The 10 Best Rhythm Games Like Osu
Osu is one of the most popular rhythm games. It’s free to play and has an active community that can sometimes make it feel like the only game of its kind! Although, if you fancy a change there are a load of games like Osu that hit some similar beats.
Rhythm games have come a long way since PaRappa the Rapper and Dance Dance Revolution. There are loads of new and innovative takes on the format. The top Osu alternatives are some of the most creative ever made in this genre.
One of the biggest things working in Osu’s favor is its community, it’s a game built around that. The best games like Osu can go some way towards recreating this, giving you an experience just like Osu that can get competitive in place.
While Osu is free to play and has very few requirements to jump in, we’re not just going to stick to free games. There are a few titles that are free too. But these picks are more diverse!
Not all of these games hit every beat that Osu does. Each does have something to offer fans of the title though. These are the best games like Osu available at the moment:
Stepmania is a rhythm game that feels like a natural extension of the Dance Dance Revolution games. This is a free dance and rhythm game. It was originally more of a direct clone of DDR for arcades, but it’s come a long way since then.
Stepmania is an open-source hub for dance and rhythm games. Since Stepmania is open-source, the choice of songs and features you want to use is dependent on what you want to seek out.
This can make it great for fine-tuning a rhythm game to your exact taste. You can even import your own songs to get the exact music that you’re looking for in the game. You can play with a dance pad or more traditional control schemes.
Being Open Source Stepmania can be a bit more complicated than setting up a standard game or Osu. However, it’s also completely free which is definitely a plus.
Stepmania has a decent-sized community, which is good for games like Osu. It doesn’t quite have the same level of players joining together that you’ll get with Osu. However, if you want a free game with rhythm elements this is one of the best Osu alternatives here.
9. Cadence of Hyrule
Cadence of Hyrule is a crossover between the Legend of Zelda series and Crypt of the Necrodancer. While this is a smaller title, it’s a unique take on the rhythm genre.
Cadence of Hyrule uses rhythm-based movements combined with the top-down Zelda-style gameplay and combat. You’ll need to play in time with the rhythm of the music in each level if you want to make it through.
The game’s world and characters are all taken from the Legend of Zelda. You can visit Hyrule Castle and other iconic locations. That’s along with playing as Link and Zelda. However, the game takes plenty of inspiration from Necrodancer and other indies.
One interesting use of this is the procedurally generated map The Candence of Hyrule map is going to look different every time. With landmarks moving around depending on your save file.
While this isn’t as hard as Necrodancer, you can lose and have to restart the game. Although, there are features that let you avoid the roguelike elements if you want to!
Cadence of Hyrule puts music at the heart of RPG gameplay. It isn’t the most faithful of the games like Osu, but fans of rhythm games will be surprised how well the mechanics translate over to music.
8. Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix
The Hatsune Miku Project DIVA games are some of the best games like Osu, but they are a bit different from some of the others we’ve picked here. These are rhythm games that focus on songs from Hatsune Miku, the virtual character that started life in software to make music.
Hatsune Miku began as a voicebank software, but she’s become an entire virtual idol. While it is software in a way, virtual concerts from the character have become popular with a specific crowd.
The rhythm game coming out of Hatsune Miku are popular in their own right too. The Project DIVA series has you press the right button to match what’s happening on screen. Timing them right gets you a higher score, if you miss one you’ll be penalized. The game also uses combos to reward players for hitting the right notes consecutively!
The selection of songs in Project DIVA games largely cover songs created with the Hatsune Miku vocaloids. If you’re not into the music made by these characters, it probably isn’t the game for you! Otherwise, there’s a good selection of tracks here.
The Hatsune Miku Project DIVA Series consists of quite a few titles. It started in 2009 with a game for PlayStation Systems, since then it’s been on a number of platforms though. The PSP, PS4, PS4, PS Vita, Nintendo systems, and PC have all had installments of the Project DIVA series.
The most recent was released on Nintendo Switch along with Steam, which has extra songs. There’s also a recent release on PlayStation 4, porting an arcading version of the game. Between these, it’s easy to find a version of Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA series that you can play.
7. Taiko no Tatsujin
Taiko no Tatsujin is a classic series of rhythm games that are well known for their cutesy aesthetic and hectic gameplay. These titles are a mainstay of both consoles and arcades. It’s a rhythm-based game, sometimes played with special Taiko drum controllers.
The series is popular worldwide, but it uses a Japanese taiko drum. Players have to beat the drums in time with the music. It’s a simple set-up for a rhythm game. You beat a drum or press a button to play along to the songs.
While it starts simple, gameplay gets more complicated. There are different types of notes depending on where you hit the drum. With how fast the game can go this gets pretty challenging. The game has a vivid and interesting visual display to go along with the songs.
Rather than just getting through some music, players have to fill the soul gauge to get past the stage. It doesn’t count for your score, but this additional mechanic adds a layer of difficulty.
The hardest levels of the game can become pretty intense. You’ll need good rhythm and a sense of timing to get this right. Recent versions of the game have been released on Switch, Xbox PC, and PS4.
6. Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory
Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory is a rhythm game installment of the popular series! It takes everything you know from Kingdom Hearts and sets it to music.
This is one of the games like Osu with a very specific audience, those who like Kingdom Hearts. However, the title isn’t the worst as an intro to the series too!
