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The Best Spiritual Successors

best spiritual successors haunting ground

The first release in the efforts to build a spiritual successor to Suikoden, spinoff Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising, is out this week. What games have been the best spiritual successors? Why? Here are our picks.

While nearly two decades old, Haunting Ground remains my favorite spiritual successor. Anyone who has even remotely had a brush with the Clock Tower series will see that Haunting Ground takes some of the best concepts and builds upon them in fantastic ways. It even shares similar music cues! And features the protagonist running from a series of stalkers. But what Haunting Ground has one up on Clock Tower is Hewie, an adorable German shepherd that serves as the player’s companion.

Outside of being an incredible psychological horror title, Haunting Ground expands upon some of Clock Tower‘s best mechanics and general Italian-horror-inspired weirdness to create a title worthy of being the successor to a previously iconic series. — Kazuma

siren ps2

While Haunting Ground was definitely my first thought for best spiritual successor, I’m actually an even bigger fan of another horror game: Siren. The original Siren was a spiritual successor to Silent Hill. What made Siren more appealing to me personally was that it told its story through the views of multiple protagonists instead of just one.

This helped to weave a complicated plot and make you emotionally invested after spending so much time navigating Hanuda as these characters. Due to the larger cast, there is also more character-driven drama. This lends itself to the game being that much more memorable than Silent Hill. (And then just like what happened with Silent Hill, those Americans RUINED Siren with the PS3 remake). — Stephanie

best spiritual successors odin sphere

I have to go with Odin Sphere. See, before it existed, Vanillaware’s George Kamitani made a game called Princess Crown. It is also an elaborate, lavish, 2D, side-scrolling action game relying on combos to defeat foes. It follows multiple characters too! There are four scenarios following different important characters. Once you beat those? The fifth “ending” one unlocks. Sound familiar?

Sadly, Princess Crown never ended up localized. Which is especially unfortunate, as a PS4 port appeared in Japan alongside 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim! (Are you going to localize and finally release this piece of history worldwide, Atlus? Huh?) — Jenni

best spiritual successors daemon x machina

Too much time has passed since the last Armored Core came out, and former From Software member Kenichiro Tsukuda went to Marvelous and created Daemon X Machina to fill the gap. I’d say it’s not only a spiritual successor to Armored Core, but also a general celebration of the mecha and military genres.

Daemon X Machina combined Armored Core‘s mech action and customization with a soundtrack made by Bandai Namco’s Ace Combat composers. It also featured characters and mechs designed by Yusuke Kozaki and Macross‘ Shoji Kawamori, respectively. To top it all, the Japanese cast list included the voice actors of Amuro Ray and Char Aznable from the Gundam series. It’s truly a match made in heaven. — Kite

What do you think are the best spiritual successors? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter! And read our other handy roundtables for more thoughts from the Siliconera team.

Graham Russell
About The Author
Graham Russell, editor-at-large, has been writing about games for various sites and publications since 2007. He’s a fan of streamlined strategy games, local multiplayer and upbeat aesthetics. He joined Siliconera in February 2020, and served as its Managing Editor until July 2022. When he’s not writing about games, he’s a graphic designer, web developer, card/board game designer and editor.