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Top 10 Immersive First Person Games

VO: DP WRITTEN BY: Saeed Afzal
Script written by Saeed Afzal They’re the genre you never knew you already loved! Welcome to http://WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Immersive Sims! Special thanks to our user “trtwatchmojo” for suggesting this topic using our interactive suggestion tool at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Immersive Sims

All games bring you into their worlds, but only some go all the way to truly immerse you in them. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Immersive Sims.

For this list, we’re looking at a particular genre of game that focuses on emergent gameplay, interconnecting systems, and player agency. These games combine elements of FPS, RPGs, Stealth, and Adventure games, and offer players multiple ways to play through the adventure, with a focus on immersion.

#10: “Prey” (2017)


We open our list with a game from 2017, proving that this genre is alive and well. This spiritual sequel to “System Shock” has all the things you could ask for from a modern-day immersive sim. The game is a sci-fi romp aboard the Talos-I space station, an expansive construct that was formerly a cage for the dangerous aliens known as Typhon. Playing as either a male or female Morgan Yu, the player has to explore the depths of Talos-I, and in true immersive sim style, there’s never just one route to your destination. The space station is a joy to explore, made even more thrilling by the unique and creative ways you use the many tools and abilities that come your way.

#9: “Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines” (2004)


No, this isn’t Twilight in video game form. “Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines” tries to truly simulate the life of a vampire in Los Angeles, starting with the player’s awakening as a vampire and their subsequent journey through the paranormal. Join vampire clans that are distinct in culture and aesthetic, acquire unique abilities, and build your character into a vampire that suits your play-style. This game truly explores every element of vampire lore: depending on how you play, you could end up being an undead Casanova, or a sewer-skulking creep, and anything in between.

#8: “S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat” (2010)


This 2010 entry in the “S.T.A.L.K.E.R.” series elevated the series to new heights and new levels of immersion. Set in the real-life ghost town of Pripyat in Ukraine, Major Alexander Degtyarev is sent into the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Exclusion Zone, an isolated area of restriction that has now become the home of outlaws, bandits, mercenaries, mutants, and various factions for you to interact with. There’s a whole thriving world to be found in “The Zone”, and with top-notch exploration, gameplay, and A.I, there’s always something to see and do, making “Call of Pripyat” a must-play for lovers of immersive sims.

#7: “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided” (2016)


Deus Ex, as a series, has always been a codifier of the conventions that make up the Immersive Sim genre. Its latest entry, “Mankind Divided”, is an explosive epic that combines human augmentation, terrorist groups, far-reaching conspiracies, the Illuminati, and more. Players take on the role of Adam Jensen, an augmented human is thrown into the conflict between other ‘Augs’ and the rest of society. It’s more or less what you’d expect from a Deus Ex game, but with a level of cinematography, momentum, and - you guessed it - immersion, that are in a league of its own.

#6: “Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss” (1992)


We wouldn’t be able to talk about immersive sims without talking about the mother of them all: Ultima Underworld, a gem from the 90s that pioneered the genre. This game is the definition of “ahead of its time” – despite being 25 years old, it presented players with one of the earliest examples of an expansive 3D world, complete with survival elements, rudimentary physics, light mechanics, and a complex magic system. It’s a totally non-linear experience that comes as close as possible to the experience of being thrown into a dungeon with nothing but your wits to survive. Will you thrive in the Underworld, or perish?

#5: “Dishonored” (2012)


“Dishonored” tells the story of a bodyguard-turned-assassin within the fictional city of Dunwall; a young man who sets out to clear his name of a murder he did not commit and to get back at those who framed him for it. Assassinations in video games are a fruitful area for emergent gameplay – after all, there’s always more than one way to skin a cat. Choosing from a variety of methods including inventive gadgets and even supernatural powers, Corvo Attano is free to complete his missions as “creatively” as the player desires, leading to some stellar moments sure to satisfy even the most bloodthirsty killer.

#4: “BioShock” (2007)


The BioShock series is basically a household name at this point – if your household has great taste in games, that is. It features one of the most unique and engaging settings in modern media: the underwater metropolis of Rapture, a 1950s-inspired utopia that intended to hide away the world’s geniuses in order to create the perfect society. This might not surprise you, but, things didn’t go quite as planned. The player controls the sole survivor of a plane crash and has to navigate the haunting halls of Rapture, making innovative use of weapons, tools, and supernatural abilities known as Plasmids. How you discover Rapture is up to you, and the discovery is one for the ages.

#3: “Thief II: The Metal Age” (2000)


Here’s another game that’s bound to come up when talking about immersive sims: “Thief II.” The game is nothing short of a masterpiece, presenting immersive gameplay that focuses on stealth, thievery, and infiltration. The missions are engaging and unique, and require players to really enter the mind of a thief – stay hidden, stay silent, and map out the best possible route to your goal without getting caught, and in true immersive sim style, there’s never just one way to do that. Playing as Garrett, the player will go through 15 missions in the City, and will uncover the mysteries of the prophesied “Metal Age.”

#2: “System Shock 2” (1999)


It probably shouldn’t surprise anybody that the makers of “Ultima Underworld” would follow up on their success and take the genre to new heights. This immersive cyberpunk gem blends RPG elements with survival horror, creating a hybrid experience unlike any other at the time. Taking place entirely on a starship that doubles as the site of a dangerous outbreak, the player has to navigate the confines of the ship with whatever they have at their disposal and stay alive. This game is so influential, it’s inspired many of the games on this very list. This is one of the absolute hallmarks of the immersive sim genre, and if you haven’t played it, you need to get on that, now.

#1: “Deus Ex” (2000)


Finally, we reach what might just be the pinnacle of immersive sim gaming – or rather, we reached that pinnacle in 2000, with the very first “Deus Ex”. This game boasts an incredibly robust character-building system that lets you customize protagonist JC Denton’s abilities to a degree of specificity not seen before this game. Missions can be tackled through a variety of ways – brute strength is just as viable an option as covert subterfuge; you can totally tailor the game’s narrative experience to your own unique style of playing. There’s never a dull moment in the world “Deus Ex”, where conspiracy theories abound as everyday occurrences. With choices and branching paths that actually matter, there’s more than enough opportunity for you to fall in love with one of the richest video game experiences out there.
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