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A massive open-world, immersive RPG, and a cinematic storyline are at the core of Rockstar’s title. Other games like Red Dead Redemption 2 should offer you a similar feel.
The Western is one of the most popular and best-reviewed single-player titles ever. It’s also one of those games people keep playing, trying, discovering, and sharing.
If you’re one of the loyal followers, an outlaw, you may be eager for more. After dozens of hours playing as Arthur Morgan, you’re ready to find other games like Red Dead Redemption 2.
Selecting Games Like Red Dead Redemption 2
Rockstar’s Magnus opera is the inspiration for many games after. It also drew elements from many titles before. So, rather than being innovative, it blended all of its mechanics with its open-world seamlessly.
That said, we believe RD2 fans would like games featuring a mix of a twist of its elements:
- Genre: RD2 is an open-world story-rich action-adventure RPG. It also has immersive elements and a set character rather than an avatar.
- Character-driven story: protagonist Arthur Morgan has clear goals and personality traits. The decisions you take are within the realm of his persona.
- Setting: the title has a Western setting (southern USA, 1899). You play as outlaw Arthur Morgan, a gang member.
- Branching paths: decisions are scarce but impactful. It leads to branching paths and four different endings.
- Open-world: you play in a vast, wild wild west. There’re towns, ranches, farms, forests, and mountains.
- NPS: there’re hundreds of interactive NPCs, bandits, law enforcers, etc. You can interact with respect or intimidation, which is the game’s moral system
- Immersive elements: many activities, like buying guns or cutting the hair, happen through in-game menus rather than interfaces.
- Realistic elements: similarly, the game includes realistic elements like how hunting works, weapon recoil, weapon maintenance, and more.
- Main quests: you can explore the open world freely outside of quests. Main quests, though, mostly happen on linear pathways and areas.
- Bounties: criminal jobs like heists make a great part of the site content. You can complete these missions for hefty rewards.
- Hunting: you can hunt animals for their meat. The meat feeds your gang members and works as crafting material for special weapons.
- Combat: you play in first-person or third-person. You aim, shoot, and use melee abilities against the enemies.
- Character progression: there’re no skill trees. Instead, you organically improve your shooting, resistance, and HP by repeating specific actions.
- Horse companion: you must capture and domesticate a horse. By riding, feeding, and cleaning the horse, you’ll improve your horse mounting abilities.
- Exploration: you can mount horses, run, climb, swim, and explore the world freely. There’re also plenty of side activities and amenities.
- Puzzles: there’re secrets in the world to discover for loot and wealth. It includes various types of puzzles.
- Dynamic events: random events include ambushes, crimes, shootings, public executions, people or police asking for help, and animal attacks.
- Status management: you have to manage health-affecting circumstances like climate, food, showers, and sleep. It grants buffs or debuffs.
- Law: committing crimes will make law enforcers pursue you. The time decreases over time, but you can pay out your bounty.
RDR 2 is an immersive RPG action-adventure title with a stellar narrative. It’s the best western game available, and one of the best western stories in recent media.
Other games like Red Dead Redemption 2 don’t have to be western. Rather, we’re looking at how their mechanics and settings truly convey the protagonist’s journey. It’s the immersive factor that made Rockstar’s game so special.
Games Like Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption 1
- Developer: Rockstar San Diego
- Publisher: Rockstar Games
- Release Date: May 2010
- Platform: PS3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series (retro-compatibility)
If you played the second game, our best recommendation is to try or go back to the first. Here, it’s 1911, and you’re John Marston, a former outlaw. Enemies kidnap your family, and your mission is to hunt down the renegades and save your loved ones. Ultimately, you decide your path: merciful or brutal.
The quest takes you on a massive journey across towns, farms, ranches, deserts, and other sights proper of the wild west. You complete missions on linear scenarios or explore the open world to complete side activities and quests.
One of these activities is taming horses. There’re also random dynamic events, bounties, hunting, gambling, and collecting herbs for crafting. And as RDR2, there’s an Honor system, the balance that determines how NPCs react to you.
Gunslinging is a key mechanic. You can target individual body parts for non-lethal damage, for example. You can also take cover, sneak, and disguise yourself. That said, you play in a first or third-person perspective with a variety of firearms, and you have a skill that slows down time so you can aim better.
Lastly, there’s a crime system that took inspiration from previous GTA games. When you commit a crime, a witness runs to a police station, but you can bribe or kill the witness before it happens. However, once the law gets the alert, a bounty will appear on your head, and the lawmen will hunt you for a period.
