Society is on the brink of collapse, ruled over by law enforcement that answers to an AI hivemind. As part of an underground resistance, you set out to right the wrongs of the world and restore peace. Battling against external and internal foe, you start to learn that not everything is as it seems.
That’s about as textbook as you can get when it comes to a cyberpunk video game plotline. Thankfully, the fleshed out best cyberpunk games on this list aren’t just the cut and dry, picture-perfect representation of what we imagine when we think about the notion of cyberpunk. They’re quite a bit more than that, imbued with a substance that has helped land them on this list of the best the cyberpunk genre has to offer.
Ever wonder what the future has in store for humanity? These 15 best cyberpunk games may have the answer.
Developer: Klei Entertainment Publisher: Klei Entertainment
Stick it to the man with Invisible, Inc. and immerse yourself in a randomly generated cyberpunk world full of secret agents and deadly corporations. As an agent of the titular Invisible, Inc., players will maneuver their way through wealthy corporations to take them down from the inside.
Utilize stealth and remain in the shadows while utilizing the latest in augmentations and programs to crack your way into corporate security. The game changes with each playthrough as you alter which agent you play as and what items and augments you use to get from point A to point B.
Carefully plan out every move you make and your agent just may live to see another day – and another corporation worth undermining.
Developer: Reikon Games Publisher: Devolver Digital
Prepare to have your screen filled with a ton of action in this frantic shooter. RUINER throws everything it can at players to keep them on their feet in this non-stop hellscape of flying bullets and melee attacks.
Enter the metropolis of Rengkok in 2091 and battle through waves of enemies as you uncover the whereabouts of your brother and take down the corrupt system overseeing the cyber-world. As much as RUINER focuses on action, it doesn’t leave the story behind. It’s a complex tale woven into a violent shooter that uses futuristic weaponry to fit into the cyberpunk setting.
Devastate your opponents with an incredible assortment of weapons and augments and battle through ruthless armies of foe, all looking to get in your way.
18. Beneath a Steel Sky
<em>Developer: Revolution Software Publisher: Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Take a break from the non-stop action of some of these cyberpunk games and enjoy something a little slower paced. Beneath a Steel Sky is an interactive point-and-click adventure set in a cyberpunk universe, a dystopian future where Earth is on the brink of collapse due to pollution and nuclear fallout.
As Robert Foster, an orphan boy adopted by a group of locals, you’ll be sucked into a story of corruption and secrets. After being kidnapped by a mysterious abductor, Robert finds himself on the path to discovery as every move he makes seems to bring him closer to uncovering his biological family.
Players point and click their way through this narrative adventure, which features simplistic gameplay, interactive NPCs, and puzzles that give the experience some depth. The fleshed out world is fascinating and chock full of colorful characters, many with their own agenda.
Developer: Necrophone Games Publisher: Necrophone Games
Not all cyberpunk games need to be so serious. Jazzpunk illustrates this best with its tongue-in-cheek humor that pays tribute to the spoof movies that inspired it. Playing as a silent protagonist, players make their way through Japanada, a fictional location in this alternate Cold War timeline.
Putting humor in the forefront, Jazzpunk doesn’t forget about gameplay. As you progress through this world of espionage and CyberCrime, you’ll partake in a variety of minigames. Some are familiar, like the Frogger or Duck Hunt clones, while others are a bit more inventive.
Talk to NPCs, explore exotic locations, tinker with unique gadgets, and guide Polyblank through a strange story that starts with him being mailed (yes, mailed) to an espionage agency. Jazzpunk is an easy game to have fun with, especially since it doesn’t take itself seriously at all.
16. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal Publisher: Ubisoft
Well, it wasn’t quite the “dinosaur” expansion everyone had hoped for, but Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon was still a delightful surprise. Carrying over mechanics from the original game, Blood Dragon is a stand-alone title that welcomes Michael Biehn and Phil LaMarr to the Far Cry series.
As Sergeant Rex “Power” Colt (voiced by Biehn), players battle through a futuristic world that’s gone completely retro. Everything is neon in this vibrant world, but don’t let the bright colors fool you. There are still plenty of perils waiting, including persistent cyber soldiers and ravenous dragons.
