When Destiny was first announced, people basically lost their minds. I mean, it was a looter-shooter MMO developed by Bungie, the company that created and developed the Halo franchise, so they absolutely understand their looter gameplay.
When it launched for real, Destiny was a massive hit, receiving critical acclaim from pretty much everybody, and still holds a 76 on Metacritic, with their expansions holding even more.
Then at some point, Bungie released Destiny 2, and the response was even better. Larger worlds, better gunplay and mechanics, a better story, tons of new gear, and better yet, even going free to play at some point.
Of course, that’s all well and good, but I can understand that if you’ve been playing destiny since 2014, you might be getting a little bit burned out. Luckily, I’ve compiled a nice little list of alternatives if you’re still looking to get your Destiny fix. Oh, and if you like the looter shooter genre and want more of that, then check out my article on the best looter shooter games.
#1 The Division 2
The Division 2 is probably one of the most similar games you’ll find to the Destiny franchise, at least in terms of polish and the fact that they’re both released by AAA studios.
If you aren’t aware, The Division 2 is a looter-shooter that takes place in Tom Clancy’s universe, where a pretty infectious and deadly virus was released in the US.
You play as a Division agent, a sort of sleeper cell that was created to deal with apocalyptic type situations when the time comes . . . which it did. While the first game had you playing in New York City, the second one takes you to Washington D.C., the heart of the USA’s leadership and administration.
When coming from Destiny, one of the most important things you’ll be looking for is probably gunplay, and I’m happy to tell you that the gunplay in The Division 2 is absolutely great.
If you’ve played the first one, then you’re probably worried about bullet spongy enemies, and while there is still a certain element of that, for the most part, that issue has been fixed. Better yet, the AI is generally smarter, so the tactical challenges you need to take are more complex than ‘use as many bullets as you can’.
Of course, the complexity of the AI that you have to fight goes from mundane when dealing with the rank and file, all the way up to incredibly complex when dealing with boss-battles. This especially applies to raids, which are more complex missions that require a high level of strategy between yourself and your teammates, and do hold a bit of similarity to the raids in Destiny 2.
That being said, I will warn you that The Division 2 raids are nowhere near as complex/interesting as the ones in Destiny 2, and for the most part, consist of ‘clear a successive number of areas until you get to the interesting boss battle’.
Once you succeed at defeating the boss in these areas, you get the loot, the second most important thing you’re probably looking for. Thankfully, The Division 2 really shines when it comes to the loot, with a complex loot scoring system and literally dozens and dozens of options in each category for you to pick from.
There’s also a lot of armor interplay, as certain armors have both normal and synergy buffs that play an important part in how you armor up depending on your playstyle. There’s also a pretty great reroll feature which is lovely and helps avoid a lot of the super-annoying loot grind that these types of games have.
Finally, The Division 2 does have a class system, although you’ll be running into them later in the game when you hit level 30 and are mostly useful for the post-story content such as the Raids and the PvP Dark Zone. There are 3 classes you can pick from the base game, and if you buy the Year 2 content ‘Warlords of New York’ you get another 3 to play with.
The variation isn’t massive between classes and they mostly conform to the traditional classes you’d expect, so I’m not going to go into too much detail.
#2 Titanfall 2
I have to say, Titanfall 2 got the short end of the stick from EA when it was first released, despite being a truly excellent game. Published alongside Battlefield 1, EA was pretty much wholly focused on that, rather than propping up and marketing Titanfall 2. As such, the game hasn’t had as big a following and player base as it deserves, and that certainly influenced me placing it second on this list.
You see, while Titanfall doesn’t have the same looter aspect of the Destiny franchise, it’s probably one of the best shooters you’re going to find out there.
Not only is the gunplay truly excellent, but movement and mobility across maps are also just excellent, and in-fact, Apex Legends, a game that is based in the Titanfall universe, uses the same mechanics. So if you enjoy Apex Legends, you’ll almost 100% enjoy Titanfall 2.
Related: Why Is Apex Legends Crashing?
Of course, the big draw to Titanfall 2 is the mechs that you can use, and there’s certainly an interesting take on the mechanics here. Rather than just outright give you the mechs to play with all the time, you instead have to accumulate score to be able to call one down.
