Life Is Strange truly is one of the most unique series ever made. Its story-driven plot is one of the best I’ve played in all my years as a gamer. The story is extremely rich, with absolutely zero downtime that keeps you on the edge of your seat through the entire plot. The first two games were good, but Square Enix really kicked things up a notch with the third sequel, Life is Strange: True Colors.
But, if you’ve finished all the games and are really feeling lost without the rich world of LIS, you’re at just the right place. Here are ten games like Life Is Strange that should be next on your list.
Mass Effect 2
Platforms: PC, Xbox 360, PS3
Release Date: 2010
Mass Effect 2 is a bit of a blast from the past, but it’s a game that’s more than worthy of a mention on our list. It’s a sequel to Mass Effect, another great game of its time, and ME2 surpassed the success of its predecessor in every possible way.
The game shows a future where all life is in peril. An advanced alien race called the Reapers is looking to Thanos-snap the world and start over from scratch. Commander Shepard has to recruit fighters to defeat the army. This is where the game really starts to shine. Every individual character in the game is so well made and written that every playable character feels like the main protagonist.
The game follows a diverse set of dialogue possibilities which was fairly rare for its time. The game was years ahead of its time, and that’s why, even today, this is a brilliant game to play. Moreover, to add to the fun, if you were a player of the old Mass Effect and still have your old saved files, this game lets you continue with your older character and even uses all the decisions you made in that game.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, iOS, Android, PC, Mac, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 2016
Want games like Life is Strange that are as immersive as the franchise? Well, I definitely have an amazing one for you. Oxenfree is a game that’s going to lock you into endless conversations with NPCs, but the sheer excellence of the plot is going to keep you away from that skip button. The story is a bit slow in some places, but overall, you’re getting a well-placed plot that’s going to keep you excited throughout the game.
You’re going to be playing as Alex, a teenager on her way to an island with her best friend, Ren, and stepbrother, Jonas. The game is dialogue driven, and the choices you make in the game are going to be reflected in the later stages of the story as well.
Unlike most games, the dialogue options in the conversations aren’t going to be just good and bad. They’re more complicated than that, where some might reveal a fact about a character that will otherwise stay hidden. There is no ‘right’ way to play the game.
The part of Oxenfree that makes it similar to Life is Strange is the time travel. The interesting part is how the game executed this concept. Time travel has a certain effect on the characters and their relationships, which adds another level of mystique to the game.
Oxenfree has a sequel coming later this year called Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals,so that’s something definitely worth looking forward to.
Release Date: 2015
The developers of Until Dawn are passionate about the genre, and that is obvious from the horror elements in this game. The story of the game is a bit disappointing due to
a lack of cohesion in the story which ultimately ruins the flow of the game. However, every choice you make in the game has a consequence, and that is why this game is as popular as it is.
Until Dawn’s environment is restricted to a single cabin, despite the small environment, the developers managed to do a brilliant job in making it super rich. Our group of dumb friends is going there to celebrate the one-year anniversary of their friend’s disappearance in those woods. The cabin is big. It comes with a plethora of secrets and an even bigger list of hostiles.
The game is a classic horror. However, one of the issues you’re going to face here is the fact that the game’s 10-hour-long experience feels like you’re playing two entirely different games at entirely different paces. Regardless of that, I really loved how every small decision you make influences the outcome in the future. If you play the game once or twice, you might even end up finding an alternate ending.
If you don’t own a PS4 and want to get in on the amazing gameplay Until Dawn has to offer, don’t worry. Supermassive is working on a remake for other consoles, probably the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S.
Night in the Woods
Platforms: PC, macOS, PS4, Xbox One, iOS, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 2017
Night in the Woods is the kind of feel-good game that’s going to leave you sad the moment you finish it. It’s a super slow-paced game, so it’s great for people who want to step away from the competitive environment and play something chill for a bit.
The game is a 2D platformer, so right away, I’m sure that it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. It’s not a challenging game. Most of the time, you’re just going to be searching for hidden areas and doing crazy parkour on rooftops and power lines.
The best part of the game is undoubtedly its storyline. This game has the potential to have you laughing and giggling at one second and have you frowning the next. Night in the Woods explores the infamous midlife crisis as kids and teenagers start realizing that they are slowly moving towards adulthood and assuming the responsibilities that come with it. The storytelling is just top-notch, and it’s made even better with the beautiful artwork.
The Last of Us
Platforms: PS3, PS4, PS5, PC (Upcoming, no release date confirmed yet)
Release Date: 2013
Ah, The Last of Us, where do I even start with this game? For years, this game was the only reason for PC enthusiasts to even think about purchasing a PS4. It’s easily one of the best games of our generation and a one-of-a-kind experience that no gamer is ever going to forget.
The game shows a pandemic-ridden, post-apocalyptic United States filled with zombies and humans that are apparently worse than them. It has an absolutely mind-blowing storyline that never slows down even for a second and can provide an entertaining experience throughout the 17 hours you’re going to spend in this game.
You’re going to be playing as Joel, a smuggler who’s doing pretty much what he can to survive in the new world. He does odd jobs to acquire food, clothing, and shelter, and he’s never really in the same place for too long. Despite Joel being the main character, you can’t really call him THE main character.
Joel’s companion is Ellie, a young girl whose acting really makes the game what it is today. Joel received a contract that tasked him to escort Ellie across the United States, and amidst the chaos, they formed a father-daughter bond that is just mesmerizing to experience. You’ll love their relationship and will definitely appreciate their acting.
The Last of Us is currently getting a remake for PC and PS5 that is expected to release later this year, and the game just looks absolutely amazing.
