7 Challenging Games Similar to Dark Souls

Hello there, dear fellow gamers! 👋 Are you ready for some hardcore gaming action? Today, we’re going to explore some challenging games that are similar to the intense, unforgiving and incredibly popular Dark Souls series. These games require you to have quick reflexes, strategic planning and a great deal of patience to emerge victorious. So, brace yourself for the ultimate gaming experience!

The Dark Souls series is known for its difficult gameplay, intricate level design and deep lore. Players must battle through hordes of tough enemies, dodge deadly traps and defeat powerful bosses to progress through the game. If you’re a fan of this type of gameplay and looking for more experiences that are similar to Dark Souls, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled a list of challenging games that will test your skills and give you a satisfying feeling of accomplishment. So, grab your controller, take a deep breath and let’s dive into the world of hardcore gaming!

7 Challenging Games Similar to Dark Souls

1. Nioh


Nioh is considered one of the most challenging games ever created. It requires gamers to be incredibly patient, precise, and tenacious as they attempt to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

Brutal Combat

Brutal Combat

The combat mechanics in Nioh are the standout feature of the game. Players need to develop their skills to master weapon-based fighting styles, timing their moves and blocks with precision. It’s essential to understand the enemy’s weaknesses and build a strategy to take them down while maintaining your stamina to avoid getting caught and killed.

Japanese Mythology

Japanese Mythology

Nioh’s unique plot draws heavily from Japanese mythology and history, providing a captivating storyline for gamers to engage with. With a combination of historical figures, supernatural creatures, and traditional tales, players are taken on an immersive journey through Japan’s Sengoku period.

RPG Elements

RPG Elements

Similar to Dark Souls, Nioh features comprehensive RPG elements that allow gamers to customize their character’s abilities and weapons. This incentivizes players to explore the game fully and gain more experience while unlocking additional combat options. The skill tree is vast and requires players to make tactical choices when upgrading, adding another layer of depth to the gameplay.

For those who prefer survival games, Subnautica will keep you on the edge of your seat as you explore the ocean depths.

2. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

If you’re looking for challenging games like Dark Souls, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a great option. Developed by FromSoftware, Sekiro offers a similar level of difficulty and unforgiving gameplay that made Dark Souls so popular. However, unlike Dark Souls, Sekiro is set in feudal Japan, making it a unique and immersive experience.

Aggressive Combat

Sekiro offers a more aggressive combat style, with a focus on parrying and blocking. This means that players must learn to time their strikes and blocks perfectly in order to succeed. Unlike Dark Souls, Sekiro doesn’t have an inventory of weapons to choose from. Instead, players must master a single weapon, the katana, and use it to its fullest potential.

Stealth Mechanics

One of the unique aspects of Sekiro is its stealth mechanics. Players can utilize stealth to take out enemies without alerting them. This is particularly useful in situations where the player is outnumbered, as it allows them to thin the herd before engaging in combat. However, stealth isn’t always an option, and players must learn when to fight and when to sneak.

Unique Setting

Set in feudal Japan, Sekiro has a unique atmosphere and setting that sets it apart from other games in the genre. The world is beautifully crafted, with lush environments, detailed character models, and a rich cultural history. Players will explore ancient temples, dense forests, and bustling cities, all while battling deadly enemies and powerful bosses.

3. Salt and Sanctuary

Salt and Sanctuary

If you’re a fan of both 2D gameplay and Dark Souls, then Salt and Sanctuary might be exactly what you’re looking for. Developed by Ska Studios, the game is a relatively recent addition to the genre, having been released in early 2016 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and PC.

Atmospheric Design

Like Dark Souls, Salt and Sanctuary has a deeply atmospheric design that draws players into its dark and foreboding world. From the gothic architecture to the ominous soundtrack, every aspect of the game’s visuals and audio contributes to its eerie allure.

Skill Tree

One of the game’s standout features is its skill tree, which allows players to customize their characters to suit their playstyle. The tree is divided into various branches, each of which offers a different set of abilities and spells. Whether you prefer to cast spells from a distance or get up close and personal with a sword, the skill tree has something for you.

If you’re looking for a game that captures the essence of Dark Souls in a 2D package, Salt and Sanctuary is definitely worth a look. With its challenging gameplay, haunting visuals, and deep character customization, it’s sure to keep you coming back for more.

4. Bloodborne

Bloodborne weapons

Bloodborne is a challenging action role-playing game developed by FromSoftware, the same creators of Dark Souls. The game takes place in the decaying city of Yharnam, where players take on the role of a hunter in search of a cure for a deadly disease. The game differs from Dark Souls in various aspects, with some unique gameplay elements worth exploring.

Fast-Paced Combat

Bloodborne weapons

One of the striking differences between Bloodborne and Dark Souls is the combat system. Bloodborne has a much faster pace, with an emphasis on dodging and counterattacks. The combat moves are slick and satisfying, as players must react quickly to dodge enemy attacks, prioritize targets, and exploit weaknesses. The game rewards an aggressive playstyle, where players who master the timing of their counterattacks can gain back lost health.

