All patched up some two years post-release, Cyberpunk 2077 is actually a pretty good video game now. As a result, many players finally decided to dive in and give it a shot, and the excellent Netflix anime Edgerunners certainly helped, too.
So now you’ve been cyberpunked and want more. But the upcoming expansion starring Idris Elba doesn’t even have a firm release date. Where to turn?
Cyberpunk 2077‘s strengths include its being an excellent adaptation of a classic tabletop RPG setting in an expansive open world, satisfying first-person shooter combat with enough speccing options to create varied builds, and a strong narrative featuring memorable characters. Many of the game’s side-quests also feature a level of freedom and unpredictability in how you accomplish them, making it feel like an immersive sim (“imsim”) from time to time.
We’ve considered all of these qualities in coming up with suggestions on what to play next. As in our previous guide on the best games to play after The Witcher 3, some of these games directly match the vibe and gameplay of 2077 to make for a comfortable chaser. But if you’re looking for more of a resonant palate cleanser of a game, we also offer a few less expected picks that play off Cyberpunk’s other aspects.
Enough preamble: Let’s jack in.
Deus Ex (and maybe Deus Ex: Invisible War)
If you want more: Unbridled developer ambition, cyberpunk vibes, augmented abilities, questionable fashion sense
Notable differences: Much more detailed world simulation, charmingly ‘90s politics and conspiracies, actually lives up to its hype
Deus Ex: Windows (Steam Deck: YMMV*), Mac, PlayStation 2
Deus Ex: Invisible War: Windows (Steam Deck: YMMV), Xbox
Deux Ex’s reputation precedes it. It is the immersive sim of record, pulling together ideas first broached in previous landmarks like Ultima Underworld, System Shock, and Thief in service of a sprawling, globetrotting adventure of surprising scope. It is breathtakingly ambitious, a supremely satisfying game experience, the birthplace of countless memes, and really quite jank by today’s player expectations. If you can push past the initial friction, you might just love it.
The original Deus Ex is the most Deus Ex, Deus Ex. All the sequels that came after sought to simplify, condense, and refine, but only 2000’s opus affords you the full spectrum of Ion Storm’s weirdness and brilliance. It makes plenty of mistakes: The voice acting is legendarily bad, the writing often dorky and overwrought, the augments kinda cumbersome, and the gunplay lifeless. Cyberpunk 2077 actually bests it in a few of those categories. But if you’re the type of first-person enjoyer who loves to get lost playing in a world and its overlapping systems, Deus Ex is the game of record.
Its 2003 sequel, Invisible War, got a lot of flack for beginning to simplify its predecessor’s formula and kowtowing to the original Xbox’s limiting 64MB RAM. It’s not half as audacious, and understandably left many fans disappointed. But temper your expectations and you can still have plenty of fun, and if you’re looking for an imsim to enjoy, well, Cyberpunk 2077 certainly won’t scratch that itch. — Alexandra Hall
*Your Mileage May Vary
Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
If you want more: Cyberpunk, augmented abilities, consequential dialogue and actions
Notable differences: No open world (though the game rewards exploration of its “hubs”), less customisation over the protagonist, greater emphasis on stealth
Deus Ex: Human Revolution: Windows (Steam Deck: YMMV), macOS, Xbox 360, Series S/X, PS3, Wii U
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided: Windows (Steam Deck: YMMV), macOS, Linux, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PS4, PS5
Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Mankind Divided are prequel reboots of one of gaming’s most essential cyberpunk experiences. With Human Revolution coming out in 2011 and Mankind Divided following it in 2016, these are noticeably more modern games than the original Deus Ex or its sequel, Invisible War. If the older vibes of the originals don’t float your boat, these prequels offer a similar cyberpunk fantasy in a dark and twisted future but with a few more rounded edges.
