The Soul Calibur series is one of the most beloved fighting series out there. First off, it has an extremely unique cast of characters, with each having a deep personal story that explains why they are in search for the cursed weapon of Soul Calibur. For those who have played throughout the entirety of the franchise, then you have experienced a massive storyline, with each character having gone through emotional ups and downs. Whether you are playing with characters from the original lineup like Taki or new characters brought to the cast like Viola, you’re going to find a solid experience.
Though the subtleties of the characters and the story are important in setting Soul Calibur apart from other fighters, it cannot be denied that each fighter has a large cast of characters and generally an expansive story. This is true for Street Fighter, Tekken, and even Super Smash Bros. So what makes Soul Calibur such an addicting game that has been around for over two decades? The answer can be found in the weapon-based style of play and graphics of the series. The graphics have such a powerful gothic feel, while the weapons create a widely different style of gameplay that depends more on spacing and timing rather than combos. With that in mind, let’s get down to the six games that are most like it.
Similar Games to Soul Calibur
- System: PlayStation
- Publisher: Namco
- Developer: Namco
- Release Date: January 1997
Soul Edge takes us into a world where 10 warriors are fighting for control of Soul Edge, the most powerful weapon in the world. It was the second-ever weapons-based 3D fighter and it was also the very first fighting video game to give each character a backstory that fleshed out his/her motivations for fighting.
Okay, so many of you might have some issue with Soul Edge being on the list. Not that the video game does not have any similarity with Soul Calibur, but by the fact that most consider it the predecessor to the entire Soul Calibur series. Not only does the Soul Calibur series follow its weapon-based style and narrative format, but it also features many of the same characters. Taki, Siegfried, Rock, Voldo, Seong Mi-na, and others in Soul Edge made their way to the Soul Calibur roster. Oh, and let’s not forget that the Soul Edge is essentially the weapon that everyone is fighting for in the Soul Calibur series. In Soul Edge though, the weapon has yet to be tainted/cursed by the blood that has been shed for it.
2. Tekken 7
- System: PS4, XONE, PC
- Publisher: Bandai Namco Games
- Developer: Bandai Namco Games
- Release Date: Jun. 2, 2017
Tekken is one of the oldest and most beloved fighters out there. It has been around since 1994 and has carried with it some of the most recognizable faces in the gaming industry. This latest installment of the series mainly focuses on the chaotic relationship between two of the most well-known characters in the series, Heihachi Mishima and his son, Kazuya.
In terms of fame, it is right up there beside Street Fighter. However, unlike Street Fighter, Tekken is not all about maximizing out combos and learning how to time your button pressing with the frame rate. It is much more focused on well-timed strikes that maximize damage output in short bursts. Just like Soul Calibur, spacing is debatably the most important factor, and the story actually plays a large part into why so many people love the game. The main reason that Tekken is different from Soul Calibur is the fact that it only focuses on hand-to-hand combat.
3. Dead or Alive 5: Last Round
- System: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, XONE, PC
- Publisher: Koei Tecmo Games
- Developer: Team Ninja
- Release Date: Feb. 17, 2015
The Dead or Alive series has been around for over twenty years, with the first game released way back in 1996. This latest “fighter” version of the series came out in 2015, and it features the largest roster in the franchise’s history. Its actual story revolves around a fighting tournament as well as a ton of underground dealings. The characters on the roster are generally either put into one of two pools: they either get into fights that primarily deal with the tournament (Hitomi and Zach or they get into underground dealings that go on behind the tournament (Hayabusa and Kasumi).
The story is pretty convoluted with the only thing tying it together is that a lot of characters having relationships with other characters. The characters do get some backstory and some have some pretty good motives, but this isn’t really the best fighter if you’re looking for story. However, it is just like Soul Calibur in terms of being a 3D fighter that focuses a lot more on placement and timing. Admittedly, this can change depending on which character you choose to fight with; it’s really easy to string combos together with characters like Kasumi and Ryu. However, the game does not force you to learn extensively long combos in order to play competitively. It is much more about proper stunning and counter striking when the moment is just right.
Any Games Like Soul Calibur ?
4. Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown
- System: PS3, Xbox 360
- Publisher: Sega
- Developer: Sega AM2
- Release Date: Jun. 5, 2012
Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown takes us into the world’s most intensive martial arts tournament. The fighters joining the fray are the top 17 in the world, and they have been honing their sills for the chance to prove that they and their skills are the best. However, all of this is really just a set up for the underground organization J6 to genetically engineer the ultimate fighting machine.
Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown is just like Soul Calibur in that it utilizes an intuitive fighting system inside a 3D environment, and it has been around for years. Many people probably remember the Virtua Fighter in arcades that could read your movements as you stepped on a platform and dueled a friend. Well, the series has come a long way since then. Its graphics and gameplay are extremely intense. Each move really depends on getting your character in the right position, and then waiting for an opening in order to break your opponent’s stance.
5. Pokken Tournament
- System: Wii U
- Publisher: Nintendo
- Developer: Bandai Namco Games
- Release Date: Mar. 18, 2016
Pokken Tournament is a really new fighting game, and yet it has already garnered itself a loyal and widespread fanbase. It cannot be denied that being a game with Pokemon as the competitors helped shoot it forward into the spotlight. Nonetheless, Pokken Tournament has proven itself to be a pretty solid fighting game experience with eye-catching visuals and an intuitive combat system. This system relies heavily on realizing the range of your attacks and swooping in at the right moment to catch your enemy off guard.
Though Pokken Tournament is like Soul Calibur, Pokken definitely has its own unique quirks. It takes the cake with the range of certain character’s special abilities, such as Charizard’s flamethrower. It also has a very distinct art style as it captures the more cartoon-like quality of the Pokemon. The only difference that is actually a little bit of a let down is the amount of characters to choose from.
6. Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
- System: PS4, XONE, PC, NS
- Publisher: Bandai Namco Games
- Developer: Dimps Corporation
- Release Date: Oct. 25, 2016
Dragon Ball Xenovrse 2 takes us on a journey that follows the biggest events that occurred in the Dragon Ball Z anime series. You see, someone apparently keeps wanting to rewrite history and has been causing certain fights to end in different outcomes. It is our job to go back in time and make sure that the events happen exactly as they should.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is probably the least like Soul Calibur on this list. Some might view Mortal Kombat as a better choice due to the implementation of weapons and the weight that characters play in the story. Nonetheless, Dragon Ball Xenoverse’s open 3D world deserved getting a mention. It relies heavily on figuring out the best placement in order to move forward with an attack. However, another factor that many fans will enjoy about both Soul Calibur and Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is the level of character customization. It is really enjoyable to design your character from scratch and outfit them with numerous little gadgets.
There you have it, people. These six games have a lot in common with Soul Calibur. They force us out of the 2D view, which creates a completely different style of gameplay. Spacing and placement become a lot more important and striking in a way that does not expose yourself is extremely important. It also requires you to take in the environment and be aware of how close you are to an environmental hazard, such as the edge of the ring, which drops into a massive pit. With that said, are there any games out there that you think are like Soul Calibur? Leave your thoughts below!