The Witcher 3
- Developer: CD Projekt Red
- Publisher: CD Projekt Red
- Release Date: May 2015
- Platform: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Windows
Perhaps the only modern RPG game that rivals RD2 in terms of storytelling, quality, and immersive elements is The Witcher 3. The music, setting, weapons, towns, kings, and empires properly convey where you are: a fictional high medieval fantasy continent where war is all around you
But the Witcher 3 has a straightforward character progression system. You level up, unlock skills, and buy/find/craft new gear as you rise in levels. Elsewhere, it features a character-driven story with scarce but heavy choices to make, and a vast open-world to explore outside of the linear questlines.
You play as Geralt of Rivia, a Witcher with a strong personality. Witchers are mutated humans capable of defeating monsters and other evils. Most of your gameplay revolves around tracking down and hunting beasts. Also, you can gather information about them, and then read in your “Bestiary” about their weaknesses.
You fight in a third-person perspective. You have a sword, a crossbow, magic, grenades, and potions. You can choose your gameplay style, though, so if you prefer dodging and parrying, you can improve your character that way. In any case, combat is challenging, but never too punishing, and never too fast.
Lastly, the cinematic storytelling is impressive. The story flows alongside Geralt’s friends and loved ones, like Yennefer. Moreover, the plot is personal, as it revolves on finding Geralt’s surrogate daughter, Ciri. The journey takes you to various maps in a quest for allies and information – your decisions lead to three distinct endings.
- Developer: Neversoft
- Publisher: Activision
- Release Date: November 2005
- Platform: Windows (GoG Store only)
Gun is an older title with a similar story, style, setting, and character to RD2. It’s an action-adventure RPG with an open-world wild west scenario. If you’re a fan of the western genre, it’s the best pick.
You play as Colton White, a renegade looking for vengeance. The story is epic, cinematic, brutal, and lawless. Along the way, you’ll complete plenty of main quests, side quests, exploration activities, puzzles, and mini-games.
Moreover, you can hunt animals like wild horses and buffalos. You can also mine, act as a sheriff, complete bounties, work on farms, deliver packages, rescue innocents, and play poker. If you commit crimes, the law enforcers respond.
Third-person combat is brutal, slow-paced, and varied. You can sneak, shoot, and use melee abilities. You can fight on horseback and trains. And as you play, you’ll unlock weapons and upgrade your weapon firing abilities.
Lastly, in your quest for personal justice, you can choose two paths – vengeance, or righteousness. Regardless, you’ll encounter warring tribes, bandits, outlaws, renegades, lawmen, politicians, and more.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of Wild
- Developer: Nintendo EPD
- Publisher: Nintendo EPD
- Release Date: May 2017
- Platform: Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii U
The latest Zelda entry reinvented the franchise. The setting, Hyrule, became a massive open-world sandbox without markers or indications. Just like RDR2, it broke open-world conventions by delivering a less gamey experience – immersive.
The action RPG follows a new iteration of Link on a quest to defeat Ganondorf. You’re free to follow it in any way. For example, you can start by visiting a town for information, or you can travel to farther mountains for loot.
You can climb, run, jump, glide, swim, and mount, but your stamina bar is your limit. So all of those mountains, temples, lakes, and treasures you see could be yours if you have the stamina to reach them. Naturally, you can find collectibles to increase stamina and HP. You can also find better gear, and learn new abilities.
Aside from light character progression, the game features hunting and harvesting from nature. You can use these resources to cook and craft tools and potions. Also, you can pick and use a lot of weapons, and use your weapons as tools.
Lastly, the game has a physical engine that determines how any two in-game objects or events collide with each other. Similarly, it has realistic mechanics like a weather cycle, a day and night cycle, and cold.
- Developer: WolfEye Studios, Raphaël Colantonio
- Publisher: Developer Digital
- Release Date: March 2022
- Platform: Windows, PS4, Xbox One
Have you ever wanted to play RD2 with isometric graphics and dark magic? On top of that, Weird West is also a squad-based action RPG with real-time mechanics.
The setting is a dark fantasy Wild West where gunslingers and lawmen share the land with magical evil creatures. You journey alongside a squad of renegade heroes, and you’ll make decisions that will shape the land.
