10 games like dark souls so you can prove your might

© Provided by GamesRadar Games like Dark Souls

The best games like Dark Souls offer the same intoxicating mix of combat, exploration, and a serious test of your skills. Dark Souls was first released in 2011 and ever since studios have been taking inspiration for the FromSoftware formula, spawning a new genre of "Soulslike" games that delight and devastate players in equal measure. 

All the games below have been chosen because they stand out in the Soulslike genre, offering more than just a faded copy of the original and instead taking the key elements and turning them into something new and exciting. Whether you're a die-hard fan that needs a new challenge or someone looking to break into your first hardcore Soulslike, these are the best games like Dark Souls to get you started. 

Ashen

Available On: PC, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch

Annapurna and A44’s Ashen is arthouse Dark Souls, an inspired spin on the style with eclectic art direction. Its passive, Journey-esque co-op systems and evocative combat make for a delightfully difficult game that still feels like a breather from the oppression of what we know as Souls. Sure, it’s a little too derivative at times, but if it was going to imitate any game closely, you can’t really go wrong with Dark Souls baked-to-perfection systems. This choice is for player’s who are looking for something as close to the original as possible or those who perhaps want to experience a hard-fought hero’s journey over the course of around 15 to 20 hours, not 40 or 50. Enemy combat A.I is consistently clever, as are the character designs and biodiversity of the ominous open world. The expanding settlement is also a clever spin on the firelink formula that should keep you coming back for more.

Nioh

Available On: PC, PS4, and PS5

Before Shinobi Souls was made cool by Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, we had Nioh, its punishing precursor. This is another souls-like that adapts a lot of lessons from Miyazaki’s work but puts enough meaningful spin on them to keep you interested. Developed by Koei Tecmo, the game is set in the Warring States period where you play as an Irish samurai known as William who rocks up in Japan ready to take down some phantoms. The variety of authentic Japanese weapons is delightful, as well as its nods to historical events if you’re Sengoku savvy. It also has a cool system with Ki Pulse where you can replenish your stamina mid-battle. It feels about as good as performing an active reload in Gears of War, which is saying something. 

A remastered version was released for PS5 in 2021. 

The Surge 

Available On: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

What if we put Dark Souls in space? That must have been one of the roundtable questions when Deck13 was coming up with The Surge. Following on from its middling success with Lords of the Fallen, The Surge provided what was missing: an inspired setting and a suite of mechanics that fit the environment. You play as Warren, a wheelchair-bound man who takes part in a botched experiment with an exoskeleton and is let loose in a decrepit dystopian facility full of evil robots and drones. There’s even a sequel on the way if you fall in love with the dazzling environment. Whilst it wasn’t universally loved when it first came out and does feel a bit more clunky than the other, more tightly-controlled games in this list, there is still really nothing like it if you really want a change of scene. Its oppressive world is a great success.

Demon's Souls

Available On: PS3 and PS5

The game that started it all has had a jaw-dropping PS5 makeover, which will make it a treat for first-timers and veterans alike. Set in the kingdom of Boletaria, the main difference between this first Souls games and its successors is the Nexus, which acts as the game's central hub. 

Demon's Souls' ideas were refreshing and revolutionary at the time, and it's so cool to see From playing around with what would become such an iconic genre. It’s a worthwhile history lesson if you consider yourself a Souls fan. Just watch out for Old King Allant’s grab, ok?

Dead Cells

Available on: Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4 and Xbox One

A surprise smash hit that dropped in late 2018, Motion Twin’s Dead Cells is a mix of Roguelike and Metroidvania that opts to graft some of the Souls magic to color its world. Expect to die a whole lot in this game and be punished for it, and spend the rest of your time learning enemy move sets. If you’d like to see how the combat of Souls works in a different dimension with some genius iterations, Dead Cells could be the refreshing change you need. You play as a parasite who inhabits a cadaver, exploring a labyrinth full of dangerous foes and cheeky secrets. The combat is lightning fast and brutally punishing, but gorgeous to look at with its fluid and vibrant animations. Whilst the story is a bit lackluster, it’s not the main focus and the exploration does make up for it. Well worth a punt if you’re burnt out on the 3D perspective of Dark Souls.

