->''"I remember telling my college professor I wanted to study Xenoarcheology. He laughed right in my face. 'There’s nothing to study,' he said. 'It’s all dead space. No alien life exists out in the universe.' In a way, I guess he was right..."''
-->-- '''Doctor Earl Serrano''', ''VideoGame/DeadSpace3''

Humanity has [[SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale explored the galaxy, and in some stories the universe]], and it turns out the truth ''isn't'' out there. There are no aliens, or at least, no intelligent ones.

'''Done for a variety of reasons:'''
* Not every sci-fi plot requires aliens.
* Avoids RubberForeheadAliens, and saves having to think up decent StarfishAliens.
* Isolates humanity in the depressing void of space.
* Makes [[HumansAreSpecial humans even more special]].
* Saves on the effects budget.
* Makes it easier to make characters [[MostWritersAreHuman relatable and believable]].
* Is consistent with the fact that no aliens have yet been found. (See MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness.)
* [[SciFiGhetto In an attempt to be different and appeal to those who "don't like sci-fi".]]
* Even if aliens did theoretically exist, in settings where the population is confined to a single star system and there is no FTL, neither humanity nor the aliens would be in any position to encounter the other.
* Theoretically, intelligence could be a rare evolutionary fluke, rare at least elsewhere in the Milky Way. Even if intelligence evolves on other planets, it may be extinct by the time humans leave the Solar System, or alternatively, humanity could be extinct by the time aliens leave ''their'' home system. Thus, even interstellar civilizations may be separated by immense distances or timescales, and unlikely to interact.
* The focus of the Sci-Fi in question is a political struggle between human populations, and aliens could either help them resolve their differences or serve as a threat encouraging them to do so themselves.
* Is free of the UnfortunateImplications that cultures that spent time building monuments and functioning societies [[AncientAstronauts lacked the intelligence to do things like that on their own]], or that "low-tech" is synonymous with "backwards".

There may be a few cursory alien plants and rodents or perhaps a MonsterOfTheWeek, which is generally filled by humans, genetically engineered monsters, and robots. An ongoing work does not have to stay this way; it can provide a GameChanger with FirstContact when the writers need to shake things up.

One of two standard solutions to the UsefulNotes/FermiParadox; the other is InvisibleAliens, in which aliens exist but are being hidden or removed by AppliedPhlebotinum.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In ''Anime/CowboyBebop'' humans have colonized and {{terraform}}ed most of the relatively inhabitable planets and natural satellites of Solar System, but there does not appear to be any intelligent life that is not human (or genetically engineered Data Dog). There was passing reference to life on Ganymede, but nothing intelligent, and it may have only been there after terraforming. And the freaky monster thing from [[DwindlingParty "Toys in the]] [[ShoutOut Attic"]] is a mutant, or possibly a dream.
* The "aliens" in ''LightNovel/CrestOfTheStars'', known as the Abh, are really genetically-engineered humans. The novels elaborate a little further in that while there are a few, exceptionally rare planets with their own native plant and animal life (protagonist Jinto's homeplanet of Martine is one such) there is nothing approaching intelligent life other than humans and their [[TranshumanAliens descendants]].
* In the shonen power-based football series Inazuma Eleven, Japan is attacked by aliens that claim they will conquer earth with it's main method of competition: Football. Just before the final match at the season's finale, it's revealed that they are only kids that were given incredible speed, strenght, durability and reflexes by an evil corporation using a powerfull alien meteorite as fuel.
* ''Anime/ArmoredTrooperVOTOMS'' is a hard scifi mecha series which deals exclusively with a human based conflict between two space nations.
** Although they might technically qualify as HumanAliens due to the ALongTimeAgoInAGalaxyFarFarAway setting. Humans here are said to come from a planet near the core of the Astragius galaxy, while Earth is in one of the Milky Way's spiral arms.
* ''Anime/KiddyGrade'', set within one galaxy, and not only no sentient species, no other life at all has been found so far.
* ''Anime/LegendOfGalacticHeroes'' also avoids aliens, focusing mostly on human-to-human interaction and history.
* There might not be any aliens in ''Anime/{{Vandread}}'', but that doesn't stop [[TheChick Dita]] from trying to find them. It's also played with; the people of [[LadyLand Ma-Ger]] and [[NoWomansLand Tarak]] consider each other to be hostile aliens, even though they're really just male and female humans trying their damndest to be {{One Gender Race}}s through gene manipulation.
* ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'':
** One of the things which initially made ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'' stand out from the pack of sci-fi mech series of its day was the total lack of space aliens. This was primarily done because the writers felt that having alien villains would make them too hard to relate to; they wanted the show's central conflict to be one in which both factions had understandable motives. Subsequent series carried on this tradition, with all the major conflicts being between humans. ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEED'' has some fossilized remains of {{Space Whale}}s, but that's about it. It helps that every series to date has been entirely confined to Earth's solar system, and indeed none of have ever included travel further out than Jupiter.
** The ''00'' movie is the one exception, introducing liquid metal [[AttackDrone funnel/bit]] [[StarfishAliens shaped aliens]] as the antagonists.
** Played with ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamAge Gundam AGE]]'', [[spoiler:with the UE calling humans "Earthlings," and Federation characters speculating that they are aliens for the first third of the show... until TheReveal that they're the descendants of a Mars colonization project that was abandoned when disease struck.]]
* In the universe of ''LightNovel/DirtyPair'' there is faster than light travel and humans have colonized the whole galaxy, but there are no aliens. There are two exceptions outside the series: The OVA "Affair of Nolandia" does have alien ruins and the technology that resides within, and in ''Project EDEN'' a scientist uses a dormant piece of an alien in his experiments. Everything other piece of technology or strange creature you see is man-made.

[[folder: Comics]]
* ''Sci-Spy'' presented a future in which humanity had fled Earth for another star system, but hadn't found any alien life. The comic assures us that the otherworldly beings we see throughout the series are just humans who've taken extensive genetic alterations for cosmetic purposes. [[spoiler: Aliens do show up eventually, having been the things that drove humanity off the Earth in the first place]]

* ''Film/TheDarkCrystal'': Inverted. No humans on Thra, although there are multiple humanoids.
* ''Film/ForbiddenPlanet'': The Krell, the ancient race that once inhabited the planet, have been extinct for millennia. Only their technology remains. Which, it turns out, ain't a good thing.
* ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey'' may, or may not, contain aliens; the beings who set up the monoliths, receive Dave Bowman in the pseudo-hotel room and are heard only as high-pitched, rapid chittering noises may, or may not be evolved humans. The "Star Child" is presumably the hyper-evolved Bowman, but how this transformation takes place is not specified.
* Amongst other things in ''Film/DarkStar'', the characters display absolutely no interest in their computer calculating a 95% chance of intelligent life in a nearby system, with the implication that previous pursuits of such readings had brought disappointing results. The only alien we see resembles a beach ball with webbed feat which even the guy who brought it aboard has gotten extremely fed up with, and that ends up being only a small (though memorable) part of the overall film. From what is indicated in the film, there ''is'' life out there, just nothing that makes the trouble first contact worthwhile.
* ''Film/TheDarkSideOfTheMoon'': The SpaceshipGirl specifically mentions that humans haven't made contact with any alien civilizations. The monster turns out to be the devil himself instead.
* ''Film/{{Interstellar}}'', what was thought to be very advanced aliens are in fact [[spoiler:evolved humans from the far future.]]

* Inverted in ''The Literature/AlienChronicles'': it's the humans who are absent.
* The classic prose example is Creator/IsaacAsimov's ''Literature/{{Foundation}}'' series. There were no aliens in it because of [[RealLifeWritesThePlot a meta-reason]]: ''[[Magazine/{{Analog}} Astounding Science Fiction]]'' editor Creator/JohnWCampbell wanted stories with [[HumanityIsSuperior human supremacy over aliens]] and Asimov decided to bypass this demand by not having aliens in the series at all.
** ''Literature/FoundationAndEarth'', the last ''Foundation'' novel which was written years later (and not long before Asimov's death in 1992), brings up the rather good question of, regardless of their apparent absence here, whether or not species from galaxies ''other'' than the Milky Way might perhaps not only exist, but be a potential threat if humanity doesn't band together enough - which is the reason, albeit only subconsciously realized, that the protagonist chose the "Gaia"-style path for humanity. Further, ''Foundation and Earth'' also brings up the point that genetically engineered humans who have been so radically changed from baseline humanity could sufficiently meet the requirements of being called "aliens", e.g. the Solarians.
** In the ''Second Foundation'' Trilogy (written by Bear, Benford, and Brin), it's tangentially revealed that Asimovian robots (designed to protect humans, and ''only'' humans) are responsible for the situation, having been required by their programming to carry out ''innumerable genocides'', since the aliens might have been a threat.
