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The best Soulslike games to play from outside of FromSoftware

FromSoftware has inspired a host of action-adventure titles to the point where it basically invented the “Soulslike” genre, and some of those games rank among the best available on the market.

There are plenty of Soulslike games to go around. Many fans of Dark Souls and Elden Ring have already run through the entire FromSoftware catalog of Soulsborne games and are still hungry for more. While diehards could wait for Armored Core 6, which has a splash of Soulsborne in it, they can also find exactly what they’re looking for from a wealth of titles from outside FromSoftware that emulate everyone’s favorite aspects of the Soulsborne genre.

There are plenty to choose from. The best Soulslike games can either take certain elements from FromSoftware games and apply them to a new genre, or they might just offer a faithful imitation of the real thing.

Mortal Shell is a solid copy of the Dark Souls series

For players who finished working through FromSoftware’s back catalog and want to enjoy something similar, Mortal Shell has a lot to offer. Developer Cold Symmetry cited Dark Souls as a direct inspiration for Mortal Shell, and it shows.

The game enjoyed strong reviews and the general consensus is that players who wish they could re-experience Dark Souls for the first time will find Mortal Shell to be the next best thing. The game is available on all modern consoles and PC.

Explore a sci-fi Soulslike dystopia with The Surge 2

Science fiction may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Soulslike games, but players who enjoy both genres may find just what they’re looking for with The Surge and The Surge 2.

Across both games, players will blast their way through a futuristic dystopia ruined by resource exploitation. The high-tech trappings may be distinct, but the theme of a world ruined by greed should be very familiar to Soulsborne enthusiasts.

Bring your favorite sword to a gunfight in Remnant 2

Remnant: From the Ashes has been aptly called “Dark Souls with Guns” since its release in 2019. The recently-released Remant 2 offers much of the same.

In both Remnant games, the player is one of the precious few humans alive in a world devastated by extra-dimensional monsters unleashed by overzealous scientists. These remnants of humanity must take up arms to defend what remains of their kind and scavenge what they need from exotic alien dimensions.

The gunplay feels great and there’s something for everyone here, with a variety of themed archetypes and a host of both firearms and melee weapons. Remnant: From the Ashes can be played on all modern consoles and PC, but Remnant 2 is only available on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.

Take a cursed soul on a pixelated adventure in Salt and Sacrifice

A tiny indie studio called Ska Studios quietly released a hidden gem in 2016 called Salt and Sanctuary, which can be aptly summarized as “2D Dark Souls with a touch of Metroidvania.” Since then, the game has garnered a devoted cult following and spawned a sequel in 2022 called Salt and Sacrifice.

Both games share a lot of gameplay and aesthetic elements from the Dark Souls trilogy, but in a 2D side-scrolling format. In both titles, the player takes on the role of a cursed soul who must hack and slash their way through eerie environments and powerful bosses.

Try Soulslike Metroidvania gam Hollow Knight before the arrival of Silksong

The original Hollow Knight enjoyed rave reviews and a massive following and with the upcoming sequel Silksong in the works, there’s never been a better time for new players to check it out. In Hollow Knight, players control a near-anonymous character called the Knight on a quest to stop an infection that is spreading across the once-great kingdom of Hallownest.

Soulsborne fans will enjoy the challenging boss encounters and macabre environment, while Metroidvania enthusiasts can explore Hallownest’s vast, interconnected world. This combined emphasis on weighty combat and acrobatic exploration through a charming and beautifully-rendered world makes for an experience that is deeply satisfying on every level.

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Written by Jorie McKibbin

Jorie has been playing video games and writing creatively since they were old enough to hold a controller and a pen. They’re passionate about the indie gaming scene, and some of their favorites include Salt and Sanctuary, Stardew Valley, Hollow Knight, and Vintage Story. They also adore such classics as The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind, Fallout: New Vegas, and Dark Souls.

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