Kudos to Blizzard for releasing Overwatch: a first-person team arena shooter whose main draw lies in its emphasis on well-coordinated positional strategizing, not simply twitch mechanics. Rising from the ashes of Titan, the game is the company’s first new franchise in almost two decades, enjoying well-deserved success after years of countless redesigns. The final result is a fresh hybrid of fast-paced first-person action, some MOBA-ish tactics, and high aesthetic polish. Games like Overwatch prove that good ideas sometimes take a while to actualize but are often worth the wait.
If you’re already a hardcore fan but want a short change of scenery, here are 6 alternative games like Overwatch definitely worth check out!
Selection Criteria of Our List of Games Like Overwatch
- Each game should be a first-person shooter (though one partial exception was allowed).
- Must support online team-based gameplay where communication is key to victory.
- Preference for titles that offer varied character classes / types / skills.
- Selections are ordered from most to least similar games to Overwatch.
Note: None of the games listed here are exact analogues to Overwatch’s unique gameplay. Nonetheless, all of them will likely appeal to players keen on intense online team arena action.
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1. Team Fortress 2
Why It’s Similar: Both games are alike enough that you could easily switch between the two and not skip a beat. Case in point: the Sniper and Hanzo are both fairly similar to each other, while playing as a Scout will remind you a bit of Tracer. TF2 even has its own version of Junkrat in the form of Demoman. Like Overwatch, positional strategizing and good team communication are vital to winning in TF2.
Why It’s Different: While both games have similar traits, TF2 is often seen as the harder of the two games in terms of expert meta-mastering. For starters, situational awareness and aiming are easier in Overwatch by comparison. Some of Overwatch’s characters resemble those of TF2 at first glance. However, nuanced differences in movements, skills, and raw stats make quite a big difference in gameplay. For instance, Scout’s double jumps are key to getting across the map while Tracer’s guns are overall more powerful and accurate.
Overall: Team Fortress 2 is top of the list as far as games like Overwatch go. Blizzard themselves see the comparison with TF2 as a huge compliment. If you’re looking for a FPS team arena game that’s somewhat similar to Overwatch, TF2 is the free-to-play game for you!
2. Dirty Bomb
Why It’s Similar: Like Overwatch, Dirty Bomb is a class-based team game with various objectives where tight teamwork is key to victory. Play solo and you’re likely to die fast (i.e. don’t be a n00b). The game also lets players choose from multiple characters, known as Mercs, each having their own unique abilities and weapons.
Why It’s Different: There are two key differences between both games. First, Dirty Bomb is much grittier in tone and aesthetics, with characters using some rather strong language on occasion. Second, Overwatch features a far greater number of movement-based abilities, making it a much faster-paced game overall compared to Dirty Bomb.
Overall: Dirty Bomb generated a lot of buzz as one of a few games like Overwatch, with a few key differences. All in all, the game’s free-to-play status makes it a good training ground for those just starting out in the FPS online team arena genre.
Why It’s Similar: LawBreakers is one of a few FPS class-based team games like Overwatch. Players are free to choose from Titan, Enforcer, Assassin and Vanguard classes, each having their own unique abilities countering those of others. The game is also fast-paced, akin to the speedy matches found in Overwatch.
Why It’s Different: Compared to Overwatch’s 21 heroes (more in a few months), LawBreaker gives you a modest four to choose from. Overwatch also tends to favor individual character mastery over simply choosing a class whose broad purpose is to counter another, as is the current case in LawBreaker.
Overall: Take the grittiness of Dirty Bomb and cartoonish futuristic setting of Overwatch and you’ll probably get something quite similar in style to LawBreakers. The game is still in Alpha phase but is set to be released sometime soon.
Why It’s Similar: Both first-person shooters are big on teamwork. Players are able to choose from multiple playable heroes (25 for Battleborn, 21 for Overwatch, as of the time of this writing), all of which are split into their own unique roles.
Why It’s Different: Overwatch is a strictly multiplayer team-based FPS with a dash of MOBA. Meanwhile, Battleborn features both single and multiplayer modes with far more traditional MOBA elements sprinkled in it. In Battleborn, progress begins at Level 1 with players free to level up via both single and multiplayer matches.
Overall: Battleborn is often cited among games like Overwatch. However, the differences between the two are quite notable (i.e. they really aren’t ripoffs of each other). If you’re a fan of online FPS games, Overwatch may suit you better. It’s arguably the more accessible of the two, thanks to its shorter matches and loot-based progression. If you’re into more traditional MOBAs, Battleborn’s multi-layered gameplay might be more up your alley.
Why It’s Similar: Both Overwatch and Gigantic are popularly (but perhaps erroneously?) referred to as shooter-MOBA hybrids with a diverse cast of unusual characters. Gigantic also has its cartoony aesthetic down pat, looking similar to not only Overwatch, but also Paladins, Battleborn and even Team Fortress 2.
Why It’s Different: Both games are known as unique “FPS-MOBA” hybrids. However, that’s where most of their similarities end. Overwatch focuses more on FPS action while Gigantic leans towards traditional MOBA gameplay. In Gigantic, characters progress through a nuanced levelling up and upgrading system that go beyond Overwatch’s general aesthetic tweaks. Gigantic is also technically a third-person perspective game with first-person aiming crosshairs.
Overall: More MOBA-like than FPS, Gigantic will definitely find its own genre niche audience upon its full release. It’s set to be one of those games like Overwatch in some respects while also promoting its own distinct mechanics.
Why It’s Similar: Both Overwatch and Paladins are first-person shooters incorporating MOBA elements and classes.
Why It’s Different: These two games could’ve been very similar, if not for a few major differences. Paladins has a card system which, while promising customization, has been criticized for making the game unnecessarily complicated. Paladins’ maps are more catered to those who prefer fighting in large open spaces, unlike the corridor-type arenas of Overwatch. Paladins’ gameplay is also a lot slower than Overwatch.
Overall: Paladins still holds a lot of promise. However, the so-called subtle pay-to-win business model has admittedly upset some supporters (others strongly disagree!). We belong to the latter camp. Whatever the case, Paladins’ Beta phase means there’s still time left to tweak things to perfection. Overall, this title is worth looking into for those wanting more games like Overwatch with notable variations.
Honorable Mentions (Other games like Overwatch… but with their own twists)
Planetside 2 : Highly customizable classes. Fast-paced FPS action. Heavy emphasis on tight teamwork.
Tribes: Ascend : Class-based loadout system. FPS. Tons of online action including team deathmatch.
Know of other games like Overwatch? Leave your suggestions below and we’ll add them to the list!