The Titans themselves are also where the majority of specialization comes in, with half a dozen different classes to choose from, from the agile Ronin to the tanky Tone.
Even if you don’t have a Titan of your own, you aren’t left out in the rain, as there’s still some great interplay between on-foot soldiers and Titans. As mentioned early, there’s great mobility in the game, and that allows you to actually get on enemy titans and pull out their batteries for massive amounts of damage.
Not only that, but you can even take the battery you pulled out and provide it to friendly titans for a shield boost.
The biggest draw though is that Titans aren’t a ‘forever’ thing since they don’t have regenerative health or shields. Any damage done to a Titan is permanent, and you can easily lose it if you aren’t being careful, so you do have to be aware of your tactics and positioning when you’re using a Titan.
Between that and being on-foot, gameplay tends to be dynamic, with a somewhat equal amount of slower and faster-paced portions within each match, something you don’t often find in this style of multiplayer games.
Before closing up, I don’t want to leave without mentioning the single-player campaign, easily one of the best single-player campaigns you’ll find in an FPS MMO. I don’t want to go into too many details, but suffice to say that the dialogue and interplay between you and your Titan is truly excellent, and probably one of the best in terms of companions.
While the story itself isn’t anything world shatter, it’s still fun and interesting to experience, plus the campaign itself serves as a sort of tutorial to every Titan class, as you get to fight against, and experience their skills first hand.
Honestly, I wish Titanfall 2 had a bit more support from EA because it’s truly an excellent game that we need more of.
#3 Monster Hunter: World
You might be surprised to see a game like Monster Hunter: World on this list, especially considering it doesn’t really have much shooting and is more of a hack and slash. Truth is though, MHW offers the basic core gameplay that makes Destiny 2 a lot of fun: Great boss battles.
In fact, it’s a much more streamlined experience in that regard, since you don’t have to go through a Raid map to get to a boss, but instead, just make your way directly to the monster you want to fight. Of course, you probably will have to track it, but it’s still a fun experience to have.
The other portion that’s pretty important to Destiny 2 is the loot, and you’ll be happy to know that MHW has just a massive, massive amount. For the weapons alone there are 14 completely different types, from your big heavy hammers to your smaller quicker swords, with each type having its own unique skills, specialties, and playstyles, and that’s not hyperbole.
On top of that, each type also has nearly 100 different subtypes, again, each with their own specific buffs, bonuses, and cosmetic looks, so you can really min/max your gameplay.
It’s the same way with armor, having a deep and complex tree that allows you to pick the gear depending on which monster you want to hunt. Since there is an elements system in the game, you’ll definitely want to pick the weapon and armor combo that works best for the monster you’re hunting, otherwise, you’re going to be spending a long time trying to take it down.
Speaking of taking it down, the boss battles themselves are incredibly awesome, and you really feel that each monster is unique and has its own personality.
Oftentimes you’ll have to really think about how you want to approach a monster, where you want to attack them since they have individual hitboxes for different parts, and what weapons you’re going to use.
On top of that, battles don’t always stay in the same environment, and you can even use that to your advantage by leading a monster to a bigger monster and just letting them battle it out on their own.
Aside from that core gameplay though, there’s actually quite a lot to do which I can’t really get into too much detail in the hopes of keeping this short.
For example, when you play solo, you have the Pelico, a cat-like companion that’s there to give you a hand when taking down monsters, sort of like having another player in your party. There’s also a pretty deep character creation system, optional side-quests, and of course the MMO portion of the game for you to enjoy.
All in all, if you loved the Raiding and boss battles of Destiny and Destiny 2, you’re going to love Monster Hunter: World, especially since this installment has been westernized a bit to try and bring it to a wider audience.
Warframe is probably the second closest game to Destiny, maybe even more so than The Division 2. It has similar aesthetics and gameplay, and it’s similarly free to play with microtransactions/purchases.
The only thing that maybe isn’t going for it is that the game is always in on-going development, and once you complete the available end-game content, you’re going to be stuck waiting for the next release, which, to be fair, is the same for any other MMO of this type.
