If you're obsessed with 'Elden Ring,' don't forget about these 10 other similar in spirit games.
Elden Ring is finally here, and with a Metascore of 94, it's already being hailed as one of the best games of 2022.
Taking FromSoftware's iconic formula (that is, tense combat, a sparse narrative, and an oppressive atmosphere) and melding it with an open-world environment breathed new life into the genre, earning it universal acclaim from critics. Elden Ring is just as challenging as its predecessors, but the ability to veer off in any direction means you never feel trapped by a difficult boss — making it an approachable game even for those who aren't Dark Souls veterans.
The Lands Between is truly staggering in scope, with hundreds of hours' worth of content to explore and dozens of terrifying landmarks to uncover. At some point, however, the game will come to an end, and you'll be left searching for another game to fill the void left behind by one of the best-reviewed titles of the past decade. While there's nothing quite like Elden Ring on the market, there are plenty of games that offer a similar vibe — whether it's through unforgiving combat, a handcrafted open-world, or something in between.
Several of these games are from the same studio that brought you Elden Ring, including Dark Souls III and Bloodborne — which are easy recommendations. But you'll also find such games as Genshin Impact and Breath of the Wild capture the same spirit as Elden Ring, giving you unprecedented freedom to explore their worlds, unravel their mysteries, and grow more powerful the longer you play.
Here are 10 games like Elden Ring to play next, listed by Metascore.
Best for: Fans of the Zelda franchise
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Breath of the Wild was far from the first open-world game on the market, but there's no denying the impact it had on the genre. Taking tropes seen throughout the series (dungeons, unlockable gadgets, and a powerful narrative) and mixing them into a free-roaming environment led to one of the best reviewed games of 2017. Elden Ring fans will especially appreciate the surprises and challenges that wait around every corner — although it's a much more forgiving experience. The only quirk to Breath of the Wild is its breakable weapons, which remain a point of contention more than five years after its release.
"The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one of the best games ever made." — Attack of the Fanboy
Best for: Fans of open-world RPGs
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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. And despite being one of the oldest games on this list, it still manages to rank among the most-played games on Steam. Players are thrown into the snowy landscape of Skyrim and tasked with slaying a dragon that's prophesied to bring about the end of the world. Its main quest wasn't the reason for its impressive Metascore; rather, most critics appreciated its freewheeling game design that let you craft a character and get up to whatever mischief your heart desired. Whether you want to play as a thief, a knight, or a strange amalgam of the two, Skyrim offers enough flexibility to sink hundreds of hours into the game without ever getting bored.
"They've created a world as much as they've created a game, and it's utterly brilliant. If you've got a computer that can run it, and the ability to manipulate a keyboard and mouse in any way, you owe it to yourself to play Skyrim." — Game Chronicles
Best for: Fans of mature narratives
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Unlike Elden Ring, which tells its story through active gameplay and player discovery, The Witcher 3 offers long-winded cutscenes and plenty of direct exposition. Thankfully, critics and fans alike were enamored with its world — making it easy to sit through extended hands-off sequences or work your way through its complex, political narrative. You'll step into the shoes of Geralt, a monster hunter that gets entangled in various schemes among warring factions, and ultimately plays a role in deciding the fate of The Continent. The series has since been turned into a Netflix show (The Witcher) — and one that pulled in favorable reviews for a video game adaptation.
"This is the new standard for open world role-playing games. There is no such thing as a perfect game, but The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt come as close to perfect as any RPG to date." — DarkStation
Best for: FromSoftware fans seeking fast-paced combat
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FromSoftware released Bloodborne a year after Dark Souls II. But instead of copy-and-pasting its combat system into a new location, Bloodborne changes things up by introducing an aggressive new playstyle. No longer are you sitting back waiting for an opening to attack — you're now the one pushing the pace and being the aggressor. Aside from its fast-paced combat, the core experience remains largely the same. You'll be thrown into a brooding world populated by monstrous NPCs with little direction, unraveling its story as you pick apart bosses and try to slow the spread of a mysterious plague.