Human Revolution and Mankind Divided have you play as Adam Jensen. An ex-cop turned security expert for corporate powers, Jensen isn’t as much of a blank slate as 2077’s V, but you’ll get a decent amount of freedom over roleplay and choice, leading to different outcomes for moment-by-moment encounters, as well as varied narrative results. These are rewarding games to replay.
As in the original games, Human Revolution and Mankind Divided perhaps prioritises stealth a little bit more than Cyberpunk. And they feature a setting that, I’d argue, feels a bit more grounded (despite zany conspiracy theories as one of the main plot elements) and, though dystopian, isn’t as absurdly over-the-top bleak as Night City can get.
As prequels, you might be wondering whether or not you should play these before or after the originals. I find these prequels to work as solid “sequel flashbacks” to the originals — particularly after the ending choices of Invisible War. So play these after visiting the classics; a certain level of spookiness will creep into various conversations and missions in the recent ones if you’ve already played either of the first two games. I think that’s worth trying to preserve — especially for the cyberpunk genre.
If you want more: Unbelievably dark future dystopia, guns ‘n’ cyberware, tabletop-inspired gaming
Notable differences: Short and breezy, writing and worldbuilding fun instead of tryhard, actually good music
Shadowrun (1993): SNES
Shadowrun (1994): Genesis
Shadowrun (1996): Sega CD
You wake up on a slab in a morgue, unaware of your identity, the life-threatening situation you’re in, or that you’re about to play one of the secret best RPGs on 16-bit. Beam Software’s Shadowrun for SNES was a true sleeper, a wonderfully atmospheric dive into the wilds of a cyberpunk Seattle whose secret excellence was largely conveyed through player word of mouth.
An isometric, cursor-driven adventure set in a grimy future full of demihumans, cyberware, and magic, there was really nothing else like it. (Shadowrun felt especially fresh if, like me, you had no knowledge of the FASA tabletop game and novels it sprang from.) While the gameplay’s breezy and enjoyable, the vibes in particular are sublime, with a stellar soundtrack and every character spouting perfectly terse, trashy futurespeak.
Wait, did I call the SNES game “grimy”? No, the real grime is in BlueSky Software’s 1994 Genesis Shadowrun, which cranks up the dystopian feel and takes a more systems-driven approach to its RPGing. While not as immediately charming as Beam’s storyful SNES game, you’ll quickly fall into a pleasant groove of taking on contracts, stealing corp data, and gunning down hostile chummers. The game’s greatest innovation comes in its extremely in-depth netrunning sequences, which evince real danger compared to the SNES game’s cursory, glorified minesweeper segments.
There is also a 1996 Sega CD adventure by Compile (the Zanac and Puyo Puyo people!) but that hasn’t been translated from Japanese yet.
If something newer is more your jam, Harebrained Schemes put out a decently received trilogy of isometric PC RPGs starting in 2013, though read up on the unfixed bugs first. There’s also a 2007 Xbox 360 / Windows competitive FPS that is best ignored. — Alexandra Hall
If you want more: Superhuman action, running around shooting guns
Notable differences: A military-themed first-person shooter experience with a linear narrative, no customisation of the protagonist, a sci-fi setting closer to reality
Crysis: Windows, Xbox 360, PS3
Crysis Remastered: Windows (Steam Deck YMMV), Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch
Crysis might feel a little out of place here, but as a science-fiction shooter featuring unique abilities that can radically augment standard first-person gameplay, and that offers an explosive superhuman fantasy, it might be a nice change of pace if you’ve wrapped up 2077 and just want more gun action.
Crysis features a more linear, action-focused experience than the winding, choice-driven, RPG-stat-heavy saga that is Cyberpunk 2077. But early missions offer a level of freedom that isn’t terribly common in games of this kind. In that sense, it stands to offer you more than what you may be used to from straightforward first-person shooters.
