6 Games Like Borderlands [Recommendations]

Welcome to Pandora, a world full of twisted psychopaths and villainous murderers ready to butcher and eat anyone who stands in their way. During Borderlands, you play as one of four Vault Hunters, looking for the aforementioned vaults said to contain endless amounts of riches. Throughout the quest, the Vault Hunters will be greeted with various different colorful characters and legendary weapons in an effort to kill anyone who stands in their way.

The Borderlands franchise is best known for pioneering a genre-style now dubbed "The Looter Shooter". Looter Shooters are a style of action-RPG's in which you collect various different types of guns and armor throughout your quest in a similar fashion to an RPG such as Diablo. Every Borderlands game has been touted as having millions upon billions of guns in all shapes and forms, and the six entries in this list will give you a couple of more recommendations on games that may fill your loot quota if Borderlands hasn't satisfied you just yet.

Similar Games to Borderlands

1. Destiny

  • System/Platform: PS3, PS4, XB360, XBO
  • Publisher: Activision
  • Developer: Bungie
  • Release Date: Sept. 9th, 2014 WW

In the ruins of an old Russian Cosmodrome, a mysterious robot named "Ghost" revives you after being dead for a long time. Just as quickly as you are revived, Ghost explains that you are a "Guardian" of "Light", and must fight against a mysterious force known as "The Darkness". Once you get to the last city on Earth, you find "the Traveler", a mysterious spherical being who thrust humanity into a Golden Age before it collapsed thanks to the Darkness. As the Guardian, you must explore different regions and fight various alien lifeforms, as you discover new weapons in your quest to defeat the Darkness.

In a similar way to Borderlands, Destiny is all about your loot and how you use said loot to slay various monsters. Both games have a very similar weapon-rarity structure, with the main difference being Destiny's "Exotic" loot, specialized weapons with unique perks that can only be equipped one at a time. Destiny's greatest activities are also extremely similar to Borderlands, with both games containing raids that test the cooperation and skills of each group member. The structure of the two games is very different, however, as Destiny takes a structure much more akin to an MMO whereas Borderlands has a more standard Western RPG feel. Destiny also received various updates and changes throughout its 3 year life-cycle, so the best time to play would be now. With Destiny 2 right around the corner, there is no better time to get into Destiny 1, especially if you have a craving for one of the finest FPS looters on the market.

Official Destiny - The Collection Trailer

2. The Division

  • System/Platform: PS4, XBO, PC
  • Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Developer: Massive Entertainment
  • Release Date: Mar. 8th, 2016 WW

New York City has been hit with a smallpox pandemic which sent society into chaos. As a result, the US government activated various sleeper agents known as "The Division" in an effort to restore order and find a cure. As the chaos spread, various gangs begin to take the opportunity to do as they please. Your job as a Division agent is to take out these gangs, while also recuing various important individuals in an attempt to learn more about and eventually irradicate this plague.

The Division takes a more realistic approach to the FPS looter formula, opting to take place in NYC against other humans instead of in space against giant aliens. This does not deter from the amount of items there are to gather, with weapons having far more statistical variance than in either of the previous games. Despite the more realistic approach, The Division still has its share of RPG customization, with each character having their own designated skill upgrades that dictate their role similar to an MMO. Along with the traditional missions, The Division also has its own version of raids - titled "Incursions" - which will test the composition and communication of any squad.

Tom Clancy's The Division - Launch Trailer [US]

3. Fallout 4

  • System/Platform: PS4, XBO, PC
  • Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
  • Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
  • Release Date: Nov. 10th, 2015 WW

In an alternate reality in which the 1950's aesthetic prevailed, you take control of either Nate or Nora, a married couple taking care of their son Shaun with their robotic butler in the year 2077. A Vault-Tec representative knocks on your door, informing your family that they were accepted into Vault 111 due to Nate's past military experience. Mere seconds later, a nuclear warning strikes the town, with the family rushing to the fallout shelter while a nuclear bomb explodes on Concord Massachusetts. Once in the Vault, the family are stuck in cryogenic stasis for an unknown amount of time, awoken once by a group of raiders who take your son and kill your spouse in front of you before re-freezing you. Your character wakes up an undisclosed amount of time later to a post-apocalyptic Massachusetts, where you must venture out in an attempt to survive long enough to see your son again.

Fallout 4 presents numerous choices when it comes to customization for the player. The looting element is still present, but is instead used much more heavily on the Settlement System - a system in which you must build settlements for survivors in an attempt to repopulate the wasteland. Random items are still found all over the wasteland, but there are also options to customize weaponry with parts you may find - giving a bit more autonomy to the player as opposed to waiting for a perfect loot drop. A new addition to Fallout 4 is also enemy levels, a system similar to Borderlands in which enemies progress in strength and level across the land at the same time the player does.

Fallout 4 Official Trailer

Any Games Like Borderlands ?

