Shadow of the Colossus is a truly unique game. If you’re on the hunt for games like it, you’ll know that this is no easy feat. The crew at Team Ico really pushed creative boundaries with this game and as a result, Shadow of the Colossus is an immersive gem like no other.
To help you find your next favorite game, we’ve handpicked a series of games that offer similar stories, atmospheres, and mechanics to Shadow of the Colossus. They’re not identical in nature, but they do offer the same incredible experience
Here are the 14 best games like Shadow of the Colossus to check out today.
14. Demon’s Souls
The difficulty of Demon’s Souls isn’t for everyone, but this game is truly rewarding for folk who like to sink their time into tricky games. The combat system is complex, and similar to Shadow of the Colossus, it offers some hard-hitting boss battles.
Fending off bosses in Demon’s Souls will continue to make your character more powerful. Whereas in Shadow of the Colossus, exploring the world, increasing your stamina bar, and defeating time attack bosses, will grant you new equipment like the bomb arrows.
Both of these games incentivize exploring a new world and taking on tricky boss battles. For more of a challenge, be sure to check out Demon’s Souls.
13. Dark Souls
Much like Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls is another FromSoftware game that perfectly blends open-world exploration with insanely brutal battles.
Dark Souls is a game devoted to its boss battles with the open-world exploration being a conduit through which the player can, you guessed it, reach more boss battles.
Shadow of the Colossus delivers the same approach, albeit with a much more barren world to explore. However, both of these games totally nail the sense of dread and loneliness while traversing through their respective worlds.
In Dark Souls, any lowly enemy could spell the end of your playthrough if you aren’t being careful. In Shadow of the Colossus, the eerie silence and lack of any other life make every situation feel just as tense.
Nioh is a game that focuses on taking down unique bosses.
Several of the Colossi in Shadow of the Colossus take inspiration from mythical creatures such as minotaurs, Cerberus, and Kirin. These creatures add a level of complexity and mystique to the game, and Nioh has a similar approach to boss design.
In Nioh, almost all of the boss battles take inspiration from traditional Japanese Yokai (monsters from folklore). It is a game that also utilizes compelling boss fights to keep players hooked much like Shadow of the Colossus does.
If you enjoyed the design of the Colossi and the unique take Team Ico took on each inspiration point, Nioh does the exact same thing with its bosses! This is one of the best games like Shadow of the Colossus to check out.
11. Okami HD
Many folk think of Shadow of the Colossus as a piece of art, rather than a video game (as are the other titles in Team Ico’s collection).
No other game on this list fits that criteria better than Okami. Okami uses traditional Japanese brush painting as a means of engaging in combat with enemies.
This is such a unique idea that has never been replicated to the same effect. Additionally, the game world of Okami is glorious to look at and is better in the HD remake, too.
Traveling through the world of Okami is an adventure in and of itself. The boss battles are just as grandiose here as they are in SotC as well.
Okami and Shadow of the Colossus are both wonderfully fulfilling and artistic experiences, and Okami is worth picking up if you haven’t already.
As mentioned already, the Soulsborne library of games offers some of the most similar games to Shadow of the Colossus. These games tend to do away with traditional narrative structure and moment-to-moment gameplay, in favor of creating vast open worlds that players can venture across to take on a series of boss battles.
Bloodborne is a strict departure from the other Soulsborne games. Here, the fantasy elements are nonexistent and, in their place, there is a rich and morbid Gothic aesthetic.
Shadow of the Colossus, arguably, aligns more with the world of Bloodborne than it does with other Soulsborne games. The game is less about taking down knights and other fantastical creatures and more about fighting against otherworldly, almost alien monsters.
Both of these games are great fun and, if you like boss rushes, Bloodborne is the game for you.
9. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
Castlevania Lords of Shadow is a game that arguably tries a little too hard to emulate Shadow of the Colossus.
While the main gameplay of these two games couldn’t be more different (one being an action hack-and-slash while the other is an extended boss rush), a lot of elements from Shadow of the Colossus made their way over to Lords of Shadow.
The main similarity between these two games can be found in some of the bosses, most notably, the Ice Titan. The Ice Titan in Lords of Shadow features an almost identical fight to Shadow of the Colossus’ opening boss fight. Players must scale the Titan, take out weak points, and topple it without being thrown off.
Lords of Shadow is a great game to try out for a different kind of experience than the one found in other games like Shadow of the Colossus.
8. Horizon Zero Dawn
Horizon Zero Dawn is a great game with a lot more on offer than Shadow of the Colossus. The latter of these two games is short, sweet, and to the point. If you felt the experience lacking somewhat, Horizon Zero Dawn has hours upon hours of mainline content with tons of side missions as well.
Shadow of the Colossus expertly blends different stories together through gameplay and Horizon Zero Dawn manages to do this as well. While there are several cutscenes in both games, most of the story is told through your actions as a player.
Horizon Zero Dawn also features a large open world, just like Shadow of the Colossus.
As one of the more modern games on this list, we recommend checking out Horizon Zero Dawn if graphics and quality of life features are important to you.
7. The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild
The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild was a breath of fresh air for long-time Zelda fans and is widely thought to be one of the best adventure games on Switch. Ditching the traditional formula, the developers decided to make things more free-flowing this time around.
In Breath of the Wild, it is possible to go from the tutorial straight to the final boss. You will likely die in less than a few seconds, but it’s possible! It’s a game that can make even the most seasoned of speed runners stop in their tracks.
Casual players, on the other hand, can roam about a vast open-world, exploring the new dungeons and taking on a series of bosses.
Much like Shadow of the Colossus, the world in Breath of the Wild is expansive and incentivizes exploration. Additionally, you can complete most of the dungeons in whatever order you choose, which is also reminiscent of SotC.
