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The Top 12 Best Games Like Skyrim

If you're looking for a game like Skyrim, these are the best ones to try.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is an epic open-world game with hours of content that stills has thousands of players over 10 years after its initial release. It’s filled with detailed storylines, varied locations, and nonlinear progression. While its majesty is hard to rival, if you’re looking for other games that have the same features, we’ve got a few for you to take a look at. These are the top 12 best games like Skyrim.

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The Top 12 Best Games Like Skyrim

Skyrim has a large open-world and nonlinear progression that allows you the freedom to explore how you want. All the following games feature some of those elements but branch out to explore other themes. Some have similar Nordic inspirations, while others feature a more modern setting. Kicking off the recommendations are more games in The Elder Scrolls world.

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Oblivion is the game prior to Skyrim. It takes place in Cyrodiil, with the main story focusing on the Oblivion crisis. You quest in search of the only one who can wear the Amulet of Kings — or spend your time rising in the ranks of the Fighter’s Guild. You can descend into darkness with the Dark Brotherhood or learn magic with the Mage’s Guild or spend your days farming and selling goods. Originally released in 2006, it’s available on Steam, Xbox, and PlayStation.

The Elder Scrolls Online

The Elder Scrolls Online is the MMO adaptation of the Elder Scrolls universe. While the reception was initially mixed due to some misaligned lore, the overall feel of ESO is quite close to Skyrim. That’s especially true if you play a Nord or spend most of your time in Skyrim during your playthrough. New content is always being added, and you get the added benefit of updated graphics and playing with friends.

Dragon Age: Inquisition

Moving on to a different franchise, Dragon Age: Inquisition is a strong replacement for Skyrim. It doesn’t have as many race options, but there’s romance, tons of quests, an open-world to explore, and nonlinear game progression. It’s set in a fantasy world with magic, and there are even dragons to fight. It’s one of the best high-fantasy games available, and if you haven’t played it, you’re missing out.

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla

If you’re looking for more Viking content, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla scratches that itch and more. The storyline focuses on Norse Vikings as they attempt to conquer England. It’s open-world with plenty of unique places to explore, from towns to dungeons and a few intriguing secrets. And while there are stealth mechanics at play, this game features a lot of regular RPG mechanics and action, as well. It’s not quite as in-depth as Skyrim and somewhat suffers from Ubisoft syndrome, but it’s one of the very best games in the series and well worth checking out.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher series has always been open-world focused, steeped in fantasy and filled with quests. There’s even Gwent, the card game mini-game that offers dozens of hours of strategic fun by itself. The latest addition to the franchise, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, offers a plethora of quests with nonlinear progression through the story. You can fight wyverns as well, though no full-fledged dragons make an appearance.

Greedfall

Greedfall is a AA title that’s flown under the radar for many. While it has some issues, there’s a lot to love here. It’s heavily focused on character progression, with storytelling being a core strength. The world of Greedfall is smaller than that of Skyrim, but it’s highly detailed with plenty of customization.

Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen

Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen is a cult classic RPG. There’s so much to this game that it rivals Skyrim in many ways. It focuses heavily on the interaction between you and the dragon that’s stolen your heart (Dragonheart, anyone?). Many factions vie for control, and there’s a hefty political aspect to things, as well. Intrigue and action define this Capcom classic. Now is also a good time to play the game, given that a sequel’s been announced.

Red Dead Redemption 2 (Red Dead Online)

Red Dead Redemption 2 and its online counterpart Red Dead Online, may have the flavor of the Wild West, but it’s a great game to dive into after Skyrim. Though the skins and story are different, there are a lot of similarities here, and not just in the amount of content available.

You’re able to explore the whole world full of NPCs and wild animals to hunt. There’s a multitude of side quests, lockpicking, stealth, and plenty of action. Oh, and you can rob trains. Who doesn’t want to do that? And with Red Dead Online, you can take on other players in gangs and create your own Wild West story with friends.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

The smash hit The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is set to be a contender for GotY 2023. It expands on the world of Breathe of the Wild, but features enhanced game mechanics, the ability to create your own creations, and more. It has hours and hours of content, from dungeons to explore, side quests, and items to collect. Despite its look, it can also be as dark as Skyrim, with cryptic enemies and a blood moon.

Horizon: Zero Dawn

Horizon: Zero Dawn is the first game in the expanding Horizon universe. Once you complete the first part of the game, you’re able to explore the world as you please. There are a ton of collectibles to find, side quests to complete, and an interesting main storyline that keeps you on the edge of your seat.

