What are the best Soulslikes? Inspired by FromSoftware’s massive Dark Souls series, Soulslike games are not for the faint of heart, with extremely challenging and often frustrating experiences. However, the best Soulslike games can deliver a tough but fair challenge that sees you screaming both in stress and celebration.
Once a niche subgenre of RPG games, Soulslikes have exploded in popularity – and several are considered some of the best games of all time. From massive hits like Elden Ring to indie darlings like Lies of P, there are plenty of Soulslike games out there for you to play right now, but with how intense they can be, only some are good enough to be worth breaking your best Xbox controllers and best PS5 controllers over.
The best Soulslikes on consoles are:
1. Elden Ring
Arguably the pinnacle of Soulslike games so far, FromSoftware (who started the trend with the Dark Souls series) used all of its experience from its previous games to deliver an open-world experience that has captured the hearts of millions.
From the iconic Elden Ring bosses like Malenia to the best Elden Ring weapons, everything screams of a passionate development team working on something they love. The only thing you need to know is that Elden Ring can take you up to a hundred hours for a first completion, so if long games aren’t your style, Elden Ring might not be a great choice. Although, we recommend picking it up when you have more time.
No words can describe the first time you enter the Lands Between – Elden Ring’s world is one of the most expertly crafted in videogame history, and it’s one of the main reasons why the game has been such a phenomenon, despite Soulslike games typically being considered niche. The only thing that lets it down is its somewhat disappointing multiplayer which limited co-op to a small area, but PvP is a lot of fun. Otherwise, it’s an incredible experience worth playing once in your life. The Loadout’s Aaron Down called it “an essential experience both for FromSoftware newcomers and seasoned veterans alike” in his Elden Ring review. If there’s a single game on this list you must play, it’s this one.
2. Lies of P
Coming after Elden Ring sounds pretty scary, but Lies of P holds its own against plenty of other Soulslikes thanks to its stylistic approach to the genre while bringing an interesting new element: choice-based consequences.
Based on the classic story of Pinocchio, Lies of P sees you play as a puppet created by Geppetto, in a dark and moody world filled with monsters and evil creations. As you fight your way through, you’ll be faced with numerous choices that involve lying or telling the truth.
Lies of P may not be quite as sprawling and impressive as a behemoth like Elden Ring but we said it was “an excellent Soulslike worth checking out that isn’t completely reliant on ideas from other places” in our Lies of P review. For those on Xbox and PC, you can play Lies of P with your Xbox Game Pass subscription.
3. Dark Souls 3
The final entry in the Dark Souls trilogy, Dark Souls 3, may be a few years old now, but it’s still the best in the series and arguably the most casual-friendly. Hidetaka Miyazaki, director of most Soulslike games from FromSoftware, returned to steer the ship after only supervising Dark Souls 2, and his talent shows after a somewhat mediocre sequel with the second game.
Dark Souls 3 culminates in an exciting finale for the series, offering bigger-than-ever bosses, engaging combat improvements, and plenty of lore for you to piece together and discover. Like previous Dark Souls games, it’s a twisted fantasy game, drenched in beauty, yet dark in nature. And unlike Elden Ring’s massive length, it’ll only take you around 30 hours to beat.
Dark Souls 3 was also followed up by two DLCs which helped conclude the saga, both of which offered exciting stories and new locations to discover. We’d recommend playing this title before Elden Ring, simply because Elden Ring’s gameplay improves on a lot of Dark Souls elements, and it may be difficult to go back to older Souls games after Elden Ring’s magnificence.
4. Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin
Despite its meme-worthy narrative and writing, Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin’s flashy combos and overdramatic atmosphere hide a truly challenging game that is great for those who prefer stylish action.
You play as a man called Jack, who is hellbent on destroying Chaos. Yes, it’s that silly, but the story lends to some incredible short-but-sweet levels with ridiculous amounts of enemies, with a soulslike-style combat that focuses on action over everything else. There’s also a huge amount of customization, with various weapons to use and different jobs (classes) to level up and engage with.
