What are the best PC Western games to watch? It's a tough decision to make. The Wild West is a time of oblivion, striking gold, and dangerous shootouts, no wonder it's the subject of many top cowboy games.
The cowboy media that has followed them is a strong influence on western games, and it's fair to say that the humble Western is a cornerstone of American culture. Fortunately, a number of them have absolutely grasped exactly what being a cowboy is all about. And, fortunately for you, we've done the dirty work of removing the varmints right here.
Here are the best Western games on PC:
- Red Dead Redemption 2
- Hard West
- Call of Juarez: Gunslinger
- Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive
- Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath
- Steamworld Dig 2
- Fallout: New Vegas
- West of Loathing
- Red Dead Redemption
Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption 2 is a prequel to one of the finest Western games of all time. Not that RDR2 is without whisky swilling, tavern brawls, or nights camping under the stars, but we now see another side to this shambling way of living.
Youll learn how to be a cowboy in Red Dead Redemption 2, but also how not to tame horses and bounty hunters, and how to survive in a world that is slowly abandoning your lifestyle. In Rockstars open world, you can lasso escaped outlaws and lay them on railway tracks like a pantomime villain, engage in a townwide brawl, and ride through dry, dusty plains shooting deer for dinner.
The Creative Forge XCOM with the spies title Phantom Doctrine was released before the game was released, and it's one of the finest strategy games around.
Hard Wests is a story about eight situations that involve a number of different characters, all tied together by Death. A mysterious supernatural stranger, who may or may not be the Devil, offers you a chance to retaliate your family's killings with a range of special abilities, from mundane ones such as being able to see the future or to resurrect.
The main map allows you to freely travel across the world, buying items, visiting villages, mining for gold, and making questionable decisions that will come back to bite you. There are some clever and addictive features that follow XCOM: Enemy Unknown.
CALL OF JUAREZ: GUNSLINGER
The inclusion of Gunslinger over the perhaps more popular Bound In Blood might be a surprise given the Call of Juarez series' outstanding Western games.
Gunslinger has a fantastic cheat death mechanic that slows down time and zooms in on the bullet that is about to kill you, and if you avoid it, you get your health back. The one-on-one battles are also great, as you can even kill your opponents before the times up if you prefer.
The real standout is however, the Gunslinger's narration mechanic. Silas Greaves is the player who is playing as the storyteller years later, and sometimes he fails to understand it, or others interject. The levels actually shape themselves around the story being told, so enemies, areas, and even time itself can all change right in front of you.
DESPERADOS: WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE
Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive is a fantastic alternative to its more famous inspiration.
The main reason for that is the cast. For a cowboy, gunslinging bounty hunter John Cooper is fun but predictable, so its nice to have some different faces alongside him, such as gambler Kate OHara, sniping and grumbling Doc McCoy, and monkey-wielding Mia Yung. They are all enjoyable to play and have a variety of histories to learn about.
Desperados is more a puzzle game than a strategy game in that its all about deciding the best route to victory. Yes, it is difficult, but like some of the greatest old games, it is extremely satisfying.
Outlaws is one of the few original LucasArts IPs that wasn't an adventure game. It's a pure, straightforward, and well-designed FPS, in the vein of Doom and Star Wars: Dark Forces.
LucasArts was one of the few 1990s games that put the story at the forefront of gameplay. That's where Outlaws' classic Western revenge tale shines. You play as retired US Marshal James Anderson, who returns home to discover that a gang of vicious outlaws has kidnapped his daughter and murdered his wife. You have to track them down over a slew of old-school FPS gameplay.
Outlaws looks quite basic by today's standards, but if you accept it as no-nonsense fun with tightly-designed levels that are packed with secrets, you'll get a lot of enjoyment out of it. In parts, though, as a couple of bullets from your basic pistol will kill any enemy (except the bosses), its wide range of weapons are superior to firepower.
And, yes, there is a special mention to the voice acting, which includes John de Lancie (Q from Star Trek) as Dr Death as well as the incredible orchestral soundtrack by Indiana Jones regular Clint Bajakian.
ODDWORLD: STRANGERS WRATH
The majority of the Oddworld series revolves around the friendly Mudokon named Abe, who escaped and plots revenge against his corporate owners in a series of action-adventure games. The most recent and original addition to Oddworld is an alien Western and its wonderful features.
