While Starfield is nearly here, you might not be partaking (for whatever reason!). From the thoroughly entertaining The Outer Worlds to the unrestricted freedom of No Man’s Sky, let’s look at the six best games thematically similar to Starfield that will satisfy your sci-fi-loving brain right now.
One of the most underrated games in 2021, Chorus should be on your list if you crave sci-fi action. While you can’t get out of your spaceship and wander about, there is an open area to explore as you fly at high speed through asteroids and space gates. The combat impresses with its fast-paced action and powerful weapons. There’s also an intriguing storyline to follow, complete with side quests to complement it.
Want to explore the stars but you’re stuck at home with a 9-5 job? Elite Dangerous might be able to transport you beyond the skies above. You’ll be upgrading your ship as you fight enemy forces, explore the beautiful cosmos, and soar amongst the stars alongside your friends. There’s also a major sense of scale as the developer claims on its Steam page that “the entirety of the Milky Way [is] re-created at its full galactic proportions”. It has been free on the Epic Games Store in the past, so check your library if you haven’t already.
Mass Effect Legendary Edition
One of Bethesda’s greatest aspects is its storytelling. The majority of its games have immense lore and an intriguing storyline full of interesting characters. The Mass Effect series offers a similarly strong narrative that has you invested in its roster of heroes and villains. In addition, the worldbuilding is outstanding, as you get more intrigued by the factions and environments of this sci-fi universe the deeper you delve into it. Hopefully, Starfield will offer a story that has just as much drama as the legendary BioWare series.
No Man’s Sky
With one of the rockiest launches in modern gaming history, No Man’s Sky was a shell of the promises original made by the developer Hello Games. Fortunately, over the years, the game has received wide acclaim for its bevy of features, stunning landscapes, and introduction of co-op. The randomized nature of the game has given us strange new creatures and gorgeous scenery that fans often share their pictures of No Man’s Sky. Starfield also features many, many worlds; No Man’s Sky has likely inspired Bethesda with its daring concept, for better or for worse. Hopefully, the former.
If No Man’s Sky doesn’t tickle your fancy, Outer Wilds might instead. You’re exploring a solar system that is trapped in a time loop, and it is up to you to solve the mystery behind it. The planets in this game each offer their own little secrets to discover as you find out details about the Dark Bramble and the alien ruins across the system. While there are no RPG mechanics to speak of, Outer Wilds will likely give you the same exploratory rush in Starfield. Nevertheless, Josh Talentino called the game “Superb” in his review for Destructoid.
The Outer Worlds
The closest game you’ll get to Starfield is probably The Outer Worlds. Not to be confused with the similarly titled last entry, this Obsidian FPS/RPG has an exciting and engaging campaign. You’ll find well-written characters, an entertaining loot-and-shoot game loop, and a captivating story. The Outer Worlds does not feature interspace combat or a huge universe to explore. However, the densely populated environments have engrossing side missions and inspired art design. In fact, The Outer Worlds was Destructoid’s 2019 Game of the Year.
While there aren’t “traditional” RPG mechanics in Death Stranding, that sense of exploration from Starfield is present in the game. You’re delivering packages throughout the world and helping connect the once-separated areas of post-apocalyptic America back together. Directed by Metal Gear Solid veteran Hideo Kojima, its sci-fi concepts are thought-provoking and stunning to behold.
The interactability between players is also unique as you help each other form a better world. Death Stranding’s available on Xbox Game Pass for PC if you want to check it out.
Deliver Us The Moon
If you want to explore a sci-fi world without chaotic shooting gameplay, Deliver Us The Moon might be your ticket. You’re exploring a space station that is unresponsive and within it, you’ll discover exactly what has happened. The story is told in a quiet, yet impactful way. The puzzles are also well-implemented.
The detailed environments also present the story well, hopefully like Starfield. It’s a sci-fi game that’s a breath of fresh air (well, at least as fresh as it can be in space).
Star Wars Squadrons
Lastly, there’s Star Wars Squadrons. The force is strong with this one! If you want to prepare yourself for ship battles in Starfield, you can control various Star Wars ships in Squadrons, and it’s a rush to shoot an Imperial ship in an X-Wing in this game. The cockpit view is also one-to-one to what Rebels like Wedge and Luke saw back in the day with all the visual do-hickeys and buttons intact.
As our review notes: “It finds a great balance between making the player feel like a responsible pilot and a complete badass.”