Best Games Like Dark Souls For Soulslike Fans

FromSoftware’s masterful trilogy has left you hungry for death & rebirth, so we’re hunting for the best games like Dark Souls.

The Japanese studio refined the hardcore action RPG and created the “Soulslike” genre. And we’re choosing those blending the proper elements:

  • Dying as a core mechanic and losing currency on death. You can spend the currency to buy gear, level up, and similar. You lose it on death, but you may retrieve it from your dead body.
  • A skill-based combat that relies on managing stamina and timing blocks, parries, attacks, and skills.
  • Resting place reset enemies and healing flasks and save the game.
  • A comprehensive class system on top of a semi-open world design.
  • Minimal UI information for the game’s systems, lore, or map.

Best Games Like Dark Souls

Elden Ring

  • Developer: FromSoftware
  • Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
  • Release Date: February 2022
  • Platform: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Windows 

Elden Ring is the latest game by FromSoftware. It evolves the formula with an open world, a steed, and several spells you can learn by finding and learning a scroll.

Rather than adding new elements, it refines everything that came before. Also, because it’s open-world, players can skip difficult areas and grind until they feel ready. Character progression depends on harnessing skills, leveling up, and finding gear.

Author George Martin co-wrote the story, although it’s not easy to understand. You play as a “Tarnished,” a customizable hero summoned to restore the Elden Ring and become the Elden Lord in a dark fantasy setting.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
  • Developer: FromSoftware
  • Publisher: Activision, FromSoftware
  • Release Date: March 2019
  • Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Windows

Sekiro is a linear action-adventure game with challenging progression and a focus on stealth. Compared to other FromSoftware titles, it adds the Posture System, the ability to withstand attacks without breaking guard. 

Elsewhere, the gameplay is similar to Dark Souls. Players parry, dodge, perform skills with the sword and use throwables and special abilities. Also, stealth allows the protagonist to take down enemies immediately, and the player has a grappling hook to move faster. 

Story-wise, you play as “Wolf“, a lone samurai blessed and cursed with a revival ability. The Wolf is on a quest to save the Divine Heir, Kuro, from enemies trying to harvest Kuro’s power. The Heir can impose the “Dragon Heritage” upon any warrior, thus making someone immortal. 

Blasphemous

blasphemous
  • Developer: The Game Kitchen
  • Publisher: Team17
  • Release Date: September 2019
  • Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux, SteamOS, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch. 

Blasphemous is a 2D brutal action-platformer that feels like Castlevania meets Dark Souls. As such, the story happens in a “Metroidvania” gory and dark world.

The character learns various abilities but still relies on dodging, parrying, and timing attacks. You must precise down to milliseconds to block and parry. The enemy AI is clever, the enemy types are varied, and you have to retrieve your gear when you die.

You play as The Penitent One, the sole survivor of the “Silent Sorrow Massacre.” You wake up, trapped in a cycle of death and rebirth. It’s up to you to reach the origins of your nightmare to save the world from a grim fate.

Bloodborne

bloodborne
  • Developer: FromSoftware
  • Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
  • Release Date: March 2015
  • Platform: PS4 

Bloodborne trades the dark medieval fantasy setting for a Victorian-era city that takes inspiration from Lovecraft stories. Also, it adds firearms and weapon transformations for extra combat options. 

Bloodborne also has advanced dodging systems, hefty character progression, and complex gear. Additionally, there’re no shields and no blocks, so players need to rely on dodges and ranged attacks for survival. 

Lastly, the setting is Yharnam, a Gothic city infested by a disease. The protagonists must explore the streets to find out the cure and defeat werewolf-like creatures lurking in the dark. 

Nioh 2

nioh 2
  • Developer: Team Ninja
  • Publisher: Koei Tecmo, Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Release Date: February 2017
  • Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

Nioh 2 features a custom-made character, subtle storytelling, challenging combat mechanics, and amazing boss fights. Moreover, the game features an AI companion and a 3-player co-op multiplayer mode.

Similar to its predecessor, Nioh 2 is an action-adventure RPG. You play as a customizable “yokai spirit.” The Yokai can learn weapon stances and use various weapons, skills, and special abilities to defeat demons. Demons drop “Soul Cores,” which you can use to unlock abilities. 

Compared to Dark Souls, Nioh 2’s character can feel more powerful, brutal, and fast. There’s extra leeway to play with builds and skills, but, still, bosses will be as difficult as you’d expect from the genre. 

Demon’s Souls Remaster

Demon's Souls Remaster
  • Developer: Bluepoint Games
  • Publisher: Japan Studio
  • Release Date: November 2020
  • Platform: PS5

The original “Souls” game is available for the PlayStation 5 as a 4K/120fps remaster. The remaster respects the actual gameplay and story entirely while delivering modern graphics and performance. 

Because it’s the first soul-like game for the studio, the balance is not perfect, but it’s part of the appeal. It allows players to create absurdly imbalanced builds or newcomers to easily break their builds. Either way, it has the core block-parry-dodge cycle that turned the genre into a staple. 

As for the plot, you play as a customizable hero in the dark kingdom of Boletaria. The goal is to kill fallen king Allant to pacify the Old One and restore peace to the land.

Hollow Knight

hollow knight
  • Developer: Team Cherry
  • Publisher: Team Cherry
  • Release Date: February 2017
  • Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

Hollow Knight is an indie souls-like 2D Metroidvania. Here, you’ll find a soul reclamation system, a complex map, several boss battles, and challenging combat. Additionally, the atmosphere is dark, and the music is ominous.

