Rahul is a video game addict. Some of his favorite games are "Red Dead Redemption 2" and "The Witcher 3."
The Monster Hunter series has been exceptional from its first iteration. My only complaint is that it’s very difficult to get into this series, especially if you are a newbie. There are so many options to choose from and not all for the same console! However, Capcom has worked on improving the accessibly of this series in its latest iteration called Monster Hunter: World.
It might take some time to get used to the mechanics, but once you are familiar, you’ll love every bit of the monster-slaying experience that the game offers.
Since there is a long wait time between releases, let’s look at some similar video games to the Monster Hunter series to satiate your cravings for some gratifying action.
9 Games Similar to Monster Hunter
- Dark Souls
- Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
- Toukiden 2
- Hunt Showdown
- Black Desert Online
1. Dark Souls
Developed by FromSoftware and published by Namco Bandai, the first iteration of this game quickly became a phenomenon across the globe. Everybody on the internet was talking about its hard-to-grasp gameplay mechanics and steep learning curve. Still, people liked the whooping and kept coming back for more.
Since its inception in 2011, the series has produced two more masterpieces—Dark Souls 2 and 3, respectively. I recommend that you check out the whole series, but try not to throw your controller in frustration. Stick to it and as you get better, the game becomes so much more fun.
Bloodborne is developed by the same minds who were behind the Dark Souls series, and it shows in its hard but fun combat mechanics. If you have played the Dark Souls series, expect more of the same—blood, gore, and delightful mayhem.
The enemy AI in this game is smarter, though. You can no longer take a slow-paced approach where you wait for the enemy to make mistakes. The shield will only come in handy if you're quick on your feet. The occasional death is a given, but you’ll only add to the mounting frustration and disparity if you play passively.
For the most part, the blend of horror and mystery works in favor of this hack and slash game. You’ll hack through various ugly creatures and infected villagers on your quest to find the source of a mysterious epidemic . . . and hopefully, eradicate it. If you're patient and eager to learn, this game will reward you with its deep, RPG-centric game wrapped in the exterior of gore and violence.
3. Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen
Developed and published by Capcom, Dark Arisen takes you to a high fantasy world where monsters and dragons are not mere stories. You along with your two AI companions will fight through hordes of these supernatural creatures, including witches, mages, and sorceresses.
Your character design will affect your gameplay experience. If you start with a shorter character, for instance, he won’t be able to carry around much weight. On the other hand, they will be quick with their reflexes. Similarly, building a big character has its own set of perks, so choose wisely. I loved that my hours spent in creating a character had some impact on the game—something almost no other game ever pays attention to.
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The story is more of a hit and miss, but the combat is its saving grace. Climbing on a huge monster and finishing them off can be so gratifying. You are given an arsenal of moves and have full license to experiment with it.
4. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
If you somehow haven't played The Witcher 3 yet, I highly recommend that you drop everything and give this game a shot.
It’s a story-heavy, action RPG developed by CD Project Red, who rose to fame with The Witcher 1. Since then, this series has come a long way as they have improved almost everything holding this series back. The Witcher 3 is the end of Geralt of Rivia's story, a Witcher who takes care of monster problems for money.
It might sound like a game stuffed with kill-and-fetch quests. However, the game is surprisingly deep, brimming with branching storylines. You should experience everything in this saga firsthand.
Though The Witcher 3 does a good job of summarizing the events of the first two games in the prologue, I recommend that you start with The Witcher 1 and make your way to the latest game in the franchise. That way, you’ll understand the storyline and dynamics between the characters better.
I am a little biased towards this game, and for a good reason. Remember when Monster Hunter World was only released on consoles and the PC crowd didn’t even get a definite release window? This free-to-play game was kind of a consolation prize for a lot of PC players, including me.
I didn’t expect much going into this. To my surprise, it actually turned out to be a very addicting game. The vast scale of this game can be intimidating, even to the most hardcore Monster Hunter fans. All the exploration and rewards aside, most of the players are only looking to have fun out there. The tutorial is minimalistic, which means that you’ll have to figure out most things on your own. Within five minutes of booting this game up, you’ll be dumped into a huge world with the freedom to go pretty much everywhere. The sense of awe reminded me of Skyrim, where you can do anything you like after the prologue. Those who like a good challenge will have a good time here. Enjoy this Monster Hunter-esque experience!