Despite carrying the Final Fantasy name, you don’t need to play the rest of the series to enjoy Stranger of Paradise, as it is an alternative universe prequel to the original game. With a story that takes a measly 16 hours to complete compared to most Soulslike games, this is a great entry into the genre, as well as a fluid and fun action game in general.
5. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Another title from FromSoftware, and probably the most challenging on the list, is none other than Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. In Sekiro, you play as Wolf, a disgraced shinobi who aims to get his vengeance against a samurai clan that captured him and kidnapped his lord.
Unlike the Dark Souls series, Sekiro has a heavy focus on fast-paced combat and stealth. While there’s no variety of weapons to find, with Wolf exclusively using a katana, there are still different skills to learn and gear to upgrade, as you progress through a confusing yet exciting story.
Sekiro will likely be the most hardcore game on this list, and the first few hours will turn off many newcomers to the genre, but if you can learn its combat and perfect your skills, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is one of the most engaging and exhilarating Soulslikes. Some of us at The Loadout would even rank it higher than Elden Ring.
The PlayStation-exclusive Bloodborne is next on our list and is yet another excellent creation from the team at FromSoftware. Playing very similarly to the Dark Souls series, Bloodborne’s darker approach makes it a contender for our best horror games list!
As a character only known as The Hunter, you’ll enter the gothic world of Yharnam, where an illness has turned plenty of the inhabitants into beastly creations, and as you enter the streets on the night of The Hunt, you’ll have to stop the plague and escape the Nightmare.
Bloodborne is a cult classic, one that is still celebrated by those who’ve played it. Unfortunately, Xbox players, this one’s reserved for PlayStation only, but it’s definitely one of the best PS4 games of its time and is also playable on the PlayStation 5. If you’ve got a PS Plus Extra or Premium subscription, you can also access Bloodborne through that at no extra cost.
7. Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty
While Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is undoubtedly a Soulslike game, it offers a much heavier focus on fast-paced action, with Team Ninja, a developer known for focusing on solid gameplay over everything else, leading the charge. Better yet, the producer of Bloodborne, Masaaki Yamagiwa, joined Team Ninja to help produce Wo Long.
A retelling of Lou Guanzhong’s Romance of the Three Kingdoms, it is set in ancient China and features impressive mythological beasts and sees you meet historical figures from that era. Gameplay-wise, it’ll feel fairly familiar to seasoned Soulslike players, but with a faster pace and with combat that’s heightened with martial arts abilities and special attacks. While it is mostly a linear story set in large, enemy-rich levels, there are interesting side quests and PvP elements for you to engage with as well.
While Team Ninja’s latest attempt at the Soulslike genre doesn’t nail worldbuilding as well as FromSoftware’s titles, our Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty review said “Wo Long’s dance-like battles and refreshing twists on the Soulslike formula make it one of the most effective forks of the genre”, giving it a solid 8/10. And, if you’re on PC or Xbox, it’s also available via Game Pass.
8. The Surge 2
While many of the titles on this list are set within fantasy lands, The Surge 2 takes you to a dystopian future, making it a very exciting sci-fi Soulslike with some interesting twists into the genre.
You play as an unnamed character only known as the Warrior, featuring full character creation. As you explore Jericho City, you’ll come across gadgets and weapons to aid you in your adventure, as you fight off corrupted machines and humans in a challenging story.
The Surge 2’s best mechanic is the fact that you can actively lock onto certain body parts to attack unarmored limbs, chop them off, and hopefully unlock new gear. But it also adds a level of challenge that makes it easy to learn, and hard to master.
9. Demon’s Souls (2020)
The original Demon’s Souls from 2009 never garnered much attention among Western audiences, with Dark Souls taking fame as the leader of the series. But, with the release of the PS5 console in 2020, FromSoftware’s classic was brought back to life by Bluepoint Interactive as a full remake.
