17 games to play after Elden Ring while you wait for Shadow of the Erdtree

17 games to play after Elden Ring while you wait for Shadow of the Erdtree

Elden Ring is massive and dense. It transplants FromSoftware’s tried-and-true design pillars of difficulty and experimentation into the sprawling Lands Between. And after 100-plus hours with FromSoftware’s magnum opus, you’re either ready for something new or are chasing the next Elden Ring to tide you over until Shadow of the Erdtree.

So where do you go next after finishing one of the best games ever made and during the long wait for the DLC (or the inevitable sequel)? We can help you with that.

We’ve broken 17 games into nine unique categories. Each group will offer one suggestion that’s similar to Elden Ring and another that’s nothing like Elden Ring. But each pair will also have a theme that unites them, to better guide your choice of genre or vibe.

You’re never going to get that perfect one-to-one Elden Ring feeling without jumping into Bloodborne, the Dark Souls games, or Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. But with our list, you can try to maintain that high with a differently themed but similar game, or gently ride back down to Earth with something completely different.

Group 1: Cute wanderers

Kirby in Mouthful Mode, looking like a giant lightbulb Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo

Similar: Tunic

Tunic captures some of Elden Ring’s freedom, complexity, and opaqueness. It’s a game about a little fox tasked with roaming around a world and solving puzzles. At times, it’s frustratingly difficult and it tells you almost nothing about how it works or what you need to do. But it’s also cute and colorful and bright. Tunic will give you different vibes while also making for a natural transition if you’re still looking to punish your reflexes and scratch the old noggin.

Dissimilar: Kirby and the Forgotten Land

Tonally, Kirby and the Forgotten Land is about as far from Elden Ring as you can get. Sure, it takes place in the ruins of a once great land, but that’s the only thing the two games have in common. Kirby is simple, easy, and linear. You can deviate from the path, but only in short bursts, and it’s usually just for a breezy puzzle that will eventually funnel you back to where you need to go next. If you need something that’s “no thoughts, just cute” or a co-op adventure with a kiddo or a friend, Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a great post-Elden Ring pickup.

Group 2: Romance, if you’re horny

Hugo talks to the daddy player during a date Image: Game Grumps

Similar: Dragon’s Dogma Dark Arisen

Dragon’s Dogma Dark Arisen is like Elden Ring in that it’s difficult, archaic, and takes place in a grim medieval setting. But unlike Elden Ring, you can date around in Dragon’s Dogma Dark Arisen. If you’ve always wished you could smooch the NPCs in FromSoftware games and then also crawl around on a giant monster for hours, start your post-Elden Ring life off right with Dragon’s Dogma.

Dissimilar: Dream Daddy

Dream Daddy is very much not Elden Ring. In fact, it may be the least Elden Ring-like game on this list. In Dream Daddy, you play as a single dad who goes around dating other single dads. You get to chat, go on dates, and try to keep up with your teenage daughter in a new town. It’s delightful, cute, and romantic, and there are no Elden Lords or horrible plagues to be found.

Group 3: Exploration, with monsters and without

A stone corpse leans against a pillar on the island Image: Thekla, Inc.

Similar: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

While Skyrim’s mechanics may not have much in common with Elden Ring, the exploration is part-and-parcel. Part of the fun of Elden Ring is going off in a random direction and coming across a new catacomb, town, or massive boss. In 2012, Skyrim practically boiled that thrill down to a science, giving you mountains of random dungeons and encounters to stumble on as you explore Bethesda’s massive, icy world.

Dissimilar: The Witness

If you’re eager to explore but want something completely different than Elden Ring, The Witness is a great place to start. This is a puzzle game that uses subtle and unexplained rules to help you draw a line over a variety of maze-like tablets. It’s mysterious and gigantic, but completely free of combat. It’s all about majesty and discovery in a colorful world, and will help you keep your mind off Godrick’s disturbing dragon arm.

Group 4: Death and 2D worlds

The Hollow Knight slashes down at a mushroom trampoline Image: Team Cherry

Similar: Hollow Knight

Hollow Knight is an excellent metroidvania with some serious FromSoftware leanings. It’s punishing, its systems are obfuscated, and failure comes with a price. It’s also got some of the light horror elements seen in Elden Ring, although filtered through a much cuter art style. While it’s certainly much simpler than From’s latest, and not nearly as long, it’s a great little adventure that won’t feel like whiplash after the punishing Lands Between.

Dissimilar: Spiritfarer

Spiritfarer may be about death, but it has very little in common with Elden Ring. In Spiritfarer, you ferry the souls of the dead through the afterlife and to their final resting place. But instead of being grim and creepy, it’s wholesome. You create bonds with each soul, and help them embrace eternity comfortably, when they’re ready. It’s definitely sad, in the way loss always is, but there’s a hopeful twinge there. If you need something with a more loving undertone that still deals with the finality of death, Spiritfarer is a great jump after Elden Ring.

Group 5: (Kinda) chill vibes

A group of power washer users power wash a truck with a kitty cat on the hood Image: FuturLab/Square Enix

Similar: Death’s Door

Death’s Door is about a cute little crow who serves as the grim reaper, and its combat is often reminiscent of FromSoftware’s. It’s both punishing and remarkably chill, with the world acting as its own, low-stakes puzzle to solve. Sure, you’ll have to get into the zone when you reach a boss, but otherwise you can use your little bird legs to explore far and wide in this relaxing adventure. It’s a great mix between the jaw-clenching combat of Elden Ring and a chill romp around the world.

