Horizon: Zero Dawn turned out to be one of the most surprising successes of recent years. The open-world action-RPG developed by Guerilla Games wowed the players and critics with its open-world setting, gameplay mechanics, and interesting plot. All three of those gained the game universal acclaim, followed by accolades and recognitions from the industry press.

Despite their level of detail and epic scale, H: ZD’s features are nothing new in the gaming world. Plenty of titles managed to push the player’s imagination and skills to the limit with robust open worlds and engaging gameplay. Let’s take a look at the best games like Horizon Zero Dawn.

10 Games like Horizon Zero Dawn

Far Cry: Primal

PC
Xbox One
PlayStation 4
Release year:February 23, 2016 (PS4, XONE), March 1, 2016 (PC)
Genre:FPP action-adventure
DeveloperUbisoft Montreal
Game modessingle-player

In terms of storytelling, Far Cry: Primal, a prehistoric spinoff to Ubisoft’s open-world first-person shooter series, shares a lot with H: ZD. The player assumes the role of Takkar, a warrior of the Wenja tribe, who finds himself on a quest for vengeance against two enemy tribes, who laid waste to his village and kin.

far-cry-primal-04-02-2020

The gameplay mechanics follows the standard beats of a Far Cry title: the player explores the open-world environment, gathering useful items and collectibles and fighting against enemies, human and beast alike. However, Primal’s setting forces the player to use prehistoric weapons. Facing a hungry sabertooth tiger or an enraged mammoth will feel far more precarious when, instead of a fully-loaded rifle, the player has to use only a bow and arrow. Far Cry: Primal was met with a positive reception. Critics praised the game for its unlikely setting and gameplay mechanics, especially a chance to tame prehistoric animals

Key features
  • Explore the prehistoric open-world environment
  • Use your hunter skills against humans and beasts
  • Tame wildlife to serve you in battle

Monster Hunter: World

PC
Xbox One
PlayStation 4
Release year:January 26, 2018 (PS4, XONE), August 9, 2018 (PC)
Genre:action-RPG
DeveloperCapcom
Game modessingle-player, multiplayer

A key feature of Horizon: Zero Dawn is killing Machines – mechanical creatures that provide the player with precious loot. Some of them are quite small, similar to real-world’s tigers or cheetahs. Others tower high above the player and are more reminiscent of dinosaurs. Taking them down will be a real challenge. Just like facing gigantic beasts in Monster Hunter: World.

Monster Hunter World - gameplay

Monster Hunter: World gives the player the simple task of hunting and killing/capturing monsters living in the vast world beyond the game’s central hub of Astera. Upon returning from a successful quest, the player can upgrade their skills, buy and craft new weapons and items, etc. Facing the monsters and figuring out their weak points is the core of the gameplay, though, and thanks to the multiplayer mode, you can take them don together with friends online. Monster Hunter: World was reviewed positively by the critics who praised the game for its scope and gameplay mechanics, among others.

Key features
  • Explore the locations of the New World
  • Fight and kill gigantic monsters or capture the for research purposes
  • Visit Astera to craft new weapons and replenish your supplies
  • Enjoy the game solo or with friends through cooperative multiplayer

Batman: Arkham Knight

PC
Xbox One
PlayStation 4
Release year:June 23, 2015
Genre:action-adventure
DeveloperRocksteady Studios
Game modessingle-player

Throughout her travels, Aloy will encounter Machines that she can hack to serve her. Doing so turns a vicious monster into a loyal partner that can be used as a mount or support in combat. Hacking and unusual means of locomotion are something that Aloy has in common with the protagonist of the next entry on our list – Batman.

Batman: Arkham Knight, the third installment of Rocksteady’s Arkham trilogy, gives the player unparalleled freedom of exploring Gotham City. The player can glide through the air using the Dark Knight’s cape, reach the tallest buildings with a grappling hook, and for the first time, sit behind the driving wheel of the Batmobile. Other gameplay mechanics include a “freeflow” combat system, puzzles that can be solved using Batman’s various gadgets, and plenty of story missions and sidequests to bind the time for long evenings. Arkham Knight was met with highly positive critical reviews.

