Mass Effect: Best Games to Play After the Sci-fi RPG Series (2024)


While few video games are as memorable as the legendary Mass Effect franchise, some scratch the same sci-fi and nonlinear itches.

Mass Effect is arguably one of the best sci-fi RPGs ever made, and it has left quite the impact. However, once many players have finished the franchise, they are left wanting more — the mark of a truly great video game experience. While BioWare is years away from another entry in the franchise, Mass Effect is not the only one of its kind.

The video game industry is full of titles that seem almost custom-made for Mass Effect fans, even though some of these games predate BioWare’s legendary series. More than a few of these titles are sci-fi RPGs that focus on worldbuilding and memorable characters, while others are non-linear stories that thrive on player choices and beg for multiple playthroughs. Few hit the same highs as Mass Effect, but odds are anyone who loves the franchise will also adore these games. And even if you don’t like Mass Effect, you’ll probably enjoy the following titles anyway because they’re just that good.

Mass Effect: Best Games to Play After the Sci-fi RPG Series (1)


2001 | Ion Storm

When you think about Western sci-fi RPGs, your mind jumps to FPS gun-centric adventures, but Anachronox dares to be different. Anachronox is a turn-based RPG that takes players on a planet-hopping adventure across the galaxy as they right wrongs, get into trouble, and recruit an unlikely band of heroes. And did we mention that one of those planets later becomes a party member?


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Anachronox is one of the best-written underrated games out there, thanks to its characters and irreverent sense of humor. The game’s story is the cyberpunk-noir equivalent of the JRPG meme “First mission: Find lost kitty; Final mission: KILL GOD.” But while Anachronox is full of comedic moments, it knows when and how to get serious.

If Anachronox has one flaw, it is the game’s cliffhanger ending. Had game developer Ion Storm not closed mere days after release, Anachronox 2 would probably be on this list.

Mass Effect: Best Games to Play After the Sci-fi RPG Series (2)


2019 | Spiders

GreedFall is a rare breed of fantasy that blends magic with more grounded settings and characters. Instead of asking players to control a knight on a quest to kill a dragon, GreedFall places them in the shoes of an 17th century-esque explorer trying to settle a foreign island filled with deadly monsters and disease. Many factions populate the isle, but nobody wants to cooperate.

While GreedFall doesn’t try anything new, especially when it comes to combat, the game polishes its narrative offerings. GreedFall includes plenty of skills that let players explore the world and impact the narrative, and each new mission keeps players on their toes.

Nothing is as it seems in GreedFall, and the game nails a sense of mystery that is sure to keep most players hooked.


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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

2015 | CD Projekt Red

The Witcher series exploded in popularity primarily due to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. The game is a masterclass of world design and storytelling, and even though The Witcher 3 is an open-world title, it avoids many of the genre’s pitfalls thanks to its dense lands brimming with activities that never overstay their welcome.

While the heart of The Witcher 3 is its narrative, the meat of the experience rests in its side quests. Each mini adventure is beautifully written and takes players through unforgettable storylines. What other game lets you get high and talk to your loyal steed?

Even when players are done with The Witcher 3’s main quest, the game isn’t done with them. The Witcher 3 boasts DLC expansions that eclipse many other AAA RPGs in both story and scope.

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Fallout: New Vegas

2010 | Obsidian Entertainment

The Fallout franchise is widely praised for its worldbuilding, storytelling, and emphasis on player choice, but if you asked gamers which entry is best, most would answer Fallout: New Vegas, and for good reason. Unlike other Fallout games, the main character is a blank slate — a mailman (or woman) in the irradiated Nevadan wasteland who lost a strange package.


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New Vegas‘ provides a compelling mystery that surrounds the parcel and gives players an excuse (and the systems) to figure things out however they want. The game offers more narrative freedom than the average Fallout game, and it also houses some of the most memorable characters in the RPG franchise. Who needs an NPC with a degree in theoretical physics when Fallout: New Vegas has one with a theoretical degree in physics?

Mass Effect: Best Games to Play After the Sci-fi RPG Series (5)


The Shadowrun franchise is a series of tactical RPGs based on a tabletop game of the same name. In Shadowrun, the world is a unique blend of cyberpunk and magic. Megacorporations rule entire countries, and everyone wields katanas, uzis, and leather jackets. However, a large portion of humanity has turned into trolls, dwarves, and elves, too. Oh, and sometimes vampires serve as megacorp receptionists/security.

