13 Games Like Starfield Worth Playing Right Now

13 Games Like Starfield Worth Playing Right Now

After years of cryptic teaser trailers and a fair few delays, Bethesda Game Studios’ latest sprawling open-world RPG, Starfield, is almost here. Taking players to the vast regions of space, the latest adventure from the minds behind Skyrim and Fallout 4 promises to be a monstrously big intergalactic journey with plenty of planets to explore and celestial sweet rolls to steal.

However, with Starfield’s release date still a couple of weeks away, there’s plenty of time to get into the spacefaring mood. Below, we’ve put together a list of some of the best games to hop into before you conquer the final frontier next month. So, without further ado, let’s run through some appetisers to indulge in before Starfield takes over our lives on September 6th.

Starfield Screenshots

No Man’s Sky

With Starfield boasting over 1,000 unique planets to explore, it didn’t take long for players to begin comparing it to one of the most expansive space sandboxes ever conceived: No Man’s Sky. Although Hello Games’ procedurally generated online sci-fi adventure didn’t get off to the best start, over the years, it’s developed into one of the most ambitious, content-rich cosmic explorer simulators on the market today.

Dropping you into an endless galaxy filled with planets to explore, fauna to chart and derelict ships to plunder, No Man’s Sky is a survival game with a twist. Every planet you explore is randomly generated and you need to chart it. But that’s merely scratching the surface of how you can interact with No Man’s Sky’s universe. Whether you want to travel with friends, build bases, trade cargo, tame creatures, custom-fit ships or command freighters, No Man’s Sky aims to accommodate all your spacefaring needs.

The Outer Worlds

Coming from the minds behind Fallout: New Vegas, The Outer Worlds is essentially Fallout in space, making it a perfect warm-up for Starfield’s promise of a giant open-world RPG set in the final frontier. Taking the role of a frozen colonist that awakens in a sardonic future where mega-corporations control the galaxy, you’ll be tasked with exploring the Halcyon star system in the hopes of awakening your fellow colonists and thwarting a faction known as The Board.

Along the way, you’ll create a character, engage in tense gunfights, make moral choices that drastically alter the outcome of the story and level up your stats. In essence, it’s everything you can hope to expect from Starfield, but with a hearty helping of black comedy and a fair few Firefly references mixed in for good measure.

Read our review of The Outer Worlds.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Although its fantasy setting is the furthest thing from Starfield’s endless galactic world, if you want to get back into the swing of playing a distinctly Bethesda-style open-world RPG, Skyrim really is your best bet. Not only is it the defacto Bethesda Game Studios game, but in an interview with Launcher, Starfield director Todd Howard went as far as to describe his latest project as being “like Skyrim in space.”

But regardless of how similar it’ll be to the team’s upcoming sci-fi adventure, you should revisit Skyrim purely to get yourself back in the mood for journeying across a vast, unknown world. Setting out into the plains of Skyrim to defeat the dragon god Alduin, it doesn’t take long for this fantasy epic to let you off the leash and encourage you to explore, allowing you to sculpt your character, embark on perilous quests, learn ancient magic and weave your legend. It’s a huge RPG that’s easy to sink countless hours into and an ideal way to pass the time while you wait for Starfield’s launch day.

Read our review of Skryim.

Fallout 4

For similar reasons to Skyrim, you can’t go wrong revising your Bethesda Game Studios history by diving into another of the team’s highly-revered open-world RPGs. The latest single-player entry in the Fallout series, Fallout 4 appears to share more similarities with Starfield than you might expect for a game set in an alternate-history post-apocalyptic America. It has a massive world to explore, companions to recruit, tense gunfights to partake in and a frankly alarming number of killer robots that will stop at nothing to tear you limb from limb.

Frozen in a vault and waking up two hundred years later, Fallout 4’s main campaign sees you crossing the wasteland in search of your son. Along the way, you’ll battle various monsters, investigate synthetic robots posing as humans and side with one of the major factions attempting to rule over the Commonwealth, all while picking up side quests and completing odd jobs. Fallout 4 is a great way to hone your combat and exploration skills while waiting to adventure through Starfield’s galaxy, but more importantly, it’s worth revisiting to feel the pure satisfaction of taking a Super Mutant’s head clean off its shoulders with one bullet using V.A.T.S.

