- Western video games offer a unique and creative backdrop that sets them apart from other genres, with titles that combine elements of action, RPG, and adventure.
Fallout: New Vegas
West of Loathing
showcase the successful integration of Western themes into different game genres, providing players with diverse and enjoyable experiences.
Despite being often overlooked, Western-inspired games like
Red Steel 2
Red Dead Revolver
offer immersive gameplay and provide interesting insights into the origins of popular franchises like
Red Dead Redemption.
Video games have become one of the best ways to escape to another world and indulge in different kinds of genres. Horror or sports can be easy to break down into video games, but other worlds have taken longer to become the norm. It’s taken some time, but games that center around cowboys and indulge in the Western genre are now big hits.
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Western video games are a great filter to put over first-person shooters or action games. There are many excellent video games that fans can check out if they like Westerns and cowboys, and they’re not limited to these two genres either! It’s a testament to how creative the gaming industry is that they’ve managed to craft so many unique and delectable titles with this particular backdrop that are hard to resist.
Updated on January 19, 2024 by Ritwik Mitra: Most people would assume that there aren’t many video games around featuring cowboys barring an obvious mention, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Several great titles make the most of a Wild West setting, and it’s a shame that the vast majority of them never made it to the big leagues. This shouldn’t take away from the games that did justice to the Western genre, with some of these titles being hailed as incredible video game experiences that fans should check out.
17 Fallout: New Vegas
Many Western Influences In This Genre-Defining RPG
Fallout: New Vegas
- October 19, 2010
Fallout: New Vegas is considered by many to be one of the greatest RPGs ever made, and the best title in the series by a country mile. The combination of RPG elements from previous games in the series coupled with Bethesda’s modern innovations in the genre have done a great job of modernizing the series for many.
The Western elements in this game are as clear as day, even if players aren’t playing as cowboys per se. The combination of this genre’s tropes with Fallout‘s established world is a joy to witness firsthand and does a great job of making New Vegas stand out even more.
16 West Of Loathing
A Comedic Take On The Western Genre That Is So Much More Than What Meets The Eye
West Of Loathing
- August 10, 2017
A turn-based RPG that takes players on a comedic adventure in the Wild West, West of Loathing’s strengths are many and make it clear why this game has become such an underground hit.
It’s not the deepest game by any stretch of the imagination, but that does nothing to take away from the mindless joy players can enjoy with it. The simple stick figures and hilarious writing make West of Loathing way more memorable than anyone could’ve imagined.
15 Evil West
Combines Dark Fantasy Elements With The Western Genre
- PS5 , PS4 , PC , Xbox Series X/S
- November 22, 2022
- Third-Person Shooter , RPG , Action , Adventure
Surprisingly enough, there were two games released in 2022 that used the background of the Wild West to tell a riveting tale and were named similarly too. While Weird West ended up being more memorable for the majority of players, another title that players still enjoyed despite the combat being slightly unbalanced was Evil West.
The game is certainly not deep or thought-provoking in any way… but it doesn’t need to be! Evil West is just a fun, light-hearted romp where players utilize a wealth of weapons to wallop their enemies to kingdom come. The best part is that this game can also be enjoyed in co-op, making for a great game to enjoy with friends!
14 Red Steel 2
A Great Western Setting With Fun Combat
Red Steel 2
- March 23, 2010
- Ubisoft , Ubisoft Paris
- First-Person Shooter , Beat ‘Em Up
The Wii is certainly one of the most successful consoles of all time, but there’s no denying that this system was meant to appeal to a more casual audience. This made it a great hub for party games and imaginative platformers… but mature action games were always going to struggle on this platform. A great example of this is MadWorld, a stylistic action game that should’ve been a huge success but ended up being a commercial disappointment.
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This was the fate that awaited Red Steel 2 as well. The game utilized the Wii’s motion controls in a pretty intriguing way, and people who did check out this game for themselves loved how visceral and satisfying the combat was. Unfortunately, the game’s incredible set-pieces and great setting didn’t boost sales in the slightest, making it one of the best games on the Wii that was criminally overlooked by the masses.
