If you're excited to dive back into Fallout after the TV show, maybe hold off on Fallout 3 for now

Wearing Tenpenny's suit in Fallout 3
(Image credit: Bethesda)

I played so much of Fallout 3 when it released in 2008 that the Wasteland really was a wasteland—I scoured that big, open map for every quest and scrap of loot and Nuka Cola bottle cap I could find. I loved it at the time, and I'd happily return to check in on my super mutant buddy Fawkes or nuke Megaton all over again. But I'm not going to—at least not yet. If you're having a similar urge, I'd recommend playing Fallout New Vegas instead and being patient, because a better version of Fallout 3 is supposedly on the way. 

It's hard to keep track of these sorts of things, but last September a document leak indicated that Bethesda was working on remasters of two of its biggest games: Fallout 3 and The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion. Bethesda never commented on the leaks, but they sure make good business sense. The popularity of The Elder Scrolls and Fallout has increased dramatically since 2006 and 2008, when those two games came out. Remasters would almost certainly sell well, and help fill in the gap while players wait for The Elder Scrolls 6 and Fallout 5, both still years away.

As we noted back when this information leaked in September (in the form of a 2020 financial forecast), the release dates were wildly off. The Oblivion remaster was meant to be out in fiscal year 2022, while a game called Doom Year Zero was meant to be out in fiscal year 2023. Neither came to pass, and Fallout 3's remaster is listed for fiscal year 2024, which gives it about three more months to arrive.

But keep in mind those projections were all made before the Covid-19 pandemic dramatically affected development schedules. It's possible the Oblivion and Fallout 3 remasters have been canceled, but just as likely they were delayed by a couple years of pandemic development. Starfield also took longer than planned to get out the door, which probably further delayed the two remasters. Even if Bethesda farmed out much of the work to other studios, it would likely still maintain oversight. 

I think we'll see both remasters in the next couple years. And just this week Bethesda's indicated it wants to ride the wave of the Fallout TV show's success to bring people back to the games, releasing a big 'next-gen' update for Fallout 4 and new stuff in mobile spin-off Fallout Shelter. Fallout 3's remaster may still need some time, but we'll have a chance to go back to its corner of the Wasteland eventually. 

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).