The 10 Best Open-World Games Like Shadow of War

Image credit: WB Games

Talion’s adventures in Shadow of War were a dream come true. Although it isn’t the most faithful game regarding Tolkien lore, it is still amazing to play as an overpowered wraith in the world of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien.

Shadow of War is a game in which you make remarkable enemies, fight hundreds of orcs, and roam freely within Mordor. It’s an incredibly fun game to play, and it stands out as being quite unique as well. Luckily for fans of games similar to Shadow of War, though, there are some similar games that are worth checking out and playing.

There are many open-world games in which you can do side quests, evolve your characters, and progress through stories in many different ways. In most of them, you also control overpowered characters, just like Shadow of War.

Here are the 10 best open-world games like Shadow of War to check out.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

Just in case you didn’t play Shadow of Mordor already, go ahead and do it now. I find the first game to be better than the second one. Although Middle-earth: Shadow of War does introduce many new elements, they often become confusing or feel unnecessary.

Shadow of Mordor hits much closer with emotional stories and events. After all, this is the game that shows how everything in Shadow of War started out. Talion’s motivations and traumas all happen during Shadow of Mordor.

As for the gameplay, it feels very similar to Shadow of War. It doesn’t have as many skills and it lacks some RPG elements, but personally, I found the streamlined gameplay enjoyable.

I know that most people who played Shadow of War have played this game too. However, just in case you haven’t, go do it. I’m sure you’ll love it.

If older graphics bother you, this game also has a free HD update on Steam.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Rockstar Games is a developer that knows how to make a successful game. After all, Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of the most acclaimed games of its console generation. In fact, the game has been improved and released on PC with brand new story mode content, better graphics, and more.

Red Dead Redemption is a story about conflict.

In this game, you take the role of Arthur Morgan, a Van der Linde gang member. Not only are the Var de Linde gang members criminals, but federal officials and some of the greatest bounty hunters are following their tracks.

The Van der Linde gang robs, robs, and fights to live in America’s brutal heartland, but many conflicts are causing internal divisions. Now, Arthur must decide between his own beliefs and allegiance to the gang that raised him.

Unlike other games like Shadow of War, you don’t play as a character who is supernatural or overpowered in any way.

This is a Western game with an adult storyline. However, all the other elements of Shadow of War are here. Red Dead Redemption 2 is an open-world game that grants you a lot of freedom to explore, travel around, and make your own stories.

If you like more grounded games, adult themes, and the open-world side of Shadow of War, there’s a good chance you will enjoy Red Dead Redemption 2. It’s one of the best open-world games on Steam by a mile.

Sleeping Dogs

Sleeping Dogs is a third-person, open-world action game set in Hong Kong. In this game, you take on the role of Wei Shen, an undercover police officer attempting to destroy the Triads from inside.

As you build trust and rank up in the organization, you’ll need to establish your worth by engaging in vile acts to prevent criminals from discovering your true identity.

Storywise, the game becomes especially interesting when the main character tests the limits between truth, loyalty, and justice. Wei becomes torn between devotion to the badge and a criminal code of honor. 

As for the gameplay, Wei is a very competent martial artist. So although he isn’t supernatural or overpowered, you do get to play as an action hero who can beat up numerous goons with ease. 

Although this game might look like GTA from afar, it is much more than that. While it doesn’t have the fantasy elements or overpowered characters that most games like Shadow of War offer, it does have a fantastic world to explore, impactful combat, and plenty of interesting quests to do, too.

Watch Dogs 2

Watch Dogs 2 doesn’t have you playing a superhuman, overpowered superhero or wraith. However, it has you playing as a surreally resourceful hacker. Since you have all sorts of gadgets, weapons, and options, the game is significantly more interesting than its predecessor.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, the birthplace of the technological revolution, you take on the role of brilliant hacker Marcus Holloway. This character is very different from the previous protagonist in the series.

Marcus will work with the infamous hacking outfit Dedsec to carry out the largest hack in history, which entails taking down the intrusive operating system known as ctOS 2.0. This is the system that a criminal underworld boss uses to track and control people.

If being a surreally talented hacker sounds fun, give this game a shot. There are plenty of action sequences, stealth sections, and puzzle solving with remote control drones to prevent the game from ever feeling boring.

If you’re open to checking out games like Shadow of War that aren’t fantasy themed, this is a great pick for you to add to your library.

Horizon: Zero Dawn

In this game, you play as a regular teenager named Aloy, who is an exile from the tribe that she was born into.

When she was a kid, she found a rare technological device that stores and delivers information. This device, named Focus, gives Aloy an incredible advantage over others. This alone makes it a strong contender for one of the best games like Shadow of War.

Horizon: Zero Dawn is a character-driven story about a girl who wants to know who she is. It just so happens that it takes place in a post-apocalyptic tribal world where giant machines from a lost era threaten humankind. This premise is pretty cool, making Horizon a game like Shadow of the Colossus in some regards.

This is an open-world game where you are free to roam and do side quests in any way you want. However, following the main quest does make you go through areas where you’ll find side-quests.

As for the gameplay, Aloy is an extraordinary warrior. Although she is not superhuman, growing up with her Focus made her more attuned to machines and technology than any other warrior.

The UI is a bit polluted, in my opinion, but I appreciate how the Focus is integrated into it. This device is also used in the story, making everything feel part of a living, integrated world.