* Creator/StephenBaxter's ''Manifold'' series of (mostly) [[MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness so-hard-it-hurts]] ScienceFiction revolves around the Fermi Paradox, with each (AlternateContinuity) book providing a different resolution. In ''Literature/ManifoldTime'', there really is no other intelligent life in the entire universe. ''Literature/ManifoldOrigin'' is similar, except it's set in a multiverse with an intelligent species in each universe. ''Literature/ManifoldSpace'' does have aliens, [[spoiler:but recurring natural disasters on a galactic scale keep wiping them out before they can meet.]]
* Creator/LoisMcMasterBujold's ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga'' is a roughly 30th-century Milky Way with no sentient aliens to speak of (though there are alien plants and animals); however, after nine or ten centuries of diaspora, many of which involved various genetic engineering concepts, humanity has undergone speciation to the point that "the aliens [are] us."
* The ''Literature/VattasWar'' series has humanity spread out to such an extent that Earth isn't even mentioned. Humanity is still the same species, but there is a fair amount of augmentation, both organic and technological, being done and baseline improvements are made to genetic code.
* In Frank Herbert's ''Franchise/{{Dune}}'' series alien plants and animals exist (including the iconic [[StarfishAliens sandworms]]), but nothing sentient. Rather, the closest to "aliens" are [[HumanSubspecies genetically modified humans and animals]]. These creatures take a variety of shapes, some almost unrecognizable.
* Within the ''Literature/CoDominium'' universe by Jerry Pournelle, ''Literatures/FalkenbergsLegion'' features no intelligent aliens. The setting in general is largely lacking aliens until ''Literature/TheMoteInGodsEye'', which is set far into the future of the series and involves FirstContact.
* Author Creator/DavidBrin has argued that the galaxy is so large, and the history of the galaxy is so long, that its actually ''likely'' that only one sentient species arises in the galaxy at a time. They live for a few million years, then die out, and as they are dying out, the next species is arising on some far-distant planet. Brin's other treatments of this idea range from exultant (''Crystal Spheres'') to mild fearsome (''Lungfish''). This also turns out to be the case in [[spoiler:''Existence'', while the artifact contains the uploaded personalities of dozens of alien emissaries, their species are now extinct.]]
* Robert J Sawyer's ''Literature/QuintaglioAscension'' trilogy : Although there are several planets with intelligent life, there is no life in the universe that can't have its origin traced back to Earth - at least not in this iteration of reality.
* ''Sort of'' happens in K. A. Applegate's ''Literature/{{Remnants}}'' series: there ''are'' aliens, the [[StarfishAliens Shipwrights]], and three other species, at least two of which the Shipwrights created. However, these three species are apparently exterminated by [[spoiler:the Troika]], and it is implied the Shipwrights may be dying too. The penultimate book involves [[spoiler:Tate, Amelia and Yago]] spending the rest of their lives looking for some other form of life but never finding anything more than bugs.
* Everything in Dan Simmons' ''Literature/HyperionCantos'' is more or less a result of human works. Slightly averted as the books sometimes mention aliens, even intelligent ones, although all of those have been driven to extinction or were simply wiped out by humanity. [[spoiler: More aversion in the sequel-series ''Endymion'' as the main character encounters a few of the said-to-be-extinct intelligent species multiple times, on unknown planets and on a living DysonSphere constructed by 'alien' humans.]]
* Played straight initially, then subverted in ''Literature/TheStainlessSteelRat'' series. Aliens are completely absent throughout the galaxy up until one book where every kind of grotesque alien monster pops up out of the woodwork, who were just hiding all that time. Played with in ''The Stainless Steel Rat Sings the Blues'', where Slippery Jim Di Griz, the eponymous Stainless Steel Rat, is send undercover to find the first recorded alien artifact. [[spoiler:Turns out that it was an artifact left by human time travelers from the future.]]
* In ''Literature/{{Embedded}}'', humanity has colonized hundreds of worlds but found no sign of intelligent alien life anywhere. [[spoiler: Until they get to Eighty-Six....]]
