9 Games Like Skyrim - Popular Action Role-Playing Games
Fantasy Action RPGs - 9 Games Like Skyrim
Craving epic role-playing games like Skyrim? Try this list of popular open world RPGs that will let you explore large fantasy worlds while you complete countless quests.
Skyrim is the fifth edition in the Elder Scrolls franchise and features a massive open game world along with many deep role-playing mechanics. The game is highly praised by fans and critics as being a standout action RPG, winning many Game of the Year awards. The title is also popular in the mod community with thousands of mods extending the life of the game thanks to new quests, locations, art and gameplay.
I'll admit that I didn't really enjoy the Elder Scrolls series before Skyrim, but it truly blew me away. Hundreds of hours later I still love to load up my current Skyrim game, get on my horseback and ride from one side of the game to the other.
From the time I first played Skyrim I've been searching for similar experiences to enjoy so I hope you like my favourites below. Please share your own opinions in the comment section and let me know about any that I have missed.
Which Elder Scrolls Game Is Your Favourite?
Vote For The Best In The Elder Scrolls Franchise (Main Games Only)
All images on this page have been provided by publisher media departments for the purpose of critique.
Games Like Skyrim
Action Role-Playing Games
The Elder Scrolls (Series)
Fans of the Elder Scrolls series may think that this is a blatantly obvious option to include on this page. However, don't forget that many gamers were introduced to the Elder Scrolls series with Skyrim and simply do not consider the previous games in the series after they enjoy it so much.
If you are yet to experience other games in the Elder Scrolls series, then the previous games are a great place to start and will help build up the world of Skyrim once you understand more about the background of the series.
The two games before Skyrim (Oblivion and Morrowind) still offer similar gameplay and the graphics still hold okay against modern game. Due to their age I would not purchase Morrowind outside of GOG.com who specialise in making older games compatible with newer systems.
If you aren't too worried about weaker graphics then consider travelling back to the previous games in the series before you play the others featured on this page.
The Elder Scrolls Franchise
The Infernal City
Lord of Souls
Morrowind (Tribunal, Bloodmoon)
Oblivion (Knights of the Nine, Shivering Isles)
Elder Scrolls Online
Skyrim (Dawnguard, Hearthfire, Dragonborn)
Elder Scrolls : History and Lore
1 - Age of Conan
A Free-to-Play Option
With plenty of people seeking free-to-play alternatives to Skyrim, Age of Conan is the first game to be featured on this page.
While a free-to-play game (and an MMO at heart) the game has many elements that make it a similar experience to Skyrim that is worth considering if you're a little light on money but still want a deep role-playing experience.
Graphically the game is beautiful, especially when turned up to max. There is plenty of good variety in the game locations as well to keep things interesting and encourage exploration in a similar way to Skyrim. Combat also has a Skyrim-like feel to it with an action RPG approach that allows you to swing your sword and dodge attacks with proper timing.
Class and race options provide plenty of depth, which when combined with the lore in the game world lets you carve out your own story. Thanks to its MMO roots it is also a game that you can easily tackle with friends while also adding a great end-game experience through the likes of high level PvP.
Age of Conan Gameplay
2 - Dragon Age (Series)
A Popular Role-Playing Franchise With Great Strategy Elements
Dragon Age is a popular RPG series with a dark fantasy setting that is based on party mechanics. The original game, Dragon Age: Origins, was released in 2009 with Dragon Age 2 in 2011 and Dragon Age: Inquisition in 2014
Dragon Age offers many similar features to Skyrim, like gender selection and comparable character archetypes (Rogue, Mage and Warrior). The world also shares a fantasy setting and a deep amount of lore for players willing to explore it.
Players will quickly fall in love with the characters and environments of the Dragon Age game series. Combined with the extensive customisation options and near-endless gameplay hours, Dragon Age is a great game that keeps delivering new adventures just like Skyrim.
It is important to note that the console and PC versions of Dragon Age offer slightly different combat mechanics, with the PC version of the game offering more strategic combat and the one that I encourage players to purchase if they have a PC with the system requirements.
