When Demon Souls launched on PlayStation 3 in 2009, it gained a cult following in the West after Sony refused to publish it in the West. It was left to Bandai Namco and Atlas to bring FromSoftware’s sleeper hit to European and American shores, respectively.
However, it was the spiritual follow-up to the Dark Souls trilogy that gave rise to the Souls-like/Soulsborn subgenre, which has been effectively implemented by other studios as well.
Developed by the same studio behind the Nioh series, Stranger of Paradise is an action RPG that mixes Devil May Cry-style action with a Dark Souls formula. It served as a prequel (of sorts) to the first Final Fantasy game.
The voice acting is over the top at times, but it’s kind of an early ’90s Saturday morning cartoon. There’s plenty of fan service and lore for fans of the Final Fantasy series with lots of familiar monsters and creatures from the series. There are also hints for fans of the previous mainline Final Fantasy series to spot, and the soul-like battle is challenging and deep enough to satisfy the thirst for a modern soul-like title.
Released in 2018, Ashen is a game that borrows heavily from the Soulslike formula. However, this isn’t just limited to the game’s combat and difficulty, but you delve deeper into the way the story ominously reveals itself.
FromSoft’s games aren’t accompanied by visuals and the art design will not appeal to everyone, but for many, it just adds to the experience and atmosphere. More importantly, Ashen feeds on a desire to explore and discover more of your world and face its challenges until you become successful.
As an action RPG, Dragon’s Dogma is probably the least soul-like game on this list. Capcom’s cult hit, released in 2012, put its own spin on the open-world dungeon-crawling RPG and created something unique.
The combat system shares a lot with Dark Souls, but its combat system arguably carries more weight. It has a strong class system where thanks to its depth one can lose oneself for hours. There’s no PVP or multiplayer to speak of, but gamers around the world can create and share their own warriors, known as pawns, with other players for rewards.
Lords Of The Fallen
Released in 2014, Deck 13’s Lords of the Fallen was an overlooked and underrated Dark Souls clone that deserved more recognition. Despite the apparent similarities on a visual level, the combat system in Lords of the Fallen is amazing with every hit feeling as though it had real weight. It’s also a lot of fun being able to hack and slash powerful combos.
It also includes a story and characters to interact with that rival, even Dark Souls’ creepy cast. While the world-building doesn’t exactly match the Souls series, its lore and story still create an interesting and foreboding world that begs to be explored.
Released in 2019, Code Venue is an action RPG that blends elements from both the God Eater and Dark Souls series. Regarded by many as the “anime Dark Souls”, Code Venue is a more accessible title that can serve as a great starting title for those looking to get into the Souls sub-genre.
It’s still a very challenging game, but the game’s story and characters get the same amount of attention. It has a deep character building system and brings in enough ingredients to mix up the souls formula to make it stand out from the crowd.
Salt and Sanctuary
Salt and Sanctuary is like a spirit and through it one of the primary differentiators is that it is 2D. This translates to a more substantial focus on platforming elements, which third-person offerings have mostly omitted, where you can hop around scenes, jump around treetops, to gain an advantage in boss battles. and climb the walls of the palace.
Some exploration elements are also present, encouraging players to revisit earlier areas with new abilities such as being able to walk upside down on structures in anti-gravity shocks. Bigg Bosses abound, and the dark aesthetic makes the somewhat cartoony world quite grim. If you want something that takes all the core mechanics that make Souls great and turns it into a kind of side-scrolling 2D soiree, look no further than Salt and Sanctuary.
also read: Best PC games under 10GB Free download