15 Video Games Like 'Destiny'

Real life is a bit of a bummer right now, so explore these video games instead

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Now feels like a good time to finally catch up on some of the best video game titles people may have missed out in recent years. There are a lot of hours to fill now and it seems like more and more people are gaming in quarantine, with Statista reporting a 45 percent increase in time reported playing video games by people in the United States amidst the pandemic safer-at-home orders. 

Video game franchises are a dime a dozen, but Destiny is likely the most iconic new franchise of the last decade. Bungie’s first creation after wrapping-up their legendary Halo trilogy, the game focuses on human survival, player modification, and galactic exploration all in a shared-world setting with hundreds of other players all causing trouble simultaneously. With numerous DLC add-ons and a follow-up title, the world of Destiny is still pulling in new players all the time. Check out these titles that all scratch similar itches to Destiny.  

1. ‘Warframe’

Originally released on PC back in 2013, Warframe has since been ported to Xbox, Playstation, and Nintendo Switch, but it is still technically in open beta. A free to play game, players awaken from a cryochamber in the future and immediately find themselves thrust in the middle of a galactic war for survival. The mechanics, especially the free-wheeling action as players jump around and try to avoid enemy attacks, is similar and easy to grasp for anyone who’s already mastered Destiny’s fighting system. With a huge player base and numerous ways to customize a character, now is an excellent time to jump into Warframe and start fighting for cosmic justice.

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2. ‘No Man’s Sky’

The universe is a strange, crazy place full of unexplainable locations to explore. So, it makes sense that developer Hello Games wanted to make a survival game set in a randomized, chaotic universe just as inconceivable as the real thing. Like Destiny, in No Man’s Sky players control a character exploring and fighting their way across numerous planets. What distinguishes this title from other cosmic games is the fact that No Man’s Sky is completely randomized, featuring a supposed 18 quintillion procedurally generated planets for people to discover. The game has been out since 2016, but thanks to cross-platform capabilities and the fact that it was just added to the Xbox Game Pass, now seems like a great time to finally take to the skies and see what No Man’s Sky is all about.

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3. ‘The Elder Scrolls Online’

Even though games like Oblivion and Skyrim are packed with hours worth of entertainment, one problem with most titles in the Elder Scrolls series is that you’re stuck enjoying the whole experience alone. In 2014, Bethesda finally altered their structure and released Elder Scrolls Online, a narrative-based game set in an online world full of other players. With story updates still hitting all the time and the game’s spot on the Xbox Game Pass bringing in new players all the time, it’s a great time to plug-in and explore the awesome world of Skyrim.

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4. ‘Doom Eternal’

If fast-paced action and intense metal music gets you going, Doom Eternal is the game for you. The fifth title in the iconic franchise, Doom Eternal is a balls-to-the-wall shooter that puts the player in control of the legendary Doom Slayer as he fights to save Earth from hell’s encroaching grasp. Whereas some games reward players for being strategic and hanging back to pick-off enemies, Doom Eternal wants players to get right in enemies' faces as the more chaotic and up-close the action is the more equipment and health packs the player receives. Similar to Destiny, the game has some beautiful level design and knows exactly how to keep the player engrossed in action, making sure no moments ever feel boring or overly tedious.

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5. ‘Apex Legends’

Another free to play game, Apex Legends is a team-based battle royale that occupies a similar lane to games like Fortnight and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Players choose a character from a unique cast with particular skills and abilities as they race to set points on an encroaching map and try to outfight competing squads of players. Action-packed and incredibly fast-paced, this game- like Destiny- can be enjoyed whether you want to run-and-gun it solo or slow things down a little bit, get strategic and communicate with your teammates as you work to conquer the map.

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6. ‘Borderlands 2’

It’s hard to pick just one Borderlands game to spotlight, but the second title in the franchise is one of the most action-packed, hilarious games on the market. Borderlands 2 is a first-person action game, set in a hilariously chaotic world, where the player joins a bubbling rebellion against the villainous Handsome Jack. Like Destiny, there is a central story pulling gamers forward, but the most engrossing part of both titles is the sense of infinite exploration and customization. Not only do the various playable characters in Borderlands 2 all have different fighting styles to choose from, but the game has some of the most complex weapons-modification and creation systems I’ve ever experienced.

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7. ‘Anthem’

With some of the best RPGs on the market, especially the Mass Effect trilogy, any new title from BioWare is worthy of gamers’ attention. In Anthem, players control a Freelancer-exosuit-clad-warriors on their first mission as they fight to save their planet from an unknown force that litters the world with monsters and distorts reality. The game has been criticized for being repetitive at moments, but its impressive combat mechanics, customizable character layouts and the engrossing shared world makes it a worthy title for anyone looking for a Destiny replacement. If gamers prefer fighting bad guys on their own, Anthem allows them to drop the co-op elements and shoulder all the stress of saving the world solo as well.