* Zig-zagged in ''[[Literature/TheGoldenOecumene The Golden Age]]'' by Creator/JohnCWright. Biological engineering has reached the point where (formerly) human beings are able to turn themselves into what amounts to StarfishAliens as compared to "traditional" humans ([[BlobMonster amorphous blobs]], {{Hive Mind}}s, [[LovecraftianSuperpower a sub-culture of living biological]] {{Squick}}, and [[NatureSpirit sentient ecosystems]], to name a few) but no humans have ever encountered actual extraterrestrial life and have given up looking, until something from the outside starts to cause trouble for the main character [[spoiler: which ultimately turns out to be the evolved cybernetic remnants of a human spacecraft that had been sent out thousands of years earlier, when humanity was still interested in exploring space.]]
* Used as a plot point in the ''Literature/RevelationSpace'' series by Creator/AlastairReynolds. There is [[StarfishAliens various odd]] alien fauna and flora, but there are ''no living'' alien races comparable in intelligence to humans. However, human archaeologists continue to find the remains of several highly advanced civilizations all the time. More worrying is how they all seemingly became extinct shortly after they discovered interstellar flight and started exploring deeper space. There turns out to be [[{{Foreshadowing}} a reason]] for that - and the author uses it to cleverly explain why the Fermi paradox seems to be in effect in the first place, the driving mystery behind the events of the series.
* The ''Literature/InDeath'' series. There is space travel in Robb's 21st century, but it's mostly background, and there's no mention of non-human life. (Aside from the monsters Eve chases.)
* ''Literature/LastLegionary'': Although there are a wide variety of humanoid forms, they're all genetically human, just mutated by the effects of their respective environments. High-gravity worlds get shorter, heavier humans and so on. The only genuine alien is Glr, and her species isn't from the same galaxy.
* There are many planets in ''Literature/TheDivingUniverse'', but they're all populated by humans. Not even the nomadic Fleet, in all its travel across known space, ever found an alien intelligence.
* In the ''Literature/MatadorSeries'' humanity has colonized most of the galaxy's [[AllPlanetsAreEarthlike Earthlike planets]] and found nothing sapient. There is a race of {{precursors}} called the Zonn that left interesting ruins on multiple worlds, but they've been gone for tens of thousands of years.
* In the ''Literature/CassandraKresnov'' series by Creator/JoelShepherd, other sentient species besides humans do exist, but they are barely mentioned in the story and have no bearing on the plot, which mainly concerns politics within the human Federation, and between the Federation and the other human faction, the smaller and more technologically progressive League. [[spoiler: Until it's revealed that the League found an abandoned alien research facility, which was what allowed them to create {{ArtificialHuman}}s, while the aliens have been spying on the humans. It's revealed after that that the aliens are divided into two factions, one organic, the other synthetic, and they're engaged in a war that threatens to spill into human space.]]
* ''Literature/TheHourBeforeMorning'' has intelligent humanoids genetically engineered from humans, but no aliens per se.
* Glen Cook's ''Literature/TheBlackCompany'' novels provide a fantasy version. The first three books take place in a StandardFantasySetting, except that the entire series is populated solely by humans. The only exception is [[EldritchLocation the Plane of Fear,]] where a handful of nonhuman beings are intelligent, but none of them have anything resembling a culture or civilization. Dwarves are mentioned, but the narrator is fairly sure they're a myth.
* In ''Literature/EarthGirl'', settling dozens of star systems humanity has not yet encountered another intelligent space-faring species. They have, however, encountered lots of alien plant and animal life and so far two species of primitive tool-using neo-intelligent aliens they [[AlienNonInterferenceClause leave alone until they develop further]]. [[CrazyPrepared But they do have the elaborate Alien Contact Programme set up should this situation ever arise.]] [[spoiler:Which happens in the next book ''Earth Star'', with an mysterious unmanned alien probe spurring the FirstContact Crisis.]]
* In Creator/MikhailAkhmanov and Christopher Nicholas Gilmore's ''Literature/CaptainFrenchOrTheQuestForParadise'', by the 22nd millennium, humanity has colonized thousands of worlds and scouted out tens of thousands of more in three spiral arms of the galaxy. While many of the settled planets have their own flora and fauna, no intelligent alien beings have been discovered. The only non-humans (besides those who have genetically-altered themselves) are a ServantRace created on one planet. They later rebel, and the resulting war devastates the planet.
* Initially played straight in Andrei Livadny's ''Literature/TheHistoryOfTheGalaxy'' series, as humanity is expanding and colonizing hundreds of star systems. Subverted about halfway through when three alien races and the remains of a fourth are discovered in short order. More are discovered later. It's pointed out that, while the aliens tend to be more advanced in some areas (especially those who have been around for ''billions'' of years), there are a few areas where humans have made great strides, [[HumansAreSpecial leaving most discovered alien races far behind]]. This is mostly because the aliens haven't been doing much the last several million years, following a devastating galactic cataclysm. Meanwhile, humanity has been steadily expanding and advancing for the last thousand or so years, with wars and labour shortages necessitating great strides in cybernetics and FTL technology.
