Fallout’s warped take on a world trying to come back together from the near brink of extinction has become something of a video game mainstay. Often appearing near the top of most gamers’ Best Of lists, it’s no surprise so many games like Fallout take advantage of similar gameplay mechanics and unique (and often macabre) plots.
Taking place in a not-so-far-flung future, the basic set up usually follows setting off onto a savage wasteland that seems out of touch with humanity. From excavating the Nevada desert, scouring for a water ship in New California, or forging the fragmented remains of DC, playing a Fallout game is like getting a brief but beautiful glimpse of alternate history. The scope of this series spans several incarnations, including both single-player games in the form of Fallout 1-4, numerous spin-offs, and a multiplayer experience in Fallout 76.
For fans looking for games like Fallout, Wasteland 2 is a great place to start. It shares a lot of similarities with the first few games, and the vast, barren world could almost be taken directly from the franchise. If you’re looking for another fix of Fallout in your life, then these could be the next best thing.
Metro: Last LightPhoto: Deep Silver
One of Fallout’s most fascinating features is the network of underground vaults that survivors take refuge in. This idea of building a habitable network under a city is even more fully explored in Metro: Last Light, which takes place in a Russian subway system. It shows pockets of how people get by and keep on living, building out a citadel in the cramped confines of a metal tube. In Metro, though survival may seem first on the docket, it’s interesting to see how much of it deals with class warfare and the human struggle. The 2019 follow-up, Metro Exodus, is also worth seeking out.
Why it's worth playing: Unlike Fallout, you can only be on the surface for so long, as there’s limited time to traverse through the polluted air of the surface world, that now serves as a battleground for nuclear abominations. Scavenging for parts for your breathing apparatuses or customizable compressed-air guns take top priority and must be done with much haste, as getting caught out leads to a quick demise.
175An epic game?
- Release: 2013
- Genres (Video game): First-person shooter
- Platform: PC, OS X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Linux
While both games are set in a post-apocytlpic world, Horizon Zero Dawn seems to take a step back in time while the Fallout games are more futuristic. Taking control of Aloy, your decisions help influence the story. Like the Fallout series, gamers are granted tons of different weapons to choose from and abilities to hone, Horizon is one of the best-looking open-world games yet, and is a surprisingly refreshing take on apocalyptic theme.
Why it's worth playing: This one-time PS4 exclusive just oozes beauty, with detailed landscapes and an engrossing plot that only begins to unravel once you've logged a few dozen hours into the game. The game is slow to progress at first, but once the story starts kicking in, you'll be hooked.
2112An epic game?
- Release: 2017
- Genres (Video game): Action role-playing
- Platform: PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows
Though there are zombie-like oppositions in Fallout in the form of ghouls, Dying Light consists of a city of zombies. Zombie apocalypses are anything but new, but Dying Light makes it feel fresher than has in the past. It has an incredibly ornate setting to explore, spread across an architecturally diverse island. This expansive feeling is matched by the range of melee weapons available, many of which can be crafted, resulting in close to over 1000 combinations. You could find yourself wielding a machete that conducts electricity and quickly switching to a medieval broadsword when it breaks.
Why it's worth playing: Running, jumping and soaring across rooftops and improvised structures, Dying Light takes on an extremely mobile and fluid style. One can scale buildings in a matter of mere seconds, with impressive parkour abilities. Chaining together leaps and bounds and sliding dives makes evading the zombie hordes somehow manageable. Throw a grappling hook into the mix and your movement options become exponential. But being able to run from one area to another is only good if what you’re running to is worthwhile. Many of the side quests that fill out this world are surprisingly well crafted, making it not so much what you’re running from, but what you’re running to.
144An epic game?
- Release: 2014
- Genres (Video game): Survival horror, First-person Shooter
- Platform: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows
- Photo: 2K Games
The apocalypse doesn’t have to be all grays and browns. Instead, it can have a lot more psycho-tropical lunacy. Fallout and Borderlands 3 mix in an approach of tongue firmly in cheek, though the latter is brighter, louder and exponentially more in your face. Both titles throw you into the midst of a hazardous world fighting off a cavalcade of slayers and lowlifes while trying to have a little fun along the way.
Why it's worth playing: Borderland’s own marketing material would have you believe there are an unrealistic amount of weaponry for the taking, and it’s not exactly false advertising. It’s really all about teaming up with some friends, leveling up, and getting bountiful firearms with combinations of zany effects.
1210An epic game?
- Release: 2019
- Genres (Video game): Action role-playing, first-person shooter
- Platform: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Google Stadia