13 Wasteland 3
A Spiritual Successor To Fallout’s CRPG Roots With A Heavy Dose Of Western Elements
The Fallout series has evolved from its isometric CRPG roots to become one of the most beloved post-apocalyptic RPGs of all time. However, many hardcore fans miss the golden era of this series. Thankfully, the Wasteland series has done a great job of filling up this vacuum.
While the world of this post-apocalyptic CRPG can feel quite derivative, there’s no denying that Wasteland 3 is an absolute blast to play through. The gameplay is more refined than ever before, and the unique mix of Western elements and the aftermath of a brutal nuclear war makes for a great time as players fight both bloodthirsty humans and nightmarish mutants!
12 Weird West
A Unique Mix Of The CRPG Genre And Immersive Sim Elements Set In A Western Fantasy
- March 31, 2022
- WolfEye Studios
- Action RPG
True to its name, Weird West is easily one of the oddest games on this list that shouldn’t work, given the sheer number of gameplay systems it messes around with. Players control multiple characters, but somehow, the game feels like an immersive sim once players start interacting with the world and realize just how logically its elements react to each other.
While the game should be chastized for repeating environments over and over, there’s no denying that Weird West is a great title that fans of unique indie RPGs should check out. The writing is bizarre yet enjoyable, and the Western influence gives the game a unique charm of its own that will engross players to no end!
11 Westerado: Double Barreled
A Top Down Open-World Game Set During The Wild Wild West
Westerado: Double Barreled
- Microsoft Windows , macOS , Xbox One
- April 16, 2015
- Ostrich Banditos
An incredible indie game that more people need to play, Westerado: Double Barreled combines a classic Western revenge plot with procedurally-generated mechanics, allowing for near-endless replayability as players explore a small yet reactive open world where they have free reign to do pretty much whatever they want.
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The game has its flaws, with combat being pretty tricky as the game’s perspective makes aiming rather finicky. However, these are minor hiccups in what is otherwise a brilliant game that will keep players smiling and engaged throughout the entire experience as they either follow the revenge plot to a T or goof off and kill everyone during their quest to discover the murderer of their family.
10 Red Dead Revolver
An Action-Packed Third-Person Shooter In The Western Genre, With Rockstar Acquiring This IP Soon After
Red Dead Revolver
- May 4, 2004
- Rockstar San Diego
While it failed to make anywhere near as big an impression as either of its two sequels, Red Dead Revolver was still a pretty solid game when it was released for the PS2 and Xbox back in May of 2004. Sadly, it hasn’t aged all that well, though there’s still enjoyment to be found for those who like cowboys and Western movies.
More than anything, Red Dead Revolver provides a unique and interesting window into the origins of one of gaming’s biggest franchises. These humble beginnings would eventually lead to true greatness, and exploring them is a must for anybody who considers themselves a fan of Rockstar’s Red Dead series.
9 Hard West
Set In A Fictional Version Of The American Wild West
- Nintendo Switch , PS4 , Linux , PC , macOS
- November 18, 2015
- CreativeForge Games
Polish studio Creative Forge hasn’t developed all that many games since it was founded back in 2011, but it has been responsible for a few good ones. The pick of the bunch is arguably Hard West, which, as the title suggests, takes place in a fictionalized version of the American Old West. What the game’s name doesn’t convey, however, are the supernatural elements that help to shape this surreal experience.
Those who liked Red Dead Redemption‘s Undead Nightmare DLC should take a lot of enjoyment from Hard West. As well as undead cowboys, players can expect to encounter a whole host of other terrifying threats (including ghosts and demons) as they struggle to survive the lynchings, rituals, and shootouts found so prominently throughout the game.
8 Darkwatch: Curse Of The West
A Combination Of The Western And Steampunk Genre With A Healthy Dose Of Horror Added To The Mix
Darkwatch: Curse Of The West
- August 12, 2005
- FPS , Western , Survival Horror
Darkwatch: Curse of the West is a glorious mash-up of elements that are trying so hard to find mass appeal that it’s a little heartbreaking it wasn’t able to spawn a long franchise of weird titles.
The shooter mixes the Western genre with gothic horror and traces of steampunk as it tells the story of Jericho Cross, a vampire cowboy who’s looking to wipe out a larger evil. Darkwatch leads to a very different take on the Western genre, and it’s something that deserves another chance.
