The Mass Effect series is one of the most popular science fiction RPG series in recent times. Set in the 22nd century, it follows a human protagonist, Commander Shepard, on a mission to protect the galaxy from an ancient race of mechanical beings.
The games are known for their immersive worldbuilding, extensive dialogue, and their unique blend of shooter and RPG elements. One of Bioware’s most successful games, we’ve listed games like Mass Effect below for those wanting an experience similar to Mass Effect. Players looking for a more turn-based experience should check out our list here.
16 Best Games Similar To Mass Effect
Dragon Age Series
Another game like Mass Effect, Dragon Age is also created by Bioware. Set in the fictional world of Thedas, it includes three main games and numerous expansions. The games are a heroic fantasy in a dark world populated by a variety of races and under attack by demons. Players can choose from a selection of races and classes with dialogue and interaction with others affected by their choices.
The latest game, Dragon Age: Inquisition, is the most ambitious yet with the game world being 4-5 times the size of Ferelden, the setting of the first game. The beautiful graphics, tough combat, and fantastic writing make for a memorable combination.
Alpha Protocol is a third person action RPG. Players control Michael Thornton, a secret agent working for the titular organization on a variety of worldwide missions. The missions are open-ended with players able to approach them as they wish. They can go for a combat heavy approach or use stealth or hacking skills to accomplish their tasks.
STAR WARS – Knights of the Old Republic
Before there was Mass Effect, there was KOTOR, another classic RPG from Bioware. Although dated, it still remains high in the rankings thank to its masterpiece storytelling. The games are set some 4,000 years prior to the films which allow the series freedom in creating and exploring their own mythology.
Players are an amnesiac who must retrace their history across the galaxy while gathering together an assorted band of companions that include renegade jedi, bounty hunters, smugglers, and warriors.
Branching dialogue and character interaction change the game world and alter your character’s development. It’s easy to see where games like Mass Effect had their origins.
One of the most popular RPG series, Fallout is set in a post-apocalyptic world where society has begun to rebuild itself. Known for their combination of moral choices, brutal violence, and darkly comic humor, the games have a huge following.
Each successive game furthers the story but focuses on a new character and location. California, Washington DC, Nevada, and Boston, have all featured prominently in games. The slow rise of humanity from the ashes is tempered with daily challenges such as bandits, drought, mutant attack, and radiation. The games offer excellent value with numerous missions, tasks, and quests to solve.
Red Dead Redemption
Voted as one of the best RPGs of all time, Red Dead Redemption follows John Marston, a former outlaw forced to hunt down three members of his old gang. An excellent exploration of the Wild West, it charts Marston’s journey through three distinct regions as he encounters bandits, revolution, settlers, and corruption.
A huge game, Red Dead has an immersive storyline along with numerous side missions, quests, and tasks. It has a cast of memorable characters and excellent gameplay whether on horseback or afoot. An expansion pack lets players survive a zombie apocalypse in the West, revisiting old familiar locales.
The Witcher Series
Based on a popular series of Polish fantasy books, The Witcher games follow Geralt of Rivia, a powerful mutant or witcher that hunts monsters for pay. A subversion of traditional fantasy games, The Witcher presents difficult moral choices in a world where everything is not as it first seems.
The game has an excellent combat system that requires a careful balance of attack, defense, and magic to defeat opponents. The game world is a detailed medieval one, inspired by Slavic mythology which gives it a very different feel from other fantasy games such as Skyrim or Dragon Age.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
Kingdoms of Amalur is an RPG set in the Faelands, a realm ruled by the Summer and Winter courts. The Winter court has recently begun a genocidal campaign against the other races of the world. The player is the Fateless One, a resurrected hero who is being hunted by the Winter court.
The games have an exciting combat system as well as extensive character creation and customization options. Players can enter a slow-motion Reckoning mode to effortlessly defeat large numbers of enemies. The game has the standard RPG options of world interaction, crafting, and exploration.
Deus Ex Series
The Deus Ex Series is a popular collection of cyberpunk action RPGs set in a dystopian world in our near future. The games take inspiration from popular conspiracy theories and transhumanism, with cybernetics and augmentation featuring heavily throughout.
