I remember the first time I played Dynasty Warriors. There was something fascinating about being a Wuxia master, flying through dozens of enemies without breaking a sweat. The game also got me interested in Chinese History after I learned it took inspiration from the Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
Dynasty Warriors is a successful franchise that has even re-released games for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. However, many people don’t realize that, much like Dark Souls, it created its own genre: Musou. The name of this genre probably comes from the franchise’s original name: Shin Sangokumusou.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, Musou games feature strong player characters cutting through hordes of enemies, using powerful attacks and unique abilities. The gameplay in these titles often features hack-and-slash combat, although some have boss fights and RPG elements sprinkled in too.
Since I love the genre, I’d be happy to show you 8 Musou games like Dynasty Warriors. They’re not all from the original development team, but they feature similar combat, mechanics, and characters that fans of games like Dynasty Warriors will love.
The Samurai Warriors Series
The most obvious choice here, and most likely my favorite Musou game series, too.
Samurai Warriors is a series that fans of games like Dynasty Warriors will love. Samurai Warriors does to Japanese history pretty much what Dynasty Warriors does to Chinese history.
In this series, you play as generals and important historical figures from the Warring States period of Japan. You get to control and face characters such as Yukimura Sanada, Kenshin Uesugi, Hattori Hanzo, and the conqueror himself, Nobunaga Oda.
As for the gameplay, it is very much what you’d expect from a Musou game made by the same people behind Dynasty Warriors. However, the characters are as different as they can be.
I expected to see many counterparts and similar characters when I first played Samurai Warriors. Luckily, it wasn’t what I found. The developers put a lot of effort into developing the characters and their skill sets, and the gameplay is a lot of fun as a result.
The Sengoku Basara / Devil King Series
This series is incredibly interesting. Samurai Warriors is not the only Musou game based on Japanese history. Sengoku Basara takes inspiration from Japanese history and contains a lot of interesting, over-the-top features.
Sengoku Basara is a series of Musou games in which you go through a fantastic version of historical events and, much like Samurai Warriors, you play as historical figures. This is why some characters are in both games, such as Yukimura Sanada, Kenshin Uesugi, and Nobunaga Oda.
Sengoku Basara has seven mainline games and a few spin-offs. One of those spin-offs comes from the team at Arc System Works, the crew behind some of the best fighting games ever made.
One of the last main games, Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi, came out for the PS4 with 40 characters and 32 different stories. There’s a lot of variety for fans of games like Dynasty Warriors to enjoy in this game, and the Sengoku Basara / Devil King series as a whole.
A PS2 classic, Chaos Legion is a gothic opera that starts in November 791, Anno Satanis. Sieg Wahrheit, the main character, is a Knight of the Dark Glyphs who is on a search for his former friend Victor Delacroix while being led by the Order of St. Overia.
Victor has seized the forbidden book ‘Apocrypha of Yzarc’ and plans to summon a powerful entity upon the world. Sieg must track him down and return the book before it’s too late and prevent Victor from unleashing the terrible spirit Azrail, who will destroy the three planes of existence.
The game features some of the best graphics and animation of its time, and its combat system is both deep and satisfying. The game’s difficulty is the most significant difference between Chaos Legion and most Musou games.
This game can be pretty challenging at times. You have to make use of the game’s mechanics and learn the weak spot of each new monster. Aimlessly swinging your sword will not work forever.
The name of the game seems to come from the creatures you summon, which are called Legions. They appear over time, along with new mechanics, making the game more fun, strategic, and fresh as you progress.
The One Piece: Pirate Warriors Series
One Piece: Pirate Warriors is a series of Musou games that play in a very traditional way but takes place in the world of One Piece. For that reason, it is a must-play for anyone who likes the anime or manga.
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 features all of your favorite One Piece characters beating up hordes of enemies, which is how it should be in a Musou game. The story mode is lengthy and satisfying, and there’s a ton of replay value thanks to the many different playable characters. It’s one of the best anime games on Steam.
The power fantasy in these games is very satisfying. Not only do you get to beat hundreds of sailors with ease, but you also get to do that while controlling some of the best characters in One Piece. It’s clear that the development team put a lot of love into this game.
