When you think of the best western video games, one really stands out, and that is Rockstar Game’s “Red Dead Redemption.” The gaming studio responsible for the hit game “Grand Theft Auto” took the same mechanics that players were used to in GTA and dropped them into a western environment. And boy, was it a hit. Released in 2010, this was one of the year’s biggest games and is still discussed today.
Luckily, fans of the franchise didn’t have to wait much longer for the sequel, which dropped a few years ago. With all the hype around the release of this new western game, we thought it would be a good idea to take a deep dive into all the western games that we hold dear to our hearts.
Grab your horse, saddle up and check out the list below!
Red Dead Redemption
This is one of the top western games that has ever been released. “Red Dead Redemption” perfected the open-world experience players were used to with “Grand Theft Auto” and put a western spin on it.
One of the most incredible things about this game was the depth of the story that it offered. Everything from the main character, side characters, scenery, and quests made this a fantastic game. To this day, it still reigns as the top western of all time.
Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood
Ubisoft is no stranger to open-world games with big hits like “Assassins Creed” and “Tom Clancy’s The Division,” and that’s why their western made it to our list.
At the end of the Civil War, the game follows three brothers who are forced on an adventure to save their family. Bound In Blood is set 20 years before the first game, which made this game the most entertaining in the four-game series.
When it was released in 2009, gaming critics praised the game’s plot, characters, and authentic western tone. Let’s hope Ubisoft reboots this series!
Activision, best known for their “Call of Duty” franchise, published “Gun,” which takes place in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, and New Mexico in 1880. Players can interact with various animals, such as Grizzly Bears and Bison, and fight their way through bandit camps. This game inspired “Red Dead Redemption,” as many of the game mechanics featured made their way into Red Dead. Game critics widely praised this game, and it even won GameSpy’s Xbox 360 Action game of the year!
Activision, if you’re reading this, please bring back this series and continue it’s notability as one of the best western video games.
This is the most exciting western we have on this list because this is a Japanese RPG. There aren’t many Japanese westerns, but this has to be one of the best. This western takes place on the planet Filgaia where players play as four drifters who have to use their powers to stop a villain from coming to destroy their world.
One thing that stands out with this game is the map. Generally, in most RPGs, the map is 100% visible to the player. In “Wild Arms,” it is up to the player to find clues and information to lead them deeper into the map.
“LucasArts released Outlaws”; you know, the small company that brought us Star Wars was ahead of its time. This game was released in 1997 and is one of the first-person shooter games with a western theme. Another thing this game is known for is being one of the first shooters to enable sniper zoom. In 2018 it was hard to imagine a sniper without zoom, but back then, this was a massive step for first-person shooters.
LucasArts probably has their hands tied in a bunch of Star Wars content, but it would be nice to see a remake!
Last but not least, “Oregon Trail,” the game that started it all the best western video games. Unlike “Red Dead Redemption” or any other games on this list, “Oregon Trail” was initially designed as an educational game aimed at teaching kids how tough life was in the old west.
Even though the game was built on a straightforward game engine, there are a lot of fine details that were included in the game. For example, players had to hunt wild animals to store food in their reserves for the journey. If there is one thing I remember, it’s almost beating the game only to die from dysentery. One thing is sure; life wasn’t easy for weary travelers in the 19th century.
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