There are a lot of different opinions out there about the best Dark Souls game. Some people swear by the original, while others prefer the sequel. And then some think that Dark Souls III is the best of the bunch. So, what’s the verdict?
Best Dark Souls Game
It is a captivating masterpiece of gameplay, mood, and everything in between. Bloodborne exudes flavor from the first cut to the last strike, with narrative and universe flawlessly woven into the gameplay. While it may have one of the strongest starts, with front-loaded difficulties that may dissuade newbies, patience always pays off.
The software has always excelled at crafting horrific monsters, and Bloodborne’s playground of horror allows them to play a full hand.
Things start as a typical monster feature, a plague-ridden area infested with werewolves, ghouls, and other night gaunts. Still, the adventure quickly becomes stranger and stranger until the player is entirely submerged in cosmic horror.
Instead of playing like stages with enemies located at X, Y, and Z, every character and every encounter belongs here. Instead of a developer pulling the strings and hiding power-ups under rocks or inventing riddles to complete, you act out real life in this harsh and awful environment.
Becoming a hunter in Bloodborne is the ultimate synergy between all areas of game design, from shattering the veil after the jarring struggle with Rom to viewing eldritch aberrations for the first time where they always were.
While it has many elements that make Souls great, Bloodborne also rejects defensive play methods and challenges players out of their comfort zone, with battles often consisting of fierce aggressiveness that raises the stakes to new heights.
In other words, you must confront your anxieties even though every bone in your body begs you to flee the writhing, quivering mass of flesh in your face.
The regular game is breathtaking, but the DLC is a must-have. The Old Hunters contains notable boss confrontations ranging from massive fanservice to one of the most challenging battles in the From playbook, with eerie surroundings and lethal opponents to traverse. Bloodborne is an experience that wants to be explored, not a game.
2. Dark Souls 2
Despite its magnificence, Dark Souls 2 has an army of naysayers. There’s always a complaint about Dark Souls 2. Whether it’s about the lighting changes that occurred between development and release (you used to need torches to see in multiple areas), the fact that a fire castle is built on top of a poison-swamp windmill base, or the fact that the “B-Team created the game,” there’s always something to complain about.
It turns out that Dark Souls 2 has one flaw worth mentioning: agility. Players must spend some stat points in this area to get the game to “feel” like Dark Souls regarding responsiveness and roll-invincibility frames.
Aside from that, Dark Souls 2 is a beautiful experience, from Majula’s abandoned beaches to the rain-splattered rooftop confrontation with the Looking-Glass Knight. Features like bonfire ascetics and difficulty zones (not to mention monsters) were, to put it mildly, ahead of their time.
While DLC for any of these games is often required, the Dark Souls 2 pack is among the greatest, involving epic battles against Sir Alone, Fume Knight, and the cold, windswept fortress of Eleum Loyce.
3. Dark Souls
Dark Souls is an uncut treasure of an experience. After initially wandering into the cemetery and slamming myself into the skeletons several times, I now consider this game one of my all-time favorites.
As you make your way through the bleak area, the lack of handholding and mystery that surrounds everything you do transforms from astonishment to interest.
As you uncover the game’s mysteries, you’ll find yourself venturing into the more esoteric territory, like meandering around Ash Lake for leisure or taking on the DLC against the famous Artorias and Manus.
While those monsters aren’t as challenging as some of the giants that came after them, Artorias is still a great battle today. The DLC, like the previous games, should not be overlooked.
The game stumbles in the “third act,” with awful confrontations like Bed of Chaos and cobbled-together zones like Lost Izalith, but the whole experience is worthwhile. Just don’t remain in Blighttown any longer than necessary.
4. Dark Souls 3
Dark Souls 3 is the most polished of the games and, without a doubt, the most excellent onboarding title. While still challenging, the progression to more brutal encounters is more linear, and ideas are set out with more clarity than in prior editions.
Dark Souls 3 has stunning environments, fantastic monsters, huge secrets, and my favorite boss in the series: Sister Friede.
Dark Souls 3, on the other hand, veers a touch too much towards nostalgia for an all-star rating, playing remarkably similar to the first Dark Souls for some of its inspirations. It also contains a mostly insignificant amount of DLC. Despite some incredibly fantastic boss battles, there is also a lot of soft snow and rugged terrain to cross.
Still, I suggest Dark Souls 3, and it’s my recommendation for newcomers to the series. If you can get beyond Iudex Gundyr (and you can believe me), you’ll be on your way to discovering a magnificent world.
