Top 10 Video Games Set in the Future [Best Recommendations]


Games set in the future have a certain appeal that is hard to resist. Human nature is always quite intrigued by what the future holds, especially as technology grows and grows. Yeah, we don’t have flying hover boards in mass production, but we basically have computers that fit in our hands.

Anyways, creators and gamers tend to like futuristic settings for a few reasons. One is that the future holds endless possibilities. For creators, there is nothing off bounds if you put the game far enough into the future, and so you can really build a unique and interesting world. Another reason why people tend to like futuristic settings is that they end up being apocalyptic wastelands that are akin to the Wild West. For a gamer, this equates to a large sandbox where they can basically do whatever they want. So yeah, futuristic games tend to play on the base desires of freedom and imagination. So, with that in mind, let’s move on to the top 10 games set in the future.

10. Chrono Trigger

  • System: PC, PS, SNES, DS
  • Publisher: Square Enix
  • Developer: TOSE
  • Release Dates: Mar. 11, 1995

Okay, okay, so Chrono Trigger is not a game set entirely in the future. However, future settings play a rather big role in the game, and the game itself was ahead of its time. Are those reasons acceptable enough? Anyways, for those unfamiliar with Chrono Trigger, it takes you an adventure of epic proportions as you travel from the present to the past to the future to a time even father in the past to a time even farther in the future to the end of time and back!

Focusing on the future aspect though, the developers created an apocalyptic world where humans hide in shelters and dangerous robots roam power plants and factories that dot the Earth. It is made all the drearier when you realize you have to watch out for rats. Nonetheless, the creators did a magnificent job laying out the environment and composing a techno beat for it. It is a cold and metallic wasteland that contrasts powerfully with all the lush environments we have travelled through in the past.

9. Watchdogs 2

  • System: PS4, XONE, PC
  • Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
  • Release Dates: Nov. 15, 2016

A futuristic San Francisco has just received a ctOS (central Operating System) that connects every single person with every single thing. However, the system is a little flawed and categorizes hacker Marcus Holloway as a suspect for a crime he didn’t commit. Seeing just how flawed the system is and learning about the various ways the system has hurt the population, Marcus decides to join the hacker group of DedSec to bring about social justice.

If you’re looking for a game that really puts the future in your fingertips then Watchdogs II is for you. The game can actually be completely beat through a hacking style of play. Of course, you can go with more forceful options to complete your missions if you want to. Nonetheless, Watch Dogs II provides us a large and beautiful area that is full of systems for us to hack and cause havoc with. It is quite an interesting approach to a game. You can set so many little traps to orchestrate mass chaos, and it’s all thanks to the level of technology available to you.

8. NieR: Automata

  • System: PS4, PC
  • Publisher: Square Enix
  • Developer: PlatinumGames
  • Release Dates: Mar. 7, 2017

Nier: Automata brings us into a future where alien robotic forces have taken over Earth. Despite the dwindling strength of humanity, there are groups of people that want to regain their homeland. However, they understand that they are not quite strong enough and that they don’t have the numbers to risk many skirmishes with the alien robots. Thus, androids have been made in order to engage in combat and reconnaissance for humanity’s sake. We play as one of these androids, 2B, as she makes her way across a destroyed Earth.

Once again we have an Earth that has been ravaged. The destruction of humanity is pretty clear from the countless number of destroyed buildings. However, the creators did a wonderful job in still making the environment lush, with vegetation reclaiming the world for itself during the absence of humans. This mixture of ruin and growth is oddly beautiful and solemn at the same time. It really sets the mood for when you are exploring this world. The power of contrast is put to use even more in our character’s design, which stands out incredibly against the grays and beige of many of the enemies and environments. Besides the futuristic setting really defining the tone, the game offers amazing combat. So if you’re looking for something like DMC set in the future, then look no further.

7. Killzone: Shadow Fall

  • System: PS4
  • Publisher: SCEA
  • Developer: Guerrilla
  • Release Dates: Nov. 15, 2013

Killzone Shadow Fall’s story takes place 30 years after the events of Killzone 3. Thus we are entering a society where Vektans and Helghast live side by side. Well kinda. In truth, they have a huge wall separating the two races. The wall makes it clear that things aren’t perfect, but the society is at least progressing in the right direction. To help ensure that the burgeoning society doesn’t go in the wrong direction, Shadow Marshals, specially trained officers, keep patrol.

The Killzone series in general was one of the first to provide an in-the-trenches experience for futuristic war. Each entry in the series is intense and challenges you to take advantage of your environment as much as the weapon you have in your hands. Though some of the earlier games received more acclaim, Shadow Fall pushes the level of exploration available in the series. The campaign takes on a more open-ended approach and gives you more opportunities to utilize the advance equipment you have at your disposal.

6. Fallout 4

  • System: PS4, XONE, PC
  • Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
  • Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
  • Release Dates: Nov. 10, 2015

In Fallout 4, we are placed in a happy future. We got robots who don’t want to kill us. Society is running smoothly. Everything seems perfect until a nuclear fallout sets everything backwards. In the ruins of our civilization, we must construct a living for ourselves and perhaps even help others in this destroyed world.

Fallout 4 perfectly captures the environment of an apocalyptic wasteland, and people love it so much. In this world, everything can be used to create a new, possibly better life for yourself. You also have your dog by your side, so things really didn’t hit rock bottom in the first place. That aside, Fallout 4 creators give us a world that is ripe with adventure and things to do. We can build monstrous armor and guns, as well as build machines to even fight each other. We can simply journey endlessly into the wastelands. It really is one large sandbox. Yeah, there are some obstacles and enemies in the way, but with some exploring and excavating, you will be able to make most of them run in fear.