In Cyberpunk, builds often prioritise speed and absurdly lethal means of obliterating your enemies. For that level of fun, Crysis’ nanosuit is here with four selectable modes you’ll spin through on the fly, featuring boosts to armour, speed, or damage, and the always-fun invisibility mode. Crysis isn’t afraid to throw tough, lethal opposition at you, so you’ll have to stay on your toes, swapping suit modes to get an edge. The thrill of overperforming in battle thanks to high-tech capabilities taps into one of the core cyberpunk fantasies.
Let’s also not forget that before Cyberpunk became the amazing graphics extravaganza, machine-crushing benchmark that it is, Crysis was (and in some cases still kind of is) the uber determiner of a PC’s pixel crunching power. We ask “can it run Cyberpunk?” because we used to ask “can it run Crysis?”
And there are two sequels which, though more linear than the first entry, are pretty fun romps if you’re in the mood for a blasty sci-fi shooter trilogy.
Dishonored 1 and 2
If you want more: Engaging first-person narrative with multiple outcomes
Notable differences: Steampunk setting, full-on immersive sim, no customisable character, no stat-based RPG mechanics
Dishonored: Windows (Steam Deck OK), Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
Dishonored 2: Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PS4, PS5
Dishonored has many significant differences from Cyberpunk 2077; but if you found yourself rocking a stealthy V build and enjoy when the game tips over into the imsim genre, then Dishonored might be a genre departure worth making. Plus, Dishonored gives you the freedom to choose how the narrative flows in ways beyond mere dialogue choices. Alternative outcomes branch from decisions such as whether or not you poison your assassination target, or the person they’re meeting in private with, or both. Or none! What happens after each one? Gotta replay to find out (…hands off that quickload key).
As a steampunk game, Dishonored’s world is similar to Cyberpunk’s in that it features a fantasy of industry and technology. Both dystopian works, Dishonored is arguably a darker and moodier experience, and features more fantasy and magic. But let’s be honest, sometimes the differences between alternate magical realms with mysterious and powerful beings and pockets of cyberspace where artificial intelligence reigns supreme are sometimes just a difference of aesthetics. And though Dishonored isn’t an open-world game, there is a good amount of exploration to be had; the smaller environments arguably make exploration more focused and worthwhile.
Instead of cyberware and physical augmentations, your character will take advantage of dark, mysterious magical arts given under a spooky arrangement that will have you questioning various aspects of morality and mortality as you creep your way through cobblestone streets, Victorian-themed buildings, and dark alleyways infested with rodents and plague. Cyberpunk implies the fantasy of a dark, street-crawling experience; Dishonored offers it more directly and with whispers and shadows. Don’t forget to listen to the heart…
Dishonored has two main entries and some DLC for both. I suggest starting with the first game and going through the rest of the saga in release order.
If you want more: Cyberpunk aesthetics and themes
Notable differences: Not an RPG, significantly slower pace, no open world, no customisable protagonist, psychological horror
Availability: Windows (Steam Deck YMMV), macOS, Linux, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Amazon Luna
A psychological horror game from none other than Bloober Team (Layers of Fear, Blair Witch, The Medium), Observer is a Blade Runner-inspired cyberpunk mystery game played in first-person. With smaller cyberpunk-style environments that are just as detailed as 2077’s, Observer is likely to draw you into the genre more quietly and intimately than 2077’s louder and more expansive approach ever did.
Observer reminds me of a classic cyberpunk novel like Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? or Neuromancer. It’s slower in pace, with a smaller narrative scope that feels more direct and more in tune with the greater canon of cyberpunk as a genre. But it also doesn’t aim for the same heights as Cyberpunk, lacking fully detailed RPG stats, guns and weaponry, and action-packed shootouts. Gameplay typically revolves around switching between different augmented views of the world around you (not too dissimilar in concept from the braindance sequences in Cyberpunk, though less on-rails) and investigating areas to assemble the pieces of the story as you go along.
Starring Blade Runner’s own Rutger Hauer as the main character (in one of his last performances), Observer nails the tone, feel, and weight of the cyberpunk genre in ways that 2077 loses pretty quickly.