Dissimilar: PowerWash Simulator

PowerWash Simulator is one of the most “no thoughts” games out there, and it has nothing in common with Elden Ring. The entire goal of PowerWash Simulator is to use a power washer to clean off grime and filth from various vehicles and locations. The more you clean, the more cash you’ll get, and the better equipment and soap you can afford. There are stains that will take you longer to defeat than any boss in Elden Ring, but it’s still just an extremely chill game all about making the world cleaner.

Group 6: Games with friends

A group of heroes battle a giant tree monster Image: Gunfire Games/Perfect World Entertainment

Similar: Remnant: From the Ashes

Remnant: From the Ashes is a FromSoftware game turned into a third-person shooter. There’s melee combat, yes, but it’s mostly about dodging enemies while shooting cool guns. And, most importantly, it’s co-op. Remnant: From the Ashes is a ton of fun to play alongside a buddy, and still quite punishing. If you’re looking for that Elden Ring feeling of accomplishment but you also want to go questing with a friend, Remnant: From the Ashes is a great place to start.

Dissimilar: Golf with Your Friends

Golf with Your Friends is exactly what it sounds like: You play online digital mini-golf with your pals. You can also run special courses with skulls and pirate ships and try to get a hole in one while talking smack over Discord. If you need something to get your mind off of Radhan or Godfrey, Golf with Your Friends is the perfect distraction.

Group 7: Elden Ring + The Industrial Revolution

A giant police robot grabs Pinocchio in Lies of P Image: Neowiz

Similar: Lies of P

Lies of P is probably the best FromSoftware game not made by FromSoftware. It stars Pinocchio (you know, the puppet that’s also a habitual liar) and tasks you with beating up powerful automatons and monsters. Like Elden Ring, it’s a game filled with satisfying combat and build choices. And also like Elden Ring, it’ll have you screaming obscenities at your TV because you keep getting killed by the stupidest-looking boss you’ve ever seen. What sets Lies of P apart is that it takes place in the late 1800s and is filled with modern inventions for you to fight against and with. So if you ever looked at the Extreme Fantasy world of the Lands Between and thought “I love this, but I wish I could fight a big boss robot that’s also a 20th century British cop,” Lies of P is your only logical next step.

Dissimilar: Satisfactory

Satisfactory is a game where you build factories, and it’s almost nothing like Elden Ring. In Satisfactory, your mission is to use resources to build mechanical pieces that you can then assemble into more intricate mechanical pieces. To do this, you need to build machines, which take in resources via a conveyor belt and spit out something new on the other side. But this is not a relaxing or cozy building game where you just kick your feet up and watch. Your machines may be doing the work for you, but in the meantime you’ll be rearranging your factory to improve output and running across a hostile wilderness to find new resources that you can ship back to your home base. So if you’re finished being stressed by difficult combat encounters in the Lands Between, it’s time to face down humanity’s true nemesis: logistics.

Group 8: Limp Bizkit, obviously

a pirate boss in stranger of paradise. apparently he’s the mayor of the town Image: Koei Tecmo/Square Enix

Similar: Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origins

OK, no, Limp Bizkit’s music isn’t actually in Stranger of Paradise, but that’s the joke that’s going around, and honestly, I can’t tell the difference. (And if you can, keep it to yourself). If ever a game screamed Limp Bizkit vibes, it’s Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origins. Even better, it actually shares quite a bit of DNA with Elden Ring, so hear me out. Jack — the rejected Abercrombie model that serves as the butt-rock-listening protagonist — collects currency from enemies to level himself up. This empowers him to emerge victorious from tightly balanced combat encounters that require a great deal of focus to survive. It may not have that gothic atmosphere, but it’s got the classic FromSoftware frustration/accomplishment seesaw. So if you played Elden Ring and, like the rest of us, thought “this is missing something, and that something is Limp Bizkit,” Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origins is as close as you’re gonna get to fulfilling that dream.

Dissimilar: Rock Band 4

Fine, you got me. I initially put Rock Band 4 here to make the Limp Bizkit joke work (although Limp Bizkit is actually in this game, as long as you’re willing to pay for the DLC). But the more I think about it, the more I’m sure that Rock Band belongs on this list. It’s a cathartic chaser after Elden Ring, so let’s run with it. Rock Band lets you just throw yourself into the music (Bizkit or otherwise), channeling very different emotions, and helping you forget about all the horrible plague dogs and dragons that gave you so much trouble in The Lands Between. You don’t even have to use a real controller, which is especially useful if you broke yours while playing Elden Ring. And when you factor in Limp Bizkit Pack 01 (sadly there is no Limp Bizkit Pack 02), it’s the perfect way to re-center your mind.

(Note: I have never intentionally listened to a Limp Bizkit song.)

[Ed. note: Let’s not lie to our readers, Ryan.]

Group 9: Breath of the Wild and Breath of the Wild

Link in a battle with blue Bokoblins in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo

Similar and dissimilar: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the most common comparison point for Elden Ring, and for obvious reasons. It’s massive, built for exploration, and has tons of secrets to uncover. But The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is also peaceful, colorful, and cute. It’s low stakes exploration, and it’s one-shot combat against Guardians.

For all of Elden Ring’s flexibility, it’s still a punishing FromSoftware game all about bashing your head against one struggle or another. Breath of the Wild has some of that as well, but with the ability to play with a physics puzzle for a while, or climb a mountain and just look over the vista. For every big boss there’s a serene moment waiting just on the other side of a hill, and that makes Breath of the Wild the perfect chaser after playing Elden Ring.