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10 Best Games Like Hollow Knight

Games Like Hollow KnightDid you enjoy Hollow Knight? Are you looking for a similar title to try out? In this post, we’ve highlighted 10 of the best games like Hollow Knight for you to jump into.

A long, sprawling map. Interconnected nooks and crannies. Hidden secrets. Challenging bosses. These are the elements that make Hollow Knight one of the best games of the last decade. Though not a new concept, Team Cherry’s masterpiece brought this brand of action platformer into the spotlight once again after laying dormant for a long time.

In fact, there are heaps of great Metroidvania games for you to play next after completing your adventures in Hallownest.

What Kind of Game is Hollow Knight?

Hollow Knight is what is known as a Metroidvania title. This portmanteau comes from the two franchises that birthed the subgenre, Metroid and Castlevania. Metrdoivanias are characterized by several common elements. They are typically side-scrolling 2D action platformers that abandon canned levels in favor of a large map with gated parts. In order to open up new pathways, you must unlock or discover new abilities and traversal mechanics. Depending on the game, you’ll find other vital mechanics such as RPG leveling systems, gear upgrades, and environmental puzzles.

Now that we know what games like Hollow Knight are, it’s time to look at the ten best Metroidvanias to check out in 2022.

10. Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth

Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC, Switch

Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth

This mouthful of a title is based on a long-standing series of manga, anime, and video games that were chiefly popular in Japan. Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth is the franchise’s first foray into the Metroidvania genre and clearly wears its Castlevania inspirations on its sleeve. It’s a lot more linear than Hollow Knight, with very few deviations and optional locales. However, looking for new abilities and figuring out how to progress through the game’s titular labyrinth is evocative of the subgenre’s core principles.

9. Axiom Verge

Platforms: PS4, PS5, PC, Switch

Axiom Verge

Nintendo doesn’t give us nearly enough mainline Metroid games, but, thankfully, the indie darling series Axiom Verge picks up the slack. It’s a sci-fi sprawling Metroidvania with a retro pixel art style that captured the hearts of fans with its insane combat and huge map. What separates it from other titles in the subgenre is its pacing that places the action clearly at the forefront while also managing to keep exploration as an equally crucial focal point.

8. Timespinner

Platforms: PS4, PS5, Vita, PC, Mac, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch

Timespinner

For something a bit on the shorter side of the spectrum, Timespinner is a worthy entry in the top Metroidvanias. It clearly has a crush on Castlevania: Symphony of the Night in the way that it wears the same vibe and visual style over its skin. Its time-based combat and weapons coupled with a well-told story allow it to stand on its merit, though. It’s a bit on the more accessible side when it comes to its challenge levels, so it makes for a great interim title to cruise through.

7. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

Platforms: PS4, PS5, PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, Stadia, Mobile

Bloodstained - Ritual of the Night

Developed by a team working with the legendary Koji Igarashi, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is a big trip down memory lane for a lot of Metroidvania fans. Though the 3D model-based art style isn’t quite as punchy as proper 2D sprite games on this list, it’s an excellent return to more classic-feeling gameplay. Its unique mechanic allows you to absorb abilities from enemies and customize your playstyle any way you desire. Though the story enters familiar territory, it delivers on all levels thanks to a memorable cast of characters.

6. Ender Lillies: Quietus of the Knights

Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC, Switch

Ender Lillies - Quietus of the Knights

Ender Lillies takes the subgenre into dark fantasy territory, which may feel familiar if you enjoyed Hollow Knight’s eerie and mysterious vibes. Though the familiar story of a little girl overcoming terrible monsters feels cryptic and uninspired for the most part, its setting is immersively captivating. What makes Ender Lillies worth playing is its challenging combat that allows you to switch up your style on the fly and rewards experimentation, particularly when you manage to figure out how to effectively down the game’s monstrous bosses. On top of that, its music is highly expressive, delivering sorrowful tones as you traverse a world that terrible evils have ravaged.

