13 Best Exploration Games Like The Outer Worlds
The Outer Worlds is definitely a visually stunning and content-filled game. It features traditional single-player RPG mechanics like weapon crafting, inventory management, and armor usage. As well as the open world-like element that allows you to complete tasks in several ways.
However, it also brought with it a unique blend between exploration and story that immediately hooked players. It’s widely considered to have one of the best player-driven stories in recent years. It also has one of the best single-player campaign experiences for Xbox and PC.
The Outer Worlds excels at delivering a humorous yet mysterious narrative that will leave you wanting more. There are a ton of things that you can do in The Outer Worlds, but sometimes even that isn’t enough.
Well, I’m going to be helping you satisfy your The Outer Worlds cravings with 13 of the best exploration games like The Outer Worlds that you should try.
13. Borderlands 3
Now, I know you might be wondering, “Isn’t Borderlands 3 a shooter-looter game?” – well, yes, it is. I know that The Outer Worlds isn’t exactly a shooter-looter game, but it does have some elements that Borderlands 3 excels at.
Like The Outer Worlds, you’ll constantly manage your inventory in Borderlands 3. You’ll also continuously upgrade your weapons, find new loot, and pick up everything you see. If you were an item hoarder in The Outer Worlds, you’d love Borderlands 3 even more.
Borderlands 3 is also set in a vast interconnected explorable area that allows you to get an open-world feeling. You also get to encounter various out-of-this-world enemies that will surely get you feeling like the Outer Worlds all over again.
Borderlands 3 is already the 4th game in the franchise. Luckily, you don’t have to play the other games to understand the mechanics and story of the game. Borderlands 3 was released in September 2019 and is available on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC.
Have you ever imagined what the world would look like if you got shrunken down? Well, look no further than Grounded. In Grounded, you play as a character who has mysteriously transformed into the size of an ant.
The backyard doesn’t exactly scream “Outer Worlds,” but your new size gives you a whole new perspective of your backyard. Even something as simple as swimming in the pond can feel like you’re on a completely different planet.
Grounded allows you to collect resources and build a base using items within your backyard. It also puts you in a rough position where you have to battle ants, spiders, beetles, and other creepy crawlies.
The game also allows you to completely explore the backyard and discover how you can turn back into a regular-sized human. Build a base, cook food, craft weapons, equip armor, and manage your perks to help you survive the harsh nature of your backyard.
You can also play co-op with up to 3 other players. Easily making it one of the best online multiplayer games for Xbox, especially if you’re into base-building.
And while Grounded isn’t exactly a game like the Outer Worlds, it can still scratch that exploration and RPG itch while providing a stunningly unique experience. Grounded was released in July 2020 and is available on Xbox and PC.
11. Beyond a Steel Sky
Beyond a Steel Sky is actually a sequel to the 1994 cyberpunk sci-fi game, Beneath a Steel Sky. It’s set ten years after the original game, and you play as Robert Foster in a utopian city called Union City.
You don’t need to play the original game to understand the complete story. You can fully enjoy Beyond a Steel Sky without knowing anything about the first game. However, a few nods and references will be made to Beneath a Steel Sky.
Beyond a Steel sky is a 3D point-and-click adventure game that focuses on telling a story. It features some challenging puzzles, a choice-based narrative, and amazing comic book-like graphics that are perfect for the genre.
It’s a modern story game that involves no combat elements. If you enjoyed the story of the Outer World and liked playing some of the Telltale games, Beyond a Steel Sky is the game for you.
Beyond a Steel Sky was released in June 2020 and is available on PlayStation, Xbox, PC, and iOS.
10. Fallout 4
Next up, we have Fallout 4. Fallout 4 is an award-winning game from Bethesda. It’s set in the year 2287 and has you exploring a post-apocalyptic America that looks like a shell of the past. Fallout 4 is widely considered as one of the best Fallout games because of its challenging gameplay, good storyline, and excellent graphics.
Fallout 4 has a ton of mechanics that are just like Outer Worlds. They both offer similar inventory management, looting, crafting, and collecting gear. The decisions you make also have a huge effect on the outcome of your game, making every choice count.
