The 10 Best games like Dark Souls
I ’ m not here to define the prerequisites of the music genre or discuss whether it should evening exist. I good want to pick a few of the wonderfully horrors off the grind and put ‘ em in a big terrarium with reinforced glaze, so you can appreciate them. If it helps, think of them not as “ soulslikes ” but as curious offspring you might like if you enjoyed big dad souls. Read on to discover more .
We ‘re obviously leaving out the Dark Souls series itself. After all, you ca n’t be “ like ” the thing you are. besides, Bloodborne is even nowhere to be seen on personal computer, therefore obviously do n’t expect that bad male child to show up. And like most of our lists, the game you like is number 11. anyhow, let ‘s get on with it :
Reading: The 10 best games like Dark Souls
10. Death’s Door
Where can I buy it: Steam, GOG
What else should I be playing: Hyper Light Drifter has the same top-down dodge-rolling battle, but fills its earth of hot pinks and greenish blue blues with casual enemies, not precisely bosses .
Alright, so Death ‘s Door may lack the trouble of a certain game that rhymes with Bark Mouls, and it may plowshare more in common with Hyrule, than say, Lordran, but hey – it ‘s a good plot. And it ‘s a good game about being a crow who loves to fight bosses and dig up secrets. All of which are glossed with polish surfaces that make the little details pop .
Unlike some of the early games on this list, Death ‘s Door is a blithe affair which might comes as a surprise given it ‘s soulsy front. Do n’t let this put you off, though, as Brendy said that this “ elation suits the game much better ” in his Death ‘s Door review .
Where can I buy it: Steam.
What else should I be playing: The best survival game is Subnautica, and no backsies. But if you want an unforgiving fantasy excursion you could brave the worldly concern of Kenshi. Oh, and Dragon ’ mho Dogma : Dark Arisen might be up your antic street. Or just install a bunch together of survival mods on Skyrim and turn off fast travel .
This big fantasy dander ’em up has some familiar foe-circling battle, putting it hard with early bruisers about getting knocked out by a monster in a few hits and waking up ferocious. But this time, you awake not at your survive campfire or aglitter enshrine, but in a random space in the massive open world, after having your pockets picked clean by some opportunist git. If Dark Souls is a game about navigating a claustrophobic inner ear of a dead kingdom while trying not to get cursed by burping frogs, Outward is an venture about orienteering across open fields wide of condemnable wolves and trying not to catch the influenza on your way to the following township .
It borrows from survival games and open universe RPGs adenine much as it takes from the soul school. You drink tea to cure diseases. You boil body of water to make it beverage. And your inventory has to be cautiously managed. All that makes the journey more challenge and meaningful. You have a big backpack ( your dearest possession ) and will need to take that off to become more agile in a crusade. But you ’ ll besides want to keep track of where you put it down, lest you realise mid-fight that all your stamina potions are distillery in the udder, not your pocket. Whoops. In drumhead, Outward wants you to leave home and become an freelancer traveler. Unless, of course, you ’ re play in cooperative. At which point it becomes a balmy journey about shouting down a keep corridor at your buddy to stop walking into transfix traps, for eden ’ mho sake. We ’ ve only got two bandages left .
8. Mortal Shell
Where can I buy it: Coming to Steam August 18th, Epic Games Store.
What else should I be playing: An leftover one, but the grave combat of Monster Hunter World might tickle your illusion .
Mortal Shell sees you play as a Gollum-y digit that can inhabit four Shells that ‘ll drastically alter your playstyle. Spend more meter with each set of armor and you ‘ll gradually learn more about them, unlocking newly lore snippets and abilities for consumption in conflict. Yes, they ‘re a bite typical : tank car take damage, mage finical, rogue roly-poly, but it ‘s a neat mind .
And the fight ‘s army for the liberation of rwanda from perfective, but it ‘s wonderfully corpulent as you swing hammers or bring swords down on eldritch and fantastic enemies. The main highlight, though ? The harden system which sees you character turn to stone at the press of a button. Time it right and an enemy ‘s swing will positively bounce off you, leaving them vulnerable to attack ; or barely saving your skin in an intense party boss battle .
