Known for its deeply complicated and nuanced combat system with a learning curve that puts most "difficult" games to shame, the Monster Hunter franchise has built itself quite the following since it first debuted on the PlayStation 2 back in 2004. However, as many fans of the franchise will be the first to tell you, the best Monster Hunter games aren't exactly the most available titles.
With the sole exception of 2018's Monster Hunter: World, all mainline Monster Hunter games launched exclusively on one console. Although the games would later be ported to other platforms, it usually takes a few years for that to happen.
In the case of Monster Hunter: Rise, the Microsoft Windows version isn't expected to release until sometime in 2022.
With that said, we've decided to round up 7 titles that PC gamers can play in the meantime while waiting for Monster Hunter: Rise.
Monster Hunter: World
Regardless of whether you think Monster Hunter: World "dumbed" down its gameplay mechanics to appeal to a wider audience or that the game simply catered to the fact that it's the first Monster Hunter game to be available on multiple platforms at launch, one thing that we can be sure of is that this unique RPG is the most immersive Monster Hunter game yet.
With an expansive world littered with uniquely designed monsters, each with their own individual typing, strengths, weakness, and attack pattern, as well as an equally varied range of weapons to use with a stronger focus on the co-op experience, Monster Hunter: World will keep you busy for a while.
Paired with a souped-up gaming PC with a high-end graphics card and playing through Monster Hunter: World makes for an experience that's quite unlike any other.
The Dark Souls titles are often compared to the Monster Hunter games, and for a good reason. Both franchises are known for their highly customizable characters and satisfying combat that lets players use a bunch of weapons depending on their preference. Plus, both game's learning curves are equally steep.
The biggest difference with the Dark Souls franchise is that it eschews lush forests with medieval dungeons filled with narrow paths and endless corridors.
If you're up for a challenge, we suggest giving any of the Dark Souls titles a chance.
Horizon Zero Dawn
After spending years working on the Killzone titles, Guerilla Games surprised everyone with 2017's action-RPG, Horizon Zero Dawn.
Horizon Zero Dawn was highly anticipated before its release and did not disappoint. It gave players an immersive single-player experience with a deeply personal story that revolved around saving the world against an impending threat that humanity itself created hundreds of years ago.
Set in a lush but lifeless open-world populated by mechanized robot-like creatures, Horizon Zero Dawn treats players to monster battles not usually seen outside of Monster Hunter titles.
We recommend playing Horizon Zero Dawn on a capable PC on its hardest difficulty. This rightfully changes the gameplay so that every swipe of a tail rightfully leaves you gasping for air and barely hanging on for dear life.
Dauntless isn't just a game like Monster Hunter. It is Monster Hunter.
Phoenix Labs' action/RPG is a free-to-play action RPG title built specifically to mirror Monster Hunter's decades-old formula. The game lets you team up with up to three other players to take down mythical beasts much larger than yourselves. However, unlike most Monster Hunter titles, Dauntless' combat system is faster and more fluid. In some ways, it's even better.
If you're unsure about committing to an expensive open-world action RPG title, Dauntless is a great way to get a taste of what's to come.
God Eater 3
Speaking of taking on building-sized monsters, the God Eater franchise is another series of action-RPG titles that's similar to the Monster Hunter games. However, unlike Capcom's second-best-selling franchise, Bandai Namco's offering follows a more anime-esque storyline. This is topped off with some heavy lore and fast-paced combat.
While there are 3 different God Eater titles for you to choose from on the PC, we recommend playing the most recent entry.
Released in 2019, God Eater 3 was designed specifically with more powerful platforms such as the PlayStation 4 and the PC in mind. This affords it much more freedom to incorporate more fluid gameplay mechanics and better-looking visuals compared to previous titles.
Koei Tecmo's Toukiden games are another set of titles similar to Monster Hunter that features online co-op and a gameplay loop that revolves around taking out bigger, as well as badder monsters. But, unlike Monster Hunter, you're not taking out monsters in Toukiden. You're taking on demons, some of which are hell-bent on destroying the world as you know it.
Toukiden 2, in particular, was built with the PC in mind. This makes it much-better looking with its samurai-inspired theme looking much more gorgeous if not darker than the first game.
Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen
Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen is the oldest title on our list. The game was released way back in 2012 with a port for the PC in 2016. But, while its graphics are starting to show signs of age, the gameplay and challenge are up to par with modern standards.
Similar to Monster Hunter: Rise, Dark Arisen lets players take on monsters for mythic proportions. As a matter of fact, Capcom's RPG pits you against some of the most iconic creatures from children's fables and stories. We're talking about anything from the likes of giants to chimera, dragons, and so much more.
A unique and fun aspect of Dark Arisen is that you can create your very own AI helper or upload one created by others.
These "Pawns", as they are referred to in-game, can help ease your burdens, or so to speak. Although they're not the most useful AI companions in all of gaming, they do help alleviate some of the stress that you get from dozens of hours of gameplay through this challenging RPG.
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