The Sci-Fi RPG Horizon Zero Dawn is a great game. It has compelling characters, an intriguing storyline, and some of the best open world gameplay gamers have seen in a long while. Whether you were performing quests, tracking down corrupted machines, or just taking a moment to enjoy the view from your Charger it was a fun game.
If you’ve done all you can in the Sacred Lands and find yourself wanting to move on there are some great games that can tap into whatever made the game appealing for you. None of these will be a perfect fit, but they’ll get close.
Prey is a viable alternative if you’re willing to sacrifice on the open world aspect and other minor gameplay features. You find yourself trapped in a hitech facility that’s been overrun by mysterious creatures known as the typhon.
Every step of the game hits you with paranoia and makes you question who you can trust as you try to retake control from the creatures, learn the truth about the experiments, and discover your role in them. The character abilities, especially the alien ones, are a lot of fun and make for great gameplay.
9 NieR Automata
NieR Automata is admittedly one of the more eyebrow raising entries on the list as there’s not much that’s similar to Horizon, but you might be surprised by how much you like it for what is similar. The story is bleak with a lot of dark concepts and eye opening surprises that’ll make you feel like a monster.
It’s similar in that it doesn’t provide a lot of weapons and armor to agonize over when it comes to deciding load out. If it seems better slap it on and go. The combat is a bit different favoring more action and combo based fights so be prepared for that.
8 Mass Effect Andromeda
The game Mass Effect Andromeda received a lot of heat, and rightly so, for terrible animations and technical issues, but under the flaws was a well designed combat shooter with great open world elements.
This isn’t a game you want to try if you’re looking for plot, but if you enjoyed going toe to toe with humans in Horizon and exploring the strange lands then you’ll find a home with this game. It also has a compelling soundtrack that can go the rounds with Horizon’s. Just close your eyes during the cutscenes and dialogue.
7 Fallout 4
For post-apocalyptic wastelands it’s hard not to think of the Fallout franchise, Fallout 4 in particular has an interesting world with many places to explore. This game will strike a chord for those who enjoyed the questing aspects of Horizon and V.A.T.S style of combat has some similarities.
It’ll feel clunky at times and the world won’t seem as large, but killing a few Tankbots and Deathclaws will be like tackling Shell Walkers and Sawtooths respectively. In fact the Automatron DLC gives you the ability to take your own robotic companions into battle, think of these as hijacked robots that are permanently at your side.
6 Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is an interesting RPG that can scratch a lot of the right itches. It’s a firt person shooter that incorporates a lot of stealth and role-playing elements, if you want to utilize them. What makes this game fun is you can pursue a subtle route or go in guns blazing.
While not exactly open world there are a lot of places to explore and things to find. Perhaps the greatest feature of this game is the engaging and unique story that deals with a lot of the same political intrigue and conspiracies that you experienced in Horizon.
5 Dishonored 2
This game is a lot more linear than Horizon and you may feel yourself restricted by the lack of open world. But if your priority is on combat and developing your character through a skill tree of abilities then this will be a great choice.
In Dishonored 2 you’ll feel a lot more powerful than Aloy ever did with supernatural powers or you can forgo them for more similar gameplay. But honestly after using Possession, Blink, and Shadow Walk you might have a hard time going back to a game without similar powers.
This game focuses more on the story and gameplay aspects that made Horizon a lot of fun and that comes with some trade offs. There is a large facility to explore and unlock, but by no means is it open world or even necessarily pretty.
Yet the storyline is dark with a lot of twists and turns as you uncover what happened to the employees. It’s a bit more horror than Horizon ever had, but it’s not so different as to be annoying. If you enjoyed exploring the Cauldrons you may like this game.
3 Bioshock Infinite
It doesn’t get more Sci Fi then a western society in a floating city in the clouds. This game is much more linear than what you’ll be used to, but the Sky-Hook is similar to Aloy using her bow to move around albeit much faster and smoother.
The RPG elements of game are light with more focus on abilities and powers than weapons. The story is also very good with a heck of a twist at the end, assuming it hasn’t been spoiled over the last couple of years.
2 S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat
This is certainly the oldest game on the list having come out in 2010, but it’s aged very well and holds up with a lot of modern games. You’re a mercenary sent into the heart of a radiated area called the Zone to locate missing military personnel, find artifacts of great power, and discover the secret of the Zone.
It’ll be a lot more clunky and combat will be more limited, but it has plenty of RPG elements in terms of gear and artifacts to make it worth your time. It’s also the right blend of Sci-Fi, post-apocalypse, and horror to be in the same vein as Horizon.
Warframe is a fantastic Sci-Fi game that puts you in the shoes of a consciousness capable of inhabiting various Warframes as you seek to eradicate evil in the solar system. Combat is smooth with a bit of stealth, melee, and ranged fighting that strikes the same chords as Horizon.
The RPG elements of the game involve more crafting than you may be used to, but the large number of Warframes offers great replayability and customization you may not have gotten in Horizon. It’s worth looking into thanks to the new expansion New War. Perhaps the best part is the game is entirely free-to-play so give it a shot and see if it’s what you’re looking for.