Bandai Namco’s Dark Souls franchise is undoubtedly among the best action RPGs out there. All the games in the series are terrific in their own right and offer players a role-playing experience they’ll never forget. The game is so good that they have a pretty loyal fan following of gamers around the world who exclusively play Dark Souls titles. That said, Dark Souls is not the only top-notch action RPG as there are quite a few rivals that can give it a strong fight on all fronts. Whether you no longer find it exciting or wish to try out some of the best games like Dark Souls, we have created an extensive roundup to quench your thirst.
Best Dark Souls Alternatives You Should Play in 2020
In this comprehensive lineup, we have lined up games that are similar to Dark Souls in terms of gameplay and storyline. Though there are some games that offer more intense gameplay and also provide plenty of opportunities to explore.
Not to mention, some action RPGs offer way more customization and even let you personalize weapons so that you can stand out in the crowd. Couple that with a ton of options to grab exclusive goodies during side quests and you have the sort of games that you can count on to deliver hours of fun just like Dark Souls. Now that you know what’s coming up, let’s explore the top Dark Souls alternatives in 2020!
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
- The Surge
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Code Vein
- Monster Hunter: World
- World of Warcraft
- Salt and Sanctuary
- Horizon: Zero Dawn
- Middle-earth: Shadow of War
- Demon’s Souls
- Final Fantasy XV
- Fallout 4
- Hyper Light Drifter
- NieR: Automata
- Divinity: Original Sin 2
- Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
- Dragon Age: Inquisition
- Frequently Asked Questions
1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
One of the best RPG series of this generation, The Witcher 3 offers a lot more than Dark Souls in terms of story and gameplay. The game takes place in a fantasy land where you are The Witcher who fights against evil forces and monsters using arcane magic and sword fighting skills.
The Witcher is a story about the lone-ranger, Geralt who is on a journey to get answers for the events in his life. This game offers a similar combat style to Dark Souls with powerful enemies who will mow you down in a second if you are not paying attention.
Notably, The Witcher 3 has won several awards for its amazing gameplay and storyline, so it’s definitely a must-try.
- More intense gameplay
- Set in a fantasy-driven environment
- Top-notch graphics
- Doesn’t offer enough freedom to customize weapons
2. The Surge
If you find Dark Souls’ gameplay a little light or wish to take on more challenging tasks, The Surge is for you. Developed by Deck13, it’s a science-fiction action role-playing video game.
In the gameplay, you have to use an exoskeleton to battle enemies. With the help of modular upgrades, you can customize the exoskeleton to suit your style of play. Interestingly, you have to target different body parts of your enemies to eliminate them.
Though it takes some time to master the ability to target different body parts of enemies with precision, you can get a good hold of it after a bit of practice. This is where The Surge becomes a little hard nut to crack than Dark Souls.
Beyond gameplay, it also offers a vast open-world to explore which plays a key role in keeping boredom at bay. Notably, you can even craft deadly weapons to take on evils with more venom.
- Power-packed gameplay
- Craft deadly weapons
- Customize the exoskeleton to suit your style
- The gameplay is quite challenging
3. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Widely regarded as the best role-playing game ever released, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a game you definitely shouldn’t miss. The game offers players a perfect balance between narration, story, and gameplay, along with a completely immersive world which you can explore for nearly endless hours.
Since the game is so popular, it also gives players access to a variety of different mods that they can enjoy once they’re done with the main storyline. If you haven’t played Skyrim before, I strongly urge you to get it asap and start grinding. In case you have played Skyrim, it’s time to revisit the game and enjoy some of the popular mods we’ve listed here.
- Highly-rated as a role-playing game
- High-octane gameplay
- Amazing world to explore
- Doesn’t feature downloadable map
4. Code Vein
Yet another game that’s fully equipped to take on Dark Souls is Code Vein. Developed by Bandai Namco Studios, this action-RPG boasts extremely challenging gameplay that can get the most out of you as a gamer.
As the possible death is looming large, you are forced to join hands with the like-minded gamers to go to the route of the hell and unlock the past to restore life from the jaw of destruction. Interestingly, you can also team up with an AI partner to venture into a world of destruction.
While Code Vein’s gameplay seems a little complex, you can get a good grip on it through consistent practice. If you find Dark Souls gameplay a tad simple, chances are you would enjoy playing Code Vein.
Like Dark Souls, it also provides a variety of weapons such as bayonets, axes, and spears. Besides, you have the option to empower your avatar as well thanks to the robust Blood Code enhancements, which can go a long way in keeping you a step ahead of the battle.