* ''Literature/TheLostFleet'' series takes place some time in the 27th century, with humanity spread across hundreds of star systems and no sentient aliens in sight... up until about halfway through the first series, at least. [[spoiler: Turns out that there are at least three, two of them decidedly unfriendly.]]
* ''Literature/TheQuantumThief''-trilogy takes place entirely within the Solar System and no true aliens are to be seen, although TranshumanAliens come in all shapes and sizes. In the final novel, ''The Causal Angel'', the issue is brought up. Though not outright stated, [[spoiler:it's implied that any sapient life that doesn't destroy itself will learn how to break the Planc Locks and create a new, perfect universe for themselves to inhabit]].
* There are no intelligent aliens in ''Literature/{{Starluck}}''. Humans have discovered branches of humanity on other planets when they traveled to the stars, but they are fully human. There is animal alien life.
* In ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' there are eleven intelligent nonhuman species known, but only two, the Medusans and the treecats, have any plot importance (and in the first case only because they're being used by Haven for a ProxyWar with Manticore in book one). None are space-faring on their own, although treecats sometimes serve in the Manticore fleet.
* ''Literature/{{RCN}}'': There are several alien species known and evidence as well of three or four {{Precursor}} races, but the extant aliens unimportant in the series because most of them can't breathe humans' atmosphere so they don't need to interact with humans (the only one the protagonists interact with is a LizardFolk mercenary bodyguarding a local dignitary, who takes a shine to Adele's BattleButler Tovera).
* The ''Literature/KrisLongknife'' series takes place eighty years after a bloody border war with the Iteeche, after which both species agreed on a [[TheNeutralZone "no go" zone]] and studiously ignored each other for eighty years. The Iteeche take on a larger role when they try to open diplomatic relations with humanity early in book seven.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The 2000s ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}'' has no aliens[[note]]Edward James Olmos famously said if one showed up on the set, he would faint in front of the cameras and walk off the show[[/note]]: just robots, clones, and the occasional 'angel'. However, [[spoiler:the "humans" turn out to be HumanAliens]], and there is absolutely some kind of intelligent god-like being served by messengers.
* In ''Series/{{Dune}}'' and ''Series/{{Children Of Dune}}'' there are no sentient alien life forms in their galactic feudal system.
* In ''Series/{{Firefly}}'', there is no alien life whatsoever, no even so much as a microbe. This is ostensibly because other humans make more interesting foils for humans. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] when a "genuine alien" at a sideshow in one episode turns out to be a mutant cow fetus in a jar, with some creepy lighting thrown in for good measure. WordOfGod confirms the nonexistence of aliens in this particular [[TheVerse universe]], which is also set in a single star system.
-->'''Inara''': Do aliens live among us?\\
'''Kaylee''': Yep. One of them's a doctor.
* The ''Series/RedDwarf'' verse contains no multicellular alien life, and in the [[ExpandedUniverse novels]] it's explicitly stated that Earth has been proven to be the only place in the universe where life appeared. In the early seasons this added to the isolation and paranoia of the main characters. Later series introduced other life forms, but most of them are leftovers of human genetic engineering projects, or otherwise artificially created (i.e. robots or holograms) and on a ''very'' rare occasion they're descended from some form of Earth creature (the Cat being the best example). This still didn't stop them from poking fun at it though; a running gag in the first two seasons involved Rimmer constantly suspecting aliens to have something to do with whatever problem has just befallen the crew, including one instance where he suspected aliens were trying to communicate by ''breaking'' Lister and Cat's legs, and then finishing a jigsaw puzzle. Another episode played it for laughs when Rimmer was convinced that a mysterious pod that they recovered contained an alien life form. [[spoiler:It was actually just one of Red Dwarf's garbage pods.]]
* ''Series/TheExpanse'' is a hard sci-fi thriller about space-faring humanity, with no rubber forehead aliens in sight. Plus, humans have only really explored their own solar system even a few centuries in the future.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'' Universe is renowned for its lack of intelligent aliens. The lack of aliens allows its BlackAndGreyMorality of interstellar politics between human groups to thrive. There ''are'' primitive aliens, but they were discovered in a unknown system by a [[BlindJump JumpShip misjump]] (read: they'll never interact with the rest of the universe), and they only appear in one novel, ''Far Country''.
