- It has been recently confirmed that the much-awaited sequel to Hollow Knight will also appear on PlayStation consoles (via Game Rant). Fans of Hollow Knight have long been waiting for its sequel, which now focuses on Hornet, who is one of the most memorable characters in the franchise. While they wait for Hollow Knight: Silksong, gamers can try their hand at other titles that have similar aspects to Hollow Knight.
The indie mega-hit Hollow Knight draws obvious inspiration from many older titles, synthesizing these influences into a unique and successful identity. The atmosphere and lore are reminiscent of Dark Souls, the exploration of Super Metroid, and the combat of classic action platformers like Mega Man.
Having been inspired by an array of gaming classics, it’s possible to see the DNA that’s at the core of Hollow Knight present in contemporary titles as well. Be it in platformers, RPGs, or action games, as well as indies and AAA titles, fans of Hollow Knight can find elements of the game they love in many other titles on the market.
Updated on October 3rd, 2022 by Jom Elauria:
It has been recently confirmed that the much-awaited sequel to Hollow Knight will also appear on PlayStation consoles (via Game Rant). Fans of Hollow Knight have long been waiting for its sequel, which now focuses on Hornet, who is one of the most memorable characters in the franchise. While they wait for Hollow Knight: Silksong, gamers can try their hand at other titles that have similar aspects to Hollow Knight.
Ori And The Blind Forest
Similar to Hollow Knight, Ori and the Blind Forest is also a platformer Metroidvania. In the beautiful world of the game that’s full of caves, ruins, and forests, players can enjoy platforming mechanics also present in Hollow Knight, such as climbing, double jumping, and dashing.
Ori and the Blind Forest does prioritize platforming over combat, so there are less intense battles in the game. It’s more relaxed compared to other Metroidvanias, which makes exploring the world and solving puzzles a more serene and enjoyable experience.
Developed by Drinkbox Studios, Guacamelee! 2 sees its protagonist, Juan Aguacate, jump to a dark timeline where he needs to stop a luchador corrupted by his mask. The Guacamelee! series is considered by many as one of the best Metroidvanias thanks to its bright visuals, impeccable music, and engaging platforming mechanics.
What makes Guacamelee! 2 similar to Hollow Knight is its non-linear gameplay that allows players to do side quests and find secrets that the world may hide. It also has a handful of charismatic NPCs that might remind the players of iconic Hollow Knight characters like Hornet and Quirrel.
Salt And Sanctuary
Both Salt and Sanctuary and Hollow Knight full certain aspects of the popular game Dark Souls. In fact, some gamers consider Salt and Sanctuary to be an underrated Soulslike game. In Salt and Sanctuary, players will need to dodge and swipe in order to defeat challenging bosses and put a stop to the cycle of war created by the Nameless God.
Reminiscent of Hollow Knight’s charms, Salt and Sanctuary allows players to customize their characters, from choosing the right starting class to tweaking the character’s stats. And just like in Hollow Knight, gamers will die a lot in Salt and Sanctuary.
In the indie hit Hades, players will need to control Zagreus and help him find his way to the surface by going through the different areas of the underworld. The game employs hack-and-slash mechanics using weapons that can be upgraded using the divine boons that the player finds on each floor.
What makes Hades similar to Hollow Knight is its brutal roguelike mechanics. Players are expected to die a lot in both games, either from the hands of terrifying bosses or clever traps.
A criminally underrated exploration/survival game, Rain World sees the player struggling to survive vicious predation as they explore a crumbling megastructure, seeking to uncover its secrets. It features unforgiving difficulty and harsh environments, as well as open-ended exploration and opaque objectives and lore.
Many of those features should sound quite familiar to Hollow Knight fans, but they must beware that Rain World is perhaps even more uncompromising in its difficulty and hostility towards new players. It doesn’t disclose any sort of clear objective, most of the enemies can kill in a single strike, and the ever-present threat of a crushing downpour of rain can abruptly halt a player’s progress. Still, those with patience and an eye for detail will find Rain World to be one of gaming’s sought-after “underrated gems”.
Bloodstained: Ritual Of The Night
The “vania” half of “Metroidvania” owes a large chunk of its legacy to one Koji Igarashi, who worked on several of the best-remembered Castlevania titles of old. After leaving Konami, he made a triumphant return to the genre with the Kickstarter project Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night.
Bloodstained deliberately draws from the design elements that made the classic Castlevania games so beloved, while at the same time putting a modern twist on things to ensure that the game feels fresh. As another entry in the Metroidvania genre, Hollow Knight fans will likely find a lot to enjoy when checking out this love letter to the Castlevania classics.