Titan Souls

Available on: PC, PS4, PS Vita,

A deeply inventive game that wears its influence on its sleeve, Titan Souls is a delightful little indie Souls-like from Manchester developers Acid Nerve. Constantly inventive, Titan Souls focuses on the beauty of souls-like boss battles - it’s one epic boss rush game that keeps the adrenaline pumping with each new challenge. Its simple combat system offers up a sole arrow for use in battle, which really doubles down on the tension as you’re dashing and weaving from each titan’s attacks. This tricky top-down title is worth a look-in if you want your reflexes tested, but also your grey matter. Figuring out the trick behind each boss battle often relies on your brain as well as your coordination, which results in some powerful eureka moment that will fill you full of endorphins.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Available On: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Put down your ax and pick up a samurai sword to take on FromSoftware’s latest, wildly different take on the Souls formula. Dark Souls fans can leave their muscle memory at the door as the game introduces the controversial but deeply satisfying Posture System, which threatens to turn any veteran series fan into mulch. It follows the same hard but fair rules as its predecessors, offering up some of the most rewarding gameplay in all of the Souls series, if you can hack it, that is. Despite being quite a marmite game, it’s still absolutely worth pushing through the pain to experience a powerful narrative and some of the best boss fights of all time. Sekiro makes you pick on someone your own size, resulting in death-defying bouts that ensure you’ll be hearing your heartbeat when you triumph or falter.

Salt and Sanctuary

Available on:  Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, Xbox One and PlayStation Vita

Salt and Sanctuary was one of the first games to take on the Souls formula in a different setting and really succeed, and the game has become a cult indie hit because of it. Developed by Ska Studios, the team behind the excellent Xbox Live Arcade series The Dishwasher, the game is hand-drawn Dark Souls mixed with a good dose of Castlevania, finished off with asynchronous multiplayer features and tight combat. With wonderful cartoon art direction and a morbid, brooding world full of all kinds of evil creatures, this is an inspired homage that is brimming with passion and challenge for veterans and series newcomers alike. It’s a bit too derivative in places, but like with Ashen, they couldn’t have picked a better target to iterate on.

A sequel, Salt and Sacrifice, is coming to PlayStation consoles in 2022.  

Hollow Knight

Available on:: Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, and Xbox One

A game that practically received a dual launch after it first dropped on PC in 2017 and then home consoles a year later, Hollow Knight was a strong contender for game of the year on both occasions, which speaks for itself. Lending from Dark Souls in its boss battles, soul reclamation, and hard but fair combat, Hollow Knight innovates everywhere else to provide a sense of discovery unmatched by its peers. Hollow Knight nails the breadcrumb storytelling that made Dark Souls such an atmospheric homerun and is set in Hallownest, a kingdom full of malicious creatures inspired by insects. It’s a vast, ruthless world that is a delight to get lost in… that is until you fall prey to its rogue’s gallery of inspired creepy crawlies. Come for the rewarding combat and upgrades but stay for the underdog story which has captured the imagination of fans worldwide. Beat it and you can look out for the hotly anticipated sequel, Silksong, which is well on the way.

Bloodborne

 Available On: PS4

Dark Souls defined the rules of an entire genre until Bloodborne came along and broke the rickety wheel. Doing away with shields and the muddy pace of some battles, From Software’s Lovecraftian epic injected the secret Souls formula with pace, forcing players into high-intensity engagements amid a gothic world, Miyazaki’s most grim offering yet. Despite the incredible switch in combat, perhaps Bloodborne is most recommended for Dark Souls fans due to its return to form in level design following the original game’s sequels. And of course, we must mention its narrative, which offers up plenty of memorable twists and turns and unbelievable locations to explore, the likes of which you would never expect when you first set foot in Yharnam. An unforgettable adventure that should be on any Dark Souls fans bucket list, Bloodborne will frustrate and delight those who can bear its madness in equal measure.

