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Consoles Gaming

11 Real-Time Strategy Games Like XCOM 2 to Play Next

Real-time strategy games are to developers as soufflés are to chefs: Tedious to make, difficult to properly execute but rewarding when done properly. The best ones take cues from chess or even go, strategy games in which the pieces on the board don’t matter as much as the invisible metagame of anticipating your opponent’s moves. The bad ones try to hide their lack of complexity behind a sheen of aesthetics, epic cutscenes, and specious tie-ins to much better games (looking at you Halo Wars).

Upon first blush, XCOM 2 appears to fall into the latter category but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Released in 2016 to much fanfare, XCOM 2 hooks players with its look and keeps them coming back with its gameplay. In its four years, XCOM 2 has become a sort of gateway into a world of turn-based, real-time strategy games.

1. ‘Final Fantasy Tactics’

The G.O.A.T. Final Fantasy Tactics is perhaps the only Final Fantasy game with a cult following as large as Final Fantasy VII. Tactics set the standard for other turn-based strategy games that came after it. While the genre has been built upon since its 1997 release, it still remains one of the most in-depth and stylistic games in the genre. 

The game revolves around players slowly but surely building up a guild of diverse warriors that can range from soldier, mage, and everything in-between. There are endless possible outcomes for any given match which is part of what makes the game so much fun. Few games have carried as much water for the genre as Final Fantasy Tactics which is why it’s at the top of this list.

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https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP9000-NPUJ94221_00-0000000000000001
2. ‘Endless Space’

Another space-based strategy game that, much like Stellaris, has players use strategy to build out a galaxy-spanning empire. Players are given a choice between a number of different factions, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Navigating those weaknesses is key to coming out on top. 

While this may sound like your typical fare, the game manages to stand out with the amazing design, particularly in regard to the ships. Developers obviously went through painstaking efforts to make the game’s appearance stand the test of time. Almost a decade after its release, I would say they were successful.

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https://store.steampowered.com/app/208140/Endless_Space__Collection/
3. ‘Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden’

If there is one genre of story turn-based games prefer more than sci-fi, it’s post-apocalypse. Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is a game that takes place in a post-apocalypse in which random animals gained similar intelligence to humans. If that isn’t strange enough the player must team up with a ragtag group of these evolved ducks, pigs, and other assorted creatures to fight back against an evil power. Part Fallout mixed with XCOM 2 players will enjoy this take on turn-based strategy.

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https://store.steampowered.com/app/760060/Mutant_Year_Zero_Road_to_Eden/
4. ‘Civilization Beyond Earth’

A franchise departure that takes the player away from ancient empires and launches you into the farthest reaches of space. 

Civilization vets will recognize much of the gameplay even with its sci-fi veneer. As the game progresses, players are given access to a number of exciting game-changing technologies. Civilization developers went all out in their effort to make something new that didn’t alienate longtime fans and their efforts paid off.

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https://www.amazon.com/Sid-Meiers-Civilization-Beyond-Earth-PC/dp/B00JDP1AWU
5. ‘Anno 2070’

This one might raise some eyebrows among the handful of Anno fans reading this. Out of all the games I could have chosen from the Anno franchise, why would I pick the one considered to be the runt of the litter?

Anno 2070 is not only criminally underrated but it’s the only Anno game that has a message, and an important one at that. The game takes place in 2070 unlike its immediate sequel Anno 2205. The world it depicts isn’t a pristine sci-fi wonderland. It’s ugly, grimy, and, above all else, precarious. Ecological disasters are common and constantly threaten what little environmental good the player does. It’s the only game on this list in which the true enemy is the world molded by the decisions of those that came decades before, a.k.a us. 

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https://store.steampowered.com/app/48240/Anno_2070/
6. ‘Age of Wonders: Planetfall’

If this list is any indication, turn-based strategy developers seem to really enjoy sci-fi settings. Planetfall, released last year, tells the story of the struggle against a returned ancient alien menace. It’s a trophy setting for an otherwise fantastic turn-based game with layers upon layers of complexity. Players and enemies alike have an arsenal of weapons and tactics unique to individual groups.

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https://store.steampowered.com/app/718850/Age_of_Wonders_Planetfall/
7. ‘Battletech’

Lots of popular media, especially in the sci-fi genre, have tried taking on the “Game of Thrones in space” mantle, without actually being Game of Thrones in space. No one affiliated with the 2018 game Battletech made any such claim, despite the game actually being the closest thing to Game of Thrones on this list.

You play a mercenary, one of several who can pilot weapons known as Battle Mechs. As a mercenary, you have the chance to swear fealty to a noble house embroiled in a political tug-of-war. Gameplay requires players to outsmart enemies, which usually entails keeping them in your firing range while avoiding theirs. The combat is, admittedly, not as pretty as some of the other titles on this list but the complexity more than makes up for it.

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https://store.steampowered.com/app/637090/BATTLETECH/
8. ‘Phantom Doctrine’

Released last year, Phantom Doctrine is probably the largest departure from turn-based strategy games on this list. While matches in other titles represent large sweeping battles, a typical match in Phantom Doctrine represents a spy successfully gaining access to a restricted building. 

Phantom Doctrine takes elements from turn-based strategy games and adds a hefty serving of stealth. Instead of navigating environments to kill enemies, players must navigate environments so as to not alert enemies. Of course, stealthily eliminating enemies is also an option. The game’s incredible A.I. constantly throws curveballs that players have to react to on the fly. Plans rarely go as expected which forces players to stay one step ahead as if playing a game of chess.

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https://store.steampowered.com/search/?term=phantom+doctrine
9. ‘Gears Tactics’

As a fan of the original Gears of War trilogy and someone who isn’t very fond of the recent two Gears games that followed, I wasn’t quite sure what to think of Gears Tactics. A game notorious for running and gunning through a myriad of hellscapes, tactics isn’t something that comes to mind when I think Gears of War. Morbid curiosity drew me to this game, more than anything, but, as it turns out, my initial instincts were wrong. 

Gears Tactics is seemingly designed to renew fans’ appreciation of the original trilogy. It does so by using the surprisingly robust catalog of weapons and items, while adding new trinkets, giving players several options to plow through hordes of Locusts. You can storm hovels, use a sniper’s superior range, or simply outmaneuver targets. Options are as legion as the invading Locust. The main characters are a bit one-dimensional and forgettable, which, in a Gears Game, can be forgiven as long as the gameplay is solid. In that respect, Gears Tactics is unquestionably a Gears Game.

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https://store.steampowered.com/app/1184050/Gears_Tactics/
10. ‘Stellaris’

Stellaris is a science fiction game whose biggest appeal is the world it asks players to inhabit. Many have compared it to Eve Online by calling it leaner and more visually robust. Stellaris has players taking control of a faction of aliens or humans and lets them loose on a galaxy packed to the gills with celestial empires. Players often find themselves at a tactical disadvantage forcing them to navigate the fine line separating might from diplomacy. Even when players are able to build their empire to a bonafide galactic power, they must still contend with coalitions seeking to supplant them.

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https://store.steampowered.com/search/?term=stellaris+
11. ‘XCOM’

While XCOM 2 is the game that gets most of the attention, the first XCOM was the game that kicked off and built up goodwill for the franchise. XCOM tells the story of an alien invasion and a government organization’s doomed attempt to stop it. 

XCOM built upon more traditional turn-based strategy games by adding a sort of soft RPG element. As players progressed through the game they unlocked characters and abilities that only added to the overall strategic complexity.

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https://store.steampowered.com/app/200510/XCOM_Enemy_Unknown/
Categories
Consoles Gaming

19 Games Like ‘Dragon Age’ to Play Right Now

Dragon Age might not be the most popular video game series around but gamers who know it certainly respect it. It is a Fantasy RPG series consisting of Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age: II, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and the forthcoming Dragon Age 4, which does not yet have a release date.

While you wait for the next game if you’re looking for a similar dose to what this series offers, here’s a list of 19 games that can give you the same feel. In alphabetical order, here they are…

1. ‘Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey’

Through its entire history, the Assassin’s Creed series has been one of the better Action RPG games around and Odyssey is considered to be the King of kings. The game was refreshing even for the most dedicated fans of the Ubisoft series.

2. ‘Baldur’s Gate II’

If you appreciated the combat system from Dragon Age: Origins, either one of the Baldur’s Gate games will go a long way with you. The game is complex and gives the player as much freedom as they could ever ask for. Oh, BioWare made it too.

3. ‘Bloodborne’

Bloodborne is set in a dark, almost depressing world but it’s very fitting for the game and the heavy atmosphere makes for an experience that really pulls you in. You play as a hunter who has to track down the source of a deadly virus, which hits close to home right now.

4. ‘Dark Souls III’

The Dark Souls series is infamous for being incredibly difficult, even for dedicated and committed gamers, but don’t let its reputation get in the way of it for you. The third in the series is still considered one of the better RPGs of all time.

5. ‘Dishonored 2’

The Dishonored series is one of the first that comes to mind when games like Dragon Age come up. With these games, you can go in all guns blazing if that’s your thing, but there’s a stealthier option too.

6. ‘Divine Divinity’

Don’t let the fact that this is one of the older games on this list turn you off from it. From 2002, Divine Divinity holds up as a staple when it comes to Fantasy RPGs and could easily be a smaller scale game from much more recently.

7. ‘Divinity: Original Sin 2’

Divinity: Original Sin 2 makes it onto this list because it’s a popular fantasy RPG, but it’s also different from Dragon Age in that it’s a turn-based game. What’s great about it is you can play the entire thing through with a friend.

8. ‘Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen’

The word “Dragon” is far from the only thing that Dragon’s Dogma has in common with the Dragon Age series. Both games are set in open worlds with great combat systems and well-thought-out missions.

9. ‘Fable III’

The Fable series quietly has one of the best RPG experiences that doesn’t get enough love. At the end of the day, it lives in the fantasy setting and gives players a plethora of choices to make with consequences for all decisions.

10. ‘Fallout 4’

Although the Fallout series isn’t quite fantasy, its post-apocalyptic world does offer many things that fans of Dragon Age will be able to appreciate. The fourth in the series is the game listed here as it’s the most recent in the main games, but we strongly recommend the entire franchise.

11. ‘Gothic 3’

The gameplay in the Gothic series is good, but that’s not really where its focus lies. The gems here are in the interactions between characters and dialogue. The choice is key, with dozens and dozens of weapons at hand to fight with and impactful decisions to be made.

12. ‘Kingdom Come: Deliverance’

Kingdom Come: Deliverance is set in the 15th century and features real-life characters in real-life scenarios. The open-world here is Bohemia and it is expansive.

13. ‘Horizon: Zero Dawn’

Widely considered by many to be one of the better PS4 games ever released, Horizon: Zero Dawn sees you playing as Aloy in a highly immersive experience. The sequel for the PlayStation 5 just got announced too.

14. ‘Mass Effect: Andromeda’

A few games on this list are made by BioWare who made Dragon Age, and the fourth installment in the Mass Effect series is one of them. In fact, the Canadian video game developer made the entire series. The two later entries split fans down the middle, so the whole series is worth a play.