The game also provides an open-world experience allowing you to explore the whole map for as long as your heart desires. Fallout 4 and The Outer Worlds both share a dark story, a unique sense of humor, and visually pleasing graphics.
Fallout 4 was released worldwide for PC, PlayStation, and Xbox in November 2015. Even though it’s one of the oldest games on the list, it still holds its own against newer games. Keep reading down the list if you’re looking for better and newer games like The Outer Worlds.
9. Metro Exodus
Metro Exodus is another great post-apocalyptic exploration game like The Outer Worlds. Although they have very different settings. One is set in a grim wasteland in Russia and Kazakhstan, and the other is set in a corporate environment in outer space.
The game blends survival horror and stealth elements very well. It always keeps you on your toes and on the lookout for any hazards like mutated creatures or aggressive humans. Although Metro Exodus has a linear story, it still executes it very well and was even nominated for the Best Storytelling award at the Golden Joystick Awards in 2019.
Metro Exodus features a semi-open world design where you must use hand-made weapons and items to survive the various hazards of the post-apocalyptic wasteland. It also has a dynamic weather system that changes as the story takes place within a year.
Metro Exodus is definitely a game like The Outer Worlds that’s worth playing. It brings unique elements to the first-person shooter genre, providing a thrilling and enjoyable experience. It was released in February 2019 and is available on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC.
8. The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim
The Elder Scrolls is another franchise developed by Bethesda. Bethesda is known for creating good single-player RPG gaming experiences, shown by the success of The Elder Scrolls and Fallout franchises.
Skyrim is a beautiful open-world game where your decisions matter. Like The Outer Worlds, everything you do has consequences that’ll affect the story down the line. They also feature similar looting systems, inventory management, and other RPG mechanics. It also features medieval elements like magic, dragons, and cults.
The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim is the 5th main installment in the series and is widely accepted as the best Elder Scrolls game. The community has been very active in developing various mods, creating various challenges, and keeping the game alive for years.
Bethesda even released a Special Edition version of the game they released in 2016. It was a remaster of the original game, added some new features, and updated all of the graphics. I definitely recommend going for the Special Edition if you’re going to be buying the game.
The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim was originally released in November 2011, with a remaster in 2016. It’s playable on PlayStation, Xbox, PC, and the Nintendo Switch.
7. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
Now, if you’re looking for a more space-themed game like Outer Worlds, then this one’s for you. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is an action-adventure game where you play as a young Jedi Padawan named Cal Kestis.
You are being hunted by the Galactic Empire as they try to take you down. You journey across the galaxy as you try to complete your training while attempting to learn more about your past and restore the fallen Jedi Order.
In this game, you get to become a full-on Jedi, complete with an awesome lightsaber as well as using the Force. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order has a linear story progression and takes about 20 hours or so to finish.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is everything you’d want in a Star Wars game and then some. It also features a skill tree that allows you to unlock various moves. There are also various cosmetics that you can use to change Cal’s general appearance as well as the cute BD-1’s body.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was released in November 2019 and is available for PlayStation, Xbox, and PC.
6. Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077 had a ton of hype surrounding its release. Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to the hype and faced a ton of problems during its initial release. But it did get better over time. So if you haven’t played it since its release, you should give it a shot now.
Aside from some similar RPG elements, Cyberpunk 2077 also has a lot of other story and setting similarities to Outer Worlds. Both are set in the future and have an imbalance between the statuses in society. They also share similar looting features and inventory management systems.
Cyberpunk 2077 has well-developed graphics that make the city look alive and kicking at every turn. It requires some relatively good hardware to run, but it’s definitely a stunning game if you have the right specs for it.
Cyberpunk 2077 was released in December 2020 and is available on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC.
5. Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption 2 is an action-adventure game that’s set in 1899, following the story of an outlaw named Arthur Morgan. Now, outer space and the wild west aren’t exactly two similar settings, but these games have more in common than it appears.
The game focuses on the exploration aspect of the wild west. It has a fully-fleshed-out open world with fantastic graphics and an engaging story. Red Dead Redemption 2 also has an online multiplayer mode that supports up to 32 players.
