Top 10 Western Video Games

10. GUN

Gun is a Revisionist Western-themed video game developed by Neversoft. It was published by Activision for the Xbox, Xbox 360, GameCube, Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 2. Gun was released in North America on November 8, 2005, and in mid-to late November in Europe. Since October 13, 2006, the game has also been available to buy on Valve’s content delivery platform, Steam. It was released for the PlayStation Portable under the title Gun: Showdown on October 10, 2006.

It features new side-missions, a multiplayer mode, and other additions that weren’t available in the console versions. Gun features a free-roaming (open world) environment, including side-missions that add to the story of the game. Gun is played by controlling Colton from a third person perspective, playing much like a traditional third-person shooter. Players can wield a revolver and switch between rifles, shotguns, various handheld explosives, and bows. Throwing knives are available in Gun Showdown. Attacking and killing enemies fills up a “Quickdraw” gauge, which when activated slows down time, switches to a first-person perspective, and gives the player unlimited ammunition for a short duration, allowing the player to take on a significant number of enemies.


9. Harvest Moon series

Harvest Moon is a series of life simulation/farm simulation/role-playing video games produced by Victor Interactive Software (acquired by Marvelous Entertainment in 2003) and was originally created by Yasuhiro Wada in 1996. English translation and distribution of the game is done by Natsume (and Rising Star Games in Europe).

The object of the game is to maintain a farm over a period of time, tending the crops and livestock through the seasons, while befriending the nearby townsfolk and getting married in some games. The first game was Harvest Moon, released for the SNES in 1996. Games in the series have also been produced for Game Boy and GBA, Nintendo 64, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, GameCube and Nintendo DS; with new titles for PSP, Nintendo DS, and for the Wii.  Most gameplay in the Harvest Moon games consists of planting seeds to grow fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs, and collecting items, making home improvements, and building personal relationships.

A successful farmer must weigh the cost, selling price, number of harvests, and growth times of the various types of produce in order to pick the best product for each of the seasons. One can also go fishing and mining for extra profit.  The ultimate challenge is for the player to manage their time. There is only a short amount of time in each game day, and the player only has a set amount of energy. They must balance their time and strength by working on the farm and making friends with the people in town.


8. Gun.Smoke

Gun.Smoke is a vertical scrolling shooter arcade game created by Capcom in 1985 (its author is Yoshiki Okamoto). The game, which has a Western theme, centers around a character named Billy Bob, a bounty hunter who is after vicious criminals of the Wild West.  Despite its name and theme, it has no connection to the western TV series Gunsmoke.


7. Mad Dog McCree

Mad Dog McCree is the first live-action laserdisc video game released by American Laser Games. It originally appeared as an arcade shooting game in 1990. It gained a lot of attention for its real-video style, bearing similarities to recent Hollywood westerns. It featured on the 1992 series of GamesMaster as the last challenge of the very first show, and then later in the 1992/1993 series as a celebrity challenge with Josie Lawrence playing. Both contestants were successful in their challenges.


6. Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood

Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood is a Western themed first-person shooter video game set in the years of 1864-1866. Developed by Techland and published by Ubisoft, it is a prequel to Call of Juarez that debuted in 2006 on PC and 2007 on the Xbox 360. The game was released on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on June 30, 2009. The game has earned notoriety for appearing in the youtube viral video, Ladder Goat.


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5. Outlaw

Outlaw is a single-player arcade game by Atari Inc., originally released in 1976. It simulates an Old West fast draw duel between the player and the computer. Outlaw was a response to Midway’s Gun Fight, released the year before. Players can select one of two characters: Half-fast Pete or Billy-The-Kid.

Pete is more accurate while Billy can draw faster. An outlaw appears somewhere in the town, the object being to fast draw your gun as soon as he draws his. Shooting him before he shoots you scores points, with points counting toward end-of-game ratings such as “Dude”, “Greenhorn”, and “Top Gun”.


4. Sunset Riders

Sunset Riders is a side-scrolling run-and-gun style shoot-’em-up released by Konami as a coin-operated video game in 1991. The game is set during the American Old West, where the player takes control of a bounty hunter who is seeking the rewards offered for various criminals. The coin-op version was released in two variants: a 2-player version and a 4-player version. Home versions of Sunset Riders were released for the Sega Genesis (Mega Drive) in 1992 and for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1993.


3. Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath

Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath is an action-adventure game developed by Oddworld Inhabitants and published by Electronic Arts for the Microsoft Xbox. Music for the game was written by composer Michael Bross. It was released in January 25, 2005. A version for the PlayStation 2 was planned, but canceled. Oddworld Inhabitants have indicated that they will release the other chapters of Oddworld as movies, as they claim they originally intended.  

The game details the adventures of Stranger, a fearsome bounty hunter. Throughout the game, Stranger pursues and captures outlaws in order to collect bounties. The goal is to ultimately earn enough moolah (in-game money) to pay for a mysterious life-saving operation. One of the most notable features is the “live ammunition” system, which is literally ammunition made of living creatures like fictional insects and small mammals, each with different uses and effects against enemies.


2. Borderlands

Borderlands is a science fiction first-person shooter with RPG elements that was developed by Gearbox Software for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It was first revealed in the September 2007 issue of Game Informer magazine. The console versions of the game were released in North America on October 20, 2009, and were released in PAL countries on October 23. The console version release for the Japanese market was made available on February 10, 2010. The Windows version was released on October 26 for North America and then on October 29 internationally.


1. Red Dead Redemption

Red Dead Redemption is an open world action-adventure Western video game, developed by Rockstar San Diego and published by Rockstar Games. It was released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in May 2010. It is a spiritual successor to 2004’s Red Dead Revolver.  

Most of the game’s story takes place in the year 1911 in the American Old West territory and follows John Marston, a former outlaw, while he sets out to hunt down his former gang members. Marston’s wife and son are taken by the government in exchange for his services. Having no other choice, he sets out to bring three former gang members to justice.  

Upon its release, Red Dead Redemption was met with universal critical acclaim averaging 95% on both review aggregate websites Metacritic and GameRankings, making it one of the highest rated video games for both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on both websites. Reviewers praised the visuals, the open world gameplay, and the story. As of June 8, 2010, Red Dead Redemption has sold 2 million copies.


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