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10 Games Like ‘God of War’

Making a list of games that are most similar to God of War depends entirely on which God of War is being referenced. When the original God of War hit gaming markets in 2005, much like Poseidon in the third installment, it made quite the splash. It’s fast-paced, high octane gameplay was an instant hit, and the character that would become the titular God of War quickly endeared himself to players. 

The game was such a blockbuster hit, it spun off several sequels, each one more epic and cartoonishly outlandish than the ones that came before. The God of War games that cemented the franchise’s legacy were pure id and the developers had no qualms about that. 

Then something strange happened. The kids who grew up reveling in Kratos’ senseless violence got a little bit older, switched out school for jobs, and started having kids. The developers of 2018’s excellent God of War remake understood this and overhauled the main character. Instead of an uber-violent demigod, the God of War remake turned Kratos into something more believable, a grieving husband concerned for his young son’s well-being. The game’s initial moments start with Kratos quite literally hugging a tree, signifying that this isn’t the God of War players grew up with. 

Despite this, the key elements that made God of War a household name are still present. The action is still as frantic as ever, as is the visceral nature of the violence. While God of War and God of War might be two very different games, there are a number of titles that embody the shared commonalities of both.

10. ‘Devil May Cry 5’

There is probably significant overlap between those who grew up playing Devil May Cry and those who grew up playing God of War. You can honestly swap out the two characters and neither game will significantly change. Even the main character, Dante, underwent a similar personality evolution with him being slightly more toned down, compared to his depiction in earlier installments. 

Like just about every game on this list, melee combat is both Devil May Cry and God of War’s most recognizable feature. Both games throw waver after wave of enemies at the player. Although a bit more difficult than God of War, fans of the latter will no doubt enjoy it.

Buy Now at Steam, $24.99
9. ‘Hades’

Another game that features a Greek protagonist, takes place in a Greek setting and was an unexpected hit. Hades is one of the most critically acclaimed games in 2020 and for good reason. It perfectly blends intense action with elements of your standard Metroid-Vania. The art style and story are only icing on a well-baked cake. 

In Hades, you play as the Greek God of War as he fights his way through hell, which is done several times throughout the God of War series, I might add. Hades uses a procedural generation element, which means no two playthroughs will be exactly the same.

Buy Now at Steam, $24.99
8. ‘Dante’s Inferno ‘

Behavior Interactive and Visceral Games teamed up to make the God of War killer. At the time, God of War was at the height of its popularity, and studios wanted to cash in on what made God of War resonate with audiences. The fruit of their labor was Dante’s Inferno, a 2010 game that is very loosely based on the book in which the titular character tours the afterlife. 

However, the video game version of Dante doesn’t so much tour the underworld as he does cut through its denizens as he makes his way to a standoff with the literal devil. On paper, the game sounds like the beginning of a franchise that could exchange blows with God of War. In reality, however, Dante’s Inferno never rose to the levels of success achieved by God of War, which is a shame. If you can look past the over-the-top main character and the game’s sometimes blatant attempts at edginess, Dante’s Inferno is a great game.

Buy Now at Microsoft, $14.99
7. ‘Horizon Zero Dawn’

Although Horizon: Zero Dawn was another smash hit among gamers, it was anything but unexpected. Before it’s 2017 release, trailers depicting a red-headed heroine blending in with crimson fauna as she hunted what appeared to be robot dinosaurs made quite the impression. People wanted to know more about the game, and developers Guerrilla Games wisely decided to stay mum. This built anticipation to a point where there was little doubt this game would be a hit. And for the most part, Horizon: Zero Dawn has managed to live up to the hype, earning it a place on this list.

Buy Now at Steam, $49.99
6. ‘Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’

A game from perhaps one of the few franchises on this list that is bigger than God of War, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has been sailing high with decent reviews. Like God of War, the 2020 game makes players explore an open world and take on whatever challenge stands before them. Unlike God of War, which takes liberties with Greek mythologies, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla tries to stay true to the culture it’s depicting, an admirable theme among Assassin’s Creed games.

Buy Now at Ubisoft, $59.99+
5. ‘Bayonetta’

Despite its similarities to God of War, Bayonetta doesn’t take itself seriously.  Released in 2009, the game has garnered a large fanbase thanks to its gameplay coupled with a relatively lighthearted story. Despite the obvious danger surrounding the titular character, one never gets the impression she is in any sort of real danger. The game focuses heavily on a style that only adds to Bayonetta’s signature aesthetic.

Buy Now at Steam, $19.99
4. ‘The Witcher 3’

2015’s Witcher 3 has benefitted from quite the shelf life for several reasons. Stellar gameplay, a truly riveting story, particularly in the DLC, and a memorable main character. For those that didn’t grow up playing God of War, The Witcher 3 is a clue as to why God of War had such an impact. More importantly, parts of the game heavily feature Norse mythology, which puts it in lockstep with the most recent God of War.

Buy Now at PlayStation, $49.99
3. ‘NieR Automata’

For those who love God of War simply for its hack-n-slash gameplay, NieR Automata is an ideal substitute. Released in 2017 by Platinum Games, NieR puts you in the form of a human form android in a post-apocalyptic setting. The narrative goes beyond the unreliable narrator trope and throws players so many curveballs it becomes hard at times to discern what actually is happening. The narrative itself gives the game replay value. It’s little wonder why this game was able to quickly build a large following.

Buy Now at PlayStation, $39.99
2. ‘Heavenly Sword’

At first blush, Heavenly Sword looks like a modded version of God of War. When it first hit markets in 2007, the public referred to it as Goddess of War, and for a good reason. Everything from the game’s combat to the primary weapons seemed cut-and-paste from the God of War. Players soon learned that Heavenly Sword is a gem unto itself. For its time, the graphics were excellent, and the story added a sense of gravitas that the original God of War trilogy lacked in some respects. Despite the comparisons and surface-level similarities, Heavenly Sword was never under God of War’s shadow.

Buy Now at Microsoft, $9.99
1. ‘Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice’

The developers at Ninja Theory made quite the gamble in their efforts to create an action role-playing game that depicts mental illness. Other games, like Deadspace, have tried but few with Hellblade’s nuance. Released in 2017, Hellblade, like the recent God of War, is within a Norse-inspired setting. Both stories feature the main characters carrying the remain of loved ones to a certain place while pitfalls along the way. While the combat differs between the two games, both are still challenging and rewarding their own right. 

Buy Now at Steam, $29.99

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