15. ‘Pathfinder: Kingmaker’

Pathfinder: Kingmaker continues some of the best elements from various of the Dragon Age games. If Inquisition giving you control was your thing or Origins’ mechanics appealed to you, this game will certainly fill a hole for you.

16. ‘Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic’

This game was released not only in 2003 but as an Xbox and Windows exclusive too, so it could be seen as hard to play, but thankfully it is supported on the Xbox One, Mac, iOS, and Android nowadays too. The creators of Dragon Age made this and it received rave reviews, so it’s a must-play.

17. ‘The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim’

Skyrim boasts one of the better open worlds ever created so we picked it for this, but truthfully a lot of the Elder Scrolls games could fit here too. The game offers an incredibly immersive and interactive experience that fans have praised since its release.

18. ‘The Outer Worlds’

Made by Obsidian, The Outer Worlds is one of the newer games on this list. It’s character-driven and as the name suggests, it is set in space. It could easily be a BioWare game with its style, so definitely check it out.

19. ‘The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’

As well as being game of the year for many, The Witcher 3 lives in the same fantasy-type setting as the Dragon Age series so fans will love it for that reason if nothing else. It doesn’t hurt that Geralt of Rivia is as worthy a protagonist as any either.

Categories
Consoles Gaming

20 Games Like Dead By Daylight

Dead By Daylight launched in 2016 and in the more than four years since its release, has become a staple in the streaming community because it produces content that gamers love to not only play but watch other people play. The concept of the game is simple. Survivors must avoid the designated killer and turn on five generators so that they can escape. The killer must kill the survivors before they escape.

If DBD is your thing, here is a list of 20 games that are similar in some form to help keep you entertained!

1. ‘Deceit’

Deceit’s concept is similar in that players need to escape an enemy of sorts, but with this game, it’s two infected monsters as opposed to one killer. Both DBD and Deceit will leave you with trust issues.

Buy
https://store.steampowered.com/app/466240/Deceit/
2. ‘Friday The 13th: The Game’

Just like DBD, Friday The 13th: The Game is a survival horror game that puts players in both the shoes of the good guys and the bad guys. The bad guy in this case? The famous Jason Voorhees.

This game is a must-play.

Buy
https://store.steampowered.com/agecheck/app/438740/
3. ‘Dead Island’

Fans have been waiting what feels like an eternity for the sequel to Dead Island, but in the meantime, the first from 2011 is still great. This one is a survival horror action RPG that takes place on a fictional island. Complete quests and kill enemies; simplicity is key.

Buy
https://store.steampowered.com/agecheck/app/383150/
4. ‘White Noise 2’

In White Noise 2, your only weapon against the monster in a very dark environment is the light. Work with teammates to find eight clues that will banish it forever before it runs through your entire team.

Buy
https://store.steampowered.com/app/503350/White_Noise_2/
5. ‘Outlast’

This is a single-player game, but it contains enough of the same elements as DBD that fans of that game will find value in this. The story is that you’re a journalist who stumbles upon something insane–literally. Fighting will do you no good here, just run.

Buy
https://store.steampowered.com/app/238320/Outlast/
6. ‘Hide Or Die’

The name of this game spells it out better than I ever could. Players start in different areas with the goal of surviving the night, but if you join the dark side, your objective changes to kill as many other players as possible.

Buy
https://store.steampowered.com/app/731620/Hide_Or_Die/
7. ‘Depth’

In this game, you and your friends are divers who want to salvage as much treasure as possible with the obstacle in your way being a terrifying shark. Just like in DBD, players can take the role of the underwater killer if they so wish.

Buy
https://store.steampowered.com/app/274940/Depth/
8. ‘Daylight’

Your goal in Daylight is to search for notes in a hospital that tell you about its past. The only problem is that every note you find leaves a mark on your arm that attracts Shadow People. You can run away from them or use flares to send them away temporarily.

Buy
https://store.steampowered.com/agecheck/app/230840/
9. ‘Left 4 Dead 2’

The Left 4 Dead series has been a popular one over the years, but its versus mode is what’s right for this list. It’s the classic zombies vs. survivors game mode here that will give players that DBD feel.

Buy
https://store.steampowered.com/app/550/Left_4_Dead_2/
10. ‘Alien: Isolation’

A single-player game set 15 years after the first Alien movie, players take on the role of Amanda Ripley, Ellen Ripley’s daughter. You must explore and investigate a space station and complete objectives while also avoiding enemies at the same time.

Buy
https://store.steampowered.com/agecheck/app/214490/
11. ‘Hunt: Showdown’

This one puts you in the boots of a bounty hunter who has to clear up a swampy area, ridding it of monsters. However, others have been given the same task, and in Hunt: Showdown where everyone wants a bounty, the enemy of your enemy is also your enemy.

Buy
https://store.steampowered.com/agecheck/app/594650/
12. ‘Identity V’

This one is not only similar to Dead By Daylight in that it’s a multiplayer horror survival game, but it’s actually licensed by the developers of DBD too. Survivor or Hunter, the aim is simple here, but this game also has an interesting story attached that’s worth checking out.

Buy
https://idv.163.com/
13. ‘Last Year: The Nightmare’

The setting for this one is Halloween, which is nothing new admittedly, but it’s perfect too. Last Year: The Nightmare is a good, old-fashioned slasher with some supernatural twists like being able to travel the entire map while invisible.

Buy
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1195460/Last_Year/
14. ‘Dead Realm’

Dead Realm sees one player taking on the role of the Ghost while other players, Humans, have to avoid it. If you get caught by a Ghost, you become one, and then you scare other players.

Buy
https://store.steampowered.com/app/352460/Dead_Realm/
15. ‘Killing Floor 2’

Killing Floor 2 is an FPS, but fits well into this list because you get to play with your friends while you kill waves of enemies. You can also loot. This game does follow the events of the first, but you don’t need to play the first to enjoy it.

Buy
https://store.steampowered.com/agecheck/app/232090/
16. ‘The Evil Within’

To survive in this world, you have to pick your battles and know when to run, while searching for supplies the entire way. As opposed to DBD and many other games on this list, there are multiple different enemies in The Evil Within.

Buy
https://store.steampowered.com/agecheck/app/268050/
17. ‘Dead Space’

A classic old school game, Dead Space is a survival horror game, but it’s also sci-fi. It’s set in space on a spaceship where the entire crew has been killed by monstrous beings called necromorphs. As Isaac Clarke, you travel throughout the ship, killing anything in your way.

Buy
https://store.steampowered.com/app/17470/Dead_Space/
18. ‘Manhunt’

The first release of this game was way back in 2003, but it got released on the PlayStation 4 as recently as 2016. There are 20 levels (or scenes) where players stealthily kill gang members. At the end of each scene, your performance is graded, making for good replayability.

Buy
https://store.steampowered.com/agecheck/app/12130/
19. ‘Evolve’

Published by 2K, Evolve is similar to DBD in that it sees four players take control of the Hunters while one takes the role of the Monster. However, it’s different in that while in DBD you avoid the enemy, the goal here is to attack it before it becomes too powerful.

Buy
https://2k.com/en-US/game/evolve/
20. ‘Emily Wants To Play’

In Emily Wants To Play, you take the role of a pizza delivery person who walks into a messy house. The door gets locked behind you, and you now must survive from 11 PM to 6 AM, learning the mechanics of each of the scary dolls.

Buy
https://store.steampowered.com/app/416590/Emily_Wants_To_Play/
Categories
Consoles Gaming

15 Games Like Until Dawn

Until Dawn was the unexpected smash hit of 2015. At the time of its release, games like Until Dawn weren’t exactly hotly anticipated. You had some stars like David Cage and his catalogue of titles but, for the most part, the genre wasn’t known for its popularity. While Until Dawn didn’t necessarily change that, it did give players a new appreciation for games that, for lack of a better word, sacrifice gameplay for a compelling story.

And that is the common denominator for the games on this list. While Until Dawn is best known for its horror elements, I believe it’s more at home with games that place an emphasis on telling a story.

1. Indigo Prophecy

Let me go ahead and warn you, David Cage will have a strong presence on this list. His games, while divisive in terms of storytelling and quality, are undoubtedly synonymous with storytelling games and Indigo Prophecy (also known as Fahrenheit) is definitely one of his wilder stories. The game puts you in the shoes of a disturbed killer and the police trying to catch him. It’s a game of cat and mouse that takes several unexpected left turns.

While not explicitly a horror game, Indigo Prophecy does have some horror elements and a healthy amount of jump scares. It’s a good title to pick up, if you’re done with Until Dawn and looking for something else to play.

Buy now
https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP9000-CUSA08981_00-BLACKWOOD0000001
2. The Inpatient

From the creators of Until Dawn, The Inpatient is a 2018 release that didn’t quite resonate with players as much as it’s predecessor. The game utilizes the Play Station’s virtual reality headset. While this may change the gameplay, somewhat, The Inpatient echoes Until Dawn in several ways.

The game puts you in an insane asylum that exists in the same world as Until Dawn, just several decades in the past. Much like Until Dawn, The Inpatient’s story is heavily dependent on player choice. Characters and scenes are entirely dependent on how the character plays the game which enhances the title’s replayability factor.

Buy now
https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP9000-CUSA08981_00-BLACKWOOD0000001
3. Telltale’s The Walking Dead

At no point did Telltale’s The Walking Dead reflect the real-world trouble the company was embroiled in. From the start, The Walking Dead told a compelling story that rivaled it’s AMC show counterpart in every way. Every chapter was released to ravenous fans who over the course of years had become attached to Clementine, Lee and the game’s perpetually growing and shrinking cast of characters.

The art style is different from Until Dawn but the similar gameplay, particularly the player choice mechanic, earns this game a spot on the list.

Buy now
https://www.amazon.com/Walking-Dead-Collection-Telltale-PlayStation-4/dp/B0774CL85T
4. Until Dawn: Rush of Blood

Released in 2016, Until Dawn: Rush of Blood bridges the gap between Until Dawn and The Inpatient as the first VR experience that heavily features characters and assets from Until Dawn. The game is more of an extended tech demo than a full blown story. It puts you on a roller coaster that is constantly bombarded with increasingly frightening imagery. The player, armed with pistols, has to defend themself from the horrors the game throws at you. It’s easiest to think of the game as one part Until Dawn one part House of the Dead but with much better graphics.

Buy now
https://www.amazon.com/Until-Dawn-Rush-Blood-PlayStation-4/dp/B01LWJB4QT/ref=sr_1_1?crid=XGY56IQQWR6L&dchild=1&keywords=until+dawn+rush+of+blood+ps4+vr&qid=1592158622&s=videogames&sprefix=until+dawn+%2Cvideogames%2C256&sr=1-1
5. Heavy Rain

Widely considered David Cage’s magnum opus, Heavy Rain is a 2010 release that helped put Cage on the map. The game boasts a story that is a bit more subdued than Indigo Prophecy, which graphics considered to be cutting edge for its time. In this installment, Cage tells a dark and disturbing story about a man trying to rescue his son from the clutches of an origami-themed killer, whose identity will leave players gobsmacked.

Heavy Rain is perhaps one of the most critically acclaimed games on this list. Much like Until Dawn, Heavy Rain’s narrative sets it’s hooks in you and it doesn’t relent for a second.

