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5 Best Soulslike Games in 2023: Fill Your Dark Souls Voidby@harrymour
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19,469 reads

5 Best Soulslike Games in 2023: Fill Your Dark Souls Void

by Harry MourtzanakisMarch 19th, 2023
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The Dark Souls franchise has received enough popularity to the point where it has formed its own genre: “souls-like” games. Characterized by its overall dark fantasy vibe, high-difficulty setting, and RPG elements, there’s a lot to love in Dark Souls. However, there are many fans that have played all Dark Souls games and are looking for other similar options. Our top five choices include Hollow Knight, Thymesia, Ender Lilies, Code Vein, and Nioh 2, while there's a unique spot for Elden Ring's upcoming DLC.
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The Dark Souls franchise has received enough popularity to the point where it has formed its own genre: “souls-like” games.


Characterized by its overall dark fantasy vibe, high-difficulty setting, and RPG elements, there’s a lot to love in Dark Souls. However, there are many fans that have played all Dark Souls games and are looking for other similar options.


In this list, I will mention the five best soulslike games that you should try in 2023 if you enjoy the overall vibe of the Dark Souls franchise.

Also, don’t forget to check out our list of five tips for appreciating and mastering Elden Ring. Most of these will apply to the games we’ll talk about below.

List of games like Dark Souls:

  1. Hollow Knight
  2. Thymesia
  3. Ender Lilies
  4. Code Vein
  5. Nioh 2
  6. Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree Might be 2023’s Best Soulslike Yet


What Are Soulslike Games?

Soulslike games are games that resemble the Dark Souls franchise but aren’t developed by FromSoftware. Thus, this list doesn’t include any Dark Souls games or other similar games developed by FromSoftware, such as Sekiro and Bloodborne.


Without further delay, let’s dive straight into the five best soulslike games to try in 2023.

1. Hollow Knight (Metacritic Score: 87)

Hollow Knight gameplay.


Hollow Knight has been a fan-favorite soulslike game since its release in 2017, and it’s considered the platformer equivalent of Dark Souls.


Similar to Dark Souls, it features a dark atmosphere, a high difficulty that will trigger your nerves, scary boss fights, and eerie scenery. The only difference is that it is a 2D indie game.

With one of the best soundtracks in the history of gaming, Hollow Knight’s rich story and dark fantasy theme will offer an amazing experience to almost every fan of the Dark Souls series.


If you’re still not convinced, the game has Overwhelmingly Positive reviews on Steam, with 97% of its 247,624 player reviews being positive.

2. Thymesia (Metacritic Score: 69)

Thymesia is a more recent addition to the genre since it was released on August 2022. It is an action RPG taking place in a dark fantasy world with a medieval horror vibe and an atmosphere that often leaves players in awe.


The combat system in Thymesia is fast-paced and comes closer to Sekiro than Dark Souls, with a focus on parrying instead of dodging.


Additionally, Thymesia has great replayability. Similar to Dark Souls, it has many available weapon builds and character upgrades (which work the same as attribute points) that allow players to respec and change their character builds for free at any point.


Lastly, it’s currently available for only $24.99 on Steam, which is surprisingly cheap compared to what it’s worth.

3. Ender Lilies (Metacritic Score: 86)

Fighting Gerrod, the Elder Warrior in Ender Lilies.


As a 2D dark fantasy action RPG, Ender Lilies is fairly similar to Hollow Knight and, thus, one of the best soulslike games.


Similar to the Dark Souls games, the lore, music, and overall art style make Ender Lilies shine and give players serious chills during the more intense moments of a playthrough.


With challenging boss fights and a dark and eerie atmosphere, this game strongly resembles Dark Souls in style.


The main difference from Dark Souls–which can be either a con or a pro, depending on your taste–is its anime style. Keep in mind that Ender Lilies manages to perfectly combine the anime style with the overall dark aesthetic and feels very similar to Dark Souls.


Additionally, the game features multiple endings, amazing character design, and unique enemies that will keep surprising you with their various moves.

4. Code Vein (Metacritic Score: 72)

Combat in Nioh 2.


Code Vein is the anime version of Dark Souls. As a soulslike JRPG, Code Vein features a dark fantasy, post-apocalyptic world with enjoyable hack-and-slash combat.


As many players argue, Code Vein is literally “Anime Dark Souls.” With similar combat, inventory, characters, and style, the main differences are the lower difficulty and the anime style. Check out the video below for a more detailed explanation to see if this game is for you.


With an immersive storyline, great character design, and the ability to try different playstyles, Code Vein is a strong competitor in the soulslike genre.

5. Nioh 2 (Metacritic Score: 84)

Combat in Nioh 2.


Nioh 2 is the 2021 sequel of the 2017 game Nioh, and it’s a JRPG with high difficulty taking place in a dark fantasy, story-rich scenario. Nioh 2 features a more emotional story compared to Dark Souls that will keep players immersed.


It features similarly strategic combat, and its style feels closer to Bloodborne and Sekiro than Dark Souls 3. Additionally, the game has a clearer route of progression compared to Dark Souls games, as it includes a level-selection system.


With an in-depth weapon system featuring multiple classes and stances, Nioh 2 allows players to play in any way they prefer and will be changing their gear almost constantly.


If Sekiro was one of your favorite Dark Souls games, I highly recommend trying out Nioh 2.

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree Might be 2023’s Best Souslike Yet Erdtree in Elden Ring.


After almost one year of waiting, we’ve finally received official news on Elden Ring’s DLC “Shadow of the Erdtree” being in development.


While we don’t know many details yet, players can expect new areas, bosses, characters, armor sets, weapons, and even spells and incantations.


Elden Ring features an amazing and vast world, and an expansion on it is something worth getting excited about.


As for its release date, it is expected to be revealed in E3 2023, which is in June, and the game should release in late 2023, around November.

Wrapping up - Best Soulslike Games in 2023

To summarize, these are the five best soulslike games that you should try in 2023. Based on what you liked most from the Dark Souls franchise, you’ll definitely find something worth trying in this list.


Of course, you can also try replaying Elden Ring, especially since we’re expecting a new DLC fairly soon. If you’re doing that, consider also checking out our guide on how to summon spirits in Elden Ring and upgrade them.


What’s your favorite game within the Dark Souls genre? Do you have any other unique soulslike games to recommend? Let us know in the comments below.