All in all, if you enjoy the sense of adventure while journeying through an open world on horseback, Breath of the Wild will deliver more of what you love in spades.
6. God of War
The original God of War games are the most similar to Shadow of the Colossus in terms of gameplay. Whether doing battle against Poseidon, the Hydra, or any other mythical god of legend, Kratos will have to climb atop them and land the finishing blow.
However, the older titles are a lot more action-focused than SotC. There is certainly a story that runs throughout the original trilogy, but the main draw of these titles is the great action combat and unique boss battles.
The new God of War takes a different approach. While there is certainly still a lot of action, the game has shifted from an overheard top-down perspective to a third-person over-the-shoulder view.
Additionally, there is a lot more focus placed on the story in this game, as you play as an aging Kratos alongside Boy.
Depending on which aspects you enjoyed when playing Shadow of the Colossus, there’ll be a God of War game to suit you.
If you loved the bosses and the combat, the original games might be more your cup of team. However, if you enjoyed the bleak narrative and overall themes of Shadow of the Colossus, the newer game might appeal to you more. Or, if you have the time, why not play both!
5. Monster Hunter Rise
Shadow of the Colossus and Monster Hunter Rise both have players fighting off large monsters. Unlike older Monster Hunter titles, it is now possible to mount enemies for a brief duration and deal extra damage in Monster Hunter Rise.
Furthermore, this game involves tracking down unique monsters, hitting their weak points, and taking them down.
Almost every Colossi in Shadow of the Colossus has both an interesting design and a unique method for taking them out. Monster Hunter Rise continues the trend of having incredibly well-designed enemies, each one with a look more stunning than the last.
Additionally, these monsters have specific weak points, and players must also utilize the terrain to their advantage during fights (especially during fights off-land such as against aquatic enemies).
All in all, Monster Hunter Rise is a more fast-paced action-driven alternative to Shadow of the Colossus.
4. Elden Ring
Elden Ring has some of the most memorable and gigantic bosses in gaming history. Much like Shadow of the Colossus, the majority of an Elden Ring playthrough will involve traveling between various locations and taking on increasingly difficult bosses.
One of the main similarities between these two games is the dark atmosphere. Both Elden Ring and Shadow of the Colossus are darker games both in color palette and in overall feel.
However, the vast open world is present in both of these games and the sense of loneliness is palpable.
The key difference between Elden Ring and Shadow of the Colossus would have to be the difficulty. There is no shame in looking up Elden Ring guides as this game can get very intense.
Shadow of the Colossus is by no means a cakewalk, and when it comes time to complete the time trial missions, things get even harder. However, none of these elements can compare to Elden Ring’s difficulty. As a member of the SoulsBorne line of games by FromSoftware, Elden Ring is a game for a hardcore audience.
If you want a game with all the same aesthetics as Shadow of the Colossus but with a higher difficulty ceiling and more customizable player options, Elden Ring is the game for you.
3. Praey for the Gods
While other games capture the atmosphere and overall complexity of Shadow of the Colossus better than this title, there is no denying the heavy inspiration Praey for the Gods took from SotC.
Praey for the Gods is an action-adventure title in which you take on hulking behemoths by first mounting them and then whittling down their health bar.
Praey for the Gods is a very fun and interesting game, but one that lacks the same atmosphere as Shadow of the Colossus. It is very clear to see what the developers were trying to do here and they succeeded, although it could have gone in a different creative direction.
That being said, if you enjoyed the core gameplay of Shadow of the Colossus, Praey for the Gods is the next best thing.
2. The Last Guardian
The Last Guardian is another game from Team Ico. As such, you can expect the same level of polish here as in Shadow of the Colossus.
The Last Guardian takes a different approach than Shadow of the Colossus. This time, instead of killing huge monsters, you’ll be working alongside one. The game requires players to work alongside the griffin-like creature Trico in order to move about a ruined castle.
The Last Guardian is a great inversion of the plot found in Shadow of the Colossus.
In SotC, Wander is on a quest to revive his deceased wife and is told by Dormin to slay the titanic Colossi. There is a sinister undercurrent running throughout this game showing that these monsters are seemingly harmless, and only attack once provoked.
Phalanx, in particular, will do the player no harm even after being attacked. Trico in the Last Guardian is also hostile at first but learns to accept the player after you tend to its wounds.
The gameplay here is less action-focused and leans more into the puzzles. Making Trico do what you want in order to progress can be a challenge. If there is only one complaint about this game, it is that Trico is not the most cooperative AI.
However, The Last Guardian is still just as atmospheric and entertaining as Shadow of the Colossus.
As the game with the same name as the studio produced it, Team Ico’s Ico is nothing short of a masterpiece.
In this game, you play as a young horned boy named Ico. Working together with a girl who speaks a different language, named Yorda, you must work together in order to fend off shadowy monsters and escape from a castle.
The plot of Ico is a lot more similar to The Last Guardian as opposed to Shadow of the Colossus. The game itself is almost like one long escort mission, in which you must traverse various platforming challenges and puzzles while making sure Yorda doesn’t fall too far behind.
Aside from the phenomenal soundtrack, wonderful visuals, and stellar gameplay, Ico has some of the best atmosphere out there.
Similar to how Shadow of the Colossus made players feel as though they were hanging on for dear life whenever they scaled a Colossus, dragging Yorda by the arm always feels incredibly realistic (making escape sequences that much more tense).
Several myths and Easter Eggs are also found in Ico. Unlike Shadow of the Colossus’ quest for the 17th Colossus, however, these Easter Eggs are all real. For example, it is possible to acquire a lightsaber in this game!
If you loved Shadow of the Colossus, we recommend checking out the rest of Team Ico’s library. With only two other games to choose from, where better to start than with the first in the series, Ico.