I played both of the Dragon Age games on my PC and loved everything about them and I'm sure you will too. The RPG elements were well-polished and provided enough depth that I didn't feel overwhelmed, but also felt there was enough strategy to use in the later stages of the game when it becomes important.
As the games have some connections starting with the first game is my recommendation.
Dragon Age Release Summary (Main Games Only)
Game (Year of Release)
Metacritic Score (PC)
Dragon Age: Origins (2009)
Windows, Mac, PS3, Xbox 360
Dragon Age II (2011)
Windows, Mac, PS3, Xbox 360
Dragon Age: Inquisition (2014)
Windows, Mac, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
3 - Dark Souls (Series)
One of the Toughest Games Around
Dark Souls is an action RPG originally developed for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, with a PC port released in August 2012 (Prepare To Die edition). Dark Souls is one of the few games that comes close to offering a similar level of detail to Skyrim and will appeal to hardcore gamers especially.
The game is well known for its steep difficulty level, granting it the title of one of the most hardcore dark fantasy RPGs available. Gameplay mostly involves dungeon crawling through various environments in a dark fantasy setting. Its difficulty stems from the way in which achievement and rewards work along with penalties for death.
The only safe game areas are the bonfires which are scattered scarcely around the game world. These bonfires serve as saving points and allow players to regenerate various statistics, but also re-spawn all non-boss enemies.
If you are after a challenging fantasy game then Dark Souls will not disappoint. Darks Souls 2 is particularly difficult and the more polished experience of the two, which is why I recommend you play it over the original.
Dark Souls II Gameplay
4 - Fallout 4, 3 and Fallout New Vegas
A Post-Apocalyptic Game
Fallout 4, 3 and Fallout New Vegas offer post-apocalyptic role playing at its finest. These three titles are the latest additions to the Fallout series and offer a great mix of FPS and RPG style gameplay with an amazing backdrop.
The Fallout games drop you in the middle of a post-apocalyptic environment and let you control the story. You can either become a feared villain or the saviour of the wasteland. As you explore the vast environment you'll level up and invest in stats and skills that cater to your preferred play-style.
While the game doesn't share Skyrim's fantasy-style setting it does offer countless hours of gameplay, plenty of build customisation and countless side quests, each with their own unique backstory.
The most unique feature of the Fallout franchise though is VATS, an automatic targeting system that allows you to pause time (slow it down in Fallout 4) and select the particular part of your enemy you wish to fire on. This is great for those that want to play but aren't very good at FPS games.
My favourite was definitely Fallout 3, but that is simply because I liked the game setting and direction compared to Fallout New Vegas. Both of them are truly amazing experiences in terms of game mechanics. Fallout 4 is equally impressive but leans more towards shooter than role playing game so your preference will depend on your ideal game.
Fallout Games - The Games in The Fallout Series
Fallout 4 Trailer
5 - The Witcher (Series)
A Medieval Fantasy Game
The Witcher games are based on a series of books by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski.
The game takes place in a similar setting to Skyrim and focuses on the Witchers, who are powerful hunters with various special abilities.
The game offers very fun and exciting combat and combined with its interesting main storyline The Witcher game series is great. The original game scored 81 on Metacritic with the second scoring a high 88.
I agree with Metacritic in this case and suggest players start their adventure with the second game in the series (which can be seen below).
The most interesting and unique gameplay feature is the moral decisions that the player faces throughout their journey. These decisions aren't your standard black and white choices making it very difficult to decide which path to take.
Witcher 3 is particularly impressive thanks to the breadth of the game world, the large number of free DLCs released and refined combat. If you're wondering where to start your Witcher experience I can't recommend the third game enough.