Fallout 3, 4, and New Vegas
If you want more: First-person RPGs with massive environments and tons of quests and activities
Notable differences: Post-apocalyptic setting, not as much of an action-oriented experience
Fallout 3: Windows (Steam Deck YMMV), Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PS3
Fallout: New Vegas: Windows (Steam Deck YMMV), Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PS3
Fallout 4: Windows (Steam Deck YMMV), Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PS4, PS5
If you’re looking for another open-world, first-person RPG set in a science fiction world, it’s hard to pass up the recent Fallout games. Featuring worlds that are far more open to exploration with and many, many more quests, checking out Fallout 3, 4, and New Vegas feels like a natural progression after playing Cyberpunk.
Fallout takes place after a nuclear disaster, so it falls more into the post-apocalyptic category of science fiction. But like Cyberpunk, Fallout is very interested in the theatre of its fictional tech: You’ll come across all sorts of interesting contraptions, some made in the apocalypse, some barely frozen in time behind locked doors, buried in labyrinths of a world-now-gone. Aside from in Fallout 4, your protagonist will be silent. And in general the narrative isn’t as dominating as 2077’s.
Fallout has a slightly slower pace than Cyberpunk. You won’t be zipping around in fast cars or engaged in split-second combat. While aiming is important, most combat situations utilise the semi-freeze frame V.A.T.S. system that lets you target enemies’ specific body parts. I’ve always found that to add a satisfying level of pseudo-turn-based action that still feels close to real time. And there are a wide variety of builds you can try over the course of the game. In general the combat showing off your character’s aesthetics and heroic feats more than Cyberpunk 2077 ever does — you rarely see V after the character creation screen.
If you’re only going to pick one of these, I recommend going with New Vegas. It’s the best, period Fallout 4 might feel a little more modern, but its narrative isn’t as interesting and it’s a little too overburdened with busywork like base building and prompts to go and aid yet another settlement that’s dealing with some raiders or radioactive monstrosity. God, I’m tired just writing that.
If you wrapped 2077’s campaign and want another immersive first-person RPG to jump into, Fallout should be one of your first stops.
If you want more: Science fiction setting with thorough attention to aesthetics, tense action
Notable differences: Immersive sim, minimalist rather than maximalist style, dramatically fewer NPCs, greater emphasis on stealth
Availability: Windows (Steam Deck OK), Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PS4, PS5
What? Another Arkane game? You better believe it. 2017’s Prey has virtually no connection to the 2007 game of the same name, but it’s one enjoyable romp of a sci-fi imsim with tons of dark corpo secrets to unravel.
Here’s another great immersive, slow burn of a first-person game to jump into. If the flashes of imsim scenarios in Cyberpunk had you wanting more, in Prey the detailed simulation plays a starring role But while there’s a ton of exploration to do and emails to read, Prey is typically switched on “combat mode” more often and for longer periods than 2077.
If you were really drawn into 2077’s elaborate sci-fi setting built on a divergent timeline that focuses on future-tech, you really should check out Prey. Prey envisions a world where the space race never ended. It’s filled with a unique and distinct aesthetic that’s in service of its technological fantasy, seen in both with the mysterious augmented abilities you’ll deploy and in the very quasi-retro space-age tech found throughout.
If you want more: Cyberpunk setting, narrative-focused game with moral choices, games with the word “punk” in the title
Notable differences: No customisable protagonist, no role-playing mechanics
Availability: Windows (Steam Deck OK), Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PS4, PS5
Cloudpunk is a delightful adventure game that casts you as Rania, a driver for a Door-Dash-like delivery service. You’ll travel about the cloud-high city of Nivalis, brought to life with alluring modern-retro style graphics, delivering packages while unravelling an entertaining story about corporate power, artificial intelligence, and some good ol’ fashioned rebellion.