Mortal Shell can be a torment know at times, as you can probably tell from my Mortal Shell review, but it ‘s filled with newfangled, interesting ideas and a worldly concern that ‘s quite reasonably if you can navigate it. Your mileage might vary, but it ‘s well worth a go if you ‘ve got the cash fifth wheel .
If you thought it was not possible for a soul ‘ em up to be more bloodlustily Catholic than the fantastic cathedrals and monster deacons of Dark Souls 3, you were mistaken. In Blasphemous you prostrate yourself on the 2D pixel stonework between swinging your barbed sword at baddies in search of repentance ( you become penitent by killing all the things, duh ). It ’ s a ground metroidvania full to the chalice brim of religious iconography and hard-hitting enemies. You slice holy place men in floating chairs, slash self-flagellating whipfellas, and fell sad tree beasts. And all that soulsian slang we ’ re used to has a bloodstained christian bend. Beating a foreman is a “ humiliation of Penance ”. passive bonuses like better defense are granted through Rosary beads you find along the way, and newly fighting moves ( a mighty cut, a range attack ) are unlock with this game ’ s version of a death currency, called “ Tears of Atonement ” .
You might have to ignore the voice actors who pronounce things like “ pious ” questionably ( it ‘s decidedly not “ pee-us ”, folks ). But it handles well and feels good in the old soulfingers. Parrying is courteous and generous and you can clasp onto lost ledges mechanically. Plus it runs so hard with its root that you ’ ve got to admire its blood-soaked vestments. It feels like a piercingly lapsed Roman Catholic and ardent metal fan travelled back in time and made a soulsy game in the earned run average of pixel Castlevania .
Where can I buy it: Epic Games Store, GOG
What else should I be playing: If you like ruined worlds and skinny heroes but prefer punching to mace-swinging, you could take a punt at Absolver. If you ’ rhenium intrigued by the expectation of meeting a gentle soul on a long trek through strange lands, try Journey .
Ashen is a light, softer souls, but it retains equitable enough of that stamina you credibly like. Veterans of Undead Burg will drop in well. This soulchild hugs FromSoft ’ s surround thus airless it ’ south hard to spot its face among the folds. That might be because it doesn ’ t have a front. The characters in Ashen have fluffy moustaches and hair, but no eyes or mouth. however, these capricious villagers will join you as an NPC on your journey across the landscape to protect a light-bringing idol from an ancient evil. occasionally that NPC will start acting wyrd. That ’ randomness because a real player is controlling them now. storm !
There ’ s no summoning ritual or faffing with soapstones, the game good throws people together in pairs without therefore much as a blink. And it works. When your new buddy is a decent, helpful adventurer it feels like meeting a fresh supporter by a stroke of fortune. You can help each early up ledges and enroll extra two-player dungeons. In a lot of ways this is the most gentle sorta-souls on this list. There is a map, there are recognizable RPG quests, and the presence of a ceaseless pal ( computer-controlled or otherwise ) makes your venture across dark lands less foreboding. There is besides a constantly growing village and some fantastic local anesthetic wildlife, including a big vanish animal that looks like a friendly flip giant. If the Buddha were a fabulous animal, he ’ d be this thing.
5. Nioh 2
Where can I buy it: Steam.
What else should I be playing: The original Nioh is even a commodity time, if a bite of a footstep back that ‘s unmanageable to adjust to. If you wan na perfect the artwork of bosomy swords, you could try quickfire slice ‘ em up Katana Zero or dunce demon killer Shadow Warrior 2. Or if you fancy something more strategic adjust in feudal Japan, try Shadow Tactics .
God, I ‘ve spent hours slicing through Sengoku Japan in Nioh 2. If the master Nioh had abs, then this sequel ( that ‘s besides a prequel ) has abs and pectoral and a bring new pair of tabi that extradite becoming stat boosts. Like I said in my Nioh 2 reappraisal, This is a beefy put up, precisely with more homicidal missions to tick off and delicious loot to consume. The level choice screen returns, as do the spiky-shouldered demons and corrupted yokai slabbered in rake. Thankfully, many more ways exist to smush them to a pulp, like clawed fists or a staff that turns you into a walk-to blender .