* ''Attack Vector: Tactical'' features only humans fighting other humans. These humans have only explored and colonized a relatively local part of interstellar space, though.
* In ''TabletopGame/EclipsePhase'' transhumanity discovered a PortalNetwork and has used it to explore dozens of star systems, but they've only encountered one living sapient species, the Factors. However, they have found ruins built by at least four other distinct alien civilizations, with no sign of what happened to their builders.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In the original ''VideoGame/ArmoredCore'' universe during the events of the second game, it's a big reveal when humanity discovers that [[spoiler:Phobos, the moon of mars, is actually a ancient martian construct capable of mass destruction]]. In the third game however ([[LooseCanon which may or may not be related to the original]]), backstory materials [[NoExportForYou released only in Japan]] reveal that humanity had warred against an alien race which caused a godly alien power to intervene, the resulting conflict leaving humanity living in an isolated machine controlled society in order to protect them from the wrath of the godly alien power.
* When ''VideoGame/AnarchyOnline'' was first released, humanity was thought to be it for intelligent life in the galaxy, though the [[AllThereInTheManual backstory novel]] ''Prophet Without Honour'' did include at least one being that was not at all human. The ''Shadowlands'' expansion introduces the Xan -- a race of {{Precursors}} who created humanity, all but destroyed in a terrible cataclysm eons ago. One of the surviving factions (the Redeemed) launched great space-arks that were meant to seed life across the galaxy, but the other faction (the Unredeemed) destroyed every ark except the one that landed on Earth. ''Alien Invasion'' wiped that out by revealing the Kyr'Ozch aliens, who invaded Rubi-Ka due to actions taken by the players in ''Shadowlands'' -- like humans they're children of the Xan, but have evolved [[StarfishAliens radically differently]] compared to humans.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Celestus}}'', while there is some alien plant or animal life (for certain values of alien, as every single ecology in the galaxy descends from the same planet through {{Precursor|s}} [[{{Terraform}} terraformation]]), humanity is canonically established as the single intelligent specie.
* ''VideoGame/{{Homeworld}}'s three chief Empires, the Kushan, Taiidan and Vaygr all trace their ancestry to advanced human Precursors. The Bentusi are cyborgs merged with their ships, and while their origins are unknown, their technology also came from the Precursors. The only distinct non-human intelligence is the Flood like virus known as, "The Beast" and it was successfully sterilized after a brutal war.
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Killzone}}'' games, it's 2360, humans have colonized dozens of worlds, but haven't found any alien lifeforms whatsoever. The conflict itself is between humans and altered humans.
* This trope is played to the letter (to great effect) in ''VideoGame/{{Starlancer}}'', which is ostensibly a retelling of World War II {{IN SPACE}}.
* ''VideoGame/{{Xenosaga}}'': despite a significant portion of the galaxy being colonized, there are no real aliens. The apparently alien Gnosis are actually altered humans and supernatural beings such as U-DO and chaos were created or at least given their present form by humanity's collective will.
** The alien planet ''VideoGame/{{Xenogears}}'' takes place on, meanwhile, has some native life but didn't have any intelligent lifeforms before the human colony ship Eldridge crashed there.
* ''VideoGame/ImperiumNova'' has this by default, but some players choose to role-play their houses as aliens and, in one case, a game administrator orchestrated an alien invasion of a galaxy.
* In ''VideoGame/InfinityTheQuestForEarth'', there are several hundred worlds grouped in clusters in several parts of the galaxy, and no other races have appeared; according to the developers, this is mostly to avoid what they think is the overused idea of [[MassiveRaceSelection a plethora of races]].
* In ''VideoGame/DeadSpace'', humanity has no qualms about cracking apart planets (and thereby destroying entire solar systems) for resources, since there are no aliens around to protest. At least until the game begins, [[spoiler:and that's a bit of a cop out, since although the original [[ArtifactOfDoom Marker]] may have been created by aliens, the one in the game is a reverse-engineered human copy]], and the Necromorphs are [[ZombieApocalypse reanimated human corpses]]. {{Justified|Trope}} in ''VideoGame/DeadSpace3'', as [[spoiler:intelligent alien life ''did'' happen to exist and was rather abundant at some point millions of years ago, but they -— like humanity, fell prey to the Marker's influence and were all wiped out by the Brethren Moons.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Elite}}'':
** ''Elite 2: Frontier'' has flying saucers in secret military bases, but the game play plays this trope perfectly straight because the only inhabitants of the whole galaxy are humans. However, the sequel (''Frontier: First Encounters'') averts this and reintroduces the Thargoids (they first appeared in the first game as a random encounter), an actual alien race which inhabits the systems of Polaris, Pleione and Miackce. The player's experiences with the Thargoids are the "first encounters" referred in the subtitle.
