Best 12 Action-RPG Games Like Mass Effect

Fight, save the galaxy, and fall in love. You may be revisiting Mass Effect or discovering the series through the Legendary Edition FHD/4K remaster. Either case leads to the same conclusion: it’s one of the best video-game adventures in recent times.  

While it can easily offer over 100 hours of playtime, your time in Normandy can run out. And you want more. Other games like Mass Effect should feature a mix or a twist of Bioware’s successful formula: 

  • The combat is in a third-person perspective and alongside two extra companions. You can shoot a variety of sci-fi weapons, use powers, throw grenades, take cover, run, and jump. 
  • Companions and NPCs are highly interactive. They go alongside a deep dialogue system, a morality system, loyalty missions, and the possibility to grow romantic relationships.
  • The sci-fi setting offers deep lore, a story-driven plot, and consequence mechanics that affect entire civilizations. Additionally, the world is semi-open: while missions are linear, you decide on mission order, which may affect the story’s outcome. 
  • The character progression allows you to customize the looks, gender, and background of your avatar. Additionally, you can select a class, invest in skills and stats, and use a variety of weapons and armor. 

Deus Ex

  • Developer: Ion Storm
  • Publisher: Eidos Interactive
  • Release Date: June 2000
  • Platform: Android, iOS, Classic Mac OS, Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One

We recommend Deus Ex as the ever-lasting story-driven action RPG. The story puts you in a dystopian future as JC Delton, an anti-terrorist agent working against a deep conspiracy. If you like it, feel free to go continue the story of 2016’s Mankind Divided. Some of the choices carry over to subsequent games.

Deus Ex features a similar map design as Mass Effect. Each mission happens in an area, and these areas are linear but offer some leeway to explore. Similarly, character progression is rich: there’re skills, tech augmentations, weapons, tools, and multiple ways to approach situations. 

Combat gameplay feels akin to ME:1. You play in first-person with a mix of tools, abilities, stealth, and weapons. There’re also puzzle-like situations, as you’d need to interact with the environment and NPCs to solve various problems. The game has a system to adapt to your gameplay style and choices. 

Dragon Age: Origins

  • Developer: BioWare
  • Publisher:  Electronic Arts
  • Release Date: November 2009
  • Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, macOS, Classic Mac OS

Dragon Age: Origins is the first part of a high medieval fantasy RPG trilogy, and one of the greatest genre entries in history. If you like it, you can continue toward Dragon Age 2, and Dragon Age: Inquisition. Some of the choices carry over. 

Your mission is to become a Gray Warden to defeat an Archdemon and their demonic horde. The introductory mission, a 2-hour unique adventure, dictates how and why you become a Warden. This “origin” depends on your class and race choice.

Like so, there’re complex decisions, branching paths, and dialogue wheels. There’re also companions, NPCs you meet along the way, and they may become loyal friends, lovers, or enemies. Lastly, you travel to mission areas with three companions and fight with an isometric perspective and by using skills on an action bar. s act during battle. 

Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic II

  • Developer: Obsidian Entertainment, Aspyr
  • Publisher: LucasArts, Aspyr
  • Release Date: December 2004
  • Platform: Android, Xbox, Microsoft Windows, iOS, macOS, Linux

KOTOR II, the sequel to BioWare’s award-winning Star Wars title, has a similar formula to Mass Effect and Dragon Age. And because it’s also a sci-fi space opera action RPG, you’d feel a similarity to Shepard’s Journey. 

You play as one of the Jedi survivors after the Sith Lords won the war against the Old Republic. You get to pick a class and even a side of the Force. The choices you make not only affect your character and the plot but also affect those joining your quest. For example, you can Force-train companions, or push them to either side of the Force. 

You fight in third-person perspective, in real-time, or via a pause menu. You level up your character, unlock Force powers, and use various ranged and melee weapons. Lastly, you can travel alongside two companions, and they react to your actions in the form of unconditional support, or betrayal. 

Fallout: New Vegas

  • Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
  • Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
  • Release Date: October 2010
  • Platform: Windows, PS3, Xbox 360

Many consider New Vegas as the best Fallout entry. At the same time, many believe it’s a genre-defining entry. That’s because it mixes open-world, sandbox, RPG, and action-adventure elements with the complex dialogue mechanics of the first Fallout games. 

The plot starts when some goons leave you dead in a ditch and steal your cargo, the Platinum Ship. You’re alive, though, and as The Courier, you seek revenge. The journey takes you back to the Chip, an integral device for the control of the Mojave desert, and the New Vegas strip.

You play in a post-apocalyptic land, and your choices affect the outcome of the New Vegas wasteland. And while its first-person combat may feel janky, the character progression is deep: it includes aesthetics, stat points, perks, traits, and loot. Gear may improve your damage, defenses, stealth, or persuasion.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

  • Developer:  CD Projekt Red
  • Publisher:  CD Projekt Red
  • Release Date: May 2015
  • Platform: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Windows

The Witcher 3 is a comprehensive open-world action-RPG experience. But unlike other genre games, the main character, Geralt of Rivia, has a strong personality, traits, and aesthetics. So, you react to situations (with a dialogue wheel) within the realm of what Geralt would do, think, and choose. 

Geralt is a Witcher searching for his surrogate daughter, Ciri. The journey takes you to various open-world maps, each map with a main quest to complete. You’re free to follow any order. and make choices that slightly alter how missions unfold. 

Lastly, you explore, combat, and interact from a third-person perspective. You can parry, dodge, and swing your sword, use magical “signs,” shoot your crossbow, throw grenades, or use enhancing potions. Your character levels up, so you can unlock skills on various threes, craft gear, and find better equipment. 