Buy now
https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/product/heavy-rain/home
6. Life is Strange

There aren’t many games out there that can be compared to Life is Strange. Everything from the game’s story to its tone to its presentation and characters are unique, which is why so many players were drawn to it quickly after its 2015 release.

Life is Strange tell the story of a teenager who finds herself able to manipulate time. Her decisions surrounding this ability dictate the game’s winding narrative. While Life is Strange lacks horror elements, it’s gameplay and teenage angst mirrors Until Dawn, putting it in the top ten of this list.

Buy now
https://store.steampowered.com/agecheck/app/319630/
7. Beyond: Two Souls

Another David Cage title, this time with a bit of star power. Beyond: Two Souls, released in 2013, is perhaps the most commercially successful title on David Cage’s resume. It tells the story of Jodie, played by Ellen Page, a child who appears to have psychic abilities due to her spirit being tethered to another spirit that can manipulate objects. Think JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure but less bizarre but still pretty bizarre.

The game follows Jodie’s life as she learns to control her abilities. It’s a story that, at times, can be just as gut wrenching as it is inspiring. The game represents some of David Cage’s best work.

Buy now
https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/product/beyond-two-souls/home
8. Oxenfree

A group of friends decide to spend their down time on an island where an evil spirit lies dormant. If this sounds like a sequel to Until Dawn, it isn’t. It’s Oxenfree, a game that takes the horror trope of a group of friends discovering ancient evil, while still remaining fresh. The more you and the other characters explore the island, the more you uncover the mystery of the mysterious force behind the unexplained occurrences.

The game inserts AAA storytelling in an indy package. It started its life as a Kickstarter before it’s release in 2016. The game’s story is intentionally ambiguous which has invited a large group of fans to come up with their own theories about the island, in a similar fashion to Five Nights at Freddy’s.

Buy now
https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/product/oxenfree/home
9. Call of Cthulhu

2017’s Call of Cthulhu is one of two games that tries to turn the Cthulhu mythos into a game. Drawing heavily from the well-loved tabletop board game, Call of Cthulhu puts you in the shoes of an investigator hired to unravel the mystery behind the death of a well-loved painter and her family. While the main character is a bit of a sceptic, at first, he quickly discovers and is forced to accept that something supernatural is behind the mystery.

While the game could have benefitted from a bit more polish, the story is tells is equal parts engaging and disturbing. Lovecraft fans or students of the occult will enjoy the games many, many eldridge easter eggs, while those looking for another Until Dawn experience won’t be disappointed.

Buy now
https://store.steampowered.com/app/399810/Call_of_Cthulhu/
10. Murdered: Soul Suspect

An older game that flew under a lot of people’s radar, Murdered: Soul Suspect garnered a lot of praise when it released in 2014. The game puts you in the shoes of a detective who was recently the victim of a serial killer. You must use your knowledge as a detective, coupled with new non-corporeal abilities, which include taking control of living beings. The game manages to be dark and brooding while not delving completely into the kind of horror Until Dawn is best known for. The similarities between these two games lies more in the tone and gameplay.

Buy now
https://store.steampowered.com/app/233290/Murdered_Soul_Suspect/
11. Detroit: Become Human

While there are several games that benefitted from an extended period of anticipation among fans, few games have kept fans waiting more than Detroit: Become Human. Anticipation for this game kicked off in 2012 after the release of a tech demo, a video named Kara. In the video, a factory worker decided not to scrap an android after noticing it seemed to spontaneously develop sentience. To say the video wowed audiences was an understatement. The problem is the disclaimer at the start of the video.

“The following footage is a prototype running in real-time Playstation 3,” the disclaimer read. “It is a concept only and is not taken from any software title currently in development.”

The call for Quantic Dream, the developers of the tech demo, to expand it into a proper game were too loud for the company to ignore. Six years later and Detroit: Become Human hit the markets.

A near-future science fiction tale, David Cage tells a story that is oddly prescient given recent events. While the game’s narrative fumbles at times, it consistently engages players in one of David Cage’s more interesting stories.

Buy now
https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/product/detroit-become-human/home
12. The Last of Us

The most critically acclaimed games on this list, The Last of Us is a contender on most “Top Games of All Time” lists. Released in 2013, the game tells a sweeping story of two people trying to survive a post-apocalyptic world. But this isn’t a retelling of The Road or Blood Meridian. The Last of Us manages to stand on its own narrative merits.

WIth the game’s sequel scheduled to release sometime in the coming months, now is a perfect chance to revisit this classic.

Buy now
https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP9000-CUSA00552_00-THELASTOFUS00000
13. Alan Wake

A pioneer of the horror genre, time has been kind to Alan Wake, which is something that can’t’ really be said for other games released in 2010. Part psychological thriller, part horror title, Alan Wake puts you in the shoes of the titular character in a game that is very reminiscent of a blockbuster movie. That’s what makes this game so similar to Until Dawn. Alan Wakes implements a combat system that, for the most part, isn’t overused and avoids becoming  tedious. Alan Wake’s influence on modern horror titles is clear and it doesn’t look as if we will be moving beyond the Alan Wake playbook anytime soon.

Buy now
https://www.amazon.com/Legacy-Interactive-ALANWAKE-Alan-Wake/dp/B007TRXBJY
14. Control

Another unexpected hit, Control released in 2019 to a pre-established cult following. While not directly related, Control is very reminiscent of the fictional organization called the SCP Foundation. Users from across the world have contributed to the SCP mythos and many of these very people made Control the success it is today. THe game’s developers have acknowledged the similarities between Control and the SCP Foundation and are happy that such an enthusiastic community has taken a liking to their game. The game has you play the role of a new recruit to an organization that hunts down supernatural artifacts. The artifacts range from supernatural juke boxes to just about anything you can imagine. Fans of Until Dawn should be able to pick up on the gameplay with little issue.

Buy now
https://www.amazon.com/Control-PlayStation-4/dp/B07DPJ3LZQ/ref=pd_lpo_65_t_2/143-6448652-5625835?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B07DPJ3LZQ&pd_rd_r=83e27e94-11ef-455b-85eb-80728eb45d69&pd_rd_w=yZyJ7&pd_rd_wg=2xAkj&pf_rd_p=7b36d496-f366-4631-94d3-61b87b52511b&pf_rd
15. The Stanley Parable

Perhaps one of the most interesting games on this list, The Stanley Parable is a…well, parable, about doing what one is told. You play the titular stanley, who makes his way though a labyrinth of office rooms while a narrator directs you where to grow. The game give you the option to listen to the narrator’s instructions or forge your own path.

That’s what makes this game so interesting. Like Until Dawn, the narrative is based entirely on your decisions, though The Stanley Parable increases the weight of your decision, particularly if you lead Stanley to his doom.

Buy now
https://store.steampowered.com/app/221910/The_Stanley_Parable/
Categories
Consoles Gaming

16 Games Like Harvest Moon

There is a type of player who isn’t necessarily drawn to entertainment that features stories of action, adventure and high stakes. It’s one of the reasons why slice-of-life anime and literary books are so popular. Sometimes people want to slip into the lives of someone else without being burdened with a swashbuckling adventure.

Games like Harvest Moon offer players a low stakes story while still managing to keep them immersed in gameplay. It’s little wonder Harvest Moon has gone on to cultivate legions of fans since it’s release in 1996. While not the first game of its kind, it is considered genre defining by fans of games that feature calming, low-stakes and ambiatic gameplay. Luckily for these kinds of gamers, there is a wealth of games that can scratch that particular itch.

1. Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley is two parts Harvest Moon and one part Legend of Zelda. While Harvest Moon is laid back, Stardew Valley adds some stakes, requiring players to survive in a wilderness while carving out a life for themselves and others. Much like Harvest Moon, farming still takes center stage but is sometimes punctuated with combat against the creatures of the game’s wilderness. Overall, however, it’s clear developers tore a few pages from Harvest Moon’s playbook.

2. Story of Seasons

Craving a Harvest Moon game but with better graphics and an added element of character customization? Look no further than Story of Seasons. Originally released for the Nintendo 3DS a version for the Nintendo Switch is forthcoming and if you don’t want to wait you can play another version of the game that features characters from the anime Doraemon. Both Harvest Moon and Story of Seasons tasks players with managing a farm and cultivating a community but Story of Seasons allows for a bit more wiggle room and player choice.

3. Summer in Mara

What started as a Kickstarter quickly grew into one of the most anticipated games for the Nintendo Switch. Summer in Mara takes the concept of Harvest Moon but puts it on a tropical island, throws in a dash of richly animated cutscenes and features a cast of interesting characters. On top of the usual farming players fish and explore the depths of the ocean, which gives the game an element of verticality.

4. Farm for Your Life

It says it all in the title. Farm for your Life is a pc game that heavily emphasizes farming, sometimes to the detriment of other elements. However, players familiar with Harvest Moon should have no problems picking this up, at least at the start of the game. At some point it’s revealed that the game’s universe is in the midst of a zombie apocalypse and one of the tasks includes fighting off the undead.The way the game goes about revealing this is quite clever.  It’s a bit different from Harvest Moon but a welcome addition to the genre.

5. Ooblets

Ooblets is perhaps the strangest game on this list. It combines gameplay elements from Harvest Moon, Pokemon and Pikmin in an interesting, if not whimsical, title. While farming is an integral part of the game, the vegetables, once harvested, turn into tiny creatures that follow the player around and participate in battles. However, this is no Pokemon rip-off. Although your characters are able to level up, the battle system is not as in-depth as the one found in Pokemon. That’s largely because battles are a small aspect of the game. Customizing your farm, as well as dance parties, take center stage. However, Harvest Moon elements like upgrading your living space and caring for your crops/creatures are also key parts of the gameplay. Ooblets may not be as grounded as Harvest Moon but fans of the latter will enjoy it all the same.

6. Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin

A game that puts the stakes back in farming simulators. Sakuna combines realistic farming mechanics with not-so-realistic battle mechanics. Throughout the game the player must fight monsters who drop items that help make farming easier.

One would imagine the juxtaposition of farming and combat aspects make it look like two different games stitched together but somehow it works. There is no mistaking the fact the farming and combat parts occupy the same in-game universe.

While Sakuna is definitely a departure from Harvest Moon, much of the spirit is still there. Building your rice farm in Sakuna  is as rewarding as building a Harvest Moon farm, particularly in the latter parts of the game when the difficulty becomes unrelenting.

7. Stranded Sails

Harvest Moon fans who also happen to enjoy Pirates of the Caribbean will almost certainly take a liking to Stranded Sails. Another game that takes place on an island, the player is stranded and has to farm to survive. Exploration is also a key gameplay element as the player must also befriend individuals throughout the island and set up a camp to accommodate them. Unlike Harvest Moon, combat is present in parts of the game, although it isn’t as in-depth as some of the other titles on this list. Instead farming and crafting and building up your relationships are the primary focus. With enough time, those characters will become members of your crew.

8. Staxel

Staxel looks like a Minecraft farming mod. Despite its appearance, however, the game has features found in Harvest Moon, like farming and community building and it allows players to invite other players with tasks. Because of the Minecraft aspect, players are able to construct truly amazing personal living spaces.