- Gripping storyline
- A variety of powerful weapons
- Impressive character enhancements
- Complex gameplay
5. Monster Hunter: World
Capcom’s latest addition to the Monster Hunter franchise, Monster Hunter: World, is another great action RPG that you can try if you’re looking for a good Dark Souls alternative. In the game, you play as a hinter and take on quests to hunt monsters in a variety of different habitats.
Once you take down these monsters, you receive materials that you can use to create stronger weapons and armor, which will further help you take down more formidable monsters as you progress.
Monster Hunter: World offers players the ultimate hunting experience with surprises waiting around every corner of its massive new world. And that’s what makes it a sure-shot in your definitive roster of the best Dark Souls substitutes.
- Hunt monsters in a variety of different habitats
- Create stronger weapons and armor
- Eye-catching graphics
- The gameplay seems less intense during the middle
6. World of Warcraft
If you’re looking for a great RPG experience that you can share with thousands of other people around the world, then you should download World of Warcraft right away. World of Warcraft, as some of you might already know, is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (or MMORPG) which gives players an opportunity to experience an epic adventure like no other.
Ever since its inception back in 2004, the game has dominated the MMORPG genre and boasts of a loyal player base which has stuck around through the years. Blizzard has also done its part in retaining players by offering new content ever so often, which keeps the game fresh for veteran players and attracts a ton of new players.
If you haven’t had the chance to play World of Warcraft before, now is a good time to start. The game’s free-to-play for the first 20 levels and requires a monthly subscription if you intend on playing any further.
- Fascinating gameplay
- A huge library of weapons
- Plenty of customization
- Crafting seems below par
Download: ($49.99 Battle for Azeroth; $14.99 monthly subscription for older expansions)
Bloodborne is a noted rival of Dark Souls, so there is no question of missing out on this one. What makes this game a great pick is a great storyline filled with dark secrets. As a savior, you set out on a long journey to unravel the truth in the terror-ridden gothic city where deadly creatures are always ready to eliminate you.
But bother not, you have the charismatic power coupled with a unique arsenal of weaponry, which you can use to safeguard yourself against enemies. Bear in mind, mere raw power or powerful weapons can’t take you through. Therefore, never fail to make a killer strategy to fight out evils.
Bloodborne’s gameplay seems as engaging as that of Dark Souls. However, the eye-catching gothic environments and atmospheric lighting have looked more appealing to me. Besides, its character customization is also a touch more interesting. Keeping in mind these features, Bloodborne is an able replacement for Dark Souls.
- A unique arsenal of weaponry
- Gothic environments and atmospheric lighting
- Impressive character customization
- Weapon customization needs an immediate boost
8. Salt and Sanctuary
Salt and Sanctuary is like a love-child of Castlevania and Dark Souls series. If you wanted to play Dark Souls, but prefer the 2D settings and gameplay then Salt and Sanctuary is the perfect game for you with its decent 2D graphics and a grim gameplay style similar to that of Dark Souls.
You go around making your way through Sanctuaries, that act as checkpoints while collecting Salt which lets you upgrade your abilities and magical skills. The game is heavily inspired by Dark Souls and lets you enjoy the gloomy adventure in all the 2D glory.
- Gloomy adventure is impressive
- Upgrade your abilities and magical skills
- Intriguing storyline
- 2D graphics seem out-of-date
9. Horizon: Zero Dawn
Guerilla Games’ PlayStation 4 exclusive Horizon: Zero Dawn is another must-have for anyone looking for an exceptional action RPG for their console. The game is a great Dark Souls alternative that offers an immense open world accompanied by a brilliant storyline and phenomenal graphics.
Horizon: Zero Dawn has a post-apocalyptic setting in which huge robotic creatures rule the land. With Horizon: Zero Dawn you’ll get to explore the vast open world, tame or take down a variety of different monsters and craft your way out of any predicament – making it worth the investment for all PS4 users.
Long story short, Horizon: Zero Dawn deserves a spot in your collection of the top games like Dark Souls.
- Post-apocalyptic setting
- Option to fight against a variety of monsters
- Offers the opportunity to explore vast open-world
- Avatar customization could be better
10. Middle-earth: Shadow of War
Middle-earth: Shadow of War, the sequel to the widely popular Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, is an amazing game that you should definitely try if you’re looking for some great games like Dark Souls.
The game, much like its predecessor, is set in the fantasy world created by J.R.R. Tolkien in his The Lord of the Rings franchise and takes players on an epic adventure filled with magic and monsters.
