The Monster Hunter franchise has been around for more than a decade and has always offered players a unique action RPG experience centered on epic boss battles with powerful creatures. Although there’s definitely a lot more to the game, I think most fans will agree that Monster Hunter’s appeal derives from its varied and engaging combat, in which the flow of battle is dependent on the weapon you’re using and which monster you’re fighting.
And after playing the most recent entry, Monster Hunter: World, you may find yourself unsure of what to pick up next. So here we’ve highlighted some of the best games that manage to scratch the same itch as the popular creature slaying franchise. We’ll be updating this list in the future with new titles, so make sure to check back.
Dauntless (PC, Xbox One, PS4, Switch)
Dauntless has been frequently accused of borrowing too much from MH without bringing anything new to the table. However, upon closer inspection, you’ll see that the game takes the MH formula and finds ways to make it more accessible. For one, it’s free-to-play, making it a lot easier to hop in and play with friends. Secondly, it has a more cartoonish art style with more bright colors that makes enemies and environments contrast and stand out more.
Lastly, the game has you exploring smaller bite-sized environments when out on hunts, reducing the amount of time it takes to track monsters down. Gameplay is still focused on slaying powerful creatures with different elemental attacks in order to upgrade and craft new gear.
Devil May Cry 5 (PC, Xbox One, PS4)
You might be surprised to find a couple other Capcom games on this list, including Devil May Cry 5. While the game is more hack n’ slash and less stat-focused than Monster Hunter, they both feature engaging combat systems where knowing when to dodge and when to attack is key.
DMC 5 stands out as the only game in the series to include three playable characters, each with their own unique playstyle. It may not be as varied as MHW’s 14 weapon types, but it’s enough to ensure you’ll find at least one character that resonates with you. The DMC series is also known for its demanding boss battles which see you fighting massive, demonic monstrosities.
Toukiden 2 (PC, PS4)
Toukiden 2 is an action RPG and sequel to Toukiden: Age of Demons. The game is centered on hunting down massive creatures called Oni scattered throughout an open world. Combat is much more fast-paced than in MH and offers a lot more flexibility when it comes to developing your own unique playstyle.
And unlike a majority of MH games, Toukiden 2 allows you to travel between areas seamlessly without any transitions or load screens. The overall experience makes for an enticing gameplay loop that always has some new activity for you to take on, whether it’s upgrading your current equipment or searching for new powers.
Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch)
Although Breath of the Wild is structured very differently than Monster Hunter, the two have a lot in common when it comes to gameplay. For one, Link has access to several different types of weapons, such as bows, swords, clubs, axes, and more. Secondly, the game features a cooking system that allows you to combine ingredients and craft meals with various buffs like increased stamina or resistance to certain elemental attacks.
While there aren’t that many boss battles apart from Calamity Ganon, locating and taming each of the four Divine Beasts is on the same scale as capturing a monster like Diablos or Pink Rathian. A big part of the challenge in MH is the unpredictable nature of different monsters and ecosystems found throughout the world, which is present in BOTW as well.
Horizon Zero Dawn (PS4)
Horizon Zero Dawn is a PlayStation 4 exclusive that has some similarities with MH. In it you play as Aloy, an outcast looking to prove her worth and be accepted into the Nora tribe, a group of primitive hunter-gatherers fighting for survival in a post-apocalyptic world where mechanical beasts, known as the Machines, have taken over.
Although the game is much more story heavy than MH, encountering the Machines make gameplay feel a lot closer to going on a hunt. At first, Aloy stands no chance against the creatures, equipped with just a wooden bow. However, as you progress and obtain new tools and upgrades things begin to open up as Aloy is able to analyze, enemy weak-points, craft distraction tools, and even hack some machines.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (PC, Xbox One, PS4, Switch)
Based on a collection of fantasy novels, The Witcher 3 has been praised for managing to tell a strong narrative with 36 possible endings while also offering an enormous open world for players to explore freely. In it, you play as Geralt of Rivia, a hunter trained from birth to track down otherworldly monsters and defeat them by any means.
To aid you on your quest, Geralt has access to a variety of weapons as well as magical powers that add an extra layer to combat. While the game focuses heavily on telling its story, there are also exotic monster hunts that involve traveling to different regions in search of high-value beasts; many of which are just as formidable as those found in MH.
Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen (PC, Xbox One, PS4, Switch)
Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen is another Capcom action RPG that takes place in a fantasy setting. You play as the Arisen, an original character tasked with defeating a dragon. However, this is no ordinary dragon as legends portray it as a harbinger for death and the source for a myriad of supernatural events taking place throughout the world.
The game includes multiple classes, each equipped with unique tools and abilities that change how you approach battles. For example, the Fighter’s abilities allow them to focus on dealing damage with rapid hack n’ slash attacks while the Strider is able to climb onto a monster’s body and target specific body parts. Over the course of your adventure, you’ll also recruit party members called Pawns which can be compared to the cat-like palico companions found in MH.
God Eater 3 (PC, PS4, Switch)
The God Eater series has arguably had the most success in competing with Monster Hunter for the title of best creature slaying franchise. The first game debuted back in 2010 and the most recent entry, God Eater 3, features a host of improvements that streamline many of the game’s systems while maintaining the fluid hack’n slash combat the series is known for.
Quests see you investigating different regions in search of giant dangerous beasts called Aragami. In order to stand a chance against enemies, you’re provided an array of oversized and overpowered weapons that can be upgraded to increase their damage output even further. The game places less emphasis on tracking monsters and instead tries to keep you at the center of the action at all times.
Shadow of the Colossus (PS4)
Shadow of the Colossus is a remake of the PS2 game by the same name and features updated graphics capable of rivaling current-gen titles. In it, you play as a young man named Wander who’s been tasked with defeating sixteen giant beings known as colossi, in order to restore life to a girl named Mono.
You won’t find much to do outside of the main story, however, there are some areas to explore and collectibles to find. While the game doesn’t place much emphasis on combat, presenting the player with puzzles that serve as boss battles, bringing down each of the colossi is just as intimidating as fighting one of MH’s Elder Dragons.
Whether its PC or console, AAA or Indie, New-York born and raised Justin has a natural curiosity to seek out hidden gems and share them with other gamers. He also maintains his own YouTube channel in addition to writing and managing the social media profiles for GamingScan.