Top 8 Games Like "Mass Effect" (Series)
What Games Are Like Mass Effect?
It's disheartening to see the current state of Bioware, the studio behind the grandiose Mass Effect franchise. Their latest games have been failures. Since then, they moved onto Anthem, an online action RPG, which is not doing well as of now.
With Bioware unlikely to do a sequel to this epic RPG series, let's look at some games like Mass Effect.
Games Similar to Mass Effect
- Call of Cthulhu
- Elder Scrolls Online
- Destiny 2
- Fallout New Vegas
- Black Desert Online
- The Elder Scrolls V: Special Edition
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
1. Call of Cthulhu
Should I recommend this atmospheric horror game to a Mass Effect fan? Will you like it? If you loved the choice based RPG elements of the Mass Effect series, you’ll love what Call of Cthulhu beings to the table.
Developed by Cyanide Studios and published by Focus Home Interactive, Call of Cthulhu puts you in the shoes of Pierce, a private investigator in 1942. When he is tasked with uncovering dark secrets of a family, he reluctantly takes on the task, only to learn that something much more sinister is going on.
As soon as you arrive in town, horror will strike you. Something is amiss here. You just can’t put your finger on it. Every inhabitant of the town is weird in their own way, and you'll soon understand why. What seems like a simple survival horror game transforms into psychological warfare mid-way as our protagonist struggles to separate delusions from reality.
You will also feel the brunt as you try various alternatives to keep him alive and going. If you love Lovecraftian stories, you’ll most likely love this experience.
The more you explore, the more bits of the story you uncover. Everything becomes a little clearer. This game rewards you for taking your time and exploring every nook and cranny of the Darkwater Island. Rest of the story, especially the ending, will depend upon your extent of investigations and exploration.
2. Elder Scrolls Online
Elder Scrolls Online has divided the fanbase of this long-running franchise. Some people absolutely love the idea of questing with others, while others are pissed about having to share a grandiose world with other players. I was one of the many skeptical fans when ZeniMax Studios announced they are working on an Elder Scrolls MMORPG. However, I am glad to report that I was wrong.
Elder Scrolls series has always excelled at making you the center of every clash. The fate of the whole world is usually resting on your shoulders, the only savior. The idea of sharing the world with other players is a turn-off.
Despite a rocky launch with tons of bugs, developers have continued to add more to the game while fixing the existing bugs. As a result, not only has the game garnered a lot of positive responses from critics and players alike, it has also brought back players who had left initially.
3. Destiny 2
One of the major complaints about the original Destiny was a lacking storyline. Bungie listened to their fanbase and hit the nail right on its head with the main storyline in Destiny 2. It’s very well-done.
At times, you feel as if you’re playing a single player, story-driven game. Being a good game, however, hasn’t come to the rescue of Destiny 2. The fanbase has flocked to Warframe, a similar style game, partly because of sneaky monetization practices. The player base has hit an all-time low.
To make it worse, the game is clearly lacking in long-term engagement. Once you breeze through the storyline, there is nothing to keep you hooked. However, the recent expansion called Forsaken has helped revive this game a bit.
Destiny is a series with a lot of promise. The lore is fascinating, the gunplay is ever so satisfying, and graphics are breathtaking. More content is what this struggling shooter needs.
After sinking in a couple of hours into Destiny 2, I felt as if I was rinsing and repeating the same thing over and over. It stopped being fun after a while.
However, if the recent expansion is any indication, things are looking better. They’re actively trying to repair the relationship with their fans and earn their trust back.
4. Fallout New Vegas
Developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published by Bethesda, Fallout New Vegas is a spin-off entry into the Fallout franchise and also the best game of the series. Don’t get me wrong; I loved Fallout 3. New Vegas, however, had more charm and depth.
You can choose to side with a any faction and fight their wars to help carry their agenda forward. The choices you make will affect your gameplay significantly. You can make the world a better or worse place by your decisions. In a place where everybody has a hidden sinister agenda and nobody is squeaky lean, who would you side with?