The game continues the narrative set in Shadow of Mordor and players continue their journey as Talion – who still harbors the spirit of the elf lord Celebrimbor. While the game isn’t all that different from its predecessor, it makes use of the new Nemesis engine to bring character stories to life – a welcome addition.
- Set in an awesome fantasy world
- Greate character stories
- The gameplay is quite addictive
- Doesn’t have much to explore
11. Demon’s Souls
There is a lot of similarity between Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls. First and foremost, Demon’s Souls is also a great mix of action and RPG. Second, the gameplay has plenty of similarities.
For instance, Demon’s Souls’ gameplay lets you smash, slice, shoot, and cast magic to eliminate or get the better of enemies. Furthermore, its multiplayer options are equally intense, which means you will need to put your best show on full display to conquer the challenges.
Being open-ended, Demon’s Souls offers you the full freedom to play the game in your own inimitable style. Not just that, if Dark Souls claims to offer a lot of character customization, it seems on par with a range of options to customize looks and even enhance skills.
- Open-ended structure
- Great multiplayer options
- Ability to build your avatar to heart’s liking
- The storyline is less gripping
DarkMaus is like a complete reincarnation of Dark Souls. The only catch is that it involves mice, and evil monsters, and cats, and other mice enemies instead of the usual monsters and beasts.
The gameplay, however, is top-notch and feels as if you were playing Dark Souls. You start off as a lonely little mouse (Maus) and you encounter ferocious beasts (Read: Cats) along with your path.
The combat system is very authentic and you have to react fast to survive the onslaught of your enemies. Search for the answers that lie buried deep in this dark world and figure out why everyone has gone feral. If you love combat style variety, using different tactics and weapons to beat your enemies then DarkMaus is definitely worth a try.
- Interesting combat system
- Plenty of options to explore
- Offers a ton of customization
- The gameplay is less challenging
13. Final Fantasy XV
The latest addition to the Final Fantasy franchise, Final Fantasy XV is an excellent action role-playing game that might interest you. Much like games from the Dark Souls franchise, Final Fantasy XV offers players a vast open-world, action-based battle system, elemental magic, and other cool features like vehicle travel and camping, that you won’t find in any Dark Souls game.
The game takes players to the fictional world of Eos where they take control of the main protagonist Noctis Lucis Caelum who’s on a journey across Eos. Players are accompanied by Noctis’ three companions – Gladiolus, Ignis, and Prompto – who help Noctis easily get through tough situations in the storyline.
In case you’ve never played a Final Fantasy game before, Final Fantasy XV should be a good start, but I would recommend checking out other games in the franchise as well.
- Action-based battle system
- A huge open-world to explore
- A variety of weapons
- The gameplay seems a bit slow initially
14. Fallout 4
The post-apocalyptic world of Fallout 4 is something worth experiencing for any gamer out there. In the game, you play as one of the very few survivors of the world after an all-out nuclear war who’s on a quest to find his missing son.
The game gives you the freedom to carve your own path and you can choose to join a faction to attain power or just travel the wasteland all by your lonesome in search of your son.
The game also has a pretty elaborate crafting system that requires you to collect resources and craft thousands of different items that will help you on your quest. For all of you Dark Souls fans who haven’t played Fallout 4 before, Fallout 4 isn’t a game you should miss.
- A pretty elaborate crafting system
- Craft thousands of different items
- Exceptionally intense gameplay
- Combat system warrants steep learning curve
15. Hyper Light Drifter
This indie love-child of The Legend of Zelda and Diablo series is a bit more difficult than your average Zelda or Diablo game. It’s actually hard enough that everybody calls it a Dark Souls-like game. Actually, it’s really hard, to the point where you end up pulling your hair, cursing at your monitor screen, and sometimes even damaging or destroying your hardware.
Timing, patience, precision, and planning is the way to go during combat otherwise the bosses will just chew you up and spit you out in an instant. The bosses may even feel much harder than in Dark Souls because in Hyper Light Drifter the bosses are really aggressive and always on you.
You have to time your drifts and attacks to overcome these big bad bastards. This is a sci-fi take on the Dark Souls style of play. Give it a whirl.
- Challenging gameplay
- Offers a lot of opportunities to explore
- More interactive gameplay
- Demands lengthy learning curve (certainly not for newbies)
When you talk about a highly competent alternative to Dark Souls, keeping a notable challenger like Ashen would be a mistake – to say the least.
Developed by A44, Ashen is an action-packed RPG. The game is about a wanderer who is hunting for place to call home. As you adventure throgh the open world co-op action game, you will come across other players, with whom you can either collaborate or fight against to prove your superiority.
