10 Best Soulslike Games of 2023

Respawn at your nearest bonfire and enjoy our 10 best Soulslike games of 2023.

the main character pseudo and the child in clash artifacts of chaos
Image via ACE Team
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The soulslike genre has drastically evolved since the early days of obvious clones like Nioh, The Surge, Necropolis, etc. Now, there’s much more nuance to how a great game channels the Souls/Borne experience. Here are our 10 best soulslike games of 2023, in no particular order.

Top 10 Soulslike Games of 2023

Lords of the Fallen

the main character of lords of the fallen fighting enemies
Image via Hexworks

I liked aspects of the original Lords of the Fallen with its slower, heavy armor-focused combat. My preferred builds are exactly that, which is the strong point of this series. Lords of the Fallen (2023) attempts to channel that fantasy of the original while attempting to fix its issues, introduce more freedom, and polish the experience.

Hexworks has indeed managed to mostly accomplish this with new classes and mechanics, such as Wither, which rewards alternate playstyles. With that in mind, this isn’t Bloodborne or Sekiro. If players leave that mindset and muscle memory behind, they’ll enjoy Lords of the Fallen more. It’s ultimately about planning your slower moves and animations for heavy damage instead of spamming attacks.

The improvements to exploration, story, and atmosphere are great and make it decently competitive in 2023’s soulslike market.

Star Wars Jedi Survivor

kal cestis defeating spawn of oggdo boss
Screenshot by GameSkinny

While it had a shaky start at launch, Respawn fixed up Star Wars Jedi: Survivor in just a few months, turning it into a satisfying sequel for the original Cal Kestis story. Jedi: Survivor continues where things left off with a bang, bringing in new exciting bosses, lightsaber combat styles, and more developed combat mechanics.

Speaking of bosses, Jedi Survivor features one of the hardest fights in the form of the accursed Oggdo Bogdo. Jest aside, analyzing boss patterns and outmaneuvering them with lightsaber techniques feels quite satisfying. On paper, this is an excellent game. It’s just that some players might struggle with performance issues. That said, if they don’t end up hindering your experience while exploring larger areas, this is a solid souls-combat Star Wars title.

The Last Faith

fighting giant serpents in the last faith
Image via Kumi Souls Games

Would you like some 2D Bloodborne? Well, that’s essentially the main inspiration for The Last Faith. This is a beautifully drawn and animated gothic pixel art experience with Metroidvania elements, eldritch horror, and Souls mechanics. You’re playing a mysterious character with heavy Belmont Castlevania vibes who wields trick melee weapons like swords that transform into spears and numerous guns for ranged combat. 

You can also unlock various traversal abilities, like the winged double jump, to boost your movement. I do have a slight issue with the game controls, though, which is why it’s ranked below another 2D soulslike on this list. They can, at times, feel clunky as you essentially have to press combinations of buttons for a parry. These key moves should have clear-cut fast inputs instead of heaving button combinations you need to press. Other than that, this is probably one of the best-looking 2D soulslikes that I’ve seen in a while.

Sifu

sifu main character fighting off enemies
Image via Sloclap

I played Sifu’s 2023 release on Steam, which has vibes that are more akin to Sekiro than the original Dark Souls. It channels martial arts movies like Oldboy and The Raid perfectly, making you feel like a master at weaving among enemies unscathed while beating them down with unrelenting force. This soulslike is all about parrying and learning the timing of attacks.

Furthermore, you’ll have to learn whether attacks are coming from above or below, and once you finally get the rhythm, a beautiful symphony of violence begins. The game is short, but quite replayable, as your build can change with new fighting techniques you pick up, the passage of time, and dying. Each time you die, you grow older, receiving increased damage but lower health. This neat mechanic allows for an evolving and dynamic combat system that’s further boosted by a highly interactive environment filled with improvised weapons and movement opportunities.

Sands of Aura

fighting a boss in sands of aura
Image via Chashu Entertainment

Sands of Aura is a top-down dungeon crawling game that combines the dark fantasy vibes of Dark Souls and the bonfire mechanic with ARPG-like combat. What I liked most about Sands of Aura is the magic-infused combat system and the freedom it offers you. Approaching a fight in real time requires tactics as you kite enemies around with your offensive options.

These options include a multitude of elemental spells that you can infuse into your attacks, dodges, and other moves differently in each situation. Need a flashy escape? Invoke your element and dodge. Need an AoE explosion? Invoke your element and strike. 

Therefore, combat evolves depending on the weapon you carry, the element you wield, and how you channel it. Lastly, Twinblades aren’t the best for PvE combat in Dark Souls since you’ll easily get interrupted, but they’re amazing in Sands of Aura due to their long reach.

