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Best PS Plus Soulslikes – TheFantasyTimes

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By Nikita Gambhir

Best PS Plus Soulslikes



Who could have foreseen that Demon’s Souls, developed by FromSoftware, would give birth to a new subgenre of gaming? The release of Demon’s Souls in 2009 paved the way for its spiritual successor, Dark Souls, to become a worldwide sensation in 2011. FromSoftware’s titles have undeniably left a lasting impact on the gaming industry as a whole and have become ingrained in popular culture.

In the realm of video games, Netflix is planning to expand its services by adding video games to its platform, joining the ranks of Stadia and xCloud in the game streaming service industry. The best Souls-like games are known for their challenging nature, focus on boss encounters, and weighty combat that incorporates strategic elements. While some games, like Lords of the Fallen, wear their Dark Souls influence openly, others, such as Death’s Door, make more subtle comparisons.

Although the PS Plus Extra and Premium libraries do not feature many Souls titles, there are several games similar to Dark Souls available. While all upcoming Souls-like games can be found on PS Plus Premium, some are not included in the Extra tier. For those who prefer physical copies, Amazon links have been provided for purchasing.

As of June 29, 2023, the PS Plus lineup for June did not include any Soulslike projects. However, there is one addition that may satisfy fans of hack and slash games. Demon’s Souls (2020) for the PS5, developed by Bluepoint Games, offers approximately 25 hours of gameplay in the action RPG genre. It is available with PS Plus Extra and can be found on the Amazon listing page.

Demon’s Souls, released in 2009, was the game that kickstarted the Souls-like subgenre, although Dark Souls and Elden Ring have also contributed significantly to its popularity. Bluepoint’s PS5 remake breathes new life into this groundbreaking game, enhancing its visuals and combat while staying true to the aspects that made the original version so memorable.

Another game worth mentioning is Ashen, available on the PS4. With an approximate game length of 20 hours, it falls under the RPG genre. Developed by A44, Ashen bears a striking resemblance to the Souls-like style, particularly in its melee-focused combat and enemy attack patterns. Despite its more colorful aesthetic, the world of Ashen carries a sense of melancholy and invites exploration rather than solely testing survival skills. The progression system in Ashen revolves around armor and weapons, providing a unique twist on the traditional Souls formula.

Blasphemous, a 2D Metroidvania game for the PS4, offers around 12 hours of gameplay. Developed by The Game Kitchen, it draws inspiration from FromSoftware’s creations. Set in the grim kingdom of Cvstodia, Blasphemous features decaying NPCs, haunting architecture, and religious iconography. While not as desolate as the Dark Souls franchise, Cvstodia shares a similar atmosphere. Players assume the role of the Penitent One, embarking on a journey to complete Three Humiliations, which culminate in challenging boss fights. The combat in Blasphemous is hard-hitting and is complemented by impressive animations, making even basic moves feel special.

Nioh, developed by Team Ninja, is another noteworthy addition to the Souls-like genre. Available on the PS4, it offers approximately 35 hours of gameplay in the action RPG genre. Nioh introduces its own mechanics alongside the Dark Souls formula, including three stances, various weapon types, and a vast world filled with secrets. The Japanese setting provides a refreshing change of pace, and the combat reflects Team Ninja’s expertise in games like Ninja Gaiden. Unlike the interconnected worlds of Dark Souls, Nioh’s campaign is divided into smaller maps with shortcuts and hidden treasures. Loot enthusiasts will find Nioh’s generous loot drops a welcome feature.

The Surge 2, developed by Deck13 Interactive, is available on the PS4 and offers around 20 hours of gameplay in the action RPG genre. Both The Surge games are included in the PS Plus Premium and Extra libraries, providing over 50 hours of Souls-like gameplay combined. The sequel, The Surge 2, improves upon its predecessor in almost every aspect. Its combat is smooth and satisfying, allowing players to target specific limbs of enemies. The game delves deeper into the dystopian setting of its universe, revealing its backstory through environmental storytelling. For fans seeking a sci-fi take on the Dark Souls formula, The Surge 2 offers a well-executed experience.

Code Vein, dubbed “anime souls,” combines the Dark Souls formula with elements from God Eater. Developed by Bandai Namco Studios, Code Vein offers approximately 27 hours of gameplay in the action RPG genre. While not as polished as FromSoftware’s recent releases or Nioh, Code Vein presents its own ambitious take on the genre. Set in a world overrun by monstrosities, players take on the role of Revenants, reanimated corpses with unique powers. The core combat mechanics resemble Dark Souls, albeit at a slightly faster pace. Code Vein introduces companion characters and customization mechanics such as Blood Veils, offering a wide range of build options for players to explore.

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Darksiders 3, developed by Gunfire Games, is an action game available on the PS4. With an approximate game length of 15 hours, it draws inspiration from Dark Souls, The Legend of Zelda, and God of War. Players control Fury, one of the Four Horsemen, as she battles against the Seven Deadly Sins. Fury possesses a variety of weapons, enhancements, and elemental forms, making her a formidable and versatile warrior. While the combat mechanics differ from Dark Souls, the world’s layout, enemy placement, and progression system share similarities. Darksiders 3 offers a unique take on the Souls-like genre and is well worth exploring.

