6 Games Like Mass Effect [Recommendations]

Mass Effect is the first game in a now very celebrated series of third-person shooting games. You take the role of Commander Shepard, who you customise to your own liking, on his mission as the first human Spectre trying to do nothing less than saving the galaxy. Until Shepard, the role of Spectre (a kind of secret agent soldier position) had only been reserved for species considered to be more advanced than humans. But with the threat of the Geth coming to wipe out the galaxy, and Shepard's impressive military history, you are given the chance to save the galaxy and prove that humans can do what other alien species are able to achieve as well.

Along the way, you pick up many companions, form relationships - both good and bad - and make choices and decisions that affect from very small things in the game to even the very ending. It means Mass Effect is a very customisable title, from character creation to the way you finish missions, how you interact with others and build your party and the end result. Mass Effect has massive replay value because of this, and a deep, branching story. It's a game that leaves you wanting more but sets the bar very high for finding another game to fill its place!

That's where our list of 6 Games like Mass Effect comes in. From other third person shooters to games with massive, choice-driven stories, to titles with plenty of party building options - whatever part of Mass Effect you liked, it's bound to match at least one (if not a few) of these games.

Similar Games to Mass Effect

1. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

  • System/Platform: Xbox, Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, Android
  • Publisher: LucasArts
  • Developer: BioWare
  • Release Date: Jul. 15th, 2003

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic takes place thousands of years before the movie franchise begins when the galaxy was a very different place. You take the role of a mysterious Force-sensitive human (the player chooses male or female) who has little memory of their past but finds themselves swept up in a galaxy torn by a war that was led by the powerful Darth Revan and their apprentice Malak. Now they are training under the Jedi Knight Bastila to try to track down the planets and locations Revan and Malak visited and learn the secrets to how the two Sith created such a large army that threatened to destroy the Republic - and to find and stop Malak, who remains at large, too! But the stakes are higher than anyone could have imagined, and there are a lot more secrets to be revealed as the plot unveils itself....

Mass Effect and Knights of the Old Republic have different combat styles for sure - but other than that, these two titles have so many things in common! Most obviously, both are set in space with the ability to travel around to various planets in your own ship, interacting with lots of different aliens, robots, and more as you explore many distinctly different environments. Both games are also choice-driven with a lot of dialogue options that let you change the outcome of the game and alter the story according to your moral decisions (whether good or bad!). It means both games have high replay value.

They are both games where you can play as a male or female lead, and your choice will also affect some of your interactions with other characters, especially in your immediate party. Finally, in both Mass Effect and Knights of the Old Republic, you travel around on your adventures with the party members of your choice, and who you take with you will affect how some missions play out. If you're looking for another exciting space opera with lots of replay value and a deep storyline after you finish Mass Effect - look no further than Knights of the Old Republic. It's got you covered.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic


2. Dragon Age: Origins

  • System/Platform: Microsoft Windows, OS X, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
  • Publisher: Electronic Arts
  • Developer: BioWare
  • Release Date: Nov. 3rd, 2009

Dragon Age: Origins lets the player create and play as a Grey Warden, someone from a group of warriors meant to protect the land from the blight of Darkspawn upon it - but at a high personal price. When the land of Fereldan finds itself falling into a Blight again, with hordes of Darkspawn being led by an arch demon, and a murdered king, well, let's just say things have gotten chaotic. It's up to the Grey Wardens to make good on some old contracts for different places to band together to fight the archdemon. But each place has its own struggles too, so if they're going to come to the aid of the Wardens, the Wardens are going to have to help them first. Can you bring everyone in the land together united against this threat, find a new monarch, and defeat the archdemon to end the blight? It's all in your hands.

Made by the same company, Dragon Age Origins and Mass Effect use very similar ideas just in different settings, making them incredibly similar games. Sure, Mass Effect is a sci-fi shooter in space and Dragon Age is a fantasy adventure in a historical setting. But after that the similarities are astounding. They both are third person games with small parties and have a dialogue where you choose nearly all of your options. Both games have choices with major consequences that affect both small and large parts of the game. They both have alternative endings and ways of doing things, so if you play them again, you can have a lot of new experiences. They both offer highly customisable main characters, both in appearance and character classes. And both have a heavy emphasis on party relations, with a safe place you can talk to all your party members to make friends, enemies, and lovers out of who you choose (and their fate is in your hands as well!). Basically, if you liked most things about Mass Effect and would like to play it again but in a less shiny fantasy setting, Dragon Age Origins is your game.

Dragon Age: Origins - Sacred Ashes Trailer


3. Alpha Protocol

  • System/Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows
  • Publisher: Sega
  • Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
  • Release Date: May 27th, 2010

Alpha Protocol is a game about being a secret agent in an organisation that works outside of the government's usual rules and constraints. The player takes the role of Michael Thorton, who is new to the job, on an assassination assignment to kill the head of a Saudi Arabian terrorist cell. Michael is able to get the intel that he is looking for but is thought to be killed by missiles in the process. What he uncovers though is a large conspiracy that he then has to go and discover the truth of, traveling to Rome, Moscow, and Taipei in search of answers. If Michael and his team are not able to reveal the whole conspiracy and change the course of actions, the world may fall into World War 3! It's a lot of pressure on you as the player as you're swept into a whirlwind, worldwide mystery adventure.

Like the other games on our list, Alpha Protocol has choices for the player to make, like Mass Effect. And the choices that are made that in turn affect events in the places you visit will alter what happens in the other locations as well. When you are given the locations of Moscow, Rome, and Taipei, you have the option to visit them in whatever order you chose, similar to Mass Effect. It means that neither game is an open world the way many newer titles are, but the gameplay isn't linear, either. And that means that events in one location can affect others differently depending on the order you visit in both games. Alpha Protocol and Mass Effect also share similar gameplay elements as both are third-person shooter games, so if you like that style, Alpha Protocol delivers it for you. For more branching storylines and third-person shooting action, check out Alpha Protocol!

