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10 games like Red Dead Redemption where you can live the outlaw lifestyle

(Image credit: Rockstar)

Whilst the tale of John Marston will live on in the annals of video game history thanks to Rockstar’s iconic western and its prequelsequel, we thought it might be best to do a Woody’s Roundup of the rest of the best cowboy games like Red Dead Redemption. Read on as we span genres and even timeframes in an attempt to boil down the most important and appealing features to fans of the most beloved open-world western, suggesting a rogue’s gallery of options for when you’ve finished skinning all of those coyotes. Or horses, maybe you’re a maniac. We don’t judge.

Red Dead Revolver

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

Available on: PS4

Take a trip back to 2004 and see where the Red Dead series started in this Revolver PSN port that still holds up with impeccable form. What it lacks in open-world structure it makes up for in cinematic style. Switching between protagonists throughout the story, your main rogue is Red Harlow, a deadly bounty hunter whose parents were murdered by the vicious Colonel Daren. An adrenaline-pumping revenge story that is always introducing a fun new mechanic, Revolver focuses on highlighting its arcade shooting style, excellent duelling mini-game and mission variety, which will be a refreshing jolt of fun for Red Dead Redemption fans, especially if they loved the combat within their beloved Rockstar western.

Gun

(Image credit: Activision)

Available on: PC

You may or may not have heard of GUN, depending on how old you were around the dawn of the last console generation. Whilst Red Dead Redemption bookended the heyday of the Xbox 360/PS3, Gun kicked it all off. In a pre-Red Dead world, Gun was a deeply ambitious and realistic Wild West simulator, crafted by Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater legends Neversoft. With satisfying, crunchy combat and a reactive open-world, It’s still well worth a punt for the extremely cool bullet-time ‘Deadeye’ system alone if you can deal with the admittedly dated graphics. In any case, it’s viable as a history lesson, and another interesting take on the third-person open-world western, a fairly limited genre.

Call of Juarez: Gunslinger

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Available on: PC

A decidedly absurd twist for the series, Call of Juarez: Gunslinger is an arcade shooter from Techland of Dead Island and Dying Light fame. Leaning into the stories and tall tales that gave cowboys and the old west their notorious name, you play as a bounty hunter mopping up the likes of Billy the Kid and Jesse James. The kicker is that this is all relayed during a drunken exchange at the bar, with our unreliable narrator spoofing the tropes and jogging his memory of the Old West during his account. It makes for a much more light-hearted affair than Red Dead Redemption’s often-grisly tone. 

West of Loathing

(Image credit: Asymmetric)

Available on: PC, Nintendo Switch

Speaking of absurdism, West of Loathing is a recently released indie darling from the team behind the hilarious cult browser RPG Kingdom of Loathing. Instead of offering vague fantasy tropes, this time around the stick figure world is grounded in the Old West. As well as being a belly laugh a minute, West of Loathing is a surprisingly deep RPG with a goof-filled open world and a beanslinging protagonist. If you’re tired of Red Dead’s tricky controls and just want something simple, appealing and extremely well-written and funny whilst still grounded in the outlaw lifestyle, you cannot go wrong with West of Loathing and it’s addicting turn-based combat.

Bully: Scholarship Edition

(Image credit: Rockstar)

Available on: PS4, Xbox One and PC

If you enjoy Rockstar’s tongue-in-cheek writing style and the more zany of the Strangers and Freaks side missions in Red Dead Redemption, you will love Bully and its stylistic, character-driven world. Like Marston, Jimmy Hopkins is an outlaw in his own right, just placed in a different setting, that of the notoriously strict Bullworth Academy. Instead of finding old gang members, you’re working through gangs of high school stereotypes, uprooting corruption at the core. Another detailed open-world full of collectables and unique weapons, Bully: Scholarship Edition is another finesse-filled Rockstar story that’s well worth playing.

Fallout: New Vegas

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Available on: PS4, Xbox One and PC

New Vegas might not be a Western in specific terms, but it certainly feels like one, right? A mysterious courier left for dead in the middle of an unforgiving desert… Factions of outlaws baying for control and ancient guns that love to jam. Aside from the thematic comparisons and old-world vibes, Fallout New Vegas is another incredibly detailed open world with a gripping story, one that you can tinker with to your heart's content on PC with the excellent modding scene. That’s only after you’ve finished exploring, wrapping up the bountiful side quests and engaging with the troupe of colourful companions who will join you on this adventure, which is made to be played multiple times.

Hunt: Showdown

(Image credit: Crytek)

Available on: PS4, Xbox One and PC

The only strictly multiplayer entry in this list, Crytek’s Hunt:Showdown is for the keen bounty hunters among us who wish to take their skills online. Set in 1890s Louisiana, you must explore swamplands in this survival horror FPS to find your monster mark, whilst an Undead Nightmare-esque plague descends on the map. A mixing pot of mythology and Wild West iconography, gameplay involves frenetic gunplay with old school weaponry, but the interesting approach to the gameplay by including PVE and PVP engagements is what makes this lawless shoot-em-up shine. 

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

Available on: PS4, Xbox One and PC

Another game that is deservedly in many player’s top 10 list, The Witcher 3 might not be a western, but it’s one of the very few open-world RPGs that offer as much detail as Red Dead Redemption. From the gripping narrative where your choices actually matter to the emphasis on exploration and getting lost. The Witcher 3 should offer a familiar deluge of fun to those of us looking for something more post-Marston. Geralt’s emotional range might also delight those tired of the typical stoicism of Old West outlaws.

Red Dead Redemption 2

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

Available on: PS4 and Xbox One

Okay, so it's technically cheating putting Red Dead Redemption 2in here, but Rockstar’s open-world magic turns truly peerless in the sequel to Red Dead Redemption, which also happens to be a prequel… Other euphorically dizzying parts of this game include the scale and scope of the map, which works a lot of the original Red Dead’s map into the fold to keep things familiar, all the while fleshing it out into swamplands, tundra-covered mountains and acres of lush plains bustling with wildlife. Beyond one of the most well-crafted, novelesque narratives in video game history, the shooting is made even more fun and the characters and world are ten times as vibrant. The ace in the hole is easily the L2/LT button which affords players the ability to engage with every NPC in the world, escalating simple greetings into a brawl or a branching, rewarding side quest. Never failing to reward the player for simply being inquisitive, Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of the best games ever made, and it should be a no brainer if you have a soft spot for the original.