9. Farm Folks

Another game that takes cues from Harvest Moon’s laidback gameplay. In Farm Folks, players can do whatever they want, whether that entails farming, livestock raising or cutting down  pesky trees. As the player progresses through the game they meet the inhabitants of the island and unlock memories. As each memory is unlocked, the story is slowly revealed to players, which is an interesting addition to the farming and crafting genre.

10. World’s Dawn

The art style of World’s Dawn lends itself to the game’s tone. The game is just as laid back as harvest moon and features a somewhat familiar, although diminished, farming mechanic.The game emphasizes relationships the the player builds with the game’s characters. The player’s primary goal isn’t necessarily to have the biggest and best farm but to revive the town that serves as the game’s locale. Rife with mini-games to keep things fresh, Worlds Dawn is an interesting take on the classic genre.

11. Shepherd’s Crossing

There was a time when Shepherd’s Crossing was as large as Harvest Moon but, for whatever reason, it fell by the wayside. While the game doesn’t feature farming as heavily as Harvest Moon, it does require players to build a village until it becomes self-sufficient. To do this, the player is required to cooperate with other villages by creating and trading products. The game gives players a crash-course in very basic economics without beating them over the head with it. Overall, it’s a solid game that deserves to be on this list.

12. Funky Barn

A game as silly as its name, Funky Barn is another game that gives players a lesson in economics by having them run a barn.  Released exclusively on the Wii-U, Funky Barn recreates many of the features found in Harvest Moon and other farming simulators while adding new ones. For example, players are able to assign certain tasks to strange machines. The machines can water crops and sell eggs, which gives the farm a measure of autonomy. The game also features seasons which have an impact on the way the game is played. This is in addition to certain hurdles the player has to periodically contend with as they build up their farms, which include things like alien invasions and other wacky circumstances.

13. Verdant Skies

Verdant Skies takes the elements of Harvest Moon and turns them into an RPG. The player takes the role of a colonist working to establish a town in the midst of a wilderness. To do so, hunting, foraging and farming are your primary tools. If the game’s tasks get to be too burdensome, players can invite three others to help lighten the load.

The game’s graphics are reminiscent of old-school Harvest Moon, which is probably what the developers were shooting for. Longtime fans of Harvest Moon will enjoy the nostalgic look, while newcomers will enjoy the updated gameplay and story.

14. Farming Simulator

Although farming is Harvest Moon’s primary task, it isn’t as in-depth as Farming Simulator. In this game you are tasked with managing a medium-sized farm, though, depending on how you play the game, farms could grow to being just shy of industrial-sized. Developers went through great lengths getting the machines to look as realistic as possible and it shows in the final product. Real life farmers probably would have some difficulty finding errors in the design of the machinery the game features, though they might take issue with the ease of which some of the tasks are completed. After all, sowing an entire field probably requires a bit more labor than pushing a few buttons.

The simulator offers a crash-course in how best to operate a successful farm. In both Harvest Moon and Farming Simulator, successful players are meticulous, though Farming Simulator might require an extra level of care.

15. The Sims

Another game on this list that manages to overshadow Harvest Moon’s popularity. For years The Sims has been a favorite among players for several different reasons. The game allows players to simulate lives that mirror their own. That coupled with a healthy modder community has made this game a powerhouse in the genre.

Most recently, Sims developers have released the Eco Lifestyle expansion, which only makes the game more like Harvest Moon. In the Eco Lifestyle expansion, players are given the chance to make their homes, and eventually communities, more eco friendly with sustainable architecture and community gardens, among other additions.

16. Animal Crossing: New Horizons

This one is a given. This is one of a small handful of games on this list that has managed to surpass the commercial success of Harvest Moon. These two franchises have always been compared to each other and for good reason. The mood and pacing of both games are near-identical and while Harvest Moon’s gameplay isn’t as aimless as Animal Crossing’s, both games have players tackling similar tasks.

Farming, trading and building are key components of both games but Harvest Moon features these elements as a means to an end. Also, the other significant difference between the two games is Animal Crossing’s emphasis on online multiplayer gameplay, in which several people can visit a person’s island. Frankly, there is no game on this list closer to Harvest Moon than Animal Crossing.

Categories
Consoles Gaming

15 Action Role-Playing Games Like ‘Fable’

Ideas, in the video game industry, tend to disseminate through the industry via mimicry. When one developer includes an interesting gameplay feature, it isn’t long until another game copies it. Take the second Crysis game. It hit markets during a time when “camping” was the mortal sin of first-person shooters. Crysis 2, fixed this problem by forcing players to leave their nooks in order to claim their kill-streaks. Soon after, Call of Duty implemented an identical system along with a host of other first person shooters.

If videogame ideas come from other games then the fantasy role playing game Fable is the blueprint for modern games. Released in 2004, Fable managed to put it’s fingerprints on titles across several genres. Everything from Mass Effect to the Infamous series owes an intellectual debt to Fable but some games, more than others, take cues from the popular fantasy title.

1. ‘Elder Scrolls: Skyrim’

An almost decade-old game that has managed to stay relevant, Skyrim tops this list as the one game that carries Fable’s torch more than any other. Hype around this game reached a fevered pitch in the weeks leading up to it. Though it didn’t redefine the fantasy genre like Fable did, it did leave an indelible mark. A decade after the fact, and its gameplay is still considered modern. Both players and developers alike continue to churn out quality content for not only Skyrim but its immediate sequel Morrowind, a testament to how believed this franchise is.The main characters in both stories find themselves on a globe trotting adventure that methodically tests them as warriors. Both games are pillars in the genre and it’s for this reason, Skytime tops this list.

2. ‘Lords of the Fallen’

I once heard someone say that most fantasy games appeal to players who don’t like the difficulty of games within the Dark Souls genre. This might not be necessarily true for all fantasy games but Lords of the Fallen…falls into this category.

The gameplay is, with little doubt, inspired by Dark Souls but it does have echoes of Fable, mostly in its combat and magic system. Players must quickly switch between weapons-based combat and magic, on the fly, in both games. Haphazardly strategizing a fight could lead to an easy defeat, although Lords of the Fallen is slightly more forgiving. Those wanting to make the transition from Fable to Dark Souls would probably be better-served playing Lords of the Fallen to bridge the gap.

3. ‘Mass Effect’ Series

The controversy behind Mass Effect: Andromeda notwithstanding, Mass Effect is one of the most successful game franchises in history. To this day, it is seen as the quintessential science fiction epic, and one of the major reasons behind this is the game’s branching stories.

Yes, Mass Effect takes Fable’s decision-based story mechanics and uses it for its own purposes. Much like Fable, there is a blend of impactful and not-so-impactful decisions. The trick is the player often doesn’t know which is which until having played through the campaign. This makes the replayability in Mass Effect on par with Fable

4. ‘Dragon’s Dogma’

Thanks to Nintendo’s ongoing effort to port old games to their newest handheld system, there are a number of games currently experiencing a second life. One of those games is Dragon’s Dogma, a beloved role playing game that, for whatever reason, fell to the wayside.

In Dragon’s Dogma you play as an undead character on a journey of revenge. Fable fans will find aspects of Dragon’s Dogma’s combat familiar. Both are fast paced and require a measure of strategy on the part of the player. In both titles, much of the action can be found outside of towns and villages. Successful players in both games prepare for tasks with the proper items and weapons and magic to devastate enemies.

5. ‘The Banner Saga’

Perhaps the most visually striking game on this list, Banner Saga blends Disney-like animation with tactical gameplay that impacts the kind of story players experience.

Banner Saga tells the story of people fighting for their survival against supernatural beings, inspired by Norse mythology. Banner Saga is one part tactical role playing game and one part army management simulator. The player has to constantly make choices that could lead to victory or the deaths of beloved comrades, which only adds to the game’s drama. Those wanting a happy ending might be disappointed because of an innocuous decision from early in the game. It builds upon the choices-dictate-narrative feature that Fable popularized. Few games are able to do that.

6. ‘Kingdom Come: Deliverance’

A somewhat controversial pre-release didn’t stop Kingdom Come: Deliverance from garnering a solid player base. A role playing game that started its life in the world of crowdfunding, developers were able to capitalize on people’s desire to play a fantasy-esque game that is grounded in the developers’ interpretation of reality. What Kingdom Come: Deliverance lacks in magic it more than makes up for in storytelling. Kingdom Come: Deliverance, for all of its flaws, tells one of the most satisfying revenge stories in gaming. In both games players get to witness their characters’ slow progression from clueless weakling to competent warrior.

7. ‘Final Fantasy Tactics’

There is a wealth of final fantasy games that could have been chosen for this list, but Final Fantasy Tactics, I believe, is the one Final Fantasy game that is closest to Fable on several levels. Both games enjoy a cult following though Final Fantasy Tactics has always been a more obscure title. In both games the main characters have to quickly learn the ins-and-outs of harsh worlds in order to survive. As implied by the title, Final Fantasy Tactics featured combat that was a bit more tactical than Fable. Unlike Fable, Final Fantasy Tactics Players are expected to form a team of allies in order to progress but both titles rely heavily on fantasy tropes.

8. ‘Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic’

There  have been a handful of Star Wars games but none of them have risen to the heights of Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic. A juggernaut of a tile through its peak years, the title still wields a player-base other role playing developers aspire to, and that’s almost twenty years after it’s initial release.

The game sends players on a journey that takes place before the events of the movies. Much like in Fable, the player’s moral choices dictate the events of that journey

9. ‘Jade Empire’

Released almost a year after Fable, Jade Empire takes the fantasy genre and covers it in a veil of eastern culture and mythology. While it was one of several games overshadowed by the Fable’s release, players eventually learned to appreciate Jade Empire for what it was.

Both games heavily feature magical gameplay elements though Jade Empire is a bit faster-paced with hints of violence not seen in Fable’s slightly more cartoonish style

10. ‘The Witcher’ Series

The Witcher’s commercial success is a bit of the inverse of Fable’s. While Fable was a huge commercial hit from its first entry, The Witcher only really started picking up steam by its third installment. This, however, doesn’t mean the game as a whole isn’t a compelling play. It takes several cues from Fable but with better graphics and tighter controls. Much like Fable, the narrative relies heavily on players’ decisions but not to the degree of other titles like Dragon Age.

11. ‘The Bard’s Tale’

Game developers must have collectively decided that 2004 was going to be the year of fantasy titles. The Bard’s Tale has a cult following in the truest sense of the world. Those that remember this title are part of an exclusive club, doubly so for those who can recall the original source material from the 80s.

The Bard’s Tale, plays similarly to Baldur’s Gate and is a bit more lighthearted than Fable. You get the impression that the developers wanted the game to be a satire of fantasy stories but, more often than not, the game is quite sincere in its fantasy elements. The Bard’s Tale never could step outside of Fable’s shadow but it’s still a solid title.

12. ‘Baldur’s Gate’

The OG in fantasy titles. Baldur’s Gate is considered to be the title that proved fantasy games can succeed commercially and critically. Almost 22 years removed from its initial release and Baldur’s Gate remains the standard bearer that many fantasy game fans compare their favorite titles to. Six years after it’s release, Fable was considered it’s spiritual successor and, to this day, the two are often compared in much the same way A Song of Ice and Fire and Lord of the Rings are.

