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Best PS Plus Soulslikes

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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.



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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 games such as Lords of the Fallen wear their Dark Souls influence on their sleeves, others like Tunic 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.

Each game’s average time is based on
HowLongToBeat’s
stats.


Steelrising (PS Plus Essential)

Metascore: 72

Steelrising

Released
September 8, 2022

How Long To Beat
15 Hours

PS Plus Essential’s February 2024 lineup has a prime Souls-like pick for a subscription service. Although not poorly received, Steelrising did not set the world on fire, so there is a good chance that most people who are not die-hard Souls-like or Spiders fans opted to hold off on giving this 2022 release a try. However, they have nothing to lose now that it is available on PS Plus for a month, and it is certainly worth a download.


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Like many of Spiders’ projects, Steelrising can be somewhat clunky and rough around the edges; however, also like many of Spiders’ projects, Steelrising has a certain charm to it. The France-based company is well-known for its action RPGs that tend to be fairly ambitious, arguably excessively so. GreedFall is probably Spiders’ best title to date, although Steelrising comes in at a close second. Unlike the former, the latter limits its scope by crafting a linear campaign, albeit one that allows for some degree of exploration and backtracking. The story has an inspired setting since it takes place during the French Revolution, albeit automatons are involved to give the whole thing an industrial edge. While not lacking intrigue, the plot loses steam as it goes along, although it does not overstay its welcome either.

Ultimately, Souls-likes are primarily about combat, and Steelrising is decent in this area. Focusing on fast-paced action and featuring a solid selection of weapons that cover a wide range of playstyles, Steelrising is fun and also relatively easy for the genre. Admittedly, the game is not extremely replayable, but it is enjoyable enough for a playthrough.


Demon’s Souls (2020)

Metascore: 92

Demon's Souls PC Port

Demon’s Souls

PS Plus Availability
Extra & Premium

Released
November 12, 2020

How Long To Beat
23 Hours

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.

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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​​​​​​, bar none. While the classic version is still worth playing due to its status as a landmark release and simply because of its quality, the remake is likely to be a more satisfying experience in this day and age.


Ashen

Metascore: 78 (Xbox One)

ashen-soulslike-game

Ashen

PS Plus Availability
Extra & Premium

Released
December 7, 2018

Developer(s)
A44 Games

Genre(s)
Action RPG

How Long To Beat
16 Hours

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

Metascore: 78

Blasphemous Wounds Of Eventide ps4

Blasphemous

PS Plus Availability
Extra & Premium

Released
September 10, 2019

Developer(s)
The Game Kitchen

How Long To Beat
14 Hours

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

Metascore: 88

nioh 1

Nioh

PS Plus Availability
Extra & Premium

Released
February 7, 2017

How Long To Beat
35 Hours

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.

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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

Metascore: 75

The Surge 2 fight

The Surge 2

PS Plus Availability
Extra & Premium

Released
September 24, 2019

How Long To Beat
21 Hours

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.

The Surge
is certainly worth a playthrough, even if it falls short in a few areas when compared to its predecessor. Still, if someone wants to complete all the Souls-like games on PS Plus Extra, they should start with the first game in Deck13’s duology.


Code Vein

Metascore: 70

Slamming a two-handed sword in Code Vein.

Code Vein

PS Plus Availability
Extra & Premium

Released
September 27, 2019

How Long To Beat
26 Hours

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

Metascore: 64

Darksiders 3 Fury

Darksiders 3

$14 $60 Save $46

Released
November 27, 2018

How Long To Beat
15 Hours

After sampling The Legend of Zelda and God of War, Darksiders opted to take a page from the DarkSouls 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.

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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

Metascore: 76

Mortal-Shell-CROPPED-1

Mortal Shell

PS Plus Availability
Extra & Premium

Released
August 18, 2020

How Long To Beat
11 Hours

Mortal Shell wears its Dark Souls 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.