"A dark and engaging adventure, with an excellent combat system, an ideal dose of innovation and fascinating exploration." — Eurogamer Poland
Best for: Fans of dark, atmospheric worlds
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Dark Souls III comes from the same studio that created Elden Ring, so it shouldn't be a surprise that the two share much of the same DNA. Its world is oppressive, its combat is unforgiving, and its narrative unfolds in small chunks as you discover new locations and vanquish new enemies. It's hard to go wrong with any title in the Dark Souls franchise, but the final entry is often heralded as the best in the series and an impressive send-off to the trilogy. It trades the open-world found in Elden Ring for a more linear experience, but there's still much to love about the game — including its steep learning curve.
"Sprawling level design, thrilling combat, and masterful indirect storytelling make Dark Souls 3 the best Dark Souls yet." — PC Gamer
Best for: Fans of unforgiving combat
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FromSoftware wasn't content with the success of the Dark Souls franchise, so it crafted Sekiro a few years after launching Dark Souls III. The brutal combat and deadly enemies make their expected return, but this time players are thrown into a fictionalized version of Japan during the 1500s. One of the biggest changes from old FromSoftware titles is the added verticality of maps, which is fully utilized thanks to a powerful grappling hook gadget. The game relies heavily on stealth takedowns to decrease enemy numbers before a full engagement, and it earned an impressive Metascore thanks to its innovation on the long-standing FromSoftware formula.
"Boasting the best swordfighting in the business, Sekiro is a game of rare but deserved self-assurance. It's a journey like little else in gaming, and if you're up for the challenge, you absolutely have to play it." — PCGamesN
Best for: Gamers on a budget and anime fans
Where to buy: Mihoyo Official Website
Also available on: iOS, PS4, PS5
Genshin Impact is an excellent choice for gamers on a budget, as it's the only title on this list that's entirely free-to-play. If its anime-inspired world grabs your interest, however, you can spring for some premium currency, which can be used in its gacha system to acquire new characters, weapons, and more. Several updates have expanded the world of Teyvat over the years, but the core experience remains intact. You're tasked with tracking down your missing sibling, encountering no shortage of bizarre characters along the way and engaging in fast, fluid combat to slay any beast that gets in your way.
"Genshin Impact is a whimsical, wondrous land dripping with unbridled charm and appeal, combining a ridiculously compelling reward loop with unfettered, continuous discovery." — Game Informer
Best for: Players seeking a quirky, open-world adventure
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Instead of exploring the vast, open world of Gransys alone, Dragon's Dogma sends you out on adventures with several companions by your side. These support characters (called Pawns) can help in combat by healing, attacking, or attracting the enemy's attention so you can land a fatal blow. It's not perfect (many critics panned the game's strange narrative), but its combat and unique Pawn system managed to earn it a solid Metascore. Combine that with a huge landscape packed to the brim with secrets, and it's a game almost anyone can enjoy.
"Gransys is a fascinating, starkly beautiful world. Character customization, combat, and the weird story and brilliant end-game all make this one of my favorite action-RPG's of all time." — Forbes
Best for: Soulsborne fans on the go
Where to buy: iTunes
Also available on: PC
Pascal's Wager attempts to take the "Soulslike" formula and transplant it onto a mobile device. Despite the limitations of the small screen, developer Giant Network managed to piece together a game that earned an impressive Metascore. Critics weren't thrilled with its subpar voice acting and a few graphical hiccups (and you'll probably want to invest in a good gamepad), but the ability to step into the shoes of five different characters with unique abilities keeps things fresh until the final credits rolled. It also offers an intriguing story, letting you unravel the mystery of the Dark Mist, which spreads over the land and signals the arrival of monstrous beings known as the Colossus.
"The combat is great and more than makes up for the graphical flaws and dubious voice acting, the character swapping mechanic is new and interesting, and it is delightfully dark." — TouchArcade
Best for: Fans of brutal action-RPGs
Where to buy: Steam
Also available on: PS4, PS5, XB1, XBX
Mortal Shell is one of the many games that tried to cash in on the growing popular of Dark Souls. Created by the upstart developer Cold Symmetry, it's undoubtedly a "Soulslike" game, but one that manages to stand out from the pack thanks to unique gameplay element known as "hardening" — which essentially makes you invincible for a brief moment during combat. Its story is just as bleak as Elden Ring, as you're thrust into a world where humanity is quickly going extinct, and you'll play a key role in determining how their future unfolds.
"Mortal Shell is the only copycat that can stand toe-to-toe with FromSoft's own work, and although it's considerably shorter than their offerings, it's no less beautiful, haunting and rewarding." — GameCritics