The games are known for their huge freedom. Players can resolve incidents through violence, dialogue, or stealth. Characters can be customized to suit these approaches. A player’s reputation and faction allegiance affect interaction throughout the game, making it seem like a real living and breathing world.
The Elder Scrolls Series
The Elder Scrolls Series is one of the most popular fantasy RPG series on the market today. Taking place in the world of Tamriel, each game is set in a different region, exploring the unique geography and societies there.
The most recent game Skyrim takes place in the frozen north, a region inspired by Norse mythology and the Vikings. Set amidst a civil war, it has the player realize their destiny as the Dragonborn while dragons return en masse to Skyrim.
The series has also released a popular MMO, allowing a multiplayer aspect for the first time. Similar to the other games, it lets the player choose from a variety of different races and character classes, allowing wide scope for customization.
The Borderlands games are a series of RPGs with heavy FPS elements set on the planet of Pandora. An alien world with plentiful lost technology and dangerous wildlife, the games follow the misadventures of treasure seekers, corporate mercenaries, and bandits.
The games support cooperative play and are also known for their comedic value. There are frequent tongue in cheek references to pop culture throughout the games. It has combined this with smooth gameplay and beautiful graphics for an instant hit.
Horizon Zero Dawn
A third person, post-apocalyptic RPG, Horizon Zero Dawn follows the adventures of Aloy, a skilled hunter and archer, as she adventures through the dangerous lands ruled by robotic beasts. Set in the 31st century, humanity has regressed to a tribal state and lives in primitive societies.
The game is open world with a dynamic weather system as well as a day/night cycle. Players can explore a diverse world including desert, forest, jungle, and snowy mountains. Sidequests include hunting challenges, gathering materials, solving mysteries, and eliminating bandits or other dangerous beasts. The game uses a simple skill tree divided by three to mark Aloy’s progress.
The player is Zachariah, a rogue technomancer and former employee of the Abundance corporation, now on the run from the secret place. The Technomancer is an action RPG set on Mars amidst the Wars of Water, some two centuries after humanity’s first successful colonization effort.
The game offers four distinct skill trees with players able to level up their character to suit their playstyle. The world of Mars is richly detailed with an immersive backstory and beautifully designed locations. Players can craft their own weapons and armor as well as recruit new companions to aid them in their quest.
Pillar of Eternity Series
The Pillars of Eternity series is another excellent throwback to isometric RPGs such as Planescape Torment or Baldur’s Gate. Players control the Watcher, a recent arrival to the nation of Dyrwood. They possess the talent to see a person’s soul and past lives. They must quest to discover why the children of Dyrwood are plagued by a phenomenon that sees them born ‘hollowborn’, without a soul.
Voted best RPG of 2015, the game is a party based one with a variety of unique and memorable companions. The game encourages innovative approaches to quests as experience is not awarded simply for killing enemies. Stealth or peaceful resolutions are acceptable, as are violent ones.
Another game from the creators of Pillars of Eternity, Tyranny features the player as the Fatebinder, a loyal servant of the dark lord Kyros after the conquest of the world. Tasked with asserting order, the player must consolidate Kyros’s control by resolving conflicts through dialogue and combat.
An isometric RPG similar to Baldur’s Gate or Icewind Dale, Tyranny subverts the genre by having the player be a villain. The game world Terratus is a richly detailed one, set around the transition from bronze to ironworking. It has a varied cast of characters featured with the ruins of ancient civilizations littered across it, a unique and inventive background setting.
Divinity: Original Sin Series
A prequel to Divine Divinity, the Original Sin series features cooperative gameplay, an interactive world, and an extensive editor that allows players to create and publish their own adventures.
Set in the fantasy world of Rivellon, it follows a pair of Source Hunters, members of an organization dedicated to hunting down dangerous magic users.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines
A classic RPG from the early 2000s, Bloodlines is based on the popular pen and paper RPG, Vampire: The Masquerade. The story follows a newly turned vampire in the city of LA on their first steps into the secret underworld of vampire society.
A cult classic, the game is still popular some fifteen years on. It’s a game all fans of urban fantasy should try.