Shadow of the Colossus
Seeing how Shadow of the Colossus was the biggest inspiration behind The Last Guardian and how the two largely share the same developers, it’s only fitting that it kicks off this list. In Shadow of the Colossus, the player must traverse vast lands to slay 16 colossi in order to restore the life of a girl named Mono.
The largest similarities lay within its epic scale, with Trico often being seen as a fine mix between your horse companion in Shadow of the Colossus and its massive colossi.
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
It may only keep you occupied for about four hours, but Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a phenomenal experience regardless. You take control over two brothers, who must walk a treacherous path in order to find the medicine that can save their father’s life.
Both of the brothers have their own strengths and weaknesses. Whereas the taller brother may not be able to fit inside smaller spaces, the younger sibling cannot swim. This means they must work together to overcome the obstacles that hinder their journey, which is strengthened by a complete lack of any intelligible language. The entire story relies heavily on animations and environments to get its point across, making the resemblances to The Last Guardian quite clear.
Okami focuses on the white wolf Amaterasu, a reincarnation of the god Shiranui, who must save the Nippon region from an eight-headed dragon known as Orochi. It’s very much based in Japanese mythology, but it does bear some resemblance to The Last Guardian. Both tend to tell most of their stories through unique visual styles, with a fantastical beast at the center of it all.
However, Okami is a tad more action-centered than The Last Guardian. Solving puzzles, platforming, and fighting off evil is done with the celestial brush, which is a tool that allows you to color the world and overcome obstacles.
Another project from the minds behind Shadow of the Colossus and The Last Guardian, Ico has you playing as the titular boy with a troubled fate. Born with ominous horns, Ico was locked away inside an abandoned castle as the sacrifice for an upcoming ritual. Ico eventually broke free, and in exploring the castle, he came across a girl named Yorda.
When Ico discovers Yorda is plagued by shadowy creatures, the two try to escape, only to be separated when the Queen interferes. It then becomes Ico’s mission to save Yorda from the Queen in this emotional story. It’s this dynamic relationship between innocent prisoners that can be found in The Last Guardian, too.
Ori and the Blind Forest
Ori and the Blind Forest is a gorgeous platformer that has players taking control over the titular white guardian spirit. As Ori, it is your goal to restore life to the dying forest you call home. The forest’s Spirit Tree recognizes your potential, rewarding you with a manifestation of skills and abilities in the form of Sein.
The biggest comparison between The Last Guardian and Ori and the Blind Forest is obviously its emotional character dynamic. However, Ori and the Blind Forest tackles this slightly differently, creating a close bond with an entire world rather than molding that aspect into one specific character.
Never Alone tells the story of an Iñupiaq girl named Nuna, who ventures deep into a blizzard with her arctic fox in an attempt to save everything and everyone she’s ever known and loved. This platformer lets you toggle between Nuna and her fox to solve various environmental puzzles.
In The Last Guardian, Trico is used to do most of the heavy lifting and perform seemingly impossible feats. Never Alone also shifts its focus to an unlikely companionship, although the game tells its story more openly and puts it at the center of the experience.
The Last of Us
At first glance, The Last Guardian and The Last of Us couldn’t be further apart. One is a story about a boy and a beast finding their way to freedom, whereas the other tells a post-apocalyptic tale about surviving in a zombie-infested world.
However, it’s the relationships between the two main protagonists that houses the similarities. Joel and Ellie refuse to cooperate until there is no other option, paving the way to a story of friendship and attachment as their journey goes on. The Last Guardian tells a comparable tale, albeit that their settings do differ vastly.