Another features stamina-based combat system which is on par with what Dark Souls’ combat system in terms of intensity. However, what brings exciting twist into the play is the unexpect attacks that can throw you out of the game, if you aren’t ready to defend yourself.
Other than that, Ashen has a fairly good set of weapons and also offers you some luxury to give your avatar a standout look. Though it lacks a variety of gears and character customizations, you may not have much to complain.
- Open world co-op action game
- Stamina-based combat system
- Decent character customization
- Lacks a wide variety of gears
17. NieR: Automata
NieR: Automata is another great action role-playing game that is set in a post-apocalyptic world. However, in this case, the apocalypse was caused by an alien invasion which led to the human race abandoning the planet.
The world in NieR: Automata is overrun by mechanical lifeforms and you’re part of an android army created by humans that have been tasked with reclaiming the planet and crushing the mechanical lifeforms.
The game has a riveting storyline, an absolute ton of replayability value, and great gameplay mechanics, which helps it land on this list of the best games like Dark Souls.
- Fearsome a post-apocalyptic world
- Riveting storyline
- A wide assortment of weapons
- Quite expensive
- The gameplay seems a bit dull in the beginning
18. Divinity: Original Sin 2
Divinity: Original Sin 2, much like its predecessor Divinity: Original Sin, ranks among the best RPGs out there. The game offers players a great combat system, an amazing progression mechanic, seamless party play, and an immersive storyline that will keep you hooked for a long time.
The game is set in the fantasy world of Rivellon centuries after the first Divinity and it plays out much like a tabletop RPG. The game even features a game master mode which will allow you to choose a game master among your friends and let them take control of the storyline and create an adventure on the fly.
Taking everything into account, Divinity: Original Sin 2 is among the best Dark Souls alternatives in 2020 – without any doubt.
- Set in the fantasy world of Rivellon centuries
- A game master mode
- Immersive storyline
- Lacks firepower in terms of variety of weapons
19. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
While the game may be slightly older than some of the games mentioned on this list, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice still deserves a place on here. That’s how good of a game it is. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice takes you on an epic journey into Viking heartland where you play as Senua, a Pict warrior troubled by trauma and psychosis.
What’s really unique about the game is the fact that it doesn’t give players any information in the form of tutorials, instead of relying on players to decipher audio cues to figure out the mechanics and progress forward. So, if you’re looking for a game as challenging as one of the Dark Souls titles, you should definitely check out Hellblad: Senua’s Sacrifice.
- An epic journey into Viking heartland
- Interesting storyline
- A solid collection of weapons
- The gameplay requires plenty of earning curve
20. Dragon Age: Inquisition
Dragon Age: Inquisition is another great open-world action RPG that you can try if you’re looking for a good Dark Souls alternative. In the game, you start off as the character who has the power to seal off different breaches in the world.
The breaches act as entrances for demons to come into the world and your mission is to settle the civil unrest caused by these monsters while closing the breaches for good. Dragon Age: Inquisition includes all the features that make up a great RPG, including character customization, different races, along with unique weapons, abilities, and powers.
The game also offers a multiplayer co-op mode in which you can join with your friends and take down the demons together.
- Great open-world action RPG
- Character customization
- Unique weapons
- The storyline is less appealing
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Easiest Souls like game?
There are quite a few Easiest Souls like games such as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and World of Warcraft.
Is The Surge harder than Dark Souls?
Yes. The Surge is believed to be harder than Dark Souls. The reason why The Surge is so difficult is that you have to target specific body parts of your enemies, which requires plenty of practice.
Which Dark Souls is the best?
Dark Souls III is widely considered to be the best due to the nostalgia-driven storyline. Moreover, the combat is way faster which makes for an exciting run of play.
Is Code Vein harder than Dark Souls?
Yes. Many gamers consider Code Vein harder than Dark Souls. The game requires you to be at your attacking best, while still ensuring that you have the best defense.
Best Games like Dark Souls You Can Play
Well, that rounds up our list of the best games like Dark Souls you can play right away. The games mentioned on this list are available across several platforms, so I’m pretty sure you’ll find one that you’ll like regardless of the system you use.
In case we missed out on a game that you think should have made it on to this list, let us know in the comments section below.
Don’t mean to be ‘that commenter,’ but…in the FAQ: not sure how ‘nostalgia-driven storyline’ supports DS3 as being the best DS game?? That nostalgia is *for* the original Dark Souls, so…
These best games are really the best! Code Vein is one of my favorite games on this list. I also use the AceThinker Screen Grabber Premium to record Code Vein games quickly for free.