The Souls-like genre has emerged as a subgenre of action role-playing games. Characterised by explorative gameplay, intricate level design, and punishing difficulty, inspired by FromSoftware’s seminal Souls series. In this article, we delve into the seven best Souls-like games that have captivated players with their intense difficulty and rewarding gameplay mechanics, inviting them to embark on epic journeys filled with danger and discovery.

Best Souls-Like Games

The Souls-like genre is commonly believed to have begun back in 2009, with FromSoftware’s Demon’s Souls. The game was – by most accounts – an unexpected success. This lead to the birth of the Dark Souls series, remakes and sister titles. But it also lead to many other developers following suit, with varying degrees of success. For every Nioh, there’s a Lords of the Fallen.

But we’re not here to discuss the ups-and-downs of the genre. Instead, we’re looking at the seven best Souls-like games. Read on to see Chit Hot’s picks, and let us know if we missed your favourite in the comments below!

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Bloodborne (2015)

Bloodborne, developed by FromSoftware exclusively for the PlayStation 4, is widely regarded as one of the finest Souls-like games ever created. Set in the gothic city of Yharnam, players assume the role of a Hunter. You’ve been tasked with unraveling the mysteries of the plague-ridden city, and defeating its nightmarish inhabitants. The game offers fast-paced combat, intricate level design, and a Lovecraftian-inspired atmosphere. Bloodborne offers a visceral and immersive experience that challenges players to master its unforgiving gameplay mechanics.

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Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (2019)

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, also developed by FromSoftware, takes players to feudal Japan and puts them in the shoes of a shinobi known as the Wolf. Armed with a katana and a prosthetic arm, players must navigate treacherous landscapes, engage in intense sword duels, and overcome formidable enemies. With its emphasis on precision timing, stealth, and vertical traversal, Sekiro offers a fresh take on the Souls-like formula while retaining the studio’s trademark difficulty and attention to detail.

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Dark Souls III (2016)

Dark Souls III is the final installment in the acclaimed Dark Souls series. The game builds upon the foundations laid by its predecessors to deliver a haunting and challenging experience. Set in the decaying kingdom of Lothric, players embark on a journey to link the fading flame and stave off the impending darkness. With its interconnected world, intricate lore, and punishing difficulty, Dark Souls III offers a fitting conclusion to the saga, challenging players to overcome formidable bosses and conquer treacherous environments.

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Nioh (2017)

Nioh, developed by Team Ninja, transports players to a fantastical version of Sengoku-era Japan. You assume the role of William, a Western samurai battling supernatural forces. With its fast-paced combat, deep customisation options, and intricate level design, Nioh offers a compelling blend of historical fiction and supernatural horror. Drawing inspiration from both the Souls series and Japanese mythology, Nioh delivers a challenging and rewarding experience that demands precision and mastery from players.

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Elden Ring (2022)

You all knew it was coming. Launched back in 2022, I personally wasn’t excited for Elden Ring. At the time, I was “souls’d out”, as they call it. But I was undoubtedly in the minority. With the DLC content expansion, Shadow of the Erdtree, planned to be released in June 2024 it’s highly likely that – two years on – Elden Ring will once again become many gamer’s most played game of the year. You simply can’t fault FromSoftware for delivering on their promises at this point.

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Hollow Knight (2017)

Hollow Knight is a 2D action-adventure game set in a beautifully hand-drawn world filled. Developed by Team Cherry, the game is filled with mystery and danger. Players assume the role of the titular knight as they explore the underground kingdom of Hallownest, battling monstrous creatures and uncovering the secrets of its ancient civilisation. With tight controls, challenging boss fights, and sprawling interconnected world, Hollow Knight offers a captivating Souls-like experience that rewards exploration and mastery.

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The Surge (2017)

The Surge, developed by Deck13 Interactive, offers a unique twist on the Souls-like formula. The game introduces a sci-fi setting and a focus on futuristic exo-suit combat. Set in a dystopian future where humanity is on the brink of collapse, players assume the role of a survivor equipped with said exo-suit. You’ll use it to navigate industrial complexes overrun by rogue AI and augmented foes. With its deep progression system, brutal combat mechanics, and dark atmosphere, The Surge delivers a challenging and immersive experience that will test players’ skills and determination.

The best Souls-like games offer a challenging and rewarding experience. They appeals to players seeking both intense difficulty and deep gameplay mechanics. Exploring gothic landscapes, battling supernatural creatures, and mastering intricate combat systems; these games invite players to embrace the challenge and embark on epic journeys. With their immersive worlds, haunting atmospheres, and satisfying gameplay, the best Souls-like games continue to captivate and inspire players worldwide.

Categories: Games