Mortal Shell, available on both the PS4 and PS5, is an action game with an approximate game length of 10 hours. Developed by Cold Symmetry, Mortal Shell wears its Souls-like influences proudly while introducing fresh ideas. Players embark on a journey through a dark fantasy world, facing challenging enemies along the way.

In conclusion, the Souls-like subgenre has left an indelible mark on the gaming industry, with Demon’s Souls being the game that started it all. FromSoftware’s titles, such as Dark Souls and Elden Ring, have further popularized this style of gameplay. However, there are several other notable games similar to Dark Souls available, including Ashen, Blasphemous, Nioh, The Surge 2, Code Vein, Darksiders 3, and Mortal Shell. Each game offers its own unique take on the challenging and strategic gameplay that defines the Souls-like genre.

Who could have predicted that FromSoftware’s Demon’s Souls would usher in a new subgenre of gaming? The 2009 release set the stage for its spiritual successor, 2011’s Dark Souls, to take the world by storm. FromSoftware’s titles have undoubtedly influenced gaming as a whole and engrained themselves in pop culture.



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The best Souls-like games are typically difficult, prioritize boss encounters, and feature weighty combat that incorporates a degree of strategy. While some games such as Lords of the Fallen wear their Dark Souls influence on their sleeves, others like Death’s Door are a bit more subtle in their comparisons. Except for a few notable exceptions, PS Plus Extra and Premium do not have many Souls titles in their library; however, there are quite a few games like Dark Souls on PS Plus.

While every upcoming Souls-like game is on PS Plus Premium, some are not part of the Extra tier. Also, Amazon links have been provided in case somebody prefers to purchase a physical copy.

Updated June 29, 2023 by Mark Sammut: While not a bad month by any stretch of the imagination, the June 2023 PS Plus lineup did not include any Soulslike projects. However, one addition might satisfy fans of hack and slash games.



Demon’s Souls (2020)

Demon's Souls PC Port

Platform

PS5

Approximate Game Length

25 Hours

Genre

Action RPG

Developer

Bluepoint Games

Available With PS Plus Extra

Yes

Amazon Listing Page

Demon’s Souls

Dark Souls and Elden Ring might have ingrained the Souls-like subgenre into the public consciousness, but 2009’s Demon’s Souls got the ball rolling. Bluepoint’s PS5 remake revitalizes this medium-changing game for a modern audience, greatly fine-tuning the visuals and combat while preserving the things that made the original version so memorable.

RELATED: Best Souls Like Games On Xbox Game Pass

A fresh coat of paint aside, 2020’s Demon’s Souls incorporates plenty of minor tweaks and quality-of-life adjustments that improve some shortcomings of the PS3 version. Except for one FromSoftware game, this remake is the best Souls-like game on PS Plus​​​​​​.

Ashen

ashen-soulslike-game

Platform

PS4

Approximate Game Length

20 Hours

Genre

RPG

Developer

A44

Available With PS Plus Extra

Yes

Despite having a completely different aesthetic, Ashen screams “Souls-like” out of every fiber of its being. The combat system is nearly identical to FromSoftware’s Dark Souls, including a focus on melee weapons and enemy attack patterns. While more colorful than Lordran or Drangleic, Ashen‘s world is also drenched in melancholy and sadness. That said, this universe is quite inviting for this style of game, and it encourages players to explore rather than dares them to see if they can survive.

Ashen‘s progression system is built around its armor and weapons, which is a nice twist from the typical Souls formula. At first glance, Ashen might seem a bit too similar to its inspiration, but the game’s voice grows gradually clearer as the campaign progresses.

Blasphemous

Blasphemous Wounds Of Eventide ps4

Platform

PS4

Approximate Game Length

12 Hours

Genre

2D Metrodivania

Developer

The Game Kitchen

Available With PS Plus Extra

Yes

Amazon Listing Page

Blasphemous Deluxe Edition

Blasphemous is a 2D Metroidvania that undeniably uses FromSoftware’s property as inspiration. Set in Cvstodia, this indie game envisions a grim kingdom filled with decrepit NPCs, haunting architecture, and religious iconography. It is not quite as desolate of a world as the regions found in the Dark Souls franchise, but Cvstodia is certainly heading in that direction.

As the Penitent One, players must travel all across the kingdom to complete Three Humiliations, which naturally come with awesome boss fights. Once done, this opens the way to face Escribar, this land’s Holiness. Blasphemous‘ hard-hitting combat is relatively straightforward, and it is elevated by fantastic animation that makes even the more basic of moves feel special. This game consists of almost nothing but combat, but it is at least satisfying.

Nioh

nioh 1

Platform

PS4

Approximate Game Length

35 Hours

Genre

Action RPG

Developer

Team Ninja

Available With PS Plus Extra

Yes

Amazon Listing Page

Nioh

Team Ninja’s Nioh takes the Dark Souls formula and throws a few dozen or so mechanics on top of it. Featuring three stances, a plethora of weapon types, and an expansive world filled with secrets, Nioh‘s similarities to FromSoftware’s franchise are immediately apparent, however, the game does set itself apart quite well. The Japanese setting makes for a pleasant change of pace, especially since it is inspired by the Sengoku Period.

