Hollow Knight is one of if not the best metroidvania out there, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t various other amazing metroidvanias and souls-likes that are worth your attention. These titles below are packed with clever, interconnected level design, challenging gameplay and maybe interesting stories. Whether you’re looking for more 2D action or would like something in similar fashion but in 3D, this list of games like Hollow Knight has it all.
This list includes the following titles:
Get ready to die. A lot.
Way grittier than Hollow Knight, Salt and Sanctuary puts you in the shoes of a sailor stuck on a mysterious island full of scary monsters. The 2D action RPG features hundreds of different weapons you can craft, find and upgrade. If you're looking for a darker, more visceral title, then Salt and Sanctuary is an excellent choice.
First released on PS4 and then PC, Xbox One, PS Vita and Nintendo Switch, this 2016 title is sure to keep you on your toes throughout its unforgiving world no matter which platform you play it on.
The game that inspired Hollow Knight and many others we now call souls-likes - Dark Souls is a must play for any metroidvania and Hollow Knight fan. Superb world design, memorable characters & boss fights make the adventure through the unforgiving Lordran a journey you won’t forget.
Initially launched for PS3 and Xbox 360 in September 2011, Dark Souls soon received it’s much-awaited PC port in August 2012 in the form of Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition, featuring top-notch new content that would later get added to console versions as DLC called Artorias of the Abyss. The game got remastered in 2018 for PC, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
Axiom Verge sees you shoot your way through all kinds of aliens throughout a surreal alien world. There's no shortage of challenging exploration and puzzle-solving in this pixelated metroidvania.
The game was first released for the PS4 at the end of March in 2015 with a 84 score on Metacritic, then on PC in May the same year, with the Xbox One, Wii U and PS Vita versions launching throughout 2016. In October 2017 it also came out on the Nintendo Switch, but whichever platform you go with, Axiom Verge is an absolute blast to play, well worth its $19.99 / £14.99 / 17,99€ price of admission.
Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove isn’t just one brilliant game. No, it's 5 brilliant games in one! Four of them take you through lighthearted adventures, with each campaign featuring a different character: Shovel Knight, Plague Knight, Specter Knight and King Knight. The first one, called Shovel of Hope, is even fully playable in co-op!
Each Knight has something unique to offer. Shovel Knight lets you use the shovel to dig treasure and hit enemies by jumping on them with your shovel, which causes you to bounce and possibly reach a location you normally couldn’t. Customizable bombs are the name of the game for Plague Knight, who uses them to burst through the air; Specter Knight can wall run but also dash through various objects, slashing them in the process while King Knight shoulder bashes and spins across well-designed levels.
Guacamelee! is a colorful Mexican-inspired metroidvania with 4-player local co-op, an advanced melee combo system and platforming that sees you jump across multiple dimensions! You play as a farmer on a quest to save El Preisdente’s daughter from getting sacrificed for an evil ploy to fuse two worlds into one.
The game first came out in 2013, but received a Super Turbo Championship Edition a year later, improving existing content while also adding new cool stuff. A sequel came out in 2018, which you should also definitely check out once you’re done playing this one.
If you’re looking for a sci-fi souls-like, then The Surge is worth a look. You play as an employee of a megacorporation who slices their way through various types of robots while geared up in a cool exoskeleton. The game features a limb dismemberment system that affects the kind of loot you get from a slain enemy based on the body part you cut off.
You can play this 2017 title on PS4, Xbox One and PC, and if you do finish it, you can hop on straight to the 2019 sequel for more epic machine-slashing action!
Ori and the Blind Forest sees you platform your way through breathtaking hand-painted 2D environments in an effort to save your home, the forest of Nibel. While there are checkpoints scattered throughout this metroidvania, you can also create your own if you have the needed resource, a scarce one you collect throughout the game.
Excellent parkour mechanics coupled with clever world design, puzzle-solving, a touching story and an enthralling soundtrack make Ori and the Blind Forest a title metroidvania fans don’t wanna miss. The sequel, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, is also brilliant.
Taking place after the events of Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order has you play as an abandoned Padawan on a journey to restore the Jedi Order. As you explore the beautiful metroidvania-like world you’ll unlock upgradeable Force abilities usable in challenging 3rd-person lightsaber combat, but also for puzzle-solving and entering previously inaccessible areas.
If you’re a Star Wars fan, then this souls-like is a must-play. But even if you’re not and are just looking for games like Hollow Knight, then you’ll still likely find it an enjoyable adventure.
There’s no dialogue to guide you through the fantastic-looking 16-bit world of Hyper Light Drifter, a top-down 2D metroidvania full of secrets and wonderful fast-paced combat. Slash and dash your way through various different enemies and bosses as you unlock new movement and sword skills.
Aside from flashy melee combat there are also a number of ranged weapons you can get, with ammo being refilled via melee attacks, making combat constantly varied and intense.
These are just some of the amazing games like Hollow Knight you certainly don’t want to miss out on. Whether you’re looking for more 2D metroidvanias or similar 3D titles, I hope this list helped you find a new memorable title to play, or at least convince you to play a game you’ve seen before but never seemed to dive into for whatever reason.