Science fiction is by far one of our favorite genres in the realms of video games. The genre produces numerous titles every year that take players to near or distant futures, show imaginative technology, and even tackle various philosophical ideas. Some of these games become cult classics, just like movies and TV shows do. This is because sci-fi games allow us to explore the future with a bit of action.
If you are in the mood for a great science fiction game, we’ve got you covered! We are going to explore five classic sci-fi games that will transport you to futuristic worlds (and distant pasts) and let you blow off steam whenever you feel like it. As a gamer, you know that there are a lot of enjoyable titles out there. Some of them are from popular developers, while others are indie hidden gems.
In this article, we’re going to focus on games that have taken the science fiction genre to the next level. They have all made a significant impact on pop culture, and players love to revisit them over and over again.
What’s more, these games have great storylines, engaging gameplays, and eye-catching graphics. No wonder we’re still talking about them! So, if you have some time to spare, here are five classic sci-fi games you’ll probably fall in love with like we did.
Does Half-Life sound familiar to you? It should! There’s hardly a sci-fi game fan who hasn’t heard of or come across Valve’s masterpiece. Half-Life is literally on everyone’s top 10 list even over 20 years after its release. It is one of the most influential FPS games that explores some of the sci-fi tropes we’ve all learned to love.
This groundbreaking game puts the players in the shoes of Gordon Freeman, a theoretical physicist who works for the Black Mesa Research Facility. He starts working on top-secret projects, conducting nuclear and subatomic research. His team creates a rift in spacetime which alien lifeforms use to come inside the Black Mesa facility. Players must fight alien and human enemies to survive.
One of the most popular classic sci-fi games, Half-Life was praised for its graphics and gameplay.
Deus Ex (2000)
If you’re a seasoned science fiction game fan, you have probably played Deus Ex. If you have, you understand why this video game made the cut on our list. However, if this is your first time hearing about the game, you’re in for a ride! You should check out the Deus Ex universe if you enjoy the movies Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049.
Developed by Ion Storm, Deus Ex is a cyberpunk-themed action role-playing game which combines the elements of first-person shooters. Set in a dystopian world, the game centers around conspiracy theories and secret organizations fighting for world domination. This might sound like a cliché, but Deus Ex is one of the most compelling FPSs out there. The main characters in the game possess artificially acquired superhuman abilities.
Furthermore, Deus Ex stands out from other classic sci-fi games due to its advanced technology, including nanotechnology and artificial intelligence. The gameplay includes exciting stealthy elements as well.
BioShock is a wild ride from start to finish. It is an action-adventure, horror-themed first-person shooter developed by Irrational Games. This video game will have you sit hours in front of your computer as you explore its underwater dystopia.
Unlike other classic sci-fi games on our list, BioShock is set in the past — in 1960, to be exact. The player controls the protagonist Jack throughout the game. Jack was a passenger on an airplane that crashed near a location that provides entry to the underwater city of Rapture. While exploring the city, Jack (and the player) come across various gene-altering substances that he uses to gain unique powers. He needs these powers to protect himself from hordes of enemies obsessed with a genetic material that grants them superhuman abilities.
BioShock is filled with a massive amount of horror and unique gameplay. It even allows players to make choices of saving or killing characters. This will have you examine your selfishness and moral compass.
Mass Effect (2007)
Do you love playing video games that allow you to make choices that affect the entire experience? Then Mass Effect is the right game for you! This space opera, science fiction-themed first-person shooter will hook you with its narrative, universe, and character development. All of this is courtesy of BioWare.
The game takes players to the Milky Way galaxy in 2183. A highly advanced machine race known as the Reapers threatens to destroy civilization. You can save them with the help of Commander Shepard, a space navy soldier whose mission is to prevent the Reapers from carrying out galactic invasion.
What makes Mass Effect stand out on our list of classic sci-fi games is the fact that the player has an opportunity to customize everything — from their weapons to character’s appearance.
Dead Space (2008)
Dead Space is one of those classic sci-fi games that have great gameplays people love revisiting. When this science fiction horror game was released, a lot of players were impressed with its atmospheric setting, overall plot, and memorable jump scares. Visceral Games took a cue from movies like Alien and The Thing to create a game that gamers have been talking about for over ten years.
The video game is set in 2508. By this time, humanity has expanded throughout the universe. Life on Earth is near extinction as resources become rare. Humanity’s only chance for survival are ships that harvest resources from other planets. However, things don’t go as planned and one mining spaceship is overrun by hideous monsters called Necromorphs. The player controls Isaac Clarke, an engineer, as he makes his way through the spaceship and fights the monsters.
Dead Space received critical acclaim upon release, with journalists praising its innovative third-person gameplay and commitment to horror elements.