RDR2 features linear missions with set objectives. Outside of the missions, you can travel and explore the wild west on your horse’s back. You can also engage in fights, loot items, finish side quests, and steal from others.
Red Dead Redemption 2 quickly became a hit because of the hype surrounding its release. It was released in October 2018 and broke several records, including the second-biggest launch in entertainment history. This alone already tells you how good the game actually is. Red Dead Redemption 2 is available on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC.
4. Outer Wilds
Next up, we have the Outer Wilds. Now, don’t get it mistaken for Outer Worlds. The Outer Wilds and The Outer Worlds have more in common than just their names.
From the name itself, you might think that the Outer Wilds refers to something like a forest or the wilderness. However, it’s actually set in outer space, just like the Outer Worlds. The Outer Wilds is also an action-adventure game that only has a single-player mode.
You play as an unnamed character who is exploring the solar system but ends up stuck in a 22-minute time loop. Once this timer expires, the stars go supernova and blow everything up. Your goal is to explore and unearth the secrets of an extinct race called the “Nomai” in an attempt to find out what’s happening.
The Outer Wilds’ time loop presents a unique gameplay mechanic that adds an extra layer to the game. Every time you die or the timer expires, you end up respawning back on your home planet, retaining all the information you have gathered before.
The game requires you to solve puzzles, properly manage your time, and manage your health, fuel, and oxygen meters. The time loop is beautifully executed and still allows you to fully enjoy the gameplay without having to rush everything.
Outer Wilds was released in May 2019 and is playable on PlayStation, Xbox, PC, and the Nintendo Switch.
3. Subnautica: Below Zero
Subnautica: Below Zero is a game like Outer Worlds that allows you to explore a huge open area in outer space. The game takes place on Planet 4546B, covered by frozen tundras and vast open oceans.
It’s an open-world survival game that’s a sequel to the widely successful Subnautica game released in 2018. It still has some of the core gameplay elements of the original game, but they’ve also added in some new features that can keep you hooked.
In Subnautica, you have to find various ways to eat and get clean water. You’ll also need to build a shelter and find a way to power it up. By scanning other debris, you can also start to create various tools that can help you survive the harsh environment.
A majority of the game takes place underwater. However, there are also times when you’ll have to face the icy cold winds on land. This mixture of land and underwater exploration and survival is what makes Subnautica: Below Zero such a good game.
The game was released in January 2019. Subnautica: Below Zero is one of the best survival games you can play on Xbox, PlayStation, and PC.
2. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy is a game based on the Marvel movies and comics of the same name. It follows a ragtag group of misfits, criminals, and outlaws on their quest to help protect the galaxy in exchange for some money, of course.
It’s a game like The Outer Worlds because of its space exploration elements as well as the action-adventure mechanics found in both games. Guardians of the Galaxy also received high praise for its great story and well-developed characters.
You take the role of Peter Quill, aka “Star Lord” in the game. Other team members like Gamora, Groot, Rocket, and Drax are also present in the game but can’t be directly controlled. However, you can issue commands and use their unique abilities or powers within the game.
Guardians of the Galaxy takes you on a wild space adventure similar to Outer Worlds. It has tremendous graphics with breathtaking views. It was released in October 2021 and can be played on PlayStation, Xbox, PC, and Nintendo Switch.
1. No Man’s Sky
Finally, the best game like Outer Worlds is none other than No Man’s Sky. No Man’s Sky had a rough start, with reviewers calling it bland, boring, and underdeveloped. But the developers took those reviews and improved the game as time passed. Nowadays, it’s an excellent game to play to scratch that space exploration itch.
In No Man’s Sky, you wake up on a random planet with amnesia. Your first goal is to locate your spacecraft, repair it, find resources to fuel it, and perform a hyperspace jump. Somewhere along the way, a mysterious force will draw you towards the center of the galaxy.
Each planet within the game is completely random and is procedurally generated using algorithms and number generators. This results in over 18 quintillion unique planets you can explore within the game.
No Man’s Sky was released in August 2016 and is available on PlayStation, Xbox, PC, and Nintendo Switch. It’s one of the best games like Outer Worlds you can play and is one of the best games set in space.