The notorious Path of Pain is the most difficult platforming challenge featured in Hollow Knight, and veterans of the game will assure players that its title is an apt one. The Path requires players to execute ultra-precise jumps and dashes through an utterly absurd number of deadly buzz saws and bottomless death pits, ensuring that only the strongest will make it through.
The indie hit Celeste is sort of like if one was to make an entire game out of the Path of Pain. The result, while challenging, is one of the most enjoyable 2D platformers of recent memory. It pushes a player’s reflexes and reaction speed to the limit, forcing them to navigate ever-more precise challenges as the game goes on.
Although the mantra “It’s the Dark Souls of X” has become tired in recent years, it is still an accurate descriptor of Hollow Knight, a game that draws deliberately from Dark Souls, and so-called “Soulslike” games more broadly. Beyond difficulty, Hollow Knight is mechanically similar to Souls titles in its respawn system which forces players to return to the spot of their demise to recover their soul and money.
Furthermore, Hollow Knight‘s somber atmosphere, open-ended exploration, and opaque lore all appear to be inspired by FromSoftware titles like Dark Souls. Without venturing too far into spoiler territory, even some of the endings to Hollow Knight bear resemblance to those in Dark Souls.
Hyper Light Drifter
Hyper Light Drifter might not look much like Hollow Knight, after all, it features a top-down camera perspective and a science fiction aesthetic, but it does include some of the design elements that have made Hollow Knight so beloved among its fans.
Hyper Light Drifter sees the player taking control of a lone wanderer, armed with a blaster and a sword, as they explore the ruins of an abandoned science fiction world. That signature atmosphere of exploring the remains of a once-great civilization (like City Of Tears) that makes Hollow Knight so engaging is present here, as is its faced paced and challenging combat, meaning that Hyper Light Drifter shouldn’t be missed.
Shovel Knight is an unabashed love letter to the action platformers of the 8 and 16-bit era, with its most apparent influences being the old-school Mega Man and Castlevania titles from the days of the NES. Shovel Knight handily evokes the graphics and art style of that era’s games and delivers appropriately thrilling side-scrolling action and boss battles to seal the deal.
Hollow Knight players will likely feel right at home facing down Shovel Knight‘s assorted enemies and bosses, especially given its emphasis on melee combat (this time with shovels instead of nails, though). The Shovel Knight can even use his shovel to pogo on top of enemies, just like the Knight can in Hollow Knight!
Like Hollow Knight, Cave Story is an indie Metroidvania with a focus on high-speed combat and engaging exploration. Cave Story sees players navigating an enormous subterranean civilization and blasting away at various enemies and bosses along the way. Exploration feels rewarding, getting a new weapon or power-up is exciting, and the controls are fluid and responsive which makes the combat appropriately intense.
The best part about Cave Story is that it’s still completely free to play from its original freeware website, although enhanced ports of the game are available for purchase on Steam and most modern consoles. Still, Hollow Knight fans owe it to themselves to give this game a look, especially since the whole thing can be experienced for free.
In an ambitious hybrid between Metroidvania and roguelike genre elements, Dead Cells delivers the engrossing exploration of the former with all of the addictive replayability of the latter. The 2D combat and gated exploration will be immediately familiar to Hollow Knight players, as well as Metroidvania fans in general, but the RPG elements and roguelike twist keep the experience feeling fresh.
For the uninitiated, Dead Cells features a permadeath system that requires the player to delve back into the dungeon without their equipment and weapons after they die. That might sound unforgiving, but it ends up bolstering the game’s value with addictive replayability – a player can’t help but feel like they need to try for just one more run after they lose their character.
Widely regarded as one of, if not the best, Metroidvania ever made; Super Metroid is the archetypal classic from which all other entries in the genre draw their ancestry. Despite its age, it still deserves its reputation as one of the greatest games ever produced on account of its unique atmosphere, exciting power-ups, and engrossing setting and exploration.
Hollow Knight wears those influences proudly in borrowing many of the design concepts introduced in the classic Metroid titles, which are among many of the things fans need to know about the series. Namely, progression that’s gated by power-ups and a sprawling underground map. Hollow Knight fans who haven’t already done so owe it to themselves to check out Super Metroid, as it’s certain to be an engrossing experience.
Mega Man Zero
Hollow Knight is known for its frantic, boss-heavy melee combat that sees players weaving in and out of enemy attack patterns looking for an opening to strike. It’s an exhilarating, punishing, and rewarding experience and a triumph of 2D combat, as well as one that bears a striking resemblance to the Mega Man Zero series, which features many incredible games within its franchise.
While most Mega Man titles are at least somewhat reminiscent of Hollow Knight‘s action, it’s the Zero series that bears the closest resemblance on account of its fast pace, frequent boss battles, and focus on melee combat. Zero also has a reputation as being exceptionally difficult, so Hollow Knight fans should feel right at home after making the jump to Mega Man.