With Red Dead Redemption 2 heading our way in 2017 and a new Westworld TV series to enjoy, it’s a great time to be a fan of Westerns.
The Wilh2d West is a perfect setting for games, with all the shoot-outs, horse-riding, bleary-eyed bar brawls, and trigger-happy duellists you could want. Over the years, developers have exploited this setting to create some great games, ranging from 8-bit shooters to RPGs.
So, saddle up and join us as we look at the 10 best Western games …
Gun.Smoke’s a classic vertical-scrolling shooter, which started out as an arcade game before being ported to the NES.
While the home-console version was different in some ways, it retained the same addictive gameplay and look, and still has its fans today.
Like Gun.Smoke, Sunset Riders started out as a coin-op game before being ported to home consoles.
Its Sega Genesis and SNES versions are still beloved today, thanks in no small part to its fast-paced gameplay and gorgeous visuals. Don’t have a copy? There’s plenty of playthrough videos online to get you up to speed.
All right, so Wild Arms isn’t set in the same Wild West as other games on this list, but it’s definitely a Western.
Wild Arms takes place in Filgaia, a fantasy world based on the Wild West, and was successful enough to spawn a number of sequels. While this is an RPG, the Western angle helped it to stand out from the more sword-and-sorcery-themed examples of the genre.
It’s a cute game from the PlayStation’s early days, and well worth checking out if you’ve never tried it before.
Red Dead Revolver
Before Red Dead Redemption, there was Red Dead Revolver. While it might be smaller, faster-paced, and slightly less impressive to look at, Red Dead Revolver’s a terrific game with an authentic Spaghetti Western feel.
As it lacks the open-world structure of Red Dead Redemption, Revolver’s a nice alternative for gamers craving a more linear gun-slinging adventure. It was recently released for the PS4, so download it and see for yourself!
Gun is more like Red Dead Redemption than Revolver, with an open-world structure, side-quests, and a similar look.
Like Redemption, Gun also allows you to play poker and dabble in a little bounty-hunting on the side. One big difference, though, is the Quickdraw mode, which puts the game into a first-person perspective at key moments. It’s a nice touch, and makes Gun stand out.
Released back in 2005, Gun was a huge hit, and fans have long waited for a sequel that looks less and less likely as the years go by.
Call of Juarez: Gunslinger
The Call of Juarez series has a loyal fan-base, though it hasn’t received quite as much praise as the likes of Red Dead Redemption and Gun.
After a misstep with The Cartel, which shifted the series’ first-person shenanigans to a modern setting, Gunslinger yanked it back to the Old West.
The game’s storytelling is one of its strongest points, with an unreliable narrator recounting a tale from his own life. This alone is a pretty bold technique for a game’s structure, but it gets better: whenever the old dude is pulled up about flaws in his story, the game will actually change in some way to echo his revisions.
The gameplay itself is great fun, with its arcade and duel modes giving you a straightforward Old West experience outside the main campaign.
Red Dead Redemption
It’s fair to say that Red Dead Redemption’s the daddy (or mummy) of all Western games.
For a start, it still looks absolutely incredible despite its age, and the sheer variety of ways to spend/waste your time is mind-bending. Fancy wrapping a bandanna around your face and wasting the population of a small town? Go for it. Want to earn a few dollars for a night’s honest work guarding a ranch? You’re in luck!
Of course, that’s barely even scratching the surface – you can do pretty much anything you’d want to in a Western game. Everything from riding through endless deserts and playing cards to protecting a train from Mexican bandits is on offer throughout. You can travel for miles and miles, camp out under the stars, indulge your inner bounty-hunter, rescue innocents from passing criminals, and track down some new outfits if you fancy a fresh look.
On top of all this, the awesome expansion, Undead Nightmare, let you shoot zombies. ‘nuff said.
What can we look forward to in the forthcoming sequel? Rockstar has only just confirmed Red Dead Redemption 2’s existence, but it won’t be too long before we get some exciting details.
Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath
You might know this for its mobile port, but Stranger’s Wrath first came along in 2005.
Set in the bizarre Oddworld, Stranger’s Wrath puts you in control of Stranger, a bounty hunter on the trail of various outlaws. It’s different to the other Oddworld games that came before, which were platform-based puzzlers, and gives players a Western with an otherworldly twist.
Well, that’s it! We hope this has whetted your appetite for Red Dead Redemption 2, and given you some classic games to try.
What’s your favourite Western game? Let us know!