Each journey is different as the world reacts to your choices and actions. Moreover, there are six main characters, each featuring a unique segment in the game on a series of intertwined stories. The system adds sandbox elements to make it so that characters, factions, and places react to your choices.
Combat is quite immersive. You shoot, kick, use your abilities, and interact with plenty of elements in the environment. That includes rails, explosive TNT barrels, toxins, and more. The world is open, and the choice mechanics blend seamlessly with the world and the action.
Lastly, former Arkane Studio developers are Weird West’s creators. The influence of games like Dishonored and Prey is apparent from the moment the initial credits roll. You’ll see it in the art style, hear it in the music, and enjoy it in the story.
Grand Theft Auto V
- Developer: Rockstar North
- Publisher: Rockstar Games
- Release Date: October 2013
- Platform: PS3, PS4, PS5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Windows
GTA V is a classic run & gun title that happens in a massive open-world city. You play as three criminals, and you can swap between them at any time as you complete main or side quests or explore the city.
As a Rockstar game, it shares how immersive, interactive, and dynamic the city is. The world feels alive as it reacts to you, and gives you ample opportunities to interact. The city is Los Santos, a fictional representation of Los Angeles and southern California.
The characters are Michael, Trevor, and Franklin. The main quests are increasingly complex and varied heists for money, fame, and reputation. The storyline is the best part of the title, but there’re also hundreds of side activities.
You play in third-person, and the mechanics are simple. You aim, shoot, swap weapons, run, jump, climb, steal cars, and drive. As you perform actions, the characters improve naturally, like in previous GTA titles. Also, there’s a police persecution system, as the law reacts to your crimes.
Lastly, like Red Dead Redemption 2, the title gives you free access to its online version, GTA Online. It allows you to perform heists and other criminal activities in a persistent world, alongside other players.
Dying Light 2: Stay Human
- Developer: Techland
- Publisher: Techland
- Release Date: February 2022
- Platform: Windows, Ps4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Nintendo Switch
Dying Light 2 is an open-world action-adventure RPG that seems to take inspiration from RD2 in several ways. In particular, it features a dynamic event system that makes it so every 2 minutes of exploration you’ll find something to do.
Regardless, you play as Aiden on a quest to find your long-lost sister. The setting is Old Villedor, the ruins of a walled city where hundreds of humans, and a few factions, have survived an ongoing zombie outbreak.
When you play Stay Human, you’d rarely use the fast-travel system after you unlock it, as the parkour traversal it offers feels very cool. Moreover, the map doesn’t have many markers, so exploring around reveals significant loot and events. That’s why it feels similar to RDR2.
Significant areas to explore include dungeon-like laboratories and stores for loot, arenas for boss battles, and subways stations for jumping puzzles. That said, the progression is organic, as parkour traversal actions and combat actions improve their respective trees.
And as you progress the story, you’ll restore various key points in the city, like water towers and electric plans. Yet, your choices ultimately decide which faction will rise in power against the others.
Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines
- Developer: Troika Games
- Publisher: Activision
- Release Date: November 2004
- Platform: Windows
Around the time Half-Life 2 debuted, another influential game was released. Bloodlines was an underappreciated jewel, but, today, it’s considered a key moment for the immersive RPG genre. It was a flawed masterpiece, and, as such, it has a loyal cult following.
The story follows a human who died and was revived as a vampire. The setting is a semi-open world 21st Century Los Angeles, as you have to unlock map areas by progressing the quest. Then, the story is a journey about discovering a conspiracy that may end all vampires.
You play in a first or third-person perspective. The action relies on using vampire powers, melee abilities, and firearms. As you progress the plot, you’ll be able to join vampire clans to unlock further skills.
More importantly, the writing across the board is stellar. Similarly, the scale of your choices and consequences is hard to match. Choices start by customizing your characters, stats, abilities, and disciplines. Then, it continues by choosing clans and becoming an ally or an enemy of the various vampire factions.
Your stats and abilities combine to determine your effectiveness at various actions. These include lockpicking, stealth, hacking, range, etc. Additionally, there’re non-combat skills like persuasion, seduction, intimidation, charisma, and many dialogue choices that depend on your build and vampire clan.
Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
- Developer: Ubisoft Quebec
- Publisher: Ubisoft
- Release Date: October 2018
- Platform: Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia
If you played AC: Origins, the sequel is bigger, better, prettier, and more immersive. Additionally, it introduces gender customization and romantic options to the franchise.
