What are the best games like Hollow Knight?
If you love Hollow Knight, it’s only natural to want to find another great platformer that captures the same feelings and fun.
Trying to find the next “Hollow Knight” isn’t easy as few games are made so well, but, hope is not lost.
It turns out you can find your next game, and the easiest way to do that is with the 10 best games like Hollow Knight.
The 10 Best Games Like Hollow Knight
In order to pick the best games in this vein, we dissected the elements that make Hollow Knight so great.
We love how it’s engrossing, has a unique yet beautiful aesthetic, feels amazing to control, and steers into the classic design known as platforming.
So, we scoured popular games to see if they held anything in common with that breakdown, and we found great options including some genuine masterpieces.
With all of that covered, here is our list of the 10 best games like Hollow Knight:
10. Cave Story
Cave Story was originally released in 2004, meaning this might not be the most modern game on the list.
Despite that, it holds its own against even the newest platformers, and in fact, that describes this game to a tee.
Despite being made roughly 20 years ago, it feels great to play, and Hollow Knight fans will have fun with it for plenty of hours.
As one of the 50 best Nintendo Wii games of all time, we consider it a classic that holds up to this day.
If you think mechanics, more than anything else, are what makes Hollow Knight great, then this game is for you.
Aesthetically, Cave Story adheres to a classic look (although it was a new look when the game was developed) that still looks good.
You won’t come back over and over again for the gripping story, but the exciting gameplay and fun mechanics are more than enough.
Especially if you enjoy anything related to speed runs, this is a great entry into your Steam or Nintendo collection.
9. Guacamelee! 2
In terms of aesthetics and atmosphere, this game is not at all like Hollow Knight, but with fun platforming, it’s great for Hollow Knight fans.
This is not the original game in the series, but anything you might like about Guacamelee! is ramped up and improved in the second installment.
Released in 2018, it’s a PC game (and also available on Steam), and certainly unique even among other titles on this list.
At first glance, it might feel like just another fluid platformer, but there’s so much more going on here, from story to game mechanics.
Even though you’re jumping and sliding around and doing fun platforming maneuvers, the punching and wrestling combat look and feel great.
Just wait until you get into the boss battles as you’ll see some of the most memorable characters in your playthrough.
On top of that, Guacamelee! 2 might have the best sense of humor among all platformers, never failing to earn a new laugh.
The humor meshes nicely with the many fun-level designs and mechanics that never grow tired or old or boring.
Aesthetically, Guacamelee! 2 is a 2-D platformer superimposed on 3-D graphics; it works, and you’ll get lost in the visuals from time to time.
This will be a game you tell all your friends about, even if some of them don’t really get it.
8. Axiom Verge
Switching gears, Axiom Verge is a relatively modern game that focuses all of its efforts entirely on reverence to a previous age.
The game launched in 2015 and has ports for PS4, Linux, OX X (and MacOS), Wii U, Xbox One, and the Nintendo Switch.
This is a side scroller with strong Super Metroid vibes, and despite being released in 2015, you would think it’s a Super Nintendo game.
It has that old-school, pixelated look, and even the sound effects fit that classic style; those classic vibes are a big part of the experience.
Despite that, the game feels modern in its controls, and that’s the real draw — that, and the deep story full of twists and turns.
In a time where some people yearn for games of the past, Axiom Verge scratches that itch with dozens of hours of captivating gameplay.
If you enjoy the first few minutes of the game, you’ll have a great time all the way to the end.
7. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
This is one of the best Metroidvania games of all time, which is a larger pool of games than you might imagine.
You see, the lead developer for Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night worked on the Castlevania series, largely accounting for this classification.
Certainly, some Castlevania elements were made into this game, and some even call this the spiritual successor to Castlevania, but we humbly disagree.
The thing about Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is that it pulls from multiple genres that range from 2-D anime fighters to RPGs.
For many, Hollow Knight’s fast-paced gameplay is what makes it amazing, in which case, Bloodstained might be even more fun.
Aesthetically, the game uses JRP-style sprites that look great, superimposed on a side-scrolling platformer with rich backgrounds and a deep world.
The game utilizes strong RPG elements with stat progression, a party system, and classes while the combat feels like a fast-paced fighting game.
If you want in, you will find Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night on PS4, Windows, Xbox One, and the Switch.
6. Hyper Light Drifter
Moving on, Hyper Light Drifter feels like a mix between an old Zelda game and Diablo, which is even how the developer described it.
This 2016 adventure utilizes an overhead view that spends a lot more time on combat as opposed to puzzles, jumping, and movement.
Those elements do exist, but you play this because the streamlined combat is challenging and engaging more than anything else.
Players start with an energy sword that is fun from the start, and you can collect tons of fun additional weapons along the way.
