Does Red Dead Redemption 2 Still Hold Up 5 Years Later

If you called Red Dead Redemption 2 one of the best games ever made, I think most people would agree with you. Rockstar released the game in October 2018. In this spoiler free retrospective, I will look back on the game and see how it holds up 5 years later.


Set in 1899, Red Dead Redemption revolves around the Van der Linde gang as they are on the run. The player plays as Arthur Morgan. Arthur has been a member of the gang since he was a young boy and the gang’s members hold him in high respect. He is the gang’s muscle and does a lot of their dirty work. However, as the game goes on, he begins to question some of the gang’s actions. While at times, the story can get quite slow, the high points of the story make up for it, and the story can be extremely cinematic at times.


Red Dead Redemption has many different gameplay aspects. However, throughout your playthrough, you will mainly interact with the movement and shooting. Both of these are very enjoyable, and will keep you entertained for many hours.

The shooting is relatively basic cover shooting, similar to that of GTA 5 and other Rockstar games. Its unique feature is Dead Eye. Dead Eye allows you to temporarily slow down time and mark multiple targets. This makes you feel like you’re in a western movie, and is an enjoyable feature.

Movement is a mixed bag, walking around can feel clunky while you adjust. Adding to this, you have to keep pressing A or X depending on your device, to keep running at full speed. On the other hand, the horse riding in the game is enjoyable and quite realistic. When riding your horse, you must also continuously press A or X, but this feels more natural when riding the horse. You must be careful not to overwork your horse or it will buck you off.

There is a lot more to do throughout the world of Red Dead such as hunting, fishing and gambling. Each of these has a surprising amount of depth.

Hunting has a three-tiered system where animals will randomly have a certain tier, with three stars being the best, and one star being the worst. A number of factors can affect this. The games will consider the number of shots it’s taken you to previously kill an animal and the weapon you used. You can also find 16 legendary animals. Selling their pelts will grant you a higher reward than normal animals. You can also unlock additional cloths by killing legendary animals.

Fishing also has a lot of depth, however less than hunting has. Different species of fish will spawn depending on the body of water. For example, Bluegill will only spawn in lakes, while chain pickerel only spawn in rivers. You can also use different types of bait to catch different fish. 13 legendary fish will spawn in various spots throughout the world. These only spawn in specific locations, and are difficult to catch, they may also require specific fish bait.

There isn’t much to say about gambling, as it isn’t unique to Red Dead. You can play poker, blackjack and dominoes. Each of these are fully functional, and are all very enjoyable.

Open World

The world of Red Dead is one of the most immersive worlds in gaming. NPC’s have their own unique schedules that they will follow unless you interrupt them. You will also see animals doing a variety of things throughout the world, such as drinking from a river or eating grass. These features really help the world feel like it’s alive and moving. There are a variety of random events you can find throughout the world. For example, random people may try to rob you, or you can try to find people who are lost. This all makes the world of Red Dead one of the most immersive worlds in gaming, even now, 5 years since the game’s release.

Red Dead Online

Red Dead Online is Red Dead Redemption 2’s online mode similar to GTA Online. It has not received a major content update since July 2021, however, it still has a good amount of content and can be really enjoyable with friends. The gameplay consists of completing missions to earn money and gold, then using that money to buy clothes, horses, and weapons. Red Dead Online still has a sizable player base despite no longer receiving major updates. Overall, Red Dead Online can be very enjoyable with some friends and compliments Red Dead Redemption’s story mode, but I wouldn’t recommend buying Red Dead for the online alone.


In conclusion, Red Dead Redemption 2 is a very good game with a lot of depth and enough content to keep you entertained for 100+ hours. The story is very enjoyable, and can be quite emotional at times. The game’s main issue is online, as it had a lot of potential to become something like GTA Online, but as it no longer receives major content updates, it never will. Despite the disappointing online mode, the story mode fully makes up for this, and still holds up today.


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