As the precursor to Dark Souls, Demon’s Souls is definitely the genesis of Soulslike games, and even though the PS5 remake does plenty to help modernize it, you can still sense that it was the first of its kind. The Soulslike combat you’ve come to know, love, and be stressed out by is still here, albeit in a much simpler format. However, if you’re after an atmospheric, beautiful, photo-mode-ready experience – or if you simply want to play a key piece of Soulslike history – the Demon’s Souls remake is perfect for you.
10. Star Wars Jedi Survivor
More like a Soulslike-lite rather than a fully-fledged part of the genre, Star Wars Jedi Survivor is the brilliant sequel to the surprising hit that was Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. A canon game in the current Star Wars universe, you’ll play as Cal Kestis five years after the events of the first game, while you look for a hideaway for surviving Jedi and fight the Empire.
Unlike most games on this list, Star Wars Jedi Survivor focuses on the action over the RPG elements, offering a mix of challenging hack-and-slash-like gameplay with some satisfying abilities using the Force. But just like most Soulslikes, the Star Wars Jedi Survivor bosses are exhilarating and memorable, grounded in emotional moments with a much simpler story to follow than the heavy-fantasy, lore-focused storytelling of games like Elden Ring.
It’s also the only sci-fi game on our list, so if you prefer science-fiction games over fantasy, it’s likely the best option for you. And if that doesn’t sell you on it, The Loadout’s Sam Comrie said that the game “is a treat for newcomers and long-time franchise fans alike thanks to its blockbuster-level story” in his Star Wars Jedi Survivor review.
11. Nioh 2
Another game from the masters at Team Ninja, Nioh 2 is an exciting action RPG with plenty of style. While not perfect, and often overlooked in favor of FromSoftware’s creations, Nioh 2 is arguably one of our personal favorite Soulslikes, thanks to the variety in action and the Yokai Shift ability, turning you into a powerful spirit capable of dealing massive damage.
Compared to many Soulslikes, Nioh 2 excels at customization. With many weapon types, the aforementioned Yokai Spirits system, and a variety of engaging enemies, Nioh 2 is as thrilling as it is challenging.
If you prefer action over story, Nioh 2 is a perfect choice for you. But don’t be fooled, Nioh 2 still has a decent and dark story worth witnessing, even if it doesn’t reach the heights of games like Bloodborne or Sekiro.
12. Salt and Sacrifice
Finally, offering a unique Soulslike experience is Salt and Sacrifice, the sequel to 2016’s Salt and Sanctuary. This 2D title may turn off some people who prefer 3D action RPG experiences, but Salt and Sacrifice’s brutal and fast combat is just as engaging (and punishing) as any of the above titles.
In Salt and Sacrifice, you play as a Marked Inquisitor, who must adventure across the realm in an attempt to defeat the Mages that walk it. And once you defeat a Mage, you can use what they drop to create powerful weapons as well as Runic Arts, which are safer versions of the corrupt magic your opponents use.
13. Remnant 2
Moving on from more fantasy-focused Soulslikes, Remnant 2 is a co-op-focused Souslike that’s more about guns and bullets than swords and spells. But don’t worry, there are still melee options too. While Remnant 2 may be a sequel, you can still dive in without having to worry about playing the first game.
Remnant 2 is not only a fantastic soulslike, but it’s one of the best co-op games on offer. Just because you’re not always getting up close and personal with bosses doesn’t mean that it lacks challenge – Remnant 2’s third-person gunplay is still tricky to master, and you still need strategic thinking and perfect timing in boss fights as you would in more traditional Soulslike games.
And with a variety of Remnant 2 classes to learn and adapt, and bosses to take on, you’ll have plenty of content to repeatedly die playing. And if that doesn’t sell you already, our Remnant 2 review says “Remnant 2 feels both fresh and familiar, offering improvements for fans while being engaging for newcomers.”
Those are the best Soulslikes on PS5 and Xbox right now, and any of them are great for newcomers or veterans of the genre. We’d recommend picking up one of the best TVs for PS5 and Xbox if you’re hoping to experience the above titles in the best way possible, or you may want to pick up the best PS5 SSD or best Xbox expansion card if you plan to download a lot of these titles.