10 Games to Play While You Wait for Starfield

So Starfield finally has a release date, but it’s still months away after being delayed twice. You’ve been waiting for this game for so long! How will you fill the time? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! We’ve curated a list of games like Starfield: some are sci-fi themed, some are open world RPGs, and some are both. They should be plenty to keep you busy while you wait, and you might just discover a new favorite among them.

Here’s the complete list. It’s in alphabetical order because they’re all awesome.

Game
Platform
Genre
Metascore
Steam Reviews
Alien: Isolation
PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Switch, iOS
Survival Horror
81
Very Positive
Cyberpunk 2077
PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Stadia
Open World RPG
86
Mostly Positive
Dead Space
PC, PS5, Xbox Series X
Survival Horror
87
Very Positive
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
PC, PS3, PS4, PS 5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch
Open World RPG
94
Very Positive
Everspace 2
PC
Space Shooter
82
Very Positive
Fallout 4
PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Open World RPG
84
Very Positive
Mass Effect Legendary Edition
PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
RPG/Third-Person Shooter
86
Very Positive
No Man’s Sky
PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Switch
Open World Survival
61
Mostly Positive
Outer Wilds
PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Action-Adventure
85
Overwhelmingly Positive
The Outer Worlds
PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Action RPG
82
Very Positive
games like starfield
Platform
Genre
Metascore
Steam Reviews
Similarities
PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Switch, iOS
Survival Horror
81
Very Positive
First-person sci-fi

If you’re a fan of the Alien film franchise or survival horror games, Creative Assembly’s Alien: Isolation is the perfect choice to fill the time while you wait for Starfield. Released in 2014, the game follows Amanda Ripley, the daughter of Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver’s character in the films), as she investigates the disappearance of her mother 15 years after the events of the original Alien movie. Playing as Amanda in first-person perspective, you must navigate the space station Sevastopol, avoiding enemies with the aid of tools such as a flashlight and motion tracker.

The game relies heavily on stealth and strategy rather than directly fighting enemies. It draws inspiration more from the first Alien movie than its sequel, Aliens, which was more action-oriented. This sets the game apart from previous Alien games, including Aliens: Colonial Marines, which was released just a year before Isolation. Rather than another bland shooter, what you get is a game that truly captures the feeling of trying to outsmart a powerful and unknowable foe. Creative Assembly put a lot of time into perfecting their AI, and it shows. The xenomorph is just as terrifying as it is in the films.

Like Starfield, the future depicted in Alien: Isolation is less of a shiny utopia and a little more lived-in. Technology is practical, utilitarian – think NASA, not Starfleet. There’s an emphasis on stealth and crafting as well, two gameplay elements that will also feature in Starfield. And although Alien: Isolation is not an RPG, it has a solid story and strong worldbuilding.

Two new Alien games are rumored to be in development, including Alien: Isolation 2. Nothing official has been announced as of yet.

alien isolation laboratory

Platform
Genre
Metascore
Steam Reviews
Similarities
PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Stadia
Open World RPG
86
Mostly Positive
Open world sci-fi RPG

Cyberpunk 2077 is in some ways a cautionary tale, one that Bethesda has no doubt taken to heart and probably delayed Starfield to avoid repeating. The title was the most highly anticipated game of recent years, but doomed to fail to live up to that hype. But it has received quite a few updates since it was released in 2020, and the most recent reviews on Steam have upgraded from Mostly Positive to Very Positive. It may never be the game that we were all hoping for, but it’s definitely worth a second look.

Developed by CD Projekt Red, best known for the Witcher series, Cyberpunk 2077 is an open world RPG based on a tabletop game set in a dystopian high-tech future not unlike the one depicted in Blade Runner or The Matrix (the game even features Keanu Reeves as a major character). Night City replicates the neo-noir look of those cyberpunk visions of the future, an aesthetic that we’ll see in Starfield in places like Neon. It also has a lot of RPG elements, even if there isn’t as much depth to them as we expect to see in Starfield.

A DLC starring Idris Elba, Phantom Liberty, is expected to come out some time this year, but no release date has been set for it.

cyberpunk 2077 night city streets

Platform
Genre
Metascore
Steam Reviews
Similarities
PC, PS5, Xbox Series X
Survival Horror
87
Very Positive
Sci-fi Shooter

The Dead Space series are survival horror games in the vein of Resident Evil, but with a distinctive sci-fi flavor. 2023’s remake of the first installment improves upon what was already a stellar game, adding a voice to the main character and enhancing the graphics and gameplay without losing everything that made Dead Space so good when it first released 15 years ago.

You play as Isaac Clarke (perhaps the most sci-fi combination of names ever), an engineer tasked with investigating a distress call sent by the mining ship Ishimura. The ship has become infested with Necromorphs, mutated undead creatures which you must fight off as you explore and solve puzzles. The game utilizes a diegetic interface, with in-world displays serving as UI elements: your health and energy are shown as lights on the spine of Isaac’s suit, your current ammo count is shown on your gun’s display, and information such as your inventory and map are holographically projected in front of you. It adds an extra layer of immersion that you don’t get in many games.