The Witcher Release Summary (Main Games Only)
Game (Year of Release)
The Witcher (2007)
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (2011)
Windows, Mac, Xbox 360
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (2015)
Windows, Mac, PS4, Xbox One
The Witcher 3 Gameplay
6 - Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
A Great Single Player Role-Playing Game
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is an action RPG with hack and slash elements that is available on Windows (PC), Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
The game offers five different game regions, four races to play and three different class trees (Warrior, Rogue and Mage) with each offering a variety of different abilities.
As you gain experience and level up you earn ability points to improve the skills of your choosing (standard RPG levelling). Players can also gain positive buffs for their characters (called destinies) by completing Faction-specific quests.
The game uses an exciting combat system that involves a mixture of cutscenes and button timing. Players also have access to a slow motion mode if they acquire enough fate points during a battle. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is definitely worth a look for any RPG fan and one of my favourite stand alone games.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - For PC, Xbox 360 and PS3
Kingdoms of Amalur : Reckoning Review
7 - Red Dead Redemption
A Western Style Open World Role-Playing Game
Red Dead Redemption offers a massive open world that fans of Skyrim will enjoy.
The game takes place in the Wild West (1911 to be exact) and follows the story of a former outlaw as he brings his old gang mates to justice. Red Dead Redemption features a mortality system that changes how NPCs interact with you based on your honour level.
The game also features side quests, random events (ambushes, animal attacks and hostage situations), side activities (bounty hunting, duels and gambling) to create a compelling gameplay experience.
With its massive open world that players can explore, Red Dead Redemption makes for a great game. The experience is one that you will return to many times (like I did) so there is no debate on getting your monies worth from Red Dead Redemption.
Red Dead Redemption - Grab a Game of the Year Edition
8 - Fable (Series)
A Series Of Games
Fable is an action role-playing series that is available on Xbox, Xbox 360, Windows and Mac. The game series currently has three games released in 2004, 2008 and 2010.
The Fable series takes place in a fictional world in the nation of Albion. As RPGs the Fable games have a strong focus on character development but also has a strong focus on NPCs, trading, story-telling, relations and fighting.
Players can directly influence their characters advancement towards various attributes including strength, magic and social skills. Like many modern RPGs, Fable also includes moral decisions into its gameplay which directly effects how people treat you (in either a positive or negative way).
Fable 2 and Fable 3 introduced co-operative play into the mix, making the Fable series a great game to play with friends. Unfortunately Fable 3 was quite a let down and after the shut down of Windows Live the game is no longer being digitally produced making it hard to find a copy of the game. Accordingly I recommend playing the first two games only.
Fable Release Summary (Main Games Only)
Game (Year of Release)
Windows, Mac, Xbox, Xbox 360
Fable II (2008)
Xbox 360, Xbox One
Fable III (2010)
Windows, Xbox 360
Fable 3 GameplayClick thumbnail to view full-size
9 - Mass Effect (Series)
A Sci-Fi Role-Playing Game
Mass Effect is a popular and critically acclaimed sci-fi RPG. While the game setting is worlds away from Skyrim, the core RPG gameplay elements and open-world experience are definitely there.
Mass Effect has a trilogy of games under its belt and plays out from a third-person perspective, following the journey of Commander Shepard as he tries to save the galaxy.
You'll be able to pick and choose your followers and even have relationships with them in this realistic RPG.Mass Effect will please many RPG fans with its interesting storyline, intelligent AI, countless side missions and moral decision tree.
It is very easy to get lost in the universe of Mass Effect, as it is very detailed and has great immersion. I generally don't like games with a sci-fi setting but something about Mass Effect meant I could not put it down.
Due to the heavy story based gameplay and the fact that Mass Effect allows you to carry over saves between games (allowing your decisions and character to continue all the way through the game) I strongly recommend playing them in order. As the story arc has now finished you can find bundles with all 3 games on the major platforms which are convenient and generally cheaper than purchasing individually.
Mass Effect Release Summary (Main Games Only)
Game (Year of Release)
Mass Effect (2007)
Windows, PS3, Xbox 360
Mass Effect 2 (2010)
Windows, PS3, Xbox 360
Mass Effect 3 (2012)
Windows, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U