Latest breaking 24h news around the world Latest breaking 24h news around the world - Page 2 Latest breaking 24h news around the world - Page 3


LATEST NEWS

NEWS RELATED

Fifa 22 Web App release date: When new FUT companion app is coming out and how you can get it

The release of Fifa 22 is as hotly anticipated as ever, with fans eager to sink their teeth into the new edition. Lucky gamers have already had the chance to road test the game through the closed beta, while the release of its player ratings whetted the appetite further. One…

Read more: Fifa 22 Web App release date: When new FUT companion app is coming out and how you can get it

Valheim buffs food health and stamina following player pushback

© Provided by GamesRadar Valheim fishing philosopher Nacon Valheim food has been rebalanced just one day after the release of the Hearth and Home update. “We hear you!” developer Iron Gate said in a Reddit post linking to some short patch notes  on Steam. The patch headliner is the real…

Read more: Valheim buffs food health and stamina following player pushback

Call of Duty Vanguard: Full assault rifle list (leaked)

© GiveMeSport Call of Duty Vanguard Assault Rifles. Call of Duty Vanguard is just around the corner and more details are beginning to emerge regarding the game’s core features. While fans have been treated with many trailers, open alpha and beta tests so far, Sledgehammer Games, the developers, are still…

Read more: Call of Duty Vanguard: Full assault rifle list (leaked)

Vanguard Xbox open beta release time: Call of Duty demo available without pre-order TODAY

© ACTIVISION Call of Duty Vanguard open beta Call of Duty Vanguard’s beta will be available to all Xbox and PC users very shortly. The second Call of Duty Vanguard beta weekend is already live for all PlayStation users, as well as pre-order customers on Xbox and PC. If you’re…

Read more: Vanguard Xbox open beta release time: Call of Duty demo available without pre-order TODAY

FIFA 22 demo weekend release: PlayStation and Xbox download news

© EA SPORTS FIFA 22 demo FIFA 22 developer EA Sports is making fans wait for a potential gameplay demo on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One and PC. The FIFA 22 demo was tipped to have either a September 14 or September 15 release date on consoles and…

Read more: FIFA 22 demo weekend release: PlayStation and Xbox download news

Best Xbox headsets 2021: Superb headphones for Xbox Series X, Series S and Xbox One

1/5 SLIDES © Pocket-lint SteelSeries Arctis 9X For Extremely comfortable Great sound One-touch connection Against Pretty expensive SteelSeries takes the top spot on our list because it nails the combination of convenience and quality that we’re looking for when it comes to a console headset. It’s a genius revision of the…

Read more: Best Xbox headsets 2021: Superb headphones for Xbox Series X, Series S and Xbox One

Gas Station Simulator rockets to Steam's top 5 best sellers

© Provided by GamesRadar Gas Station Simulator Obscure simulation fans have found a new home in Gas Station Simulator, a niche sim which has quickly become one of the best-selling games on Steam, sitting comfortably at the number five spot at the time of writing.  Sure, that new home is…

Read more: Gas Station Simulator rockets to Steam's top 5 best sellers

Every TV Moment I Recognized In The Cool New SpongeBob Game Reveal

© Image: THQ Nordic A portal opens behind SpongeBob as he sings with microphone in hand and Patrick Star floats beside him. You sang along to “Sweet Victory” too, didn’t you? THQ Nordic revealed a new SpongeBob SquarePants game during its 10th anniversary showcase livestream today, and while the trailer…

Read more: Every TV Moment I Recognized In The Cool New SpongeBob Game Reveal

Niantic is shutting down its AR Catan game after a year of early access

For Pistons' announcer in NBA 2K22, the job was more than just his catch phrase

Call of Duty Vanguard Xbox, PC open beta release time: Bad news for non-PlayStation users

Pokemon Go 5th Anniversary video is a big nostalgia trip

FIFA 22 Preview Packs will let you see what you're buying in Ultimate Team

Deathloop's kick is the unsung hero of Colt's arsenal

Everything announced at the THQ Nordic 10th Anniversary Showcase

SpongeBob bumbles through the multiverse in new adventure game

OTHER NEWS