13. ‘Neverwinter Nights’

Neverwinter Nights predates Fable by two years, so saying the former takes cues from the latter would be false. Released in 2002, Neverwinter Nights was never able to maintain its popularity despite its name eliciting a nostalgic smile among those who haven’t thought about it in years. The game takes place in a fantasy world that makes Fable look grounded in reality by comparison. While both games look a bit dated by today’s standards, they still hold up among fans of fantasy.

14. ‘World of Warcraft’

One of the few titles on this list that probably has a cult following larger than Fable, World of Warcraft is unashamed of its status as a sword and sorcery game. Released a couple of months after Fable, World of Warcraft’s initial success could, at least partially, be blamed on Fable’s commercial success. Enthusiasts were spoiling for a fantasy game with Fable’s aesthetic and World of Warcraft delivered that at about the time most players were finishing up Fable’s campaign.

The two games look very similar and, depending on who you ask, both feature stories that are equally compelling. While some might bristle at the suggestion that World of Warcraft owes its success to Fable, instead of its own merits, there are few who will argue the two games are not similar. Who does it better is ultimately a matter of taste.

15. ‘Dragon Age’

The similarities between the Dragon Age and Fable series are quite obvious. Both tell sweeping epic stories, both are fantasy titles, both depend heavily on player choice. It’s the latter that links these two titles more than anything. Fable heavily featured it’s storytelling element that was molded by the player’s choice. At the time, it was an incredible feature that made Fable the most replayable game of its generation. Today, several games feature similar story elements but few utilize it to the degree of games in the Dragon Age series. Dragon Age’s branching stories might not make it the spiritual successor to Fable but it does earn it a spot on this list.

Categories
Consoles Gaming

The 21 Best Wrestling Games of All Time

To say that WWE 2K20 was a massive disappointment would be an understatement.

A lackluster mix of undercooked visuals, entirely too slow grappling mechanics, a cringeworthy story mode, and a litany of bugs & glitches turned a promising WWE product into one of the worst wrestling games of all time. Wrestling fans have become accustomed to quality experiences within that sub-genre that gives them tons of fun creation options, an easy to understand combat system and a simulation suite that lets them book their own fantasy feuds and matches. Visual Concepts and 2K Sports certainly have to go back to the drawing board if they hope to regain the confidence of everyone that was burned by its most recent offering.

Now that I’ve mentioned a terrible wrestling game, allow me to bring some balance back to this conversation by mentioning a whole slew of awesome ones. These 21 picks represent the very best when it comes to games that are entirely focused on smashing fools while adorned in the flashiest in-ring attire possible. 

Whether they’re linked to WWF/E, WCW, Japanese promotions or your favorite rappers, these games stand out as the best way to enter the wild world of professional wrestling.

21. ‘Saturday Night Slam Masters’

Capcom’s 90’s winning streak was a result of Street Fighter II’s rousing success and the company’s many other quality arcade/home port releases. Another beloved fighting game venture of theirs is Saturday Night Slam Masters, which was a simple yet wholly entertaining in-ring brawler at its time.


The cast was full of eccentric grapplers that included Final Fight’s Mike Haggar and even a wildman that looked like a pre-green skinned variation of Blanka. Saturday Night Slam Masters may not have been particularly deep, but its easy to grasp mechanics made for a fun time as you fought your way to the top of the card.

Buy now
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Saturday-Night-Slammasters-Nintendo-Super/dp/B000J3N2L2
20. ‘WWF WrestleFest’

The brightly colored tights, catchy theme songs and outlandish characters that embodied wrestling’s golden age were represented perfectly within his playable time capsule. WWF WrestleFest featured a who’s who of early 90s legends, such as Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, Mr. Perfect and Demolition. 

Every one of those squared circle behemoths looked just like their action figure counterparts and pulled off all sorts of devastating moves inside/outside the ring. The option to go to war with two wrestlers for a tag team championship campaign or go solo during a Royal Rumble contest gave players two fine choices to choose from during their time spent with this arcade classic.

Buy now
https://www.amazon.com/Technos-Wrestlefest-Player-Arcade-Game/dp/B00EQX1K24
19. ‘WWF WrestleMania: The Arcade Game’

Midway produced a winning combination when it mashed up the more outlandish antics of its Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam games with the WWF’s New Generation era. The game that came from that unexpected concoction was WWF WrestleMania: The Arcade Game.

There were no slower paced fisticuffs to engage in here – this was a wrestling game that played more like a fighter and relied on insane attacks that brought each Superstar’s gimmick to life. Pulling off a double-digit combo in the arcade for an enraptured audience is a feat I was never able to pull off, but I once witnessed it in all its glory. Watching Yokozuna headbutt the American Stars and Stripes out of Lex Luger in this game never got old.

Buy now
https://www.ebay.co.uk/c/175942956
18. ‘WCW vs. The World’

During the midst of the Monday Night Wars, WCW chose to up its game (literally) by offering its fans something quite memorable – a 3D wrestling game that pitted its roster against a collection of fictional stars based on real-world Japanese legends. 


Not only was WCW vs. The World an excellent game in its own right, but it also ended up being my gateway to the international wrestling scene at large. This title’s roster was massive and much of its replay value came from playing with every one of the included wrestlers from each Japanese federation. The modes suite was bigger than most wrestling games at the time, plus AKI’s perfect grappling system saw its earliest incarnation with this release. WCW vs. The World is still worth playing to this day.

Buy now
https://www.amazon.co.uk/WCW-vs-the-World-PS/dp/B00000I1C2
17. ‘WWE WrestleMania XIX’

The Nintendo GameCube tried to replicate the AKI excellence that Nintendo 64 wrestling games were known for when it received WWE WrestleMania X8. I bought into that game’s hype, but was severely let down by its dark and muddy visuals, annoying multi-man matches within the Path of a Champion mode and all around lame presentation. Once the sequel came around, my confidence in Nintendo’s purple box being the place to play good wrestling games was renewed.


WrestleMania XIX provided me with hours of fun thanks to its improved mechanics, brighter visuals, amazing roster and smartly implemented counter system. Sure, Revenge Mode left a lot to be desired for someone like me who wanted a proper Career Mode. But WrestleMania XIX more than made up for that mistake with the type of digital in-ring action that felt as painful as it looked.

Buy now
https://www.amazon.co.uk/THQ-WWE-WrestleMania-XIX/dp/B00009W211
16. ‘Ultimate Muscle: Legends vs. New Generation’

This next pick shocked the hell out of me when I first saw it in action. While I was a huge fan of the Ultimate Muscle cartoon when it was shown on Fox, I didn’t think the licensed game based on it would be any good. I was forced to eat my words when I saw how it played and who was responsible for its development – AKI Corporation. 


Ultimate Muscle: Legends vs. New Generation looked just like the anime thanks to its focus on a cel-shaded art style, so it always looked as if I was right in the middle of a brand new episode. The character selection featured the show’s greatest competitors (shout out to Kevin Mask!) and the moves you could pull off in this game were mind blowing. The story mode was cool and all, but the create-a-wrestler mode was what really made me appreciate this title. I bodied plenty of my friends with a cute dog-mask wearing behemoth who was a master of the Muscle Millennium.

Buy now
https://www.ebay.com/itm/174309102138
15. ‘Def Jam Vendetta’

I never knew how much I wanted to see Method Man vs. Ghostface Killah in a wrestling ring until I laid eyes on Def Jam Vendetta. What was supposed to be a WCW game that was exclusive to PS2 eventually morphed into a celebration of hip-hop’s early 2000’s heavyweights. 


I loved everything about this fantasy brawler – the recognizable roster members, the amazing soundtrack, the better than expected story mode and the Blazin’ finishers all blew my mind when this game first dropped. Since this title was powered by AKI’s signature grappling system, I fell in love with it instantly and took pleasure in KO’ing rappers with some of the most devastating moves ever performed in a wrestling ring. Def Jam Vendetta took a crazy concept and greatly succeeded in its execution.

Buy now
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Electronic-Arts-Def-Jam-Vendetta/dp/B000083GEY
14. ‘TNA Impact!’

During the height of TNA’s run as a worthy alternative to WWE, I was a massive fan. Guys like AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe, Monty Brown and a few others gave me plenty of reasons to tune into TNA’s flagship show. When Jeff Jarrett’s wrestling brainchild partnered up with Midway Games to produce a video game starring TNA’s top talent, I was all in. 


When I finally got my hands on it, I was shocked by just how how much I enjoyed it. Not only did the arenas and wrestlers all look amazingly lifelike, but also the action itself was fluid and allowed for some pretty hype move transitions. TNA Impact! was the perfect mix between an arcade and simulation-based wrestling game – it was fast enough to keep casual players entertained, but it featured a deep combat system that made it worth mastering for wrestling game veterans. Too bad we never got a sequel…

Buy now
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Midway-55757-TNA-Impact-PS3/dp/B0019CGILS
13. ‘WWE All-Stars’

WWE All-Stars practically took my young, impressionable memories of past wrestlers and placed them all within this over-the-top wrestling game. While a lot of people scoffed at the way this brawler made its characters look, I loved how each and every member of its roster were made to appear as steroid injecting giants. 


WWE All-Stars’ clever combination of past WWE legends and modern-day greats allowed for some never before seen fantasy matchups, plus the gameplay itself was tailor made for a party setting. I occasionally bring this game out if the homies are down for a quick Fatal 4-Way match that’s always capped off a jaw dropping finisher of some kind. WWE All-Stars is an incredibly underrated wrestling game that deserves far more love.

Buy now
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thq-Inc-99227-All-Stars-Game/dp/B003S2OOC2
12. ‘WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth’

While the very first incarnation of the WWE SmackDown! franchise on PS2 was good in its own right, its follow-up was all the more better and a true realization of Yuke’s wrestling game know-how. Shut Your Mouth features one of the greatest season modes I’ve ever played in a wrestling game. 


Wandering around backstage and running into my favorite Superstars was always a joy, as you never knew what the outcome of those fateful meetings would be. This game also featured WWE’s Brand Split roster, which featured the earliest digital versions of John Cena and Batista. Shut Your Mouth was a vast improvement over Just Bring It due to an unpredictable season mode, improved visuals, a solid roster and vastly superior cover art.

Buy now
https://www.amazon.co.uk/WWE-SmackDown-Shut-Your-Mouth/dp/B000069UZL
11. ‘WWE Day of Reckoning 2’

The GameCube’s WWE swan song was a triumphant way to go out on top. It took everything that was great about the first Day of Reckoning, added in a few more Hall of Fame standouts and provided a story mode that was great from start to finish. Day of Reckoning 2 gave me the chance to try out WWE’s slept-on mid 2000’s roster members in a game that felt like a nod to past AKI titles. 

What stood out the most to me about this sequel was just how impactful everything felt – landing a Batista Bomb always made me cringe a bit due to the bone breaking audio that came along with it. That final match against Triple H at WrestleMania 21 was rage inducing, but beating it was immensely satisfying and the best way to cap of this game’s fiery tale.