Now that Monster Hunter World is available on PC, I don’t go back to this MMO as often, but I am not abandoning it. It might not be as dazzling, but it certainly knows how to hook players instantly.
6. Toukiden 2
Developed by Omega Force and published by Koei Tecmo, Toukiden 2 is an action RPG that feels and plays similar to the Monster Hunter series. It’s easy to discern the source of inspiration for this game as soon as you play for the first few minutes.
If you want to just ignore the storyline and start slaying monsters pretty much right out of the gate, this game doesn’t come in your way. The combat system, while simplistic, are still fun to experiment with. While the learning curve isn’t as steep as games like Monster Hunter and Dark Souls, there is still a lot to learn before you can truly proclaim to be an expert.
Almost every weapon can be upgraded through crafting supplies and items found in the world. This game ensures that you’ll be rewarded handsomely for your exploration and intuitive nature.
My only suggestion is that you don't buy it for PC. The port is not that great. Since PC isn’t that big in Japan, Japanese games are not geared towards PC gaming market.
7. Hunt Showdown
Hunt Showdown is a first-person shooter developed and published by Crytek. You are dropped into a swampy island full of monsters ready to turn you into mincemeat.
The task is to kill the monster, find the loot, and get out of the zone. Of course, there is a twist. As soon as you kill the monster, every player on the map will get your location and they might try to hunt you down. The script flips in a matter of seconds. You can bring your friends along, too.
You were the hunter moments ago, but now you have to survive against the hunters. If they kill you, they’ll have your hard-earned loot for themselves. There is not a lot of variety available in terms of gameplay or modes, but I expect them to add more to the game as Crytek releases updates.
8. Black Desert Online
Black Desert Online is worth playing just for its fluid, responsive combat mechanics alone. You’ll fall in love with its fast-paced action and get addicted to it in no time. Developed by Pearl Abyss, this game has been in development for a long time. Though it has been released now, they are still busy releasing constant updates and fixes. Just recently, for instance, developers graphically overhauled this game, giving it a new lease of life.
It follows a free-to-play model in some parts of the world and buy-to-play in others. Head on over to their website to find more about their various monetization strategies.
This game will grab your eyeballs before even setting foot in its vast landscape. The first noticeable thing is its character creation tool. As Kotaku rightly points out, creating a character here is an epic undertaking.
Don’t worry. If that sort of stuff is not your cup of tea, you can skip that part. The default characters look amazing, regardless of what class you choose. Maybe Rockstar should take a leaf out of Abyss’s book and fix their ugly character creation tool.
Step out into the world and savor its beauty. Let it all sink in. Make yourself familiar with its combat mechanics, trading, crafting, and all the other relevant stuff. You’ll be staying here for some time.
As soon as you step foot into labyrinthine levels of Nioh, the Dark Souls vibe will run all over you. It’s not a coincidence. This game is not coy about admitting that it borrows several popular mechanics and gameplay elements from the Souls series. Even the game director has admitted that these games share the same genes.
However, calling it a Dark Souls clone would be a mistake as the game retains its originality by introducing a ton of new elements into the mix. For starters, the combat mechanics here are a lot different from Dark Souls. While both games have tough-as-nails bosses and mini-bosses that will test your skills on all levels, Nioh is more accessible to the masses, thanks to its clearly defined roadmap.
If games like Monster Hunter, Dark Souls, and Bloodborne are frustrating experiences for you, Nioh will only make you detest this genre more. But if you stick with it, it’s surprising how all the possibilities open to you. There is a lengthy tutorial section to help you through all its subtle mechanics. You’ll have the time of your life with its slick and responsive swordplay as you chop your foes to pieces.
Go on a (Monster) Adventure
Granted, not all of these games actually include monsters, but they all share the same thrilling adventure game aesthetic. If you enjoy Monster Hunter, I highly suggest you play them all! Did I miss any other games like Monster Hunter? Let me know in the comments section.
© 2019 Rahul Pandey
ChewBBG on May 11, 2020:
I would recommend the God Eater series. More like Monster Hunter than anything on this list (except Dauntless).