One of the great gladden of Nioh 2 is the fight, which is rugged as nails, but incredibly rich once you get used to the rhythm of your chosen weapon. There are dozens of jazz band to learn, and skill trees to pour points into, all of which make your samurai “ well cool ”, basically. The game besides showers you in loot which can be broken down into upgrade parts, or popped on for all-important conflict bonuses. In many ways, it shares its DNA with Diablo a a lot as it does Dark Souls, indeed if you ‘re fix to dig into its finical systems and get your calculator out, this is as rewarding a soul feel as you can get .
4. The Surge 2
Where can I buy it: Steam.
What else should I be playing: If you want to explore cool environments, chop off limbs, and collect armor, all in a solid third-person action RPG, then Monster Hunter : universe might be the plot for you. Failing that, uh, dead Space ?
Some of these games have so much in common with their shared ancestor, you can see the Capra Demon looming over them when you squint. When Deck13 made Lords Of The Fallen the studio was criticised for slicing a short besides conclude to the person. Their sci-fi follow-up The Surge besides kept the soul monies and rugged bosses, but it experimented admirably with new angles. You could chop off limbs, for example, and plug in implants for particular RPG-style bonuses. But they kept the most important thing from the soul catalogue. The shortcuts .
so when The Surge 2 came out, with it ’ sulfur choppy-limb fight a lot improved and grim hacker city of overlapping calamity zones, it was a enchant to see that shortcut brain ramped up to farcical levels. The city is a concrete warren of magnetic lifts and secret doorways. even at the tail end of the crippled you ’ ll be finding newly pathways binding to the starting sphere, and the metroidvanian accumulation of helpful new devices only expands the function you draw inside your head. At one point an electric drone upgrade lets you unlock previously sealed doors, and late a brassy crochet lets you ride the locked-off ziplines you ’ ve been gazing at in prediction for twenty dollar bill hours. It ’ sulfur lattice-like flush design more please than a hot intersect bun. Deck13 ’ mho games still fight in the cold shadow of the Capra Demon. But they innately understand the reassuring heat of Firelink Shrine. And that ’ s great .
3. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Where can I buy it: Steam.
What else should I be playing: Again, Shadow Tactics is a dear stake, if you like the specify. But if it ‘s furtive rooftop navigate and ardent assassinations you ‘re after, you might like fantasy orc-dating sim Middle-earth : Shadow Of War
Hang on ! That ’ randomness cheating ! Oh, I see. It doesn ’ t have “ Souls ” in the title. Sekiro is a soul game only insofar as it is made by FromSoftware. And even though it includes basically everything that makes those masochistic adventures worthwhile, it hush gets a place on this list for being significantly different. For exemplar, the multiplayer bits of the soulsies are nowhere to be seen in this stumble to a warring Edo Japan. You can ’ thymine summon pals or get invaded by filthy men with giant hammers. On top of that, the classical RPG level screens are replaced by a cleaner skill tree, which unlocks special abilities for a osseous prosthetic ninja arm ( eg. a elephantine steel umbrella, a artillery that shoots money ). Hell, you don ’ metric ton even get to equip a new sword, you entirely use the blade you ’ re given at the start .
But what a blade. The fight in Sekiro is eerily satisfying. Full of parries and leaps and backstabs and twirls, the duels against spear-wielding generals and kimono-wearing samurai masters are far more neat than any simple mace fest in Drangleic and far more brutal. Enemies demand so a lot discipline, time and constraint, they may adenine well be screaming “ not my tempo ” at you between slashes. And there are some bosses that will make you go absolutely ape ( massive spoilers, preceptor ’ thymine click that, fool ) .
2. Dead Cells
Where can I buy it: Steam, GOG, Microsoft Store, Humble.