Disco Elysium

disco elysium
  • Developer: ZA/UM
  • Publisher: ZA/UM
  • Release Date: October 2019
  • Platform: Windows, macOS

Disco Elysium is a full-on RPG game with no action. The gameplay is about interacting with NPCs and the environment for clues. Then, you take the information to make decisions and talk to others. These are the tools you need to solve a series of murders in a dystopian city. 

You play as two detectives with unique character progression systems – your mind’s capacities. You must question characters, pursue suspects, bribe others, take bribes, and similar to solve crimes. You can be a hero, an average Joe, a chaotic force, or a complete disaster – there’re many ways to approach any situation. 

Lastly, the dialogue system relies on realistic interactions, questions, observations, ideas, and emotions. It allows you to craft a unique path in the game’s open world, either solo or co-op

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

  • Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
  • Publisher: Bethesda Game Studios
  • Release Date: November 2011
  • Platform: PS3, PS4, PS5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Windows, Nintendo Switch 

Skyrim is the latest single-player game of the Elder Scrolls franchise. It doesn’t rely much on choices or a dialogue wheel. Instead, the world is so open and full of activities that the gameplay feels open-ended.

The open-world RPG takes place in Tamriel, a high-medieval fantasy continent. You play as the Dragonborn on a quest to defeat a dragon. The main quests take you to various parts of the world to learn special Dragonborn skills you’ll use, on top of the abilities you unlock.

You start by creating a character and choosing from dozens of race and class options. Then, you level up each skill tree with specific actions. You also gain regular XP to unlock skill points you can invest into any tree. Then, you explore an open-world full of NPCs, towns, castles, jobs, guilds, dungeons, and more. 

Cyberpunk 2077

  • Developer: CD Projekt Red
  • Publisher: CD Projekt Red
  • Release Date: December 2020
  • Platform: Xbox Series X and Series S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Google Stadia, Microsoft Windows

On Cyberpunk 2077, you’re V, a highly customizable mercenary. You’re eager to make a name for yourself, so you take on a questionable heist. The job goes wrong, and you end up with Johnny Silverhand’s consciousness in your head. Only one can live.

The struggle for survival leads you on a quest to take Jhonny out of your head. It happens in an open-world cyberpunk-themed city, plus its outskirts. You run, jump, shoot, punch, launch grenades, drive, sneak, and use hacking abilities akin to magic. Hacking is useful for combat, sneaking, diversion, access, and more.

The three pillars of the game are its character progression system, smooth combat, and characters. On the latter, Cyberpunk 2077 has a unique approach to questing. Most important quests reward spending extra time with NPCs to grow relationships and get to know your friends, enemies, and allies. 

The Outer Worlds

the outer worlds
  • Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
  • Publisher: Private Division
  • Release Date: October 2019
  • Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows

The Outer Worlds is an action-RPG FPS. Particularly, the game features a sci-fi setting, a three-squad party, a fair character progression, a ship as a central hub, and enough choice mechanics to replay the story. In comparison, it has base-building mechanics, which are more akin to Fallout 76 or Fallout 4. 

Here, you fight with different weapon types and technical skills that belong to one of the three main skill trees. Combining skills and tech gives you fun mechanics such as shrink rays and time dilation; failing game segments repeatedly can give you “flaws,” which are random perks/debuffs.  

Lastly, you play in an alternate future where humans are living in outer space. Corporations have complete control of humanity, and your character can lean the balance towards power, or towards the colonists. That said, your main form of NPC interaction is acting as a moron, a hero, or a maniac. 


  • Developer: Piranha Bytes
  • Publisher: THQ Nordic
  • Release Date: October 2017
  • Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Windows

ELEX is a sci-fi action RPG happening in an original post-apocalyptic setting. The world is full of mutated creatures, interactive NPCs, and complex moral choices. Bear in mind that the game has a lot of conversation and not much combat.

You join a war over a key resource that grants magical powers, but it can turn humans into murderous creatures. However, your choices determine the fate of the factions, as each one is fighting over resources. However, there’s a common enemy: Albs, which are an alien race akin to the Reapers. 

Here, you play as Alb commander Jax, and you can remain an Alb commander, or change sides. Then, the gameplay happens in a third-person perspective. You can use swords, firearms, and magical powers. Then, the game has an open-world, and interconnected quest supporting player choice.


  • Developer: Arkane Studios
  • Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
  • Release Date: May 2017
  • Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Windows

Prey it’s a sci-fi FPS with RPG, Metroidvania, survival horror, and action-adventure elements. So, unlocking powers with the game’s progression system allows you to go back on the interconnected map to unlock new areas. 

You play as an experiment subject on a space station. The experiment messes up memories in return for granting alien powers, but now, the aliens have taken over Talos I. 

You play in first-person with a series of sci-fi weapons and mind-bending abilities. However, ammo and supplies are very scarce, so you need to rely on witts, stealth, and crafting to complete the game. 

Bioshock 2

  • Developer: 2K Marin
  • Publisher: 2K Games
  • Release Date: February 2010
  • Platform: PS3, Xbox 360, Windows, macOS 

Bioshock 2 is an immersive and insane RPG first-person shooter. You play across Rapture, an underwater city that was supposed to offer ultimate freedom. However, once they discovered a way to alter genes to gain powers (Plasmids), everything went crazy.

You play as “Subject Delta,” a hulking, nearly brain-washed man hunting for lost genetic material in the city’s ruins. Here, you’ll find weapons, upgrade your firearms, learn active and passive powers, progress in skill categories, and approach combat in various ways.

The story is linear, like the first game, but perhaps weaker. The true marvel, though, is the atmospheric detail the city has. Also, the title has horror survivor elements. Ammo, mana (EVE), health (ADAM), and other items are in short supply. That forces you to micromanage your arsenal and be creative with your tools. 

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