Read our review of Fallout 4.

Elite Dangerous

One of the core mechanics at the heart of Starfield is space flight, with players able to engage in dogfights and soar through space at light speed. If you’re looking to brush up on your flying skills before taking the helm of Starfield’s various space cruisers, there’s no better game to get you into the aviating spirit than Elite Dangerous.

Slotting you behind the wheel of various starships, the core crux of Elite Dangerous’ gameplay is travelling to star systems, taking on missions, raiding ships for cargo and trading with merchants. Along the way, you’ll play whatever character you want, whether that’s a space pirate raiding vessels for valuable loot or a mercenary shooting down ships for a pay cheque. Although the game has since added on-foot missions, it shines brightest when you’re manning a starship and carving a path across the galaxy, making it a perfect tone-setter for Starfield’s promise of an endless intergalactic journey.

Read our review of Elite Dangerous.

Mass Effect: Legendary Edition

If you’re looking to sink into another giant sci-fi RPG while counting down the days until Starfield hits shelves, Mass Effect: Legendary Edition is a great pick. Containing revamped versions of Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3, this bundle allows you to play three of the most revered space-based role-playing games of all time, complete with new visuals, almost every slice of DLC and plenty of quality-of-life updates.

Taking on the role of the fearless Commander Shepherd as they attempt to stop a mysterious group of ancient aliens known as The Reapers, you’ll be tasked with crossing the galaxy aboard your trusty ship in search of answers, allies and action. All the while, you’ll have to deal with squad-based gunfights, meaningful decisions that shape the story and dialogue options that further your relationship with your friends and foes. The Mass Effect trilogy is the gold standard for what a space RPG can be, and one well worth investing some time into before Starfield monopolises your life.

Read our review of Mass Effect Legendary Edition.

Stellaris

Although a 4X strategy game is pretty far removed from Starfield’s brand of first-person exploration, Stellaris is exactly the kind of universe-spanning RPG that Bethesda Game Studios hopes to achieve with its latest release. This grand space simulator sees players create a galactic empire and explore the cosmos, with their ultimate goal varying based on the culture of their species. They may want to grow into a diplomatic force, uniting their fellow empires, or conquer the galaxy and force it to bend to their will.

How you reach that goal, however, is up to you. It gives you the ability to make your own decisions, whether that’s who you ally with, what morals guide your civilisation or how you want to make your mark on the universe. Considering Starfield also looks to be a game about leaving a legacy throughout the stars, Stellaris could be a solid partner piece.

Read our review of Stellaris.

Everspace 2

Another great choice for those enamoured by Starfield’s promise of exhilarating dogfights and the ability to fully customize starships, Everspace 2 is entirely framed around both of those mechanics. Allowing you to tinker with your ship before flying it through the vast reaches of space, this sci-fi adventure has players embarking on daring missions and engaging in fierce battles amongst the stars.

While charting your way across the universe, you’ll be able to fly a variety of ships in both third and first-person, with the ability to customize each vessel with new upgrades, parts and weapons. You’ll need them too, with various factions standing between you and your objectives. Everspace 2 is all about the thrill of travelling through a version of outer space where everyone and everything wants you dead, and with Starfield hoping to capture that same feeling, it looks to be an ideal way to get into the galaxy-hopping mindset.

Read our review of Everspace 2.

Outer Wilds

The Outer Wilds is a game with a very unique selling point. Waking beside a campfire, you star as a young alien undertaking his first voyage around his solar system. After learning the ropes, you’re handed the keys to a beat-up spaceship and begin to explore, travelling between planets and investigating the history of your galaxy. Unfortunately, it’s here your voyage is cut short. Twenty minutes after you set forth, the sun explodes, wiping out all life around it. But death isn’t the end. You awake beside a campfire once more, returning to the beginning of your adventure with your memories still intact and your curiosity about the mysteries of the solar system officially piqued.

That’s merely the introduction to The Outer Wilds, and from there, you’re only further encouraged to explore, discover and learn. It’s an experience that turns information into a currency, with the history and secrets you uncover revealing why the sun keeps frying you to a crisp and how you can stop it. But beyond its captivating central hook, it’s also just an adventure that allows you to traverse a huge solar system and chart a series of supremely detailed planets. The Outer Wilds is like a blended cocktail of Groundhog Day and Interstellar, with a sprinkle of The Witness on top, and is a top-notch way to kill some time in space while waiting for Starfield to hit shelves.

