Best Games Like Hollow Knight

Ready to take on a new challenging Metroidvania? Check out this list of the best games like Hollow Knight on Steam and other platforms.

Regarded as one of the best Metroidvanias of all time, Hollow Knight boasts stunning hand-drawn visuals, atmospheric environments, and demanding combat.

Considering all of that, Team Cherry has a big task ahead in enhancing the first game with the upcoming follow-up Hollow Knight: Silksong.

In the meantime, fans can keep themselves entertained with the best games like Hollow Knight on Steam, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch.

If that sounds like fun, keep reading on to discover the best Hollow Knight alternatives that offer satisfying exploration and tough-as-nails combat.

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The first game like Hollow Knight we’re recommending is Ender Lillies: Quietus of the Knights, a 2D action RPG about a young woman in a hauntingly beautiful world.

In it, you’ll embark on a sorrowful journey to defeat horrific enemies and release them from their unending curse to join you as allies.

Like Hollow Knight, much of the story focuses on how such a vast kingdom managed to crumble at the hands of a destructive downpour called the Rain of Death.

Gameplay emphasizes fast-paced platforming and Souls-like combat in which players can mix and match abilities and equip hidden relics to suit their playstyle.

Seeing as Hollow Knight wouldn’t exist without Metroid, why not highlight the less-celebrated Nintendo franchise with its latest installment?

In Metroid Dread, players reprise their role as bounty hunter Samus Aran as she investigates a mysterious transmission on Planet ZDR.

With the remote planet overrun by vicious aliens and bloodthirsty robots, players must hunt or be hunted while navigating a sprawling labyrinth of tunnels.

If you fell in love with Hollow Knight’s steep learning curve, then you’ll likely have fun coming to grips with Metroid Dread’s demanding bossfights.

The other half of Metroidvania’s namesake receives a worthy successor in Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, an updated take on Castlevania from Koji Igarashi.

Like Hollow Knight, the game takes its design cues from classics like Symphony of the Night while also incorporating more modern concepts to keep things fresh.

The story centers on an orphan named Miriam who underwent a series of alchemic experiments as a child, granting her supernatural abilities.

Similar to upgrading the Knight’s weapon and skills, Miriam can unlock new powers and use them to explore previously inaccessible areas.

Next on our list is Momodora: Reverie Under The Moonlight, a hardcore action-platformer with layered exploration similar to Hollow Knight.

In it, you take control of a priestess named Kaho whose cursed village is on the brink of eradication, prompting her to seek out the Queen of the land before it’s too late.

However, time is limited, with each night falling darker than the one before as corrupted creatures slowly take over the village.

Like Hollow Knight, gameplay revolves around fast-paced combat that emphasizes melee attacks, precise dodges, and combining various items and spells.

Unsighted is a top-down futuristic Metroidvania with challenging combat and platforming mechanics reminiscent of Hollow Knight.

Players are cast as a cyber-enhanced automaton named Alma who awakens to find a world in ruin after her fellow machines turn on humanity.

She sets out to investigate why things have gone awry while traversing a visually striking sci-fi world using powers to unlock new pathways.

This includes equipping different weapons to discover unique combinations that give Alma an edge in high-stakes bossfights.

Often passed on for more popular Metroidvanias like Hollow Knight, Rain World is a fantastic action-platformer in its own right.

It sees you trying to survive in a crumbling mega-structure by searching for food and secrets while keeping an eye out for predators that outrank you on the food chain.

Much like Hollow Knight, the game revels in its unforgiving difficulty and brutal environments while boasting open-ended exploration and extensive in-game lore.

While Rain World’s obtuse objectives, single-hit kills, and devastating rainstorms can feel unforgiving at first, with enough practice and patience, you’ll learn to adapt.

Axiom Verge 2 is the second part of Thomas Happ’s old-fashioned Metroidvania game and is ranked among the top indie games on Nintendo Switch, just like Hollow Knight.

Similar to its predecessor, the game takes on a very sci-fi-centric tone that includes plenty of atmospheric environments rendered in NES-style pixel art.

As you progress, you’ll unlock new abilities that open up new pathways to areas housing stat boosts and other items that can come in handy against certain bosses.

While the story is directly tied to the original, Hollow Knight fans shouldn’t have any problem catching up to speed as the sequel focuses on a new character and setting.