7 Wild Guns Reloaded
A Simple, Classic Western Shoot-’em-Up
Wild Guns Reloaded
- May 31, 2010
- Natsume Atari
Wild Guns was a popular Super Nintendo title that tells a story about revenge and family honor, albeit with a very cute, unassuming art design. Wild Guns Reloaded re-masters & modernizes the classic game and delivers a very satisfying title for Western fans. The game is a streamlined take on shooters and brawlers while also lovingly re-contextualizing the classic genre.
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Wild Guns Reloaded doesn’t lose the heart of the original title, and the addition of new characters helps make this quirky Western shooter even more entertaining.
6 Gunman Clive HD Collection
A Simple Sidescrolling Action Game Where Players Fight Against Technologically-Advanced Enemies
- April 2, 2012
- Horberg Productions
It’s been encouraging to see how important art design and visual aesthetics have become for audiences. There used to be a time when only advanced graphics got people’s attention, but there’s more of an artistry to the look and feel of games now, especially when it comes to indie titles. The pair of Gunman Clive games are a perfect example of this.
They’re indie sidescrollers that involve gunslingers in the West, but the scaled-back art design is where these titles feel unique. An HD collection has helped bring the games over to modern audiences and keep these games alive.
5 Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD
A Bounty Hunting Extravaganza That Takes Place In A Unique Mix Of Western And Fantasy Elements
Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath
- January 25, 2005
- Shooter , Action-Adventure
It’s not unusual for a franchise to produce spin-offs that take the games in radically different directions, and Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath accomplishes something difficult here. It takes the surreal universe of the Oddworld games but turns them into moody Westerns with an original slant.
Stranger’s Wrath is a grizzled bounty hunter who just wants to get enough money to complete his goal. The ruthless world of Gizzard Gulch is a great expansion to the Oddworld universe, and a re-master in 2012 helped Stranger’s Wrath not get forgotten.
An Excellent, Old-School Experience Set In The Wild West
- November 8, 2005
- Action-Adventure , Shooter
Before games like Red Dead Redemption came along and essentially perfected the Western genre, there were games like Gun that were attempting the same thing — but a generation earlier. Gun is very ambitious for its time, and it puts players in a sprawling open world that’s full of outlaws and bandits who are eager to eliminate anyone who gives them a dirty look.
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Gun excels with its extensive side missions and how it fleshes out this world. While its heights have since been surpassed, it was formative back on the original Xbox and PlayStation 2.
3 Desperados 3
An RTS Game With A Focus On Stealth Set In The Wild West
- June 16, 2020
- Mimimi Games
- Real-Time Strategy
The Desperados series of games on the PC are a worthy inclusion because they’re set back during the late 1800s when the West was at its most ruthless, & they utilize the strategy genre of games to look at this old-time corruption.
Desperados 3 has players on the hunt for bandits, but there’s a varied team of help that’s provided to track down these criminals in various settings. It may be slower and less graphically advanced than other games on here, but it builds the tension of a robbery or heist as effectively as anything else.
2 Call Of Juarez: Gunslinger
An Action-Packed FPS That Makes The Most Of Its Western Setting
Call of Juarez: Gunslinger
Not all of the Call of Juarez titles are set back in the days of the Wild West, but the series has gradually learned that it created some of its best work in that time period. Call of Juarez: Gunslinger features Silas Greaves, a bounty hunter who’s at the end of his rope and progressively frustrated with this derelict community.
Call of Juarez: Gunslinger also provides a “duel” mode, which is a fantastic addition that allows multiplayer mayhem to invade the premise. It’s not a perfect title, but it features a tortured anti-hero at the center of it all.
1 Red Dead Redemption 2
The Greatest Wild West Game Ever Made
Red Dead Redemption 2
- October 26, 2018
Red Dead Redemption 2‘s inclusion at the top spot shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Its predecessor was already a masterpiece (and even Xbox’s Red Dead Revolver is a highly polished take on the genre for its time), but the sequel improves upon everything and creates an even more satisfying experience.
The open world of Red Dead Redemption 2 is the new standard to strive for, and whether players are stopping bandits or just leisurely tending to horses or kicking back at a saloon, the game ensures that it’s as detailed and enjoyable as possible.
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