Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty is just around the corner, so while you’re waiting for the pseudo-sequel DLC to release, what games like Cyberpunk 2077 can you play in the meantime? Throughout the years, there have been many quality games that take place in a cyberpunk-type universe. While they aren’t on the level of scope and production level that Cyberpunk 2077 is, they can still be a great time. Here are the 5 best cyberpunk games to get you ready for Phantom Liberty.
5. The Ascent
A smaller game in the indie realm, The Ascent is an incredible co-op experience that has you taking on everything from rogue AI to enemy soldiers, gangsters, and everything in between. The arsenal you get to play here is outstanding, and the level of customization will have you altering your character’s look for hours on end. The RPG mechanics are deep here, allowing you to craft a character who feels like your own corporation-destroying creation.
The world you have to explore here is unique, as you can tell it’s on the verge of a catastrophic collapse, but there’s still a futuristic beauty to behold. The overarching story starts a bit vague but develops throughout the game and pushes you onto your next mission with sufficient motivation and care for what’s happening in this crumbling world. It’s playable solo, but the real fun here starts when you jump in with a friend and become a tag team to be reckoned with. The world is one of the closest experiences like Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty out there and has many of the same themes at work.
Ghostrunner is truly a remarkable experience. Rather than providing us a full-fledged RPG, Ghostrunner is all about the action. You play as a futuristic ninja of sorts armed with a katana, wall-running techniques, and the ability to move faster than any normal human can. The result is blisteringly fast gameplay that forces you to learn timing and strategy. Your enemies are varied, and they all go down with one hit, but the twist is that you can’t take much damage, either. Getting the hang of the breakneck pace you’re on here can be tough at first, but once you grasp it, you get into an incredibly satisfying combat flow.
The story is also unique, framing this version of a cyberpunk world as a complete collapse, where the only remaining ones are fighting for scraps to survive. It has some interesting themes that most games in the genre don’t touch on, and the atmosphere drips with style and dread as you can see where a once-thriving civilization might’ve been. It goes above the call to create a fun story that supports the action and won’t leave you disappointed. Ghostrunner was a surprise hit and has us waiting impatiently for Ghostrunner 2. It’s a different feel than most games like Cyberpunk 2077, but an awesome time nonetheless.
3. Hi-Fi Rush
One of the most unique games in the genre, Hi-Fi Rush mixes anime with cyberpunk to create a flavor that is wholly its own. The humor present throughout every scene manages to hit the mark, and the cast of characters is an outstanding mix of personalities that bring the tale to life. Gameplay-wise, it’s a complete action RPG that takes ideas from other games but ultimately feels the best kind of beat ’em up game available in 2023.
The most interesting system at work is the timing mechanism that has you fighting to the beat of the music. The better your timing is, the more damage you will do and the more spectacular your attacks become. The abilities you will gain change up the action considerably, and while the tone is light-hearted, the action is hardcore and can be quite challenging at times. Graphically, Hi-Fi Rush looks like nothing else out there, and the entire experience is a different take on games like Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty to prepare you before it releases.
2. System Shock Remake
Let’s get a little scary, shall we? The System Shock remake is a brilliant blend of cyberpunk and horror. While the aesthetic is bright and colorful, the events on screen are anything but. In a vision of the future that has given all too much power to corporations, you end up in the most dire of straits when you wake up aboard the citadel station. A rogue AI known as SHODAN has taken over, and you are now the main course on the menu for the ship’s biological and cybernetic horrors.
The gameplay is highly reminiscent of Bioshock, and the abilities you gain throughout the campaign improve the combat significantly, as you’ll start with a modest pipe but eventually evolve into a being capable of hacking enemies through cyberspace and some other interesting powers that you should discover on your own. Graphics are a notable mix of old and new, keeping the spirit of the original alive while making everything look as close to next-gen as the engine will allow. This is an old-school experience, with very little handholding involved, so if you like games like Cyberpunk 2077 with a side of horror and mystery, System Shock has you covered.
1. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Deus Ex is one of the original cyberpunk games. This is the 4th iteration that came out in 2016, and with it came one of the more serious takes on the genre. You play as Adam Jensen; he didn’t ask for this but gets caught up in a futuristic conspiracy after a mysterious terrorist attack that has you putting on your best cyberware to solve the mystery. The gameplay has many features that Cyberpunk 2077 has, including augmented humans, blades implanted into your hands, mysterious figures, and corporations dominating the populace. It’s an intelligent mix of third and first-person gameplay that forces you to study your surroundings before engaging in fights. The story itself is an engaging espionage thriller that emphasizes stealth but allows you to take on situations in any way you see fit. You can discover several endings, and your choices along the way determine what path your Adam Jensen will take.
As far as a fully realized city, the one you explore here is second only to Night City. There are tons of interesting side missions, each with a variety of different ways to solve each of them. The city is dreadful in certain areas, showing you the depths to which society has fallen. In contrast, others show you just how much money can buy in the near future. It’s a fascinating world, and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is a game that deserves a sequel more than any other title in Eidos Montreal’s library and the best of the games like Cyberpunk 2077 to get you ready for Phantom Liberty.