Now that Elden Ring has been out for a while, players are starting to see the game through to its end. At the time of writing, about 30% of Elden Ring players have reached at least one of the game’s multiple endings, and that number is climbing upward day by day.
While Elden Ring lends itself well to repeat playthroughs and postgame exploration, the bottom line is clear: A lot of players are going to want to pick up a new game pretty soon.
The bad news is that there’s nothing else on the market quite like Elden Ring. (I imagine we’ll be seeing a lot of copycats within the next few years, but I digress.) The good news is that if you enjoyed Elden Ring’s tight combat, evocative story or secretive open world, there are plenty of other games that check one or two of those boxes. If you’re done with Elden Ring, here are 10 great games you should try next.
It’s probably cheating to put other FromSoftware games on this list. But the point stands: If you’ve finished Elden Ring, but haven’t played From’s earlier output, you’re missing out. Perhaps you tried Dark Souls and bounced off of it; perhaps it was never really on your radar; perhaps Elden Ring’s open world was what drew you in. Although Dark Souls isn’t an open-world game, it still presents a huge dark fantasy world to explore, chock full of secrets and intriguing story tidbits. Like Elden Ring, it has a high difficulty curve, demanding combat and nuanced character-building. Granted, you could also try Bloodborne, which has some thematic connections to Elden Ring.
Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen
Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen came out about a decade ago, but in a lot of ways, it preempted Elden Ring. It takes place in a dark-fantasy, semi-open world where you get to customize a protagonist and choose from a variety of weapons and spells. You can find that in a lot of games, granted. What makes Dragon’s Dogma feel like Elden Ring is that the game gives you only vague hints about where to go next — and you’ll often find yourself outmatched by tough monsters along the way. If you liked Elden Ring’s setting and sense of exploration, Dragon’s Dogma has a lot of the same charms, although it’s not nearly as polished.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Full disclosure: I’m not actually a huge fan of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. But given how many copies the game has sold since its debut in 2011, I appear to be in the minority. I’m also not too proud to admit that the game shares a lot of DNA with Elden Ring. Skyrim also lets you create a unique character, experiment with a ton of gear and skills, explore a huge world that hides secrets around every corner and fight foes in tense real-time battles. Granted, Skyrim’s combat is much less precise, and the central story is about as straightforward as they come. But if you like exploring, you’ll probably like this one.
Ghost of Tsushima
Ghost of Tsushima is much easier than Elden Ring, and it has a much more comprehensible narrative. But this open-world samurai adventure still has a lot of elements that made Elden Ring work. Ghost of Tsushima features tight, technical sword combat, a large, interesting world and distinctive, varied side quests. This historical action game recounts the story of Jin Sakai: a fictional samurai who defends his homeland of Tsushima Island during the real-world Mongol Invasion of 1274. The story and characters should keep players hooked all the way to the end, but if those don't work, there are also stylish swordfights and strategic stealth.
At first glance, Hollow Knight may not look much like Elden Ring. It's a side-scrolling Metroidvania rather than a 3D open-world game, and it's about cute, cartoonish bug characters rather than high-fantasy archetypes. However, play Hollow Knight for a few minutes, and the Dark Souls influence will become clear. Hollow Knight is a quiet, atmospheric game with an intense difficulty curve and a lot of lore to internalize. While it's not exactly open-world, it does provide plenty of optional, branching paths through its hauntingly beautiful world. If you're not married to the "3D action game" template, Hollow Knight is well worth a look.
Horizon Zero Dawn
In terms of "difficult open-world games with an interesting central narrative," Horizon Zero Dawn is arguably right up there with Elden Ring. You play as Aloy: an adventurer in a post-post-apocalyptic world. As she explores the gorgeous American West, she'll do battle against both human foes and giant robots that resemble dinosaurs and prehistoric mammals. What sets Horizon apart from most other action games is that it's all about ranged combat rather than melee. To hunt your robotic prey, you'll need to be cunning, precise and judicious, using a combination of special skills and consumable items. That should feel familiar to Elden Ring players.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
When Elden Ring debuted, many reviewers compared the game to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and with good reason. Like Elden Ring, Breath of the Wild also features a huge open world that never tells you explicitly where to go next. Early on in Breath of the Wild, you'll receive four vague plot directives, and how you pursue them is totally up to you. This time around, Link must tackle 120 mini-dungeons called Shrines, solving puzzles and improving his abilities as he goes. With tough combat, an interesting setting and lots of secrets to find, Breath of the Wild and Elden Ring scratch many of the same itches.
One of the better "Soulslikes" out there, Nioh casts you as William, an Irish adventurer who makes his way to feudal Japan and trains as a samurai. He's based on William Adams, a real-life English navigator who did essentially the same thing. Of course, William Adams probably never had to do battle with a full bestiary of demons and fell spirits. Like Elden Ring, Nioh features precise, strategic combat, a high difficulty curve and a staggering array of different gear to equip. The levels are a little more directed, but there are still plenty of secrets to find if you're willing to go off the beaten path.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is probably the biggest stretch on this list. It's not an open-world game; it's not a dark fantasy game; it's not even really a Soulslike game. But Fallen Order does feature demanding combat, difficult opponents and lots of optional exploration. This third-person action/adventure game casts you as Cal Kestis, a Jedi Padawan trying to survive shortly after Darth Vader's Jedi Purge. Armed with a lightsaber and a variety of Force powers, you'll take on the soldiers of the Empire, as well as deadly native fauna on a variety of planets. Elden Fans will almost certainly like the combat in this one.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Elden Ring may be the latest "open-world game where almost every piece of side content is worthwhile," but The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt just about pioneered the formula. In this game, you take control of roving monster hunter Geralt of Rivia, who finds himself embroiled in a war, an interdimensional hunt and a love triangle, all at the same time. Instead of one seamless world, you'll explore four huge areas, but each one has a varied landscape, a plethora of side missions and an exciting quest to advance the main story. The combat isn't quite as gripping as in Elden Ring, but your choices have a much bigger influence on the story.