The term Soulslike can loosely be defined as a game that is inspired by the popular Soulsborne series. For a game to qualify, it must have most of the mechanics and designs familiar to fans. However, as a Soulslike, games don’t necessarily have to strictly follow this formula.
Leading the way in sales and concurrent players, Elden Ring has been out since late February. Most players around the world have finished the game at least twice over and are looking for their next Souls fix. There are a ton of Souls-inspired games that are worth a look at until the next FromSoftware title comes out.
Some of these games are hidden gems that take a quirky approach to the Souls genre and some of them are just as challenging, if not more, than what inspired them. This list contains some of the best Soulslikes to get into in 2022.
5 Soulslike games to get into after beating Elden Ring
1) Death’s Door
An isometric 3D Soulslike, Death’s Door comes from a relatively obscure indie developer Acid Nerve and is published by Devolver Digital. The game follows the titular crow character as they are tasked with reaping the souls of the dead.
Death’s Door has all the common tropes one can find in a Soulslike game. Players have to make their way through puzzling levels and difficult enemies.
A giant emphasis on exploration is one of the major factors in defining Souls games. The combat system feels weighty and engaging. Players can dodge incoming attacks and adapt to different dangers on the go.
Death’s Door is one of the more linear games on this list. It follows a simple story with interesting characters and level design. The soundtrack provides a lot of flavor in terms of how the game looks and feels.
With an average playtime of over 10 hours, Death’s Door is a fun Soulslike experience that feels rewarding and challenging.
2) Hollow Knight
Hollow Knight has been a mainstay for the Soulslike community since its release in 2017. The game is a 2D Metroidvania Soulslike with an emphasis on the Souls formula.
An intricate level design, coupled with challenging foes, is sure to grab the attention of any Souls fan. Hollow Knight feels dark and grim. The story follows the player's character going through this ruined world before them.
The combat in Hollow Knight is tied together with how the player moves. There is a lot of emphasis on fast-paced Metroidvania-type combat that feels exciting.
The Gothic design of the world and soundtrack is one of the best of its kind. Players are greeted with dynamic soundtracks as they enter new areas. Exploration and platforming for Hollow Knight go together. Players must find secrets in the world by going off the beaten path.
Hollow Knight provides a world filled with challenges reminiscent of Dark Souls with its uniqueness.
A physics-based Soulslike, Exanima has been in early access since 2015 and the game is still undergoing development as of 2022. Exanima is wacky as it is dark.
It's mostly a survival game, but fans can see the obvious Soulslike references. The physics-based combat system feels clunky and is more reminiscent of the game Getting Over It.
The game is quite small but the main emphasis is on survival and defeating various enemies. Exanima might not yet be a complete game, but it deserves a shout-out on this list.
4) Code Vein
Taking Anime and Dark Souls to a whole new level, Code Vein keeps true to its Soulslike tag by being an innovative and uniquely fun experience that is sure to bring joy to any Anime or Soulsborne fan.
Released in 2019, Code Vein has been called “Anime Dark Souls.” The combat is the same as any Soulsborne game with a stamina bar, dodge, parry, and riposte mechanics present. There is a heavy emphasis on blood in the game as it is directly tied into the story.
With RPG mechanics, players can create their anime characters and set off in Code Vein. The story follows the player's character navigating a post-apocalyptic world as a Revenant.
The game has a good focus on exploration and rewards. Players are encouraged to try out new methods of combat as enemies are challenging. Code Vein is the go-to game for any Souls fan.
5) Nioh 2
The final entry on this list is one of the best Souls-inspired games available on the market. Nioh 2 is a sequel to the critically acclaimed Nioh and is known to be brutal and extremely punishing. Fans of the Nioh series are acclimated to harsh environments and level design, and Nioh 2 takes it up a notch by adding a ton of new enemy types and areas.
Nioh 2 follows the player's character as they go through Sengoku-era Japan fighting powerful demons. The player character also has access to powerful abilities that help in turning the fight in their favor.
The game also features a skill tree that players have to unlock as they progress through the game. More abilities can also be unlocked by progressing through side missions and exploring the world.
Nioh 2 is a challenging and daunting experience that feels like a Samurai-esque Dark Souls.
Note: This article reflects the author's views.