Horizon Zero Dawn was released exclusively for the PlayStation 4 in 2017. It was developed by Guerilla Games who were only known for developing the first-person shooter series Killzone. The Killzone series is an entertaining but extremely linear shooter series (touted as Sony's "Halo killer") that aside from the visuals were quite dull and repetitive.
As a result, Guerilla Games' open-world RPG was not just departure from their original series but it was one of the biggest surprises of a generation. The game went head to head with the likes of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild at the Game of the Year awards and is regarded as a must-have for the PlayStation 4 alongside God of War, Uncharted, Spider-Man: Homecoming. Thankfully, for those who have done everything there is to do in Horizon Zero Dawn and its expansion The Frozen Wilds there are other games out there with enough similarities to appeal to fans of the action-adventure title.
10 Far Cry: Primal
Even though Horizon Zero Dawn is set in a post-apocalyptic future the world itself has been taken back to its primal roots. The remnants of the human race are divided up by tribes called the Nora, the Carja, and the Oseram and humans have gone back to their past roots as pure hunter-gatherers.
Far Cry: Primal is a game where the player is literally taken back to the past. However, the lead character Takkar is able to train and control beasts in a similar manner to Aloy and use them to his advantage. In addition, the world is unpredictable with events, ambushes, and battles happening dynamically.
9 Days Gone
Days Gone is a near-future post-apocalyptic horror game set in an open-world inhabited by zombie hordes. Mechanically the two games differ in that Horizon Zero Dawn’s Aloy feels a lot more battle-ready and flexible when it comes to encounters.
However, its the moments of unpredictability when dealing with huge hordes of enemies at once where the player is forced to think on their feet that fans of HZD will appreciate. In addition, the open world is beautiful and dynamic but filled with dangerous and unpredictable events. Stealth also plays a bit part in dealing with human and non-human enemies is mechanically similar to the HZD as is the use of traps to gain an advantage.
8 The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild
Horizon Zero Dawn is visually one of the most beautiful games of a generation. This isn’t because it has better graphical power than its nearest rivals but its because the art style, the use of color, lighting, and shadows will constantly take the player’s breath away.
The only other open-world game that matches Horizon Zero Dawn in pure artistry and visual beauty is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The game’s easy to pick up combat system easily rivals HZD and just like Aloy, Link is tasked with defeating huge robotic enemies using a variety of methods that require skill and thought.
7 Monster Hunter: World
One of the main appeals of Horizon Zero Dawn is the dynamic and unscripted battle with the giant monsters in an open environment that the player needs to use to their advantage. Those looking for a game that has the exact qualities – minus the robots – is Monster Hunter World.
Just like the robot battles in HZD, every battle in Monster Hunter World requires time, patience, and a little bit of research to work out the creature’s weaknesses. In addition, Monster Hunter: World’s environments are colorful, bright and a joy to explore.
6 God Of War
God of War on the PlayStation 4 is the fourth entry in the franchise but the game is a reboot as much as it’s a sequel. Just like Horizon Zero Dawn it is a PS4 exclusive and is one of the best looking games of the generation.
Taking on the role of Kratos, players get to explore a semi-open world and battle with giant creatures steeped in Norse mythology. In addition, those that enjoyed HZD’s story and its use of side quests to reveal more of the game’s lore will definitely love investing the time into God of War's many activities and distractions.
5 Enslaved: Odyssey To The West
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West was a post-apocalyptic adventure game released on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It was developed by Ninja Theory who also worked on Heavenly Sword, DmC: Devil May Cry, and more recently Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice.
Unlike most post-apocalyptic game settings on last-gen consoles Enslaved was colorful and will appeal to those that loved Horizon Zero Dawn’s vision of the future. The game’s story was inspired by the 16th Century Chinese novel Journey to the West featuring iconic characters from the book like the MonkeyKing. Additionally, the story was adapted by 28 Days Later’s Alex Garland and Rhianna Pratchett, the daughter of famed author Terry Pratchett and writer of Mirror’s Edge, Tomb Raider, and Heavenly Sword.
4 Assassin’s Creed: Origins and Odyssey
When Assassin’s Creed: Origins was released in 2017 for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One not only did it serve as a prequel for the Assassin's Creed series by going even further back in time it worked as a reboot. Origins were set in Ancient Egypt and Odyssey was set in Ancient Greece and by taking inspiration from the Witcher 3 both offered far more expansive and detailed worlds than its predecessors.
From a gameplay perspective Origins and Odyssey provide stealth and head-on battle tactics which HZD fans will appreciate and the simple RPG leveling system to unlock new abilities is just accessible as HZD.
3 NieR: Automata
Those that love a great science fiction story set in a post-apocalyptic world fighting robots needs to look no further than NieR: Automata. NieR doesn’t just have a great story it has one of the most well-written and mind-bending plots in gaming.
Furthermore, the player is placed in the shoes of a female protagonist and the action is second to none. The combat system was designed by PlatinumGames the developers responsible for Bayonetta and Astral Chain and it’s incredibly fast but tactical in way that HZD players will enjoy.
2 Shadow Of The Tomb Raider
One could make the argument that all of the rebooted Tomb Raider origin series would appeal to players of Horizon Zero Dawn but the series was at its most polished with Shadow of the Tomb Raider. However, it is recommended that players should tackle the series in order to get a handle on the story and appreciate the improvements and character development with each entry.
The game worlds in the Tomb Raider trilogy aren’t as open as Horizon Zero Dawn but Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s stunning semi-open jungle environment is more explorable and flexible than ever before. Lara has multiple ways to take down her enemies using stealth or head-on combat but like HZD it’s the bow and arrow mechanics where the game really shines.
1 The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt
The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt is hands down one of the most influential games of all time. It did for open-world games and RPGs this generation The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion and Skyrim did for the last-gen systems. Its influence and approach to quests and interactions can be seen in the newer Assassin’s Creed titles, Days Gone and of course Horizon Zero Dawn.
The RPG elements are far more prominent in The Witcher 3 and the story is far more layered than Guerilla Games effort but that doesn’t mean that players will feel overwhelmed. Despite its depth, The Witcher 3 is far more accessible than its predecessors and its contemporaries like Dragon Age: Inquisition and Dark Souls 3.