If bringing order to the lawless Wild West is your thing, then we have the best cowboy and western games for your PC or console.
These games paint a grim picture of life on the American frontier, where compassion takes a back seat to wealth and gunplay.
For 2022, we’ve compiled a list of the top western and cowboy video games available for PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Switch.
In the future, we will add more titles to this list, so come back to see if your favorite western cowboy games made the cut.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One
The first game we suggest is Red Dead Redemption 2, which is widely hailed as the genre’s pinnacle.
A well-crafted story about an aging cowboy complements RDR2’s massive open world, which is full of interesting sights, mysteries, and side activities.
Throughout the story, you’ll have to make difficult choices that pit you against friends, rival gang members, the law, and even your own sense of right and wrong.
After that, you’re free to do whatever you want, be it take a long bubble bath while contemplating your crimes or go horseback riding and hunt exotic animals across a vast map.
Call of Juarez: Gunslinger
Windows, Nintendo Switch, and Other Systems
When it comes to fast-paced Western games, the Call of Juarez series is a staple, though some installments have aged better than others.
Due to its vibrant cel-shaded graphics that have held up over time, we recommend Gunslinger here over other popular installments like Bound In Blood.
It has you taking on the role of a cowboy who, in flashback sequences, reenacts their past deeds, complete with gunfights and tense “Showdown” duels.
The ‘cheat death’ mechanic in this game is very cinematic, as it slows down time and zooms in on the incoming bullet so that you can avoid it and regain health.
Included are Windows, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Linux, and Mac.
Next, we have Hard West, a turn-based strategy game in which players take on the role of a Western outlaw who makes a deal with Death in exchange for the opportunity to exact revenge for the deaths of their loved ones.
Play as one of eight playable characters, each with their own set of superhuman abilities, and make your way through more than forty missions.
Inspired by games like XCOM, the combat system features a unique ‘Luck Meter’ that determines whether or not an enemy attack does damage to the player.
Hard West’s open world allows players to explore, shop, mine for gold, and interact with bandits outside of the game’s turn-based combat system.
Fallout: New Vegas
Windows Is The Platform
You play as a mysterious outsider in this sequel to Fallout 3 who is investigating their own attempted murder in the vast Mojave Wasteland.
Along with highway bandits and other hostile NPCs, your journey through Fallout: New Vegas will be fraught with nuclear perils and sci-fi oddities.
There is plenty of treachery and betrayal in the world, but there are also many interesting people with compelling histories that can be either fascinating or depressing to learn about.
Finally, if you’re still considering giving New Vegas a shot, we suggest purchasing the “Wild Wasteland” perk, which includes such bizarre mysteries as finding aliens or Indiana Jones’s remains in a refrigerator.
Hardware: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Linux, and Mac
Check out the most recent installment of the Desperados series, which is set in the late 1800s when the Wild West was at its best, by which we mean most corrupt, for more strategy tactics with a Western theme.
Playing as bounty hunter John Cooper, you’ll go after outlaws with the help of classic Western figures like the fugitive bride Kate and the shady assassin Doc McCoy in Desperados III.
The action takes place across a wide swath of the American frontier, from small towns and bustling cities to swampy riverbanks and back again.
You’re in for a treat if you’re a fan of strategy games like Hard West and the previous Desperados entries, despite the fact that it’s not as fast-paced or visually impressive as many of the other games on this list.
West of Dead
Windows PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch
West of Dead is a roguelike shooter in which you control a recently deceased cowboy trying to make his way through the bleak wasteland that is Purgatory.
In each playthrough, you’ll venture into randomly generated worlds filled with dangerous foes and valuable rewards like new weapons and enhanced skills.
Use of cover and the creation of innovative strategies involving in-game objects like explosives and traps are heavily rewarded.
The main character (and narrator) in West of Dead is voiced by none other than Ron Perlman, which should be enough to sway your decision to play the game.
12 is Better Than 6
Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X
12 is Better Than 6 puts you in the role of an escaped slave in 1873 America, evoking the chaotic top-down shooting action of games like Hotline Miami.
The game’s visual style is muted and hand-drawn, with environments depicted as black and white outlines until you start shooting enemies and their blood splashes across the screen.
Combat is meant to feel like a Wild West saloon shootout, complete with constant gunfire and insults hurled from behind cover.
However, 12 is Better Than 6 stands out from the crowd thanks to its emphasis on bullet conservation and stealthy approaches to killing enemies.
Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One
Play Hunt: Showdown, a player versus player versus environment first-person shooter, for a grimmer, more realistic take on the Wild West in which you compete with other players to kill their target.
You and a party of two to three other players venture into a swampy area of Louisiana, where terrifying monsters have set up camp.
To advance your character and gain access to new rewards, you must first locate and eliminate these monsters from the world.
However, you should be wary of other bounty hunters who might be able to pinpoint your location and swoop in to steal your catch.
SteamWorld Dig 2
Windows, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch
SteamWorld Dig 2 is a vast improvement over its predecessor in every way while retaining the steampunk Western Metroidvania’s unique charm.
Taking place in a colorful 2D desert setting with colorful NPCs and a seemingly infinite network of underground mines, you play as a robot named Dorothy as she searches for the protagonist from the first game.
As you delve deeper in search of minerals, crystals, and other resources, you’ll come up against a wide variety of puzzles, enemies, and traps.
The more you explore, the more you’ll find out about the future of SteamWorld and its mechanical inhabitants.
West of Loathing
Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Nintendo Switch, and iOS
West of Loathing is a 2D role-playing game with a comedic take on Western tropes, featuring stick-figure cowboys who must survive in a surreal Wild West.
The game takes place in a monochromatic, hand-drawn open world populated by oddballs of dubious morality who offer equally offbeat quests.
Turn-based battles are peppered with jokes, but the real fun is in talking to NPCs and hearing the nonsense they have to say.
Up to this point, you have access to more than fifty different hats with which to outfit your stick figure cowboy, each of which will result in a different reaction from the game’s memorable characters, such as the local Cow Puncher and a drunken horse.
PC and Switch are the supported platforms.
A relatively new addition to the list, Virtuous Western is a shooter/strategy hybrid set in the Old West where you must defeat waves of enemies with a finite supply of ammunition in order to reclaim your stolen horse.
With limited ammunition, you’ll need to think strategically about how to best dispatch your enemies and make use of whatever resources are at your disposal.
Dropping crates on an enemy’s head is one tactic, as is blowing up barrels marked “TNT” and luring enemies into mutual gunfire is another.
It’s not as complex as some of the other games on this list, but it’s still fun if you’re in the mood for a classic Western.
Wild Guns Reloaded
Windows, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch are the supported platforms.
Wild Guns Reloaded is a remastered version of one of the more popular SNES games, and it is a throwback to classic cowboy games.
The game is a pixel-art Western and steampunk-inspired arcade shooter/brawler with a focus on revenge and upholding family honor.
This deadly combination of side-scrolling action and arcade shooting still holds up surprisingly well in the year 2022.
In Reloaded, we up the ante with two new playable characters, a slew of new stages and bosses, and improved support for multiplayer, including leaderboards.
Westerado: Double Barreled
Systems: PC and Xbox One
If you can get past Westerado’s cute pixel art visuals, you’ll find a surprisingly grim game about shooting people for payback.
You take on the role of a cowboy trying to learn more about the killer of your family through conversations with random NPCs.
The catch is that the man you’re trying to find is chosen at random at the beginning of each new game, so you’ll need to put in some serious legwork if you want to catch the real bad guy.
One of the cool things about Westerado is that anyone can be a murderer, and you can administer your own brand of justice by shooting them in the head (though there are consequences for this).
Gunman Clive HD Collection
Nintendo Switch is the platform.
Gunman Clive and its sequel Gunman Clive 2 are two more excellent hand-drawn cowboy games that can be played individually on PC or as part of the Gunman Clive HD Collection for the Nintendo Switch.
In both games, the player assumes the role of the cowboy, who must make his way through a Wild West overrun by violent criminals in the 1800s.
The gameplay takes inspiration from retro side-scrolling games like Mega Man and Contra, and has you taking on increasingly difficult bosses with their own distinct styles of attack.
In addition to Clive, you can play as a number of other characters, each of whom introduces new abilities to experiment with across the game’s 20 platforming levels.
Windows, Linux, and Macintosh
In this tongue-in-cheek tycoon game set during the 19th-century American oil rush, you won’t find much cowboy action, but there will be plenty of obstacles to overcome.
You take on the role of a modest landowner with big plans to acquire new plots of land and mine them for oil in the hopes of striking it rich.
If you want to go from rags to riches as an oil tycoon, however, you’ll need to dominate the market and outsell your competitors at optimal times.
It’s a lot less stressful than the other games on this list, and it’s structured like an idle game, complete with lots of different resources, upgrades, and underhanded business deals to discover.