RELATED: Best Team Ninja Games, Ranked

The combat is quick and vicious, reflecting Team Ninja’s history with franchises like Ninja Gaiden. Nioh‘s campaign is split into smaller maps rather than one large interconnected world, although each area does come with shortcuts and plenty of secrets. Also, Souls players who love collecting loot will find that Nioh does not hold back in dishing out goodies. In fact, it might give away too many drops.

The Surge 2

The Surge 2 fight

Platform

PS4

Approximate Game Length

20 Hours

Genre

Action RPG

Developer

Deck13 Interactive

Available With PS Plus Extra

Yes

Amazon Listing Page

The Surge 2

Both of The Surge games are available on PS Plus Premium and Extra, and together they should provide more than 50 hours of Souls-like gameplay. While the first entry has its strengths, the sequel improves nearly every aspect of its predecessor. The combat is smooth and satisfying, especially since players have the option to target specific limbs of enemies.

The Surge 2 shows off a lot more of this universe’s dystopian setting, fleshing out the world’s backstory through its environmental storytelling. The Surge 2 is for anyone who has always wanted a sci-fi take on the Dark Souls formula, and the game does it well.

Code Vein

Slamming a two-handed sword in Code Vein.

Platform

PS4

Approximate Game Length

27 Hours

Genre

Action RPG

Developer

Bandai Namco Studios

Available With PS Plus Extra

Yes

Amazon Listing Page

Code Vein

Dubbed “anime souls,” Code Vein takes the Dark Souls formula and throws in a hint of God Eater. Even if not quite as polished as FromSoftware’s most recent releases or something like Nioh, Bandai Namco’s project is still ambitious in its own right. With the world succumbing to all sorts of monstrosities, Revenants are tasked with fighting off these creatures. While they were once human, these soldiers are now basically reanimated corpses, a state that brings with it a few neat powers.

Code Vein‘s core combat is very similar to Dark Souls, albeit slightly faster than that series’ earliest entries. Bandai Namco adds a twist to the core loop by introducing companion characters along with a couple of unique customization mechanics such as Blood Veils. In fact, Code Vein supports a wide range of builds, and players are encouraged to play around with various classes as they are gradually unlocked throughout a playthrough.

Darksiders 3

Darksiders 3 Fury

Platform

PS4

Approximate Game Length

15 Hours

Genre

Action

Developer

Gunfire Games

Available With PS Plus Extra

Yes

Amazon Listing Page

Darksiders 3

After sampling The Legend of Zelda and God of War, Darksiders opted to take a page from the Dark Souls book for its entry about Fury. Darksiders 3 is a 3D Metroidvania that sees the horseman going up against the Seven Deadly Sins. With a solid selection of weapons, enhancements, and elemental forms, Fury is a lethal and versatile warrior.

RELATED: The Best PS3 Games On PlayStation Plus Premium

The combat isn’t all that similar to Dark Souls, outside of it being somewhat methodical, but the world’s layout, enemy placement, and progression system are similar. Darksiders 3 is a significant departure from the previous two entries in the series and, consequently, the most polarizing; however, it is a great Souls-like title.

Mortal Shell

Mortal-Shell-CROPPED-1

Platform

PS4, PS5

Approximate Game Length

10 Hours

Genre

Action

Developer

Cold Symmetry

Available With PS Plus Extra

Yes

Amazon Listing Page

Mortal Shell

Mortal Shell wears its Souls-like influences on its sleeve, although the game does introduce a couple of fresh ideas. As tends to be the case with this sub-genre, the core gameplay loop revolves around exploring a dark fantasy world filled with enemies that pack a punch and respawn whenever the player dies. While a bit more linear than most FromSoftware’s projects, Mortal Shell‘s level design is cut from the same cloth.

Even though the combat system is relatively typical for these sorts of games, Cold Symmetry shakes things up in two major ways. For one, Mortal Shell incorporates different shells that correspond with classes, and players can swap between them at specific locations. These shells serve as replacements for traditional loot. Another unique concept is that players can harden their shells to block incoming attacks, a mechanic they will need to master if they want to overcome the campaign’s reasonably challenging bosses.

God Of War

God Of War 2018 kratos atreus

Platform

PS4

Approximate Game Length

20 Hours

Genre

Action

Developer

SIE Santa Monica Studio

Available With PS Plus Extra

Yes

Amazon Listing Page

God of War

Santa Monica soft rebooted God of War for the franchise’s 2018 entry, turning the over-the-top hack-and-slash series into a more intimate over-the-shoulder action game. Utilizing Norse mythology, God of War sees Kratos and his son, Atreus, undergoing a journey to fulfill the dying wish of the former’s wife and the latter’s mother.

