The Soulslike genre is hugely popular for its unforgiving combat, grueling XP grind, and dark and somber stories. Made famous by legendary Japanese developer FromSoftware, the genre has seen many imitators over the years. Some are great and some not so much. Making a difficult game is not enough. It must also be compelling enough for a player to play it again while presenting an intriguing world that begs to be explored.
FromSoftware games have undoubtedly inspired several Soulslike games out there, and some are even better than the ones that started the madness. The games that match or surpass FromSoftware titles bring something new to the Soulslike formula. Here is a list of the top five Soulslike games that aren’t from FromSoftware but are just as good.
Rest: from the ashes
Often as “Dark Souls with guns”, Rest: from the ashes is much more than that. Yes, when players first delve into this grim post-apocalyptic world, they are sure to find elements of it Dark Souls and bloodbornebut the game doesn’t just clone its predecessors. Rest: from the ashes features a very detailed scaling system that ties the player’s level and skills to the surrounding enemies. The better the player’s equipment and weapons, the more challenging and better equipped the enemies become. This scaling system and make randomized dungeons in each world rest a uniquely fresh Soulslike experience.
The fight one nioh is very intense and requires the player to become familiar with multiple combat stances, weapons, spells, buffs, and most importantly, guardian spirits. Bringing the right guardian spirit will make all the difference in conquering this game. The action in nioh is fast-paced and the player will constantly be outnumbered. The battles can seem overwhelming, but as long as the player uses the right gear and chooses the guardian spirit best suited to each situation, they will come out on top. The boss fights, which require the player to defeat two bosses at once, can be particularly frustrating, but with the right gear and guardian spirit, the player will pull through.
Blasphemous is hands down the darkest Soulslike game on this list. Set in the dark land of Cvstodia, this side-scrolling metroidvania is both beautiful and frightening. The game follows the silent penitent through a Catholicism-inspired world riddled with pain, riddled with traps, and full of deadly enemies. Blasphemous is filled with some of the most macabre visuals and thought-provoking concepts of any game on this list.
The soulslike genre and the dark fantasy realm have become synonymous, but Deck 13’s The wave is arguably the best Soulslike game out there because it moves away from fantasy. The wave has all the traps of a Dark Souls or bloodborne game, but it presents them in a futuristic world full of mechs instead of mythical creatures. The importance of exo suits in the game is emphasized by The wave‘s unique combat mechanics. In order to survive the game, the player must upgrade their exo-suit rig, and the only way to do that is by grabbing shreds from the body parts of slain enemies. Do that attention to detail and dystopian sci-fi setting The wave a great souls like.
what would Dark Souls Looks like an anime? The answer is code vein. Possibly the best title on this list, it’s by far the most challenging game, but it’s still fair. code vein is a more narrative version of Dark Souls with vampires. The fight gets closer to the style niohbut it goes much deeper. code vein offers perhaps the most satisfying progression system of all the games listed here, as it adapts to the player’s chosen playstyle. The action is fast-paced, unrelenting, and extremely frustrating at times. code vein also offers the most fulfilling boss fights of all these games.