FromSoftware and George R. R. Martin’s much-anticipated action-RPG collaboration resonated well with both critics and fans alike. Not only did it help to refine and evolve the Souls-like formula, but it also arguably re-wrote the open-world rulebook to boot. Yes, it’s time to call a spade a spade: Elden Ring is a modern masterpiece, and a confident example of what FromSoft can deliver when they’re at the top of their game, firing on all cylinders.
But what if you’re nearing the end of your quest and you’re on the lookout for more Elden Ring-like experiences? Worry not, as we’ve got you covered. Here are the best games you can play right now that are like Elden Ring. Read on, Tarnished!
If you’re on the hunt for a more accessible Souls-like experience, then 2020’s Mortal Shell fits the bill nicely.
Indeed, developer Cold Symmetry balances the sub-genre’s signature hardcore difficulty with a myriad of unique mechanics that help to tip the scales of war in the player’s favor.
For instance, Hardening allows your character to turn to stone in the midst of combat, which gives players the chance to tank a hit without taking any damage. Not only does Hardening give you plenty of defensive opportunities during combat, but it also stuns enemies for a short window, and the craggy audio bite sounds super satisfying, too.
Furthermore, the game’s Resolve mechanic is another welcome addition, which allows players to perform special, health-rejuvenating ripostes that are equally devastating as they are invaluable when you’re running on empty HP-wise.
While the US-based studio’s budget-friendly action-RPG may be a nice change of pace to many of the other Souls-likes on this list, it can still absolutely kick your ass if you underestimate it. You’ve been warned!
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
Respawn’s continuation of Cal Kestis’ planet-hopping 2019 adventure is a terrific Souls-like experience, which sees that galaxy far, far away hyperdrive its way into much more mature, adult-centric territory. This certainly isn’t just a kids’ game, as not only is it as hard as a freshly-mined Kyber crystal, but it can also be pretty gory as you lop limbs off a host of interstellar flora and fauna.
Much like Elden Ring, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor features that signature risk/reward gameplay that the sub-genre is so well-known for, though it is arguably one of the more accessible titles on the list. While it may be one of the more accessible titles on this list, one or two of the more challenging bosses will have you throwing your controller in frustration in no time. Whether that’s a recommendation or warning, we’re not sure. But rest assured, your Jedi mettle will undoubtedly be tested.
Salt and Sanctuary
Transplanting the third-person 3D action to a 2D perspective was never going to be an easy task, but somehow developer Ska Studios nailed it, with aplomb.
Case in point: 2016’s Salt and Sanctuary is a meticulously crafted RPG which delivers the characteristic risk/reward gameplay that fans of the genre love so ardently. Much akin to Mortal Shell, Salt and Sanctuary can be a great starting point for newcomers looking for an approachable entry into the world of Souls-likes.
In fact, almost every mechanic has been lifted wholesale from its inspiration – stamina management, stat development, dodging, rolling etc. – along with its recognizably cryptic narrative and bleak tone. Long story short, Salt and Sanctuary is a lot like a dark and gloomy Soulsborne-shaped snow globe that condenses everything that made the genre tick into a tightly-designed, bite-sized package.
The Witcher 3
While it may not share the same core gameplay systems as Elden Ring, CD Projekt Red’s epic fantasy RPG boasts a beautiful open-world aching to be explored that’s very reminiscent of Miyazaki and his team’s latest offering.
Specifically, the world of The Witcher 3 feels alive, brimming with its own flora and fauna and bulging at the seams with unique quests, nasty beasties, and delightful vistas to drink in.
On top of all this, there’s a lot of depth in its progression systems and skill trees, and – unlike many of the Souls-likes on this list – is largely a much more dialogue-heavy, narrative-focused experience.
Nevertheless, if you’re in the mood for a rich fantasy world that feels like a living and breathing universe, The Witcher 3 could be the perfect home away from home.
Shadow of the Colossus
Originally released on PS2 back in 2005 and later ported to the PS3 and PS4, Team Ico and Japan Studio’s David and Goliath-like action-adventure game threw players into the shoes of a young boy named Wander who’s tasked with taking down 16 hulking colossi in a bid to resurrect a maiden called Mono.
With his valiant steed Agro in tow, our protagonist embarks on an epic journey through a minimalist, dream-like world steeped in mystery and intrigue.
Sure, while Shadow of the Colossus is more streamlined mechanically and narratively than Elden Ring, its freedom of exploration and its vast open-world has many similarities to FromSoft’s latest. Plus, it also boasts one of the best twists in the entirety of gaming. No spoilers here, though!
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
FromSoft’s previous game before Elden Ring may have been the biggest departure from its tried-and-true formula yet, but it still managed to smuggle in a plethora of trademark elements that the Japanese studio is so renowned for. Namely, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice may possibly be one of the most difficult titles in the developer’s prodigious portfolio.