RELATED: PS Plus Extra and Premium Games List (so Far)

Although not quite as complex as a Souls game, God of War‘s combat is visceral and fluid, particularly once Kratos expands his arsenal and Atreus unlocks a few new moves. God of War pushes its emotional and gripping story to the forefront, but once the main campaign is complete, players can just roam the gorgeous map to complete leftover quests and take on some Valkyries.

Momodora: Reverie Under The Moonlight

Promo art featuring characters from Momodora: Reverie Under The Moonlight

Platform

PS4

Approximate Game Length

5 Hours

Genre

Action, Metroidvania

Developer

Bomservice

Available With PS Plus Extra

Yes

A 2D side-scroller, Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight is a traditional Metroidvania, and the game really demonstrates that genre’s influence on Souls-likes. Set in Karst, a city that has seen better days, players take charge of Kaho, a priestess on a mission to eradicate a curse that has transformed these streets into a hellscape. Naturally, she will need to defeat a wide plethora of monsters, including some rather enjoyable bosses.

Like any Souls-likes, Momodora emphasizes the importance of reading an enemy’s moves to react to them accordingly. As this is not an RPG that supports grinding, players genuinely need to “get gud” and master all of Kaho’s abilities and skills. Even though the visual style is overused in this day and age, Momodora‘s pixel art is nevertheless impressive and does a great job of bringing alive this world.

Thymesia

games-might-have-missed-2022-thymesia

Platform

PS5

Approximate Game Length

8 Hours

Genre

Action RPG

Developer

OverBorder Studio

Available With PS Plus Extra

Yes

Amazon Listing Page

Thymesia

For all intents and purposes, Thymesia is a budget Souls-like, one that primarily takes inspiration from Sekiro. Considering it was developed by a rather small team, the game does an impressive job of embracing the subgenre. Now, Thymesia does leave something to be desired in most areas, particularly level design, but it nails arguably the most important part of a Souls-like: combat. The gameplay is fast-paced and purposefully aggressive since blocking is not a thing, forcing players to dodge furiously or master parrying. Corvus, the main character, is armed with plague weapons, which are generally fun to use. The campaign could use more enemy variety as fodder opponents get old rather quickly, especially when taking into account that a playthrough should only last about 10 hours. That said, the bosses are pretty good.

Thymesia is not the greatest Souls-like of all time, and its shortcomings can be frustrating since they hold back a solid combat system. Nevertheless, the title is a passion project that does justice to a style of game that even large AAA studios have struggled to properly replicate. Even with its flaws, there is still a lot to love here.

Vampyr

vampyr game attack

Platform

PS4

Approximate Game Length

15 Hours

Genre

Action RPG

Developer

Dontnod Entertainment

Available With PS Plus Extra

Yes

Amazon Listing Page

Vampyr

Dontnod Entertainment’s Vampyr cuts players loose in 1918 London, a grim place made even worse by the introduction of vampires. As Doctor Jonathan Reid, players join the ranks of the nightwalkers, and they are free to decide whether they will drink human blood or not.

Vampyr‘s combat is reminiscent of Dark Souls, although it isn’t quite as precise or fine-tuned as FromSoftware’s combat system. Incorporating melee and ranged weapons along with vampire-themed abilities, Vampyr‘s gameplay has flashes of brilliance and is a respectable first attempt by the developer. However, the game setting is its true calling card since Dontnod did a fantastic job bringing to life the streets of London.

Dead Cells

dead cells accessibility

Platform

PS4

Approximate Game Length

15 Hours

Genre

Action, Roguelite

Developer

Motion Twin

Available With PS Plus Extra

Yes

Amazon Listing Page

Dead Cells – Action Game of The Year

Dead Cells is a 2D Metroidvania with rogue-lite elements in the sense that death sends players back to the start. As the Prisoner, players must traverse a dangerous island in order to kill its king, a process that entails defeating plenty of bosses along the way. During a run, the Prisoner picks up new weapons, items, and upgrades, all of which outside a select few are lost upon death.

Due to its procedurally-generated levels, Dead Cells constantly shake things up so no two playthroughs are exactly the same. This design not only extends the game’s replayability and lifespan but also ensures that players never feel too comfortable as they traverse this challenging world. The combat system is fast-paced and addictive.

Kena: Bridge Of Spirits

Screenshot of Kena from Kena: Bridge of Spirits in combat against multiple enemies.

Platform

PS5, PS4

Approximate Game Length

10 Hours

Genre

Action-Adventure

Developer

Ember Lab

Available With PS Plus Extra

Yes

Amazon Listing Page

Kena: Bridge of Spirits

Kena: Bridge of Spirits is an admirable indie project that could easily pass for a triple-A release. Ember Lab created a beautiful and immersive fantasy world that just demands to be explored, even if the campaign itself is fairly linear. Cast as the eponymous spirit guide, players must use their skills to put the deceased to rest and also fight back corruption as it spreads across the mountain. Along with a small pool of abilities, Kena is armed with a staff that can also be used as a bow.