Armored Core 6

mech flying around in armored core 6
Image via From Software

Armored Core 6 marks From Software’s return to its mech fighter roots — and it’s grander than ever. This is a gorgeous-looking game with various systems similar to Souls combat yet an entirely new combat system. Your mech has a stamina bar, but the movement and shooting are much faster. As in Souls, you can pick between light and heavier parts that hasten or slow your movement, but provide tactical advantages. The level design and atmosphere are on point, although ACVI swaps out an epic fantasy for hard sci-fi, of course.

Even though you’re piloting nuclear mechs and fighting against the same, there are still those iconic telegraphed attacks from bosses that you need to time and dodge. Furthermore, there’s a pseudo-poise system from Souls where you can stagger enemies by attacking them relentlessly and executing them in brutal Bloodborne Visceral Attack fashion. Armored Core VI is a mech fighter dream, scratching that industrial-level design and overwhelming ranged firepower itch.

Clash Artifacts of Chaos

pseudo fighting three enemies in clash artifacts of chaos
Image via ACE Team

Similar to Sifu, this game is all about martial arts, but it takes it a step further with a whimsical and positively strange punk aesthetic. Level design is tied into an open-world experience filled with Demon Souls shortcuts. The characters you meet will all look like peculiar apparitions from an acid trip. Yet it all feels so deeply connected, and the world is incredibly alive through its mystical story and worldbuilding.

This zen feeling is balanced by mechanically satisfying martial arts violence rooted in a technique and stance-based combat system. You can customize Pseudo, the main character, with numerous fighting styles that alter your base moves, add unique, powerful techniques, and, finally, weapons and armour to spice things up. The game is essentially what Absolver could’ve been if it focused on a handcrafted single-player experience. This will all sound familiar to fans of the Zeno Clash series as the game is essentially a prequel set in the same Zenozoik world, though from a third-person perspective.

Blasphemous 2

fighting a boss in Blasphemous 2
Image via The Game Kitchen

If you like macabre, dark fantasy and exquisite pixel art, then the prequel and Blasphemous 2 are definitely for you. This game is all I described The Last Faith to be except with laser-precise smooth controls and a grotesque yet beautiful horror art style inspired by Spanish Catholicism. Granted, there are no trick weapons here, but the three core weapons offer incredible diversity despite there being only, well, three of them.

This is because the game’s weapon upgrade system, along with the Altarpieces allows you to deeply customize your arsenal. Furthermore, there’s a magic system inspired by prayers with quick tactical spells and slower channel-able ones. Lastly, the Metroidvania movement abilities elevate combat as you begin to dash around the level, swiftly switching between all three weapons for combos Devil May Cry-style.

Remnant 2

standing on a bridge in remnant 2
Image via Gunfire Games

Remnant 2 is probably one of the best soulslike online co-op games ever. Sure, Elden Ring and the previous Souls game allow for co-op, but Remnant is geared toward it. Each class has unique supportive abilities to boost and interact with the other classes. Taking down bosses truly feels like a team effort instead of just each player doing well separately.

It’s important to note that this game is different from its predecessor in how it’s designed. It’s much more geared towards ranged combat, and it’s less replayable. However, that single playthrough you’ll have with your friends will be one of the best soulslike co-op experiences you’ll have this year and beyond. Plus, the game is huge, with numerous areas, bosses, and new mechanics being introduced at each level to keep things interesting. Also, you can have a dog — best game ever.

Lies of P

fighting laxasia the complete in lies of p
Image via NEOWIZ

If we’re talking purely mechanical depth in combination with major similarities to Souls, then Lies of P takes the cake in 2023. This Belle Époque-inspired, steam-punk world and Pinnochio-inspired story perfectly channel the best combat-focused parts of Sekiro and Bloodborne. Sekiro parrying is the main combat mechanic along with the Bloodborne system, where you regain health if you swiftly retaliate against enemies whose hits you’ve blocked.

These two core mechanics, combined with a vast arsenal of customizable weapons through blades, handles, and tools, make for incredible combat. Even consumables like throwable electric bombs are excellent. Sure, you’ll get hit with an unfair, lightning-fast, un-telegraphed, delayed attack from time to time. But hey, that’s part of life. Learning the rhythm of each boss and dominating them with full HP after dying fifteen times is incredibly satisfying.

If you can brave the steep learning curve and persist as you learn the game, Lies of P is undoubtedly one of the best souls-likes we got in recent years.

Final Thoughts

Thank you for reading my list of the top 10 best souls-like games of 2023. As always, there were plenty of great soulslike indie releases this year, so I’m sure I missed some interesting titles. However, I’m quite happy with the selection we have above, and if you’re a fan of a detailed combat system backed by an atmospheric world and level design, you’ll most likely enjoy these titles.

About the author

Gordan Perisic

From playing RPGs and dungeon mastering for his D&D group to reading novels and scribbling about his fantasy setting, Gordan is a full-time nerd and devoted writer for GameSkinny. He loves to overshare and discuss literature, music, animation, and trees with fellow geeks. Also, he may or may not cook too much food for his friends. Cholesterol is one hell of a drug.