5. Ori and the Blind Forest/Will of the Wisps

Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC, Switch

Ori and the Will of the Wisps-Blind Forest

The Ori series is a masterfully crafted storybook-style pair of Metrdoivanias that should be on every gamer’s radar. Right from the beginning, the narrative feels like it’s taken out of a deep dark wood fairy tale, often balancing between being heartwarming and suspenseful. The main draw of the Ori series is its exploration and combat, both of which are cleverly designed. Hollow Knight players should also feel right at home because of the franchise’s similarly implemented charm system.

4. Guacamelee! 2

Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC, Switch

Guacamelee! 2

A bit of an oddball in a sea of darkly themed games, Guacamelee 2 is a vibrantly colorful extravaganza of platforming brilliance. It abandons sword and sorcery for a 2D interpretation of luchador wrestling combat that’s incredibly addictive from start to finish. What’s particularly unique about Guacamelee is how each ability you unlock is used for both traversal and taking out enemies. You’ll also find that the game is no stranger to meme-like humor and gags. On top of all that,  the game also has some of the most satisfying boss fights across the ones the entire subgenre has to offer.

3. Dead Cells

Platforms: PS4, PS5, PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, Mobile, Mac, Linux

Dead Cells

It’s impossible to make a list of great Metrdoivanias and not mention Dead Cells. It’s a roguelike take on the sprawling map platformer formula that’s masterful and varied in all the right ways. The map isn’t a seamless experience like Hollow Knight’s, as it’s mostly a series of connected biomes. Still, because of the repeatable nature of the game, you feel like you’re exploring one gigantic castle and its facilities. Since its release, Dead Cells has seen numerous updates and expansions, making it a monstrous game that you won’t want to put down easily. Oh, and there’s an insane number of weapons and abilities to mix and match, making the game highly replayable.

2. Metroid Dread

Platforms: Switch

Metroid Dread

As mentioned earlier, the Big N doesn’t give us Metroid games often. But when a new one does drop, like Metroid Dread, then it’s a must-buy for Metroidvania fans. The latest in a long-standing classic series that popularized big sprawling 2D platformers, Dread is the continuation of power suit bounty hunter Samus Aran’s quest to protect the galaxy from several alien threats. In this latest installment, not only does she need to uncover the mystery of an unexplored planet, but she also has to deal with seven near-indestructible research robots gone rogue. Metroid Dread has a lot to love, from the slew of weapons and abilities to the intricate, multi-phase bosses. What makes it a truly unique experience are the segments where you must avoid the research robots, which add a layer of adrenaline-pumping horror to the game’s formula.

1. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Platforms: PS4, PS5, Mobile

Castlevania - Symphony of the Night

An oldie, but for all intents and purposes, definitely a goodie. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night was the title that skyrocketed the subgenre to popularity when it initially launched on PS1 back in 1997. Though it’s over two decades old, it still holds up incredibly well by sporting one of the most elaborate and expansive maps the subgenre has ever seen and a flexible RPG stats and items system. Fighting Dracula’s lieutenants leads to some powerfully memorable boss fights that are challenging and exhilarating. Finally, exploring all of the nooks and crannies of the legendary vampire’s castle is filled with secrets that deliver a rewarding sense of discovery.

Which Game Should You Play After Hollow Knight?

The Metroidvania subgenre is a highly diverse space, so your choice is going to depend on what you like about Hollow Knight. If the challenging combat and bosses were your jam, then you’ll definitely enjoy Dead Cells, Ender Lillies, and Axiom Verge. If the dark atmosphere and map were your main draws, then you’ll love both Ori games as well as Metroid Dread. If you’d like to try out a more classically built Metroidvania, then Symphony of the Night, Bloodstained, Timespinner, and Record of Lodoss War will fit the bill nicely. Finally, if you want to play something more off-beat, then look no further than Guacamelee! 2.

Yannis is a veteran gamer with over 30 years of experience playing a wide spectrum of video games. When not writing about games, he's playing them, and if he's not playing them then he's definitely thinking about them.

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