10 Best Soulslike Games Not By FromSoftware

Since Demon’s Souls, there have been numerous efforts to duplicate FromSoft’s formula. Some of them were good, even exceptional.

The Dark Souls saga established a new standard for melee action RPGs, and its impact on the gaming industry is still felt today. Dark Souls, like previous FromSoftware IPs such as Demon’s Souls, Bloodborne, Sekiro, and Elden Ring, introduces new flavors of gameplay that are both original and hard.

This idea prompted numerous creators to try their hand at the Soulslike style for their games, some with great success. Here are some Souls-like games that were not created by FromSoftware, ranging from fighting the Empire as a Jedi Knight to deciding whether to be a real boy or a puppet.

10. Let It Die

10 Best Soulslike Games Not By FromSoftware - 1

Let It Die is about as excellent as a freemium Soulslike can get, which isn’t bad by any means. In this game, you ascend a superstructure known as the Tower of Barbs, with each level having a certain number of opponents to fight, similar to Tartarus in Persona 3.

Let It Die is arcade-y Soulslike fun that you can jump in and out of at any time. It’s a more modern-setting take on the “ruined utopia” theme from the Souls games, with post-apocalyptic weapon and armor design. The best part is that it’s free and has been available for a while. Give this one a try.

9. The Surge

10 Best Soulslike Games Not By FromSoftware - 2

The Surge poses the idea, “What if we did Dark Souls, but instead of fantasy, it was sci-fi?” The Surge is a one-of-a-kind game that pits man against machine. Combat is lightning fast, and you must outmaneuver superior combat robots during your stay here. You’ll be facing a variety of foes, including ranged flying drones and huge warmechs.

It does, admittedly, resemble Bloodborne more in its narrative and combat design, depicting a civilization ravaged by its overreliance on life-changing technology, with evading and parrying being critical to the overall gameplay experience. If the fantasy elements of Dark Souls or Bloodborne do not appeal to you, this could be the game for you.

8. Mortal Shell

10 Best Soulslike Games Not By FromSoftware - 3

Mortal Shell feels first and foremost like a love letter to the Dark Souls games, mirroring apathetic enemies and level design but quickly comes into its own with the many unique mechanics featured throughout the game. For starters, instead of blocking, you can “harden your shell” to avoid incoming damage, turning yourself into stone.

The shell mechanic on its own gives merit to this game’s existence as a Soulslike, as there’s nothing like it in other games of its kind. Hardening and Resolve both work towards your defense and offense respectively, and using new shells can enhance your experience throughout the game. If you’re looking for something reminiscent of the Dark Souls trilogy, this is your stop.

7. Blasphemous

10 Best Soulslike Games Not By FromSoftware - 4

Blasphemous is an avant-garde take on the Souls premise, and the most striking feature is that it is a 2D platformer with sword and parry action. While it plays similarly to Hollow Knight or Dead Cells, the XP mechanisms are similar to the Souls series, in that if you are defeated, you must return to reclaim your XP while also being given another chance to face the enemy who defeated you.

While the gameplay is not identical to Dark Souls, the graphics, tone, and overall design are influenced by it. The levels and bosses are both dismal. If you’re searching for a fresh take on Souls, Blasphemous is an excellent place to start.

6. Ashen

10 Best Soulslike Games Not By FromSoftware - 5

The publishers of Stray have their own Soulslike experience in the form of Ashen, a minimalist open-world game that comes into its own quite quickly. Annapurna games are usually great at using environments to tell a story, and making a Soulslike was the perfect choice for them seeing as how environmental storytelling is one of the biggest strengths of Dark Souls and FromSoft titles in general.

What’s cool about Ashen is how it made this open-world Soulslike back in 2019, years before Elden Ring came out. Overall, if you’re looking for something specifically like Elden Ring, you should pick Ashen. Co-op is also featured, and it can be short and sweet or quite lengthy depending on how much you want to do.

You may also like:

5. Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty

10 Best Soulslike Games Not By FromSoftware - 6

Koei Tecmo and Team Ninja make their way onto the list with their Sekiro-inspired Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty. Where Sekiro encouraged you to get good at parrying enemies’ attacks, this game lets you know early on that parrying is essential to its combat. Whereas Sekiro was a bit more linear with its progression, here are RPG elements that can change how you approach encounters.

Various weapons and their skills, magical attacks and abilities, and cool enemy variety keep Wo Long afloat between its challenging boss fights, so if you’re looking for something to scratch the Sekiro itch specifically, this should be your choice. Not to mention that there’s a pretty in-depth character creator as well.

4. Code Vein

10 Best Soulslike Games Not By FromSoftware - 7

Code Vein might be the most unique Soulslike ever launched. Bandai Namco, the publishers of Dark Souls, made this game in-house. A striking anime art style mixed with hyper-edgy aesthetics throughout gives a striking visual and narrative tone throughout the experience. Using your blood as magic, take on the end of the world with increasingly difficult and off-the-wall boss fights in true anime style.

While it can be pretty insane at times, Code Vein grounds itself through its various combat systems in place, where you’re using your blood powers and various weapons to stagger your enemies and then beat them down. It’s fast-paced and doesn’t skip out on any of the edges. It is unapologetically a lot to take in, but if you’re a Souls fan, you might appreciate many of its design choices.

3. Nioh

10 Best Soulslike Games Not By FromSoftware - 8

Koei Tecmo and Team Ninja return to the list with Nioh, one of the market’s most popular Soulslike games. The Nioh titles transport players to Japan during the Sengoku period, when monsters and humans clash in a tumultuous conflict for unification.

One of the main aspects is the ability to adopt several stances with your weapons, with each stance affecting your attack, block, and speed/recovery. You can also employ ki pulses to recover your stamina if it is extremely low, giving you another opportunity in combat. Nioh will delight Souls aficionados everywhere with its realm, magic, and true, if substantially embellished, history.

2. Star Wars Jedi

10 Best Soulslike Games Not By FromSoftware - 9

If you’re a Souls fan and a Star Wars fan, you’re missing out if you haven’t played these games. Jedi: Fallen Order and Jedi: Survivor are both solid Soulslikes, taking inspiration from Dark Souls in the former and then coming more into their own in the latter. The series puts you in the shoes of a Jedi padawan by the name of Cal Kestis, and you follow his journey learning what it means to be a Jedi both in spirit and brutal combat.

Force powers are the big draw, along with the lightsaber styles and deep customization. Both entries in this series have something for Souls fans, be it the inspired combat, novel Force abilities, Elden Ring-esque open world in Survivor, and so, so much more. These games wear their inspiration on their sleeve and become something unique because of it.

1. Lies Of P

10 Best Soulslike Games Not By FromSoftware - 10

This game has an interesting premise, cool opponent design, fighting mechanics, and music. Everything about Lies of P demonstrates that the developers had fun making it. Many consider it to be the genuine spiritual heir to Bloodborne, as seen by its devastated Victorian setting and the conflict between being human and not.

Lies of P represents the pinnacle of leveraging Public Domain to create a superb piece of media. It’s not only a terrific Soulslike in terms of shape and gameplay, but it’s also quite simple for gamers who are new with the Souls model. If you’re a Souls veteran or new to the genre, be sure to check this one out.