Best Games Like Monster Hunter
There was a time when Monster Hunter was the only franchise where you could experience fighting massive beasts. The MH series already had a solid fanbase since the introduction of Monster Hunter Freedom Unite to the West, but its popularity finally exploded thanks to Monster Hunter World. Not only was it a significant change in graphics, but it also brought the series back to multiple platforms instead of being a Nintendo-exclusive title again.
If you’re looking to scratch the monster-hunting itch you’ve had for a while, you’ve come to the right place. Chances are you’ve already played Monster Hunter Rise and its latest expansion, Sunbreak, but if you haven’t, I recommend playing those first. However, say you’ve already finished them and want other similar titles to play. I’ve got you covered; here are all the best games like Monster Hunter worth looking at.
The Toukiden Games
The Toukiden games were initially released for the PS Vita (Vita Island peeps here, anyone?), but thankfully they were also released on the PC and PS4. The idea of Toukiden is to slay gigantic demons known as Oni to protect humanity from destruction. It’s the typical cookie-cutter plot you’d expect from these games, but honestly, I’m not complaining—the action is the bread and butter of these types of games anyway.
Monster Hunter and Toukiden may be similar to comparing apples to oranges, but think about it this way—if Monster Hunter is to Dark Souls, then Toukiden is to Nioh. Toukiden uses a Japanese-themed version of the same formula, and to no surprise, it works splendidly. Toukiden involves bringing friends along for the slaughter that’s about to come, hunting beasts, and upgrading your gear and weapons using the resources you farm from your fallen enemies’ carcasses.
The main difference between Monster Hunter and Toukiden is that rather than hunting beasts that unlock like a mix of Eastern-inspired creatures and dinosaurs, Toukiden focuses more on the…demonic side of things. Toukiden is also an open-world game, so the hunting process is much more immersive instead of traversing broken world zones/maps as you’d do in Monster Hunter.
If you want the best experience, I recommend playing Toukiden 2 since it’s made with PC players in mind. You could try Toukiden: Kiwami, an enhanced/remastered version of the first game, but know that everything will feel more linear.
God Eater 3
The God Eater games have always been a favorite of mine back in the PSP. Players often knew the games to be the direct competitor to the Monster Hunter series, and although they’re less popular, that doesn’t mean to don’t offer something unique. The first game debuted on the PSP in 2010, and its sequel, God Eater 2 Rage Burst, got a port to the PS4. Now, we finally have a fully built entry for the PS4, PC, and Nintendo Switch in mind: God Eater 3.
By far, the biggest draw of God Eater 3 is the weapons. Known as God Arcs, they’re developed from the cells of the Aragami—monsters you’re tasked to defeat. By collecting materials from the dead bodies of your opponents, you can use them to upgrade your arsenal, just like in Monster Hunter. Oh, and the God Eater title is an accurate description, as the game lets you devour the corpses.
Compared to the previous entries. God Eater 3 gets you into those adrenaline-inducing battles at a faster pace. Using a zone structure akin to the MH games, you can get in and out in no time. Unfortunately, there’s little to no story here either, and you shouldn’t expect one from these types of games anyway. However, the crème de la crème of God Eater 3 is its addictive combat. The Aragami has weaknesses and breakable parts. They’re divided into ranks representing their difficulty. Defeating an Aragami isn’t as easy as just heading off into the mission and bonking their heads with your God Arc; thanks to the fast-paced combat, it’s easy for you to dodge those slow-moving attacks, but it’s also easy for you to get too carried away.
What I would consider the best part of God Eater 3 is the number of missions you can do. This is another aspect of the Monster Hunter games that God Eater 3 nails in the head. There are hundreds of missions to farm for items and upgrade your equipment. Others may find it repetitive, but if you relish the thought of your damage numbers ticking upwards when creating carnage, then God Eater 3 is a solid choice that you can easily put hours into.
