Soulslike Games More Like Bloodborne Than Dark Souls


  • Mortal Shell offers combat mechanics similar to Bloodborne’s, rewarding good timing with the Harden mechanic.
  • Blasphemous 2 features heavy Christian imagery perfect for fans of Bloodborne’s dark aesthetic and combat.
  • Salt And Sacrifice provides a sequel with a dark, brooding atmosphere akin to Bloodborne’s thrilling gameplay.

Over the past decade, the Souls-like genre has quickly exploded in popularity thanks to FromSoftware’s Dark Souls series. With an intricate combat system, obscure lore, and punishing difficulty, Dark Souls served as the blueprint for countless Souls-like games that would be released over the years. Similarly, Bloodborne would build upon the mechanics found in Dark Souls while adding Lovecraftian influences and a Victorian setting.


Why No Gothic Horror Game Lives up to Bloodborne

Bloodborne is a masterpiece for a lot reasons, but what many don’t realize is that it’s also gaming’s best example of gothic horror.

Although Bloodborne is similar to Dark Souls, the biggest difference is that Bloodborne has a much faster pace that rewards aggression. Compared to Dark Souls games, which allow players to block some hits entirely, Bloodborne requires players to be constantly on the move as they dodge or counter hits. With more Souls-like games being released, fans have started to look toward those that emphasize a fluid, fast-paced style of combat resembling Bloodborne. Fans looking for Souls-likes that are more Bloodborne than Dark Souls can give a number of games a try.

Updated on March 9, 2024 by Ritwik Mitra: Bloodborne is a game that combines Gothic vibes and Lovecraftian horror in one tantalizing package that fans can’t get enough of. Even after From Software blew most people’s minds with Sekiro and Elden Ring, some fans still feel that the developer hasn’t reached the heights of Bloodborne’s quality again. The fast-paced combat system, emphasis on parrying, and bloody combat make it clear to see why more people want to check out other games like this masterpiece, and while the wait for a sequel stretches on, we’ve added more similar games to this list to fill the void.

14 Mortal Shell

Combat That Rewards Good Timing With The Harden Mechanic

Mid Boss Fight In Mortal Shell

Mortal Shell

August 18, 2020

Action RPG

A game that most people haven’t played yet, it’s a shame that Mortal Shell flew under the radar for most gamers. The world design may not be anything to boast about, but the game’s combat and unique take on using a shell to dictate combat makes for a great time.

The Harden mechanic rewards a player’s foresight and timing, similar to the Countershot mechanic that’s infinitely satisfying to execute in Bloodborne. While Hardening is more forgiving and trivializes the combat in the eyes of some, that’s doing a disservice to an original idea that Souslike fans will love to mess around with.

13 Blasphemous 2

The Heavy Christian Imagery Will Feel Right At Home For Bloodborne Fans

A player attacking an enemy in Blasphemous 2

Blasphemous 2

August 24, 2023

The Game Kitchen

Soulslike , Metroidvania , Platformer

Blasphemous 2 is the sequel to a beloved Soulslike platformer that wowed players with its dark Christian imagery, brought to life by stunning pixel art, that was full of disturbing visuals and bloody scenes. Fans of the first game will be glad to know that Blasphemous 2 is a massive improvement in every way.

The platforming is less frustrating, combat is more fun, and the game features numerous quality-of-life improvements to make the entire experience more seamless. The amazing art style is a huge draw that fans of Bloodborne’s attention to dark, brooding esthetics will love.

12 Salt And Sacrifice

A Sequel To A Beloved Soulslike With A Dark, Brooding Atmosphere

Duelist attacking a dummy in Salt and Sacrifice

Salt and Sacrifice

May 10, 2022

Ska Studios

Action RPG , Metroidvania , Soulslike

Salt and Sanctuary is a game that most players are pretty familiar with. This title was one of the first Metroidvania Soulslikes to grab people’s attention with its successful amalgamation of both genres, making for a great time as players mastered the tough-as-nails combat and enjoyed a satisfying sense of progression.


Best Metroidvania Boss Fights

There are a lot of Metroidvanias out on the market, but these examples have some of the best boss fights in the genre.

Some people found Salt and Sacrifice to be a bit disappointing despite the lengthy wait for this sequel. However, the game is still a great game worth checking out for any fan of dark Metroidvania games. The vibes of this title are very similar to Bloodborne, making it clear why fans of that title will have a great time checking out everything Salt and Sacrifice has to offer.

11 Remnant 2

A Perfect Sequel That Improves On Every Department, With The Fast-Paced Combat Being A Huge Bonus

lost dran child event remnant 2

Remnant 2

July 25, 2023

Soulslike , Third-Person Shooter

Gunfire Games surprised everyone with the release of Remnant: From the Ashes, a title that no one thought would take off. The combination of Soulslike and third-person shooters sounded like a rough fit, but Remnant managed to make this work in a brilliant fashion.