The action RPG is about finding the Staff of Hermes Trismegistus in Atlantis. Plot-wise, it happens 400 years before Origins and the creation of the Brotherhood of Assassin’s ancestors, the Hidden Ones.
In the past, the protagonist is the Eagle Bearer, a mercenary. You have the typical move-set of the franchise and a simple character progression system. The world is open, full of side activities like fighting arenas, and raiding forts.
There’s also a crime system. If you murder an innocent or steal someone, you gain a bounty, which makes other assassins hunt you. On top of that, you can raid locations and defeat enemies for loot and gear.
Lastly, the Ancient Greece setting is as gorgeous and fully-fledged as the wild west is on RD2. It gives you a chance to explore islands, myths, legends, ruins, temples, and more. For example, you’ll meet several historical characters like Democritus, Euripides, and Alkibiades; and visit historical places like Macedonia.
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord
- Developer: TaleWorlds Entertainment
- Publisher: TaleWorlds Entertainment
- Release Date: March 2020 (Early Access)
- Platform: Windows
Bannerlord is a sequel to the medieval RPG simulator Mount & Blade: Warband. If you’re a newcomer, understand this story is a prequel that happens 200 years before the original game, so you can tackle it without issue.
As a medieval sim, the game is quite immersive. The gameplay is about being a lord, so there’re two core game loops. First, you explore and fight in first-person or third-person perspective as you explore the world, fight, and interact with NPCs.
Secondly, you can gather and manage armies in massive battles. This is the strategic aspect: you form soldier groups and lead missions in various areas. These missions are large open-field or siege battles, where you fight and command your troops. You can battle against other players online as well.
The story is about raiding, conquering, and exploring Calradia, a fictional medieval continent. The single-player campáing, aside from being immersive, is also a sandbox. You plan your way towards power, while other NPCs, factions, and even a realistic economy react to you.
You play as a customizable character, rather than a set persona. Moreover, you progress skills by performing specific actions to unlock perks, masteries, and talents. Lastly, the combat system relies on player skill, so it’s familiar but difficult to master.
- Developer: Avalanche Studios
- Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
- Release Date: September 2015
- Platform: Windows, Linux, macOS, SteamOS, Ps4, Xbox One
Mad Max is a popular movie franchise, but it hasn’t reached the same success with their video games. Still, we’ve recommended this title several times. RDR2 fans would find it similar in terms of how it feels, plays, and looks.
The protagonist of this action-adventure open-world RPG is Mad Max. You’re a lone warrior in a post-apocalyptic world where water, fuel, and cars are everything. Your mission is reaching the Plains of Silence, and, like in the Fury Road film, you’ll fight your way against deadly gangs and the Scarbus tribe.
The action is fast-paced, heavy, and brutal. You fight in third-person with a series of evolving defensive and offensive abilities. Combat is on-ground, or vehicular as you drive and shoot against insane bandits. Ammo is scarce, though, so melee action is the way to go most of the time.
The world is open and full of opportunities to explore and secrets to discover. The meat of the game is fighting against other gangs, which will feel like collecting bounties for defeating outlaws and bandits. The mechanics offer a free-flow combat system similar to the Arkham knight series.
Lastly, the character progression system allows you to upgrade your car, your weapons, and your character. You can gather scrap on the world, and then upgrade and change your car in Max’s garage. The vehicle -the Magnum Opus- will change its sound, looks, and behaviors accordingly.
Gunslinger: Call of Juarez
- Developer: Techland
- Publisher: Techland
- Release Date: May 2013
- Platform: PS3, Xbox 360, Windows, Nintendo Switch
Call of Juarez is also an older western shooter. In particular, it works as a homage to Wild West tales and movies. If you’re been playing the RDR series because of the setting, it’s a great choice.
You play as a ruthless bounty hunter on a quest against the most dangerous outlaws. The journey is vicious and takes inspiration from legends, myths, and tales of the Old West. For example, it includes characters like Jesse James, Billy the Kid, and Pat Garret.
The story is linear, so you go across a series of levels to dispatch your enemies in the best FPS way possible. The action set-pieces are stunning and feature a unique art style. Moreover, the action feels sweet and smooth.
You play with a vast range of pistols, rifles, and shotguns. You can also take cover, unleash combos against multiple enemies, and dodge bullets. Your abilities and arsenal grow over time.
The title also has RPG elements. In particular, there’s a character progression system that allows you to develop specific gun skills. As you level up, you’ll also unlock shooting abilities to become a better gunslinger.