Although not quite as combat-driven as some Souls-likes, Kena: Bridge of Spirits nevertheless incorporates frequent fights, including a myriad of boss encounters that can pack a considerable wallop. Melee actions are reasonably satisfying to execute, and they are complemented well by Kena’s ranged and spiritual abilities. When not engaging in battles to the death, the game shifts its focus to puzzles, exploration, and light platforming. None of these elements are particularly original, but they are generally executed well.

Bloodborne

Bloodborne expansion boss battle

FromSoftware’s Bloodborne is the best Souls-like game on PS Plus Extra and Premium. A Gothic masterpiece set in the nightmare-inducing Yharnam, this PS4 exclusive is a masterclass in atmosphere, environmental design, music, and gameplay.

RELATED: Things Bloodborne Does Better Than Any Other FromSoftware Game

Utilizing a far more aggressive battle system than the Souls games, Bloodborne does not have a single restful moment. When playing this game, every instance is spent on edge as a new terrifying beast lurks around every corner, waiting to brutally demolish the Hunter. It is glorious. Compared to Dark Souls or Elden Ring, Bloodborne has a smaller pool of weapons and armor, allowing for a more limited range of builds. Even though this decision can be disappointing, the included items are valid candidates that can carry players for most of the campaign, and the weapons have multiple forms. That said, the game still has a decent selection of options, so it is not fully a case of quantity over quality.

Hollow Knight Voidheart Edition

The Kingsmould attack the Knight in the White Palace

Platform

PS4

Approximate Game Length

30 Hours

Genre

Metroidvania

Developer

Team Cherry

Available With PS Plus Extra

Yes

Amazon Listing Page

Hollow Knight

Team Cherry’s Hollow Knight was one of the most popular indie games of the 2010s, and time has not dulled any of the project’s shine. This 2D Metroidvania is set in Hallownest, a deceptively massive underground kingdom that is filled with beauty and nightmares. Cast as the Knight, players must traverse this strange world, battling enemies and defeating bosses along the way.

Similar to Dark Souls, Hollow Knight does not hold the player’s hand in any significant way. Encouraging exploration and backtracking, the game fills its world with lore drops and NPCs that deliver side quests. Hollow Knight is not only one of the best PS Plus Souls-like games but also one of the greatest titles on the service.

Demon’s Souls (2009)

Demon's Souls 2009

Platform

PS3

Approximate Game Length

30 Hours

Genre

Action RPG

Developer

FromSoftware

Available With PS Plus Extra

No

Amazon Listing Page

Demon’s Souls

PS Plus Premium and Extra subscribers with a PS5 can jump into 2020’s Demon’s Souls remake, but PS4 owners are not ignored either. Part of PS Plus’s Classic catalog, FromSoftware’s Demon’s Souls set the groundwork for Dark Souls, and some might even argue that the 2009 game is better than its spiritual successor.

Although some aspects are antiquated, Demon’s Souls‘ fantastic level design, incredible boss fights, and limited but still rewarding combat pick up the slack for some of the game’s obtuse mechanics or rough edges. The fact PS Plus Premium only allows subscribers to stream FromSoftware’s Demon’s Souls puts it firmly behind the remake, but it is still a landmark release that spawned an entire subgenre.

Other Games On PS Plus Dark Souls Fans Might Love

Ultimately, there is only a limited number of games that fit the Souls-like descriptor. However, that does not mean PS Plus Premium and Extra subscribers who are fans of FromSoftware’s franchise have nothing to play once they have exhausted the above titles – they just have to expand their criteria. While the following PS Plus games are not cut from the same cloth as Dark Souls, they scratch a similar itch through their combat, lore delivery, or level design.

Toukiden 2

toukiden 2 boss battle

Platform

PS4

Approximate Game Length

20-80 Hours

Genre

Action Open-World

Developer

Omega Force

Available With PS Plus Extra

Yes

Both PS4 Toukiden games are available on PS Plus Premium, but there is not that much reason to play the original when the sequel is just a click away. Sharing similarities with Monster Hunter, Toukiden 2 is all about slaying massive demons. Like Capcom’s license and, to an extent, Dark Souls, Toukiden 2‘s combat changes considerably depending on the player’s chosen weapon. With 11 types available, the gameplay comes with a considerable amount of depth courtesy of its diverse options of playstyles.

Toukiden 2 gives players access to a large open-world consisting of seven areas, and a big part of the experience involves exploring these unique zones in search of demons. The game offers a sense of discovery that is not far removed from the Souls franchise.

Scarlet Nexus

scarlet nexus boss fight

Platform

PS5, PS4

Approximate Game Length

25 Hours

Genre

Action JRPG

Developers

Bandai Namco Studios, Tose

Available With PS Plus Extra

Yes

Amazon Listing Page

Scarlet Nexus

Bandai Namco has tried its hands at a few new IPs in recent years, and Scarlet Nexus might be the company’s crown jewel. The action JRPG throws a lot at the player: two protagonists with connected but still unique storylines, deep lore, a somewhat convoluted plot, and a fairly complex combat system. While not everything hits the mark, the overall package is ambitious and impressive, especially since a full playthrough should require roughly 50 hours. That is a lot of content, and most of it is of high quality.