Although Dead Space is a horror game and not an RPG, it has solid worldbuilding, atmosphere, and storytelling that should appeal to RPG fans. Its science fiction setting has a lot in common with what we know about Starfield’s, such as a future where humanity has spread out across the galaxy and the discovery of mysterious alien artifacts which drive the plot.

If you like Dead Space, there’s also The Callisto Protocol, which was released in 2022 and is considered a spiritual successor to the Dead Space series.

dead space laboratory

Platform
Genre
Metascore
Steam Reviews
Similarities
PC, PS3, PS4, PS 5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch
Open World RPG
94
Very Positive
Open world Bethesda RPG

We can’t talk about Bethesda without bringing the conversation around to The Elder Scrolls, with Skyrim still going strong even 12 years after its release. The Anniversary Edition of the game released last year with loads of new content, and the game’s modding scene is still thriving. If you’ve played the game before, there is always new content to discover, with some incredible mods available for everything from animations to combat to an entire museum that you can populate with collectibles. Even if you don’t want to mess around with mods, you can always make a new character and explore different factions or quests.

Although Skyrim doesn’t share Starfield’s science fiction flavor, we can get a good idea of what to expect from Bethesda’s newest game by looking at their past successes. Starfield is being made in Creation Engine 2, an upgraded version of the engine that was used for Skyrim and Fallout 4, and will feature many expanded or upgraded elements from those games: a massive open world, dynamically generated random events, radiant quests, and NPCs with their own schedules and behaviors.

The Elder Scrolls VI is in the pipeline, but it will be a while before we hear anything more about it, let alone get our hands on it. In the meantime, a new adventure in the northernmost province of Tamriel might be just what you need to kill the time until Starfield releases in September.

skyrim anniversary edition sovngarde

Platform
Genre
Metascore
Steam Reviews
Similarities
PC
Space Shooter
82
Very Positive
Sci-fi shooter with RPG elements

If you’re excited to customize and fly your own spaceship and explore the galaxy in Starfield, then Everspace 2 might be the game to scratch that itch. While space combat might be a nice bonus activity in games like Starfield, Everspace 2 puts it front and center, and does it exceptionally well. You’ll pilot your way from system to system, navigating a surprising variety of combat situations and puzzles from the controls of your very own highly customized spaceship.

Although the game is primarily a space shooter, Everspace 2 does have some RPG elements. You experience its story through talking head dialogue during missions and cut scenes that feature hand-drawn art. The progression system is robust, as is your ability to craft and customize every component of your ship. You can even earn perks through recruiting new crew members to your team. Many of these features will be in Starfield as well, and we can only hope they will be as well fleshed out.

Everspace 2 currently has a free demo available on Steam. If you’re eager to get your hands on some space combat, it’s the perfect game to try.

everspace 2 space station

Platform
Genre
Metascore
Steam Reviews
Similarities
PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Open World RPG
84
Very Positive
Open world Bethesda RPG

Along with The Elder Scrolls, the Fallout games stand as Bethesda’s other flagship franchise. Fallout 4 may be the best game to look at if you want to get an idea of where the company is headed with Starfield. It’s more recent than Skyrim and has some science fiction elements of its own, even though it isn’t set in space.

Starfield will take its crafting system from Fallout 4, with the ability to create and modify weapons, food and drink, and other equipment. The game will also carry forward Fallout 4’s settlement system, allowing you to establish outposts on the worlds you visit and manage their production as well as hire NPCs to run them. The combat will also be very similar, with a variety of guns that each have their own ammo as well as grenades. There will even be a device similar to Fallout’s Pip-Boy: a smart watch type device that will help you navigate the game’s open world.

Although the Fallout games have a retro Cold War aesthetic, with music and clothing straight out of the 1940s and ’50s, they also contain futuristic technology and themes such as robotics and artificial intelligence. It’s probably safe to assume that Starfield will delve into some of those same areas.

fallout 4 city streets

Platform
Genre
Metascore
Steam Reviews
Similarities
PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
RPG/Third-Person Shooter
86
Very Positive
Sci-fi RPG

When I first heard about Starfield, my mind immediately went to Mass Effect. Made by BioWare, a company that has a similar reputation to Bethesda’s in terms of producing massive, high quality RPGs, the original Mass Effect trilogy is an incredible science fiction saga, and one that Bethesda’s new space IP will have to work hard to live up to (because comparisons will be inevitable).

Set in the 22nd century, the trilogy’s setting and story are extremely similar Starfield’s. Humanity has spread out across the galaxy, evolving into a highly technological interstellar civilization with all the cultural and political challenges that come with it. Like in Starfield, things kick off when you discover an artifact from an ancient race of aliens, and you are sent on a mission that takes you to many different worlds with the help of your starship and your crew.