Like Observer, Cloudpunk is a more focused story compared to the action-heavy, side-quest-filled 2077. It reminds me more of the literary cyberpunk genre and less of 2077’s often-hollow vibe of “whoa, neon lights and tall buildings are really cool, computers dude”. Cloudpunk has a number of side-quests and other activities for you to jump into at your own pace. Like 2077, you’ll have interesting narrative decisions to make, and they can be rather tricky and surprising in their own ways, sometimes prompting you to think about large-scale societal concepts rather than arbitrary game lore.
If you’re burnt out on all the shooting and the “omg AAA graphics” stuff, I suggest flying around in the slower-paced, vibier experience that is Cloudpunk.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
If you want more: CD Projekt Red game design, excellent narrative-based RPG experience
Notable differences: Third-person camera, fantasy setting
Availability: Windows (Steam Deck OK), Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch
Let’s be honest, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was the reason our expectations for Cyberpunk 2077 were so high. The Witcher 3 remains one of the best RPGs of our time with its excellent gameplay, immersively detailed fantasy setting, fantastic score, and characters who will live rent-free in your head forever. If you haven’t played this yet, what are you even still doing here?
The Witcher 3 has a number of sharp differences from Cyberpunk, such as a third-person camera and its fantasy genre. But they have quite a lot in common elsewhere, and for aspects shared by both, The Witcher basically does them all better. Better overall cast of characters, better main and side-quests, better RPG mechanics, and better maps and traversal (though V’s cars and Geralt’s horse seem to share the unique ability to go off and do weird shit when you call them over; don’t you want more of that?).
The Witcher 3 is the end of a trilogy, so you might be wondering if jumping directly into the third entry isn’t ideal. I say throw caution to the wind and just dive into The Witcher 3. While you will get more out of Wild Hunt by playing the first two games, you can easily make this your first adventure with Geralt. And as I said in our previous Witcher follow-ups feature, you might find yourself wanting to go back and enjoy the first two anyway. I think it’s a story that surprisingly works well in reverse.
To make direct comparisons, The Witcher 3 is the most like Cyberpunk thanks to its sprawling, open-world environments. In general Wild Hunt feels less linear than the first two games, but those have a decent amount of alternative paths and narrative outcomes too, just with a more straightforward overall structure. You can’t go wrong picking any of these games to start with — though do keep in mind that there’s a remake of the first game on the way, which should make for a much more comfortable experience than the wonkiness 2007 original.
If you want more: Cyberpunk setting, narrative roleplaying
Notable differences: Not first-person or open world
Availability: Windows (Steam Deck YMMV), macOS, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, Nintendo Switch
Sleeper Citizen is everything I wanted from Cyberpunk 2077‘s story and more. You awake as a bootleg android stowaway on a backwater space station that’s home to its own mix of mundane squalor, criminal activity, and personal heartache. It feels suffocating and liberating at the same time, with the threat of your previous corporate owners and an empty stomach nipping at your heels as you take odd jobs, have weird prophetic dreams, and discover moments of friendship and tenderness amid the harsh sci-fi dystopia. Like I said, it’s everything I wanted Cyberpunk 2077‘s story to be and more. — Ethan Gach
If you want more: First-person trips through gorgeously detailed sci-fi settings
Notable differences: Dramatically challenging horror and survival elements, not an RPG, no open world
Availability: Windows (Steam Deck OK), macOS, Linux, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PS3, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Android, iOS (mobile versions are the full game)
Let’s be honest, sometimes Cyberpunk gets creepy. While it never jumps into full-on horror mode, quests like “The Hunt” will send a fair amount of shivers down your augmented spine. But what if you want more creepiness set in a thoroughly detailed science fiction world? Well, Alien: Isolation might just hit that spot. And by hit, I mean that it will smash your lizard brain with an HR Giger-themed sledgehammer (use your imagination, but it’s probably phallic-shaped).
