Trying a random game is like drinking beer on a cold winter day. You might think it’s an excellent idea, but in reality, you’ll just end up with a sore throat. This is exactly how I felt trying to find a good replacement for my favorite team shooter, Overwatch.
Luckily, there are lots of fantastic Overwatch substitutes, so I didn’t have to go through a process akin to finding Waldo. I’ve tried every entry on this list, and I can vouch for their quality, even if they are subpar compared to Blizzard’s title.
Whatever the case may be, you should try these games if you ever get bored with Overwatch. Some of them are closely related to Blizzard’s game, even if it might not look so at first glance. For example, I added a few MOBAs that have completely different gameplay but are conceptually similar.
Anyway, I’ll share my opinion on each one of these, pointing out the major similarities and differences. I’ve also added Metacritic scores while listing the developers who worked on a title. That would help you make a faster choice.
What Were the Selection Criteria?
When making this list, I’ve focused on shooters, MOBAs, and, most notably, the combination of the two. Keep in mind that none of these is an Overwatch clone; each game on the list feels unique while having certain similarities to Blizzard’s title.
Most of these have large player bases, and if you were to pick one of them tomorrow, you would have no trouble finding a match. So, it’s not as if I’m pointing to obscure titles still played in South Korean game dungeons. Without further ado, here are the selection criteria:
- Emphasis on teamplay and strategic decision-making.
- High skill requirements for progressing through the ranks.
- Vibrant multiplayer environment.
- Might have classes and abilities.
Always remember that some of the titles don’t fulfill all criteria. For example, Counter-Strike is a fantastic team shooter and a good replacement for Blizzard’s title, but it doesn’t have classes. Nevertheless, I decided to add it as I believe Overwatch players would enjoy the game.
- Developers: Riot Games
- Metacritic Score: 80%
Valorant, by many considered the most toxic game in 2022, is the reason why we change keyboards so frequently. As you’re slamming your hardware against the wall, just remember that you could’ve quit while on a winning streak.
All jokes aside, this title has numerous similarities to Overwatch but also Counter-Strike. It’s a team FPS that utilizes an ability system. The main difference is there’s much more emphasis on shooting than using spells. In fact, you need to buy abilities from the shop so you can use them during the match.
Both titles are captivating visually. However, unlike Overwatch, where you can get riddled by bullets and still survive, Valorant demands a cautious approach. I’ll even say that Riot’s game is much more skill-based. You’ll quickly get ahold of the basics, but it takes lots of time to master complex mechanics.
- Developer: Hi-Rez Studios, Evil Mojo Games
- Metacritic Score: 83%
As Paladins is rolling in its early grave, Hi-Rez Studios developers are probably wondering what they could’ve done better. The title is notorious for its bugs and technical problems, which is why it never drew the necessary attention.
Paladins had so many things going for it, but it eventually fell flat. The game has similar mechanics as Overwatch but with much more complexity.
You have cards, talents, and various other customization options allowing for lots of tinkering. I’d say that Paladins is even more complex than Dota and LoL, although with significantly inferior gameplay.
If you’re a MOBA buff, I suggest that you try Paladins while its servers still exist (which shouldn’t be for too long). The game has an undeniable charm and is a great choice for gamers who like to adjust on the fly.
- Developer: Valve Corporation
- Metacritic Score: 90%
Dota 2 is a game that I have enjoyed for more than ten years, and I recommend it to anyone interested in the MOBA genre.
It’s a modern take on chess where every small decision can make or break a 40-minute match. This is why the community can be toxic at times because no one likes to play for an hour, only to be on the losing team.
Although significantly different in terms of gameplay, Dota 2 is conceptually similar to Overwatch. Both of them are ability-based titles where players rely on their ultimates to turn the tide of a match. The main difference is that Overwatch is much more simplistic, and it doesn’t have a shop or leveling.
Another big difference is that Overwatch is played from first-person, while Valve’s game is from a top-down perspective.
