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25 Best sci-fi games to travel into the future with

10. Doom (2016) 

best sci-fi games - doom

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Do you like “badass demons, big guns and moving really fast”? According to executive producer Marty Stratton, that makes Doom the game for you. It’s also a staple in sci-fi games, aka the genre in which everything in our future that can go wrong will go wrong. (Listen, just don’t harvest energy from Hell and you’ll be fine.) What you get is an incredible visceral, fast-paced shooter that doesn’t really have any comparable competitors out there. Doom is a raw power-trip of an FPS with satisfying shooting that everyone can get into – for good reason it’s made the top of GamesRadar’s list of best FPS games of all time.

Available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch

9. Dead Space 2 

best sci-fi games - dead space 2

(Image credit: Visceral Games)

Combat in Dead Space is actually not all too different from Doom – while you play from a third-person perspective, the general idea is still to enter a room, figure out where your enemies are coming from and then try to dispatch them one by one in an orderly manner. Where Doom was made to make you feel powerful, Dead Space, and especially Dead Space 2, the best instalment of the series, is frankly terrifying. It was the best kind of Alien-style game before the release of Alien: Isolation, and it plays with your constant sense of anticipation as you creep ahead in the dark. 

Dead Space 2 gets you time and again with its jump scares, even though or especially because you know they’re coming, and even though you have a multitude of weapons to defend yourself with, this is a game that makes it very clear that you’re fleeing for your life.

Available on PC, Xbox One (via backwards compatibility)

8. Alien: Isolation

best sci-fi games - alien isolation

(Image credit: Creative Assembly)

Game adaptations of films are often questionable at best (and vice versa!), but with this survival horror game, Creative Assembly delivered proof that it can be done if you know what makes the source material so beloved. More than thirty years after its release, Ridley Scott’s Alien is still terrifying. If it’s not broken there’s no need to fix it, so it made sense not to change the original idea and simply put players in the shoes of a character, in this case Ellen Ripley’s daughter Amanda, hiding for her life. 

In Alien: Isolation, everything just works together to transport you straight into the film, from the art direction to the story and of course the brilliant AI of the alien we all…love?

Available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch

7. The Outer Worlds

best sci-fi games - outer worlds

(Image credit: Obsidian)

One of 2019’s most successful games, the Outer Worlds combines many of the elements people like about the Fallout games, including corporate satire, quirky companions and and RPG elements. Unlike Fallout however, at about 15 hours for the main campaign this is the perfect game to not lose your entire life over while still enjoying the full experience. 

Similarly, the narrative doesn’t ask for too much commitment – it deals with the well-known trope of the evil megacorporation you so often see in sci-fi, but in a genre where things can often get dark, the humour is refreshing.

Available on PC, PS4, Xbox One (Switch on June 5, 2020)

6. Prey (2017)

best sci-fi games - prey

(Image credit: Best Buy)

Science fiction wouldn’t be the same without alternate timelines to change the course of the human race. In Prey, the failed assassination of John F. Kennedy accelerates research into space, leading to the establishment of the Talos I, an intergalactic research station built to examine the Typhon, a newly-discovered alien race. As numerous examples have already shown, researching potentially deadly aliens all alone out in space is generally a really bad idea, but Prey is more than another solid first-person shooter.

What makes it so interesting is the thoughtful approach to a well-known subject, asking you to make moral choices which can lead to different, equally stunning outcomes. Fans of Arkane’s Dishonoured likely know what type of storytelling to expect, if you’re looking for something both chilling and surprising you can’t go wrong with Prey.

Available on PC, PS4, Xbox One

5. The Bioshock Collection

best sci-fi games - bioshock

(Image credit: 2K Games)

Bioshock is a classic among the sci-fi games with an alternate timeline. For once you’re not going into space, but deep underwater in order to explore Rapture (or the lofty heights of the steampunk city Columbia in Bioshock: Infinite), a city that ate itself. The series is thrilling, from battles with mutated drug addicts to its consistently dark, surprising story that stands among the best for the shooter genre. While it’s not for the faint of heart, no one’s ever made such an intriguing mix of philosophy and horror before or since.

Available on PC, PS4, Xbox One

4. Mass Effect 2

best sci-fi games - mass effect 2

(Image credit: BioWare)

10 years on, the saga of Commander Shephard and their crew is still one of the best and most engrossing sci-fi RPGs out there. It’s imbued with the soul of Star Trek – a close-knit crew ventures out into space to solve political tensions, eventually coming across an alien threat. 

Mass Effect features epic shootouts in space, but thanks to great writing it shines more for its characters. Getting to know your favourite and romancing them has become just as an important part as the action, if not more so. Fighting evil and smooching aliens – what’s not to like? Mass Effect 2 also has the best story of the series, and it works even if you haven’t played the first one.

Available on: PC, Xbox One (via backwards compatibility)

3. Deus Ex: Human Revolution

best sci-fi games - deus ex: human revolution

(Image credit: Square Enix)

The prequel to the original Deus Ex from 2000 paints a fascinating vision of our future, in which human augmentations have become the norm. This is a game about interesting societal conflict between those in favour of augmentations and those who aren’t, and it’s asking you to pick sides frequently. Your decisions have lasting consequences not just in conversations, but also affect your surroundings. How you choose to augment protagonist Adam Jensen to unlock new paths and skills adds a Metroidvania quality to game progression, and you always have multiple ways to solve situations in this dark, but lovingly realised version of our future.

Available on: PC, Xbox One (via backwards compatibility, Basic version only)

2. Portal 2

best sci-fi games - portal 2

(Image credit: Valve)

Some ideas are just perfect for games, and Portal 2’s teleportation gun testing facility was just great for a plethora of challenging puzzles. The variety Valve came up with is still astounding, and since then the game’s community has added so much of value to Portal II in form of additional levels and fan games. Portal II is also one of the few puzzles that doesn’t skimp on a really fun story, complete with great voice acting. Simply put, this is an evergreen, and by now the portal gun has become a piece of pop culture history.

Available on: PC, Xbox One (via backwards compatibility)

1. Half-Life 2

best sci-fi games - half-life 2

(Image credit: Valve)

It’s ok to admit that Half-Life 2 has aged a bit, but only if you look at it from a purely visual standpoint. Once you play this first-person shooter, if you haven’t already, you’ll realise that a lot of the aspects that make other games on this list great originated with the Half-Life franchise. It was the pinnacle for graphical achievement at the time, and still stands out for its great environmental storytelling, and it engagingly tells the by now tried and tested story of the alien invasion. 

It also gave you a lot of freedom for a game at a time. Simply put, if you like great shooters and want to know more about their origins, or simply play one of the best games that still holds up, play Half-Life 2.

Available on PC, Xbox One (backwards compatibility with The Orange Box Collection)