At the time of this writing, Elden Ring has sold more than 12 million copies, putting it in the rarified ranks of the top-selling video games normally dominated by massive mainstream franchises like Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, and Madden. That’s an impressive feat for FromSoftware — a development studio whose notoriously challenging games were considered “niche” just a few years ago.
With more people than ever experiencing FromSoftware’s singular game design philosophy, chances are players will soon be looking for a new game to fulfil their newfound love for tough, dark-fantasy RPGs.
To help fill that void, we compiled this list of games we think every Elden Ring fan should play. Elden Ring is a massive game, so we’ve filled this list with varied titles that will appeal to every player — whether you want to get lost in another open-world, challenge yourself with difficult boss fights, or crawl through intricately-designed dungeons, we’ve got you covered. Of course, this is only a small selection of games like Elden Ring; there are plenty more than we could feasibly list, so we encourage you to share additional recommendations in the comments below.
FromSoftware’s other Souls games
FromSoftware made a lot of games before Elden Ring, including action-adventure games like Otogi and Tenchu, and mech combat simulators like Armoured Core and Chrome Hounds.
However, if Elden Ring was your first experience with FromSoftware’s games, the obvious next step is to play the studio’s other super-difficult action RPGs collectively referred to as the “Soulsborne’’ games.
The series started with Demon’s Souls on PlayStation 3 (and later remade for the PlayStation 5), and includes the Dark Souls trilogy and Lovecraft-inspired Bloodborne. Then there’s Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, a stealth-action game based on the “Souls” formula that ditches the RPG elements (like loot and stat building) in favour of faster combat and shinobi tools like a grapple hook and smoke bombs. While none of these games feature the vast overworld of Elden Ring, there’s still plenty to explore and the gameplay, atmosphere, and storytelling approach will all feel familiar.
- Demon’s Souls: PS3
- Demon’s Souls Remake: PS5
- Dark Souls: Nintendo Switch, PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
- Dark Souls II: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
- Dark Souls III: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
- Bloodborne: PS4
- Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice: PC, PS4, Xbox One
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Another obvious pick, but Elden Ring’s massive open world and gameplay philosophy are clearly inspired by The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Breath of the Wild was a refreshing and novel take on open-world game design at the time of release in 2017, emphasising player-driven exploration in densely-packed environments filled with eye-catching landmarks. The minimalist interface forces players to engage with their surroundings, tracking points of interest with map markers rather than checklists and quest objectives.
While Breath of the Wild is more challenging than other Zelda titles, its combat is much more forgiving than Elden Ring’s. It’s also more open than other Zelda games and, arguably, Elden Ring; Link can climb almost any surface, and use a large arsenal of powers and weapons to create makeshift paths, overcome obstacles like harsh weather and strong enemies, and solve puzzles scattered throughout the world. Breath of the Wild is one of the only games that offers a similar sense of constant discovery as Elden Ring.
Available on: Nintendo Switch and Wii U
Following the popularity of Dark Souls, many other game studios cribbed FromSoftware’s design, spawning the “Soulslike” subgenre. These days, Soulslikes are a passé trend, but Ashen is one of the few gems in this oversaturated subgenre with its own identity.
Ashen combined Soulslike gameplay with open-world level design years before Elden Ring, and it’s one of the few Soulslikes not developed by FromSoftware to match that studio’s sense of scale. Ashen’s landscapes feature towering mountains made of bone, golden palaces, and ruins peeking through billowing clouds, sprawling forests of bluegrass trees with crisp red blossoms, and verdant coastlines choked by fog. That probably sounds familiar to Elden Ring players.
However, Ashen’s story is about renewal, and offers a more uplifting narrative about finding hope, rather than the dour melancholy FromSoftware’s games are known for, and takes place in a world returning to life, rather than the stagnant and corrupt world of Elden Ring. Ashen is still a punishing action RPG, but its uplifting vibes will be refreshing after dozens of hours with Elden Ring.
Available on: Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, Xbox One
Mortal Shell is yet another noteworthy Soulslike that manages to stand out from its peers, thanks to unique gameplay mechanics and striking art direction.
In contrast to the vibrant and minimalist art style in Ashen, Mortal Shell matches FromSoftware’s sense of twisted dark fantasy and intricate details. Mortal Shell takes place in a gloomy world of swamps, dungeons, and otherworldly ruins. Brutally tough enemies and giant boss monsters stalk the land, guarding secrets, shortcuts, and special items. And, of course, there’s plenty of lore to piece together. In short, it’s every Souls fan’s dream (nightmare?).
Mortal Shell also features a novel interaction on the methodically-paced combat and character building that defines the games it takes inspiration from. Rather than creating your own unique character, players inhabit “shells” of fallen heroes you slowly unlock throughout the game. Each shell can equip its own weapons, stats, and movesets, but they all share a special “harden” ability, which freezes the player in place while making them fully immune to all incoming attacks for a short period of time. This small addition gives Mortal Shell’s otherwise standard Soulslike combat much more strategic depth.
Available on: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen
Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen is an open-world action set in the massive Kingdom of Gransys, where castles, caves, and ancient ruins dot the countryside, and bandit gangs, goblin patrols, and giant mythical beasts roam freely. And when night falls, even more ferocious creatures come out to stalk you in the darkness.
While Dragon’s Dogma’s combat is closer to other Capcom games like Monster Hunter and Devil May Cry than Elden Ring’s, both games take inspiration from old-school RPGs like Wizardry and Sorcerian rather than “mainstream” open-world titles like Assassin’s Creed or Far Cry. This gives Dragon’s Dogma a hardcore edge that Elden Ring fans will appreciate.
