Demon's Souls

If you’re hopelessly trying to get your hands on a PS5 so you can play Demon’s Souls Remake, you might be suffering from serious Souls withdrawal right now. Where can you get just a little bit more of that Soulslike gameplay to tide you over?

Fret not, for I’ve created a list of five Soulslike games that should scratch that very particular itch. The Dark Souls games and Bloodborne are obvious choices, but I’m going to step a bit off the beaten path and dig up some games that weren’t made by FromSoftware.

Mortal Shell

Mortal Shell - First Shell

If you really want a Soulslike experience, Mortal Shell is probably your best option outside of the actual Souls games. This is a game that really gets what Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls are all about, from the oppressive atmosphere to the subtle way it feeds you scraps of game lore. The world is gritty and grimy, combat is weighty and deliberate, and there’s a prevailing sense of gloom that drenches absolutely everything.

Mortal Shell isn’t a long game (in fact, here’s a 30-minute speed run of the complete game), but I argue that it’s best when played slowly, thereby extending your playtime and really soaking up the game’s bleak atmosphere.

It also features some awesome lute tunes.

Mortal Shell is available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.



Ashen departs from the Souls formula in some key ways, but at its core it still features the tough-as-nails, heavy combat style and the ability to collect souls (or Scoria in Ashen) from enemies and recharge at bonfires.

However, the visual style is colorful, and the game as a whole almost looks like its made of clay. The stage layouts are much more open than your typical Souls game (with dungeons still being narrow and mostly linear), and there’s a bigger focus on side quests here.

If you love the basic Demon’s Souls/Dark Souls gameplay but want something a little bit more open and a whole lot less oppressive, Ashen is a really good pick.

Ashen is available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

Hollow Knight

Hollow Knight

Hollow Knight takes some of the core mechanics of Demon’s Souls/Dark Souls (again, deliberate combat and soul-collecting) and reimagines them inside a 2D platformer. It might not actually sound that great on paper, but Hollow Knight is insanely addictive. Stage layouts are brilliant, and every new discovery is hard fought. The game world slowly opens up over time, oftentimes serving up entire new areas when you least expect it to.

It’s also stupidly gorgeous, with a “Halloween cartoon” aesthetic and a color palette that leans heavily into muted blues.

Hollow Knight is available on PC, Mac, Linux, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.



While some might try to argue that Nioh isn’t a Soulslike, it certainly works hard to make Souls fans feel right at home. It features the two things I’ve mentioned several times already (Soulslike combat and Soul collection), though it does set itself apart with its Sengoku-period-Japan setting and a focus on missions instead of open-world exploration.

Perhaps Nioh has felt a bit less fresh ever since FromSoftware released Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, which is also set in Sengoku-period-Japan. Still, it would be a shame to overlook this one, as it’s an excellent game in its own right.

Nioh is available on PC and PS4, while the sequel, Nioh 2, is exclusive to the PS4.

Salt and Sanctuary

Salt and Sanctuary

Now, Salt and Sanctuary might actually be more of a Hollow Knight alternative than a true Demon’s Souls alternative, as it’s also a 2D platformer. However, it “feels” more like a Souls game than Hollow Knight, going for that demonic Medieval atmosphere rather than a more cartoony aesthetic. It actually predates Hollow Knight by almost a year.

If you like the general concept of Hollow Knight but miss the atmosphere of the Souls games, Salt and Sanctuary might be your cup of tea.

Salt and Sanctuary originally released as a PS4 exclusive, but it’s now available on PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch as well.

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