While the enemies are robots, and the post-apocalyptic/past-future setting has plenty of interesting elements to explore, especially for those interested in science fiction. Saying it’s one of the strongest RPGs of the last decade is an understatement. The game’s sequel, Horizon: Forbidden West is another top-tier choice.

Fallout 4

Fallout 4 is another Bethesda game that needs no introduction. While many consider Fallout 3 the zenith of the franchise, it’s the numbered follow-up is well worth delving into (Fallout New Vegas came in between and is another solid choice if the retro-futurist setting appeals to you).

The opposite of The Elder Scrolls, Fallout is a sci-fi-based RPG set in post-apocalypse Boston. This is one of my favorite games, set in one of my favorite places. There’s a large variety of content, it has nonlinear progression, and your choices impact how certain storylines play out. Really.

Elden Ring

Elden Ring may seem out of place in this list as a Souls-like. However, it has a large, non-linear world that you can explore freely, and the sheer number of enemies you can face and the number of collectible items, spells, builds, and more make it a game you can lose hundreds of hours to. As a FromSoft title, there’s a large amount of lore in the game as well, focusing a bit more on the story than other similar titles but nonetheless incredibly intriguing.

Starfield

Because you can’t get enough of Bethesda games, Starfield is the next game to swallow hundreds of hours of your life. Instead of a fantasy world like Skyrim, Starfield unleashes you on the galaxy to do as you please. There are tons of side quests, optional activities, and entire storylines to discover. There’s also a lengthy and engaging storyline to follow.

There are aliens to discover, ancient horrors to unearth, and even a wealth of powers to acquire that will feel right at home for players used to acquiring Dragon Shouts. Bethesda will undoubtedly give tons of DLC, modding tools, and re-releases over the next few years. Indeed, it will be the new “You still play this?” question that players love to spout out anytime Skyrim is mentioned.

Baldur’s Gate 3

Baldur’s Gate 3 is potentially 2023’s Game of the Year, and that’s saying a lot, considering the impressive competition. Much like Greedfall, Baldur’s Gate 3 was made by a smaller studio. Despite that, it has slayed multiple giants in its wake. With a main story lasting 100 hours and countless side quests on top of that, Baldur’s Gate 3 is one of the most comprehensive open-world RPGs ever made.

It has a fascinating main quest, and you have many party members to either recruit or betray. Each one has a lengthy quest attached to them that blends into the main story. Because of that, they all seem important and far from the typical side quest fair. The writing is incredible, the graphics are gorgeous, and the combat introduces the most freedom a CRPG game has ever seen. It’s hard to say enough about Baldur’s Gate 3 because it’s a game that is a mile wide and a mile deep.

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

It’s one of the best games of all time. While many games on this list are fantastic, many either owe their success to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt or were heavily inspired by it. Geralt’s tale is one for the ages, with a gaming experience more in line with Game of Thrones than a video game. It’s gaming excellence at its finest and the best argument for gaming to be as impactful as TV, film, or literature.

Starfield

While it’s attributed to recency, no game has devoured our gaming time like this one. Whether it’s the amazing side quests that pull you into six-hour-long adventures or the sense of wonder that the depths of space can produce. The combat is tight and focused, and the writing is sharp. Add to that countless places to explore, incredible cities on par with anything from Skyrim, and possibly the best main quest Bethesda has ever written, and you’ve got a recipe for one of the greats. There’s simply no game like Starfield

Those are the Top 12 best games like Skyrim — at least in our minds. Finishing a game like The Elder Scrolls 5 is always a tough time because of the emptiness it can instill. If you beat it back in 2011, you had few choices to fill that void. Luckily for us, it’s 2023, and the options for outstanding open-world RPGs are more plentiful than ever.


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Ashley Erickson
Ashley, otherwise known as Glitchiee, is an avid gamer of RPGs, TTRPGS, farming sims, and survival crafting games. Playing since she can remember, she started on the SNES, GameBoy Color, and collection 1st gen Pokemon cards. Using her passion for gaming, she's written about games for a combined total of 2 years.
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Adam Braunstein
Adam Braunstein is a video game writer for Gameskinny a VR expert, actor, and all-around gaming enthusiast. His work has appeared on Attack of the Fanboy, Daily Gamer, VR Fitness Insider and The Nerd Stash. He loves games of all genres and exploring the amazing worlds that video games have to offer.