Real Talk By: KJ
Games from this Western-Cowboy genre have a certain style about themselves. Something that brings us back to the Clint Eastwood classics, or self-satisfaction of playing an outlaw character. While many titles exist, we had to bring it down to ten. Who survived the dual at high-noon?
A pocket platformer with a retro feel.
The Oregon Trail
Have you ever survived the trail?
Outlaw comes from Lucasarts, gameplay reminded us of Doom.
Mad Dog McCree
Live-action on-rails shooter. The cheesy performances made this awesome.
Fistfull of Frags
Fistfull of Frags was a Half Life 2 mod later made into a full game. Standard Team Deathmatch modes, even a train robbery mode.
Open world western. A tale of revenge. Take Colton through this open-ended world. Neversoft (the company behind the playable Tony Hawk games) decided to take an odd departure. Thankfully it worked out. While Main and side missions were available, Such a shame the title wasn’t longer because we did enjoy the story while it lasted. Voice performances from Thomas Jane and Kris Kristofferson pulled us into the plot. Gun would even get a PSP port with multiplayer options added on.
9. Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath
This was a bold spin-off the Oddworld series took. Removing everyone’s favorite lead Abe, turning the game from a 2D platformer to a First/Third person hybrid. This game would continue the tradition however, by incorporating interesting characters, and locations. To pay for a procedure to save his own life, lead character Stranger would collect bounties throughout the game. No sequel was made, but it has been reloaded on the PlayStation Network in HD.
8. Call of Juarez: Bound In Blood
This was the sequel which added an underrated multiplayer component. Pretty well-designed maps for players to engage in battle. The campaign revolved around the McCall gang. Alternate between the brothers throughout the story mode. Like many westerns, it’s a tale of revenge set in the 1800’s.
7. Call of Juarez: Gunslinger
Hey! Another CoJ game on here. What’s the deal? While the other games take things way more serious, gunslinger could be considered as a separate franchise. This one was a downloadable title, with cartoony visuals across the board. Fast paced shooting galleries, with a bullet time mode that allowed players to slow things down and blast away everything on-screen. Racking up high scores, and experiencing the constantly changing campaign puts CoJG right on the list.
6. Red Steel 2
Known as a Sword and Gun kind of franchise, Red Steel 2 took us to worn out areas that easily reminded us of the old west. The soundtrack matched the theme as well. One of the few motion controlled games that featured responsive feedback from the sword. The hero’s trusty revolver made things a bit easier too. Mixing and matching both made for a unique combat system.
5. Wild Arms
One of the first PlayStation RPG’s ever, Wild Arms takes gamers through the world of Filgaia. Three upgradable characters who all bring something cool to the narrative, crazy creatures of all sizes. Safe to say realism is off the table in this western tale. The fun factor still holds up, as this game could take 40 hours plus to finish.
4. Red Dead Revolver
One of the most vital games in history. If you recall, the Red dead series originally belonged to Capcom. They cancelled the game before development was completed. Rockstar Games would step in and save the day. Red Dead Revolver brought us alternating characters, fun shootout locations, and a 1 on 1 duel mode that has yet to be toppled. While this game was more of a linear experience, what followed would certainly change the landscape. Good thing this one didn’t die.
3. Wild Guns
Not to be confused with number 5, this on rails shooter is closer to Sin and Punishment than anything. One or two players can share the screen, blasting away everything in sight. Cyber Cowboys and humans all will rush the field of view. It gets chaotic, as the action never lets up. Wild Guns is available for pickup in the eShop. We recommend it. This is one of the best looking games you’ll find from the Super Nintendo Era.
2. Sunset Riders
“Draw Pilgrim” The hilarious quotes, memorable music, and 4 player coop all play a part in Sunset Riders ranking so highly. This is very accessible to any age bracket. Horse back riding sequences, entertaining (sometimes cheap) boss fights, Sunset Riders is a side-scroller that needs more love. How about a re-release, or sequel?
1. Red Dead Redemption
Not only is Red Dead Redemption considered by many the best Westerner, people place it as one of the all-time great video games. RDR is one of the few open world games that offered plenty of activities to the user that weren’t main missions. Hunting, Gambling, Drinking, Finger Fillet. The list goes on. In one of the best add-ons to date, a “what-if ” extra story and multiplayer mode pit John Marston against the army of the undead. A plot that takes a major unexpected turn, and a style that reminded us of the movies we watched as youths. You simply cannot lose with this one.