10 RPGs That Are As Good As Skyrim

There’s more quests to be had and wrongs to right beyond the snowy land of Skyrim.

10 of the best RPGs for those who can't get enough slipping into the shoes of mighty heroes and exploring wondrous worlds.

Six years beyond its release and Skyrim remains one of the most played role-playing games. For veterens of the genre who like the game, it's a wonderful execution of character and adventure customization. For newcomers, it's one of the most fun and immersive experiences they have playing. Even still, there are times when there are no more lands to explore or quests to undertake but you still want to scratch that same itch. Compiled below are ten games that deliver on that same level of immersion, excitement, and fun as Skyrim.

10. The Elder Scrolls Online

The Elder Scrolls Online gameplay.

One need not venture far from the actual region of Skyrim. In fact, one can still play as a proud Nord if that's there persuasion. Taking place a thousand years before the Dovahkiin, Tamriel is divided between three alliances, the Aldmeri Dominion consiting of the Altmer, Bosmer, and Kaijit, the Ebonheart Pact consisting of the Dnumer, Nords, and Argonians, and the Daggerfall Covenant consisting of the Brentons, Redgaurds, and Orcs. As if a continent at war wasn't enough, giant constructs called Dark Anchors have appeared in the sky and are attempting to pull the world into the realm of Oblivion. It will take a great many heroes to save the world this time and luckily this game is an MMORPG. All the fun of Skyrim with the friends and guildmates at your side.

Delving the dwemer dungeons with friends.

Charging into battle axes drawn, but you’re not alone this time.

9. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind gameplay.

Not quite ready for the expansiveness of all Tamriel or the massively multiplayer environment? No problem. Newcomers might forget that Skyrim is only a late title in a long series of Elder Scrolls games. Morrowind is a venerated title that laid out much of what made Skyrim good, intricate character customization, deeply constructed world, numerous side quests, and a good amount of time just getting to your next objective.

In the Aldmeri Dominion, all of the guards are “the bad cop.”

The game boasts wonderful environments.

8. Dragon Age: Origins

Want a breath of fresh air all together? Origins has one of the coolest methods of getting invested that I've seen in an RPG and it's right in the name. When you pick a race and class, you will be given origin options. This choice dictates where your character came from in terms of culture and social strata before they are recruited into the equal-opportunity Grey Wardens. Effectively, you spend your tutorial not as a blank sleight but in a society where you have a history and connections. From there it's a story with little easy solutions as scenarios that seem straight forward have bone chilling, gut wrenching, and morally confusing twists beneath the surface.

Fighting the Darkspawn with always loyal Alistair.

Your companions. Yes, even the dog.

7. Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn

Anyone who likes role playing video games should seriously consider playing Dungeons and Dragons as a tabletop game. While the fun of that comes less from the setting and character classes, it doesn't hurt and Baldur's Gate can be a good introduction. The story waste's no time in grabbing you as the first thing that happens in the game is you and your friends being captured. After you escape, you must decide which of the many factions across the world you wish to support. Being a Bioware game though, most of the highlights come from the interesting characters and their interactions.

The party fighting a many eyed Beholder.

The dialogue options in this game are very elaborate.

6. Dark Souls 3

Beyond it's infamous difficulty, the Dark Souls franchise deserves immense props for its dizzylingly deep lore. At the same time, it doesn't force the player to understand it. The story of Lothric is shocking to those who seek it but not neccesary for pure survival. To say anymore would potentially spoil but the point is, the story is good and in itself a surprise meant to be experienced firsthand. The role the player takes in this game is similar to the previous two entries, as soon as their character is created they are undead. The reason for your ressurection is to fufill a prophecy that will keep the world from spiraling into anihilation. If you like story and a game that makes your victories actually feel triumphant, check it out.

The scary part of this picture isn't the dragon. It's that this is the most normal thing you've fought thus far.

Enemies come in such disturbing shapes and sizes, you don’t really understand the threat until it’s too late.

5. Pillars of Eternity

Like a lot of RPGs, there is some matter of lineage in Pillars of Eternity. Considered a successor to the previously mentioned Baldur's Gate, it also has a certain similarity to Dragon Age: Origins. Specifically, this is another game where you get to define your character's background before the inciting incident of the plot thrusts them into the grand conflict besiging the world. In particular, the world of Eora is in a time of strife. Souls have become tools and energy sources allowing for rapid advancement. Your character becoming a being called the Watcher, who has unique powers to interact with souls, seals your importance to the world around you.

