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I have played Diablo II and Diablo III one too many times. Every time I revisit the franchise, I wonder: are there other games like Diablo I would enjoy like this?
The Diablo series is addictive, but it’s also decades-old. Diablo III premiered in 2012. That’s years’ worth of doing the same, and the number of builds and weapons you can try is not infinite.
Diablo II Resurrected came out in September 2021 as the latest release in the series. However, it didn’t become popular due to recent controversies with Activision Blizzard, and it seems no one is talking about the remaster.
Just now, Microsoft bought Activision-Blizzard for $69 billion. Diablo Immortal is coming out in late 2022, while Diablo 4 is releasing in 2023. However, we don’t know how this massive change will affect the outcome of these titles and the series.
So, there’s no better time to look for alternatives. There’re other time-consuming and hooking games like Diablo.
Selecting Games Like Diablo
Choosing games like Diablo means understanding the elements of the dungeon crawler series. Therefore, the alternatives we’re choosing have a mix of the following aspects.
- Genre: Diablo games are action-RGPS dungeon crawlers with hack & slash combat.
- Gameplay: the gameplay happens with point-and-click mechanics. You use the mouse to move, aim your abilities, and use your skills and attacks. Moreover, you use the mouse to interact with the environment, items, and NPCs.
- Combat: as a hack&slash, Diablo is about defeating increasingly hordes of enemies. Your character levels up and earns skill points, stat points (not on Diablo III), and finds gear. Also, there’re mini-bosses all over, and the bosses on every act.
- Skills: Diablo characters learn skills, but the system is different on Diablo III than on Diablo II and I. Either way, you unlock skills as you level. Then, you place these skills on your quick-action buttons.
- Classes: each game has various classes with a particular set of skills they can unlock, as well as weapons and armor they can use.
- Loot: A complex item system categorizes gear by class and level. Diablo focuses on searching for better weapons and armor, as there’s tons of loot.
- Maps: Diablo games are linear and go through maps and settings. These maps are randomly generated to increase replayability. Items are also randomly generated, although unique items have particular properties.
- Online features: Diablo games are mostly single-player. However, these titles also allow you to play the entire campaign and end-game instances in co-op.
- Graphics: Diablo uses isometric graphics, which means 3D characters, objects, and enemies on 2D backgrounds.
- Settings: The setting is a dark fantasy that revolves around a war between Hell, Heaven, and Earth.
- Atmosphere: likewise, the atmosphere accompanies the setting with eerie music, dreadful voice acting, and depressing location design.
Lastly, games like Diablo should be highly replayable. This is because of the hack & slash combat, skills, loot, classes, and randomized maps. We expect memorable games because of sweet combat and haunting settings if they are not replayable.
Best Games Like Diablo
- Developer: Runic Games
- Publisher: Perfect World Entertainment
- Release Date: September 2012
- Platform: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Blizzard North co-founders Max Schaefer and Erich Shaefer, alongside other developers, created Runic Games in 2008. Because they wanted to create Diablo II’s spiritual successor, they released Torchlight (2009) and then Torchlight II. There’s also Torchlight III, but we don’t recommend the 2020 version because it’s full of bugs.
Torchlight II is the highlight of the series, a beloved game by RPG fans. And it’s, in fact, so similar to Diablo that it features the same composer, Matt Uelmen, for Tristam-sounding music. And aside from the OST, the setting, the lore, the plot, and the maps are very similar to Blizzard North’s old-school RPG.
Torchlight 2 is also a dark fantasy where you play as one of the four classes (Engineer, Outlander, Berseker, and Embermage). You, as the hero, must stop The Alchemist, a mad scientist, before it’s too late. That said, this is an open-world map, a vast overworld full of optional paths, hub towns, and landscapes. The randomization of maps ensures you see a new layout every time you log in.
Then, there’s the gameplay. Players defeat hordes of monsters for loot and XP through randomly generated dungeons and maps. Combat is incredibly smooth, with a lighter tone and cartoony isometric graphics. There are also day/night cycles, weather, a New Game+, co-op, and more. Lastly, it has vast mod support through Steam Workshop to make the game last forever.
