The best games like Fable make us forget all about Albion, even just temporarily. With Fable 4 being as, well, fabled as its name – Forza studio Playground games is charged with what we expect to be a reboot – where else will we get our RPG-lite, real-time combat, humour-infused, chicken-kicking fantasy fix? The games featured on this list, of course! Check out everything we’d love to see in another Fable game, whatever form it winds up taking. And, in the meantime, celebrate the best games like Fable that run through Tamriel to South Park, Skellige and beyond.
Developer: PixelCount Studios Platform(s): PC
Let’s start with a game you might not have heard of. What better way to reminisce about Fable than by playing a game made by the same team? Kynseed, from a group of ex-Lionhead devs, feels like a cross between Fable and Stardew Valley: it’s part role-playing epic, part town sim, in which you must make decisions about the family you raise and the businesses you build. It’s still in Early Access, but it already has 25 colourful, magical regions to explore, a combat system, and character aging. In the final version, your main character will die, and be replaced by their next of kin.
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The Kynseed in question is a physical seed, from which will grow a family tree, and your decisions shape its branches. Right now, the types of decisions you can make are limited, but there’s still plenty of game to sink your teeth into as you craft your town from scratch and strike out into the wider world, like the adventurer you were born to be. You can feel the Fable charm here, whether in the amusing dialogue, the beautiful, melodic soundtrack, or the brilliantly appalling puns.
The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim
Developer: Bethesda Platform(s): PC, PS5, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch
It’s easy to focus on the differences between Skyrim (opens in new tab) and Fable. Lionhead’s RPG never takes itself too seriously – Bethesda’s absolutely does, with a stone-faced plot about the chosen one saving the world. But there’s similarities too, which gives Fable fans plenty to love. The world is teeming with detail, and coherent in a way that few games manage, with NPCs that follow daily routines and interact with one another. Two cities that take 20 minutes to walk between (in real time, that is) might look entirely different, but you can sense a shared history. Fable gave you different ways to approach combat, and Skyrim runs with that idea, letting your character flex between a sneaky archer, a battlemage, or a brute with a two-handed warhammer.
Skyrim is largely a humourless place, but like Albion, it has a strong identity. You’ll grow to love particular characters, especially if you recruit a loyal companion to fight alongside you. And, just like in Fable, you’ll find plenty to do outside of the main quest. Some of the side stories provide the game’s most engrossing moments, and following a trail of quests to a far-off town can create a diversion that lasts for hours. Fable encouraged you to escape reality, if only for 15 hours – Skyrim gives you a whole virtual life.
Kingdoms of Amalur: The Reckoning
Developer: 38 Studios Platform(s): PC, Xbox One (backwards compatible)
If you enjoyed Fable’s arcade-y combat but longed for something slightly more complex – more weapons, more spells, more combos – then give Kingdoms of Amalur: The Reckoning a try. It’s a fantasy RPG with a story from the mind of prolific fantasy author R.A. Salvatore, who, as you’d expect, paints the picture of a deep, complex world where you want to explore every cave and speak to every side character. But more importantly, it has some of the best combat in any fantasy RPG. It’s flashy, full of special effects, and gives you plenty of ways to approach each fight. You can sneak with a dagger, stab one enemy, and then switch to a two-handed sword, dashing between foes in a whirlwind of blows.
A deep upgrade system lends your character plenty of customisation, and the ability to master more than one system – you can make a powerful mage that’s also handy with a bow, for example – lets you approach each fight in a different way. It lacks some of Fable’s charm, but the combination of deep lore and a deeper combat system makes it worth playing, even eight years after its release. A Kingdoms of Alaloth remaster is due in August (opens in new tab), too.
Dragon Age: Inquisition
Developer: BioWare Platform(s): PC, Xbox One, PS4
Dragon Age: Inquisition (opens in new tab) is a far more sprawling game than Fable. But the banter between your companions and the magical landscapes you explore give it that same sense of whimsy. This is a real adventure you’re going on – one in which you get to make meaningful decisions that impact the world, and more importantly the characters, around you. The main quest is nothing special, but well-written side missions do plenty of heavy lifting, as do the distinct, believable personalities that flit in and out of your party.
Fable’s hack-and-slash combat was simple, but satisfying. If you turn the difficulty on Inquisition right down, you get the same vibe. You can pull the camera back to a tactical viewpoint and command your characters around the battlefield like chess pieces, but you can also just play it like a regular third-person action-RPG, swinging your sword and flinging fancy spells. Do that, and you’ll breeze through fights, letting you explore the next mysterious location.
Developer: BioWare Platform(s): PC, Xbox One (backwards compatible)
One of Bioware’s least-known, but best, role-playing games. Like Fable, it’s an action-RPG, with relatively simple yet satisfying combat that lets you switch between a number of different martial arts stances. And, like Fable, it’s a completely original world: Bioware did a fantastic job building a believable setting from the ground up, complete with a story you want to learn more about and characters that you genuinely care for by the end. It even, a la Fable, has a simple morality system that impacts the world around you.