The best things in life are free, and if you’re looking for a Monster Hunter-esque game that won’t cost you a dime, then Dauntless is your only option. The best way to think of Dauntless is that it’s a streamlined version of Monster Hunter. You don’t have to do any legwork between fights here; when you’re tracking a monster, chances are you’ll find it immediately. Some people would rather experience finding the monster; you probably wouldn’t think about it anymore as time passes when you’re in a setting that involves online play 24/7.
Dauntless has a bustling social arena known as Ramsgate, where you can find most of the NPCs you’ll need to talk to if you want to upgrade or craft new weapons and gear. As of now, there are 20 monsters—or behemoths as they like to call them—in Dauntless. There are also six types of weapons to experiment with. Granted, the catalog isn’t as diverse as Monster Hunter Rise or World, but Dauntless prioritizes the depth of content rather than width. This means there is tons of gear to craft, hunts become multi-part affairs, and there’s even an elemental armor system you must manage to boot.
If what I’ve said so far since hasn’t convinced you enough to try Dauntless, the game supports cross-play with every other platform. As long as you and your friends have a device that can run Dauntless, you can boot it up and do some hunts together. And don’t worry about the microtransactions—there are no pay-to-win schemes to be found here since all you can buy with real money are cosmetic items. And we all know that these items don’t have any advantage (besides looking cooler than most).
Phantasy Star Portable 2
Phantasy Star Portable 2 is the oldest title on this list, but just because it’s old doesn’t mean it isn’t as fun as the other games we’ve discussed. A sequel to Phantasy Star Portable, you’re placed in a world full of sci-fi monsters ripe for killing. It launched in Japan in late 2009 and was released in 2010 for the West. You get to play as a private mercenary part of a group called Little Wing.
Similar to Phantasy Star Portable, you can expect a slew of customization options. You can tweak your character’s gender, body, facial features, and even their voices. Aside from that aspect, you’ll battle all sorts of monsters using hack-and-slash gameplay. Mindlessly beating a monster with a stick is great, but PSP 2 also encourages you to use strategic options. This comes from the abilities you and your party can utilize.
There are thousands of items at your disposal, which requires farming more than a hundred monster types and dozens of bosses. Plus, with a wide array of missions, the grind doesn’t feel too overbearing, where you’ll have to repeat certain quests multiple times. Phantasy Star Portable 2 is worth checking if your old PSP is lying around. Should you not have a PSP, don’t worry—you can also run this game through emulation.
Honorable Mention: Wild Hearts
Wild Heart isn’t officially released yet, but it’s already making headlines for potentially being one of 2023’s most solid offerings. Developed by Omega Force—a division of Koei Tecmo known for the Dynasty Warrior games—Wild Hearts doesn’t stray far from the historical East Asian setting we see in their past releases. Set in feudal Japan, players must battle Kemonos—beasts infused with nature’s power in some way.
Essentially, Wild Hearts has similarities to Capcom’s game. Besides taking on large creatures, you can also play around with various weapons, each offering a unique playstyle. There’s the usual bow and arrow and the katana. Still, if you’re looking for something different, perhaps the umbrella-like bladed wasaga—a staff weapon capable of transforming into five different types of weapons—then you’ll most certainly find it here.
According to EA, the highlight of Wild Hearts—and what makes it truly special compared to other games like it—is the introduction of the karakuri. Karakuri is a series of tools you can craft to aid your journey. What you create is permanent until it’s destroyed or removed. Some karakuri are merely decorative, while others serve a purpose in battle. Given that they can be spawned during the heat of a battle, you can use the karakuri in different ways, whether it be to stun a monster or use it to escape a powerful attack.
Gameplay videos are available now on YouTube if you’re interested in how everything works. Regarding concept and mechanics, it’s clear that EA and Koei Tecmo are onto something here. We’re looking at a really impressive title if they can improve the performance (which is what most people were concerned about) before the official release. Wild Hearts’ release is on February 16, 2023, for PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.