"Fallout 4" Credit: Bethesda

If you’ve got spurs that jingle-jangle and a Geiger counter that won’t stop ticking, you’ve probably come here straight from Prime Video‘s TV adaptation of Fallout. But if you’re anything like us, the show has only left you hungrier for more. Luckily, there are a bunch of Fallout games that are sure to scratch that post-apocalyptic itch.

Admittedly, the Fallout series can be a little intimidating to get into because it’s been running since the ’90s. However, it’s not as complicated as it seems – every Fallout game is largely standalone (besides some recurring factions), which means you don’t need to start from the beginning. Speaking of which, there are some fantastic jumping-in points – from exploring the Mojave Desert in Fallout: New Vegas to bouncing around Boston in Fallout 4, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Below, we’ve hand-picked some of our favourite Fallout games and made a case for why you should play each one.

Fallout: New Vegas

Release year: 2010
Available on: PC, PS3, PS4/PS5 (via backwards compatibility), Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Highlights: Fallout‘s boldest story to date

We’re starting off strong with Fallout: New Vegas, which is arguably Fallout at its very best. You play as an unnamed courier who is shot and left for dead (by the late Matthew Perry’s character, no less) during a seemingly-routine delivery. After climbing out of their shallow grave, the courier embarks on a brutal quest for revenge across the devastated Mojave Wasteland, but is soon caught up in a state-wide war as various factions battle to control New Vegas and Hoover Dam.

Some of the series’ best writing and quests, along with a colourful post-apocalyptic western atmosphere, makes New Vegas a phenomenal starting point – in fact, it’s one of our favourite games of all time. To quote the game itself: “You’ll dig us, baby”.

Fallout: New Vegas
Fallout: New Vegas. Credit: Obsidian Entertainment.

Fallout 4 

Release year: 2015
Available on: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Highlights: Building your own settlements

Set in Massachusetts, Fallout 4 follows a pre-war couple who survive the nuclear apocalypse by being cryogenically frozen in one of Vault-Tec’s underground shelters. Depending on who you choose to play, one of the pair awakens after two centuries to find that their infant son has been stolen by The Institute, a mysterious hi-tech faction that operates from Boston’s shadows.

While Fallout 4‘s main story isn’t quite as compelling as New Vegas, it’s the best pick for anyone looking for more of an action-oriented RPG. With top-notch shooting and some refreshingly colourful visuals, Fallout 4 is the series’ most modern single-player game to dive into. Yet the game’s best feature is its settlement-building, which lets you craft your own bases and towns across the Commonwealth. Come for the Supermutant shootouts, stay for the homemaking.

Fallout 4. Credit: Bethesda.
Fallout 4. Credit: Bethesda.

Fallout 76 

Release year: 2018
Available on: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Highlights: Multiplayer shenanigans in Appalachia

The only multiplayer title in this list, Fallout 76 is unlike any other Bethesda game. A Grand Theft Auto Online-style sandbox set in the hills of Appalachia, Fallout 76 begins on Reclamation Day, where America’s best and brightest – that includes you – are sent forth from Vault 76 to restore the nuke-ravaged country. It’s been just 25 years since the bombs fell (a far cry from the usual 200-year gap) which means we’re also shown a previously-unseen side of the apocalypse.

Long-time fans of the series may have skipped Fallout 76 because of its rough launch in 2018, but years of updates have turned things around and the game is now in excellent shape. We suggest playing a single-player Fallout before jumping into 76 so that you can step into Bethesda’s universe at your own pace – but if you’re hankering for a multiplayer adventure, there’s no substitute for this Appalachian adventure.

Fallout 76
Fallout 76. Credit: Bethesda.

Fallout 3

Release year: 2008
Available on: PC, PS3, PS4/PS5 (via backwards compatibility), Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Highlights: An utterly bleak setting (and Three Dog’s banging radio station)

It’s been 16 years since Bethesda released Fallout 3, which was a groundbreaking title as it introduced first-person view and transformed the series from turn-based to real-time. Today, it holds up remarkably well: while following games may have improved upon visuals and combat, the bleak atmosphere of post-apocalyptic Washington D.C. is yet to be recaptured.

You play as a recently-escaped Vault Dweller on the search for their dad (played by Liam Neeson), but you’re quickly caught up in a battle between long-time antagonists The Enclave, and the tech-hoarding Brotherhood of Steel. This makes Fallout 3 a perfect introduction to two of the Wasteland’s biggest factions, with a gripping setting to boot.

Fallout 3
Fallout 3. Credit: Bethesda

Fallout Shelter

Release year: 2015
Available on: Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC
Highlights: Watching your vault become a well-oiled machine

If you want a Vault 33 of your own (hopefully without the “cousin stuff”), Fallout Shelter is for you. Out of every game on this list, this one is the hardest to put down, and we may or may not have it open while writing this. You’ll start with nothing but a mountain and a dream, but give it time, and it won’t be long before you’re managing a thriving subterranean shelter.

This involves making sure that food, water and power services are all running smoothly, matchmaking vault dwellers, and running expeditions to ransack the Wasteland. A word of warning, though: Fallout Shelter will take over your life quicker than you can say Deathclaw.

Fallout Shelter
Fallout Shelter. Credit: Bethesda Game Studios


Release year: 1997
Available on: PC
Highlights: Going back to where it all started

Last but not least, the very first Fallout set the tone for all that would follow. A trimetric role-playing game with turn-based combat, this Californian adventure tasks players with saving Vault 13, which is doomed unless one plucky resident (that’s you) can find another one on the surface.

Though the game’s dark humour and quirky setting line up perfectly with Prime Video’s show, this can be notoriously hard to get into due to the game’s age. Because of that, we’d recommend trying something else from this before playing 1997’s Fallout – but when you have, come back to this one. It’ll be worth the wait.

The Fallout Collection. Credit: Interplay Inc, Bethesda Softworks
The Fallout Collection. Credit: Interplay Inc, Bethesda Softworks

The post The best ‘Fallout’ games to play after watching the TV show appeared first on NME.


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