Fans of the wild wild west may not get quite as many dedicated games as they’d hope, but that doesn’t mean that what they have gotten hasn’t been top-of-the-line. Most western game players tend to agree that the freedom of exploring a historical setting on the back of a trusty steed as enemies close in on all sides makes for an incredible experience.
Many developers have taken the simple concept of an outlaw cowboy and managed to craft some of the most unique gaming experiences any player can find. The most incredible thing is that some western games from older console generations are able to stand toe-to-toe with modern games as some of the best of the genre.
10 The Oregon Trail
Few games are so influential that they see numerous releases in numerous forms throughout the years. The Oregon Trail is not only a beloved game, but it spawned plenty of memes that have worked their way into pop culture.
The typical idea behind The Oregon Trail games is that you control a group or family that is traveling along the Oregon Trail. The games can see players managing things like supplies, relationships, their cart, and animals while attempting to survive the dangerous open world. While there are tons of different versions, even the 1971 original is worth a try.
9 Desperados 3
The 2020 release of Desperados 3 was a refreshing change of pace for the typical western-style games. Rather than the standard first or third-person shooter that sees a macho cowboy exploring an open world, Desperados 3 is much more of a tactical game.
The game lets you exercise more stealth and caution when dealing with enemies rather than engaging in bombastic shootouts. It’s even possible for players to make it through much of the game without killing any enemies at all. Lots of gamers agree that Desperados 3 is well worth giving a try.
8 Hard West
Gamers may have heard of this game being referred to as XCOM with cowboys, and that description isn’t all that far from the truth. While the game doesn’t go for a hyper-realistic version of the wild west, it does play similar to the XCOM series of games.
While the gameplay will appeal to players who prefer a more tactical approach in their games, those same players should be prepared for a strange cowboy experience that is filled with demonic creatures. The game boasts some unique mechanics that fans of the genre may want to seek out.
7 West Of Loathing
One of the strangest western games to ever be released goes by the name West Of Loathing. Its simplistic art style may put off many gamers before they even give the game a shot, but they’d be missing out on a unique experience.
Rather than a kind of point-and-click game players may expect from the art style, the game is actually a turn-based RPG with plenty of charm and depth. If you enjoy lots of comedy with the games you play, then you are sure to have a great time with West Of Loathing.
6 Wild Guns
For fans of old-school shooting gallery-style games, Wild Guns is the finest the genre has to offer. The game blends wild west themes with more sci-fi creations in order to provide creative enemies for the players to gun down.
The player can choose from two different characters to play through six different exciting levels. The fun twist is that rather than a simple reticle on the screen, players have to focus on fighting enemies while ensuring their player character isn’t taking any damage. It may sound simple, but it can be pretty tough to get good at.
5 Sunset Riders
There were a lot of excellent shoot-‘em-ups featured on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, but few were of as high quality as Sunset Riders. Some players have actually expressed that they prefer the home console edition over the arcade edition.
The game lets players pick from one of four characters as they travel through short stages, blasting away every enemy in sight. As the player progresses, they battle bosses, ride horses, and save damsels in distress as they hunt for the most notorious bounties in the west.
4 Red Dead Revolver
While the Red Dead Redemption series is a household name now, its first game Red Dead Revolver was missed by a lot of fans of the genre. Rather than a heartfelt story about a family man trying to do right by his family, the game follows a man on a journey for revenge.
Red Harlow, a bounty hunter in the American frontier, sets out to find the people who killed his parents. While the gameplay will be familiar to fans of the series, it’s clear that the mechanics weren’t yet mastered with this entry.
3 Red Dead Redemption
Rockstar Games gave fans a character they’ll likely never forget in John Marston with their 2010 game Red Dead Redemption. At this point, just about every gamer knows everything there is to know about the iconic series.
The game lets the player take control of John Marston as he hunts down his former gang members in order to bring them to justice and keep his family safe. The sprawling open world and ability to explore every corner of the wild west brought fans in and the incredible story kept them playing.
2 Call Of Juarez: Bound In Blood
Fans of the Call Of Juarez series are always talking about how underrated the series is when talking about iconic first-person shooters. While the series has had its ups and downs in terms of quality, one of the fan-favorite entries is Bound In Blood.
The game follows two American Civil War army deserters, Ray and Thomas McCall, as they go on the run and search for fabled gold. The game's fascinating storyline is one of the things that captivated gamers around the world, and the tight controls helped with that.
1 Red Dead Redemption 2
Some gamers point to Red Dead Redemption 2 as the greatest cinematic game ever made. The incredible story, sprawling open world, and the occasionally unique but hidden cinematics make that point hard to argue with.
With one of the biggest game worlds ever created, players take control primarily of Arthur Morgan in a prequel to the first Red Dead Redemption game. With enemies on all sides, betrayals at every turn, and plenty of outlaw fun to be had, players fell in love with RDR2 pretty much instantly.
Next: The Best Games That Let You Play As A Cowboy