It has been almost a decade since Todd Howard blessed the world with The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim. Skyrim has captured the imaginations of players worldwide since its initial release on November 11, 2011.
Bethesda has also released a remastered version of the game “The Special Edition” in 2016. Even now, Skyrim still manages to worm its way into a new console every year. Such is its craze.
Millions of people around the world still put thousands of hours into Skyrim every year. But, some of us might have gotten tired of the repetitive dragon-slaying action of this entry. So as an “average Skyrim enjoyer,” I have taken it upon myself to find other games that match its energy. I have grouped these games on what I find to be their core strengths.
Let’s get started on what you can play if you want to scratch that Skyrim itch in 2021.
Best Games Like Skyrim You Can Play
Kingdom Come: Deliverance
If you like the realistic immersion in Skyrim, you’ll like Kingdom Come: Deliverance.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance is different from the other games on this list. Instead of fantasy, it is a very realistic take on open-world role-playing. You won’t be fighting dragons and “Fus Ro Dah’ing” your enemies into their demise… you’ll be learning how to clash swords with guardsmen instead.
You’ll be hunting rabbits and deer to feed yourself. You’ll be taking baths because the village ladies hate dirty men and won’t sell you any beer… and so on.
The quality that makes Kingdom Come like Skyrim is the sheer immersion of the game. The team at Warhorse Studios did an excellent job capturing this feeling of a ‘living’ world. Comparing it with Skyrim, both of these have a massive open world lush environment, with rewarding combat mechanics, moreso in the respect of KCD.
This makes sense, as Kingdom Come is set in 15th century Bohemia, the current Czech Republic. Events in the game are lifted straight from the pages of history. By the end of Kingdom Come, you’ll be a bonafide foot soldier and a significant contributor to the war for the throne of the Czech Republic!
Ok… not really, you won’t actually be a soldier, but you’ll definitely feel that way! The 2018 release date doesn’t hurt either; Kingdom Come: Deliverance is a good choice for any Skyrim fan.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
If you liked the sense of adventure in Skyrim, you’ll like Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the game that sold its console. It solidified the Switch’s status as a mainstream gaming system. Breath of the wild came out with sparkling, perfect reviews.
Breath of the Wild is a story of the purging of four divine beasts from Calamity Ganon’s control. You’re set loose upon an open world, just like Skyrim, that you are free to explore in any order you please.
You’ll be so engrossed in jumping, running, riding, and gliding through towns and villages that you won’t realize you’ve finished the game until it’s too late. Like Skyrim, the game features similar gameplay mechanics such as magic, sword combat, elemental spells, and stamina management.
Switch exclusivity is its biggest weakness. So, if you own a Switch and have the Skyrim itch, you should give The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild a try.
If you liked the open world of Skyrim, you’ll like Fallout 4.
Instead, there’s a little twist to the setting. You don’t hunt dragons. You hunt Deathclaws and other mutated beasts in futuristic 2287 Boston. A nuclear war devastated the world in 2077, and you were one of the lucky ones who made it into a Vault and lived.
Now you are the Vault’s Sole Survivor, ready to be set loose upon the irradiated wasteland, in search of your lost son.
Fallout 4 is enormous, and there’s a lot to do. It lacks in story, but it makes up for it in sheer content. It also has a quality DLC, Far Harbor, a return to form for the franchise. It’s hilarious, it’s dark, it’s fun, it’s “Skyrim with radiation!” as the fans call it now.
What else is there to expect but hours upon hours of getting lost in the wasteland.
Unfortunately, the latest game in the franchise, Fallout 76, is seen by many as Bethesda’s worst game to date. Still, 2015’s Fallout 4 offers the best post-apocalyptic experience for Skyrim fans.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
If you liked the story of Skyrim, you’ll like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
The first two Witcher games were linear story-driven experiences. But, the franchise changed forever when CD Projekt Red released The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in 2015.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is about a witcher, someone who hunts magical beasts for a living. The game takes you to places far beyond the reaches of the mortal realm. Your main quest is to find Ciri, your adopted daughter and Cintra’s future queen.
You’ll be talking to ghosts, fighting Gryphons, hunting man-eating wolves, et cetera. Generally living the life of a mystical mercenary.
So if you enjoyed the gameplay mechanics, the phenomenal atmosphere, and the vast fantasy-filled landscapes of Skyrim, The Witcher 3 will not disappoint.
The 2015 release seems old, but the game was relevant enough to get its own Netflix show in 2019. Almost no game in this list can boast such an achievement.
Dragon Age: Inquisition
If you liked the role-playing aspect of Skyrim, you’ll like Dragon Age: Inquisition.
Dragon Age: Inquisition is epic. That’s the best word to describe it. You’ll realize that it plays differently than Skyrim’s first-person driven open world. But Dragon Age is a fantasy RPG in every definition of the word.