Elden Ring fans will also enjoy the dynamic character-building options available in Dragon’s Dogma, which offers numerous classes, abilities to customise, and lots of gear to find hidden in the world. Players also create an NPC “pawn” character that can be sent to aid other players in battle, and return to you with new loot and upgraded stats.
Available on: Nintendo Switch, PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
If you like Elden Ring’s quieter moments of exploration, then Tunic is the game for you. Inspired equally by FromSoftware’s games and Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda series, Tunic casts players as a tunic-clad fox adventurer armed with a sword and shield. You explore a mysterious island filled with labyrinthian ruins, solving riddles and environmental puzzles, and battling vicious monsters to make progress.
Like Elden Ring, Tunic doesn’t hold your hand; there are no clear objective markers, and it’s possible to wind up in a new area with traps and monsters you’re not equipped to take on yet. Because of that, Tunic can be a difficult game at times, but it’s more approachable than other entries on this list. It’s also a much smaller game than Elden Ring and won’t feel as overwhelming for new players. Players that enjoy scouring every bit of a level to find all the secrets while exploring at their own pace will love the freedom and rewarding sense of discovery Tunic can instill.
Available on: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Shadow of the Colossus
Elden Ring co-director and president of FromSoftware, Hidetaka Miyazaki, is a well-known fan of Team Ico’s games, and Shadow of the Colossus’ influence is all over Elden Ring — especially its unparalleled sense of scale.
Shadow of the Colossus is yet another open-world action game set in a ruined kingdom. The game starts with the player character — known as “Wander” — journeying to this forbidden land to resurrect his dead lover with the help of an otherworldly being known as Dormin. To do so, Wander must slay the kingdom’s only living inhabitants: 16 giant colossi — massive, skyscraper-sized wonders of art and programming alike.
Rather than duking it out against these majestic creatures in direct combat like you would an Elden Ring boss, each colossus is its own self-contained “level,” so to speak. Players use a colossus’ fur, scales, and limbs to reach and attack its glowing weak spots. Between these epic fights, you navigate the abandoned world with Wander’s horse, Agro, collecting trinkets that increase Wander’s health and attack power.
While Shadow of the Colossus might not play like Elden Ring, it’s considered one of the best and most important games ever made (even Roger Ebert thought so), and everyone owes it to themselves to play this beautiful game at least once.
Available on: PS2, PS3 (remaster), PS4 (remake)
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
If Elden Ring was a little too difficult, or you feel like playing something with similar gameplay but want a more traditional story to follow, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is probably your best bet. Fallen Order is a more forgiving Soulslike, with numerous difficulty settings and accessibility options that help you fine-tune your experience.
Even if you play on the easiest combat settings, the game’s platforming and puzzle-solving sections will keep you engaged. Plus, there’s plenty of Star Wars spectacle, like boss battles against AT-ST walkers and exploring ancient Jedi temples, and cameos from characters from the movies and TV shows.
Fallen Order also features one of the best Star Wars stories in recent memory. Set five years after Revenge of the Sith, you play as Cal Kestis (voiced by Cameron Monaghan), a young Jedi on the run from the Galactic Empire’s Imperial Inquisitors — lightsaber-wielding assassins trained by Darth Vader to hunt and kill any remaining Jedi in the galaxy.
Available on: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Salt & Sanctuary
Salt & Sanctuary is probably the most overt “Souls clone” on this list, more so than even the other Soulslikes we’ve already mentioned, but it’s notable as one of the first games to successfully translate the Soulslike formula into 2D.
Elden Ring fans will immediately recognise Salt & Sanctuary’s combat, which emphasises stamina management and precise attack timing, as well as the interconnected world design. That’s not to mention the “salt” currency, which is this game’s version of runes (or souls, for Dark Souls fans) and used to purchase items, level up your character, and upgrade your gear. Salt is dropped when you die, but just like in Elden Ring, you resurrect at the nearest checkpoint and can double back to retrieve them. You can also leave messages to other players on the ground if you want to offer hints, words of encouragement, or trick someone into leaping off a ledge to their doom.
Despite the unmistakable similarities, Salt & Sanctuary’s 2D side-scrolling perspective sets it apart from Elden Ring or Dark Souls, and its unique cartoony-yet-grotesque art style is unlike any other game we’ve played.
Available on: Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One
Hollow Knight is a 2D metroidvania regarded by many players and critics as one of the best games in the genre, rivaling even Super Metroid and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, thanks to its beautiful hand-drawn art, sprawling world to explore, and tough-as-nails combat.
While Hollow Knight’s difficult combat and “corpse run” mechanics are clearly inspired by FromSoftware’s games, Elden Ring fans will also enjoy this game’s story and atmosphere. Hollow Knight is set in the ruined underground kingdom of Hallownest. The story is told through conversations with the tiny bug people you meet throughout the kingdom, many of whom have questlines that fill in their backstory. You’ll also find lore snippets — like epitaphs on graves, notes left by previous inhabitants, or whispers from ghostly spirits — that give glimpses of Hallownest’s history and mythology, but leave just enough to the player’s imagination to keep you engrossed in the game’s mysteries.
Available on: Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, Xbox One
King’s Field, Shadow Tower, and Eternal Ring
If you want to delve even further into FromSoftware’s legacy catalogue, the studio’s first-person dungeon crawler RPGs from the PS1 and PS2 eras like King’s Field 1-4, Shadow Tower, and Eternal Ring are the direct ancestors to the Souls games and Elden Ring.
These cult classics are even more challenging than Elden Ring in many ways — though not always intentionally. The outdated graphics, slow pace, and uncommon control schemes may put some players off, but they’re rewarding experiences if you manage to stick with them. Finding a copy of these games will be tough (and pretty expensive), so consider them as “extra credit” assignments for the most die-hard Souls fan to try after exhausting our other recommendations.
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