As a “Metroidvania,” you go back and forth on the map as you unlock abilities. Abilities grant exploration and combat abilities, and the gameplay mixes classic side-scrolling platforming with tight action segments.

Lastly, you play in a ruined kingdom beneath the decaying town of Dartmouth. You play as a “Knight,” a nameless insectoid aiming to restore the kingdom from a supernatural disease.

Jedi: Fallen Order

jedi fallen order
  • Developer: Respawn Entertainment
  • Publisher: EA
  • Release Date: November 2019
  • Platform: Windows, PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series, Google Stadia

Jedi: Fallen Order is a third-person action-adventure title that takes Tomb Raider, Zelda, and Dark Souls elements. Additionally, it uses a Metroidvania design: you need to learn Jedi powers to unlock previously inaccessible areas. 

There’re various planets in the game, which you can visit from a ship. On each planet, you’ll find platforming and action challenges. The action relies on parries, dodges, slashes, and abilities. Additionally, resting places reset enemies. 

The story is canon within Disney’s timeline. It follows Revenge of the Sith, after Order 66. You play as Jedi Padawan Cal Kestis after the fall of the Jedi Order. The mission is saving young Force Sensitive users from the Empire.

Dead Cells

dead cells
  • Developer: Motion Twin
  • Publisher: Motion Twin
  • Release Date: August 2018
  • Platform: Windows, Linux, macOS, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

Dead Cells is the roguelike formula plus Castlevania and soul-like elements. The developers call it “Roguevania,” but it’s a 2D experience with little to no story.

The combat also relies on parries, blocks, dodges, and skills. The mechanics are challenging and have a steep learning curve. For instance, the game has over 150 weapons and spells, each one featuring unique mechanics.

Lastly, the plot follows a parasite inhabiting a cadaver. The protagonist explores a labyrinth and a castle searching for the way out. However, the map will change every time you die.

Mortal Shell

Mortal Shell
  • Developer: Cold Symmetry
  • Publisher: Playstack
  • Release Date: August 2020
  • Platform: Windows, PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series

Mortal Shell is a punishing experience, featuring the bare minimum amount of info, markers, and guidance. Aside from a basic tutorial, you’re alone in a mysterious open world.

The key mechanic is using “Mortal Shells,” which are armors your zombie-like body can use. There’re various Shells in the world, each one featuring its skills, perks, and stats. These can parry, dodge, block, attack, and “harden.” Hardening turns you into a rock to deflect hits.

As for the plot, you play as the “Foundling,” a creature capable of possessing the Shells. There are not much in terms of story, though. Instead, understand that the playable character is a pale creature capable of swapping Shells and running away if enemies destroy the Shell.

The Surge 2

the surge 2
  • Developer: Deck13 Interactive
  • Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
  • Release Date: September 2019
  • Platform: Windows, Xbox One, PS4

The Surge 2 is “Dark Souls in space” offering an engaging storyline and a seamless combat system. Its unique perk is using implants and drones for extra buffs and abilities.

Additionally, you use firearms and melee weapons across your linear third-person action-RPG adventure. Also, boss fights are quite brutal, as they use high-tech guns and implants.

Story-wise, you play as a plane crash survivor. Jericho City is in chaos when you wake up. Robots are rampaging, a nano storm is looming in the distance, and Martial Law enforces government rules. You’re to discover what happened and save the city from its many perils.

Let It Die

let it die

Let It Die is a free-to-play souls-like action RPG. You have to fight to the top of a tower, where elevators serve as resting places. And as you go up, you find new weapons, armor, creators, and items you need to survive. You can also craft, train your body, and steal. 

Unique perks include a skill action bar and finishing moves. Another element is what happens when you die: your “data” will go to other players’ games and appear as “Haters,” new opponents. Similar mechanics allow you to raid and invade other people’s worlds or vice-versa. 

As for the story, you play in Tokyo in the year 2026. Parts of the city sank beneath the ocean. Survivors live on a tower they deem sacred, reason enough to reach the top. 

Nier: Automata

nier automata
  • Developer: PlatinumGames
  • Publisher: Square Enix
  • Release Date: February 2017
  • Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Windows

Nier: Automata opens with a “Death & Rebirth cycle” literal monologue. During the prologue section, you go back to the beginning if you die. Elsewhere, you have to retrieve your body to get your gear back when you die.

Elsewhere, you need to retrieve your body (to restore your gear and XP) when you die. Combat relies on dodges, quick slashes, and a mix of offensive and defensive skills. You learn skills by “installing” chips on limited chip slots, and leveling up raises maximum HP.

Lastly, the story follows androids 2B, 9S, and 2A reclaiming Earth from the machines after centuries of a machine-human war. What’s more: the game requires multiple playthroughs (with different stories each) to unlock the full plot.

Ashen

ashen
  • Developer: A44
  • Publisher: Annapurna Interactive
  • Release Date: December 2018
  • Platform: Windows, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch

Ashen offers a lighter setting and a cartoony art style for its open-world co-op action RPG. You can play alone, but you’ll occasionally find other players in the open world, and you may join them if they are at the same part of the campaign.

The combat is about managing stamina and timing precise offensive and defensive skills. The downside is the game’s crafting system. You may have to gather and grind the same resources in the same areas multiple times.

As for the story, the setting introduces various world trees in decay. As their light is fading and pestilence roams the land, you embark on a journey to guide a new age of men.

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