Key features
  • Experience Gotham City like never before
  • Explore the open-world environment using various means of transport
  • play through an intriguing story mode
  • Complete optional missions and look or collectibles

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

PlayStation 4
Release year:May 10, 2016
Genre:action-adventure
DeveloperNaughty Dog
Game modessingle-player, multiplayer

There are two things that Nathan Drake and Aloy have in common: love for open spaces and a knack for finding treasure. In H: ZD, the player can spend hours exploring the vast environment, looking for loot hidden in its nooks and crannies. The same goes for the fourth installment of the Uncharted series, one last huzzah for Nate’s life as a treasure hunter.

uncharted

Unlike the previous installments of the series, A Thief’s End gives the player some level of freedom in playing the game. During certain portions of the levels, the player will be able to explore a larger open area – castle ruins in Scotland, grassy plains of Madagascar, etc. These areas give the player chance to experience improved stealth mechanics and drive around in a jeep. The rest of the game is a typical Uncharted romp, with breakneck action setpieces, plot twists, and plenty of collectible treasures to be found. Uncharted 4: A Theif’s End was met with universal acclaim, praised for its storytelling, gameplay, and visual side.

Key features
  • The last adventure of Nathan Drake
  • Try out new gameplay mechanics, including improved stealth and melee combat and driving a car
  • Play through an engaging story mode or take on your friends in multiplayer

Tomb Raider (2013 reboot)

PC
Xbox One
PlayStation 4
Release year:January 28, 2014 (PS4, XONE), March 5, 2013 (PC)
Genre:action-adventure
DeveloperCrystal Dynamics
Game modessingle-player, multiplayer

When we meet Aloy in Horizon: Zero Dawn, she’s but a speck of dust in the big, big world. Inexperienced and overpowered by the elements she’s about to face, the protagonist will have to learn on the go in order to avoid ending up as a dinner for one of the monstrous Machines. In the 2013’s reboot of the Tomb Raider series, we see aspiring archaeologists Lara Croft put in a similar spot.

Tomb Raider 2013

The reboot of a cult classic series draws much inspiration from contemporary action games, mainly Naughty’ Dogs Uncharted series. Instead of focusing on exploration and puzzle-solving, the game throws the player into the thick of the action, taking down hordes of mercenaries and undead samurai using a variety of weapons. Similarly to H: ZD, the player can upgrade Lady Croft, teaching her new survival and combat skills, and helping her find resources need to create better weapons. The reboot was met with a positive reception, with critics noting the new direction the developers decided to take the series in as a positive.

Key features
  • Explore the island of Yamatai and find a way to escape
  • Search for hidden collectibles and locations, including optional puzzle tombs
  • Teach Lara new skills to give her an edge over her opponents

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

PC
Xbox One
PlayStation 4
Release year:September 1, 2015
Genre:action-adventure, stealth
DeveloperKojima Productions
Game modessingle-player, multiplayer

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and Horizon: Zero Dawn share an open-world setting where the player can interact with NPCs, carry out missions, and generally roam it free of care. But while H: ZD was made with a limitless environment in mind, the newest adventure of Big Boss is the first in the series to introduce it.

METAL GEAR SOLID V: The Phantom Pain - robot

While larger, semi-open areas aren’t a novelty in the Metal Gear series (one that comes to mind is the Sokrovenno forest in MGS 3), The Phantom Pain gives the player a truly open environment. The Afghan desert surrounding the player’s base of operations can be explored on foot, horseback, and using various vehicles. So let your hair loose and gallop across the dunes while completing missions Metal Gear-style. The Phantom Pain received critical acclaim and was praised for its open-world setting and gameplay mechanics.

Key features
  • A new chapter in the Big Boss’ story
  • Explore the sandy dunes and vast plains of the game’s open-world environment
  • Expand your base and take complete a variety of missions
  • Enjoy the multiplayer mode, where you can expand your base and defend it against other players

Fallout 4

PC
Xbox One
PlayStation 4
Release year:November 10, 2015
Genre:action-RPG
DeveloperBethesda Game Studios
Game modessingle-player

Throughout the gameplay of Horizon: Zero Dawn, the player might encounter the remnants of the past civilizations that inhabited Earth before a cataclysmic event wiped them from the face of the planet. Towering constructions overtaken by foliage are specked here and there in the game’s vast world. Those who want to experience a similar after-the-end environment should also give Fallout 4 a shot.

Fallout 4 - sight

The fourth installment of a cult-classic series is set 200 years after the nuclear war destroyed the world as we know it. The player controls a survivor who hibernated in one of the nuclear shelters. When he thaws and leaves the shelter, he sees the world changed by the nuclear fallout: animals turned into dangerous mutants and pockets of survivors fighting for whatever resources they can find. It’s a world very similar to the one Aloy lives in, where the dangers lurk around every corner, and trust is a scarce commodity. Fallout 4 was met with a positive critical reception.

