (PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch)
The Forgotten City started life as a Skyrim mod, but eventually evolved to become its own beast, and we’re thankful it did. In this game, you arrive at a cursed Roman city whose inhabitants all transform into gold statues if any citizen breaks the “Golden Rule”; naturally, someone does this while you’re there, and each time they do, the time loop resets. You must figure out who’s breaking the Rule and why, and perhaps even get to the bottom of how the Rule came about.
4. The Outer Wilds (PC, PlayStation, Xbox)
From one sublime time loop game to another. The Outer Wilds is set in a universe where the sun is about to explode, engulfing all life in its unbearable heat. The loop encapsulates the 22 minutes before this happens, so you’ve got that long to work out why the sun is going supernova and what you might be able to do about it. You will also need to unravel the mysteries of a precursor civilisation which may or may not hold the key to the events that are happening in the present.
5. The Sexy Brutale (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch)
The Sexy Brutale is, it must be said, a decidedly less “clever” time loop game than some of the others on this list, but it still tells a compelling story. The titular Sexy Brutale is a mansion-come-casino in which the inhabitants are being picked off one by one, and you’ve got to figure out why. Each time an inhabitant dies, you’ll loop back to the start of their death, so you’ll be given plenty of opportunities to figure out what’s going on and hopefully put a stop to it.
6. Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective (iOS)
It’s absolutely criminal that the only platform you can get Ghost Trick on right now is iOS. This hugely underrated classic from Ace Attorney designer Shu Takumi casts you as Sissel, a man who has just died. You’ve got to figure out why you died and where you fit into the wider picture, and to do so, you can possess inanimate objects. Each of the game’s intricately-structured puzzles needs you to find just the right sequence of objects to possess in order to set things up the way you want them.
7. Far Cry 5 (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
If it’s Deathloop’s stealthy shooting you like, then look no further than Far Cry 5. Every so often, Ubisoft’s sandbox franchises will offer up a game that looks to be revitalising them, only to fall back into old habits quickly. Far Cry 5 is the latest game to do that; while Far Cry 6 isn’t worth your time, 5 presents a surprisingly open and reactive world for you to explore, devoid of the usual sandbox contradictions of “go anywhere, but stay where the story wants you to stay”.
8. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask (Nintendo Switch)
Right now, the only way to buy Majora’s Mask first-hand is to pick up the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack, which allows you to play Nintendo 64 games on the service. Majora’s Mask is the black sheep of the Zelda franchise; the tone is decidedly “wrong”, which is probably why this game is the subject of a creepypasta (look it up). The intricate dungeons and overworld exploration are here, but they’re suffused with a sense of melancholy inevitability, so play this if you like the more philosophical side of Deathloop.
9. Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Director’s Cut (PC, Xbox)
Adam Jensen’s second adventure, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, is far too incomplete for its own good, but Human Revolution is still a very solid immersive sim. If Deathloop took itself much more seriously, you’d end up with Human Revolution, a cyberpunk cautionary tale about the dangers of human augmentation (it’s clumsy, but it’s fun). The levels are just as cleverly designed as Deathloop’s, but the story is a little more substantial, so if you prefer more narrative weight in your immersive sims, check this one out.
10. System Shock 2 (PC)
You might have to mod this one a little to get it working exactly as it should, but System Shock 2 is still a superb immersive sim. For our money, this one is better than its successor, BioShock, due to superior enemy design and a stronger sense of progression. It may not have aged quite as well as that game has, but the tale of the Von Braun and its many monstrous inhabitants is still well worth experiencing now, albeit through the lens of updates and user modifications.
11. Hitman: World of Assassination Trilogy (PC, PlayStation, Xbox)
In 2016, IO Interactive rebooted its Hitman series, creating a new episodic instalment focused on massive sprawling levels and creative assassination methods. Two followups came in 2018 and 2021, and together, the trilogy is an incredible experience that’s well worth your time if you like Deathloop’s careful observation and assassination planning. Hitman is almost more like a point-and-click adventure game than an out-and-out stealth sandbox.
12. Wolfenstein: The New Order (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch)
Bethesda’s reboot of the Wolfenstein series grounds its alternate-history Nazi battling in real human emotion. Protagonist BJ Blaskowicz is here reimagined as a tired, begrudging hero who wants nothing more than to be left in peace, but he knows that the Nazi war machine – which achieved victory in this alternate timeline – must be stopped. What follows is a clever, creative, and hugely satisfying shooter that incorporates stealth and varied level design to excellent effect.