If you want a solid, straightforward Musou game with plenty of heart and charm, then you can’t go wrong with any of the games from the One Piece: Pirate Warriors series. If you’re unsure where to start, One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 is arguably the best.
To me personally, this game was a dream come true. If you’re a fan of The Legend of Zelda and games like Dynasty Warriors, there is no chance you won’t love Hyrule Warriors. This game takes all of the classic characters from the series and pits them against hordes of enemies in massive battles.
In Hyrule Warriors, you can play as Link and a bunch of other characters, each with their own unique move set and abilities. The game is set in Hyrule, outside of the official Zelda timeline.
As for the gameplay, it goes as expected. Hyrule Warriors combines Zelda characters with the hack-and-slash Musou action of Koei Tecmo’s Dynasty Warriors series. There are, however, some innovative elements.
The player character’s skills are dependent on the weapon used. Additionally, the game also has RPG elements. For instance, you can level up your characters and weapons. Some of these gameplay additions would later appear in other Musou titles as well.
Although I’m sure you will enjoy Hyrule Warriors, make sure to check its sequel as well. Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity takes place in the world of Breath of the Wild but in an alternative timeline. It’s similar to Hyrule Warriors, and a worthwhile pick for Dynasty Warriors fans.
Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Series
Do you like Gundam? Do you like Dynasty Warriors? Then you need to play this game right now. It’s a Musou game with Gundams in it. What else do you need?
If you’re a fan of the mecha genre, then Dynasty Warriors: Gundam is a must-play. It features massive robots duking it out in a spectacular fashion, and the combat is incredibly satisfying. Plus, there’s a ton of content to keep you busy for hours on end.
The theming is the main distinction between Dynasty Warriors: Gundam and Koei’s Dynasty Warriors series. Instead of drawing their characters and plot from the book Romance of the Three Kingdoms, the games use information from a variety of Gundam anime series.
There are choices for both ranged and melee combat, and each mobile suit and pilot has unique positive and negative sides. Because of that, every suit-pilot combination has unique combos and challenges, creating many different playstyles.
I wish KOEI Tecmo would re-release this game on a more modern platform, so it could compete with the other mech games on the PS5 or even on Steam . Dynasty Warriors: Gundam would undoubtedly be one of the best mech games out there.
Berserk and the Band of the Hawk
One cannot deny that KOEI Tecmo was very smart when they decided to mix their most successful game formulas with various famous franchises. This is the case, once again, with Berserk and the Band of the Hawk.
It should be evident that Fans of Berserk will love this game adaptation of the popular manga and anime series. You’ll take control of Guts, a former mercenary who now leads a group of warriors known as the Band of the Hawk.
The gameplay is what you’d expect in a Musou game. Players will face dozens of characters, most of which will be pretty easy to fight through. However, this is a Berserk game. Therefore, the combat is just as brutal as you would expect. This game features dismemberment and decapitations happening quite frequently when you defeat your enemies.
You get to accompany Guts on his quest for vengeance in The Hawk of the Millennium Arc, in addition to the well-known narrative, The Golden Age Arc. Also, like most Musou games, you get to play many other characters with unique abilities. If you’re a fan of games similar to Dynasty Warriors, you’ll love this title.
Persona 5 Strikers
Persona 5 Strikers is the action-oriented follow-up to the first Persona 5 game. This Musou video game comes from Koei Tecmo. The gameplay focuses on taking out numerous foes at once, but this time, you do it in the world of Persona 5.
Players must select one of three difficulties before the game begins. It’s worth noting that Persona 5 Strikers is a somewhat difficult game. In other words, individuals who are unfamiliar with action games might find the Normal Difficulty to be a little too challenging.
The hack-and-slash style used in games like Dynasty Warriors and the RPG strategies seen in Persona combine to make Persona 5 Strikers’ unique combat system.
Obviously, since this is a Musou game, fights happen in real-time instead of being turn-based like in the RPG. However, the combat will freeze while choosing Persona skills from a menu, which adds a strategic depth to the game.