Eldest Souls

Metascore: 79

eldest souls

Eldest Souls

PS Plus Availability
Extra & Premium

Released
July 29, 2021

Developer
Fallen Flag Studio

How Long To Beat
5 Hours

Eldest Souls does not hide its appreciation for FromSoftware’s genre-defining Souls series, but it is also not afraid to try and establish a distinct identity. Played from an isometric point-of-view, the indie game tells a simple story about humanity’s revolt against the gods and the latter’s counterattack that pushes the former to the brink of annihilation. As such, players must eliminate a string of gods to ensure their species’ survival. Eldest Souls is a boss-rush game, so the campaign centers solely around a collection of enemies that must be defeated. This is a notable change from the typical Souls-like since exploration is not really part of the package, although there are some interludes between the boss encounters.


Eldest Souls plays well, and it should hit the spot with people who seek out direct and aggressive combat. Each boss comes with their own arena, all of which are visually impressive in their own right. The bosses are, generally, enjoyable, and they pack a challenge without venturing into unfair territory all that often. The game even has skill trees to provide some build options, which does add an element of replayability to what is ultimately a fairly short experience.

Vampyr

Metascore: 70

vampyr game attack

Vampyr

PS Plus Availability
Extra & Premium

Released
June 5, 2018

How Long To Beat
17 Hours

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

Metascore: 87

dead cells accessibility

Dead Cells

$30 $35 Save $5

PS Plus Availability
Extra & Premium

Released
August 7, 2018

Developer(s)
Motion Twin

How Long To Beat
15 Hours

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

Metascore: 81

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

Kena: Bridge of Spirits

$27 $50 Save $23

PS Plus Availability
Extra & Premium

Released
September 21, 2021

How Long To Beat
10 Hours

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

Metascore: 92

Bloodborne expansion boss battle

Bloodborne

PS Plus Availability
Extra & Premium

Released
March 24, 2015

How Long To Beat
33 Hours

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. Even post-Elden Ring, an argument could be made that FromSoftware peaked with Bloodborne, reaching a high that precious few developers ever get to achieve.


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Utilizing a far more aggressive battle system than the Souls games, Bloodborne does not allow players 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.

Grime

Metascore: 81 (PC)

grime game


Grime

PS Plus Availability
Extra & Premium

Released
August 2, 2021

Developer(s)
Clover Bite

How Long To Beat
12 Hours

If Salt and Sacrifice is a Souls-like with Metroidvania elements, Grime is a Metroidvania with Souls-like elements. Specifically, the game’s combat is very much cut from the Dark Souls universe, with players having to fight off aggressive enemies with well-telegraphed attacks. However, the indie title changes one specific thing: death does not result in a loss of experience. Removing this central Souls-like mechanic makes things a bit more manageable since Grime still packs an incredible punch in terms of difficulty.

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Death is constant throughout the campaign, so a bit of forgiveness can go a long way to encourage players to keep trying until they break through a wall. While not offering the same range of build options as some other entries in the genre, Grime has three specific archetypes that are quite different from each other, along with a solid range of weapons.


As previously mentioned, this release falls 100% in the Metroidvania sphere, including a heavy focus on platforming and a drip-feed of abilities designed around movement (along with combat). Grime‘s grim-dark world is reasonably large and labyrinthian, and the game encourages players to explore thoroughly. The campaign delivers a constant sense of discovery, rewarding those who are willing to take risks and experiment.

Hollow Knight Voidheart Edition

Metascore: 85

The Kingsmould attack the Knight in the White Palace

Hollow Knight

PS Plus Availability
Extra & Premium

Released
February 24, 2017

Developer(s)
Team Cherry

How Long To Beat
27 Hours

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)

Metascore: 89

Demon's Souls 2009

Demon’s Souls

PS Plus Availability
Premium

Released
October 6, 2009

How Long To Beat
29 Hours

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.

Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen

Metascore: 78

First Arisen


Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen

PS Plus Availability
Extra & Premium

Released
April 23, 2013

How Long To Beat
33 Hours

Although somewhat associated with Dark Souls due to the base game launching around the same time, Dragon’s Dogma is not all that similar to FromSoftware’s franchise, outside the fact it is an action RPG set in a medieval-style world. That said, they do have enough crossover to appeal to the same audience, and that is especially the case with Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen since the expansion greatly ramps up the difficulty. Similar to Souls-likes, Capcom’s game grants players quite a bit of freedom in defining their character through their vocation and playstyle.