Oddworld: Strangers Wrath follows the Stranger, a bounty hunter who pays for a life-saving (and mysterious) experiment. Both are enjoyable, but the shooter sections stand out due to the Strangers' primary weapon being a crossbow that shoots live animals. Its far less terrifying than it sounds due to the Muppet-like portrayal. Best of all, the game never stops being fun as you set up traps containing live monsters to slaughter your opponents.
Strangers Wrath is backed by a wonderful, imaginative world that Oddworld Inhabitants has spent a lot of time and effort creating. Despite being set on an alien planet, the Mongo River Valley feels more alive and real than many locations featured in game sets on Earth. Fortunately, the HD remake of Strangers Wrath was released a few years ago, so it still looks great today.
STEAMWORLD DIG 2
The original SteamWorld Dig was a spooky Metroidvania with a steampunk western feel. The second game, SteamWorld Dig 2, drew on everything the first game did and made it better, starting with dramatically improved graphics. It's beautiful.
Dorothy, a robot who is in search of Rusty, is led into this vibrant and colorful world and joins the SteamWorld universe nicely. The sequel is roughly twice the length of its predecessor, meaning you'll be able to enjoy every moment.
Like an Indiana Jones, you explore mines, collect resources, and deal with enemies and traps. SteamWorld Dig 2 removes all of its rough edges and polishes the gameplay to a brilliant shine.
Neversoft took time off from the Tony Hawk series in 2005 to release one of the finest Wild West sandbox games under the title Gun. Its original appeal was born out of novelty, as it was developed when an open-world Western game was a new idea. But Gun is still a fun shooter.
Randall Jahnson, well-known for The Mask of Zorro and The Doors, has written an excellent story that is accompanied by a great soundtrack and some impressive acting talent, including Lance Henriksen, Kris Kristofferson, Brad Dourif, and Thomas Jane as main character Colton White. The shooting is enhanced by Neversofts QuickDraw slow-motion aiming system, which is very intuitive to use.
Gun remains a unique cowboy title that hits a stride of its own, offering a glimpse into what the genre might have gone.
FALLOUT: NEW VEGAS
Fallout: New Vegas was never intended as a Wild West game, but it is a sequel to Fallout 3, which puts you in the role of a Mysterious Stranger who seeks their purpose in the Mojave Wasteland, while coping with all sorts of nuclear dangers and classic betrayal. It's also as western as you can get.
It's also the finest Fallout game, which isnt too surprising since the creators are a large number of people who originated the series. The writing by Chris Avellone is superb, relatable, and dark as you travel the wastelands. Some of the most memorable companions in a Bethesda game are
The New Californian Republic and the Caesars Legion give the world a dangerous and fascinating edge. The trusty VATS aiming mechanic gives the shooting a turn-based strategy feel. Oh, and grab the Wild Wasteland bonus so you can discover a load of weird secrets, like aliens and the remains of Indiana Jones in a fridge.
WEST OF LOATHING
West of Loathing is a straight-up Wild West comedy game that features a whole cast of stick figures.
West of Loathing is a turn-based RPG similar to the early Final Fantasy games, but this is not what it is about. Its about discovering this vast and bizarre world and trying to do everything it does, from riding ghost horses to flushing toilets. Its filled with mysteries and spooky happenings, including supernatural characters like necromancers, goblins, and demonic cows.
The deliberately crummy graphics only make the game more enjoyable and enjoyable than it already is. It's Westworld meets Strong Bad. Plus, its the only game on this list that has a Daveyard, a graveyard for people named Dave.
RED DEAD REDEMPTION
Technical correct, to paraphrase Futurama, is the finest form of correct. Red Dead Redemption, arguably the greatest Wild West game ever, is legally playable on PC, although only through Sonys PlayStation Now streaming service.
The open world in Grand Theft Auto 5 is vast, dangerous, and bursting with conflicts to resolve. But the Red Deads world isn't as alive as Los Santos, with random encounters, interesting characters to talk to, and some of the most enjoyable missions in any sandbox game? It's all a joy to discover as you ride on horseback, and the shooting is fun too because you'll be doing a lot of that.
The entire story is backed by some moving twists, excellent writing, and thoughtful commentary on the final days of the Old West. Then there's John Marston, the ex-criminal who wants to return to his wife and son, but will never find any redemption in this harsh reality, beautifully voiced by Rob Wiethoff, his only acting role.
The best pure Wild West games can be found on PC. However, gunslingers can be found throughout the game, such as protagonist Caleb in Blood and Overwatch characters like McCree, not to mention all of the sci-fi games set in outer space, including BattleTech or pretty much anything Star Wars.