When it comes to CRPGS and investing our time wisely, we want to ensure that the worlds we throw ourselves into have depth in abundance.
But CRPGs tend to blow these out of the water through mountains of text and lore, branching narrative choices and so much more. And I believe that the epitome of this is Disco Elysium.
Revachol is a setting that allows the player to immerse themselves in politics, mystery, random oddities, narcotic delights and so much more, and even after multiple playthroughs, you’ll still probably have so much more yet to uncover. Which is the sign of a masterful CRPG.
However, you may be someone who knows Revachol and the woes of Harry Dubois like the back of your hand, and you may be desperately searching for a new game like Disco Elysium to throw yourself into. Well, the search is finally over. Here are ten Best Games Like Disco Elysium that you need to try!
Here are the criteria that we used to ensure that the games below actually offer an experience that shares multiple similarities with Disco Elysium:
- The games in question should offer a rich narrative experience with lots of player-choice
- The games listed should have RPG elements that allow for roleplay and character builds with depth
- The games selected might have strong themes much like Disco Elysium’s focus on Politics, Race, and much more
- Games don’t need to be Isometric CRPGs, but they will be given more weight
Mr Evratt is helping me find games like Disco Elysium, so without further delay, let’s boogie on down!
Games Like Disco Elysium
#1 – Baldur’s Gate III
Okay, let’s get the obvious choice out of the way nice and quickly. When people in 2024 think of a CRPG, chances are that they think of Baldur’s Gate III due to it’s runaway success in 2023.
This was a year where amazing games were released in abundance, and yet Baldur’s Gate III stood out from the pack, offering deep combat, a rich narrative with seemingly infinite twists and turns, and a world that DND fans and complete novices alike could get on board with.
As for its relation to Disco Elysium, despite being a much more fantastical adventure, the game offers endless lines of text and lore to absorb, tonnes of tough decisions with branching paths, and an isometric world to explore and shape as you choose.
It lacks the cutting philosophical themes, and witty humor of Disco Elysium, but even so, this a CRPG well worth investing hundreds of hours into.
#2 – Planescape: Torment
Now that we have given the most modern and trendy game its flowers, it’s time to head back to the nineties and shine a spotlight on one of the grandfathers of DND-based CRPGs, and in my eyes, the game that shares the most similarities with Disco Elysium overall.
Planescape Torment is a multiverse story that came along long before Marvel was recasting all the Spidermen of old, and allows you to take control of The Nameless One as they explore the planes of Hell and beyond in this incredible 50+ hours story.
It’s a game that Disco Elysium undoubtedly was influenced by, which can be seen through the writing, the focus on philosophical quandaries, and the ability to rely on using your words, cunning, and a bit of luck to get out of any sticky situation.
It may be a little dated, and the combat is a little clunky, but it’s a small price to pay for an experience that is a stone’s throw away from Disco Elysium.
#3 – Return of the Obra Dinn
I felt that it was only right to include at least one detective game on this list, considering that Disco Elysium’s plot revolves around solving a murder case.
This led me to one obvious selection, Return of the Obra Dinn. I have a fascination with detective games, and if you want a full selection of great ones, check out our video on the fifteen best detective games, but of all those Obra Dinn is the standout.
In this game, you play as an insurance representative in the 18th century who must board the mysterious vessel known as the Obra Dinn and investigate the ship to uncover the events that saw the entire crew vanish, and you’ll do so through flashback tableaus where deductive reasoning is your only ally.
Gameplay-wise, the closest similarity to Disco Elysium is that the game never takes you by the hand, never provides you with any information, and all discoveries are earned.
Meaning making a link, or a natural discovery feels like a real achievement. So if you liked the Police Work in Disco Elysium, Obra Dinn might be a great new venture for you.
#4 – NORCO
Up next, we have NORCO, a text-based title set in a re-imagined dystopian Louisiana where you must return to the town you grew up in, but never felt at home in, and try to make sense of the mysterious nature of your Mother’s death.
NORCO is a game that is grounded in reality, offering a true-to-life setting, but also a game with surreal moments, heavy themes, and outlandish humor. Which, as you might have gathered, makes it a game that isn’t all too far removed from Disco Elysium.
What you miss out on here is the isometric world to explore and the RPG elements, but thanks to the text-heavy storytelling, the expert writing, and the jaw-dropping pixel art style depicting this southern town condemned to ruin, you’ll find a lot of similarities between Norco and Revachol.
The balance of humor, intrigue, and bleak realism is what makes this a brilliant suggestion for Disco Elysium fans. So be sure to add this to your wishlist.
#5 – Bioshock: Infinite
Okay, so I think this is a little bit of a wildcard as this is a pretty traditional action RPG, but stick with me here for a second. Disco Elysium succeeds on a number of fronts, but the reason why it’s so unique is because of the developer’s reluctance to compromise, leading to the game juggling so many themes and ideas.
Disco Elysium does this to perfection, making it a masterpiece. Bioshock Infinite by contrast tries to do this and succeeds in spells, making it a flawed masterpiece.
The gameplay is far removed from Disco Elysium’s CRPG approach, but when you look at Columbia as a setting, and indeed the narrative as a whole, you will find a game trying to push many different ideals and philosophical schools of thought at the player, with the marquee one being free will vs determinism.
But you’ll also see a setting plagued with systemic racism, classism and so much more. Which anyone who has inhabited Revachol will relate to immediately. Again, I have to stress that myself, and creator Ken Levine had much higher hopes for this game, but even though it is a beacon of failed potential, it’s still pretty remarkable.