Buy now
https://www.amazon.co.uk/WWE-Day-Reckoning-2-GameCube/dp/B000A89QHU
10. ‘WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007’

WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 is one of those rare sequels that actually pushed the wrestling game genre forward and maintained the best aspects of its predecessors. The analog control system was a breath of fresh air as it gave you more freedom over where you wanted to throw your opponent and how you pulled off each grapple maneuver. 


The separate weight classes gave matches an extra air of reality as smaller wrestlers had to work that much harder to defeat their larger rivals. I got a kick out of this game for all those stated reasons, but what really spoke to me were its fun hardcore elements. Fighting in the crowd for the first time was always the main attraction for me in one of the best SmackDown vs. Raw games of all time.

Buy now
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wwe-Smackdown-Vs-Raw-2007/dp/B000FW87AI
9. ‘WWE ‘13’

This entry is a game personified by the word “era.” On one hand, WWE ’13 marks the end of THQ’s outstanding run with the WWE video game license. And on the other, it also serves as a fitting tribute to the often-celebrated Attitude Era. 


What I appreciated so much about this title was its refined grappling animations and improved homing system that led to memorable mid-air finishing moves. Universe Mode was cool and all, but I came to WWE ’13 to relive the glory days of WWE’s raunchiest and most mainstream worthy period in wrestling history. And thankfully, that specific feature met my expectations and then some. WWE ’13 was a sign of greater things to come…

Buy now
https://www.amazon.co.uk/THQ-66447-WWE-13-PS3/dp/B0087BTV72
8. ‘Fire Pro Wrestling World’

The Fire Pro Wrestling franchise is known for producing expert level wrestling games that aren’t for the faint of heart. Anyone that scoffs at its 2D visuals shouldn’t use that as a reason to ignore it, however. What lies in each Fire Pro Wrestling game is an intuitive and immensely gratifying grappling system that sucks you in and keeps you entertained for hours on end. 


Fire Pro Wrestling World is the most recent entry in the series and it stands out as the best one thus far. As someone who identifies himself as a diehard New Japan Pro Wrestling fan, I was extremely excited by this game’s usage of real NJPW talent and a story mode that brought me into the company itself. Couple all that with everything that makes Fire Pro Wrestling great and you have yourself a wrestling game with incredible replay factor potential.

Buy now
https://store.playstation.com/en-gb/product/EP3617-CUSA07804_00-FIREPROWRESTLING
7. ‘Def Jam: Fight for NY’

There’s a reason why people still clamor for a remaster of this classic game. It took huge leaps to set itself apart from its predecessor and demanded the attention of even non-wrestling game fans. Def Jam: Fight for NY may include most of the familiar elements seen in your everyday wrestling game. But it goes above and beyond its sub-genre trappings by offering several different combat styles, open arenas with plenty of usable objects and one of the best character creation modes in gaming history. 


The roster is beyond legendary, too – Snoop Dogg, Elephant Man, David Banner, Busta Rhymes and even Flavor Flav are just a mere sample size of the dope MC’s included within this brutal brawler. I hated taking a million and one Pedigree’s from Fat Joe during my story mode run, but I eventually overcame him and came to dominate every rapper that stood in my way. Def Jam: Fight for NY is pure excellence and one of the greatest fighting/wrestling games to ever come from Electronic Arts.

Buy now
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Def-Jam-Fight-NY-PS2/dp/B00029P9GY
6. ‘WWE 2K14’

This might be a harsh statement to make, but I’m going to say it anyways – WWE 2K14 is the best wrestling game 2K Sports has ever released and it hasn’t been surpassed since. We’re now at WWE 2K20 and WWE 2K14 STILL exceeds it in every single way. Everything just seemed to move at a faster pace and look a tad bit more fluid in action. Like WWE ’13, WWE 2K14 earned my adoration and praise thanks to its story mode suite. 


The 30 Years of WrestleMania match playlist gave me more of a reason to play with all those throwback legends, plus The Streak mode was a fun little side endeavor that took me forever to complete. I still have my burned CD’s full of wrestling themes intact simply because I wanted them available for my Xbox 360 copy of this game. WWE 2K14 is still worth playing due to its phenomenal single-player challenges and top-notch gameplay.

Buy now
https://www.amazon.co.uk/2K-Games-5413374-WWE-2K14/dp/B00DCUO7TK
5. ‘WCW/nWo Revenge’

WCW vs. nWo: World Tour was cool and all, but its sequel pretty much made it and everything that came before it irrelevant as soon as it dropped. The roster was massive, the graphics saw an obvious upgrade, and the legendary AKI grappling system truly fulfilled its potential in WCW/nWo Revenge. We even got legit arenas to boot! 


There’s just so much to love about this game and talk about during heated discussions around the very same topic I’m writing about here. Sure, this game lacked a Create a Wrestler mode but you could still customize the roster to your heart’s content. And man…THAT COVER? Legendary. WCW/nWo Revenge still holds top honors as the greatest WCW video game ever made.

Buy now
https://www.amazon.co.uk/THQ-WCW-NWO-Revenge/dp/B00007J5B2
4. ‘WWF WrestleMania 2000’

When AKI decided to ply its trade with the World Wrestling Federation and abandon its video game partnership with World Championship Wrestling, that move was akin to Ric Flair jumping over from WCW to WWF with the World Heavyweight Championship belt in the early 90’s. Yes, it was that much of a major move for the best wrestling game developers of all time. 


The game that came out of that new partnership was WWF WrestleMania 2000, a title that made me jealous of my friend who owned a Nintendo 64 (while I didn’t). It may have been a WCW/nWo Revenge palette swap when it came to its overall gameplay feel, but that’s not a bad thing whatsoever. What WWF WrestleMania 2000 did to stand apart from its WCW predecessor was offer a full-fledged story campaign, a Create a Wrestler mode you could spend hours messing around with and the wildest unlockable characters ever seen in a wrestling game. I had way too much fun trolling my friends with one of Godfather’s Ho’s!

Buy now
https://www.amazon.co.uk/THQ-WWF-Wrestlemania-2000/dp/B00004VXIH
3. ‘Virtual Pro Wrestling 2’

When AJ Styles and Samoa Joe constantly sing this game’s praises, then you know it has to be something truly special. After I found a way to finally get my hands on this Japanese exclusive, I became a believer. My appreciation for the culture and presentation of Japanese Puroresu wrestling made me appreciate this title even more. 


It featured all the stiff strikes, MMA takedowns, and Strong Style maneuvers I came to love from feds such as NJPW and All Japan Pro Wrestling. Virtual Pro Wrestling 2 respected the time-honored traditions of Puroresu and showcased everything that made it so engrossing in video game form. If you need a wrestling game that lets you pit Stan Hansen and Big Van Vader against Shinya Hashimoto and Yuji Nagata, then this pick is tailor made for you.

Buy now
https://www.ebay.com/c/56229541
2. ‘WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain’

Yuke’s earned my respect and plenty more from PS2 owners when they produced this GOAT-tier wrestling game. WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain was a true evolution of the franchise it was attached to – the new grappling system was damn near perfection, the body damage display made the use of submissions far more integral to the action at hand and the individual wrestler statistics added a welcome layer of strategy to the proceedings. 


I was floored by this game’s inclusion of playable legends, which is a feature that has gone on to do bigger and better things in future Yuke’s wrestling games. Fun fact – this is the only WWE game to include Ultimo Dragon as a playable character. I know that fact all too well cause I abused his Asai DDT finisher on the AI and my unlucky friends. WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain set the template for the SmackDown vs. Raw games and provided me with even more bragging rights as a proud PS2 owner.

Buy now
https://www.amazon.co.uk/WWE-SmackDown-Here-Comes-Pain/dp/B0000AN1C3
1. ‘WWF No Mercy’

The hype as hell intro. The catchy main menu theme song. The new and improved create a wrestler mode. Those traits and several other elements solidified WWF No Mercy as the greatest wrestling video game ever made. Its roster featured one of the best lineups of wrestlers in WWF history – the debut of The Radicalz, Kurt Angle, and Tazz were all worth the price of admission. 


The storylines and feuds I threw my custom wrestler into tested my mettle as a gamer, but I came out on the end of them a better man. Every wrestling fan I’ve ever been cool with has a N64 at their crib with this game’s cartridge in close proximity. And the fact that unofficial mods for this game are still being made to this very day speaks to how revered it still manages to be. WWF No Mercy easily takes the spot for me as the best wrestling game of all time and the one game I’d take with me for a permanent island getaway.

Buy now
https://www.amazon.co.uk/THQ-WWF-No-Mercy-N64/dp/B000050F9L
Categories
Consoles Gaming

16 Games Like Corruption of Champions

At first blush Corruption of Champions appeal among its core fans is pretty obvious. Its logo, featuring the outline of a pair of buxom characters, gives the impression this game isn’t that deep. And, well, that impression isn’t far off base. Corruption of Champions, an erotic fantasy game, isn’t what most players would call inspired. Then again, most players don’t put in hours in this game expecting a riveting fantasy story. Corruption of Champions, however, does belong to a genre of game that does provide just that. 

Setting aside the game’s erotic aspect, Corruption of Champions is very much like any number of sword-and-sorcery text-heavy games. These games take their cues from Dungeons and Dragons and try to capture the same nostalgic feeling that makes the board game so popular. The successful ones treat players to a fantasy experience rivaling Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones.

1. ‘Torn’

With more than 2 million active players at any given time, Torn is not only one of the most popular text-based games but is probably one of the few examples of a massively multiplayer text-based online RPG. 

Fans of Grand Theft Auto will likely take to this game. Torn gives players the option to do anything and go anywhere, given you have the necessary amount of funds. A moderate learning curve makes it available to just about any player and the gameplay is addictive. Torn is the perfect example of games that don’t need visuals to be exciting.

Play
https://www.torn.com/?__cf_chl_jschl_tk__=8c7a94ead828f2ee43f493d754cbd4823ebd11d8-1593791703-0-ATnTIKR0PoWQ-bHppxmd4bMLlXR-WZAUNq6oxne9bYI_UEEW6rPeDO0ZOWO-vEbl3XIURTz5RyVqE7OiwMwKNnNnjHuZ_B13hEZDG2DQ06p-AgLwJ8K1GfSwt4BYhjOtdE4M_ZkqZ5QV-NJpTO5j3NoYJKcOJSb
2. ‘Zork’

Zork is an odd game and I believe the developers intentionally made it so. It’s a tale of magic, subterfuge, and political intrigue. It doesn’t try to dazzle you with flowery prose. Despite being a no-nonsense game the story can get a bit convoluted at times. The player’s characters seem prone to jump headlong into unnecessary danger but that’s only part of the game’s charm.

Play
http://textadventures.co.uk/games/play/5zyoqrsugeopel3ffhz_vq
3. ‘The Dreamhold’

A highly obscure game that is entirely text. Players are given the option to use the games built-in tutorial mode which guides the players without making the game too easy. While newcomers might be taken aback by the large amounts of text and lack of visual cues veterans of the genre will find all aspects of this game familiar. The Dreamhold is a game that truly requires players to use their imaginations, which, many would argue, is the primary draw of games within the text fantasy genre.