Read our review of Outer Wilds.

Hardspace: Shipbreaker

While most sci-fi games give you the ability to construct and fly a spaceship, Hardspace: Shipbreaker comes at you with a slightly different hook. Instead of building a spaceship, why not destroy it instead? Employed as a Shipbreaker by the Lynx Corporation, your job throughout Hardspace: Shipbreaker’s campaign is to systematically tear space crafts apart, selling debris and scrap for cash.

Along the way, you’ll have to deal with hazards, using various laser-powered tools to survive being crushed by soaring debris or blown up by unstable generators. It’s similar to the various manual labour simulators that have become big in recent years, except instead of flipping houses or power washing factories, you’re lasering open derelict freighters with the knowledge that one wrong move could send you flying into the vast, unending void of space… don’t you just love a nice, cosy game?

Read our review of Hardspace: Shipbreaker.

Prey

A criminally underrated space thriller, Prey marks another of Bethesda’s biggest studios taking on the sci-fi genre, with Arkane creating one of its hallmark immersive sims aboard a haunting space station. You play as Morgan Yu: a scientist that wakes up aboard a starship known as the Talos I with no memory of how or when they got there. However, their amnesia is the least of their worries. Not only is the ship falling apart, but it’s also infested with a mysterious alien species known as the Typhon.

Hoping to discover what happened to the other passengers and locate the source of the Typhon outbreak, you must explore the ship in search of answers, battling alien threats and acquiring new gear along the way. As expected from the minds behind Deathloop and the Dishonored series, Prey boasts a dynamic world that welcomes you to interact and manipulate it, whether that’s using powerful abilities like Mimic Matter to shift into cups and hide from enemies or ascending to inaccessible platforms with the handy glue gun.

There are few experiences that allow you truly experiment with your arsenal of abilities in a sandbox that welcomes true creative freedom, but Prey is one of them and an experience that will give you plenty to do in the window before Starfield releases.

Read our review of Prey.

FTL: Faster Than Light

Offering a more strategic spacefaring adventure, FTL: Faster Than Light is yet another game that sees you flying across the galaxy aboard a starship in search of fame, glory and adventure. However, while other games lodge you in the cockpit and focus entirely on soaring through space, FTL is a punishing roguelike that has you manage your ship’s systems entirely from a top-down perspective.

After creating a small crew and picking a ship, you’ll be told you’ve intercepted a data package with information on how to defeat an unstoppable fleet of enemies known as The Rebellion. From here, every solar system, ship and planet you interact with will be randomly generated. Your goal is to cross the galaxy, deliver the information to the Galactic Federation and avoid the Rebellion. But that’s much easier said than done. En route to the drop-off point, you’ll need to maintain your ship’s systems, keep your crew alive, endure battles with rival star cruisers, evade bandits and upgrade your gear.

FTL is a tough game, and it’s made even tougher by the fact that every death resets your full run. However, it’s that challenge that makes it such a rewarding experience for those that learn its systems and overcome its threats. For those looking for something to really sink their teeth into while waiting for Starfield, you can’t go wrong with FTL.

Read our review of Faster Than Light.

EVE Online

Starfield promises to be a fully single-player RPG that focuses entirely on the player exploring the vast reaches of space alone. So, for those looking for something a little more communal before they step foot into Bethesda Games Studios’ latest open-world sandbox, EVE Online could be a solid bet.

This giant starship-based MMO offers a nigh-on endless galaxy full of opportunities for its thousands of daily users. But while other games would add strict rules to that world, EVE Online lets its players set up their own rules, create their own factions and fully immerse themselves in the role of a space explorer seeking fortune amongst the stars. The outcome is a dynamic open-world adventure where players can wage giant space battles alongside hundreds of allies, make cash by mining resources, claim bounties and generally play as any character they desire. If you’re looking to dive into a truly immersive space experience alongside a thriving community, EVE Online is the MMO you’re searching for.

Callum Williams is a freelance media writer with years of experience as a game critic, news reporter, guides writer and features writer.

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