Different as it might be to Dark Souls, Dragon’s Dogma‘s combat is nevertheless fantastic, although its depth and flexibility take a while to fully reveal themselves. However, once players have the necessary resources to really get creative with their character builds, the gameplay becomes something truly special. While the vanilla version’s lackluster challenges hampered the combat’s potential, Dark Arisen‘s Bitterblack Isle went a long way in fixing that issue, and this section’s map design is closer to a Souls-like dungeon than the more sandbox-style base game.


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Dragon’s Dogma is a cult classic that has garnered enough support to justify the announcement of a sequel, which is expected to drop in 2024. As such, newcomers who have never tried the original game should take advantage of its PlayStation Plus Extra availability while they have the chance. Sure, the game is frequently on sale and not particularly difficult to acquire, but it is an acquired taste. Sony’s subscription service removes the risk of someone spending money on a project that ultimately fails to click with them.

God Of War

Metascore: 94

God Of War 2018 kratos atreus

God of War (2018)

$45 $50 Save $5

PS Plus Availability

Released
April 20, 2018

How Long To Beat
20 Hours

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.


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 roam the gorgeous world to complete leftover quests and take on some Valkyries.

Bloodstained: Ritual Of The Night

Metascore: 83

Bloodstained Ritual of the Night protagonist fighting

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

PS Plus Availability
Extra & Premium

Released
June 18, 2019

Developer(s)
ArtPlay

How Long To Beat
15 Hours

Souls-likes obviously take some inspiration from Metroidvanias, particularly the Castlevania side of things. If a PS Plus subscriber wants something close to Symphony of the Night, they should check out Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. Developed by ArtPlay and a key producer who worked on Castlevania, Bloodstained comfortably captures the magic of its inspiration, all the while managing to establish its own identity. Set in a massive gothic castle that can sit alongside FromSoftware’s greatest architectural behemoths, the indie game delivers varied locations, epic boss fights, and a surprising range of customization options.


The latter quality makes Bloodstained an especially good pick for Souls-like fans since the genre is well-known for its class systems and loot. Ritual of the Night has an expansion selection of weapons that slot into 10 types, and each category feels unique enough to be worth trying. More impressively, the game allows players to pick up more than 70 demon abilities in the form of shards, paving the way for plenty of build options.

Stranger Of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin

Metascore: 72

The Assassin in Stranger of Paradise


Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin

PS Plus Availability
Extra & Premium

Released
March 18, 2022

How Long To Beat
18 Hours

PS Plus has a good selection of Final Fantasy games, including a couple of mainline real-time action entries that could hit the mark with Souls-like fans. Final Fantasy 7 Remake is especially great, even if it does not play all that similar to something like Dark Souls. While not quite as highly decorated as that release, Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin should not be ignored by anyone craving a hack and slash RPG with deep combat and customization. A prequel to the original Final Fantasy, the 2022 release garnered a mixed response at launch, and it is not exactly considered a high point in the franchise’s legacy; however, Team Ninja’s spin-off gets plenty of things right, and it can be an absolute blast to play depending on what someone is craving.

Alongside his two allies, Jack is on a mission to free Cornelia from Chaos’ wrath, a drive the warrior struggles to define since he and his friends are suffering from amnesia. Stranger of Paradise‘s story takes a long while to get interesting, and only really picks up momentum towards the end of a playthrough. Die-hard fans might enjoy its references and lore additions; meanwhile, everyone can focus on the action. Fast-paced and designed to be challenging, Team Ninja’s combat is intense and versatile, while also coming with a steep learning curve.


Generally, the game encourages aggressive but smart play, along with emphasizing the importance of exploring different builds. The latter comes in the form of 20+ jobs that can be assigned to Jack and his companions, all of which come with unique abilities and skills. Since Jack can equip two jobs at a time, players have plenty of options that can significantly change the flow of battle. SoP also supports co-op.

Ninja Gaiden Sigma

Metascore: 88

ninja gaiden sigma battle ryu

Ninja Gaiden Sigma

PS Plus Availability
Premium

Released
July 3, 2007

How Long To Beat
14 Hours

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.