Yep, that’s saying a lot considering the mighty reputation that FromSoft has built up over the years regarding challenging games. However, it’s not solely the title’s brutal difficulty that it’s got in common with its action-RPG brethren.
From lumbering bosses to slick third-person combat to bonfire-like Sculptor’s Idols, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a Samurai-flavored Souls-like that introduces a grappling hook, deathblows, and a bunch of stealth systems into the mix for good measure. So, if you’ve ever wondered where the stealth mechanics from Elden Ring came from, you can trace its DNA back to 2019’s Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
Of course, it’s also got one other important thing in common with Miyazaki’s other titles; Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is simply an excellent video game. I mean, that’s always a plus, right?
Another terrific attempt at translating the 3D action of the genre into a terrific 2D Souls-like, Eldest Souls is a stunning pixellated adventure that boasts some really well-designed bosses that also look the part, as well.
The big, bombastic orchestral score while you go toe-to-toe with these pesky beasties really helps to get the blood pumping, and the fast, fluid action is pretty sublime.
While this was largely an overlooked and underappreciated gem from back in 2021, it’s still very much worthy of your time and comes highly recommended. Great stuff!
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
OK, so we’re starting to get to the big-hitters now, and it’s safe to say that no other release has had such a profound impact on Elden Ring as 2017’s critically acclaimed open-world opus, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
That’s right, Nintendo’s award-winning Hyrulean RPG is like the sunny, bright yin to FromSoftware’s dark, gloomy yang.
Not only does Elden Ring’s epic open-world feel as liberating to engage with and explore as Breath of the Wild’s, but both stand out as creative zeniths in each of their respective franchises; culminations of years of blood, sweat and crystal tears.
While the jury is still out on which game nailed their transition to an open-world better, one thing’s certainly for sure: Hidetaka Miyazaki’s decision to nix weapon degradation – which was a mechanic in the Dark Souls series, as well as a sore spot for many in Breath of the Wild – was a wise choice, indeed.
Demon’s Souls (2020)
While we opted for Bluepoint Games’ modernised PS5 exclusive remake over 2009’s PS3 version – thanks in part to general availability and the fact that it looks jawdroppingly stunning on Sony’s shiny, new hardware – we’d still highly recommend both titles. Yes, this is where it all began, folks – well, on the PS3, anyway.
Indeed, the Austin-based studio’s from-the-ground-up remake is nothing short of a technical marvel, to the point where Elden Ring’s very own director had to go on record saying that his team’s art and visuals staff felt, “pressure more than anyone else” when asked about Demon’s Souls’ fidelity.
Make no mistake, though; Demon’s Souls isn’t just all style over substance. Put simply: this is the OG Souls-like experience – all killer, no filler. And if you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, you owe it to the Souls fan inside you to put that snafu right. What are you waiting for?
What’s the best game on the PS4? Good question! Personally, it’d likely be a toss-up between Santa Monica Studio’s smash hit God of War remake from 2018 or – more likely – FromSoft’s gothic no-holds-barred trip to the blood-drenched streets of Yharnam.
Much like Elden Ring, 2015’s PS4 exclusive was a brand-new IP that leveraged the power of new hardware. Forgoing the traditional open-world of the Japanese company’s latest, Bloodborne was instead a refinement of the Souls-like formula, with an emphasis on speed and aggression over patient sword-and-board defensive tactics.
Slick, fast-paced, visceral; Bloodborne is a masterstroke on pretty much every level. Ultimately, though, it leaves us with one burning question: Where the heck is Bloodborne 2? Like, seriously Sony, sort that out pronto!
Even though its spiritual predecessor, the PS3’s aforementioned exclusive Demon’s Souls, spawned an entire sub-genre, we can thank 2012’s Dark Souls for popularising and catapulting it into the mainstream zeitgeist.
Yes, Dark Souls was an absolute game-changer that transformed the gaming landscape forever. In fact, pound-for-pound, I’d wager that it’s probably the most influential modern game of all time. No small feat, indeed!
Released back in 2009, at a time when AAA games often felt as easy as shooting zombies in a barrel, Dark Souls stormed onto the scene to flip the script and remind us what we were all missing: tight, challenging, punishing gameplay like the old-school games of yore.
While it may be harder than a bag of diamond gobstoppers, you can thankfully grind a neverending supply of souls to help level the blood-splattered playing field, much like Miyazaki’s latest epic.
With its wonderfully grotesque enemy roster, its intricately constructed and interlocking world design, its weighty combat, and its moreish feeling of elation when you trounce a pesky adversary by learning, experimenting, and persevering; Dark Souls’ heart-in-mouth, risk-and-reward gameplay is equally refined as it is fiendishly addictive. And it’s an easy recommendation for anyone who is on the hunt for an experience as exemplary as Elden Ring.