** ''VideoGame/EliteDangerous'' (the fourth game) {{Enforce|dTrope}}s this by dismissing the Thargoids as legends, though [[AllThereInTheManual GalNet]] has mentioned an auction of supposedly authentic Thargoid artifacts, combined with some systems being blocked off by permits when theoretically they shouldn't be (like, for example, systems on the far side of the galaxy from Human space).
* In some ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' timelines, all the HumanAliens are actually descendants of a lost civilization from Earth. Even the Einsts have some connection to Earth, though they mostly hang out in a parallel universe.
* In the MMO ''VideoGame/EveOnline'' there are five distinct sentient races (only four are playable) and several non-playable races within the game, however they are all descendants of Human beings who traveled through a wormhole in to the space of ''New Eden'' 25,000 years before. Even newer races introduced such as the Sleepers are believed to be of human origin. The only non-human life are flora and fauna.
* In ''VideoGame/TotalAnnihilation'', the Galaxy has already been thoroughly explored and colonized by humanity thousands of years ago, and no hints of intelligent alien life are mentioned in the backstory (though there are alien plants on some of the planets battles are fought on). Both Core and Arm factions are derived from Earth human stock.
** Like-wise with SpiritualSuccessor ''VideoGame/PlanetaryAnnihilation'' which follows an endless war waged by the machines of humanity long after we've shuffled off this mortal coil. There are plants on some worlds but no higher lifeforms.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Outpost 2}}'' there are only humans that are trying to survive after Earth is rendered unlivable by meteorites. The conflict comes between two factions fighting over the scant resources and trying to win an evacuation race from New Terra, which is being destroyed by a terraforming project by one of the factions gone wrong.
* ''VideoGame/{{Section 8}}: Prejudice'' presents a plausible explanation for the complete absence of any alien lifeforms in the galaxy, despite humanity having spread out and colonized a huge chunk of it. [[spoiler:Long before the game, the Earth government secretly sent out an advance wave of {{super soldier}}s, whose mission was to move from planet to planet committing genocide on all potential competing lifeforms in order to pave the way for human colonization of the galaxy.]]
* Zig-zagged in ''VideoGame/EscapeVelocity'', since each game in the trilogy takes place in a new universe:
** The original subverted it: there were aliens in the backstory, but [[GuiltFreeExterminationWar humanity wiped them out]] after [[WeComeInPeaceShootToKill they tried to do the same to us]]. [[spoiler:There's one last alien cruiser floating around, however.]]
** Cleanly averted in ''EV Override''.
** In ''EV Nova'', the Wraith north of Polaris space are insular, space-living StarfishAliens that only feature in a minor role in the Polaris storyline. The Hyperioids in the same region are nonsentient SpaceWhales. DoubleSubverted with the Krypt, which are the result of the [[TelepathicSpacemen Vell-os]] ruling council having imbued their minds into their nanites in the backstory, which makes them human offshoots instead of actual aliens.
** {{Inverted}} in the ''VideoGame/{{Polycon}}'' [[GameMod total conversion]], in which ''all'' the races are nonhumans. Earth exists, but we're still using Soyuz capsules.
* Hideo Kojima's ''VideoGame/ZoneOfTheEnders'' features a colonized solar system with advanced space colonies, starships, [[InstantAwesomeJustAddMecha Orbital Frames]]... and no aliens whatsoever. [[AppliedPhlebotinum The mysterious substance known as "Metatron"]] may or may not be alive and intelligent.
* On a similar note, ''VideoGame/Titanfall2'' is the story of human rebels against corrupt corporations. While aliens may once have existed in the setting due to several unknown relics, they don't play an active role in the backdrop or plot of any of the games.
* Capcom's ''VideoGame/LostPlanet'' series features a conflict primarily between the NEVEC corporation and various factions of Snow Pirates. The Akrid are dangerous lifeforms native to E.D.N. III, but they're non space fairing and non sentient.