Key features
  • Enter the post-apocalyptic world of Fallout
  • Experience an intricate story full of surprising twists
  • Explore the environment, searching for resources necessary to survive

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

PC
Xbox One
PlayStation 4
Release year:October 28, 2016 (PS4, XONE), November 11, 2011 (PC)
Genre:action-RPG
DeveloperBethesda Game Studios
Game modessingle-player

Much like Horizon: Zero Dawn, Skyrim invites the player to an expansive, fantastical world, filled with many dangers and even more loot to find. While exploring Tamriel’s northern reaches, the player will experience an engrossing tale of the Dragon-born, a warrior destined to save the world from a terrifying dragon.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - fight

The gameplay mechanics, one of the most praised elements of the game, allow the player to explore the vast expanses of Skyrim, to carry out story missions, sidequests given by NPCs, etc. The player can customize the protagonist by choosing from several races and character classes to create their perfect warrior. Leveling up and expanding the character’s skillset will be crucial, as the obstacles thrown at the player in Skyrim will only grow more difficult. Skyrim was met with universal acclaim, winning several industry awards and becoming a game with one of the most active modder bases.

Key features
  • Explore Skyrim and find out the way to stop the dragon from destroying the world
  • Create your own character, choosing from a variety of races and classes with unique abilities
  • Enjoy engaging action-RPG gameplay mechanics
  • Check out the game’s modifications to make your experience even better

Mass Effect Andromeda

PC
Xbox One
PlayStation 4
Release year:March 21, 2017
Genre:action-RPG
DeveloperBioWare
Game modessingle-player, multiplayer

The latest installment of BioWare’s Mass Effect series shares several similarities to the subject of this article. Like Horizon: Zero Dawn, Andromeda opens a vast world to the player. Only the setting is a little bit different – instead of roaming the Earthly plains, the player explores the unknown worlds of outer space.

Another feature shared by both games are dialogue options – a classic mechanic of RPG games. The player can choose different responses in conversations with the NPCs. These responses will determine their attitude towards the player’s character. In the case of Andromeda, the player can even build intimate relationships with certain characters. Find out which member of the crew responds the best to your flirting and with whom you should keep it strictly professional. Mass Effect: Andromeda was met with a solid critical reception.

Key features
  • Explore the vast reaches of the Andromeda galaxy as the commander of a space vessel, The Tempest
  • Discover new worlds and research them with your trusted crew
  • Build good relationships with your crewmates to gain their trust

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla

PC
Xbox One
PlayStation 4
PlayStation 5
Release year:November 10, 2020 (PC, XONE, PS4), November 12, 2020 (PS5)
Genre:action-RPG
DeveloperUbisoft Montreal
Game modessingle-player

The most recent installment of the Assassin’s Creed series shapes up to be the most complex one to date. The player will be put in charge of a group of Vikings who make their new home on the shores of Britain. As their leader, Eivor, the player will have to make sure they thrive in this new land and defend them from those who threaten your kin with violence and death.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla

AC Valhalla is, in a way, an amalgam of the mechanics present in all the previous games on our list, which makes it quite possibly the game that is the closest to the spirit of Horizon: Zero Dawn. The player can explore the vast areas of coastal Britain on foot, horse, or sailing the Viking longboat. Throughout the game, the player will gain experience points necessary to level up their skills and find items that will help them in combat. All these mechanics make Valhalla one of the best games similar to H: ZD. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla received a positive initial impression.

Key features
  • Explore a new age in Assassin’s Creed series
  • Play as Eivor, a Viking clan leader, charged with protecting his kin in a new land
  • Face off against the threats of this new world, facing off against the enemy Britons, local wildlife, and mythical creatures

From the game’s intro to its credits, the epic scope of Horizon: Zero Dawn makes a huge impression on the player. The vast expanses of the wilderness and majestic creatures roaming it, a ludicrous amount of collectibles, including gear and other items, and finally an epic, engrossing story of revenge and healing – all these make H: ZD worthy of all the recognition and accolades it has received.

We hope that the games on our list will help you recapture at least some of Horizon’s amazingness. They offer new open worlds to explore, stories to experience, and collectibles to find, making them the perfect respite from taking down yet another Tallneck.