Because of that, Dota 2 can be a major turn-off for people who are used to shooter environments. Anyway, you should give it a go if you don’t mind the challenge and are looking for more complex and tactical experience.
- Developer: Riot Games
- Metacritic Score: 78%
It’s hard to talk about Dota 2 without mentioning League of Legends. These two titles mark one of the biggest gaming rivalries I’ve seen in my lifetime, with each player base claiming their title is superior.
Basically, everything that has been said about Dota 2 can be said for LoL. It’s a 5v5 MOBA game where your main goal is to take out the enemy base. To do so, you’ll have to destroy numerous turrets along the way. Just follow waves of allied minions that have the AI of an escort mission NPC.
League of Legends is a fantastic choice if you’re looking for a slower-paced team game. Although the game is now surpassed by modern titles, it still offers a lot to gamers who like to strategize. While it isn’t a shooter, Overwatch players can still use LoL to develop their map awareness and team play.
- Developer: Valve Corporation
- Metacritic Score: 92%
If you’re bored with excessively competitive Overwatch matchmaking, you should definitely give Team Fortress 2 a try. This is one of the most meme-inspiring titles ever made, enjoyed by gamers across the globe.
Valve did an excellent job of creating a humorous, light-hearted team shooter (I suggest that you check out the game’s lore). The most popular game mode accommodates up to 16 players. You can also choose between 9 classes, each with a specific task and interesting character.
Matches are usually chaotic, with players doing just about anything the game allows them. When I played this FPS, it felt like each one of my teammates had to fulfill a different winning condition.
Then again, this randomness is the game’s biggest appeal. Still, you can also play more serious matches by queuing for ranked games.
Team Fortress 2 can provide a fantastic reprieve if you’re looking for a more casual team shooter. I suggest that you check all of its creative modes to get a better grasp of what it has to offer.
- Developer: Valve Corporation, Hidden Path Entertainment
- Metacritic Score: 83%
If you’re a bit older like me, you probably played this title in a smoky internet café as a kid. Counter-Strike is a fantastic team shooter and an inspiration for many titles that came after it.
The thing that separates it from the field is the emphasis on aiming. The game has an incredible mechanic that was revolutionary for its time.
Unlike Overwatch, where weapons are bound to characters, players can choose their guns when playing CS: GO. The best thing is that you can’t win games by relying on meta picks, given that everyone has an equal playing field. So, don’t expect Ironclad Bastion to save you.
I’d say that CS: GO can serve as excellent training for other shooters. However, it’s a much better practice platform for Valorant players than for Overwatch players. My main issue is that it feels really old in 2023. While it remains a popular classic, there are much better options on the market nowadays.
- Developer: Respawn Entertainment, Panic Button Games
- Metacritic Score: 88%
Despite being an awesome title, Apex Legends still feels unappreciated compared to Overwatch and Valorant. My theory is that the game suffers purely by being linked to the nefarious developer/publisher, EA.
After so many controversies and exploitative business practices, gamers probably had enough of the American video game company. In other words, I believe its player base should be much bigger than it is.
Apex Legends feels like a real war. It’s a battle royal game where 20 teams of three are pinned against each other. Unlike Overwatch, where you get weapons from the get-go, Apex Legends forces players to scrounge all over the map.
Although both titles have unique characters and ability systems, they’re much more important in Overwatch. Similar to Valorant, Apex Legends is much more dependent on gunplay.
Abilities are still useful and can make a difference in a tight match, but they don’t have the potential to change the result of a match on their own. It’s tactical warfare meets ability-based FPS gaming, and it’s a hell of a good time!
- Developer: Nintendo Entertainment Planning & Development
- Metacritic Score: 83%
If you’re sick and tired of team shooters’ stressful, competitive nature, you should try Splatoon 3. It can provide a fantastic reprieve for gamers stuck in the endless ELO grind. Plus, Splatoon 3 swaps the typical earth tones and gritty locales for a vibrant, candy-colored utopia. Which is a much-appreciated change of pace.