Another in-depth dialogue tree to get into character.

An advantage of the top-down view is unique and colorful designs to help draw the eye better.

4. Black Desert Online

All this talk of in-depth role play is good and Black Desert Online certainly has it, but some people are more immersed into the world by making said world look both spectacular but also tangible. Black Desert serves that purpose well. Unlike many RPGs, the combat in Black Desert plays more similar to Devil May Cry or Metal Gear Rising than World of Warcraft, stringing together combos and darting about. On the level of graphic and presentation, the game is jaw dropping. Sand swirls in the wind, the light gleams from the sunset, the cracks upon the surface of a stony golem are clerly visible even from a distance. This game is for those RPG players who just want to kick ass but feel like they're fighting more than a target.

Character customization is dizzyingly extensive.

You’ll get psyched when you remember you’ll be fighting this thing hack and slash combo style.

3. Planescape: Torment

Returning to another D&D setting, though a different one from Baldur's Gate, Planescape: Torment is for the role players that want to be surprised by a character that they create. Your character is amnesiac but rather than this being used as a blank sleight so the character can be reasonably skilled with no need to write a specific backstory, just exactly who you are is the driving conflict of the story. Your companions are not just fellow travelers you pick up along the way, some of them know more about the powers that be and your own past than they let on at first. It's a game that serves as one of the best examples of the RPG genre but subverts every typical trope usually in play. Laslty, being set in planescape means you end up journeying to many different worlds so the scale of events isn't just continental, it's interdimensional. For those who really want something new to just blow them away.

Sigil, the City of Doors. Where you can get anything, go anywhere, meet anyone, just don't break the one rule. Don't f**k with Aria The Lady of Pain.

Noticing a pattern here?

2. Fallout 4

Fallout 4 gameplay.

Swords, sorcery, dragons, and deities these elements have their place in many stories, but sometimes you want to roleplay in a setting without most or any of these. The post-apocalyptic Wasteland is just as layered and deep as Thedas, Westeros, or Middle-Earth but is an old-fashioned, modern, and frighteningly plausible future all at once. This installment gets you invested in a way that will hit many of us right in our hearts, teasing happiness and then having everything violently ripped away. Unlike in the previous games, we see the world before the bombs hit, we even have a family. After extended cryo-stasis however, we wake up to see our spouse murdered, our child kidnapped, and our world destroyed. The journey from there takes you to Boston, a community amidst the chaos of the Wasteland as you search for your child and try to find a place in this world you've been thrust into. This setup is greatly immersive as the character's thoughts and reactions would likely mirror that of the player who lives in a modern world being thrust into this future of war and survival.

Power armor is now customizable to fit your taste.

Be a part of American history by joining the Minutemen.

1. The Witcher 3

For those thinking that Game of Thrones is getting too hopeful, here's the Witcher 3. The Witcher's protagonist starts from a fairly conventional place in terms of fantasy heroes. He's trained and empowered by an order of monster hunters called Witchers who are shunned by the common folk out of fear. From there, too much happens to recount in short order but suffice it to say Geralt's most dangerous adversaries are not the monsters he hunts out of little more than professional obligation and habit but the plots and conspiracies woven around him. The game is deeply immersive despite, and perhaps because of, having a well defined character. The player's choices have massive ramifications on exactly who Geralt is as a character and none of it seems contrived for the kind of man that he is, which speaks to the strength of the writing. By the time of The Witcher 3, there are so many characters and factions to play off of and vying for power while the stakes remain at a fever pitch that it really does feel like the video game version of Game of Thrones. Take that as enough recommendation if you wish but even if you don't like that show, this game is bound to enthrall.

You may have fought monsters as an amateur adventurer, but being a Witcher is going pro.

Far from being a sidequest, Geralt’s choice of love interest has a big impact on the plot.

RPGs provide some of the most memorable moments for gamers who play them. At once they fufill fantasies we could never live but provide enough genuine human connection for those fantastical stakes to actually mean something when the time comes for the final battle or emotional climax. At their best, RPGs leave impacts on us that remain with us for much of our lives and even influence who we are as people. I hope this list has inspired you to hunt down some new experiences.

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Professional Paladin, Paragon till death, writer of tales where evil gets its teeth kicked in, I play games where there are wrongs to be righted and bad guys to be fought.
Gamer Since: 1998
Favorite Genre: RPG
Top 3 Favorite Games:Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance , Mass Effect 2, Alan Wake
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