* ''VideoGame/{{Ray|Series}}Storm'' sees Earth advancing in space travel enough to set up a series of human-inhabited colonies in a distant star system, known as the Star Federation. The plot sees the Star Federation attempting a revolution against Earth, with a squad of fighters fighting for Earth as the protagonists.
* Danced with by the defunct MMO ''VideoGame/EarthAndBeyond''. The 3 playable races were all factions of humans that colonized different parts of Earth's solar system. When humans left the solar system thanks to {{Precursors}} LostTechnology the only life found was [[SpaceWhale Space Whales]] [[SpaceWhale Space Whales]] [[RuleOfThree and more]] [[SpaceWhale Space Whales]]. That was until the [[SpaceWhale Tengu]] and V'rix showed up; but the Tengu came from another galaxy thanks to an [[GoneHorriblyWrong experimental new gate]] and only their leaders (who rarely showed themselves) seemed to possess intelligence, and the V'rix were an odd case. At first they seem to be insectoid aliens hell-bent on destroying humans, but [[AllThereInTheManual design documents]] revealed they were a prevented reflection of humanity sent by the same [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence Ascended Precursors]] that left behind the [[LostTechnology Ancient Gate System]].
* ''VideoGame/TachyonTheFringe'' takes the player as [[Creator/BruceCampbell Bruce Camp--]], er, Jake Logan first in the Sol System itself, then into the outer reaches of space known as The Fringe. In spite of some ''serious'' weirdness and more than a bit of SpaceMadness, everything you encounter out there is human--this allows the corporation-vs.-colonists storyline to remain the core focus, with some glances aside for colorful space pirates, asteroid barons, and spectacularly unethical science.
* In ''VisualNovel/RisingAngels'', there are a variety of species around, but they're [[HumanSubspecies derived from humans]], not alien life. However, the way that some characters talk about relics of ancient civilizations suggests that true aliens may be known or conjectured to have existed historically.
* In the ''{{VideoGame/Borderlands}}'' series, the Vaults seem to be archaeological evidence of an alien civilization, but they seem to be long-gone [[spoiler:until the end of ''VideoGame/BorderlandsThePreSequel'']]. There is, however plenty of [[AlienAnimals alien wildlife]], and also the things that come ''out'' of the Vaults.
** Then there's [=Zer0=]. We have no idea what he really is under that mask, but one character guesses he's an alien within seconds of seeing him. Whether that's to indicate that aliens aren't unheard of in this setting, or just LeaningOnTheFourthWall by giving voice to [[WildMassGuessing fan guesses]], remains to be seen.
* ''VisualNovel/{{Sunrider}}'' may start out with some exposition about how humans have “subjugated all life” and become the dominant species in the galaxy, but aliens are never seen or even mentioned outside the occasional reference to animalistic {{Space Whale}}s. A brief scene in the ''[[HighschoolAU Sunrider]] [[DatingSim Academy]]'' spin-off suggests that this is because [[spoiler:humans ''exterminated'' all other sapient, space-faring life in the distant past]].

* In ''Webcomic/AMiracleOfScience'', the fact that there are no ''[[http://project-apollo.net/mos/mos139.html surviving]]'' aliens is a key factor in why [[HiveMind Mars]] came [[http://project-apollo.net/mos/mos140.html back in contact with the rest of humanity]].
* ''Webcomic/FarOutThere'' establishes this [[http://faroutthere.smackjeeves.com/comics/1026516/page-1-it-begins/ right at the start,]] though there are plenty of genetically manipulated humans who might as well be aliens.
* ''Webcomic/PicturesForSadChildren'' does this while [[http://archive.picturesforsadchildren.com/246/ lampooning Star Trek]]: the captain's greatest feat was discovering alien ''algae'' 40 years prior.
* ''Webcomic/CrimsonDark''.
* ''[[Webcomic/ClaudeAndMonet Claude & Monet]]'' mentions a war against aliens in the backstory, but the author has stated that the aliens are unintelligent and it's more like an arthopod infestation on a galactic scale.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Literature/AssociatedSpace''.
* ''Roleplay/NexusGate''.
* In ''Literature/FineStructure'', Humans are demonstratively the only intelligent species in the ''entire universe'', because 3+1 dimensions (our universe) is apparently an extremophile environment. [[spoiler:There was one other intelligent species, but it was destroyed (presumably) billions of years ago.]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'' animated series has alien life but no intelligent nonhuman beings. See the TabletopGame entry for more details.