Scarlet Nexus opts for a fast-paced battle system reminiscent of something like the Tales franchise, albeit with only one playable character per playthrough. The game does a good job of rolling out new mechanics and supporting party members at a steady pace to avoid overwhelming players, particularly since they also have to manage an expansive skill tree.

Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow

castlevania lords of shadow 1 Gabriel Belmont fighting a monster

Platform

PS3

Approximate Game Length

18 Hours

Genre

Action

Developers

MercurySteam, Kojima Productions

Available With PS Plus Extra

No

Amazon Listing Page

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow

Except for Castlevania: Harmony of Despair, the Castlevania: Lords of Shadow games are the only representatives of Konami’s franchise on PS Plus Premium. The latter titles are rather polarizing among long-time fans since they largely push exploration to the side in favor of combat similar to God of War and, to a lesser extent, Devil May Cry. All three titles have their positives and negatives, but the original Lords of Shadow is overall the most satisfying experience.

RELATED: Best Games In The Castlevania Franchise Ranked (According To Metacritic)

Set during the 11th century, Lords of Shadow brings to life an exceptional Gothic-esque Medieval world that feels massive despite the linear level design. The combat system is flashy and fairly deep, especially once Gabriel unlocks most of his combos.

Assassin’s Creed Origins

Art From Assassin's Creed Origins

Platform

PS4

Approximate Game Length

30 Hours

Genre

Action-Adventure

Developer

Ubisoft Montreal

Available With PS Plus Extra

Yes

Amazon Listing Page

Assassin’s Creed Origins

Assassin’s Creed Origins marked a turning point in Ubisoft’s franchise that has gradually seen the license incorporate more and more RPG elements. Origins also introduces a more action-oriented combat system reminiscent of Souls-likes, albeit not as weighty or challenging.

Set in Ancient Egypt, the game drops players into a massive and gorgeous open-world filled to the brim with content. That said, the main story can be completed in a reasonable time frame, so it is up to the player to decide whether they want to pursue all the secondary content.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake

The beginning of Final Fantasy 7 Remake

Platform

PS4, PS5

Approximate Game Length

35 Hours

Genre

Action RPG

Developer

Square Enix

Available With PS Plus Extra

Yes

Amazon Listing Page

Final Fantasy 7 Remake

For the remake of Final Fantasy 7, Square Enix opted to go in an entirely new direction. Besides the obvious visual upgrade, the remake’s biggest modification is its battle system. Rather than turn-based, FF7R utilizes real-time combat with the option to pause encounters to execute special moves or use items. The base game has four playable characters – Cloud, Barret, Aerith, and Tifa – all of whom are unique entities. The PS5’s Intergrade also has Yuffie’s DLC chapter, adding another fighter into the mix.

Although faster than most Souls-likes, FF7R‘s combat should strike a chord with fans of those games. Narratively, the JRPG does a great job of establishing its universe and characters, setting things up for the upcoming sequel.

Ninja Gaiden Sigma

ninja gaiden sigma battle ryu

Platform

PS3

Approximate Game Length

15 Hours

Genre

Action

Developer

Team Ninja

Available With PS Plus Extra

No

Amazon Listing Page

Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection

In terms of level design, gameplay, or story presentation, Ninja Gaiden Sigma and Dark Souls have practically nothing in common. Ninja Gaiden Sigma‘s combat is fast, explosive, and predominantly melee-based. Ryu has access to an array of weapons, including some ranged options, but character customization doesn’t play much of a role. The shinobi also has a few magic abilities.

RELATED: Ninja Gaiden Master Collection: Pro Tips For Sigma’s Combat

Despite these differences, Souls fans are likely to love Ninja Gaiden Sigma due to its punishing but fair difficulty and epic boss fights. No enemy in the game is a pushover, and Ryu has to carefully monitor and react to his opponent’s movements to avoid a quick end. Ninja Gaiden is all about efficiently and swiftly eradicating enemies.

Soulstice

Soulstice - Dashing

Platform

PS4, PS5

Approximate Game Length

18 Hours

Genre

Hack and Slash

Developer

Reply Game Studios

Available With PS Plus Extra

Yes

Amazon Listing Page

Soulstice: Deluxe Edition

Do not be fooled by its name, Soulstice is inspired by hack and slash games like Devil May Cry rather than Soulslikes. In fact, it has very little in common with the latter, outside of basic stylistic choices like Lovecraftian-style monsters and a reluctance to handhold players. Consequently, someone’s mileage with the AA game will depend on their appreciation for the so-called “character action” subgenre. Even if it is not cut from the same cloth as Dark Souls, Soulstice deserves to be highlighted since it did not receive all that much attention when it launched in 2022. Reply Game has done a great job of updating the project by listening to player feedback, and the version currently available is superior to the one that launched.

Set in a city that has fallen into chaos, Soulstice weaves a dark narrative that takes itself very seriously, which sets it apart from other games of this ilk. The story and characters are not all that memorable, but the setting itself has potential. Ultimately, the lengthy campaign is all about combat, with most stages consisting of linear corridors linking battle arenas. While repetitive, Soulstice‘s gameplay is generally intense, fast-paced, and challenging. The combat encourages players to constantly switch weapons to perform combos, and some enemies are even color-coded to amplify this need.