Blood Dragon is such a leap away from Far Cry 3’s more serious tone as it parodies movies of the 1980s. Putting Michael Biehn in the lead only further solidifies the connection to the 80s, though Blood Dragon is set in an alternate 2007, after a nuclear war.
15. Gemini Rue
Developer: Joshua Nuemberger Publisher: Wadjet Eye Games
Point and click your way through a dystopian world where power is a vital resource controlled by a crime syndicate known as the Boryokudan. Through a series of interconnected narratives, players unravel the complexities of the 23rd-century universe.
Rather than unfolding the central plot through action-packed cutscenes, Joshua Nuemberger opted for a graphic point-and-click adventure. The story unfolds through text boxes as you solve puzzles and come across a host of NPCs, some willing to help, others cautious of your intentions.
Different from most graphic adventures, Gemini Rue does feature segments of gunplay to break up the slower-paced gameplay.
Developer: Technocrat Games Publisher: Wadjet Eye Games
For some reason, cyberpunk games tend to work really well within the point-and-click graphic adventure genre. Technobabylon is no exception to the rule as it sends players exploring the city of Newton, which is controlled by an AI known only as Central.
As is typical with cyberpunk games, Central controls the entire city, including enforcing the law. This doesn’t bode well for protagonist Latha Sesame, who finds herself on the wrong side of Central. There is plenty to unfold in Technobabylon, which is made easier thanks to a story that’s well-worth pointing and clicking through.
If it’s an in-depth world you love in your best cyberpunk games, Technobabylon delivers.
13. VA-11 HALL-A
Developer: Sukeban Games Publisher: Ysbryd Games
Though the title references a place of Norse mythology, VA-11 HALL-A has nothing to do with Asgard, Odin, or Thor. Instead, you take control of a bartender at VA-11 HALL-A, a dive bar thriving in a cyberpunk universe. You’ll see plenty of colorful characters behind the bar, but you won’t be engaging them in combat or seeking out the truth to some deadly puzzle to save the world. Instead, you’ll serve them drinks.
VA-11 HALL-A is a rather unique game that mixes storytelling with having to mix specific beverages to your clientèle. The setting is a world barely surviving under the weight of corporations, where humans are implanted with oppressive nanomachines and fear the White Knights of the law.
You’re not tasked with saving the world or ridding society of robotic invaders. You’re just there to serve your patrons, listen to their woes, and see how the finest details of a world can unfold without even leaving the comfort of VA-11 HALL-A.
“While it’s not the most immediate of games and probably won’t appeal to those who want constant stimulation and action, VA-11 HALL-A has a tonne of heart that cannot be denied and a lot more depth than you may initially realise, all backed by razor-sharp writing (which also isn’t afraid of pushing taboos) and lovely visuals. Pour yourself a cold one and allow yourself to be surprised by this gem.”
If it’s a continuation of the Rick Deckard saga you’re looking for, Blade Runner won’t be the game for you. Instead, it’s a completely unique story that takes place in the same universe.
It’s quite the faithful recreation of the futuristic city and even features the noodle bar where Deckard first appeared in the original film. The video game iteration takes place during the events of the film and follows the exploits of Ray McCoy, a rookie Blade Runner.
Point-and-click gameplay helps unravel a story filled with plenty of twists and turns, uncovered through thorough detective work. Players search for evidence and analyze clues to follow the trail of the replicants expected of murdering animals. It wouldn’t be thorough detective work if you didn’t have to question NPCs, and Blade Runner has a colorful cast of characters, all with their own lives and connections to the band of deadly replicants.
Developer: Supergiant Games Publisher: Supergiant Games
A cyberpunk narrative told through an isometric point of view – could we ask for a more entertaining pairing for a best cyberpunk games list?
Far different from what many would call a “Diablo clone,” Transistor utilizes two forms of combat: real-time and strategic. Using the “Turn” ability, players are able to freeze enemies for a short time to plan out their next attack. It helps solidify the strategy often associated with role-playing games.
At the core of the story is focused around Red, a singer that finds herself in possession of a mystical sword and without her voice. With Transistor, Red has access to special abilities that help clear the colorful and futuristic worlds of robotic enemies.
The look of Transistor screams “cyberpunk” and is one of the best aspects of the game, which is saying a lot considering there are many things to love here.