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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.

Ghost Of Tsushima

Metascore: 87

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

Ghost of Tsushima

PS Plus Availability
Extra & Premium

Released
July 17, 2020

How Long To Beat
25 Hours

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.


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.

Metascore: 81

Skyrim Whiterun entrance

Skyrim

PS Plus Availability
Extra & Premium

Released
November 11, 2011

How Long To Beat
26 Hours

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.


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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

Metascore: 88 (Horizon Forbidden West)

horizon zero dawn and horizon forbidden west

Horizon: Forbidden West

PS Plus Availability
Extra & Premium

Released
February 18, 2022

How Long To Beat
29 Hours

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. Both titles are pure open-world games, meaning players will spend a lot of time exploring the expansive map in search of optional quests. Horizon Forbidden West is among the prettiest titles on the PS5, and its predecessor is no slouch either.

Assassin’s Creed Origins/Odyssey/Valhalla

Metascore(s): 81/83/84

Fire in Assassin's Creed Valhalla


  • Assassin’s Creed OriginsAssassin’s Creed OdysseyAssassin’s Creed Valhalla
    PS Plus AvailabilityExtra & PremiumExtra & PremiumExtra & Premium
    Platform(s)PS4, PC, Stadia, Xbox OneSwitch, PS4, PC, Stadia, Xbox OneXbox Series S, Xbox Series X, PS5, PS4, PC, Stadia, Xbox One
    Released2020-12-152018-10-152020-11-10
    Developer(s)UbisoftUbisoft QuebecUbisoft
    How Long To Beat30 Hours45 Hours61 Hours

After becoming the default open-world stealth franchise on the market, Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed shifted focus starting with Origins, launching a new era defined by the gradual implementation of more RPG elements. The 2017 release was succeeded by Odyssey and Valhalla, two titles that are generally liked but can still be polarizing. While an option, stealth is not emphasized in these games, and players can opt to concentrate on melee combat rather than assassinations. Ubisoft likely took inspiration from Souls-likes since dodging and parrying are fairly central parts of the combat, particularly in Odyssey and Valhalla; however, the games are more like Souls-lite than full entries in the subgenre.


When it comes to picking one to play, Origins is the most obvious recommendation since it predates the others, although there is no real need to play them in order. As such, players can just pick the game that has the setting that sounds the most interesting to them: Ancient Egypt (Origins), Ancient Greece (Odyssey), or Vikings (Valhalla).

Star Ocean: The Divine Force

Metascore: 69

star ocean combat in field

Star Ocean: The Divine Force

PS Plus Availability
Extra & Premium

Released
October 27, 2022

Developer(s)
Tri-Ace

How Long To Beat
32 Hours

PS Plus has quite a few Star Ocean games, and they are all over the place when it comes to quality. Till the End of Time is probably the pick of the bunch, but the JRPG shows its age since it originally launched in 2003. Still, the PS4 iteration is a fun time. First Departure R is also a solid entry, and The Last Hope matches great combat with a polarizing narrative. Integrity and Faithlessness is also an option, in case someone feels like playing a bad Star Ocean game. Last but not least (or arguably most), there is The Divine Force, the most recent new entry in the franchise. In many ways, this release was an attempt to steady the ship following a few underwhelming efforts, resulting in a polished but somewhat forgettable overall experience. That said, it is one of the better entry points into the franchise for newcomers.


The Divine Force‘s selling point is its real-time combat, which has always been Star Ocean‘s crowning achievement. The 2022 project fine-tunes its predecessors’ efforts to create a satisfying and addictive system that allows players to craft their own combo strings. With multiple playable characters and boss encounters that provide a genuine challenge, The Divine Force is a lot of fun to simply play. Narratively, the game has a slow start as it does not open up until a few hours in. However, the actual characters are likable, which is not something that can be said for every Star Ocean title.

Shadow Of The Colossus

Metascore: 91 (Remake)

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


Shadow of the Colossus

$30 $40 Save $10

PS Plus Availability
Extra & Premium

How Long To Beat
8 Hours

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.

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