- Developer: Eleventh Hour Games
- Publisher: Eleventh Hour Games
- Release Date: April 2019 (Early Access)
- Platform: Windows, Linux, SteamOS
Last Epoch is challenging and yet friendly enough for newcomers. Its multiple layers of character build come through over time and with patience. Everything comes clear, thus never forcing the player to check outside sources to create functional characters. In a way, it’s deeper than Diablo 3 but not as challenging as Path of Exile.
On Last Epoch, you start as one of the five base classes, and each class has 3 extra mastery classes you can choose from. Then, you can level up your skills and customize your skills to tweak your gameplay. That gives you over 100 options for each character, as each skill has its own augment three, and each class and mastery has its own skills.
There’s the setting and the plot, arguably the best part of the game. You play in the world of Eterra, a dark fantasy with randomized maps and eerie music. You go from chapter to chapter through time traveling, as the hero visits different time epochs to save humanity from looming danger.
Lastly, Last Epoch is an action RPG on Early Access. That means the single-player campaign is not complete. Even so, it offers about 15h of gameplay, a hefty end-game system, and consistent patches and updates to keep the game fresh and new.
Path of Exile
- Developer: Grinding Gear Games
- Publisher: Tencent, Grinding Gear Games
- Release Date: October 2013
- Platform: Windows, Xbox One, PS4, macOS
Path of Exile is massive. It 9 lengthy acts, a great plot, smooth combat, a plethora of skills, and an endless end-game. It’s also an MMO, so you can join with a party at any time or explore the world alone. The globe features randomly generated maps and individual instances for every player. More impressively, the game introduces new mechanics and even ways to improve your character all the way to the end-game.
Path of Exile is an action RPG hack&slash features seven playable classes. Each one starts with different stats and takes a different spot on a huge passive tree. So, for example, the Witch starts at the north, near to magic-related nods. Then, every time you level, you earn a skill three to buy a passive node and keep advancing through the grid. The system is so wide and tough that it’s pretty easy to mess up a character without following a guide.
Then, there’s the skill system. You place gems on your gear, and gems are either active skills or active skill modifiers. To fit gems in your gear, you need to have the proper gem slots plus the links between the gems to use the modifiers. Then, as you use the skills, they level up. You find gems through questing but mostly through loot, which is crazy.
Speaking of which, the last system is loot and currencies. See, instead of a coin, you use crafting items to trade, but there are dozens of crafting items. Crafting is a very complicated issue that revolves around randomized mechanics, like every other system in the game. Lastly, each update further adds more currencies, randomized mechanics, and ways to get loot. All of these aspects make PoE highly replayable, time-consuming, and difficult.
Remnant: From the Ashes
- Developer: Gunfire Games
- Publisher: Perfect World Entertainment
- Release Date: August 2019
- Platform: Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series, PS5
Remnants: From the Ashes is the game I personally recommend. It’s not an a-RPG, though. Instead, it’s a third-person action shooter looter with souls-like and Diablo elements. It’s also a dungeon-crawler with a single hub world.
This means you can dodge enemy attacks, which is a primary feature. And it also means you get increasingly better loot and fight across randomized maps and instances. Then you learn skills by doing specific actions and finding specific skill books. Finally, you earn skill points and invest them into any of the passives you have unlocked.
These elements deliver stellar combat. You carry two weapons at a time, plus an active skill that you sock into a weapon. There’re no hordes of enemies, but there’s a great variety of mobs with varying powers, skills, and behaviors. You shoot, dodge, run, use your skills, swap weapons, take cover, loot, and repeat. As for bosses, you mostly try to outrun their damage while finding the perfect timing to damage them. Overall, the gameplay is satisfying, memorable, and highly challenging.
The story, though, is not as memorable. You’re the hero of struggling humanity, and the journey takes you to alternate realities to find the source of evil. That’s not important, though: you can replay it multiple times with one of the three classes and play the campaign in co-op.
Titan Quest: Anniversary Edition
- Developer: Iron Lore Entertainment, THQ Nordic
- Publisher: THQ Nordic
- Release Date: August 2016
- Platform: Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Titan Quest is a classic title in the genre that came out in 2006. The Anniversary Edition shines a new light on the cult-following game. In particular, it combines Titan Quest and the Immortal expansion Throne in a single bundle. Then, it overhauls its systems and graphics for a modern experience.
Age of Empires co-creator Brian Sullivan created the title. The setting is ancient Asia, Egypt, and Greece. Here, the Titans escaped their eternal prison, and you play as the hero who can save the Earth from their havoc. It’s a quest that faces mythological villains and settings.