Speaking of story, Horizon: Zero Dawn has an addictive main storyline. When I started playing, I could not stop until I was too tired to keep my eyes open. The plot is so good and so well written that it genuinely surprised me.

Mad Max

Mad Max is one of those games that I didn’t think I was going to enjoy until I played it.

Max is not an overpowered hero or supernatural being like the main characters of many other games like Shadow of War in this list. Yet, he is a survivor who can brutally beat up dozens of bad guys on his own. That should be enough to make you feel like a badass.

If it wasn’t clear, in this game, you take the role of Mad Max. He is a guy who has gone through way too much. Now, there’s nothing Max wants more than to leave the past behind and find some peace. Although Max doesn’t want to be a part of anyone’s mess, he is a reluctant hero who will end up helping those in need.

The Wastelands surprised me in this game. I was expecting it to be visually dull, but the developer nailed the looks and vibes. The Wastelands have personality and feel immersive. You meet people who need help, people who are trying to ambush you, and other challenges.

As for the rest of the gameplay, driving around is both needed and fun in Mad Max. You build your car from scrap, and then you add harpoons, spikes, and whatever else you can get with the scraps you find.

Mad Max is a beautiful game from the PS4 era that most fans of open-world like Shadow of War should check out. It is an underrated gem that is worth your time.

Prototype 2

In this game, you take the role of James Heller. Your newly infected protagonist must survive the wastelands of post-viral New York Zero. James will progressively assemble a massive genetic arsenal of devastating new bioweapons and abilities as he hunts, slaughters, and consumes his way toward the ultimate goal: vengeance.

I know it sounds dramatic and edgy, but this sort of theming was somewhat trendy when Prototype first came out. This game feels like Spider-Man in some ways, but the violence and nonsensical upgrades help it to feel more like Shadow of War.

The story isn’t the selling point for this game. Prototype 2 is all about cutting, slicing, smashing, and exploding things. It’s all about the power fantasy. If you want mindless, open-world fun where you get to explode things, this is the game for you.

When you start this game, you already feel like the main character is super strong, but you have no idea how crazy things will get. The game knows how to make you feel powerful. Enemies that were once a pain will eventually become entirely trivial as you progress, and effortlessly destroying them feels fantastic.

Please note that this is an old game. It might have a few quirks and won’t look as good as recently released titles. Still, it is one of the most fun games I’ve ever played, and it’s worth checking out if you’re looking for more games like Shadow of War.

inFamous: Second Son

Second Son picks up seven years after the protagonist Cole MacGrath sacrifices himself to save humanity from a plague and slays The Beast in inFamous 2. Conduits are sub-species of humans who possess superhuman abilities due to a Conduit Gene.

Much like the franchise’s previous games, inFamous: Second Son is an open-world, action-adventure game in which you take the role of Conduit. However, since the events in inFamous 2, the American government has formed a task force to find and apprehend all surviving Conduits throughout the world.

Delsin Rowe, the main character, is a very powerful Conduit who can absorb the powers of others. In this game, he can control substances like smoke, neon, video, and concrete. Yeah, his abilities can seem a bit weird, but that’s what makes the gameplay fun.

He can use his powers as weapons or skillfully move throughout the environment. He can climb vertical surfaces like tall buildings, perform teleport-like dashes, and so much more.

The powerful, quirky abilities and interesting environments are what make this one of the best games like Shadow of War. It’s one of the best open-world games on the PS5 to check out.

Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered

Instead of Mordor and an overpowered wraith, Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered has New York and an overpowered Spider-Man. Peter Parker is a veteran who uses a high-tech suit with many gadgets that make him even more powerful than his comic book self.

In this game, Peter Parker has been Spider-Man for 8 years. Peter is already a master at fighting crime. This is one of the excuses used in the game for having such a powerful Spider-Man. That premise allowed them to add mechanics that makes Marvel’s Spider-Man one of the best superhero games on Steam.

Now, you get to feel the full force of the seasoned hero. The combat system should be familiar to fans of the genre. It’s the same that Batman: Arkham Asylum made popular.

On top of that, you can perform exciting acrobatics and fluid web swinging mid-combat. You can even interact with the environment to add a bit of improvisation to the mix.

Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered is an ever better-looking version of the acclaimed PS4 game. However, you won’t be losing much if you play the original. It is pretty much the same game, except for the better textures and Peter’s face model. Fans of the power fantasy and combat in games like Shadow of War will love this game.

Batman: Arkham City

Yes, Arkham Knight is one of the most popular games in the franchise, but Arkham City is still my favorite. This game took the gameplay from Arkham Asylum and put it into an open-world setting. It worked so well that many other games like Shadow of War took inspiration from this franchise in one way or another.

The Arkham saga’s second entry is every bit as majestic as its predecessor. It adds a ton of new material without departing too much from the initial concept that made the original game so successful.

The game’s well-written dialogues and characters are worth mentioning. Although this is an action game with stealth sections, it is refreshing to play a game that also delivers a good story. Most characters presented are remarkable, especially the villains.

Thanks to the complexity of the characters’ personalities, plot, and voice actors, it doesn’t take much to feel immersed in this game. In fact, it’s hard to find something bad about this game unless you are nitpicking. The same goes for this game’s power fantasy. You do feel like Batman, which is why many players love the Arkham series.