Kingdom Hearts Final Mix

Sora, Donald, and Goofy face Cloud in Kingdom Hearts 1

Platform

PS4

Approximate Game Length

25 Hours

Genre

Action RPG

Developer

Square Enix

Available With PS Plus Extra

Yes

Amazon Listing Page

Kingdom Hearts All-in-One Package

On November 15, 2022, Kingdom Hearts made its PS Plus Extra debut, bringing with it seven full games, a prologue, and a couple of compilation movies. Anyone looking to jump into Square Enix’s franchise can look forward to well over 150 hours of gameplay, and that number is on the conservative side. All the main games are, at the bare minimum, decent, and many long-time fans would argue that Kingdom Hearts 2 and Birth by Sleep represent the franchise at its best. However, newcomers should undoubtedly start with the first game, and it is also the best pick for Souls-like fans.

Compared to its sequels, the original Kingdom Hearts is considerably more difficult since Sora is far less overpowered. Slower-paced and more punishing, the combat system focuses on reading and reacting to the enemy’s movements rather than overwhelming them through sheer force. The boss battles are also epic and challenging, and that goes triple for the secret bosses.

Narratively, Kingdom Hearts is a complete departure from something like Dark Souls. Although convoluted in places, Square Enix’s franchise is rather blunt with its themes, which are repeatedly reinforced during lengthy cutscenes. That’s not to say Kingdom Hearts‘ storytelling approach is bad, just different.

Ghost Of Tsushima

ghost of tsushima ghost weapons bomb kunai wind chime projectile stealth sequel

Platform

PS4, PS5

Approximate Game Length

25 Hours

Genre

Open-World Action-Adventure

Developer

Sucker Punch Productions

Available With PS Plus Extra

Yes

Amazon Listing Page

Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut

Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima acted as something of a swan song for the PS4 era, and it allowed Sony’s last-gen console to conclude its main run on a high. Set during the Mongol raid on Japan, the story follows a samurai who goes on a quest to protect Tsushima Island after it has been overrun by the invading force. Boasting a large and visually stunning world, Ghost of Tsushima immerses players in a bygone era that has rarely been adopted as a setting by games.

RELATED: PS4 And PS5 Games With Great Narratives

While not quite as difficult as the standard Souls-like, Ghost of Tsushima‘s combat is still fantastic and addictive. The game presents players with quite a few options on how they would like to approach scenarios, and they can even decide to challenge enemies to duels. Along with the PS4 version, PS Plus Extra also has Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut, which incorporates the Iki Island expansion. This section adds roughly 5–10 hours of content.

Devil May Cry 5

devil may cry 5 nero boss fight

Platform

PS4, PS5

Approximate Game Length

12 Hours

Genre

Hack and Slash

Developer

Capcom

Available With PS Plus Extra

Yes

Amazon Listing Page

Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition

Added to PS Plus Extra in January 2023, Devil May Cry 5 is stylish, over-the-top, deep, difficult, and the definition of fun. After barely touching the franchise for roughly a decade, Capcom finally revived the mainline DMC series, and the fifth entry was a massive return to form that also took plenty of risks in its gameplay and presentation. Over the course of 10+ hours, the campaign introduces three playable characters, all of whom use completely different combat systems.

While Dante’s sections are not far removed from the character’s previous incarnations, Nero’s mechanics have been overhauled, and the changes are for the better. V is more of a polarizing figure, but his gameplay offers a nice change of pace. Compared to Souls-likes, DMC5 is generally more fast-paced and combo-driven. While presented as a continuous adventure, the campaign is split into linear stages that provide very little room for exploration. This game is 100% about combat, with everything else taking a backseat. Thankfully, DMC5 nails its gameplay.

Kingdoms Of Amalur: Re-Reckoning

Kingdoms Of Amalur Re-Reckoning combat

Platform

PS4

Approximate Game Length

25 Hours

Genre

Action RPG

Developer

Big Huge Games

Available With PS Plus Extra

No

Kingdoms of Amalur debuted during the same era as Dark Souls, and similar to FromSoftware’s project, the RPG had one of the better battle systems of the early 2010s. Utilizing real-time hack and slash combat, the game offers fast-paced action with a fair amount of variety via a decent range of weapon types along with an overpowered magic system. Although nowhere near as difficult or precise as a typical Souls-like, Kingdoms of Amalur‘s combat is stylish and flashy, all the while containing enough depth to carry a campaign that can easily last roughly 30 hours.

While prominently featured, the game’s narrative is not particularly engaging, and it largely serves as a way to chaperon players from one area and city to the next. Kingdoms of Amalur‘s fantasy setting is certainly more vibrant than FromSoftware’s worlds, but it was reasonably detailed and impressive for 2012.