Aesthetically, it’s an artistic game with a story that is drawn through low-movement, hand-drawn cinematics and gameplay that transports you to another world.
You will treasure every moment you spend in this mesmerizing world, from an interesting story to the combat and interactions that never grow old.
5. Dead Cells
For starters, it’s a roguelike, and the best roguelike games randomize the items and powerups that you find, so no two playthroughs are the same.
The Binding of Isaac really made the mechanic popular around a decade ago, and plenty of gamers still love it.
You play an infectious cell that ultimately inhabits other bodies to platform through the game in an attempt to escape.
Not done yet, this game also uses procedurally generated levels which means that you can’t just learn your way through the game.
Every time you replay it, you have to explore brand new Dead Cells platforms, as it’s never the same twice.
Combine these elements with smooth gameplay and fun controls, and you get a great experience that looks as good as it feels.
This modern-classic fusion is sure to keep you entertained, and you can play it on Xbox One, PC, Linux, Mac, iPhone, or Android.
Hades launched in 2020, and it proved an instant success and one of the most popular hack-and-slash action games in recent memory.
This overhead roguelike sold over 1 million copies within the first 3 days of its initial release, shocking the industry and dazzling fans.
As you hack and slash through the game, you will fight many enemies with powerful combat skills that are different each time you play.
A few minutes in, you’ll see how solid the gameplay is and how much fun it is to control your character.
But, Hades has another trick up its sleeve — using a procedurally generated story, it will take multiple laps through the game to get the whole tale.
This doubles down on the fact that roguelikes favor replayability over anything else, and Hades is fun to play through again and again.
It’s even considered one of the best Nintendo Switch games of all time, going toe-to-toe with heavyweight titles like Mario Kart and Zelda.
3. Metroid Dread
Metroid Dread is easily a fan favorite among Metroid games, and considering how amazing the whole series is, that’s saying something.
This isn’t just an opinion either, as Metroid Dread is now the best-selling game in the long-running series.
If you’re familiar with the series, you might know that it started as a classic side-scrolling platform, and then graduated to 3-D exploration later on.
With Dread, we’re back to platforming; the gameplay side scrolls, but despite that, it looks and feels like an ultra-modern Metroid game.
You’ll get lost in the visuals as they’re the best Nintendo has to offer at the moment, and they don’t disappoint.
If you have ever enjoyed Metroid, the classic fun is back with grappling, boosted movement, morph balls, weapon upgrades, and some new abilities.
Dread adds a new element to the game where you need stealth for enemies sprinkled throughout that you cannot defeat.
You get special skills and power-ups to help with this (occasionally killing these enemies), and it all fits seamlessly into the Metroid experience.
As one of the best Metroid games, you’ll find this gem on the Switch, so buckle in for plenty of hours of riveting gameplay.
2. Salt & Sanctuary
Salt & Sanctuary launched in 2015, and it’s currently available on PS4, Windows, MacOS, Linux, Vita, Xbox One, and the Switch.
Salt and Sanctuary is basically Dark Souls but a side scroller, meaning you get fun platforming mixed with challenging combat.
There’s a stamina system that makes you think carefully about how to engage with enemies, but more importantly, the game features a ridiculous arsenal.
Roughly 600 different items and weapons provide you with a range of combat options that will never grow old or stale.
That’s punctuated by a big skill tree, a range of classes, and stat progression, giving you tons of freedom in character development and growth.
It feels like you are constantly exploring new abilities, each more interesting than the last with a steady stream of gripping challenges.
Clearly, the game is fun, but it’s also gorgeous with a dark art style that is drawn entirely by hand, and punctuated with ominous music.
1. Ori & The Blind Forest
Ori first dazzled fans in 2015 and today, you can play it on Windows, Xbox One, and the Switch, and we can’t recommend it enough.
The game is beautiful with captivating environmental graphics and a character that is so fluid and perfect on screen that words can’t do it justice.
Ori is a traditional platformer in a lot of ways helping to make the raw gameplay the real star of the show.
But the movement and mechanics are responsive and captivating and so much fun that this game stands above the rest.
In fact, turn it around and a list of the best games like Ori and the Blind Forest just might include Hollow Knight.
After all, many would consider Hollow Knight to be the spiritual successor to Ori and the Blind Forest and for good reason.
Needless to say, for avid Hollow Knight players, every game on this list has elements you are likely to appreciate.
Even with that common thread, you’ll find a vast range of experiences among these games, and each of them can lead you to fun adventures.
And, for anyone who might be in a hurry, here’s a quick recap of the 10 best games like Hollow Knight:
- Ori & the Blind Forest
- Salt & Sanctuary
- Metroid Dread
- Dead Cells
- Hyper Light Drifter
- Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
- Axiom Verge
- Guacamelee! 2
- Cave Story
What are your favorite games that feel like Hollow Knight? Leave a comment below.
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