Shy of Crysis, Alien Isolation might have the least in common with Cyberpunk. While Adam Smasher can put up a fight and is certainly intimidating, you can at least kill him. Isolation’s xenomorph? Fuck that thing. You’ll lose sleep over how terrifying it is, with its wandering AI that just shows-the-fuck-up™ when it feels like it. Even if you’re a little cautious of survival horror games, Isolation’s aesthetic experience is worth experiencing even just a small portion of. It sort of gives you another reason to persist through the terror: You’re consistently rewarded with impeccably rendered sci-fi tableaus.
Taking its art direction from the classic films, Alien Isolation is based on a “lo-fi sci-fi” aesthetic that has a comparable level of attention and immersive ambience to Cyberpunk. The game features excellent 3D models of various computer terminals, switches, doors, and effects achieved through practical means, like recording loading screens played over damaged cables connected to a VHS machine. There’s a great Noclip doc that explores how it all came together:
Alien: Isolation’s faithfully crafted science fiction experience is sure to be a treat for players who loved 2077’s detailed cyberpunk setting. It’s great fun to observe what these distant sci-fi worlds are made of, what they look like, how they sound, how they move. Some heady pleasures for sure.
Vampre: The Masquerade – Bloodlines
If you want more: TTRPG-based video game adaptations with a history of technical problems
Notable differences: Less shooter-focused, greater parity with its tabletop source material, vampiric urban fantasy, no open world (despite explorable “hubs”)
Released in 2004 in a very messy state, Vampire: The Masquerade — – Bloodlines tripped over itself so that Cyberpunk 2077 could stumble down the stairs. Vampire and Cyberpunk both occupy two great video game canons: interesting TTRPG adaptations on one hand, and technical shitshows on the other. So at a minimum, if you’re into the history of games, Bloodlines should be on your list of gaming redemption stories.
While Vampire’s woes probably didn’t bring about the same level of embarrassment as 2077’s, it’s certainly notable as a game that turned itself around as best it could. This time, the improvements came from dedicated modders who worked on the miraculous unofficial patch, which is a must even if you’re not into modding.
Based on World of Darkness’ role-playing system (you won’t need a truckload of d10s, though), Vampire is a very dark, sexy, and engrossing first-person RPG set in a gothic Los Angeles where you’ll encounter any number of eccentric and interesting characters connected through the bloody maze of vampiric politics. Even with the unofficial patch, it’s still a little rough around the edges. It’s rather finicky to control, does weird things graphically, and has a look that inspires comedy perhaps more than it intends. But it’s certainly worth pushing through a bit of rusty jank for the wealth of role-playing excellence underneath.
Grand Theft Auto V
If you want more: Open-world shenanigans, solid storytelling and narrative pacing
Notable differences: No RPG mechanics, default third-person view, no science fiction, no customisable protagonist
Availability: Windows (Steam Deck YMMV), Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PS3, PS4, PS5
Cyberpunk 2077 has a beautiful, large world to romp around in with a number of standard open-world conventions…many of which were established by Grand Theft Auto and perfected with Grand Theft Auto V. A form copied to death, GTA V’s open-world experience is rarely matched in quality.
There’s no epic science fiction story here. And while Los Santos can be a pretty sight, it’s far from the allure that is Night City. It’s also very straightforward and linear in scope, the narrative focused on three individuals who get swept up into a reasonably entertaining crime story with…memorable character performances. Where it might most appeal to a Cyberpunk fan, however, is in the use of its open world and its achievements as an action game set in such a place.
If Cyberpunk left you longing for more open-world action, and you’re tired of keeping track of RPG stats, GTA V might be a nice departure that offers more of the direct fun that 2077 sometimes aimed to achieve with its open-world and sandbox encounters. GTA V is filled with many engaging and memorable missions that feel very tightly written. It’s a trip of an action game with the freedom to see the sights and find weird shit throughout its twisted, though somewhat empty, parody of early 21st century America.
Recent releases of GTA V also feature a first-person mode which feels a little unusual, but makes for a satisfying experience nonetheless. So you can, theoretically and practically, enjoy this as another epic first-person game.
Oh, and it actually lets you customise your damn cars!