Cyberpunk has always been an exciting genre—whether in fiction, film or gaming. The unique mishmash of a high-tech future being put in direct conversation with societal issues of drug abuse, sexual revolution, crime and existential questions of humanity have long enraptured audiences and creators worldwide.

Since the early 2000, though, Cyberpunk found its prime medium—gaming. And allowing players to explore these worlds, develop their own personas and make meaningful decisions in these problematic futures has been captivating ever since. Let’s dive into some of our favourite titles in the genre.

1. Cyberpunk 2077 (2020)

We’ll get it out of the way early; I mean, it literally has the word Cyberpunk in the title so it’s not like it’s hard to miss… Anyway, although Cyberpunk 2077’s release was met with a wash of controversy due to the incredibly buggy state of the game, it is hard to not gawk at this title in awe.

Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077

The incredibly diverse, expansive world offers character customisation to a near unparalleled level in an open-world narrative game.

Set in Night City, the player takes on the role of a mercenary known as V. During your time in night city you meet with a colourful cast of characters and take on infinitely more opting for stealth, close quarters combat or going in guns blazing. And, at 25-30 hours long (main story), while also offering a phenomenally detailed open world to explore, the title is surely one of, if not the, most immersive Cyberpunk game to date. Since it’s been a while from the release of the game, you can find great deals for Cyberpunk 2077 keys available online.

2. Deus Ex (2000)

Emerging on the cusp of the 21st century, Deus Ex is a near-legendary game that has received unbridled acclaim ever since. Many push the game, alongside System Shock 2 (1999), as one of the driving forces in establishing the immersive sim game—which emphasizes player choice as a core mechanic.

While the graphics may be hard for some to stomach in 2021, Deus Ex offers an incredible amount of versatility in its gameplay. It includes role-playing, FPS, adventure and immersive sim elements. And that is without mentioning the intricate and profound storyline that penetrates through the entire dystopian world. Come to think of it… kind of sounds like the Cyberpunk 2077 of another age.

3. Deus Ex: Human Revolution (2011)

For a more modern take on the same formula take a look at Square Enix’s Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Featuring many similar, updated, mechanics to the original game, Human Revolution puts you in the shoes of Adam Jensen—a Matrix-esque security officer working for a company developing artificial organs.

Deus Ex Human Revolution
Deus Ex: Human Revolution

The game is interesting in the genre, as it takes place in a period before the major cyberpunk elements are established—when augmentations, cybernetics and robotics are still relatively new phenomenon.

4. Jazzpunk (2014)

Taking the whole dystopian cybernetic future thing a little more lightly, Jazzpunk is a comedy/puzzle/exploration game that oozes unique style, design and humour.

While the title itself may be slightly more retro-futuristic than cyberpunk, there’s certainly a reasonable amount of overlap between the genres. And, besides, Jazzpunk is too unique an experience to miss.

The player takes on the role of Polyblank who finds themselves mailed to an espionage agency, where they take on a number of hilarious missions.

Released by Adult Swim games, you know what breed of fun you’re getting into with this one.

5. Gunpoint (2013)

Another unique take on the cyberpunk scene, Gunpoint puts you in the shoes of freelance spy Richard Conway who is tasked with infiltrating buildings to fulfil assignments. Between sneaking past guards, hacking security systems, deploying techy gadgets and… jumping very far… Gunpoint nestles itself neatly into the genre of puzzle-platformer. However with an incredibly clean style and unique mechanics, it is a must play for lovers of indie titles.

6. Katana Zero (2019)

In a similar breed to rage games such as Hotline Miami or Ape Out, Katana Zero is a side scrolling 2D action platformer where one hit equals death—for both you and your enemies.

Taking on the role of a katana-wielding (duh) assassin, the player is tasked with completing various assassination missions provided by a notably shady psychiatrist. The psychiatrist also provides the player with “Chronos”, a drug allowing you to slow down time—perfect for slicing and dicing up foes.

While this game can be punishingly hard at times, its style, quick replays and satisfying aesthetic make it a fantastic successor to Hotline Miami.

7. Ghostrunner (2020)

There is definitely an obsession that fiction has with a technological future and swords—specifically Katanas. But that’s a discussion for another day. Ghostrunner takes the ideologies of Katana Zero and ports them into a phrenetic 3rd dimension, turning up the options, fluidity and difficulty in the process.

Ghostrunner
Ghostrunner

The feelings of wall-riding, head-slicing flow achieved in this asio-futuristic work are nearly unmatched—but, that said, it may take some commitment to become the truly competent assassin you see in the previews.

8. Mirror’s Edge (2008)

A clear inspiration of Ghostrunner is the legendary Mirror’s Edge. Before those HD graphics-lovers turn away in disgust at this game quickly approach its 15th year, take a second look. Despite its age, Mirror’s Edge still looks and plays as if it were released in the last few years.

The game places you in the running shoes of Faith, seeing you run around a brightly-coloured dystopian city in first person. The unique approach of this title still stands out as relatively experimental and unique today, making it a total must play for anyone up for some adrenaline-fuelled free-running.

9. Cloudpunk (2020)

For lovers of Blade Runner, flying cars and everything about a neon cityscape, Cloudpunk may just be the one for you. Placing you in the driver’s seat of a HOVA flying car, collecting and delivering packages, Cloudpunk is an incredibly unique vision that would only ever have been brought to the world by an indie studio.

Cloudpunk
Cloudpunk

Beyond flying around the wonderfully bleak world, the player can occasionally exit the vehicle to explore on foot, while also influencing the world through player choice and customisation.

10. Low-Fi (Unreleased, Dev builds available)

If Cloudpunk sounded immersive, then Low-Fi is a whole other dimension. Created in jaw-dropping VR, Low-Fi is a massive open-world sandbox adventure with action elements. It places its focus on exploration and non-linear character driven story, and by doing so it creates perhaps one of the most stunningly realised cyberpunk worlds ever brought to gaming.

While the title has been in development for a long time, with no signs of a secure release date, development builds are available through itch.io, allowing players to get a taste of what’s to come.

Cyberpunk worlds offer players a lot to dive into, there are countless different virtual worlds out there to explore on your own or, even better, with friends.