4. Dead Island

  • System/Platform: PS3, XB360, PC, PS4, XBO
  • Publisher: Deep Silver
  • Developer: Techland
  • Release Date: Sept. 6th, 2011 NA. Sept. 9th, PAL

The Royal Palms Resort is a popular region on the Banoi Island, which makes it all the more unfortunate when a zombie outbreak hits the island. The morning after a large gathering, four characters wake up to find that the entire hotel is infested with the undead, and they are eventually guided to evacuate by a voice on an intercom. The survivors must now explore the island to find supplies for settlements, as well as uncover the truth of what happened on Banoi Island and put an end to the infection.

Borderlands shined the most when played in a cooperative setting, something which Dead Island also excels in. Dead Island is best enjoyed with a group of friends as you explore Banoi Island, bashing zombies in with any and all weapons that can be looted. As Dead Island is a zombie game, there is more of a focus on melee weapons, but there are also a fair share of firearms later on which can make your adventures easier. Each character also has their own dedicated skill trees, which allow for anything from a Jack-of-all-trades to a pure melee-focused build, similar to the Vault Hunters of Borderlands. The overall structure is very similar to Borderlands, so Dead Island is a perfect fit for anyone who wants more of a good thing while playing with friends.

Dead Island | E3 Trailer - Dead Island Begins (2011)

5. Warframe

  • System/Platform: PS4, XBO, PC.
  • Publisher: Digital Extremes
  • Developer: Digital Extremes
  • Release Date: PC: Mar. 25th, 2013 WW. PS4: Nov. 15th 2013 NA. Nov. 29th 2013 EU. XBO: Sep. 2nd, 2014. WW

Waking up from cryosleep an undetermined amount of time into the future, the player must control a member of the Tenno - an ancient warrior race. You are immediately thrust into a war between two factions - the Grineer and the Infested, guided by a mysterious voice giving you various objectives at first. The Tenno use Warframes, biomechanical suits which allow them to channel various different skills and abilities, and are tasked with ending the war between the Grineer and the Infested once and for all.

Similar to The Division, Warframe employs a third-person view as opposed to the first-person of Borderlands and the other entries. Warframe has very different gameplay, however, instead employing various movement options and parkour techniques in order to dodge and attack enemies. There are also different types of Warframes, each with their own unique abilities that can be used in combination with another teammate in order to take out tougher enemies. There are also different weapons that can be obtained - each with their own modifications as well. Warframe has a much more instanced structure, similar to Destiny, in which a mission takes place on a very specific area of the map as opposed to being able to freely explore the map and do missions seamlessly. Warframe is also completely free, opting to instead be funded through microtransactions that can buy various different pieces of equipments, weapons, or even new Warframes entirely. The free nature of it means that it is a must-play for anyone who may be interested, and see if it captures you enough to decide whether or not you want to spend money on it later.

Warframe | Xbox One Launch Trailer

6. Shadow Warrior 2

  • System/Platform: PS4, XBO, PC
  • Publisher: Devolver Digital
  • Developer: Flying Wild Hog
  • Release Date: PC: Oct. 13th, 2016 WW PS4/XBO: May 19th, 2017 WW

Five years after the events of the first game, former assassin Lo Wang lives his days secluded from any enemies and taking jobs as a hired killer for local Yakuza. Lo Wang's previous efforts to annihilate the darkness of the shadow realm ended up corrupting the world, leading to one which humans and demons work with one another. After a contract goes awry, Lo Wang is once again lead to a life of slaying demons in an attempt to stop the corruption of the world - with help by his side this time around.

Shadow Warrior 2 is the only sequel on this list - and for good reason, as the previous entry is almost entirely different in genre. Whereas the first game is a linear shooter akin to the old Shadow Warrior or DOOM, Shadow Warrior 2 takes the open world shooter approach and runs with it. Shadow Warrior allows for players to revisit areas whenever they please, or simply explore the world and all that it has to offer along with up to three other friends. Shadow Warrior 2 also features various different types of firearms and melee weapons, with a diverse weapon pool expanded with various elemental types. Shadow Warrior 2 takes procedural generation one step further than simply weapons, as every side-mission and map features randomly generated content, allowing for more replayability when the story is done. Of the entries on this list, Shadow Warrior 2 matches Borderlands best on the scale of absurdity and cooperative shooter fun.

Shadow Warrior 2 - Launch Trailer

Final Thoughts

Looter Shooters are in a class all of their own thanks to the Borderlands franchise. Since Borderlands 1, many different styles have been tried in an attempt to rekindle the same interest that Borderlands garnered. We may have listed a couple of examples that have come up since Borderlands 1, but if you have any others, then feel free to suggest them in the comment section below!

Borderlands-game-300x427 6 Games Like Borderlands [Recommendations]


Author: Ed Moreno

Aspiring SoCal writer with an unhealthy obsession for rougelite games. I can typically be found in my room, either working away at an article or playing video games until the middle of the night. When I finally decide to go outside, I love to explore and travel to see new places and experience things I hadn't prior.

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