Our virtual dive into the neon-soaked universe of Night City is close at hand. If you love the futuristic, dystopian genre in which Cyberpunk 2077's story is rooted, we have something for you. Here is a list of 11 sci-fi games that are simply a must-play for all cyberpunk fans.
Mike Pondsmith once described the world of the future presented in his tabletop RPGs as “craptastic”, and it seems quite accurate. On one hand, we have tremendous technological advancement on the other – pollution and a world ruled by giant corporations that will stop at nothing to fulfill their needs. In such a universe, the freedom of the individual is a scarce commodity, yet all those who fight for it – hackers, netrunners, and other rebels – become instant heroes. The question is – do you have the courage to become one of them?
Well, it’s up to you to find out, eventually. Here are some of the best sci-fi games to play if love the cyberpunk genre
Something for fans of hacking and slashing set in a futuristic landscape. The Ghostrunner game
gives you the opportunity to climb Dharma Tower, humanity’s last shelter after a world-ending cataclysm. At the top, Mara, the tyrannical Keymaster, awaits your revenge. The game is a true visual treat with all of its neon lights and meticulously designed tower city. If you add the dynamic action and swordplay, you receive an excellent cyberpunk game to take a shot at.
The adventure game from the famous Westwood Studios based on the 1982 movie and the novel by Philip K. Dick isn’t your typical cyberpunk title. Even so, the dark Los Angeles of 2019 has strongly influenced the look of many other sci-fi cities in other games, movies, and shows. Moreover, Blade Runner
features many typical cyberpunk tropes, like an evil, powerful company (Tyrell Corporation), and an A.I. breaking loose (the android replicants). As the eponymous Blade Runner, detective Ray McCoy, we are tossed into the center of it all, with the possibility to finish the game in more ways than one.
Beneath a Steel SkyBeneath a Steel Sky
is a point-and-click adventure game devised by director Charles Cecil and comic book artist Dave Gibbons (famous for the Watchmen series). The game follows the adventures of Robert Foster and his sentient robot Joey as they loom through the streets of the dystopian Union City ruled by the all-powerful computer, LINC. Among the many pros of Beneath a Steel Sky, one is especially worth mentioning - it’s available free on GOG.COM along with a digital comic book by Gibbons.
Like System Shock, this mixed FPS and role-playing game from Ion Storm is cyberpunk to the core. Deus Ex
features special agent JC Denton, an agent who fights global and cyber terrorism in the year 2052. After he discovers that his employers are more of a threat than a solution to the world’s problems, Denton defects and starts his own war with the system.
The success of the game led to a string of sequels, with two games - Deus Ex: Human Revolution
and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
- especially worth mentioning. In both titles, you take the role of Adam Jensen, an ex-SWAT security specialist whose body became heavily augmented after a terrorist attack. A combination of dynamic action, an interesting world to explore, and a large dose of freedom in shaping your hero’s storyline make those two games an absolute must-play for all cyberpunk fans.
This adventure game from Bloober Team marks the return of the late actor Rutger Hauer (who also starred in the 1982 Blade Runner film) to the cyberpunk genre. Observer is a horror tale about Daniel Lazarski, a member of the neural police force working on behalf of the almighty Chiron Corporation in Krakow AD 2084. Tasked with hacking into the heads of potential suspects, Lazarski is a perfect, ruthless policeman. Until one fateful day when everything changes…
At the end of 2020, the game received a new updated version titled Observer: System Redux
, with new side cases and expanded gameplay.
Here’s something for fans of dynamic, non-stop action. The RUINER game
is a brutal shooter set in the year 2091 on the dark streets of Rengkok. As a wired, dangerous sociopath you lash out against a corrupt system to retrieve your kidnapped brother under the guidance of a hacker friend. Apart from the lightning-fast action and engaging story, RUINER features an interesting high-tech arsenal of weapons deeply rooted in cyberpunk tradition.
Just like Cyberpunk 2077, this title is an adaptation of a much earlier tabletop RPG game. Shadowrun Returns
features a mix of traditional fantasy worlds (dragons, elves, magic) with a cyberpunk sci-fi setting. In this turn-based role-playing game, you become a shadowrunner – a mercenary for hire who is tasked with hunting down a mysterious murderer in a huge Seattle metroplex. The game was a success - received two sequels titled Shadowrun: Dragonfall
and Shadowrun: Hong Kong
. All three titles are now available on GOG.COM in one pack, titled the Shadowrun Trilogy
This tactical game
from Bullfrog Productions proved to be ahead of its time. It features dynamic real-time battles instead of turn-based ones, something previously associated with tactical games. It also introduced the cyberpunk genre to the gaming world. Syndicate took place in a world divided by (surprise!) big, evil corporations that employ cyber-enhanced assassins to fight for dominance. The game received a sequel, titled Syndicate Wars
For a very long time, this title was the first thing that popped into a gamer’s heads when they thought “cyberpunk”. The game was truly ahead of its time. Set in the year 2072, it tells the story of a hacker trapped on the Citadel Station by an evil A.I. called SHODAN. Everything in this game is spot-on, from its FPS perspective to its engaging, cinema-like storyline. No wonder System Shock
spawned a well-received sequel
, an enhanced edition, and is now waiting for a highly anticipated reboot
Although not a cyberpunk game per see, this title from Supergiant Games
borrows heavily from the genre’s aesthetics and design. The world shown in Transistor is full of neon lights, explosions, and pastel graphics that will attack your senses. To add to the beautiful graphics, the game’s audio is simply mesmerizing. That’s why this action role-playing game is a must-play for all the gamers who wish to immerse themselves in a sci-fi experience before playing Cyberpunk 2077.
Yet another point-and-click adventure game
tackling the cyberpunk theme in a creative way. In a future not too far away, human society has migrated to a permanently integrated reality connected to a single neural network that continuously optimizes people's experiences. The main hero of the game, Nathan, is an outsider who makes a living off the grid as a smuggler of modded hardware and cracked software. One day, his girlfriend Jay disappears from their apartment, leaving only a cryptic message behind. Nathan, of course, sets off to find her!
Ready for the virtual trip of your lifetime? Play Cyberpunk 2077 and other titles mentioned above to see what it means to become a true rebel in a world controlled by corporations and all-powerful AI’s.
Who knows, some of that knowledge may become quite useful in the future that is to come…