It has questing, looting, raiders, slaying mythical creatures, and a grand story to boot.
You can customize every bit of your character so that you can role-play to the fullest. Dragon Age is set in the immersive world of the Kingdom of Ferelden, and it’s easy to lose days exploring it. Oh, and hunting dragons is also included, so you won’t be missing that here.
Just like The Elder Scrolls series, Inquisition is another timeless classic in the Dragon Age series, with similar combat, lore depth, and scale of the game.
Picking it up now doesn’t feel any different than playing it back in 2014. So you can lurk in the shadows, pretending to be a thief, or walk up to a city hall with sparking armor made for paladins.
If that is what makes you feel immersed in a world, Dragon Age: Inquisition might be the game to play next.
The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion
If you liked the world of Skyrim, you’ll like The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion.
I mean, it makes sense! Skyrim is an Elder Scrolls game, so what better way to relive the fantasy? It’s time to give its older brother, The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion, a try.
Oblivion is my first and favorite Elder Scrolls game, even to this very day. It’s quirkier and more colorful than Skyrim. If the memes are anything to go by, you can see that it embraces this absurdity completely.
Oblivion’s open world is beautiful, and every city in the game has its own distinct personality.
Oblivion’s main strength is its side quests, as we can see the writers flex their muscles here. One of my favorite side quests is about a painter who is trapped in his own painting. The Dark Brotherhood quest-line is also the best assassin side quest in any game.
This is all without even talking about the DLC, The Shivering Isles. The Shivering Isles feels like an entire game in itself. I find it to be the best DLC for any game ever made.
It’s a little intimidating to play Oblivion in 2021. The game has been around for nearly 16 years. But don’t worry. There are guides available online that explain how to patch the game for a more modern experience without destroying the original. There’s one that’s still getting major updates after 16 years.
Oblivion is the obvious next best place to go if you want more Skyrim.
And if you liked Skyrim, why not try Skyrim modding?
Skyrim has the most extensive conversion mods of any game in history. Enderal: Forgotten Stories is an entire game made in the Skyrim engine by a community of loving fans.
Likewise, Beyond Skyrim: Bruma is a DLC-sized fan-made mod. It is about the city of Bruma and all its socio-political issues and problems. Both mods offer a lot of content, adding to Skyrim’s playtime considerably.
Personally, I think the most fantastic mod ever made for Skyrim is The Forgotten City. It is a story that transcends space and time. You play as a detective trapped in a time loop until you figure out the culprit to a secret murder. This mod is so well done that it has won a writer’s guild award.
The Forgotten City will soon even be available as a standalone game because of its scope and success.
If you’re bored of that as well, Skywind and Skyblivion are two separate fan projects to look out for. These mods aim to port over the earlier Elder Scrolls games into the Skyrim engine. They aren’t out yet like the other mods, but Skyblivion looks pretty close to completion.
I’m looking forward to playing it myself.
Although, the console versions require the latest Special Edition version of TES : Skyrim, the best thing about mods — they are free. The only thing you’ll be paying for your fun is your time.
The world of modding is an amazing one. Even if you’re scared of dealing with files and messing up your game, installing mods is easier now than ever.
But beware, once you start modding, Skyrim might become the only game you’ll play…
The Souls Games (Demon Souls, Dark Souls 1 2 & 3, Bloodborne)
I know, Dark Souls is nothing like Skyrim. But, just in case you’ve had enough of playing as the overpowered stealth archer, how about something that will punish you for every wrong keystroke?
Consider Dark Souls. One of the most difficult games in RPG history, solely focused on its extreme difficulty, which will reward you for every enemy slain with a more difficult one. It boasts no hand holding, no pointless tutorial-infested quests, and instead leaves you to your own mental and psychological fortitude.
If you enjoy smashing yourself into walls while pulling your hair, this game will force you to do so. Possibly multiple times.
If you thought the giants in Skyrim were difficult, you might as well skip this one. However, if you want to try something different and distinctly “fun” while you wait for the next Elder Scrolls game, you should give the Souls games a shot.
Not long ago, a remastered version of the first game was released for your modern machines.
Skyrim will have a special place in my heart for the rest of my life. It is, in my opinion, one of the grandest and most captivating games ever created. Three years ago, Bethesda Softworks announced The Elder Scrolls 6.
While we wait, we hope you’ll be reliving the glory of Skyrim through the games on this list. Alternatively, you could modify your Skyrim installation with one of the recommended mods.
If I had to choose, I would definitely go with The Witcher 3 or Fallout 4. Oblivion comes third since modding a 16-year-old game is a learning curve. Not everyone will enjoy this experience. Otherwise, it would definitely be on the top of my recommendations.
However, I am sure you will not regret picking up any of the games mentioned here. It’s a lot of fun to get lost in their lore and gameplay. Good hunting, adventurer, and don’t even think about taking an arrow to the knee!