From the haunting atmospheres of Dark Souls to the epic landscapes of Elden Ring, we’ll traverse through the best Souls games. Then, we’ll venture beyond FromSoftware’s realm to discover the best Soulslikes for PC that add their own twists to the formula.
Join us on this journey as we explore the worlds of relentless challenges, intricate lore, and masterful storytelling that define the Soulslike genre. Whether you’re a seasoned Souls veteran or a newcomer looking to test your mettle, there’s something here for everyone!
Table of Contents
Souls games vs. soulslikes
When you hear the words “Souls games” and “Soulslike,” the first name that should come to mind is FromSoftware. The developer released Demon’s Souls for PS 3 in 2009, laying the groundwork for a whole new genre of games.
The difference is simple: Souls games are those developed by FromSoftware that follow the formula they’ve established in Demon’s Souls, namely the Dark Souls trilogy, Bloodborne, and Elden Ring.
Each takes place in a different universe, but if you’ve played them all, you’ll recognize some easter eggs and references. FromSoftware also developed Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, which contains elements of their previous games, but introduces a different combat system.
So Soulslikes are games that follow the FromSoftware formula but are made by other developers.
The best Souls games for PC
The Dark Souls trilogy
Of course, we have to mention the trilogy that started it all. Unfortunately, Bloodborne and Demon’s Souls remain PlayStation exclusives to this day. Dark Souls, however, can be played on the PC, and many a keyboard has probably been smashed after dying far too often in a brutal boss fight.
The world of Dark Souls is a dark and foreboding place, steeped in rich lore and filled with hidden stories waiting to be discovered. Lordran, the game’s setting, is a decaying land of ancient ruins, monstrous creatures, and enigmatic characters. As you explore its interconnected regions, you’ll piece together the history and mysteries of this world.
The game’s minimalist approach to storytelling, through item descriptions, cryptic dialog, and environmental clues, encourages you to use your imagination and piece together the narrative yourself.
The first installment will always remain our favorite of the three, though the third admittedly has the most quality-of-life features. Dark Souls II drove us to despair at times with its extreme difficulty. We still love it, but the frustration level was very high.
To no one’s surprise, Elden Ring was voted Game of the Year in 2022. FromSoftware’s latest Souls game raised the bar, impressing gamers around the world with its massive open world.
The developers were able to seamlessly connect open fields teeming with diverse landscapes and colossal dungeons with intricate, three-dimensional designs.
Elden Ring drew us in from the first minute with its epic narrative, a multi-layered, fragmented, and intertwined story. With the fate of the Lands Between hanging in the balance, it’s up to you to restore it and unlock the power of the Elden Ring.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
As mentioned above, some fans of FromSoftware’s other Souls games may not love Sekiro as much, as it introduces a new combat system that relies heavily on perfectly timed parries. And while Dark Souls was all about minimal storytelling and player exploration, Sekiro takes a different approach with its more linear structure.
Still, we had fun with it and would highly recommend it. Set against the backdrop of Sengoku Japan in the late 1500s, a historical period marked by constant turmoil and relentless battles, you’ll be immersed in a world teeming with larger-than-life enemies and a dark, twisted atmosphere. You’ll encounter enemies that will test not only your skills but your wits as well.
The best Soulslikes
The Remnant duology
If you’re someone who usually goes for characters with ranged abilities in your games, Remnant: From the Ashes and its sequel Remnant II are for you! Unlike most Soulslikes, this duology doesn’t focus on melee combat but instead lets you fight your enemies with guns.
In the dark and desolate world of Remnant: From the Ashes, humanity struggles to survive amidst the ruins of civilization. As one of the last remnants of humankind, your mission is clear: take on hordes of deadly enemies and colossal bosses. In Remnant II, you must battle new deadly foes to stop an evil from destroying reality itself.
Lies of P
The 2023 release Lies of P definitely deserves its place on our list of the best Soulslikes and proves that the story of Pinocchio mixed with Souls gameplay just works!
Set in the Belle Epoque era, this game lets you play as the famous puppet created by Geppetto as you explore the tainted city of Krat, once vibrant, now consumed by madness.
Guided by a mysterious voice, you must adapt and arm yourself against the horrors, uncover the secrets of the city’s elite, and decide whether truth or deception will be your path to self-discovery. The game perfectly captures the feeling of a FromSoftware title, while adding fresh elements and cool boss designs!
Anime meets Soulslike in Code Vein, a 2019 action RPG from Bandai Namco. If you’re a fan of vampires, gore, and post-apocalyptic settings, you can’t go wrong with this game. In this dark and unforgiving world, you must acquire new equipment, level up your character, and constantly strive for greater power to face the relentless threat of the Lost.
One of the game’s standout features is the ability to customize your character to suit your preferred playstyle. With an arsenal that includes bayonets, axes, spears, and more, you have the freedom to wield your weapon of choice. In addition, the ability to mix and match skills and choose different NPC partners adds a layer of strategic depth that can mean the difference between life and death.
The Nioh duology
Set in the tumultuous era of the samurai, the gripping story follows Irish adventurer William Adams, who washes ashore in a Japan overrun by supernatural beings and must fight to survive.
In Nioh 2, you play as a Yokai trying to stop the aforementioned invasion. The combat system is quite different from the original Souls titles, but still a lot of fun!
Lords of the Fallen
Our list of the best Soulslikes would be incomplete without Lords of the Fallen. We recommend both the 2014 game and the recently released spiritual successor of the same name.
The 2014 version is, of course, heavily inspired by the Dark Souls trilogy, but features slightly easier boss fights. It feels clunkier than FromSoftware’s games, but that doesn’t make the combat any less satisfying.