Horror Elements

Bloodborne weapons

The game’s setting lies in a Lovecraftian-inspired universe, with a visceral and unsettling atmosphere. The horrific creatures and grotesque monsters are an integral part of the game, and the players will frequently espy shadows that resemble human forms, adding an element of fear and dread. The bosses are colossal and menacing, and their grotesque appearance and animations make them all the more terrifying. The eerie environment is hostile, and players will find themselves ready to jump at every corner as something horrible can jump out at them anytime.

Unique Weapons

Bloodborne weapons

Bloodborne features a unique arsenal of weapons that adds diversity to the gameplay. The weapons are inventive and have multiple uses, and their transformation adds a new layer of gameplay to the combat system. Some weapons are two-in-one, allowing players to switch between two modes on the fly. Every weapon requires a different strategy and changes the player’s playstyle; some weapons are better to attack with at long range, while others shine in close combat. Moreover, players can also customize their weapons with “Blood Gems,” allowing them to upgrade the weapons with new abilities such as poison or lightning damage.

5. Ashen


Ashen is a challenging game that will have you dying over and over again, just like Dark Souls. However, it has many unique features that make it stand out. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at some of the game’s key features that set it apart from other Souls-like games.

Cooperative Play

Ashen offers a co-op mode that lets you team up with other players to take on the game’s toughest challenges. This is a great way to experience the game with others and learn new strategies. The game also has a unique mechanic where your co-op partner is randomly generated, which adds an element of surprise and unpredictability to the experience.

Unique Art Style

One of the most striking things about Ashen is its unique art style. The game has a minimalist approach that emphasizes light and shadow. The result is a stunning world that’s both beautiful and haunting. The game’s environments are sprawling and full of detail, with ruins, caves, and forests to explore. The art style sets it apart from other Souls-like games and makes it a joy to look at.

NPC Progression

Another unique feature of Ashen is its NPC system. As you progress through the game, you’ll encounter various NPCs that you can recruit to your camp. These NPCs have their own storylines and quests that you can complete to level them up. Leveling up your NPCs provides you with helpful benefits, such as access to new items and abilities.

Ashen may be a challenging game, but it’s also full of unique features that make it a standout Souls-like game. From its cooperative play to its NPC progression system, Ashen proves that there’s still room for innovation in the genre.

6. Hollow Knight

Hollow Knight

Hollow Knight is a challenging 2D action game developed by Team Cherry. The game takes place in a vast underground kingdom called Hallownest, where players take on the role of a small but brave knight as they explore this interconnected world filled with danger and mystery. Similar to Dark Souls, the game offers a unique experience that requires patience and skill to master.



The world of Hollow Knight is vast and interconnected, presenting players with a variety of environments to explore. From twisted caverns to overgrown forests, each area is beautifully designed with hidden secrets and paths to discover. Players must uncover hidden items and passages, solve puzzles, and defeat enemies in order to progress through the game.

Challenging Bosses

Challenging Bosses

One of the most notable features of Hollow Knight is its challenging boss fights. Like Dark Souls, players will face off against towering bosses that require patience and strategy to defeat. Bosses have unique attack patterns and abilities that players must learn and adapt to, making each encounter a thrilling experience.

Metroidvania Elements

Metroidvania Elements

Hollow Knight features Metroidvania-style gameplay, where players earn new abilities that allow them to access previously inaccessible areas. From wall-jumping to dashing, each upgrade adds a new layer of exploration to the game. The game also features a map system that encourages backtracking to previously explored areas in order to uncover hidden secrets.

If you’re a fan of challenging games like Dark Souls, you might want to try Elden Ring, a newly anticipated title from the creators of Dark Souls.

7. The Surge

The Surge

If you enjoyed the challenging gameplay of Dark Souls but want a change of scenery, then The Surge may be just what you need. This game takes place in a sci-fi setting where players face robotic enemies and advanced technology. Here are some of the unique features of The Surge:

Unique Crafting System

The game’s crafting system adds an exciting twist to character customization. Players can craft and upgrade their own equipment using materials found throughout the game. This allows players to build their playstyle according to their preferences and adjust their armor and weapons for different challenges.

Strategic Targeting

The Surge features a strategic targeting system where players can choose which body parts to attack for different benefits. This requires players to think creatively and strategically to defeat more complex enemies, and adds an extra layer of difficulty to the game.

Overall, The Surge is a great game for those who want a change of pace from fantasy-themed Dark Souls games. Its unique sci-fi setting and crafting system add something new to the formula, and the strategic targeting system keeps the gameplay fresh and challenging throughout.

Stray is another action-adventure game that will provide you with a unique gaming experience just like Dark Souls.

Thanks for Sticking with Us!

We hope this article has helped you find your next gaming adventure! With the seven games we mentioned, you’ll be sure to feel the same adrenaline rush and sense of accomplishment that Dark Souls gives you. Don’t forget to share this article with your fellow gamers and revisit our site for more exciting gaming tips and news. Good luck on your journey, and we’ll see you again soon!

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