Splatoon is an ingenious title made specifically for Nintendo Switch. It’s a game that has PvE, but most players prefer team vs. team matches.
Unlike traditional shooters, your task is to cover the majority of the map in your team’s color. So, while less stressful than some other titles on the market, it can get boring relatively quickly.
Splatoon 3 can be an excellent choice for unwinding. It’s significantly different from most titles on this list, but then again, it has a team component similar to the one in Overwatch. Keep in mind that the game doesn’t have an ability system or anything of that sort.
- Developer: PopCap Games, QLOC
- Metacritic Score: 77%
Plants vs. Zombies is a team shooter that uses the legendary tower defense as an inspiration. Return to Neighbourville by playing as evil zombies or friendly plants. The title features various PvE and PvP modes, which are similar to traditional shooter modes (plant the bomb, capture area, and elimination).
Although the game is visually appealing and fun, it didn’t reach the same level of success as some other titles on the list. Personally, it reminds me much more of Team Fortress 2 than Overwatch. The developers nailed the silliness to perfection by creating characters that can run around shooting pees and seeds.
There is even a class system similar to other tactical shooters. Pick between attacker, support, defender, or swarm characters to demolish the opposing team. Despite having such a fun premise, it still requires tactical skill and shooting prowess.
- Developer: Gearbox Software
- Metacritic Score: 69%
If you ever wondered how a shooter without a deathmatch mode would feel, look no further than Battleborn. Despite all the effort invested in its creation, the game falls flat because of its chronic lack of content. Still, I think it’s severely underappreciated, and you can have lots of fun with it.
During the matches, you can level up characters on the fly in the same manner as Heroes of the Storm and Paladins. Players choose between two available talents that would boost available skills.
This allows you to specialize in a specific direction and change your team strategy on the fly. However, as it goes with all MOBAs, there are always optimal builds.
Battleborn has some incredible characters and nice visuals. Unlike Overwatch, which was simplified to appeal to as many gamers as possible, this title has several layers of complexity to it. Battleborn is one of those games that’s easy to pick up but hard to master.
- Developer: Ubisoft, Red Storm Entertainment
- Metacritic Score: 79%
If you’re a fan of 80s action movies, where protagonists break walls with their bare hands, you’ll love Rainbow Six. Unlike most FPSs, where you constantly have to deal with players camping on high ground, this title focuses on outmaneuvering opponents by destroying obstacles. This alone makes it worth trying.
The game is an excellent choice if you like Overwatch’s tactical aspects. In fact, I’d say that Rainbow Six: Siege is the best tactical FPS ever made. You can choose between numerous characters, each with a specific role within the team. Unlike Overwatch, these abilities aren’t game-breaking, nor can they be exploited.
An interesting thing about this title is that decision-making is much more important than shooting. Although you still need to have a good aim, you’ll win more games with good spatial awareness and by working the map.
- Developer: Velan Studios
- Metacritic Score: 80%
Dodgeball ball is a sport that we all loved as kids but forgot as soon as we left elementary school. It’s a dynamic game that can be played by both girls and boys, which makes it fun for everyone.
Velan Studios used this sport as an inspiration to create a unique team shooter. Knockout City is a title where you use balls instead of bullets. You play 3v3, 4v4, and FFA matches where you need to coordinate with your team to take out the enemies.
Although the idea sounds wonky, it works on several levels. You need to pass the ball with teammates to create angles and openings for taking down the enemies.
There are various types of balls and power-ups that add flavor to the game. The graphic is funky and somewhat kid-friendly, as you would expect from such a title.
- Developer: BANDAI NAMCO Online Inc.
- Metacritic Score: 71%
If you ever dreamt of blurring the lines between man and machine, this is the game for you. Gundam Evolution places you in the role of a robot pilot who can control mechs featured in the anime show. Jump into one of these bad boys and take out your competition with an assortment of weapons.