Aside from that small niggle, Warframe is a pretty excellent shooter that’s really, really fluid, and more than happy to throw as many enemies at you as you can take. Being a mostly PvE game, there are several different types of missions that you can do, from rescues to infinite waves, but ultimately they all boil down to ‘just pretty much kill everything if you don’t mind’.
If you love constant action and being able to minimize downtime, then Warframe can probably scratch that itch.
Of course, there’s no such thing as a looter-shooter without the loot, and thankfully Warframe does an excellent job of that too. Aside from just the massive amounts of weapons that you can pick from, you also have the Warframes themselves, of which there are nearly 30 at this point, with new ones always coming out.
On top of that, each weapon type (melee/ranged), Warframe, and companion has a level that goes up to 30, which also fills your account ‘XP’. This account XP adds towards your Master Rank, a sort of overall level for your profile. It’s this unique system that really helps with replayability since you always have a reason to try out a new setup.
In terms of story, there is one, but it’s very loosely connected and isn’t really a major focus of the game. Honestly, if you’re looking for something with storytelling, I wouldn’t look here, although that being said, the world-building is pretty excellent, so it’s a bit of a mixed bag.
Besides that Warframe offers a bunch of extra cool stuff, such as a PvP system, interesting open-world areas, mission types that include flying using a special spacesuit, and of course a ‘Dojo’, which is basically a clan home base that you can build to your heart’s content.
It’s a pretty fleshed out game, all things told, even though it’s still in active development, which isn’t surprising given that it’s been out since 2013. If you do plan to check out Warframe, don’t forget to read up on the different Warframe damage types so you know what you’re getting into.
#5 World War Z
If you’re looking for a bit of a more linear experience . . . and zombies, then World War Z might be a good option for you. In fact, if you enjoy Left 4 Dead and want something a bit new, then this game is right up your alley since it takes the L4D formula and adds its own unique mechanics.
Of course, given that the game is a more linear, mission-based game, the looting aspect of the game isn’t massive. What is pretty awesome though is the gunplay, which is both tight and exciting. There’s just something so much fun in mounting a mini-gun and mowing down a huge horde of zombies as they try to overwhelm your positions.
Similarly, a few mechanics have been brought in from the movie, such as the zombies’ ability to climb each other on to the higher ground, something that you’ll often have to contend with, and which is easily destroyed with a grenade (if you have them).
Weapons here feel real and pack a punch, and you’ll find the gamut of what you’d expect in a zombie game, from a bazooka to a chainsaw. There are also different zombie types, and aside from your run-of-the-mill zombies, you’ll find 4 special types, usually right as they jump you before you can react.
There are 11 main missions for you to play through, with some pretty interesting settings, such as the subways of New York City, or the streets of Moscow. There’s a lot of effort put into the environments, especially when it comes to the actual gameplay since you’ll often see zombies swarming over roofs or car pile-ups in the distance.
In a way, it’s very similar to The Division 2’s visual storytelling techniques, in that they blend really well with the actual mechanics and gunplay.
Of course, the big downside here is that it doesn’t have raids or major bosses like Destiny or Destiny 2 has, and the loot here is pretty much non-existent besides the weapons provided for you at convenient checkpoints. That being said, it’s still a fun game, and if you’re looking for really good gunfights and a ton of zombies to shoot mindlessly into, then World War Z is for you.
#6 Deep Rock Galactic
Another great co-op experience, this one is a mix between Left 4 Dead and Astroneer. Taking on the role of a gruff and bearded dwarf (of course), you are tasked with going deep under an asteroid and mining it for precious materials. In the course of said mining, you are attacked by some pretty bad insectoid critters, that are more than happy to nom-nom on you and your 3 friends.
Interestingly, maps are procedurally generated based on mission type and are completely deformable. That’s right, you can dig up the whole mine if you wanted to, although, for time and practicality’s sake, that doesn’t make much sense. Of course, you aren’t just going in and mining whatever you please, with each mission type having a specific item or mineral that they’re looking for.
Getting in your way are the aforementioned critters which range from small little flying ones that grab you and fly you away, to big massive Praetorians which are pretty hard to take down. Thankfully, you have four different classes to pick from, each with their own unique abilities and aptitudes.