It’s not a funny game, but it has splashes of humour. John Cleese even brings a touch of British comedy that wouldn’t seem out of place on the streets of an Albion village. Most people that play Jade Empire end up ranking it among their favorite RPGs ever, so if you haven’t played it before, now is your chance.
The Outer Worlds
Developer: Obsidian Platform(s): PC, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch
Fable’s humour always had a dark tinge to it. The Outer Worlds (opens in new tab) goes for those same bleak laughs, which means it’s far more at home on this list than, say, any of the Fallout games. This is an RPG about gunning down enemies and making choices, set in a world ruled by corporate overlords. It sounds depressing, but it’s really not: NPCs are sarcastic, and stoic in the face of their capitalist nightmare. “I’m having a stellar day,” a vendor will say, “and not just because I’m legally obligated to say so.”
The presence of companions, who will often save you in combat, makes it feel different to Fable, but the witty back and forth between your allies keeps the tone light. If you prefer your RPGs on the shorter side, then you won’t be disappointed: The Outer Worlds feels tighter and more controlled than any Bethesda game, with a main story you can polish off in 10 to 15 hours, roughly the same length as Fable.
Developer: Triumph Studios Platform(s): Available on: PC, Xbox One (backwards compatible)
If you enjoyed Fable’s impish sense of humour, then try Overlord 2, where you command a horde of cackling goblins to crush everything in sight, elves, trolls, yetis and unicorns alike. It’s a silly, colourful romp with plenty of visual gags. Your minions can blend in by donning disguises such as shiny guard uniforms, which looks ridiculous.
It is, technically, a role-playing game, but most of the decisions you make come from the types of minions you send into battle, and where you choose to direct them at any given time. If you want romance and heroic deeds, you won’t find it here, but if you’re after slapstick antics and an all-encompassing fantasy world full of larger-than-life creatures, look no further.
Developer: Runic Games Platform: Available on: PC, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch
Seattle-based developer Runic Games is sadly no more, but its spirit lives on in Torchlight 2, an addictive action-RPG with tons of personality. It lacks a solid story, sadly – in that respect, it’s more Diablo than Fable, and it’s the same for the combat, which takes place from an isometric perspective. But the picturebook setting and chunky character design will sit well with Fable fanatics, and plus, watching enemies explode with shiny loot is just an incredible feeling, no matter what sort of games you usually play.
This is a game that’s made for anyone that liked Fable’s art style and music, but wanted deeper, more challenging combat. Torchlight 2 supports a range of fighting styles, and you’re constantly swapping out your gear when you find something better. Once you’ve entered its world, and collected your first legendary sword, we challenge you to tear yourself away.
South Park: The Fractured but Whole
Developer: Ubisoft Platform(s): PC, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch
The Fractured but Whole (yep, really) is essentially one long joke, and most of the gags hit the mark. If you enjoyed Fable’s blend of toilet humor and dark comedy, you’ll be wallowing in this RPG, which at its best matches the highs of South Park’s best-ever episodes (we won’t spoil any punchlines, just trust us that you’ll genuinely laugh out loud). Admittedly, this is purely a matter of taste, but if you know you like South Park – or if you’ve never watched it but enjoyed Fable’s most outrageous moments – you won’t be disappointed.
It’s also an enjoyable RPG in its own right. It’s essentially a parody of superhero games and films, which means you constantly level up your character with new powers, and fight enemies on a grid. Like Fable, the fights are mostly easy, at least in the first half of the game, and by the second half, you’ll be having too much fun to notice any difficulty spikes.
The Witcher 3
Developer: CD Projekt Red Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
We never need an excuse to recommend The Witcher 3 (opens in new tab). It’s a game that every RPG fan must play – including those that enjoyed Fable. Coming from Albion, the gargantuan world of “the Continent” (imaginative, we know) can feel intimidatingly large and dangerous. But don’t worry: once you get into the swing of it, it’s really not. The superb writing means you can break the game into bite size mini stories. Side quests are compelling, and you’ll want to see them through to the end. Just keep doing them, and you’ll soon have enough experience to take on bigger, badder foes.
The humor in The Witcher 3 is one of its most underrated aspects. If you chuckled at Fable, you’ll guffaw at a lot of the dialogue here. Our hero Geralt is dry and sarcastic, and will charm the most stone-hearted player. The combat can feel fiddly, especially in comparison to Fable, but nudge down the difficulty and you won’t mind it. It’s outside of combat where The Witcher 3 shines: its huge world is full of magical places to explore, interesting characters and fairytale beasts to slay. It’s simply one of the best games ever made.