The 2023 Lords of the Fallen takes place 1000 years after the events of its nearly 10-year-old predecessor. Developed with Unreal Engine 5, the graphics look stunning. Your mission is to dethrone the demon god Adyr in a massive world that’s more than five times the size of the original game. Unlike the Souls games, Lords of the Fallen doesn’t have fixed checkpoints but lets you create your own.
While some may argue that Mortal Shell is too short and lacks the broad focus of other games in the genre, we still think it’s worth your time. In a world teetering on the brink of oblivion, you must venture forth into this shattered realm, uncovering hidden sanctums, and discovering the true purpose that lies within.
You assume the role of a corporeal phantom capable of inhabiting the corpses of fallen warriors. Much like FromSoftware’s hauntingly oppressive and desolate landscapes, Mortal Shell relies on the art of environmental storytelling, a subtle narrative woven into every crumbling stone and whisper of the wind.
Prepare to plunge into the dark and unforgiving world of Thymesia, where death is both your ally and your enemy. As Corvus, a shadowy figure shrouded in mystery, you’ll embark on an odyssey like no other.
At the heart of Thymesia is a fast-paced combat system that will push your skills to the limit. Unleash a deadly arsenal of plague-infused weapons and watch your enemies wither before your eyes.
Thymesia draws inspiration from the hauntingly beautiful world of Bloodborne, and while it may not quite match the nightmarish elegance of FromSoftware’s masterpiece, it carves out its own unique niche. The game’s world and character designs are a darkly captivating visual feast, immersing you in a universe teeming with secrets and mysteries waiting to be unraveled.
The Surge 1 and 2
Welcome to the world of The Surge, where salvation comes in the form of a sleek, heavy-grade exoskeleton. But don’t let the shiny exterior fool you, because you’re in for a thrilling ride that’ll test your combat skills, resilience, and love for futuristic mayhem. The game features a deep and immersive looting, upgrading, and crafting system. Every weapon and piece of armor you equip is a testament to your victories.
While it nods to the Dark Souls formula, it brings its own futuristic flair to the table. The series truly hit its stride with The Surge 2, refining the gameplay mechanics and offering a thrilling blend of intense combat and exploration.
The best Soulslikes with a twist
The following games may not be Soulslikes in the strictest sense, but they still take elements from FromSoftware’s masterpieces and add their own unique twist. We personally loved all of them and wanted to recommend them to you if you’re looking for some 2D action.
Salt and Sanctuary
Imagine a world of doom and despair, where a lone sailor is shipwrecked on an uncharted island. This forsaken place is shrouded in an eerie mist, its valleys echoing with the haunting whispers of long-forgotten souls. Welcome to the nightmarish realm of Salt and Sanctuary!
The dark world is inspired by the Souls games, and instead of collecting souls, you collect salt, which you lose every time you die in a boss battle. The game masterfully blends fast, brutal, and complex 2D combat with meticulously crafted RPG mechanics, and we recommend it to any fan of the genre.
In 2017, the indie developer Team Cherry brought us Hollow Knight, a 2D Metroidvania with an amazing art style that we’ve spent more hours on than we’d like to admit. We can’t wait for the sequel, Hollow Knight: Silksong, to come out! Don’t let the cute look fool you, the game’s difficulty is not to be underestimated.
From the moment you set foot in the eerie ruins of Hallownest, you’re immersed in a world full of character, atmosphere, and intrigue (and adorable grubs). You play as the enigmatic Knight, a silent hero, and your epic quest is to uncover the secrets hidden beneath the earth.
If you’re a fan of heart-pounding action, relentless challenges, and a dash of dark humor, then Dead Cells is the game that will keep you hooked for hours. Developed by the indie studio Motion Twin, this game seamlessly blends elements of exploration, combat, and progression in a way that feels both familiar and refreshingly new.
Step into the shoes of a nameless, reanimated warrior as you fight your way through a sprawling, interconnected world filled with nightmarish creatures, hidden secrets, and terrifying bosses. What sets Dead Cells apart is its procedural generation. Each playthrough offers a new, unpredictable world. You never know what weapons, abilities, or challenges you’ll encounter next.
Prepare to embark on a harrowing journey through the twisted, nightmarish world of Cvstodia once more in Blasphemous II.
This sequel takes the dark and haunting essence of its predecessor to new heights, delivering an even more gripping and immersive experience. Assume the role of a penitent warrior once again, armed with a new array of deadly and divine abilities.
The pixel-perfect, hand-drawn visuals return with even greater detail, ensuring that every grotesque creature, every haunting location, and every exquisite piece of architecture is more vivid and spine-chilling than ever before. In a world that’s as hauntingly beautiful as it is terrifying, will you be the penitent savior or the ultimate blasphemer?
Finally defeat that pesky boss with PLITCH!
Have you always wanted to try one of FromSoftware’s games or one of the aforementioned Soulslikes, but have been intimidated by their sheer difficulty? Or maybe you’re stuck in a particularly difficult boss fight and can’t bring yourself to try again for the 30th time? That’s where PLITCH comes in!
We offer codes that allow you to customize any of the games on this list (except Dark Souls III) to your liking, as long as you’re playing in single-player mode. We’re gamers ourselves, and we play fair, so cheating in multiplayer is a no-go. That means you won’t get banned for using our codes because our software prevents you from using them in multiplayer.
Whether you’re looking for unlimited health in Elden Ring, Godmode in Dark Souls II to make boss fights a breeze, or mana replenishment in Hollow Knight, we’ve got you covered.
For those of you looking for an extra tough challenge, try our Hardcore Codes! Speed up the AI in Elden Ring, lower your level in Salt and Sanctuary, or reset your Ergo to 0 in Lies of P.