Personally, Detroit Become Human is in the top three of my favorite games of all time. Folks were gawking at Elden Ring’s multiple endings and how different they were from each other. If you thought that was impressive, Detroit: Become Human has over a 1000 of them.
Every decision you make right from the beginning of the game will influence the entire storyline and, eventually, the ending. This aspect of decision-making makes it one of the best in the list of games like Life is Strange.
You have full control of the three playable characters and can decide the route that they take in life once they break free of the AI binding them to servitude. You can even get all three killed and get yourself an early ending if you want to.
If you found some of the other games on this list a bit slow-paced, you’ll definitely fall in love with Detroit: Become Human. The game has an exciting storyline that won’t slow down regardless of what mission you’re on. You’re simultaneously controlling three androids: Kara, Connor, and Markus.
All three of them have completely different paths and will be in a completely different environment at one time (until they eventually meet up). However, the story is practically all that this game has to offer.
Sometimes, it’ll feel like you’re just watching an interactive movie instead of playing a game. Even the fight scenes just need you to press a certain button at the right time to get the desired result. That does thin the pool of individuals that would enjoy the game and leave a bittersweet feeling in your mouth during the playthrough.
Platforms: Xbox 360, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 2010, Remastered for Next-Gen in 2021
First off, I’d like to clarify that I’m not really talking about the Alan Wake Remaster here. In my opinion, remasters were always a bad idea. The devs really just wanted to breathe a new life into this game and give it popularity among the list of games like Life is Strange. But, if devs really want to make a game suitable for the modern audience (and consoles, for that matter), they should just do a remake.
The remaster is a subtle visual boost, and it’s still pretty apparent that this game was made for an Xbox 360. I’m a fan of the OG Alan Wake in general, so that’s the game I’m talking about.
The plot of Alan Wake revolves around your missing wife. Seems simple, right? Well, not so much. On your way, you’re going to encounter foes that have been ‘corrupted’ by a dark presence. One of the reasons why Alan Wake became so popular was its satisfying combat. You mainly have two things in your inventory: a flashlight to halt enemies in their tracks and a gun to blow their brains out.
A simple weapon combination, but the sheer satisfaction you get from flashing a light in a person’s eyes before killing them is something I enjoyed back then and now in the remaster as well. Overall, it’s not a challenging game. It’s a bit of a combination between horror and adventure without diving too deep into either genre.
Platforms: PS3, PS4, PC
Release Date: 2010
Heavy Rain’s story on paper sounds like one of the best plots for a movie you’ll ever see. A child-murdering serial killer that leaves origami animals at the scene of the crime? What part of that plot doesn’t scream a 90 Rotten Tomatoes rating? The game’s concept was amazing, but the execution wasn’t, unfortunately.
The first thing that will leave a bitter taste in your mouth is the voiceover. The story takes place in America, but somehow, most of the cast isn’t American. That’s okay. We can live with that. But the weird part is the way they talk and their peculiar tones. It’s so weird that certain lines come off as funny instead of serious or scary. This might be fine in another random game, but we’re talking about a child-killer here, so it doesn’t really set the ambiance well.
But the beauty of Heavy Rain (and the reason why it’s still appraised) is its story. This game has one of the most interactive and complex stories you’re ever going to find. Most of the time, you’re going to be watching cut scenes and making on-spot decisions about what you want to go with.
The Walking Dead
Platforms: Android, iOS, Kindle Fire HDX (came as a surprise to me, too), PC, Nintendo Switch, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Release Date: 2012
The Walking Dead was an absolute revolution in the gaming industry because of the era it was released in. This game broke the stereotype and showed that you don’t need top-notch realistic graphics for a game to be popular. The game might not have a visual appeal to it, but its story is the main attraction, and its plot is easily one of the best I’ve ever seen in a game.
The game’s release was super unique too. It was released as a five-episode series that started in April of 2012 and continued till November. Lee, a convicted murderer, finds himself in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. His main objective during the apocalypse is to survive and keep a little girl, Clementine, alive.
The game involves a lot of highly critical decisions that are going to define the outcome of your story. The objective is the same, stay alive. But the way two players do it is going to be completely different. The Walking Dead is an unreal experience, and the best part is that everyone’s experience is totally unique.
Platforms: PC, Xbox One
Release Date: 2016
Quantum Break was created by Remedy Entertainment, the same people that created the Alan Wake game. However, that idea was later scratched as Quantum Break’s concept has the potential to become a franchise of its own.
The game’s plot revolves around time travel, and the interesting part about this game’s take on time travel is that they consulted scientists to make the science somewhat logical. If it was the time-traveling aspect that got you into LIS, Quantum Break is definitely one of the games like Life is Strange that you’ll grow to love.
In this game, you’re going to be playing Jack Joyce, a character with time manipulation powers that he developed because of an experiment gone wrong. Time is broken, and there are certain instances where everything freezes except Jack.
Quantum Break’s story is mediocre at best. However, its time-traveling mechanics and the combat is what stood out the most. You have a bunch of different kinds of weapons along with time manipulation abilities that help you combat the various hostiles in the game. Remedy did a great job with the visuals, too, as every ability has its own unique graphics that spice up combat a fair bit.
Overall, the game could use a bit better plot. However, their execution of the cliché time-traveling concept is one of the best I’ve ever seen in a game.
Life Is Strange is a unique experience, and unfortunately, you’re not going to find that same gameplay and plot in any other game. That is what makes it such a unique franchise.
But, if you enjoyed the mechanics of LIS and want to play games like Life is Strange, go ahead and pick any of the games on this list. They’re going to offer some of the same elements that you grew to love in LIS.