There is something about the Fallout New Vegas’s world that makes me keep revisiting the game every now and then. Thanks to modders, this game is still a favorite of tons of gamers all across the world. Modders continue to improve stuff, add new gameplay mechanics, and new storylines.
I have clocked in more than 200 hours into this game. You could easily spend more than double my time. It's a time sinker.
5. Black Desert Online
Black Desert Online is a South Korean action MMORPG out on Xbox One, PS4, and PC. Released only in Korea back in 2014, this game found its way all across the world in the next couple of years as the developer allowed access to this game for more countries.
The first thing that will strike you as you boot up the game is how beautiful everything looks. The character models are especially gorgeous. The combat mechanics is one of the best I have ever come across. Enemies will feel every single hit of yours. They just won't stand still and soak up all the damage.
With a combo-oriented, non-target combat system, it moves away from traditional MMORPG ways and ventures into the unknown territory. The risk has paid off for the developers as the game has become wildly popular all over the world, especially in South Korea.
Black Desert Online is not without its fair share of problems, though. While the graphics and combat are its strong draws, framerate still needs a lot of improvement. On top of that, the lack of endgame is hurting the longevity of this game. I am not sure how they're planning to keep the players engaged for a long period of time.
Thankfully, these issues aren’t deal-breakers. Black Desert Online is one of the best games to come out of South Korea. If it’s available in your country, give it a go.
6. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition
Developed and published by Bethesda Studios, Skyrim is an open-world RPG released back in 2011 for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3. The special edition of this game launched in late 2016 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC with updated graphics and some more bug fixes. It’s still the same game, just with a few tweaks. If you’re planning on picking up this game, I suggest you go for this version - the latest and the best.
You play as a convicted criminal who is about to be beheaded for his crimes. A dragon strikes the village and the commotion results in your life being spared. After a brief tutorial section, you're dumped into a huge world. You start your journey with nothing and work your way upwards to becoming a Dragonborn – a savior of the world. You’ll learn to fight with longswords, cast hundreds of spells, play songs and, some mystical dragon shouts along the way.
The game never compels you to do any of these though. If you won’t explore enough, it’s quite possible that you’ll miss most of these elements. It will still be a fun game, but not as fun if you take your time to explore every nook and cranny.
With hundreds of hours of main and side quests, you won’t run out of things to do anytime soon.
7. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Witcher 3 brings an end to the saga of our dogged protagonist, Geralt of Rivia, a witcher who hunts monsters for money. The final installment of this grandiose franchise sees our beloved witcher searching for Ciri, his estranged adopted daughter. His search leads him to a world full of treachery, chaos, and mayhem.
The world is so huge it'll easily take over 100 hours if you want Geralt to take care of everything from monster and treasure hunting to taking on trivial side quests. However, whizzing through only the main campaign should take significantly less time.
However, I'll strongly suggest you to not overlook its side quests. Its seemingly inconsequential side quests will impact your playthrough, one way or the other. If you're looking for a game like Mass Effect series, The Witcher 3 will not disappoint you.
Developed by Bioware and published by EA, Anthem is an MMORPG with a mixture of familiar Mass Effect style RPG elements, punctuated with some borrowed mechanics from the likes of The Division and the Destiny series.
Before you raise your hackles, I want you to take a look at the embedded gameplay and then be the judge yourself. I know, even the mention of EA is enough to dissuade gamers from considering that particular game. Anthem, however, is a genuine deal.
It might not have the depth and grandeur of Mass Effect series, particularly when it comes to an emotionally resonating storyline, but Anthem packs a punch where it matters. Still in the early stages, this game launched to a mediocre reception. EA is seen as a villain, so it's not really a surprise. Give this game a go and judge it yourself.
Did I miss out on any other games like Mass Effect? Let me know in the comments section.