Play
https://eblong.com/zarf/zweb/dreamhold/
4. Arcanum

The setting of Arcanum is a clash between the ancient magical world and technology from more modern times. Players will immediately compare it to The Legend of Korra before realizing this world is a bit more sinister. 

Gangster elves wage war against industrialist dwarves and evil wizards with a host of other characters thrown in, Arcanum is a departure for typical sword and sorcery stories.

Play
https://store.steampowered.com/app/500810/Arcanum_Of_Steamworks_and_Magick_Obscura/
5. ‘A Midsummer Night’s Choice’

A whimsical game that, instead of taking cues from fantasy novels, is inspired by the works of Shakespeare. Written by Kreg Segall, the game’s narrative relies heavily on the player’s choice as they deal with overbearing fathers, warrior fairies, and a host of life’s other problems. The game practically has no learning curve, which allows all players to sit down and immediately jump into Segall’s colorful world.

Play
https://store.steampowered.com/app/520150/A_Midsummer_Nights_Choice/
6. ‘Lone Wolf’

Another game that will immediately remind players of The Witcher, Lone Wolf tells the story of a single warrior making his way through hostile land. The titular Lone Wolf boasts powers and abilities that the player will be able to make use of as they progress through the world of Magnamund. Just like in the Witcher series, your choices mold the kind of game the player experiences. Lone Wolf is a perfect game for those wanting a more gritty experience.

Play
https://store.steampowered.com/app/279440/Joe_Devers_Lone_Wolf_HD_Remastered/
7. ‘Icewind Dale’

Icewind Dale blends the top-done strategic combat of MOBAs with a heavy dose of text-based gameplay. With the popularity of MOBA-type games, Icewind Dale seems like the best bet to bring text-based gameplay into the mainstream. The game features a complex magic system that makes combat both compelling and highly varied. The voice acting is surprisingly good which only enhances the game’s meandering narrative twists. The game’s visuals certainly make it more appealing to genre newcomers than a wall of text. It’s a game designed from the ground up to attract as players as possible.

Play
https://store.steampowered.com/app/321800/Icewind_Dale_Enhanced_Edition/
8. ‘King of Dragon Pass’

King of Dragon Pass has a steep learning curve. Players must first familiarize themselves with the user interface and then with the various systems, such as trading and selling. It might seem tedious, at first, but it pays off once players learn the basics. The game, for the most part, depicts a lighthearted contest between clans. Players are just as apt to trade with rival villages as they are to attack them over perceived slights. This makes up the bulk of the game’s relatively low stakes narrative.

Play
https://store.steampowered.com/app/352220/King_of_Dragon_Pass/
9. ‘Sorcery!’

Another ambitious entry that opts for a more compact narrative relative to Achaea’s massive world. The game provides players with little guidance as they make their way through a world filled with danger, both man-made and supernatural. The game’s primary foes come from a bestiary of monsters that players have to best by combining magic with might. It’s one of the few games on this list that has been compared to The Witcher on more than one occasion.

Play
https://store.steampowered.com/app/411000/Sorcery_Parts_1_and_2/
10. ‘Achaea Dreams of Divine Lands’

Kicking off the top 10 is Achaea, the premier fantasy text game. Achaea is a labor of love for its developer Sarapis and its small but fiercely loyal fanbase. Sarapis refers to the game as the deepest game on Earth, packed with enough lore to fill an entire book. The gameplay is standard within the genre but set up in such a way that experienced players can skim without having to read everything. This allows for a certain level of speedy gameplay not seen in other games of the genre.

Play
https://www.achaea.com/
11. ‘Kingdom of Loathing’

A more humorous take on the genre, Kingdom of Loathing is perhaps the closest this list is going to get to a mainstream hit thanks to YouTubers like Markiplier. The gameplay is a puddle wide and an inch deep. It also relies too heavily on corny jokes but what it lacks in depth it makes up for in character.

Play
https://www.kingdomofloathing.com/login.php?loginid=85ecaddc7fce49898651e2c98979556b
12. ‘Nocked! True Tales of Robin Hood’

One of many depictions of the classic tale of Robin Hood. Unlike other games in the genre that focus almost entirely on text, Nocked! True Tales of Robin Hood, features stunningly beautiful painting. The story often reads like a carefully penned book, hooking players into the tight but compelling narrative. The events of the game branch out, depending on the player’s various choices, making it one of the few games on this list with replay value.

Play
https://manofnottingham.itch.io/nocked-true-tales-of-robin-hood
13. ‘Materia Magica’

Materia Magica is not for newcomers to the genre. While all these games are text-heavy, Materia Magica is doubly so. It requires players to rely heavily on their imaginations to fill in the blanks. In spite of this, Materia Magica is a shot of nostalgia for those who grew up playing these kinds of text focused games. Those players will be right at home as Materia Magica’s small and compact world unfurls.

Play
https://www.materiamagica.com/
14. ‘Nova: Synthesis Creaturum’

Visual novels are Japan’s answer to American text-based fantasy games. Nova: Synthesis Creaturum tries to blend both into one package and it mostly works. Nova tells a low stake story about a girl who was able to transform a deadly monster into a harmless animal. She is joined by a cast of characters as she sets out on a quest to find out more about her powers. The visual novel wears its Lord of the Rings inspiration on its sleeve and fans of the book will probably find something to like about Nova.

Play
https://nova-sc.itch.io/
15. ‘Fara’

Out of a genre that focuses almost entirely on text to portray the story, Fara distinguishes itself by offering players some kind of visual in the form of sprites on a screen. Out of all the games on this list, Fara is perhaps the only one that can be considered a precursor if not a prototype to The Legend of Zelda.

Play
https://brianiscreative.itch.io/fara
16. Sryth

One of many obscure titles to grace this list, Sryth is a text-based fantasy games that boasts perhaps the largest world. At the start of the game each player is given a character with completely randomized states, an early precursor to games like Rust that randomize your character’s physical features. Players that don’t like their states are given the chance to “re-roll” but, ultimately, you will have to settle with what the game gives you. Once players are happy with their assigned characters, they set off on a sprawling quest. Unlike other text-based fantasy games, Sryth somewhat holds the player’s hand making it ideal for newcomers.

Play
http://www.sryth.com/ci.php?f_c=game_about.inc
Categories
Consoles Gaming

10 Games Like Fire Emblem

Fire Emblem has garnered a massive fanbase, and for good reason. The series’ combination of turn-by-turn combat (TBT) with a fantasy RPG story is a unique marriage that has left fans wanting more. With more than 15 titles including remakes and spin-offs — Roy and Marth became beloved characters in Super Smash Bros. Melee — the series has cemented itself as a core fantasy go-to. Below are other games similar in combat and/or story to the Fire Emblem series for those who have exhausted its titles or are looking for similar adventures to embark upon.

1. Advance Wars (Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, Wii U)

This game is a beloved classic that debuted on the Game Boy Advance. The player assumes the role of general commanding military branches in combat: moving units on a map, attacking the enemy, and fighting through levels of difficulty to win the war. The battles are turn-based, similar to Fire Emblem, though not fantastical in nature for those who prefer it. The games were also later released as virtual purchases on the Wii U.

Buy Now
https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/advance-wars-2-black-hole-rising-wii-u/
2. Final Fantasy Tactics (Game Boy Advance, PS1, PSP, Nintendo DS)

Final Fantasy Tactics is a spin-off of the acclaimed RPG series that gave us celebrated games like Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy X, to name a few. The games take place in the fictional world of Ivalice which is revisited throughout the Tactics series’ titles, unlike some of its parent series’ titles that can be more anthology-based with different worlds, plots, and characters. While it debuted on the Sony Playstation, it’s now available on a variety of platforms.

Buy Now
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/final-fantasy-tactics-wotl/id446760220
3. Valkyria Chronicles (PS3, PS4, Windows, PSP, PS Vita, iOS, Android, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch)

Critics and players alike have acclaimed this tactical RPG series and its most recent iteration, Valkyria Chronicles 4. The games are set in Earth’s alternate universes during 20th-century wartimes and incorporate a specific turn-based fighting style, though the later versions are described as more strategy-based and operate in real-time. The series also has a couple of spin-off titles and has developed its own manga and anime.

Buy Now
https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/valkyria-chronicles-4-switch/
4. TearRing Saga

The origin of this series has been seemingly a legal nightmare for most parties involved. Shouzou Kaga, a Nintendo employee, left the company in 1999 after creating Fire Emblem and started his own development studio called Tirnanog. He created a new series called Emblem Saga — which would later become TearRing — prompting a series of lawsuits from Nintendo, which claimed he infringed on their intellectual property copyrights. All that said, the game was hailed as a success, primarily due to its similarities to its spiritual predecessor. The game is in Japanese.

Shop Now
https://www.jnlgame.com/products/playstation-tearring-saga-yutona-eiyuu-senki-2001-ps1-4099-japan
5. Stella Glow (Nintendo 3DS)

This game has everything: monsters, protagonist amnesia, and witches wielding elemental abilities. It operates two times: free time and battle time, allowing for its turn-by-turn play. Favorably received and featuring anime-style characters, this game is a worthy addition to the roster of anyone who loves Fire Emblem. And a bit of trivia: This title was the last made by development company Imageepoch before it filed for bankruptcy.

Shop Now
https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/stella-glow-3ds/
6. Berwick Saga

Though it’s technically part of the TearRing Saga, Berwick — a sequel to the original game — was massively overhauled. Its plot isn’t significantly related to its predecessor, and the battling system is revamped in a fashion that is less reminiscent of Fire Emblem. (Probably in ways that would make it less susceptible to further Nintendo lawsuits.) While it is different in many ways, it takes place in the same world and still operates as turn-by-turn with skills and a variety of weapons. A GameCube version of it was planned but ultimately canceled, leaving the title available only on the PS2.

Buy Now
https://www.amazon.com/TearRing-Saga-Berwick-Deluxe-Playstation-2/dp/B0007P51MK
8. XCOM (Linux, macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, PS1, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Switch)

This game is decidedly more science fiction than fantasy, but it still provides an entertaining experience. In different iterations of the series, aliens are invading Earth and the player is in charge of an organization battling the extraterrestrial life. The series has received a great deal of critical acclaim: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen, released in 2017 and actually an expansion to XCOM 2, received superb praise and was listed on multiplate “best games” lists. In April 2020, XCOM: Chimera Squad was released. Though it deals with aliens over swords and spells, it has earned its spot in sci-fi/fantasy video game lore.

Buy Now
https://xcom.com/buy/
9. Pokémon Conquest (Nintendo DS)

A spin-off of the super successful Pokemon video game series, this game follows a trainer running around the Ransei region with their Eevee and battling enemy “Warriors” who can then join the group. Only a fraction of the total Pokemon in existence are accessible in this title, and they’re captured by a method of matching buttons similar to Dance Dance Revolution rather than the series’ traditional method of catching Pokemon. It was released in 2012 and reviewed favorably by critics.

Buy Now
https://www.amazon.com/Pokemon-Conquest-nintendo-ds/dp/B007RUY1NS
10. Disgaea Series

Disgaea is a celebrated RPG series and clever in that it takes place in an alternate world in which moral values are reversed, so the hero the player navigates is actually upholding villainous ideals. That, combined with its grid-based battle system and ability to grow one’s team and upgrade units to absurdly high levels, makes for a fun game with high replayability. It’s a little different from the vibe of Fire Emblem, but it’s a series that any fantasy TBT-combat fan should check out.