Kingdom Hearts Melody Unchained plays like a fairly standard rhythm game. The game features a note highway with the three central characters on it. You have to time your attacks and inputs with the notes on the highway to progress through each track.
You’re able to switch up your playable character frequently in this game! You can use a lot of different faces from Kingdom Hearts, making for some strange combos!
The main event of Melody of Memory is the story section. This has a few different types of stages. There are normal songs and even interesting boss battles. The music in the game comes from Kingdom Hearts, which has often been acclaimed for its soundtrack.
This specific game has even been called a good way to get up to speed with the notoriously complex Kingdom Hearts story. It roughly recaps the events, giving newcomers a taste of how the mainline games play out.
Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory is a great pick for games like Osu. Especially if you’re a fan of Kingdom Hearts or looking to try the series out!
5. Persona Dancing in Starlight
Persona Dancing in Starlight is a similar pick to Kingdom Hearts MoM. This is one of the games like Osu that will primarily appeal to fans of its own series! In this case, Persona 5 specifically.
Persona Dancing in the Starlight is a rhythm game take on the popular RPG series. The game uses songs from the series with players having to hit buttons in time to the notes. This lets you get through each of the tracks. There’s also a high score for getting more inputs right across the game.
The music in Persona 5 is one of the most popular parts of the game. It’s no surprise the title’s rhythm game has been pretty popular too. Dancing in Starlight includes all of the iconic tracks from Persona 5.
Fans of the series will enjoy the interactions between characters. These occur in the Velvet Room in between songs. This gives you a bit more time to spend with some of your favorite characters from Persona.
Dancing in Starlight is more niche out of these Osu alternatives. It probably won’t hold too much appeal for those who have ever played Persona. However, it does have a lot to offer with its range of music.
If you enjoy this, you might want to jump into Persona too. Persona 5 is one of the best anime games on PS5, with a soundtrack that translates great to rhythm games like Osu.
4. Sayonara Wild Hearts
Sayonara Wild Hearts isn’t quite a rhythm game, but music is completely central to gameplay. Each level of the game is themed around a certain song. Getting a feel for the beat helps you progress in the fast-paced world. It’s one of these games like Osu that go past just hitting notes.
The gameplay has you progress through levels collecting items to grab points, avoiding obstacles, and jumping in time with the music. There are also some enemies you can try to take out with a bow and arrow.
Each of the levels offers the opportunity to grab a higher score. This is a game like Osu in a way since it is all set to music. However, it isn’t a full-on rhythm game. Instead, the music is the central theme.
Each of the levels is visually and thematically set around the game’s soundtracks. The landscape matches the music pretty well, making for a unique experience. There are 23 levels in all and each offer something different.
3. Crypt of the Necrodancer
We’ve already looked at Candence of Hyrule here, but what about the rhythm game that spawned that spin-off? Crypt of the Necromancer is an indie game that combines RPG mechanics, rhythm-based gameplay, and roguelike elements.
The end result is a pretty special experience. The dungeon in the title is procedurally generated and changes things up every play-through. You’ll need to move around and fight in time with the music to get to the end of the game.
There are some roguelike elements to the game here alongside the rhythm matching mechanics. When you die, you’ll keep some of the unlockables. Although you lose the items, gold, and other equipment that you collected.
Those mechanics increase the difficulty and gives the game high replayability. Especially when you combine it with the game’s procedural dungeons.
The levels in Crypt of Necromancer are designed to end along with the song. This is a testament to how well the procedural generation works here, nothing feels slapped together.
This is a bit of a stranger pick for games like Osu, but it has a lot of familiar elements. It takes rhythm gameplay to the next level.
2. Muse Dash
Muse Dance is a fun title that takes rhythm mechanics and combines them with Parkour! Keeping in time to the music you’ve got to progress through each stage, creatively moving about.
It isn’t just running though, you’ve also got to take down enemies. There are even some boss fights!
Similar to Crypt of the Necromance this takes the rhythm concept and applies it to a wider genre of game. You’ll have to do your actions in time with the music to progress as well as you can. This adds a new layer to gameplay. Compared to just hitting the right notes, it can be much more engrossing.
The game features 85 different levels and songs that you can play through. Each of these is available on three difficulties. It ranks all the way up to Master. That mode will give you some serious resistance, even if you’re good at games like Osu!
1. Beat Saber
Along with Osu, Beat Saber might be one of the best-known rhythm games around. This is a title that is fun at a casual level and plays more dedicatedly. Like a lot of the games like Osu, it’s another rhythm game. But this one has some unique features.
Beat Saber is a VR rhythm game. It uses a similar note highway to what you find in a lot of games. The difference here is that you’re on the highway itself. Beat Saber has you slash at the music as it comes towards you.
You use your entire body to clear songs in Beat Saber. It can be quite a workout getting through songs.
Everything you see in this game has a neon theme. The note highway is a neon strip with solid objects representing the notes! You’ll need to slash them to get through it.
In VR it makes for an immersive way to play. The songs really come to life here.
Beat Saber is a game you see a lot on streaming sites. It has a very active community which means it gets frequent new content.
Even if you’re not happy with the level of updates to available songs, you can pick your own. It’s simple to manually add songs to Beat Saber. This level of customization makes it one of the most wide-open games like Osu!
Beat Saber might have gameplay closer to traditional rhythm titles, but the style it does this in makes it stand out. It’s one of the best Osu alternatives if you want an active game, where it’s easy to get new content.