This game is extremely similar to Overwatch. The main difference is that you’re driving robots instead of controlling humanoid characters. There’s a wide variety of characters and roles, which makes it ideal for people who’re used to the team shooting concept.
Unfortunately, Gundam Evolution suffers from numerous issues. Given that you’re driving sophisticated robots, you’d think that hitbox would work a bit better. This takes a lot from an otherwise polished game, and after a while, it can turn a fun experience into an infuriating one.
- Developer: Digital Extremes, Panic Button Games
- Metacritic Score: 69%
Here’s another game that puts focus on robots. Warframe prioritizes single-player over multiplayer, although both game types can provide lots of entertainment.
In many ways, Warframe reminds me of Path of Exile, a game that has become significantly better with numerous updates and content additions over the years.
A player takes control of a mechanical entity known as Warframe. You can perform various roles on the map, such as support, damage, and tanking.
Like other titles on the list, it tests your ability to coordinate with teammates. It’s a grittier variation of Overwatch for guys who like Dark Souls and Elden Ring’s visual style.
The thing I especially like is the leveling system. It’s a perfect selling point for guys such as myself who spend hours figuring out whether a single attribute point will change the course of the universe. The game is completely free so you can jump right into PvE with several of your friends.
- Developer: Frag Lag LLC.
- Metacritic Score: N/A
Shatterline is a brand-new team shooter that, for the most part, feels like an unfinished product. It reminds me a lot of Valorant, both in terms of graphics and gameplay. If the developers add more content in the upcoming months, it might give other titles a run for their money.
Right now, the game features only eight characters. These operatives are split into four roles, including recon, trooper, support, and exo. So, while there aren’t many available characters, each one of them feels unique and has a specific role on the map.
The game allows you to kick boxes spread around the map. This is an incredibly fun feature that allows you to create a mobile cover that you can jump onto. Anyway, my suggestion is to keep a tab on the updates and see if the developers make some breakthroughs with the content.
Here are a few other cool titles that you might wish to check out:
- Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0
- Block n Load
- Destiny 2
- PlanetSide 2
- Escape from Tarkov
The flops include titles that are hanging by a thread, barely managing to attract any players to their multiplayer (or should I say single player?) arenas:
- Dirty Bomb
- Bleeding Edge
- Fallout 76
- Battlefield 2042
Question: What should I play instead of Overwatch?
Answer: Nowadays, there are numerous team shooters that can easily replace Overwatch. The optimal choice will vary based on your preferences and whether you’re looking for something that focuses on shooting or abilities.
Valorant is probably the best replacement for Blizzard’s game, but you should also check Gundam Evolution, Battleborn, and Apex Legends.
Question: What is the most similar game to Overwatch?
Answer: This might be surprising, but the most similar game to Overwatch is Gundam Evolution. It has an ability system that is akin to Blizzard’s game, although it falls short in other aspects. Battleborn, Valorant, and Paladins also have numerous similarities to the game.
Question: Is Overwatch 2 better than Overwatch 1?
Answer: Although some reviewers are disappointed by Overwatch 2’s content, the new version of the game offers much more to the players. Aside from new maps and heroes, it has better graphics and sound design.
Top Games Like Overwatch: Conclusion
Whatever you might think about Overwatch, it’s a game that has single-handedly revolutionized the FPS genre. The ability system provides an additional strategic layer to team shooters, and you can only wonder why no one thought of it earlier.
Despite being cloned and overcloned, Overwatch still feels like the best title around. You might argue that Valorant is more enjoyable and a better choice for people looking for a hardcore shooting experience. However, none of these games is quite like Blizzard’s baby, as they often fall flat in one aspect or another.
I’m excited to see what gaming companies have in store for us next. I believe there’s still a lot of room for improvement within the genre, and some of the developers might finally create a balance between shooting and ability use. In most cases, it feels like there’s too much emphasis on one of the two.
Whatever the case may be, you should check out all the titles on the list and figure out which works best for you.