This led to many players getting quite hyped for Remnant 2, and the game didn’t disappoint. The title is an excellent sequel that expands upon the first game in every way, leading to every run feeling unique as NPCs, weapons, areas, bosses, and item drops are all switched up every single time to make for a pretty fresh and rewarding experience.

10 Lies Of P

The Closest Thing To A Bloodborne Sequel


Lies of P

September 19, 2023

Round8 Studio , Neowiz


Lies of P is a game that intrigued everyone with its reveal. The unique setting and Bloodborne-esque art style hooked many people, and the game showed that it deserved so much more than just being compared to FromSoftware’s Lovecraftian action RPG when it launched.

While boss fatigue is a pretty notable problem in this game that sets in later on, the first fifteen or so hours that players spend in the game can feel breathtaking. Areas are packed with detail, enemies are tricky to deal with, and the overarching narrative serves as a great hook to draw players into this world.

9 Hollow Knight

An Indie Gem Where Players Explore A Dying World With A Gothic Atmosphere


Hollow Knight

February 24, 2017

Team Cherry


Hollow Knight has safely cemented a spot as one of the greatest Metroidvania Soulslikes ever made. The fact that this game manages to combine the best of both genres so easily should definitely be commended.


25 Soulslikes That Are Easier Than Dark Souls

Dark Souls is a classic, but notoriously difficult game. For gamers who want something more forgiving, these similar titles are great choices.

Fans who want to check out a charming game that takes place in a rich world with amazing combat should look no further than Hollow Knight. The wait for Silksong has become excruciating at this point, to the point where a retread of the first game might not be the worst idea. A lot of fans will take a suspicious leave from work the moment this sequel comes out, showing just how strong Hollow Knight‘s impression was.

8 Remnant: From The Ashes

A Fast-Paced Combination Of Third-Person-Shooter Gameplay And Soulslike Elements

Remnant From The Ashes Slayer Armor Set

Remnant: From the Ashes

August 20, 2019

Action RPG

It’s easy to label Remnant: From the Ashes as nothing more than a third-person shooter Soulslike. The game is extremely challenging and players need to time their dodges immaculately to get through this game unscathed.

The co-op gameplay of this title is pretty interesting and certainly makes some boss fights more manageable. Given how tight the gameplay is, it’s genuinely surprising to find out that the world of this game is somewhat randomly generated! It’s just one of the many ways that Remnant keeps things fresh and engaging. Exploring the world with a friend makes for an engaging co-op experience that more fans will have a great time with.

7 Dead Cells

Metroidvania Soulslike That Rewards Aggression In Combat

queen and the sea key art

Dead Cells

August 7, 2018

Motion Twin


It’s a shame that the majority of Dead Cells PR came from the plagiarism issue that plagued a rather infamous review of the game. However, it still brought eyes to the game and made people appreciate its quality.

The roguelike mechanics of this game are integrated well and make each run all the more exciting. Dead Cells is not the easiest game around, but players who are patient and learn the game’s mechanics will have a great time. The repetition is more than manageable, and the collaboration with Castlevania makes it even more engaging for players to check out a game that deserves all its plaudits and then some.

6 Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

A Soulslike Star Wars Game With Engaging And Approachable Fast-Paced Combat


Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

November 15, 2019

The idea of a Star Wars Soulslike was something that players didn’t realize they needed until it arrived in a resounding fashion. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order might have its issues, but the game itself is excellent and a joy to play through.


The 17 Hardest Soulslike RPGs, Ranked By Difficulty

Not all Soulslike on the market can offer the same compelling experience as Dark Souls. Only a few RPGs capture From Soft’s rewarding gameplay loop.

The great story and brilliant combat of the game are two of its biggest highlights. With most of the game’s technical issues being patched out, there’s no better time to check out this brilliant game. It’s a shame that the sequel squandered all the goodwill from the first game because of an unacceptably broken launch on PC, but that shouldn’t take away anything from the brilliance of the first game.

5 Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

An Evolution Of Bloodborne’s Fast-Paced Action With A Major Focus On Deflecting Attacks

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

March 22, 2019

Action RPG

Sekiro is the most obvious answer for Souls-like fans who enjoy the natural aggression of Bloodborne over the patience in Dark Souls. Ramping up the pace even further, Sekiro is another FromSoftware game that deviates from the traditional Souls-like formula by placing a heavier emphasis on rhythm and split-second decisions. While the Dark Souls games required players to be patient in fighting bosses or enemies, Sekiro follows Bloodborne in terms of combat pace and continuous movement.

