The fantasy genre carries a series of dynamic sub-genres, one of them being dark fantasy. These games come a bit close to the horror genre and are only distinguishable by a small fraction. Also, dark fantasy games can take many forms, from action-adventure to RPGs and even sci-fi. Therefore, you can find variants on this criteria that offer a multitude of experiences. Similarly, you will find one common aspect in all of these titles, and that is the spooky, gothic doom theme incorporated with an even darker narrative.
These games give players a chance to be saviors, the ones who liberate the world from the hopelessness that reigns. There are plenty of incredible dark fantasy games to pick from, which makes it a bit tricky to narrow the genre down to a list of five. However, from a pile of great productions, we have tried our best to select the most incredible. Here are the five best dark fantasy games of all time.
5. Darksider 2
If you are searching for a real dark fantasy experience, Darksider 2 may just be the best place to look. This game features one of the most dynamic designs, from its theme to its storyline and gameplay. You play as Death, one of the apocalypse's four horsemen, as you explore an expansive map throughout the Darksider universe. The game features variant locations, from creepy forests to snowy mountains and creepy forts, all of which are free to explore.
As you begin the game, the first thing to draw you in is the incredible soundtrack that sets the mood for a fantastical adventure. Darksider 2 also offers flexible gameplay that involves both short-range and long-distance combat. Among various melee weapons, such as axes and hammers, you also have access to bladed arm extensions that further brutalize the game's combat. Upon its release, Darksider 2 became the best-selling game with over 247,000 units.
Venture into a journey fueled by revenge in Sekiro, an action adventure played from a third-person perspective. You play a shinobi named Wolf in pursuit of an enemy Samurai clan that attacked and abducted his master. Trek through areas of war-torn Japan, moving within the shadows to invade your enemies' territories. The gameplay largely involves skill and stealth in delivering a series of ninja attacks. With the use of the Shinobi Prosthetic, you can improve your mobility as well as customize your moves according to each opponent you face.
The story follows Wolf's dark past as well as his future alliances that often end in betrayal. To fulfill your missions, you must make and break a few alliances here and there. But in the end, you must make sure not to succumb to the bloodlust that can corrupt even the most honorable shinobi. Instead of reviving at the nearest checkpoint after death, you can resurrect on the spot using the resurrection power you earn after defeating enemies. Sekiro is a single-player game solely because developers intended for it not to undergo various limitations that multiplayer games experience.
3. Darkest Dungeon
Darkest Dungeon is an action RPG game that is guaranteed to get you hooked within the first few minutes of playing. The game provides an incredible roster of heroes who tag along with you through your dungeon escapades. It takes wits and proper preparation to enter the horror-filled dungeons because once one of your heroes dies, you cannot recover them. That's why the game lets you carefully organize and manage your hero roaster before you proceed. Each one of these characters belongs to a different class, offering you variant skills to exploit.
Not only do you have to take down enemies, but be careful to manage your sanity while at it. Similarly, you ought to control your teammates' stress as they face various threats alongside you. This is because low sanity levels affect their performance in battle. For instance, unmanaged sanity leads characters to fear and tension, which interferes with their fighting. If this escalates, it can eventually lead to heart attacks. Therefore, you must use certain camping locations in the dungeon to tend to your teammates' stress. The game features terrific art design amid the frightening gameplay.
2. Shadow Heart
The one classic game that will always feature on any list of the best dark fantasy games is Shadow Heart. This Playstation 2-era dark RPG follows protagonist Yuri across diverse and fantastic locations. As a human with the ability to transform into monsters, he strives to protect his love, Alice, from an evil magician. The game's horrific features qualify it to fall within the dark fantasy subgenre. Similarly, Shadow Heart features several unique aspects in its gameplay that you don't typically find in modern RPGs.
You can control up to three characters during battle with the help of a timing-based system known as the Judgment Ring. This is an important aspect of the game as it determines the success of each attack, and it can either degrade or enhance your attacks. Similarly, once you complete each battle, you earn experience points, which in this game can be the most useful resource. With these points, you can raise the attributes of your characters, attain soul energy, and purchase essential equipment.
Bloodborne takes first place for not only being the most satisfactory dark fantasy game on the list but also for its extraordinary worldbuilding. The world of Yharnam features various striking visuals that are as beautiful as they are haunting. You play as a hunter in a world that is ravaged by all sorts of obscene creatures. Your task is to hunt these monsters down and save the magnificent city from the darkness consuming it. Throughout your journey across Yharnam, you will collect essential items, discover new locations, interact with NPCs, and face various enemies, including formidable bosses.
Despite the punishing difficulty that you may face, you'll still find yourself pushing forward in an attempt to further uncover the game's events. You can earn experience points and the game currency through Blood Echoes, which you earn by relinquishing your enemies. You lose all your blood echoes when you die at a certain point. However, you can regain them once you reach the same point after starting over at the last checkpoint. In some instances, your enemies may capture your Blood Echoes, and you will have to defeat them to get them back. The game's action and combat strategy make it a must-play game for any dark fantasy fan.
Which game from the list above do you think has the best dark fantasy game of all time.? Share your pick with us in the comments below or over on our socials here!