Buy Now
https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/disgaea-5-complete-switch/
Categories
Consoles Gaming

15 Video Games Like ‘Destiny’

Now feels like a good time to finally catch up on some of the best video game titles people may have missed out in recent years. There are a lot of hours to fill now and it seems like more and more people are gaming in quarantine, with Statista reporting a 45 percent increase in time reported playing video games by people in the United States amidst the pandemic safer-at-home orders. 


Video game franchises are a dime a dozen, but Destiny is likely the most iconic new franchise of the last decade. Bungie’s first creation after wrapping-up their legendary Halo trilogy, the game focuses on human survival, player modification, and galactic exploration all in a shared-world setting with hundreds of other players all causing trouble simultaneously. With numerous DLC add-ons and a follow-up title, the world of Destiny is still pulling in new players all the time. Check out these titles that all scratch similar itches to Destiny.  

1. ‘Warframe’

Originally released on PC back in 2013, Warframe has since been ported to Xbox, Playstation, and Nintendo Switch, but it is still technically in open beta. A free to play game, players awaken from a cryochamber in the future and immediately find themselves thrust in the middle of a galactic war for survival. The mechanics, especially the free-wheeling action as players jump around and try to avoid enemy attacks, is similar and easy to grasp for anyone who’s already mastered Destiny’s fighting system. With a huge player base and numerous ways to customize a character, now is an excellent time to jump into Warframe and start fighting for cosmic justice.

Buy Now
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/warframe/bps3xf74b9v1
2. ‘No Man’s Sky’

The universe is a strange, crazy place full of unexplainable locations to explore. So, it makes sense that developer Hello Games wanted to make a survival game set in a randomized, chaotic universe just as inconceivable as the real thing. Like Destiny, in No Man’s Sky players control a character exploring and fighting their way across numerous planets. What distinguishes this title from other cosmic games is the fact that No Man’s Sky is completely randomized, featuring a supposed 18 quintillion procedurally generated planets for people to discover. The game has been out since 2016, but thanks to cross-platform capabilities and the fact that it was just added to the Xbox Game Pass, now seems like a great time to finally take to the skies and see what No Man’s Sky is all about.

Buy Now
https://www.nomanssky.com/buy-now/
3. ‘The Elder Scrolls Online’

Even though games like Oblivion and Skyrim are packed with hours worth of entertainment, one problem with most titles in the Elder Scrolls series is that you’re stuck enjoying the whole experience alone. In 2014, Bethesda finally altered their structure and released Elder Scrolls Online, a narrative-based game set in an online world full of other players. With story updates still hitting all the time and the game’s spot on the Xbox Game Pass bringing in new players all the time, it’s a great time to plug-in and explore the awesome world of Skyrim.

Buy Now
https://www.amazon.com/Elder-Scrolls-Online-PC-Mac/dp/B0081Q58AW
4. ‘Doom Eternal’

If fast-paced action and intense metal music gets you going, Doom Eternal is the game for you. The fifth title in the iconic franchise, Doom Eternal is a balls-to-the-wall shooter that puts the player in control of the legendary Doom Slayer as he fights to save Earth from hell’s encroaching grasp. Whereas some games reward players for being strategic and hanging back to pick-off enemies, Doom Eternal wants players to get right in enemies’ faces as the more chaotic and up-close the action is the more equipment and health packs the player receives. Similar to Destiny, the game has some beautiful level design and knows exactly how to keep the player engrossed in action, making sure no moments ever feel boring or overly tedious.

Buy Now
https://www.amazon.com/Doom-Eternal-Xbox-One/dp/B07DKKS9X3/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=doom+eternal&qid=1591897670&s=software&sr=8-2
5. ‘Apex Legends’

Another free to play game, Apex Legends is a team-based battle royale that occupies a similar lane to games like Fortnight and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Players choose a character from a unique cast with particular skills and abilities as they race to set points on an encroaching map and try to outfight competing squads of players. Action-packed and incredibly fast-paced, this game- like Destiny- can be enjoyed whether you want to run-and-gun it solo or slow things down a little bit, get strategic and communicate with your teammates as you work to conquer the map.

Buy Now
https://www.ea.com/games/apex-legends
6. ‘Borderlands 2’

It’s hard to pick just one Borderlands game to spotlight, but the second title in the franchise is one of the most action-packed, hilarious games on the market. Borderlands 2 is a first-person action game, set in a hilariously chaotic world, where the player joins a bubbling rebellion against the villainous Handsome Jack. Like Destiny, there is a central story pulling gamers forward, but the most engrossing part of both titles is the sense of infinite exploration and customization. Not only do the various playable characters in Borderlands 2 all have different fighting styles to choose from, but the game has some of the most complex weapons-modification and creation systems I’ve ever experienced.

Buy Now
https://www.amazon.com/Borderlands-2-Xbox-360/dp/B0050SYK44/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=borderlands+2&qid=1591897839&s=videogames&sr=1-4
7. ‘Anthem’

With some of the best RPGs on the market, especially the Mass Effect trilogy, any new title from BioWare is worthy of gamers’ attention. In Anthem, players control a Freelancer-exosuit-clad-warriors on their first mission as they fight to save their planet from an unknown force that litters the world with monsters and distorts reality. The game has been criticized for being repetitive at moments, but its impressive combat mechanics, customizable character layouts and the engrossing shared world makes it a worthy title for anyone looking for a Destiny replacement. If gamers prefer fighting bad guys on their own, Anthem allows them to drop the co-op elements and shoulder all the stress of saving the world solo as well.

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https://www.amazon.com/Anthem-Standard-PC/dp/B07DLWKQKC
8. ‘Risks of Rain 2’

The first Risks of Rain was a side-scrolling action game, but Hopoo Games upgraded things a bit for the sequel. Risks of Rain 2 is just as exciting as its predecessor, but it has been updated to exist in a three-dimensional world, giving players more ability to control their character and explore their surroundings. Either solo or in online teams of up to four characters, players crash land on a planet and have to fight their way through a collection of aliens and monsters who grow tougher every few minutes until they are able to safely escape. The game’s action sequences feel incredibly similar to Destiny’s, but the game’s straightforward nature and the fact that Risks of Rain 2 sends you all the way back to the beginning of a level if you die means players may have to constantly tweak their play styles in order to survive the changing environments.

Buy Now
https://store.steampowered.com/app/632360/Risk_of_Rain_2/
9. ‘Horizon: Zero Dawn’

Dinosaurs and robots are awesome on their own, but smashing them together for the sake of a video game is a work of genius. Horizon: Zero Dawn, set in the 31st century where humans have separated into tribes and huge mechanical beasts roam the land, is an exciting, action-packed game that rewards various play styles. The main campaign is incredibly poignant and rewarding, but, like Destiny, it’s the slick mechanics and engrossing setting that will keep players coming back over and over again. With various skills to build upon and futuristic versions of simple weapons like spears and arrows at your disposal, the way players control Aloy and explore the rugged terrain is up to their own determination.

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https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP9000-CUSA10237_00-HRZCE00000000000
10. ‘Tom Clancy’s The Division 2’

A game set in an unrecognizable post-pandemic America may be a bit too much for certain gamers right now, but for those looking for a fun, layered experience, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is the perfect title. Players control a member of the Strategic Homeland Division as the organization attempts to rebuild and secure Washington D.C. Like Destiny, The Division 2 has an online campaign where players can create a squad together and set out into dangerous terrain on missions. With various skills to unlock and weapons of different rarities to discover and upgrade, Division 2 has a lot more going for it than just an interesting narrative pulling players into its world.

Buy Now
https://store.ubi.com/us/game/?lang=en_US&pid=5b06a3984e0165fa45ffdcc5&dwvar_5b06a3984e0165fa45ffdcc5_Platform=pcdl&edition=Standard%20Edition&source=detail
11. ‘Star Wars Battlefront II’

If players are looking to explore and battle their way across alien settings while gaming, they might as well step foot on planets they’ve seen on the big screen. Star Wars Battlefront II, ironically the fourth overall title in the franchise, is a beautiful, action-packed shooter courtesy of DICE that packs in as much rebel-versus-empire content as possible. No matter what side of the force you fall on, there is fun to be had here as you battle across various planets with multiple class load-outs to choose from. With the re-introduction of a campaign after the preceding title focused exclusively on online multiplayer modes, Battlefront II is one of the most well-rounded galactic video-game experiences currently available.  

Buy Now
https://www.ea.com/games/starwars/battlefront/star-wars-battlefront-2/buy
12. ‘Gunfire Reborn’

The newest title on this list, Gunfire Reborn is an entertaining, cartoony first-person shooter where players control a killer cat. With various weapon upgrades and side-items to incorporate into your fighting style, Gunfire Reborn enables gamers of various play-styles to mold their own experience. It’s not a massive game, so if you’re looking for the open-endedness of Destiny this isn’t the title for you, but it’s fast-paced action and unique dungeon designs scratch similar itches.

Buy Now
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1217060/Gunfire_Reborn/
13. ‘Death Stranding’

Hideo Kojima, the creator of the Metal Gear franchise, roared back onto the gaming scene after splitting from Konami with 2019s Death Stranding. Set in a futuristic United States where interdimensional monsters roam the Earth, the title follows Sam Bridges (played by The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus), a member of a courier service who has to survive the barren landscape and deliver supplies to isolated communities. Death Stranding is a solitary experience, so there’s no shared world like there is in Destiny, but the two titles have a similar sense of exploration and some beautifully developed environments.

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https://www.playstation.com/en-us/games/death-stranding-ps4/
14. ‘Titanfall 2’

The original Titanfall stuck to online multiplayer modes, but 2016s follow up, Titanfall 2, added a comedic, action-packed single-player campaign for gamers to sink their teeth into. An intense first-person-shooter that feels similarly fast-paced to Destiny when players are stuck in the middle of an intense fire-fight, TItanfall 2 is slick and addictive enough to make players search for new matches all night. There are a lot of games with unique exoskeletons and mech-suits, but donning a Titan is an incredibly enjoyable experience that adds a new set of mechanics to the game. Whether players are sliding around, running on walls or grappling from building to building, the fluid movement makes Titanfall 2 one of the most exciting and fast-paced shooters currently available.

Buy Now
https://www.ea.com/games/titanfall/titanfall-2/buy
15. ‘Halo 3’

Before Bungee unleashed Destiny on the world, it solidified itself as a legendary game developer with Halo 3. The final game in the franchise’s original trilogy, players control Master Chief as he labors to stop the devastating war with the Covenant and the parasitic alien species referred to as the Flood. Even today, 13 years after the title was first released, the graphics hold up and the multiplayer modes are full of skilled players searching for matches.  With slick first-person-shooter mechanics and a wide range of aliens to tear into, Halo 3 and Destiny scratch similar itches for anyone ready to unleash their combat skills on the cosmos.

Buy Now
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/halo-3/bsxzvk24cmr3?SilentAuth=1&activetab=pivot:overviewtab