Right beside Hollow Knight in the Metroidvania hall of fame are both Ori and the Blind Forest and its sequel, Ori and the Will of the Wisps.

The follow-up builds upon the original while smoothing out some of its rougher edges for a more satisfying and accessible gameplay experience.

Its setting is every bit as haunting and engrossing as Hollow Knight’s, complete with painstakingly detailed environments that evolve throughout the story.

Like many other games on this list, it has a steep learning curve that’s bound to turn away some, though we’d wager Hollow Knight fans are up to the task.

Assuming you don’t mind a little roguelite progression in your Metroidvanias, Dead Cells is yet another superb recommendation to anyone craving more Hollow Knight.

In it, you play as a mysterious life form that possesses a corpse, allowing them to explore a sprawling, procedurally-generated labyrinth teeming with brutal enemies.

Despite the amount of randomness present in the game’s design, Dead Cells manages to keep things consistent throughout its level design and loot drops.

This makes it a lot easier to focus on the real meat of the game: challenging combat and permadeath systems that wipe your entire inventory upon death.

Hollow Knight isn’t the first or the last indie game to draw inspiration from Dark Souls’ demanding combat and haunting atmosphere.

Salt and Sanctuary actually predates it by about a year despite sharing numerous similarities in terms of tone and visuals.

Additionally, both games place a heavy emphasis on open-ended exploration and copious backtracking that’s expected of most Metroidvanias.

Where Salt and Sanctuary differs is its extensive customization, which extends beyond charms to give players more ways to devise unique builds for each starting class.

La-Mulana 2 is another well-executed sequel to an underrated Metroidvania whose structure and pacing will feel familiar to anyone who’s played Hollow Knight.

The story follows a brave adventurer as she explores ancient ruins teeming with mystery and magic across their many relics and enemies.

In order to uncover the truth behind La-Mulana’s origins, you’ll have to traverse a vast 2D world comprising multiple maps guarded by huge monsters.

Though the combat and platforming are not quite on the same level as Hollow Knight, expect plenty of backtracking to solve cryptic puzzles and chat up NPCs.

Substituting The Knight’s Nail with a pickaxe, SteamWorld Dig 2 tasks you with tracking down the original game’s protagonist after they mysteriously vanish.

Playing as Dorothy McCrank, you’ll carve your own path in a labyrinth mine system spanning multiple biomes with distinct enemies, hazards, and resources.

Like Hollow Knight, a majority of the enjoyment arises from uncovering fresh territories and rewards through flexible exploration across caverns and self-contained dungeons.

Over time, players can use their stockpile of resources to upgrade Dorothy’s gear and unlock new tools such as a jetpack, grappling hook, and grenade launcher.

Sundered is another hand-drawn 2D Metroidvania that takes place in a dark and dangerous setting inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft.

In it, you take control of an eldritch warrior trapped in an ever-changing network of caves with terrifying beasts whose power can be harnessed or rejected.

Regardless of your choice, there are hundreds of upgrades and builds to leverage while exploring a mix of randomly generated and hand-crafted levels.

Similar to Hollow Knight, Sundered includes traditional Metroidvania elements in its gameplay by permitting you to backtrack once you acquire fresh skills.

Next up is Chasm, an indie Metroidvania that tasks you with investigating an underground mine whose inhabitants mysteriously vanished.

This leads your character to fight through mobs of enemies and explore ancient catacombs in search of clues and equipment to help along the way.

In order to achieve this, the game relies on procedural generation to determine the layout of its map while individual rooms are hand-crafted.

This results in six unique biomes with layered exploration and progression based on obtaining new weapons, tools, and spells reminiscent of Hollow Knight.

Valdis Story: Abyssal City is another Metroidvania that’s often overlooked due to its punishingly high difficulty compared to other games in the genre.

In it, players control one of four playable characters as they traverse a sprawling, interconnected map teeming with powerful enemies.

The game features a robust combat system that relies on combos and precision while wielding an arsenal of melee weapons and magic spells.

Like Hollow Knight, Valdis Story includes its fair share of environmental puzzles and gated areas that require players to backtrack upon receiving new abilities.

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Justin Fernandez

As a fan of both indie and triple-A games, Justin finds joy in discovering and sharing hidden gems with other passionate gamers. In addition to reporting on the latest and greatest titles, he manages GamingScan’s social media channels.

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