The choice you can make in the game also fit well with the apocalyptic future setting. At first, you tend to begrudgingly take on missions and accept merchandise at high prices. As you make your way along in the world, you’ll find yourself capable of giving yourself quite the discount and freedom to take whatever side missions you want.

5. Observer

  • System: PS4, XONE, PC
  • Publisher: Aspyr
  • Developer: Bloober Team
  • Release Dates: Aug. 15, 2017

Observer is the most recent game on this list, and it is a cyberpunk horror game that will excite and frighten you to the extreme. The story takes place in Poland in the year 2084, after a digital plague has taken thousands of lives and left society in a state of unrest. You play as Daniel Lazarski, a detective, who is tasked with hacking the memories and fears of targets.

In terms of a futuristic setting, few games have pushed the envelope as far as Observer. Here we step into a decrepit cyber punk world that has lost all sense of control. Everything is cold and gray and threatening. Everything is hiding something behind layers of wire or steel. Can you blame people though for trying to hide everything they can? Thoughts, ideas, fears, the whole human conscious is open to tampering.

4. Mass Effect: Andromeda

  • System: PS4, XONE, PC
  • Publisher: Electronic Arts
  • Developer: Bioware
  • Release Dates: Mar. 21, 2017

How could you not expect a game from the Mass Effect series to make it on this list? Though we have moved on from Shepard and his crew, we play as the new military recruit who is being set on a military initiative that involves populating planets in the Andromeda galaxy. You got to be smart though. The Andromeda galaxy has its own ebb and flow and you’re going to run into some hostiles as likely as you are going to run into a friend.

The Mass Effect series puts us far into the future. We have space travel, we have alien alliances and enemies, and we have insane weapons. These games give us entire galaxies as our field of play. Mass Effect Andromeda pushes the level of exploration compared to the initial trilogy, and so you will find yourself picking up more about the unique, futuristic environments that the people at Ubisoft have created for you. Overall, this series is one of the premier outer space series in the video game industry. The only one that can be even considered above it is Halo.

3. Dues Ex: Mankind Divided

  • System: PS4, XONE, PC
  • Publisher: Square Enix
  • Developer: Eidos Montreal
  • Release Dates: Aug. 23, 2016

The Dues Ex series has always been one of the top sci-fi series in the video game industry. Since the release of Dues Ex in 2000, the game has captured the imagination of the masses. It was one of the first games to really push for player choice and alternative narrative routes. These aspects have remained as vital to the game as its cyber-punk dystopian setting.

Though the first two games were set much farther in the future and were the true groundbreakers, let’s focus on the great gameplay options and incredible detail of Dues Ex: Mankind Divided. Everything about this world screams “the future” at you. You as well as your enemies are augmented and have superhuman abilities and incredible gadgets at your disposal. Each setting has a metallic vibe that is created by the overwhelming amount of human construction. Oh, and the plot actually focuses on taking down villains who are trying to manipulate nanotechnology in order to control humans.

2. Horizon Zero Dawn

  • System: PS4
  • Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Developer: Guerrilla
  • Release Dates: Feb. 28, 2017

Horizon Zero Dawn brings us into a world where humans have been split into small civilizations while mechanical beasts roam the lush land. We play as Aloy, a woman who is trying to figure out the origin of this world that holds so many remnants of a strange and powerful technology.

Horizon Zero Dawn is unique in that it flips the advancement of society on its head. Rather than providing us a world that that is simply full of skyscrapers and flying cars, we have a world that has essentially gone through a natural disaster as powerful as an asteroid impacting Earth. This disaster, of course, was caused by humans granting themselves too much power. Essentially, they thought they could be god and their creations betrayed them.

If you want a fantasy game that seamlessly blends the future with the past, then you need to play Horizon Zero Dawn. It is adventure-action game that is comparable with the greats like Dragon Age or Mass Effect.

1.Halo: Combat Evolved

  • System: PC, Xbox
  • Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
  • Developer: Gearbox Software
  • Release Dates: Nov. 15, 2001

Does Halo really need an explanation? This game was literally the epitome of gaming at the onset of the twenty-first century, and it defined what gamers should expect in the upcoming generations of gaming. For the rare few who haven’t played the game, you take on the role of Master Chief, a Spartan (an elite soldier), who is essentially trying to save the universe.

Halo has to be number one on this list because it really set the standard for what games that handle outer space should look and feel like. Back in 2001, when the first Halo came out, there was really nothing quite like it. No game had dived so deep into the unknown to provide us with something entirely new. Okay, so it might have followed some sci-fi tropes in literature and movies, but it really pushed the genre for the video game industry.

Not only did it do a wonderful job creating a new experience, but also each entry in the series maintained the wonder and joy that the initial game brought to people. New weapons, new vehicles, and new environments were always there, and the story always had one or two amazing twists in store.

Final Thoughts:

There you have it, people. Those are the top 10 games set in the future. There were many contenders for this list that were slightly edged out. Shin Megami Tensei IV as well as Perfect Dark were both in the running until the very end. That said, are there any games you think should be on this list?

Killzone-Shadow-Fall-Wallpaper-700x394 Top 10 Video Games Set in the Future [Best Recommendations]


Author: Yoko Dev

Hello, my anime peers. I’m from the states, but have taken an indefinite leave to travel while freelancing. Outside of a deep admiration for anime that started long ago, I love to read, write, and play video games. The main issue of traveling so far has been not having a console.

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