FromSoftware introduced something magical to the gaming industry with the Demon and Dark Souls games. I’m, of course, talking about the souls-like genre. Tough bosses, stats, builds, and a whole lot of agony are the standard package in such games. But with such a wide variety of soul-like games in the market, which ones are the best and worth your time?
Having played almost all major Souls-like games ever released, I have taken it upon myself to answer that question and list the 10 most enjoyable Souls-like games for you based on my personal experiences with each game. I’ve included games that excel at everything that made the original games such a massive success. So, let’s check the games out!
Lies of P
Release Date: 18-09-23
“A Souls-like that tells the story of Pinocchio the Puppet who Lied… “
Neowiz Games surprised us with Lies of P. You play as Pinocchio, a puppet who is on a quest to find out who he is and what his purpose is. The game carries a Belle Epoque theme and is set in the fictional city of Krat.
The game is about 30-40 hours long and holds a ton of replayability value since you cannot obtain both rewards from boss drops. You will have to play the game at least twice to unlock every boss drop reward. This was intentional. The devs wanted players to feel rewarded even when they were replaying the game.
I can say with confidence that this game is as close to the actual Souls games as possible while still keeping its own North Star. The customizable weapons, smooth movement mechanics, and a variety of bosses make Lies of P an unforgettable indie Souls-like.
Release Date: 25-02-22
” A grand open-world Souls experience by FromSoftware.”
Elden Ring can be considered the pinnacle of Souls-likes right now. It is FromSoft’s latest Souls offering that promises a 60+ hours-long adventure across The Lands Between.
During your first playthrough, you can expect to fight dozens of bosses, explore an enormous map, create widely varied classes, and still be left with a ton of content for your NG+ run. I’ve ended the game thrice now and still feel like doing another run before the DLC arrives.
Elden Ring’s bosses are unforgiving and quite the challenge if you are under-leveled or a novice player. Playing the game in Co-op further enhances the experience and allows you to have some unforgettably fun moments…where….you die in stupid ways. alot. lol.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Release Date: 21-03-19
“An unforgivingly difficult Souls game that revolves around the counter/parry mechanic.”
Sekiro will always have a special place in my heart. It is not like your typical build-based Souls game where you dodge and roll out of harm’s way. Instead, the whole game revolves around counter, parry, and stance break.
In this 30 hour long game, you play as a wounded warrior in the 1500s Sengoku Japan who is trying to rescue his young Lord. The parry sound and feel are like none other in the genre. And trust me when I tell you… Sekiro has some of the most badass and difficult boss fights.
Some of the bosses require a lot of patience to learn and adapt to their moveset, which makes besting them ever so sweet. Sekiro might not be the best entry point into Souls-likes, but it should be a must-play for those who are comfortable with difficult games.
Release Date: 24-03-15
“A Souls-like set in the Victorian Era where you play as a Hunter”
Bloodborne is regarded as the best Souls game by a lot of players around the world. And rightfully so. The aesthetics of the city you roam [Yharnam], the story, and the lore surrounding the NPCS are masterfully crafted.
The combat on offer here is faster than the Dark Souls series. Instead of dodge rolling, you are encouraged to counter and be more aggressive. Your weapons can also transform, adding additional movesets to your arsenal.
Sadly Bloodborne never got an updated PS5 version with 60fps support. So, you are stuck with 30fps for now.
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty
Release Date: 03-03-23
“The latest Souls-like experience from the guys who made Nioh”
If you liked the Nioh games, you’ll also have fun with Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty. In this Three Kingdoms action RPG, you play as a foot soldier during the fall of the Late Han Dynasty and fight against the dark forces corrupting the leadership.
You’ll meet many famous personalities of the said era during your 30~ hour adventure who will aid you as companions. The levels are linear and have a checkpoint-based system. The combat is very arcadey and doesn’t have stances like Nioh. It’s not bad by any means… just a bit different.
The boss fights seem quite dramatic and daunting at first, but I think Wo Long is one of the easier Souls games I have played. The first boss of the game might take you the longest time to beat. The rest of the bosses have rather predictable attacks.
Lords of the Fallen (2023)
Release Date: 13-10-23
“The 2014 Lords of the Fallen, Reimagined.”
While the 2014 Lords of the Fallen didn’t do that well in the public eye, mainly because of the repetitive boss fights, insanely slow movement, and overall lack of vision, CI Games gave the driving seat to Hexworks this time around and told them to redo everything from scratch.
Resulting in the 2023 launch of Lords of the Fallen. A game made on Unreal Engine 5, having faster movement, a wide variety of weapons, gorgeous visuals, a fun underworld mechanic and a somewhat passable story.
I had a decent time with LOTF this time around and would definitely recommend it to you if you are looking for a decent Souls game.
There are some issues with the game, such as a parry sound that sucks, the game having too many mobs, some areas having nondistinguishable color grading, and some balance issues, but it’s still a decent enough game.
Release Date: 05-02-21
“Koei Tecmo’s finest spin on the Souls genre”
Nioh 2 is one of my favorite “non-FromSoft” Souls games ever. You fight against Yokais and all sorts of dangerous demons during the Sengoku period in Japan. You’ll create a custom character, tame a spirit that lets you turn into a Yokai yourself, and have the option to choose from a plethora of weapon choices from the very start.
The combat is extremely fleshed out, featuring a wide variety of weapon types that each scale on different stats and have stances. Stances allow you to use the same weapon with completely different movesets based on the enemy you are fighting.
Release Date: 25-07-23
“A third-person Souls-like with guns.”
Enter Remnant 2, where you play as a survivor in a post-apocalyptic world where jumping between different worlds is a thing. The game plays out from a third-person perspective, and you get to make builds with a variety of guns.
The unique thing about this game is that the game can be progressed in a few different ways, and the experience won’t be the same for everyone. Some players might not go to certain locations, while others may experience some events in entirely different ways.
When you start a new game, a dice is rolled, and your world order is set. The good thing about this mechanic is that you can reroll each world in the game once you’ve beaten the final boss of said world and farm the weapons, amulets, and materials you might have missed in the previous roll.
Release Date: 27-09-19
Code Vein is the anime Souls-like where you play through the story as an undead revenant, either alone (with an AI companion) or in Coop with one friend. The combat and movesets are just what you’d expect an anime-esque game to have; Flashy and over the top.
The campaign is about 26 hours long. You’ll get to mix and match a lot of your abilities with different weapon types, which keeps the combat fresh. The rest is your standard Souls affair with some corny voice acting. Pick it up on sale if you feel like playing it.
Star Wars: Jedi Survivor
Release Date: 28-04-23
“A Souls-like set in the Star Wars Universe”
Star Wars: Jedi Survivor is the latest installment in the Jedi series featuring Cal Kestis as the main protagonist. You would not expect a Star Wars game to be featured in a Souls-like list. But this series takes the Souls approach with how enemies respawn when you reload checkpoints and how boss fights are structured.
Cal Kestis can switch between 4 different lightsaber stances in the second installment, which makes the combat more varied and fun. Cal has more command of his Jedi abilities this time around, and the game plays around with a lot of interesting puzzles using those abilities.
If you liked the first one, then the second one will feel right at home. And if you are yet to try the series out, I strongly suggest that you pick up the first part on a good sale.
Well, these were some of the best Souls-like games you can currently play before FromSoftware announces their next Souls game. For more ranked lists and informative game guide, stick to WIG!