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.
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.
Related: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Review
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 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.
Related: Greedfall Review
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.
Related: Red Dead Redemption 2 Review
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.
Related: Horizon: Zero Dawn Review
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 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.
Related: Elden Ring Review
Those are the 12 best games to try out if you like Skyrim. Whether you’re looking for a similar setting or just want an open world to explore, you’ll find something for you. You can check out our reviews of the games, and find guides to help you through them, in our game hubs.