The last game we think you’ll enjoy if you’re a fan of Westerns is a management simulator set in the era of steam travel.
Steam-powered locomotives, not the software company Valve, were instrumental in reimagining transportation in the United States in the 19th century.
In Railroad Corporation, you take on the role of a railroad entrepreneur, traversing historically accurate rail networks across the United States in order to fulfill contracts and accomplish missions.
There is no job too big or too small for your expanding business, from laying down tracks to digging tunnels and raising bridges to connect settlements.
Through your experiences, you will learn the ins and outs of the railroad business, how to spot and capitalize on opportunities, and how to leverage political connections and the pooling of resources to influence legislation in your favor.
Western Sniper Strategy Guide – Kill Smarter and Earn Cash
Aim then zoom
Aim the cross where you want to shoot, then tap the screen to zoom in. You can stay hidden for as long as possible and hit your target every time with that strategy. If your targets are close together, you can stay zoomed in; otherwise, you should retreat to cover and look for another opportunity.
Always go for headshots
It’s in your best interest to aim for the bandits’ heads, as this will earn you more points than any other location. Aiming for the head is preferable, though not always possible due to range and obstructions.
Find the wanted
There are robbers and wanted people on some levels. You should stop for a second and make sure you’re killing the wanted person before anyone else. If you don’t stop them, they’ll be free. However, the bandits won’t do anything until you eliminate them. Get rid of the suspects and clean up the mess.
Get the bundles
The game prompts you to watch a video in exchange for a costume pack when you unlock it. The costumes are purely cosmetic, but they do provide a small stat boost if you manage to grab them. With that in mind, we think you’ll find the video much more engaging to watch.
Upgrade when you can
You will be able to increase a stat after a certain number of levels. One of these should always be increased. If you don’t have enough money to buy the one you want, it’s still probably worth it to watch a video in order to unlock one of the others, given how rare the opportunities to level up are.
Tips to win Western Legends
Investing in better and more lethal weapons can give you the upper hand in battle. Every advantage counts in the Wild West, so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
You can spend your final LP on upgrading your weapons or mounts.
In Western Mythology, poker cards play a pivotal role. Get the upper hand by playing powerful cards. It’s more effective to use the bonus effects of cards like Cheat and Lady Luck to help you win at poker.
The bonus and reaction effects of cards like Shootout and Stick ‘Em Up can reduce the effectiveness of an opponent’s played Ace. If you know you’re going to lose a fight, you shouldn’t have it.
Prospecting For Gold
If you’re not interested in taking the Marshal or Wanted paths, you can still win the game. To prospect for gold, you don’t need a particularly altruistic character. It’s a source of cash for buying useful in-game items like mounts and weapons.
You can earn even more points by celebrating with the money you’ve earned from depositing gold nuggets. This strategy can be strengthened with the aid of an improved Mule and Miner’s Map.
If you’re on the Wanted list, you shouldn’t be carrying around a lot of cash or gold nuggets because they’re easy targets for Arrest or robbery.
Poker’s Sprint and Saddle Up cards let you rush through hazards without wasting a turn. Keep in mind that at the end of the game, each $60 will be worth 1LP.
Players in the Marshal tier face less risk than those in the Wanted tier, but it’s much more challenging to earn Marshal points. Your diligence will be rewarded with a spot in the third, sixth, or ninth rows of the Marshal track.
If your friends aren’t Wanted, you’ll have to herd cattle and fight bandits before the Wanted players get a chance.
You don’t have to worry about being tracked down by the Sheriff like the Wanted players do. Spend your bonus cash from reaching Marshal status on better mounts and more powerful weapons.
If there are any Wanted players near the Sheriff, use the Manhunt poker card to slow them down.
You have decided to take the difficult but potentially rewarding road that will keep you constantly on the move. If you want to avoid being caught by the Sheriff and the Marshal players, you should probably get a mount before you become Wanted.
When players are still figuring out how to play the game, being Wanted doesn’t pose as much of a threat. Be wary of the story cards being completed more frequently in games with more players.
The Sheriff can now change locations more frequently. Maintain a hand full of powerful cards, especially Quickdraw, to increase your chances of winning against the Sheriff. A wanted criminal with no or few resources is a sitting duck.
Increasing your Wanted rating is as simple as robbing other players or pulling off a bank heist. Put gold in the bank and shell out cash to reduce the cost of your arrest.
Keep in mind that getting arrested is only a minor hassle if you prepare for it. The key to success as a criminal is knowing when to seize the moment.