The Shadowrun series of games is best described as an RPG version of XCOM. Players control a squad of guns for hire as they navigate neon streets, take various jobs, and uncover conspiracies. Each entry’s story is a sprawling web of treachery and deception, and choices heavily impact the endings. However, quality varies between games, so while one Shadowrun title might keep players invested, another might not. But Shadowrun is a must-buy for any fan of cyberpunk dystopia, magic, and everything in between.

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Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

2003 | BioWare

Long before BioWare revolutionized action RPGs with Mass Effect, the studio paved the way with Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. The game admittedly looks dated in the graphics department, and its combat system is relatively primitive to modern standards, but it outshines even the latest RPGs thanks to its writing.

Knights of the Old Republic offers a ton of choices that lets players build their own stories — a selling point of many BioWare games, honestly. But more than that, the game is brought to life by well-written, memorable characters. Ask any long-time Star Wars fan about their favorite character, and many will sing about HK-47, the game’s standout assassin droid. Without Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Mass Effect might not be the series it is today.


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Wasteland 3

2020 | inXile

Before Fallout, Wasteland was the de facto king of post-apocalyptic RPGs, and Wasteland 3 is the latest entry in that proud lineage. The game takes players to a frozen future Colorado in an attempt to make new allies, but as is tradition in these kinds of games, nothing goes according to plan.

Wasteland 3 is the full post-apocalyptic package. The game gives players tons of skills that alter combat and missions, plenty of narrative choices to warrant multiple playthroughs, and enough loot to turn each party member into a walking scrapyard of armor and attitude. Plus, combat is tense and hinges on every choice; flanking the enemy can spell the difference between victory and defeat.

While Fallout was invented to replace Wasteland, Wasteland 3’s quality overshadows modern Fallout.

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The Outer Worlds

2019 | Obsidian Entertainment

In The Outer Worlds, players undertake a huge adventure across several worlds to save the lives of their fellow space colonists. What horrible, otherworldly force could possibly threaten them? A megacorporation focused more on profit than human lives.

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The game is a spiritual successor to Fallout: New Vegas in the best way possible. Characters are as witty as they are memorable, and players can finish quests a variety of ways. The shotgun approach is just as viable as blackmail, bribery, or a silver tongue. Plus, The Outer Worlds has plenty of loot, item upgrades, and skills to keep combat-oriented gamers more than satisfied.

The Outer Worlds doesn’t hit the same space opera notes of Mass Effect, but makes up for it by giving players far more freedom.

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Jade Empire

2005 | BioWare

Fantasy action RPGs usually take place in a medieval setting filled with wizards, elves, and dragons, but Jade Empire is one of the few examples of a Western RPG inspired by Chinese mythology and history. The game carries many of BioWare’s fingerprints, such as morality choices that impact the story, but it also sports a novel combat system that superficially resembles fighting games.

Jade Empire was a labor of love. BioWare poured millions of dollars and countless work hours into tiny details, from replicating real-world martial arts to creating a unique fictional language. But BioWare didn’t skimp on macro factors, as the game features some of the studio’s better and more experimental quests. While Jade Empire eschews some personal touches such as player customization, it focuses on writing and worldbuilding to create an unforgettable experience.

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Divinity: Original Sin 2

2017 | Larian Studios


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While many Western RPGs tout the ability to adapt to player choices and imaginations, Divinity: Original Sin 2 is one of the few titles that truly keeps that promise. The game is a callback to old school computer RPGs, from its party system to its isometric camera. And, while Original Sin 2 delivers a fantastic narrative, the game’s claim to fame is its freeform character creation and combat systems.

Divinity: Original Sin 2 gives players a library’s worth of character options and class skills, all of which drastically alter the game. The right skill can open new avenues of exploration and quest progression, and combat is a tapestry of class abilities and strategy that rewards clever, Rube Goldberg-level thinking. Plus, it’s just fun to toss an oil barrel onto the ground and watch the battlefield explode into a devastating inferno.


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Tags: Mass EffectSci-fi

Mass Effect: Best Games to Play After the Sci-fi RPG Series (11)

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Aaron Greenbaum

Aaron Greenbaum is a freelance games and pop-culture journalist who thrives on the latest gaming industry news and video game trivia. He also writes comic books…

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Mass Effect: Best Games to Play After the Sci-fi RPG Series (2024)


Mass Effect: Best Games to Play After the Sci-fi RPG Series? ›

Deus Ex is another must-play sci-fi RPG experience. While not as "epic" as Mass Effect, this conspiracy theory RPG changed gaming in 2000 and holds up to this day. Is Deus Ex too old for you? Well, there's always Cyberpunk 2077.