5. Demon’s Souls
I know many Souls fans like it, but it’s only a rough proof of concept for the other concepts that would later be developed inside the series. With its strange, scary trappings, The Tower of Latria is one of the times when the series’ evocative genius shines through.
Maiden Astraea, for example, will pull at your emotions as you deal with the death blow. Demon’s Souls is fantastic, although it has a lot of unpolished rock that was honed in subsequent entries. Leave the house without max grass. All of this being said, I’m looking forward to the future remake – maybe they’ll even include the sixth Archstone.
6. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
It’s not fair to place Sekiro in the Souls tier since it’s a significant divergence in many respects. However, it still features many of the same structural skeleton components that From software has honed to perfection. You’re a frail man who faces unimaginable foes. Does this sound familiar?
Even though it’s a broad comparison, there are enough parallels to the concept of the Souls games for me to add this game. I can only say it so many times before Sekiro enthusiasts start hounding me. I think last place on a From Software game list is still light years ahead of most games.
And I like Sekiro, but I believe it lacks many of the choices and diversity seen in earlier Souls games. It all boils down to mastering the sword, no matter how you choose to play. This is fantastic because, after so many games in which software kept adding amazing parry things that people loathed to learn, it created a game in which you had to perfect parrying to live.
The fighting system is superb, and some spectacular boss bouts will be fought, including the most pleasing surprise of 2019.
However, numerous landscapes and graphics were overdone, and our favorite wolf was demoted to number 6 due to a lack of RPG features and choice. Before I get slammed by the whole internet (and I will), I awarded this game a 9. It was just fantastic.
7. Nioh 2
One significant distinction between the first and second Nioh games is that we now control a yokai that can be customized. Although William is no longer present, some exciting new features include the ability to turn into a yokai demon, the game-changing burst counter, interchangeable yokai forms, and the ability to summon players.
Nioh infuses its plot far more intimately than the Souls games do. Instead of inferred information concealed across places and tiny interactions with NPCs, Nioh has several full-scale cut-scenes depicting plot events developing.
Overall, Nioh 2 isn’t as memorable as the previous game, but it’s an amazingly complex Souls-style game. Its captivating aesthetics and massive levels packed with diverse quests contribute to its popularity.
8. Demon’s Souls Remake
Remakes may occasionally go wrong, but Bluepoint Games’ remake of Demon’s Souls proves the opposite. They took a great game and faithfully recreated its enchantment while making it appear as if it belongs on the PS5.
Demon’s Souls came to life because of next-generation technology, which enabled Ray Tracing, 60FPS, and authentic 4K graphics. The frame rate is lovely to see, as the gameplay’s fluid, sensitive nature gives players even more control over their actions and gaming choices.
The meeting with the Flamelurker is now genuinely mind-boggling. The Nexus seems considerably more realized than ever, and Demon’s Souls was finally given the attention it deserved by the younger generation.
The original Nioh game takes the Souls concept and gives it its unique twist. The gothic surroundings, skeletons, and souls have all vanished. Our Irish explorer, William Adams, arrives in 17th-century Japan. He must combat some of Japan’s nastiest and most powerful monsters, the yokai. Mythical beings of incredible strength inhabit the country.
Nioh’s fighting is fantastic, and there are several ways to approach it. As if that weren’t enough, the game’s unique Ki system adds a degree of complexity to battle and keeps the player conscious of their actions at all times.
Make no mistake: this is a challenging title, even if FromSoftware did not create it. Team Ninja created it, the creators of the acclaimed Ninja Gaiden series, and it is jam-packed with fierce bosses and lengthy, demanding stages. The mission system in Nioh is a significant change. Instead of a single continuous environment, each section includes tasks that may be unlocked upon completion, increasing replayability.
10. Elden Ring
Please make no mistake, Elden Ring has a Metacritic score of 96 out of 100 because it is one of the finest video games ever developed.
The typical Souls themes are present: you’re a ‘Tarnished’ rather than an Ashen One or Chosen Undead, Lost Graces rather than bonfires, and so on. It still has the classic FromSoftware vibe, but it seems like another game. It’s incredible how everything is linked and interconnected. The land’s grandeur and expanse are breathtaking, mainly when you see the impenetrable Erdtree.
It has some of the series’ most famous and difficult bosses — watches out, Melania – and adding a steed and a leap button makes all the difference. A brutal finale may keep the enjoyment going until the end, but Elden Ring is entirely captivating.