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8. ‘Risks of Rain 2’

The first Risks of Rain was a side-scrolling action game, but Hopoo Games upgraded things a bit for the sequel. Risks of Rain 2 is just as exciting as its predecessor, but it has been updated to exist in a three-dimensional world, giving players more ability to control their character and explore their surroundings. Either solo or in online teams of up to four characters, players crash land on a planet and have to fight their way through a collection of aliens and monsters who grow tougher every few minutes until they are able to safely escape. The game’s action sequences feel incredibly similar to Destiny’s, but the game’s straightforward nature and the fact that Risks of Rain 2 sends you all the way back to the beginning of a level if you die means players may have to constantly tweak their play styles in order to survive the changing environments.

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9. ‘Horizon: Zero Dawn’

Dinosaurs and robots are awesome on their own, but smashing them together for the sake of a video game is a work of genius. Horizon: Zero Dawn, set in the 31st century where humans have separated into tribes and huge mechanical beasts roam the land, is an exciting, action-packed game that rewards various play styles. The main campaign is incredibly poignant and rewarding, but, like Destiny, it’s the slick mechanics and engrossing setting that will keep players coming back over and over again. With various skills to build upon and futuristic versions of simple weapons like spears and arrows at your disposal, the way players control Aloy and explore the rugged terrain is up to their own determination.

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10. ‘Tom Clancy’s The Division 2’

A game set in an unrecognizable post-pandemic America may be a bit too much for certain gamers right now, but for those looking for a fun, layered experience, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is the perfect title. Players control a member of the Strategic Homeland Division as the organization attempts to rebuild and secure Washington D.C. Like Destiny, The Division 2 has an online campaign where players can create a squad together and set out into dangerous terrain on missions. With various skills to unlock and weapons of different rarities to discover and upgrade, Division 2 has a lot more going for it than just an interesting narrative pulling players into its world.

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11. ‘Star Wars Battlefront II’

If players are looking to explore and battle their way across alien settings while gaming, they might as well step foot on planets they’ve seen on the big screen. Star Wars Battlefront II, ironically the fourth overall title in the franchise, is a beautiful, action-packed shooter courtesy of DICE that packs in as much rebel-versus-empire content as possible. No matter what side of the force you fall on, there is fun to be had here as you battle across various planets with multiple class load-outs to choose from. With the re-introduction of a campaign after the preceding title focused exclusively on online multiplayer modes, Battlefront II is one of the most well-rounded galactic video-game experiences currently available.  

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12. ‘Gunfire Reborn’

The newest title on this list, Gunfire Reborn is an entertaining, cartoony first-person shooter where players control a killer cat. With various weapon upgrades and side-items to incorporate into your fighting style, Gunfire Reborn enables gamers of various play-styles to mold their own experience. It’s not a massive game, so if you’re looking for the open-endedness of Destiny this isn’t the title for you, but it’s fast-paced action and unique dungeon designs scratch similar itches.

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13. ‘Death Stranding’

Hideo Kojima, the creator of the Metal Gear franchise, roared back onto the gaming scene after splitting from Konami with 2019s Death Stranding. Set in a futuristic United States where interdimensional monsters roam the Earth, the title follows Sam Bridges (played by The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus), a member of a courier service who has to survive the barren landscape and deliver supplies to isolated communities. Death Stranding is a solitary experience, so there’s no shared world like there is in Destiny, but the two titles have a similar sense of exploration and some beautifully developed environments.

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14. ‘Titanfall 2’

The original Titanfall stuck to online multiplayer modes, but 2016s follow up, Titanfall 2, added a comedic, action-packed single-player campaign for gamers to sink their teeth into. An intense first-person-shooter that feels similarly fast-paced to Destiny when players are stuck in the middle of an intense fire-fight, TItanfall 2 is slick and addictive enough to make players search for new matches all night. There are a lot of games with unique exoskeletons and mech-suits, but donning a Titan is an incredibly enjoyable experience that adds a new set of mechanics to the game. Whether players are sliding around, running on walls or grappling from building to building, the fluid movement makes Titanfall 2 one of the most exciting and fast-paced shooters currently available.

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15. ‘Halo 3’

Before Bungee unleashed Destiny on the world, it solidified itself as a legendary game developer with Halo 3. The final game in the franchise’s original trilogy, players control Master Chief as he labors to stop the devastating war with the Covenant and the parasitic alien species referred to as the Flood. Even today, 13 years after the title was first released, the graphics hold up and the multiplayer modes are full of skilled players searching for matches.  With slick first-person-shooter mechanics and a wide range of aliens to tear into, Halo 3 and Destiny scratch similar itches for anyone ready to unleash their combat skills on the cosmos.

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