Ys 8: Lacrimosa Of Dana

Ys 8 Lacrimosa of DANA fight

Platform

PS4

Approximate Game Length

38 Hours

Genre

Action JRPG

Developer

Nihon Falcom

Available With PS Plus Extra

Yes

Amazon Listing Page

Ys 8: Lacrimosa of Dana

Even if it lacks the name recognition of Dragon Quest or Final Fantasy, Nihon Falcom’s Ys is arguably almost as important to action JRPGs as those projects are to turn-based titles. At least, in terms of consistency, Ys has been delivering the goods for decades; during the PS3 and PS4 eras, the franchise finally started to gain more recognition on consoles and in Western nations.

PS Plus Extra has Ys 8 and Ys 9, and while they follow the same protagonist, they can be treated as standalone stories. Although the sequel is worth playing, its predecessor serves as a superior entry point since its campaign is better-paced. Set on a mysterious island that gradually opens up as the characters explore more and more of it, Ys 8 features addictive hack and slash combat that is satisfying and accessible. Although by no means shallow on a fundamental level, the JRPG also has multiple playable characters that can be swapped on the fly, ensuring battles do not get old quickly.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

Star Wars Force Unleashed Vader

Platform

PS3

Approximate Game Length

8 Hours

Genre

Action-Adventure

Developer

LucasArts

Available With PS Plus Extra

No

Amazon Listing Page

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

Star Wars has produced its share of great games, and the Jedi: Fallen Order subseries is a must-play for Souls-like fans. Except for Knights of the Old Republic and the old Battlefront entries, Respawn’s 2019 release is arguably the best Star Wars game on the market, especially if someone is specifically searching for action above everything else. However, once upon a time, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed seemed set to take that crown, only for a rushed sequel to derail the series’ momentum.

Flawed as both of these games are, The Force Unleashed and its sequel are still decent recommendations for anyone searching for some lightsaber-driven hack-and-slash action. Gameplay-wise, they are closer to the classic God of War games than Dark Souls, but the games do have fun and empowering combat systems. The first entry also tells an engaging story revolving around Starkiller, a Sith who trained directly under Darth Vader.

PS Plus Premium has both The Force Unleashed games, and while the second one gets a lot of deserved criticism for its muddled story and short length, it does improve its predecessor’s gameplay.

The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim – Special Edition

Skyrim Whiterun entrance

Released in the same year as Dark Souls, Skyrim‘s longevity even manages to eclipse FromSoftware’s title. Available on three console generations, the Western RPG was a massive critical and commercial success right out of the gate. Bethesda’s game went on to produce three expansions, which are included in the Special Edition available on PS Plus Extra. Offering detailed customization options and plenty of loot to discover, Skyrim gives players freedom in how they want to interact with its world.

RELATED: Skyrim: The Best Spells In The Game, Ranked

Like Dark Souls, Skyrim takes place in a dark fantasy universe, albeit one that is not quite as apocalyptic as FromSoftware’s projects. Although Bethesda’s masterpiece is far more story-driven than a traditional Souls-like, the RPG arguably shines the brightest when exploration is pushed to the forefront. Simply existing within Skyrim can be more exciting than fulfilling the role of the Dragonborn; that said, the latter produces some excellent moments as well.

Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition & Horizon Forbidden West

horizon zero dawn and horizon forbidden west

Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition

Horizon Forbidden West

Platform

PS4

PS4, PS5

Approximate Game Length

30 Hours

30 Hours

Genre

Open-World Action

Open-World Action

Developer

Guerrilla Games

Guerrilla Games

Available With PS Plus Extra

Yes

Yes

Amazon Listing Page

Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition

Horizon Forbidden West

In February 2023, Sony added Horizon Forbidden West to PS Plus Extra, permitting subscribers to experience (most) of Aloy’s story so far. Combined, these two open-world games can readily keep someone engaged for close to a hundred hours if they take their time with side quests and exploration. Although Horizon‘s gameplay is relatively different from Souls-likes since there is a heavier focus on ranged attacks, Guerrilla’s games can match many titles in terms of spectacle and scale.

As Aloy, players explore a post-apocalyptic version of Earth that has reverted to a tribal structure while also allowing for the existence of mechanical monstrosities in the form of machine dinosaurs. Like Dark Souls, Horizon has extensive lore reinforced through environmental storytelling; that said, the franchise is quite plot-driven.

Shadow Of The Colossus (2018)

The main character looking up at a ginormous titan in Shadow of the Colossus

Platform

PS4

Approximate Game Length

7 Hours

Genre

Adventure

Developer

Bluepoint Games

Available With PS Plus Extra

Yes

Amazon Listing Page

Shadow of the Colossus

Bluepoint should just handle all the remakes. 2018’s Shadow of the Colossus wisely changes very little about Team Ico’s 2005 masterpiece since it is a tall order to improve upon near perfection. While preserving the original’s story, characters, tone, and structure, the remake provides a graphical upgrade along with improved controls.

Shadow of the Colossus‘ greatest flaw was that the PS2 struggled to run it properly, a criticism that cannot be made of the remake. That said, for those who prefer to stick to the original version, the PS3’s Ico Collection is part of PS Plus Premium’s Classic library.

MORE: The Best Games On PS Plus Premium

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