#6 – Shadowrun: Dragonfall
If you can’t decide between a gritty real-world RPG, a cyberpunk epic, or a fantasy adventure, then let me introduce you to Shadowrun: Dragonfall. A CRPG that has all of the above and so much more.
In this game, you control your team as whispers of Feuerschwinge rise from the ashes, and you’ll need to navigate this magic meets machine world and uncover the secrets within.
This one is like Disco Elysium due to the depth of the writing and the agency the player has when it comes to roleplaying, making key decisions that matter, and altering the lives of those closest to them in this grand adventure.
The biggest departure from Disco Elysium is the turn-based combat, but even this has a methodical, problem-solving vibe to it, so it won’t feel like a complete left turn.
It’s rare you get a vast and wacky isometric world like this to explore, so don’t wait any longer. Play Shadowrun: Dragonfall today!
#7 – Sovereign Syndicate
If you’re looking for something that is about as hot and fresh as it gets, having been released in January 2024, you should turn your attention to Sovereign Syndicate, a CRPG tale set in Steampunk London which will have you play through four separate stories that collide.
Sovereign Syndicate doesn’t hide the fact that Disco Elysium is undoubtedly its inspiration, as the game’s UI is very similar, the way you interact with the world is almost identical, and the game even has a Tarot Card system that acts as a unique take on the dice roll system, just as Disco Elysium uses your Traits to determine the success of your actions.
It’s a game that perhaps lacks the philosophical commentary, wit, and humor that Disco Elysium offers. However, it has four incredible stories to tell, an immersive setting to explore, and you’ll learn more British slang than you’ll ever need.
It’s basically Disco Elysium lite, but even that is a pretty insane achievement that makes it worth playing.
#8 – Sunless Skies
I considered adding FTL: Faster Than Light to this list, but then I thought better of it when I remembered that Sunless Skies is a far better representation of ‘even the smallest decisions matter’. A trait that Sunless Skies and Disco Elysium share, making them distant cousins in a lot of ways.
Sunless Skies is a game much like FTL in the sense that you play as a ship captain who must pilot their way through a Lovecraftian horrorverse, with the main goal being exploration and survival.
However, where it draws comparisons with Disco Elysium is that when you reach a destination or point of interest it allows you to explore thoroughly, dig into the lore of the world, and naturally, make tough decisions.
Combat and survival mechanics are important, but the game really succeeds due to the excellent writing and RPG elements and characters. Not to mention that it’s set in a fallen Steampunk London setting, so if you liked Sovereign Syndicate, this is a great follow-up!
It’s basically FTL, meets This War of Mine, meets Sovereign Syndicate meets Disco Elysium. What’s not to love about that gaming cocktail?
#9 – Fallout 2
Our penultimate entry is one that I am always somewhat hesitant to recommend, as the older CRPG Fallout games have a steep barrier to entry due to the fact that you need quite a lot of firsthand knowledge to succeed. A wrong turn can lead to instant death, or a shoddy build can make it nearly impossible to progress. But even so, you cannot deny that these games are a work of art.
When it comes to Fallout games, the older CRPG games have the best writing by a wide margin. Writing that is on par with Disco Elysium in terms of depth and storytelling ability.
There is an understanding of the factions, the characters, the world, and the history of Fallout’s post-apocalyptic America that just isn’t present in the Bethesda titles, and this along with traditional RPG mechanics makes for a rich adventure like no other.
It has morally ambiguous decisions, sharp humor, zany situations, and a world jam-packed with interesting stuff. Making it a relic worth dusting off for all Disco Elysium fans. Just do yourself a favor, look up a beginner’s guide before you do.
#10 – Deux Ex
Then lastly on this top ten, we have Deux Ex. The original Deux Ex, not that lukewarm Adam Jensen crap. Deux Ex is a game that isn’t the best at any of the things it tries but succeeds due to the fact that it does so many things well.
It’s a brilliant stealth game, an immersive RPG, a narratively fleshed-out experience, and a game with so many paths of progression. The main draw is certainly the latter, as Deux Ex does away with Skills and Traits, instead offering you a world to bend to your will.
This can either be through augmentations to provide unique abilities, or simply through your actions and genuine moments of emergent gameplay, but whatever the case, Deux Ex puts you in control and whether you succeed or fail is on you.
It’s something that this game shares with Disco Elysium. You aren’t guaranteed to come out on top. The game allows you to fail often with devastating or hilarious consequences, and every decision, big or small can have an impact on your mission.
It’s a game that shares a lot of similarities with Arkane’s Dishonored in that it allows so many means of success from moment to moment, making the player feel like the driving force, rather than being funneled toward the next plot point. It’s a tough game to get running smoothly in 2024, but if you can, it’s worth seeing to the end, trust us!
Here are some other games that we didn’t think had what it takes to make the top ten, but are still very much worth checking out:
- Pathologic 2
- Age Of Decadence
- Discworld Noir
- Pillars of Eternity
- Wasteland 3
- Divinity: Original Sin II
- Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines
- Fallout: New Vegas
- Outer Wilds
- LISA: The Painful
Keeping Disco Alive
So there you go, ten amazing titles that will offer similar gameplay, themes, aesthetics, or narrative focus to Disco Elysium. No matter what aspect of Disco Elysium made you fall in love with this CRPG gem, there should be something here to sate your appetite for more games like this.
We hope this helps and as always, thanks for reading Indie Game Culture.
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