FromSoftware has hit a goldmine with the Souls series. They became one of the most popular developers after the first Dark Souls, and with the recent success of Elden Ring, looks like we are getting more Souls games for some time to come. Many developers have tried to emulate the successful formula, with varying success.

In this article, is going to showcase the 5 best souls-like games on PC in 2022. Actual games from FromSoftware will be exempted from this list.

1. Nioh 2

Dark Souls makes you feel small, weak, and insignificant. Nioh 2, however, does the polar opposite. The combat oozes with flashy animations and vibrant particle effects, further emphasized by the weapons you wield. You’re a shiftling. Half human, half yokai. How cool is that?

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You feel powerful. But you aren’t. Below all the cool effects, Nioh 2 is like Dark Souls. Death is never more than a few meters away, and like the title it’s inspired by, the game forces you to look danger in the eye; if you don’t adapt, you won’t succeed. Simple as that.


Nioh 2 is one tough game. The first mission feels like an exam you didn’t study for. You barely get familiar with the mechanics before you’re thrown up against powerful yokai and groups of bandits who will shred you apart in seconds. That might sound unfair, but I wouldn’t say it is. It’s a test to see if you’re skilled enough, so to speak. The game gradually throws tougher and more unpredictable enemies at you; I never felt like I could just waltz my way through a mission without much thought. Each area is scaled in accordance with my understanding of the game—the game keeps challenging you, but it never goes too far.

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When it comes to bosses, the game really is a gift that keeps on giving. Every boss fight is well designed, engaging and fair. There’s no Bed of Chaos here. Unfortunately, the difficulty peaks at the third boss fight. Don’t get me wrong, the following are still tough. However, none of them offered the same struggle.

2. Code Vein

Code Vein is one of the rarer exceptions that actually is able to pull off interesting and fun souls-like gameplay, albeit not perfectly. The game takes place in a post-apocalyptic city (probably in Japan). The land was decimated by an entity known as the Queen. You play as a revenant, one of many warriors who had a BOR parasite implanted in order to kill the Queen during the end of the world.

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The gameplay is very similar to souls in movement and combat. If I had to name a game it resembles the most I would have to say both Dark Souls 3 and Bloodborne respectfully (and not just because of the constant use of blood in the game's world and lore.) You are incentivized to be a lot more aggressive than your average souls affair, shields are not in the game, though a block feature does exist which does have its uses. Code Vein expects you to charge right in and get slashing, chopping, or smashing.


Code Vein doesn't have as many armaments as the souls series. There are only 6 specific weapon types. Your armor is also limited based on your play style, some have more armor for tanks while others empower your magic while offering little to no resistance. What makes Code Vein special to me however is the Blood Code System. They are classes that can be switched on the fly. These Codes have base stats like health, resistances, magic points, and so on. In each code are abilities, both passive and active which you can use in battle.

3. Remnant: From The Ashes

Remnant: From The Ashes (RFTA) is a hybrid between a traditional 3rd person Shooter RPG, such as The Division, and the Souls-like genre. Set in a time when an inter-dimensional plague known as the Root devastated Earth and other worlds, players will be tasked in finding a way to stop it, and in doing so traverse many strange, dangerous dimensions and planets, looking for the truth about not only the Root but also their hidden destiny.

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This mixture of genres plays out surprisingly well, taking many elements characteristic of Souls games: rolls with I-frames, replenish-able healing items, map shortcuts, bonfires, material-based gear upgrading system, special boss items, and plenty of secret areas where to find unique loot or puzzles. The Souls-like part is not predominant though, as many elements from traditional RPG-FPS also are significant in the gameplay, such as upgrading Traits (passives) to build a specialized character, enemy scaling based on gear level, or equipping the right sets, weapons, and mods, which grant active skills charged by dealing damage, that best suit your class' purpose.

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Solo or in co-op, players will have to traverse various areas filled with enemies and loot, first on Earth and then on other alien worlds. Each zone has a "main path" to follow and several secondary dungeons. Because of random generation, bosses, area types, and secondary dungeons as well are different every play-through. As a consequence, each player can end up with different boss weapons, items, and gear pieces compared to others because their worlds are different. Of course, playing together in the same world means getting the same gear. This mechanic boosts replay-ability by a lot, with the chance of finding what was missed in the previous run, and since there are three difficulties to clear, that is good.

4. Jedi Fallen Order

Jedi Fallen Order (SWJFO) is a hybrid action-adventure title that combines gameplay elements from various popular genres, ultimately creating its own custom blend of mechanics. In this game, players impersonate Cal Kestis, a former Jedi apprentice now gone into hiding after the infamous Order 66 was executed. Soon he has to abandon a cover-up job, after an accident puts Inquisition agents in his tracks, from here his journey begins to discover not only ancient mysteries but also his own true nature.


SWJFO plays out as a blend of mechanics from mostly Souls-like and Metroidvania genres: combat heavily inspires the former, putting great emphasis on learning enemy attack patterns, dodging at the right times, and parrying enemy attacks just before they land in order to stun them (as seen in Sekiro), plus also using Force Powers preferably in clever manners to gain the upper hand. The Metroidvania part becomes prominent in exploration, with platforming/jumping sections and also with several areas of each planet being gated off until Cal acquires more powers or technologies - this encourages backtracking in a good way, to find secrets, items and even whole optional areas or bosses.

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The game is not exempt from issues though: the lack of any fast-travel means between "bonfires" makes backtracking to find every secret quite annoying, especially in more complex maps. Secondly, some force powers combos or skills are too powerful, such as Lv.3 force push being able to slam enemy groups and sometimes even bosses into pitfalls. Lastly, character progression is watered down with no attribute system, no "real" gear to find and no consumables apart from Stims - those wanting deeper character development possibilities will be disappointed. Also, some plot holes or sudden character behavior changes happen, especially later on, for no good reason.

5. Salt and Sanctuary

Salt & Sanctuary is Dark Souls 2D with a dash of Castlevania. If you like Dark Souls, I don't see why you wouldn't at least somewhat like Salt & Sanctuary but if you're looking for a pure "Metroidvania" this game will disappoint because the game is much more Souls than "Vania".

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The combat combo system is awesome. Different button combinations produce different attack animations making combat fun and like a "beat-em-up". S&S has a lot of different weapons and armors, all upgradable, and a cool level progression system sorta like Dark Souls but includes a massive skill tree. S&S also has a message system like DS, where you can create and read messages from other players.

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The combat mechanics and the character movements are quite solid and trying out different weapons and builds is quite fun. There are many options on how to specify your character and what path to choose - Magic, Miracles, Bows, Whips, Swords, Greataxes, Wands... there's a good amount of different styles to choose from.

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