Top 8 Enthralling Games Like "Horizon Zero Dawn" Everyone Should Play
What Games Are Like "Horizon Zero Dawn"?
Horizon Zero Dawn surprised everyone, including critics, with its vast open world and complex storyline. Guerilla Games, the developers behind this masterpiece, outdid themselves. Think about it. Their last game was Killzone 3, which was more of a tech demo to show off the PS4’s hardware prowess.
I wasn’t expecting a lot from this game, but it blew me away with its quest design and open-world gameplay. There aren’t a lot of games with a nice balance between open-world exploration and solid storytelling, Guerilla Games sure has pulled it off quite well.
Being a PS4 exclusive, you may be limited by the console you own. Luckily, I have compiled a list of some similar games to Horizon Zero Dawn, most of which are available on multiple platforms.
Games Similar to Horizon Zero Dawn
- Red Dead Redemption 2
- Skyrim: Remastered Edtion
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
- Monster Hunt: World
- Dragon Age: Inquisition
- Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
- Far Cry: Primal
1. Red Dead Redemption 2
People have been waiting for a sequel of 2009’s Red Dead Redemption for a long time. And boy, has it been worth the wait!
The hype was real, especially after what they’d done with GTA 5, their previous game. By looking at the reactions and reviews, it’s safe to say that Rockstar’s latest action-adventure game has somehow exceeded everyone’s expectations.
For the first time ever in a Rockstar game, there is choice-based gameplay. You will have more than a few ways to tackle a scenario. Go all guns blazing or get talking instead—it’s up to you. The world will react and take shape according to your decisions.
Gunplay feels a little clunky, but once you get used to it, it’s fun. I wish they tweak it a little bit to make it better. Other than that, it’s hard to pinpoint anything wrong with this game.
What’s impressive is how everything in the world is so detailed despite being such a huge game. It’s impossible to walk in a direction for five minutes and not come across anything intriguing. I constantly found myself drawn by the side and random activities in the middle of the main quests. There is so much to do and see it’s often distracting.
If you still haven’t got your hands on RDR 2, now is the time to redeem yourself.
2. Skyrim: Remastered Edition
The remastered edition of Skyrim breathes new life into this 2011 game. The original Skyrim was launched back in 2011, instantly becoming a darling of critics and fans alike. To this date, a lot of players are still playing the original game. While it still gives contemporary RPGs a run for their money, there is no denying it looks outdated. If you’re planning to pick it up, the remastered version is the way to go. It’s the same game in a better disguise.
Now that you know which edition you should pick up, let’s talk about why Skyrim is one of the best games like Horizon Zero Dawn.
If you ignore its dated engine, everything else has aged exceptionally well. After the first few minutes of adrenaline-fueled tutorial, Skyrim opens its intriguing winter world in its entirety for you to explore. Except for a tiny quest marker, the game doesn’t tell you anything else. You’re free to approach the game how you want. This freedom is almost overwhelming for someone who just escaped a death sentence.
Skyrim might not have an intriguing narrative or compelling combat mechanics, but it excels at immersing you in its fantastical yet believable world full of rich stories. You will become a part of it. If you want to uncover the lore, you must do a lot of exploring—which means sinking at least 100 hours into this game.
3. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild
Breath of the Wild is the latest game from the Zelda series to land on Wii U and Nintendo Switch. It seems as if Nintendo has taken cues from other open-world games and introduced similar mechanics, and Breath of the Wild is all the better for it.
While it undoubtedly borrows some stellar ideas from games like The Witcher 3 and Skyrim, it still retains its trademark Zelda identity. The amalgamation of various ideas results in one of the best games ever released for Wii U and Nintendo Switch.
It’s a technical breakthrough that they have achieved, something of such an epic scale, despite the hardware limitations of the Nintendo consoles. The game is so vast and filled with so much detail and things to do that you’ll get lost in it. It’s entirely possible you’ll spend most of the hours wandering aimlessly without thinking about storyline progression. The world is so full of life that it draws you in from the get-go and never lets you go.
The new direction in the Zelda series might be a risky one, but it has paid off handsomely well. Here is hoping that sequel is on the way. After the immense success of Breath of the Wild, it’s all but confirmed.
4. Monster Hunter: World
Developed and published by Capcom, Monster Hunter: World is an action RPG available for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Just like every other RPG series these days, Monster Hunter has gone open-world for the first time, shedding its old ways to embrace the future.
As apparent from the name, this game is all about hunting monsters. You begin the game with almost nothing and hunt them. As you level up, you get access to better gears by crafting new weapons and upgrading your character.