Alpha Protocol Launch Trailer


Any Games Like Mass Effect ?

4. Fallout 3

  • System/Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows
  • Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
  • Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
  • Release Date: Oct. 28th, 2008

Fallout 3 is set in the wastelands of nuclear apocalypse after a war between the United States and China left the world devastated. You as the player take control of the main character (customised by you, including gender), a civilian living in Vault 101 near Washington, D.C. It is one of many safe fallout shelters created to ride out the apocalypse - but it wouldn't be much of a game if you just stayed in the vault, would it? So when the player finds out their father has disappeared for some reason, they leave the vault in search of him and enter the wasteland. They have to fight to survive in that unforgiving world while looking for their father - and fighting against the corrupt organisation that the remainder of the American government has become!

Like Mass Effect, Fallout 3 is a shooter game. While the game is default to run in the first person, it can be switched to the third person like Mass Effect if you prefer that playing style. It also has a highly customisable main character and customisable leveling and character growth, so you can choose what your character excels in similar to Mass Effect. You have plenty of choices to make in how you handle missions and conduct yourself in Fallout 3 as well, and your choices affect your karma - whether good or bad. And just like your standing as Paragon or Renegade in Mass Effect, your karma will change mission outcomes, affect how others interact with you, and even alter the game's ending! It means you can replay both games multiple times and making new choices lets you experience an all new game. And both games are definitely science fiction, though different kinds of course - Fallout 3 may not be set in space for it's a very different world from the one we know all the same. Another great escape to an exciting adventure!

Fallout 3 Trailer


5. Red Dead Redemption

  • System/Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
  • Publisher: Rockstar Games
  • Developer: Rockstar San Diego
  • Release Date: May 18th, 2010

Red Dead Redemption lets the player take control of John Marston, an ex-outlaw in the American frontier who is being blackmailed by the government into rounding up members of his old gang. He has to help them because they have taken his family prisoner! And there is the added bonus that he will be granted total amnesty from his past if he is successful. The setting of the game is unique; the year is 1911, right at the end of the "American West" of cowboys and outlaws as technology like cars are beginning to show up. You travel throughout two counties in America and one part of Mexico on your journey to bring the other outlaws to justice and to return to your family, all the while revealing a larger plot that is afoot.

The American West and space are very different settings of course, but Mass Effect and Red Dead Redemption have more in common than you might initially think. Both games are third-person shooters, so fans of that playing style are likely to enjoy the gameplay itself in both titles. They also both make use of a morality system when making decisions in the game, with those decisions affecting how other characters react to Marston and Shepard and also affecting the world the game takes place in. In both games, you can choose to play as a "good" or "bad" person, with pros and cons to both sides. Finally, both titles emphasise exploration and offer a variety of side quests on top of the main storyline, with Red Dead Redemption offering, even more, options with its open world maps. If the gameplay, morality scale, and chance to explore 'the final frontier' are what drew you into Mass Effect, get ready to explore a frontier of a different kind in Red Dead Redemption.

Red Dead Redemption Official Trailer "My Name is John Marston"


6. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

  • System/Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
  • Publisher: CD Projekt
  • Developer: CD Projekt RED
  • Release Date: May 19th, 2015

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt follows the Witcher Geralt on yet another adventure. This time, his "daughter" Ciri, is missing and is being pursued by the Wild Hunt! It seems like an inescapable fate, but Geralt is determined to find and save her. You play as Geralt, traveling around a massive open world map looking for clues to find Ciri, fighting monsters, taking Witcher contracts, and helping (or hurting) people. You're aided by both Yennefer and Triss, Geralt's past lovers, along with many other characters from previous games. But even if you haven't played another game in the series before, the Witcher 3 is an exciting adventure to fight the Wild Hunt all the same!

The easiest comparison to draw between the Witcher 3 and Mass Effect is that it's a choice-driven game, and your choices in dialogue and what to do in missions will affect the overall story. Even small changes and decisions you make might have large rippling affects you only find out much later, and they will change how other characters in the game treat you. You also have the life and fate of a lot of characters right in your hands, just like Mass Effect. But the other thing that makes these games similar is the depth of story that they both offer. It's easy to get lost in the massive stories that both of these games weave, with loads of different characters to love and hate. They both know how to be funny when they need to be, and how to make you sad. And they both have decisions that can be hard to make because they're greyer rather than just black and white. If it's the storytelling in Mass Effect that keeps you coming back, the Witcher 3 will capture you, too.

Official Launch Trailer - The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt


Final Thoughts

From medieval fantasy to the Wild West and right back into space, these six great titles share at least one thing in common with Mass Effect - and most share a few! So while it's hard to fill the shoes of Commander Shepard and have another game that compares to Mass Effect, we hope at least one of these games will be able to come close. And you never know, you might even find an all new favourite! Whatever you choose, best of luck on your mission, and we hope you have a lot of fun.

Have you played any of these games? What was your favourite thing about Mass Effect? Would you add any other games to this list? We would love to hear all your comments in the section below!

Jet Nebula

Writer

Author: Jet Nebula

Living the dream in Tokyo, where you can find me working at a theme café catered towards women. When I’m not writing for Honey’s, I’m working on original dystopian science fiction or blogging about Tokyo’s trendy coffee scene. I spend my free time in Harajuku and Shibuya wearing alternative Japanese street fashion. I love video games, J-rock, tattoos, and Star Wars.

Previous Articles

Top 5 Anime by Jet Nebula