The journey goes along with a customizable character. You can choose from 28 classes and thousands of items with varying classes. Then, you travel in a realistic and 3D world with detailed settings. If you don’t want to play the story, you can create your own maps with the World Editor for customized adventures.
Lastly, you can play the game solo or co-op with up to 6 players. The Anniversary Edition restored the multiplayer as well. For example, it added voice chat, performance upgrades, and more. Additionally, the edition supports higher resolutions, higher camera distance, and mod support.
- Developer: Crate Entertainment
- Publisher: Crate Entertainment
- Release Date: February 2016
- Platform: Windows, Xbox One
Grim Dawn is a classic ARPG hack & slash. It’s also one of the games like Diablo that fans permanently compare with Blizzard’s franchise. For instance, it has similarly fast-paced combat with visceral visuals and dreaded music. And all of this comes from a small indie studio, and Titan Quest’s designer is the lead developer.
You play in an apocalyptic dark fantasy world. Humanity is at the edge of extinction, and you’re the hero who can save the world from peril. As one of the six classes, you enter the world and face a non-linear story with choices, consequences, and complex RPG mechanics.
In essence, you can combine any of the classes, and each class has about 25 skills plus skill modifiers. There’re thousands of randomized items for a loot fest, and your quest is about finding better and better loot. Finally, there’s the Devotion system, secondary bonuses for skills.
The quest is perhaps the best part of the game. You make decisions in key moments, and your choices impact the world, NPCs, and villages. They’re also friendly, neutral, and enemy factions. You can gain favor with each to advance the story in multiple pathways. Ultimately, the goal is rebuilding the world by rescuing survivors, revitalizing structures, and securing vital items. You can do it solo or as part of a 4-person co-op.
- Developer: Supergiant Games
- Publisher: Supergiant Games
- Release Date: December 2018
- Platform: Windows, macOS, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Nintendo Switch
Diablo II debuted with a hardcore mode, which meant your character’s death was permanent. So, many considered the title a commercial rogue-like game when the genre was not very popular.
Then comes Hades from stellar indie studio Supergiant Games. This is a rogue-like dungeon crawler with fast-paced action, isometric graphics, hand-drawn backgrounds, gorgeous music, randomized instances, randomized “loot,” and plenty of lore to explore. And I say “loot” because there’s not much to pick up. Instead, you may find random Boons on instances, powers from the Gods on the instances. Alternatively, you may find random items that may improve your character permanently.
As a rogue-like, though, the game is about runs. You play as Hades’ son, Zagreus, trying to escape Tartarus to find his mother. The Olympus Gods help you with their Boons, but the journey is dangerous. To escape Tartarus, you go into increasingly difficult instances, on four different acts guarded by challenging boss fights. Each time you die, you return to the hub and start the run from scratch.
These elements come together with gorgeous music, hundreds of voice lines and plot points to explore. The story keeps expanding even after the first time you escape Tartarus. The difficulty also keeps increasing, even after defeating Hades for the first time. Overall, Hades is a stellar game with visceral combat that can feel different on every run due to the Boons, the weapons, and the weapon modifiers.
- Developer: Acid Nerve
- Publisher: Devolver Digital
- Release Date: July 2021
- Platform: Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5
Death’s Door is a 3D action-adventure game with action RPG and hack&slash elements. Also, it has isometric graphics and an overall sad atmosphere. That said, this is a simple game. Its mechanics, storyline, and combat are easy but with a perfect degree of refinement.
You play as a small crow working for the “Reaper.” The job is collecting souls for an afterlife office. Soon, a new mission takes you to retrieve a stolen soul. You travel to a realm full of power, greed, and creatures with enormous sizes and power.
Here, you’ll learn the mechanics of the game. You use melee weapons, arrows, and magic to beat the beasts and demigods. The combat is simple, but that’s a double-edged sword. Your mistakes receive severe punishment. Yet, you can get an edge by customizing your stats and abilities.
Lastly, the setting is bleak, somber, and beautiful. Beyond the Doors, the land is full of twisted undead secrets and interactive NPCs. There’s a riveting mystery to unravel and a memorable story that will keep you returning to the title.
Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
- Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
- Publisher: Versus Evil
- Release Date: May 2018
- Platform: Windows, Linux, macOS, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Pillars of Eternity II is the sequel to an award-winning RPG. Most fans believe the second entry is better, expanding the original mechanics while adding significant new features.
In essence, you travel the world on a ship as the captain. The region is the Deadfire archipelago. You’re to explore its depth on a lengthy single-player campaign with D&D systems. By that, I mean you make choices, face consequences, and explore the open world at your will.
Then, you play as one of the 11 classes in the game. You also build a party of companions, and you can customize your party members by tweaking and choosing their abilities. Additionally, you can interact with your companions to bond. Similarly, you can improve your ship to increase your overall survival.
Lastly, there’s the combat. It has a turn-based battle system with classic RPG mechanics and isometric graphics. There are many skills to choose from with each character, and there’re various layers of complexity for hardcore fans. Overall, Pillars of Eternity is like playing a slower-paced Diablo.
- Developer: Tripod Studio, Smilegate RPG
- Publisher: Smilegate, Amazon Games
- Release Date: February 2022
- Platform: Windows
By the time of this article, Lost Ark is yet to release. However, from what we’ve seen, it’s about to become the best ARPG of our time. Lost Ark is another MMO that allows you to play alone on individual instances. You explore a vast and vibrant open world and define a particular fighting style. In essence, you choose an advanced class, level up skills, and use skill modifiers.
There’re seven continents to explore, where the main quest happens. It’s the land of Arkesia, where you can play PvE, co-op PvP, and team-based PvP. You go as one of the 5 base classes, each capable of developing mastery. The number of build options you get means compelling reasons to replay Lost Ark multiple times.
The combat is smooth, fast, and sweet. It’s an ARPG hack & slash combat with an action bar. But aside from combat, you can also gather resources globally and then use these resources on a hub to craft items. This is part of the Like Skill three, and it’s easy to advance in any of its options, even if you play casually.
Overall, Lost Ark has easy features, on the surface, but multiple layers of customization. It’s a high-action “point-and-click” RPG that’s ready to become the next big game in the genre.
Monster Hunter Rise
- Developer: Capcom
- Publisher: Capcom
- Release Date: March 2021
- Platform: Windows, Nintendo Switch
Monster Hunter Rise is not exactly a game like Diablo. However, we believe Diablo fans will love the latest entry of the Monster Hunter series. It’s memorable, features sweet combat, and is highly replayable. Also, it’s currently one of the top single-player games on Steam.
Moreover, the gameplay loop on Rise feels familiar to Diablo fans. As characters can’t level up, the power level depends on loot. So, players are on a never-ending quest to find better and better gear. Therefore, you defeat monsters, get loot, and defeat bigger, meaner monsters.
You play as a Monster Hunter, and the job is quite obvious. But this is a 3D action-adventure hack&slash title on a massive open-world. You use many weapons to defeat the enemies and go through a lengthy storyline.
Lastly, monsters come with distinct behaviors, ferocity levels, and skills. For series fans, the game features new creatures and returning monsters. The new enemies take inspiration from Japanese folklore, like Magnamalo the wyvern. Every enemy you face requires unique strategies and yields randomized rewards.
God of War
- Developer: Santa Monica Studio
- Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment, PlayStation PC LLC
- Release Date: April 2018 (PS4), January 2022 (PC)
- Platform: Windows, PS4, PS5
Our last choice is not a game like Diablo, on the surface. Yet, it takes many elements from Blizzard’s dungeon crawler. In essence, Kratos’ story delivers a gory, violent story through action, cinematics, and settings. Then, it goes through a linear story full of mobs, loot, hack & slash combat, and ways to progress your character.
The God of War left his vengeance against the Olympus behind him. He has a new life, as a father, in the realm of the Norse Gods. However, the past catches up to him. It takes father and son on a new action-adventure journey across Northern mythology. It’s the latest part of the God of War series, but you can play the game even if you’re a newcomer.
You get to play as Kratos, father, and mentor, as well as the vengeful God of War. The gameplay is gory, fast, and gruesome. Boss fights are superb and full of scripted mastery.
The new PC version features enhanced visuals with true 4K resolution. It also has a wide range of visual settings to tweak your experience. Lastly, it supports NVIDIA’s Ray Tracing, Reflex, and DLSS.