There is a steep learning curve here. If you’re coming on the heels of a usual hack and slash RPG, it will take time to get used to the combat mechanics here. You simply can’t wield a weapon and start swinging it in the hopes that you’ll do damage. There are a lot of variables you need to take into consideration before going into a fight. For starters, there are 14 different weapons to choose from, with each having a disparate control system. What works on a monster won’t necessarily work on another. It’s a game that encourages you to be adaptive and innovative.
If you haven‘t played any Monster Hunter game before, the first few hours will be a little infuriating as you learn the ropes. Thanks to a barebone tutorial section, you must figure some stuff on our own. The game doesn’t hold your hand at any point in time.
5. Dragon Age: Inquisition
If you have not played the previous two Dragon Age games, the initial tossing of lore might overwhelm you. Since Dragon Age: Inquisition is the third installment of the franchise, events occurring in the first two games matter. If you aren’t familiar with those two games, I suggest you take a look at them first before jumping into this one.
A lot of people didn’t like the transition from turn-based to action-oriented combat. I personally find it more engaging. I don’t hate the turn-based combat mechanics in the first game but hack-and-slash is more gratifying.
If you are adamant about finishing everything, it should take you around 100 hours to complete the game. While there are some kill and fetch quests, they are given in such a way they feel like you’re contributing to the world. Besides, some of the side quests are neatly tied into the main storyline. You must do those quests.
The map may initially feel very limited and constricted, but as you progress further, it opens up more, giving you the feel of an open world RPG.
Bioware has created an underrated masterpiece here, which is overshadowed by games like The Witcher 3 and Red Dead Redemption 2. The analogies are inevitable, but it’s unfair. As long as you’re keeping your expectations in check, you’ll have a blast with this open-world action RPG.
6. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
In Mordor, you’re never far away from a fight. Kill the orcs or enslave them to join your army. Every enemy you encounter will have their own set of strengths and weaknesses. To find out more about them, you have to track and subdue the informants scattered all over the world. They’ll tell you the specifics of their Warchiefs. Once you know their weaknesses, you can use it in the fight to defeat them easily.
If you want none of that, you can go straight to the action and go for the glory. The combat will be more challenging with no strategy but not too hard to dissuade you.
If you have played Arkham games before, the combat mechanics will instantly seem familiar to you. While Batman fights with his fists, you’ll have a sword, bow and a dagger in combat scenarios here. The synergy between them makes combat exciting and fun. You can go for the stealth approach with bow and dagger. When it doesn’t work, pull out your sword and go berserk on the orcs. Although the game gets repetitive, it’s such fun that you won't want to stop playing.
7. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
CD Project Red, the developers behind The Witcher series, has been a darling of the gaming community for the last couple of years. With the release of The Witcher 3, their latest action-adventure title, they have set a benchmark for other action-RPGs to come.
After the initial prologue, you're dumped onto a huge map with an unfathomable number of things to do, people to talk to, and secrets to uncover. There’s so much content that you’ll be forgiven to assume that some of them are fillers to lengthen the game. This is where The Witcher 3 is head and shoulders above the rest. The smallest of things matter here. Even the side quests, which might seem trivial, can come back later to haunt you because you made a particular choice in that quest. There’s not much of a difference in the quality of main and side quests, which is a testimony to the amount of work CD Project Red has put into the game.
No matter where you go, there will always be areas crammed with tons of stuff to do. The good thing is, nothing feels like a waste of time. Even though nearly half of the quests are go-there-and-fetch-that, it’s disguised in the form of intriguing stories that’ll make you care about your job as a professional Witcher. The story is full of twists and turns and never pans out the way you expect.
For a game of such epic scale, balancing exploration and narrative-based storytelling is the key-something they have accomplished with mastery. Here is hoping that Cyberpunk 2077, their next open-world project, is as breathtaking as The Witcher 3.
8. Far Cry: Primal
Developed and published by Ubisoft, this spin-off entry takes us back to the Stone Age, where everything from saber-tooths to mammoths wants to kill you. You play as the last surviving hunter of your group, with the only goal of lasting as long as possible.
You start off with limited resources and skills. As you inch your way to the heart of this game, you grow stronger as you learn new abilities, craft new gears, and acquire new skills. The journey from prey to fearsome predator is crammed with tons of main and side quests that will easily take over 25 hours.
Since it’s a hasty spin-off entry, the game doesn’t take itself too seriously and overall experience isn’t as refined. Nonetheless, you’ll still have tons of fun with this game.
Though the other entries in the Far Cry series aren’t very similar to Horizon Zero Dawn, give them a go as well. Far Cry 5, the latest installment in the franchise, for instance, is nothing short of spectacular.
What Games Are on Your Horizon?
Did I miss out on any other games like Horizon Zero Dawn? Let me know in the comments section below.