For example, the gunner has a mini-machine gun and is great for crowd control and taking down baddies, while the driller is great for getting you through and to certain minerals. Effective crew management is important for success without everybody dying, and while you absolutely can play this game solo, it’s much more fun with a team.
Of course, the main downside for those looking for Destiny-like games is that there’s basically no loot to speak of. Sure, there are a couple of different guns and items that you can use as each class, but these are ones you unlock and there’s really no looting to be done. So why is a game like this on the list?
Mostly because of its excellent gun-play and co-op action, one of the mainstays of the Destiny franchise.
While there aren’t big massive boss battles and raids like in Destiny 2, Deep Rock Galactic still offers a fun and functional co-op experience that you and your friend will enjoy.
#7 Borderlands 3
If we’re going to be talking about looter-shooters, it’s hard to not include one of the biggest ones in the genre.
For those of you who are fans of the series, you’ll be happy to know that Borderlands 3 takes everything great about Borderlands 2 and ramps it up a notch, from the gameplay to the items and even the all-out humor.
Similarly, the purely staggering amount of weapons there are in the game will pretty much make everybody happy, especially since there’s like . . . what? Several hundred million different types of procedurally generated weapons? This might be news to most of you, especially those who haven’t played any Borderlands games before.
Thankfully, the procedural generation is done really well, and each gun has a unique feeling to it and doesn’t just feel like a slightly different variation of something you’ve tried before.
Even more so, weapons now have a bit more personality in that they tend towards specific builds depending on who manufactured them. For example, Children of the Vault weapons don’t use ammo, but they do overheat, whereas Vladof guns usually have two different modes you can switch between.
Of course, all this awesome weaponry doesn’t mean anything without some great gunplay, which Borderlands 3 definitely has.
That being said, some of the non-storyline bosses are a bit hit and miss, some being great and some being outright terrible and frustrating. Overall though, the gunfights are fun, and the variety of different weapons means you can approach them in any way you feel most comfortable with.
One thing I will say at this point is that while you can absolutely play the game solo, it’s much more fun to play with friends, and it certainly feels as if the game is set up that way. That shouldn’t deter you from playing on your own, just be aware that playing with friends makes it even more fun.
As for the story, well, I’m not going to get into it since it came out recently enough that I might give spoilers away. Overall though, it’s a fun romp with the same great humor of the previous entries. It’s not as grand a story as Borderlands 3, but it’s more than enough to keep you going until the end.
#8 Risk of Rain 2
So Risk of Rain 2 might be a bit of a different title than you might expect to see on here, but really, it boils down the whole looter-shooter genre to its core elements.
You see, RoR2 doesn’t have an overarching story or set missions to go on. There are no specific named bosses that you might find in other games. In fact, the whole game is basically a roguelike take on the genre, so the game is almost completely focused on progression.
When first starting you can pick only one class, with another 8 classes that potentially open up to you depending on your progress. After that, you land on a semi-procedurally generated planet and you go about the best thing in shooter games; you kill. Enemies drop both loot and XP, so you can upgrade your weapons and your character, so there’s definitely a bit of progression here.
If you die, you lose everything and start over . . . well, almost everything, there is a ‘run’ progression system that allows you to carry some stuff over, but for the most part, you’re still going to have to grind those weapons out at the beginning.
Another great thing about RoR2 is that it has a multiplayer mode, and it’s absolutely tons of fun to play with friends. In fact, having your friends with you to beat a boss before you can progress to the next ‘map’ is a great experience, and really adds to the gameplay.
Speaking of gameplay, the combat is a lot of fun, and the classes provide a variety of different play styles from ranged magic to up close sword use. Of course, you will have to unlock those additional classes, but at least as you unlock things tend to get easier when you start your runs, so it’s not all terrible.
One thing I will mention though is that the game is still in Early Access, and it certainly has some bugs here and there.
Thankfully, none of those bugs are game-breaking, and even though you can see a bunch of ‘under construction’ signs everywhere, there’s still lots of content and information to consume.
Well, there you have it folks, a nice little variety of different games similar to Destiny and Destiny 2. Some are built around solo adventures and others are epic co-op romps.
Whichever way you decide to go, enjoy yourself! Oh, and try to leave some loot laying around for the rest of us!