Action RPGs have become a staple of the AAA games space. However, given the scope and nature of these games, plenty of these modern action RPGs crumble beneath the weight of their own expectations.
But seldom does a game like Elden Ring arrives that not only provides players a deeply satisfying and replayable gameplay experience but at the same time nails the sense of adventure and exploration most games of this genre fail to generate.
While it's difficult to find video game experiences that replicate the exact same sentiments one experiences while trotting along the fantastical world of The Lands Between, here are the top 10 games like Elden Ring that deserve your attention.
Best games like Elden Ring
Before we proceed, we would like to clarify that our top 10 games like Elden Ring list consist of titles that either provide an intricate, challenging, and a deeply satisfying gameplay experience with a focus on build crafting or offers an unparalleled sense of adventure and exploration through its open-world design or both.
Code Vein's first impression paints a picture of an anime Dark Souls, and while that's far from a lie, there are plenty of nuances here that make it more than just that catchphrase. Code Vein's flexible character creation system, stylish, satisfying, and savage combat, and surprisingly intriguing storyline make it a worthwhile experience for Elden Ring fans.
The Witcher 3
Whereas Elden Ring rewards exploration by shoving new optional combat encounters, The Witcher 3 does that primarily by providing optional narrative ones that often surpass the quality of writing and decision-making found in the game's main plot.
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Despite being largely different experiences, both Elden Ring and The Witcher 3 flawlessly execute two sides of a hypothetical RPG coin and thus ends up generating similar sentiments, which is why a fan of one shouldn't miss out on the other.
Team Cherry's side-scrolling Metroidvania has plenty in common with Elden Ring. For instance, it features a similarly addictive and brutal combat system with a plethora of terrifying boss battles.
However, what truly makes Hollow Knight a must-play for Elden Ring fans is its depiction of the relentless pursuit of power amidst a hauntingly beautiful and deathly background.
The Nioh series is perhaps the best Souls-like experience available to date though calling it just a Dark Souls clone would be an understatement.
Nioh 2 is a relatively fast-paced journey that offers unprecedented build crafting possibilities through its huge arsenal of weapons, skills, and attributes, all amidst a trek through an authentic and believable background of Japan's Sengoku Era.
God of War
Back in the day, nobody would have expected the 2018's reboot of one of PlayStation's staple franchises to tread the waters of Souls games. While its heartwarming narrative and the intense dynamic between its two main characters clearly steal the show, God of War's more methodical combat, thanks to the newly introduced Leviathan Axe, breathes new life into the franchise and opens up numerous gameplay possibilities in the process.
Add to that some tough boss battles, and God of War has enough bells and whistles to intrigue an Elden Ring fan. It is, however, a relatively short experience though every fleeting moment spent slashing and dicing with the Leviathan Axe feels like a brutal yet gratifying experience.
Capcom's hardcore action RPG Dragon's Dogma is probably one of the most underrated games in this genre. While a lot of the game's initial criticisms had to do with its sluggish performance, dated visuals, and the fact that Skyrim had released just a few months ago, Dragon's Dogma had some innovative gameplay mechanics that made it a lot different than its competitors.
Like Elden Ring, Dragon's Dogma is a combat-heavy experience with plenty of options for build crafting. There are also gigantic and lengthy boss battles that are an absolute sight to behold. With Dragon's Dogma 2 on its way, now feels like a perfect time for an Elden Ring fan to experience its decade-old predecessor and prepare for what's to come.
The Elder Scrolls 5 Skyrim
Bethesda Game Studio's magnum opus doesn't offer a tight and precise, not to mention challenging, gameplay experience like most games on this list though years ago its gigantic and gorgeous open world impeccably captured the sense of adventure and wonderment unlike anything else of its time.
Skyrim's mantra for players has been to go wherever they want and do whatever they want, as it provides them with endless tools and limitless freedom to crave their own stories. In this regard, it isn't very different from Elden Ring. If anything, Elden Ring is Skyrim of Dark Souls.
Blasphemous medieval setting, pixelated visuals, fast and frantic combat, terrifying boss battles, and non-linear levels make it a compelling experience for any Elden Ring or Soulsborne fans. Although flawed in various ways, it's a game worthy of being referred to as the 2D Elden Ring.
Before there was an Elden Ring, there was a Bloodborne. In 2015, Fromsoftware's gothic action RPG took everyone by surprise due to its stellar visual presentation and surprisingly aggressive combat. Seven years later, it's safe to say that among the family of SoulsBorne/Elden Ring games, Bloodborne is the most stylish and confident sibling of them all.
Like Elden Ring, Bloodborne checklists all the necessary ingredients of a good Souls game. Whether it's encountering the game's numerous challenging bosses or soaking in the absolutely breathtaking vistas at every turn, getting captivated by its rich lore, or resonating with its bone-chilling soundtrack, Bloodborne has the power to captivate any and every Elden Ring fan and more.
The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild
Many of FromSoftware's games have been trendsetters, and Elden Ring does the same by understanding and executing the grand philosophy of open-world design in the way that benefits it the most, unlike most games in the genre.
However, it's not the first modern video game to evolve the open-world genre to its liking. Another name that comes to mind is 2017's The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild.
While BOTW doesn't offer a similarly challenging and brutal RPG experience, exploring, scavenging, and traversing its grandeur open-world feels like a breath of fresh air, a sentiment that should be familiar to every Elden Ring fan. That concludes our list of top 10 games like Elden Ring.
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Featured image courtesy of FromSoftware.