Mass Effect is a game that was highly praised for its interactive storytelling upon release. It is an action RPG from BioWare that came out in 2007. If you’ve played it, you’ll know that the game enables players to have a significant impact on the story, based on the choices they make.
The original Mass Effect game was so successful that it morphed into a media franchise that includes other games, novels, an animated film, comic books, and more.
If you’re looking for more games that blend RPG elements, vehicular and squad combat, and third-person shooter elements, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a list of the best 8 games like Mass Effect, including some with slightly different themes and styles.
The Outer Worlds
If you’re looking for a game where your actions will heavily impact how the story unfolds just like in Mass Effect, then The Outer Worlds is the perfect choice for you.
Coming from the team at Obsidian Entertainment, this is one of the best single-player action RPGs to come out in the last few years. The game came out in 2019 and is available for Windows, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One.
The Outer Worlds features role-playing gameplay with a first-person shooter twist. The story takes place in an alternate future in which the megacorporations gained more power than governments and started colonizing space. The megacorporations embark on a mission to terraform alien planets.
The year is 2355 and you are in a six-planet star system called Halcyon. This star system is on the edge of the galaxy and is completely controlled by a corporate board. You will get a chance to explore Halcyon, visit space stations, and fight dangerous aliens along the way.
When you start visiting places within the Halcyon star system, you will encounter various NPCs that you can recruit as companions. They will help you in combat as you venture through dangerous environments. You’re allowed to bring two companions to each mission while the remainder of your crew will wait for you on your spaceship.
There has been a lot of praise for The Outer Worlds focusing on its story, voice acting, music, and visual design. It’s worth checking out if you’re a fan of games like Mass Effect.
Detroit: Become Human
Playing Detroit: Become Human will make you feel like you’re in a movie. The story is so well-written that you’ll immediately want to unravel it and learn more.
The game comes from Quantic Dream and initially came out for PlayStation 4 in 2018. The Windows version of the game came out a year later.
The story of Detroit: Become Human takes place in a world where human-like androids can be found everywhere. The year is 2038 and technology has evolved so much that you can’t tell the difference between humans and machines from their appearance. But the only purpose these androids have is to serve humans.
One day, an android named Markus manages to bypass his programming and achieve full autonomy. He quickly gets shot after and left in a landfill filled with broken machines. Once he wakes up, Markus starts gathering androids and demanding they have the same rights as humans.
There are three playable characters in Detroit: Become Human, including Markus, Connor, and Kara. The decisions you make with the characters will have a great impact not only on them but on the whole city of Detroit. If one of the characters dies, the story will continue without them.
Some of the highlights of this game include its story, voice actors, visuals, setting, and the depth of the main characters. The story branches out based on your choices, which you can see in a flowchart after completing the chapter.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Mankind Divided represents the fourth main entry in the Deus Ex video game series. It comes from Eidos-Montréal and came out in 2016 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows. Versions for macOS and Linux came out later. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is an action RPG with stealth and first-person shooter mechanics.
The story is set in a world where advances in cybernetics and biotechnology enabled humans to implement artificial organs in themselves. The name for these artificial organs is augmentations and they’re known for enhancing human performance. Not everyone can add augmentations since you need to take an expensive drug to ensure your body won’t reject them.
The rapid pace of technological advancement has led to a society divided between people who have augmentations and those who don’t want them or are too poor to afford them. Like every Deus Ex game, Mankind Divided features an outstanding story that explores themes of discrimination and transhumanism.
In the game, you take on the role of Adam Jensen. You’re a double agent for a hacker group that aims to expose a secret organization. You have augmentations and have to explore a world that hates your kind.
How you’ll play the game is totally up to you. You have the option to treat it like an FPS and just run-and-gun on every mission. You can also choose the stealth approach if you want to defeat your enemies without anyone noticing your presence.
On a related note, check out more games like Deus Ex for more brilliant games.
Prey is a first-person shooter game from Bethesda Softworks and Arkane Austin. Although it shares the same name as a 2006 game from Human Head Studios, this version is mostly unrelated to it. The 2017 version only shares its name and the theme of the main character having to fight aliens.
Prey is arguably one of the best video games released in 2017. It is available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows. The development team that worked on the game made it with the aim of creating a spiritual sequel to System Shock.
When you start the game, you find yourself in a space station called Talos I. You are there as a part of a scientific team that researches an alien force known as the Typhon. This force has shapeshifting abilities and is extremely hostile toward humans. You soon start fighting for your life against the Typhon with different weapons and abilities.
