The Wild West is often regarded as a great inspiration for various media products, starting with books, motion pictures and ending with video games. Gunslinging bandits, bounty hunters and righteous cowboys are some of the most used character typologies, sparking a lot of interest among the fans of the western genre. And because we know many of you are curious to find out what are the best western games that let you fill the shoes of a brave gunslinger, we compiled this list featuring 10 of the most exciting ones worth playing.
Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive
In this stealth-based real-time tactics game the player controls up to six characters in a Wild West inspired setting. The main protagonist is a knife fighter and gunslinger bounty hunter named John Cooper and, as he sets off on the quest to find the notorious train robber El Diablo, five other friends come to his aid. A special feature named Quick Action allows the player to pre-program certain actions, like for example: using a weapon against a pre-targeted enemy, resulting in a more devastating hit.
Outlaws is the first video game to feature a sniper zoom, also being one of the Western themed FPS pioneers. Even though it was not a huge financial success upon its release, this game received quite a cult following, becoming a nostalgic title that is still preferred by many gamers. It features three difficulty levels dubbed The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, a direct hint towards Sergio Leone’s eponymous spaghetti western movie, starring Clint Eastwood.
In this Revisionist Western-themed open world action adventure, the players control Colton White as he travels from town to town and gets into all types of conflicts and intricate plots. Besides the main storyline, some other side quests are up for completion, including activities such as cattle herding, bounty hunting and poker tournaments. Alongside the revolver that the player-character wields, a variety of other weapons such as rifles, shotguns, and bows are also available, dynamite and whiskey bombs being the handheld explosives of choice.
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12 is Better Than 6
An escaped prisoner is making his way across Mexico and Texas, fighting for survival and freedom in the 1870’s United States. 12 is Better Than 6 is a top-down shooter with stealth elements that provides a dynamic gameplay with a panoply of authentic weapons such as revolvers, double-barreled guns and Winchesters. This innovative shooter features an equally unique art style that is drawn by hand with pen and paper, the black on white theme being perfectly complemented by the red tones of the spilled blood.
The action of Gunman Clive takes place in a futuristic Wild West scenario where a solitary gunslinger tries to save the mayor’s daughter from a group of well-armed bandits. Throughout the 16 available levels, the player is able to pick up an assortment of specialized weapons such as a spread shot and even a laser gun. The enemies encountered in Gunman Clive vary in each of the levels, from bandits that carry weapons and dynamite to creatures such as wolves and pelicans.
Hard West takes place in a fictional version of the American Old West and besides the canonical Western standards it follows, a few supernatural elements are added for some extra flavor. In addition to the usual bank robberies, gold rush fever and impromptu duels, this turn-based tactical title also introduces metaphysical beings such as Death, the Devil and undead gunslingers. With a gameplay that requires tactics and patience, Hard West is not your typical gun blazing Western title, but it definitely deserves to be tried!
Fistful of Frags
Fistful of Frags is a free to play multiplayer shooting game that began as a Wild West themed mod for the Source Engine. It was met with a high degree of enthusiasm by the fans of the Western genre and it includes several gameplay modes. A detailed dual wielding system is also part of the gameplay, features such as “double dynamic crosshair” and “weapon flip” for extra accuracy being some of the options. For an additional touch of authenticity Fistful of Frags introduced the historical black gunpowder based guns like the Colt Peacemaker, the Volcanic pistol and the Smith Carbine.
Lead and Gold: Gangs of the Wild West
Often compared to an Old West version of Team Fortress 2, Lead and Gold: Gangs of the Wild West is a third-person shooter that features four playable classes, each with their unique weapons and abilities. The Blaster wields a double barrel shotgun, The Deputy handles a repeater carbine rifle, The Gunslinger carries a very accurate revolver and the Trapper is equipped with a scoped hunter rifle. Lead and Gold is the ideal Western title if shooting up people is what you’re looking for.