What game to play after Mass Effect? ›

Deus Ex is another must-play sci-fi RPG experience. While not as "epic" as Mass Effect, this conspiracy theory RPG changed gaming in 2000 and holds up to this day. Is Deus Ex too old for you? Well, there's always Cyberpunk 2077.

Are there any games as good as Mass Effect? ›

Dragon Age: Inquisition, much like Mass Effect 3, offers an in-depth role-playing experience that is both immensely engaging and full of possibilities. Bioware, the developers behind these two franchises, focuses on a solid and compelling narrative in these epic series.

What to play after Mass Effect trilogy reddit? ›

  • If you like shooting Zombies, then "The Last of Us" is very highly regarded, and it has been remade for the PS5. ...
  • If you like something a bit more "present day" and a few less zombies, then the Uncharted series is excellent.
Mar 31, 2024

What to do after beating Mass Effect trilogy? ›

Mass Effect's news reports are easily missable but feature some of the most intriguing stories in the trilogy, including one about a ghost ship.
  1. 1 Play Other Games Like Mass Effect.
  2. 2 Check Out Mass Effect: Andromeda. ...
  3. 3 Try The Original Games. ...
  4. 4 Earn Every Known Achievement. ...
  5. 5 Replay Certain Games on New Game+ ...
Apr 14, 2024

Will there be a 5th Mass Effect game? ›

Mass Effect 5 will be a single-player game

"We have a team hard at work envisioning what the future holds for a new single-player Mass Effect game," general manager Gary McKay noted towards the end of the post.

What order should I play Mass Effect? ›

Mass Effect games in order
  1. Mass Effect (original release - 2007)
  2. Mass Effect 2 (original release - 2010)
  3. Mass Effect 3 (original release - 2012)
May 13, 2021

Will there ever be a Mass Effect 4? ›

Mass Effect 4, which has yet to receive a proper title, is in development at BioWare. After the release of Anthem, it seems EA has BioWare sticking to its guns: Dragon Age and Mass Effect. Both games are hotly anticipated, despite neither having any concrete plans for release quite yet.

Should I play all 3 Mass Effects? ›

The answer is yes, you absolutely must. There are a few reasons why you should play the Mass Effect trilogy in order, and not just because that's the way the story was written - there are severe consequences to not playing Mass Effect, then ME2, then ME3 - it's a matter of life and death.

Is Dragon Age connected to Mass Effect? ›

Dragon Age and Mass Effect are more closely related than just sharing a studio though - they might also share a universe. The theory, underpinned by a few Easter Eggs and lots of imagination, proposes that Thedas is but a planet in the Mass Effect universe.

What is the max level in Mass Effect trilogy? ›

In Mass Effect, leveling up for both the player and NPC squad members requires experience points, which are gained from completing missions, assignments, and killing or destroying enemies. The amount of experience required to reach the final few character levels increases sharply approaching the maximum level of 60.

Should I play the Mass Effect games in order? ›

I don't think it matters. None of the characters in the game are going to have any idea what happened after the events of ME2. So for continuity's sake, I would play it after 3.

How many endings are there to Mass Effect? ›

There are two Mass Effect endings, one with a branching path. They all revolve around pursuing dealing with the Council in the Race Against Time: Final Battle mission, though none of them significantly influence how the trilogy unfolds.

Can you keep playing Mass Effect after you beat it? ›

No, the game ends and saves your profile. The only use this currently has is to make a New Game+ (go to New Game then Use An Existing Profile) which allows you to start a new game with your high-level character and all his gear.

Is Mass Effect replayable? ›

Players who replay the game multiple times can find happiness in getting every squad member to live through. It can be challenging to ensure every character's loyalty, but it's well worth it since loyalty is a key part in getting everyone out alive.

Which Mass Effect 3 ending is Paragon? ›

There is definately a paragon/renegade ending. The colour of the Mass Relays change depending on the ending. Blue for control (Paragon, hardly anyone dies), Red for Destroy (Renegade, you kill all AI not just Reapers), Green for Synthesis (Neutral, you stop the Reapers but end up fulfilling Saren's wishes).

Can you keep playing after you beat Mass Effect 1? ›

No, the game ends and saves your profile.

Can you play ME3 after ending? ›

Mass Effect 3

This is the END of the Trilogy. There will be no new game. If you mean New Game +, the game saved that for you when you lost at the end. Otherwise, you are still in a position to play any future DLC on that playthrough by reverting you to that point.

Should you play all Mass Effect games in order? ›

The canon order to play the Mass Effect games is Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3, and Mass Effect: Andromeda. Although, the last one is entirely optional. I'd recommend playing the legendary edition so you don't have to use multiple discs or switch games every time you complete one.

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