The slow, methodical approach in Dark Souls games is replaced with fluid combat against aggressive enemies. Instead of the traditional Souls-like focus on stamina management, Sekiro relies far more on players understanding the timing of their enemies. Although fans looking for a more standard Souls-like experience might find Sekiro to be different than they expect, Bloodborne fans who enjoyed the heavy emphasis on offense will find Sekiro to be a natural evolution.

4 Nioh Series

samurai facing nioh 2 boss


February 7, 2017

Action RPG

The Nioh series bears some similarities to Dark Souls but is more akin to the tempo found in Bloodborne. While Nioh retains the basic Souls-like mechanics of bonfires and a similar leveling system, its combat centers around the stamina system called Ki. Similar to Bloodborne’s Rally mechanic, the Ki system in Nioh can be used to maintain momentum and enable players to extend their ability to fight.

Developed by Team Ninja, Nioh takes a lot of influence from action titles like Ninja Gaiden and favors more aggression than standard Dark Souls games. During the development of Nioh, Bloodborne’s producer Masaaki Yamagiwa also gave the Nioh team advice on how to adjust the game’s difficulty so it never becomes unreasonable. Nioh’s strength is in its intricate combat system that uses stances for different playstyles. Nioh has one of the tightest combat systems in a Souls-like game, and that makes it a perfect choice for Bloodborne fans who enjoyed the emphasis on aggression.

3 Salt And Sanctuary

Arguably Sparked The Trend Of 2D Metroidvania Soulslikes, With Dodging Being The Key To Victory

Protagonist facing a spikey boss

Salt and Sanctuary

Ska Studios

Action RPG

Ever since Souls-like games have caught mainstream attention, they’ve been linked with Metroidvanias for the sense of exploration and level design that comes with platforming elements. Over time, more Souls-like games have taken influences from Metroidvanias, and this is especially true of 2D Souls-likes. Bloodborne’s playstyle emphasizes constant player movement and aggression, which is similar to Salt and Sanctuary.


7 Hardest Metroidvania Games

As Metroidvainas become more popular with every year, so does the genre’s trademark difficulty, with these games pushing that challenge to its limits.

Salt and Sanctuary is how Bloodborne would feel as a 2D sidescroller and introduces interesting platforming mechanics to provide depth for its lack of a 3rd dimension. Featuring tight combat mechanics with a tense atmosphere, Salt and Sanctuary takes on a faster pace than typical Souls-likes thanks to its Metroidvania influences. Alongside interconnected level design and a giant skill tree, Salt and Sanctuary offers a unique spin on the genre that Bloodborne fans should enjoy.

2 Code Vein

An Anime Soulslike Where Timing Is Imperative In Combat

code vein combat

Code Vein

September 27, 2019

Action RPG

Code Vein builds upon Souls-like mechanics by combining them together with a traditional JRPG storyline and anime aesthetic. Much like Bloodborne, Code Vein emphasizes fast-paced combat that relies on timing. Code Vein’s appeal stems from its customization options, as players have the ability to change classes on the fly and experiment with different builds. Unfortunately, the assortment of combat options does make the experience more uneven than Bloodborne, but players who enjoy experimentation should find Code Vein’s freedom more satisfying than other Souls-likes.

On the other hand, Code Vein’s approach to the narrative is different than Bloodborne or Dark Souls. As it features a traditional narrative, Code Vein places an emphasis on character interactions. Whereas the lore for FromSoftware games is often purposely obscured, Code Vein offers a clear-cut narrative direction that limits the feeling of discovery players often look for in Souls-likes. As far as Souls-likes go, Code Vein shares a few similarities with Bloodborne in terms of combat and mechanics but differs greatly in exploration and narrative. Bloodborne fans looking for a more traditional narrative that retains the fluid combat mechanics should give Code Vein a try.

1 The Surge Series

Two Great Sci-Fi Soulslikes, With The Sequel’s Aggressive Combat Being A Massive Improvement

the surge

The Surge 2

September 24, 2019

Action RPG

Aesthetically, The Surge series goes in a different direction from traditional Souls-like games, in that it takes place in a futuristic setting as players fight in exoskeletons. However, it does retain many elements in its combat system and emphasizes the aggressive style of play found in Bloodborne. In fact, developer Deck 13 has stated that while The Surge shares similarities to many titles in the Dark Souls series, it’s best approached from a state of mind like Bloodborne.

The combat in The Surge is snappy and responsive, with a quick dodge that doesn’t cost much stamina. However, this mechanic can easily turn on the player if they don’t approach battles tactically. Much like Bloodborne, controlled aggression is key in The Surge as the game rewards players for remaining on the offensive despite taking damage from enemies. While The Surge is different from Souls-like games in terms of its design and environments, its aggressive combat style is reminiscent of Bloodborne and offers fans a different take on the genre.

bloodborne game