What else should I be playing: Any other roguelite. The RPS treehouse has enough of Binding Of Isaac devotees if grim-funny psychoanalytical mum-killing is your bag. Cave-sploring dasher Spelunky is always a full exclaim. SteamWorld Dig 2 is no roguelike but it ’ s a solid metroidvania if you want something bright with a refer of floor .
Genre is stupid, we ‘ve established that. When 2D slashfest dead Cells was first fired down the bet on tube at us it was described as a “ roguevania ” which is about adenine disgust as “ soulslike ”. But here we are, in a list article about soulslikes, admitting that this ardent little freak of a game is somehow all the genres. It ’ south fantasy, it ’ mho carry through, it ’ mho soulsy, it ’ s a metroidvania, it ’ s a roguelikelike. Honestly, some games are precisely greedy .
Greedy for FUN, that is. dead Cells is a quick dash through a bright, blood-spattered state full of kamikaze bats and colossus lamprey slugs that poop exploding eggs when they die. But rather of elaborately designed walkways, this goes for randomly generated warpaths, creating newfangled levels with every end, entire of different weapons to find and skills to equip. One run sees you whipping everything in the spinal column of the mind and throwing daggers at aloof pirates, until you die from an errant cannonball. The adjacent sees you slapping aside rapier strikes with a shield and throwing down flamethrower turrets to watch your back. It ’ s a rapid slicer of ceaseless change. In soul games, you much get fixated on one character build that works. But in this dungeonworld you ’ ve got to dodge-roll with the punches, and carefully choose among the tools you ’ re given to make something make. Oh look, a “ cursed ” sword. I wonder what it does .
1. Hollow Knight
Where can I buy it: Steam, GOG, Humble.
What else should I be playing: Ori And The Blind Forest is a bright bounce-around and Guacamelee 2 is another metroidvania with more than a handful of colours. Or go for Celeste if you want platforming charming and challenge, but with easy options.
Hollow Knight is boastfully. Bigger than that giant spider on your neck. You play a buggy cartographer, mapping the netherlands beneath a gloomy greenwich village of boyfriend insects ( and you ’ re not the only matchless ). You scuttle down, breeze through in hand, slicing at baddies until you hit the beginning substantial foreman. An absolute scumbag with a mace bigger than your oral sex, and a deadly mooch shot to go with it. finally, you crack open his carapace with the meager movements presently at your administration – a alternate button and a solidus. But this is only the point of the termite mound. here ’ s a map of the first sphere. And hera ’ s a function of the wax bet on. It international relations and security network ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate long before you realise, this is a platformer bout terra incognita, about filling blank outer space with cognition .
Your travel through the subterranean landscape of Hallownest has all the established quirks of this cruddy newborn soulgenre. When you die, you drop a bunch of deathcash, and have to return to the point of destine to retrieve it ( the twist here is that you have to kill a little touch to get it back ). It ’ south got tough-as-jerky bosses, and punishing rooms full of brash invertebrates. And it has that characteristically obtuse storytelling, delivered with some classical cryptosouls lore pepper. A chuckle miner sings a song and chips away at rock as you pass, ancient signs tell of a depopulate undercity, and a map-obsessed explorer says hello clock time and again, as you travel in eerie parallel. These characters and discoveries explain piecemeal things about the dark arthropod populace, but a full word picture international relations and security network ’ t precisely forthcoming. Imagine if Tim Burton had written a script for Antz, but David Lynch was hired to direct and 90 % of the smell was left to rust on post-production hard drives .
so yes, Hollow Knight conforms to all the dogma of His Souliness. But then it stuffs all that into the twitchy jaw of a Castlevania-style action platformer, where you unlock new powers to reveal new areas. A glowbug companion who can light your way through a blackout cavern, a ground-slam that breaks through loose stones. And while that secret-hiding stonework might be precarious, everything else is rock soild. You ’ ve got your preciseness platforming controls, your buoyant startle that lets you about-face in mid-air, your clingy wall-hopping. It ’ s all here, resulting in some positively Meat Boy moments as you bound through caves wax of spikes and shifting walls .