Unlike Starfield, the interstellar civilization of Mass Effect is multi-species, more like Star Trek or Star Wars. BioWare also places emphasis on slightly different elements than Bethesda: where Bethesda games tend to be more open and sandboxy, BioWare games are centered more around the story and characters. Where you’ll fall in love with Mass Effect is in the relationships you build with your crew and the way those relationships are woven into the story.

The Legendary Edition is a 4K remastering of the trilogy that updates a lot of the visuals for a nice consistent look and feel across all three games. There’s also Mass Effect: Andromeda, which continues the series years later with new characters in a new galaxy. Both Andromeda and the ending of Mass Effect 3 are intensely controversial among fans of the series, but are still worth experiencing if you’re looking for something to play while you wait for Starfield.

mass effect legendary edition reaper

Platform
Genre
Metascore
Steam Reviews
Similarities
PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Switch
Open World Survival
61
Mostly Positive
Open world sci-fi

Like Cyberpunk 2077, No Man’s Sky did not originally live up to its hype. But the game has received massive updates in the years since its release with a constant stream of new content and fixes. If you scroll through the game’s recent reviews on Steam, you’ll see a lot of words like “comeback” and “redemption arc.” So if you passed on the game when it first launched in 2016, now’s a great time to check it out while you wait for Starfield.

No Man’s Sky is essentially Minecraft in space, an open world sandbox game set in a procedurally-generated galaxy. You explore, craft, trade, and fight your way from planet to planet, and there are over 18 quintillion planets to discover, each with their own flora and fauna and many of them already occupied by aliens (who may be friendly or unfriendly). The game’s aesthetic looks like a NASA poster from the 1970s, with a simple but colorful and appealing art style.

Like in Starfield, you’ll pilot your spaceship from planet to planet, harvesting resources and interacting with the locals. Some planets have hazardous environments with toxic atmospheres or extreme temperatures. Others will be populated with hostile creatures or aliens looking to trade. There’s always more to discover or explore, which means plenty of content to get you through the wait for Starfield.

no mans sky settlement

Platform
Genre
Metascore
Steam Reviews
Similarities
PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Action-Adventure
85
Overwhelmingly Positive
Open world sci-fi

If Starfield’s themes of exploration and discovery appeal to you, there’s a sweet little indie game you might enjoy called Outer Wilds. In it, you play a character who is about to head off on their first spaceflight when you find yourself stuck in a time loop. Every 22 minutes, the local star goes supernova and you are sent back to where you were before, much like in The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. Your goal is to explore the solar system and uncover the ruins of a long-extinct alien civilization in order to figure out what is causing the time loop and how to get out of it.

Although Outer Wilds is more of a puzzle game than an RPG, it features a compelling science fiction story and a colorful cast of characters that will appeal to RPG fans. You’ll pilot your ship, explore worlds, and interact with other characters much like you would in Starfield. And like Starfield, the plot is driven by the discovery of ancient alien artifacts.

Outer Wilds has a bright, cheerful style and features a stellar soundtrack. There is also a DLC available for the game, Echoes of the Eye.

outer wilds campfire

Platform
Genre
Metascore
Steam Reviews
Similarities
PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Action RPG
82
Very Positive
Sci-fi RPG

Not to be confused with Outer Wilds, the last game on our list is The Outer Worlds, a space-themed RPG from Obsidian Entertainment, who worked alongside Bethesda on Fallout: New Vegas. The Outer Worlds is said to be a spiritual successor to that game, with similar gameplay and atmosphere. It therefore shares some of Starfield’s DNA as well as its science fiction themes.

The game’s story takes place in the future, but not our future – the future of an alternate universe where President McKinley was never assassinated. As a result, Teddy Roosevelt never became president and never passed his antitrust legislation. Jump ahead to the year 2285, and megacorporations have completely taken over. Meanwhile, humanity has spread throughout the galaxy, colonizing and terraforming planets across the final frontier.

You explore just one corner of this alternate future galaxy, a six-planet solar system around the star Halcyon. The game’s scale is smaller than Starfield’s will be, but still very fun to explore. The characters are all interesting and well-acted and there’s some quality tongue-in-cheek humor. The Outer Worlds will leave you wanting more, but that’s okay: The Outer Worlds 2 has already been announced.

the outer worlds dialogue

So that’s our list! There should be plenty in there to keep you busy until September, whether you’re looking for something with a great sci-fi story or you just want to fly a spaceship and explore. The Developer Direct showcase for Starfield is coming up next month, so we’ll get to see more of the game and get some more questions answered. In the meantime, enjoy these other games and stay tuned for more Starfield and general gaming news!

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Luxrah
Luxrah

I love RPGs, MMOs, and weird little indie games. Anything that lets me build and decorate or just has a really good story. I've spent hundreds of hours in Bethesda games and even more time modding them. I also play a lot of World of Warcraft.

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