Prey is an FPS but it also has role-playing and stealth elements. Similar to Mass Effect, the decisions you make in this game will have a significant effect on how the story develops. Prey has multiple endings. The ending you experience will be partly based on your interactions with other humans on the space station.
There are two Prey expansions available, including a multiplayer mode called Typhon Hunt and a single-player procedurally-generated mode.
The Technomancer is without a doubt the most underrated video game on this list. It comes from French studio Spiders and came out in 2016. The game is available for PlayStation 4, Windows, and Xbox One. The Technomancer is notable for its story, combat system, setting, visual style, and music.
The story takes place 200 years after humans colonized and inhabited Mars. The War of Water is in full effect. You take control of a technomancer named Zacharias. You have destructive electrical powers and are on the run from the police while trying to establish contact with Earth.
The game features three different styles of combat. You have four different skill trees so you’ll have plenty of options when it comes to upgrading different skills. You can craft your own armor and weapons in The Technomancer.
The decisions you make in the game will have a huge impact on the story, similarly to other games like Mass Effect. You’ll also get to decide how you will solve each quest. For instance, you can choose the diplomatic route or you can run-and-gun your way through quests. There is also the option to trick characters into getting what you want.
There are three different endings in The Technomancer which follow your in-game choices. When you go on missions, you can seek aid from companions that you recruit along the way. As you explore the Red Planet, be prepared to see a lot of scary mutant creatures.
Dragon Age: Inquisition
Are you looking for a game with a choice-driven narrative that features a setting different from Mass Effect? If so, you should definitely check out Dragon Age: Inquisition. This title represents the third major entry in the Dragon Age series. It came out in 2014 and is available for Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and 4, Xbox 360, and Windows.
The story takes place on a continent called Thedas. It’s the only continent in the known world and there are different types of humanoid people inhabiting it. When you start the game, you can choose if you want to be an elf, dwarf, Qunari, or human. You can customize your appearance in the game.
Dragon Age: Inquisition features a semi-open world. This means that the world consists of different sections that you can explore.
The game puts a heavy focus on interaction with NPCs. You’ll engage in dialogue often but be careful what you say as it may have long-lasting consequences. You can recruit companions as you travel through the world. They all have personal quests that you can solve.
In every region, players can complete side activities to gather more resource points in power and influence. You can also go on side missions to fully explore the world around you. If you want to find out more about the history of Thedas, you can collect codex entries that will reveal the secrets of the continent.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Despite only coming out a few years ago, Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of the best-selling video games of all time. It also had one of the biggest launches in entertainment history. This was no easy feat to accomplish but it was deserved as the game took more than eight years to develop. It is also one of the most expensive games to date.
You can play Red Dead Redemption 2 on Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Stadia.
The story takes place in five fictitious states in the US. The year is 1899 and you’re an outlaw on the run named Arthur Morgan. You must find a way to survive as both some of the best bounty hunters in the region and federal agents try to catch you.
Red Dead Redemption 2 puts a heavy focus on exploration; and what a beautiful world it is to venture through. In the game, you’ll use a variety of firearms, explosives, and melee attacks to defeat your enemies.
The choices you make during your missions will have a big effect on how the story unravels going forward. You will talk to a lot of unique characters. You can use different approaches when talking with NPCs. It’s up to you to decide whether you will insult them or have a friendly chat.
Your morality levels are based on your decisions and shown within the Honor system. The main story of Red Dead Redemption 2 is influenced by your Honor levels.
This is one of the most impressive open world games on Steam, and fans of games like Mass Effect will love how much freedom they have in the game.
ELEX is an action RPG from the team at Piranha Bytes and it is set in a post-apocalyptic world. The game came out in 2017 and is available for PlayStation 4, Windows, and Xbox One.
The acronym ELEX stands for Eclectic, Lavish, Exhilarating, Xenial. It also represents a powerful resource that can give humans magic powers.
This is an underrated release that you’ll enjoy if you love video games with a good story. The story of ELEX takes place in a world where you can experience both medieval and futuristic environments. You’ll have a variety of swords, guns, and magic spells that you can use to defeat your enemies.
The story follows the events following a comet impact on a planet called Magalan. The comet meant the end for most of the world’s civilization and brought with it an extremely powerful resource.
There is a division among people based on how they use this resource.
In the game, you are able to join one of three factions. The Clerics are a faction who believe that Elex is only suitable for powering machines. On the other hand, Berserkers believe Elex is only suitable for magical purposes. Finally, the Outlaws give their members the freedom to make their own choices.
ELEX features an interconnected quest system that your in-game choices affect. Fans of games like Mass Effect will love this element.