Which Soulslike Game is The Best?

From the groundbreaking Demon’s Souls to the latest releases, From Software has set a high bar in the action/RPG genre, creating worlds where formidable challenges lead to unparalleled victories. The ranking of these games is subjective, with each player having their preferences based on myriad factors. The extensive analysis available online, from hours-long YouTube discussions to detailed articles, attests to the depth and complexity of these games.

The essence of Souls games lies in their difficulty and the sense of achievement they offer. They’re about conquering seemingly insurmountable obstacles, about standing triumphant against the odds. The frustration of repeated defeats transforms into euphoria when you finally prevail, a testament to persistence and skill that resonates deeply with players. This emotional journey, coupled with the thrill of battling formidable foes, is what makes these games so captivating.

Below is a personal ranking of the Soulsborne games, including Bloodborne, which, while distinct, embodies the spirit of the Souls series, and Sekiro, which, despite its differences, deserves a spot in this lineup due to its shared lineage and challenge-driven gameplay.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

While it might not fit snugly into the Soulsborne category due to its distinct gameplay and narrative approach, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice shares the core From Software blueprint of challenging combat and formidable adversaries. The game’s emphasis on precision and timing, particularly with its parrying system, sets it apart, offering a fresh perspective within From Software’s repertoire. Sekiro’s focus on swordplay, demanding players to hone their skills with a singular weapon, marks a departure from the varied combat styles typically found in Souls games. Despite its exceptional combat mechanics and some standout boss fights that left players in awe, the game’s repetitive environments and the scaled-back RPG elements place it at the sixth spot in this ranking. Nonetheless, being the ‘least’ favored in a lineup of extraordinary titles is hardly a slight; Sekiro is a masterpiece in its own right, deserving of high praise and a solid 9 rating.

Demon’s Souls

Regarded by many enthusiasts as the cornerstone of the Souls series, Demon’s Souls is often seen as the raw, unrefined precursor that set the stage for its successors. Its standout level, the Tower of Latria, exemplifies the game’s potential to craft an immersive, eerie atmosphere that would become a hallmark of the series. The game transcends mere combat challenges; boss encounters like Maiden Astraea evoke deep emotions, adding a poignant layer to the gameplay. While Demon’s Souls laid the groundwork with its innovative concepts, it’s apparent that its full potential was honed and polished in subsequent titles. The necessity of stocking up on grass to survive underscores its demanding nature. With a remake on the horizon, there’s a palpable excitement to see how the original’s rough edges will be smoothed, perhaps even expanding on its lore with the long-anticipated addition of the sixth archstone.

Dark Souls 3

Dark Souls 3 stands out as arguably the most refined installment in the series, offering an ideal entry point for newcomers. Its difficulty curve is more linear, providing a smoother introduction to the game’s challenging mechanics and intricate world. The game dazzles with stunning environments, memorable boss encounters, profound secrets, and boasts what is my personal favorite boss fight against Sister Friede.

While it excels in many areas, Dark Souls 3 tends to lean heavily on its roots, drawing extensively from the original Dark Souls, which might detract from its originality for some. Additionally, its DLC, though it includes some standout battles, is marred by uninspiring snowy landscapes and some tedious areas. Despite these criticisms, Dark Souls 3 is highly recommended, especially for those new to the franchise. Overcoming the initial hurdle of defeating Iudex Gundyr is a rite of passage, opening the door to the rich, immersive experience that Dark Souls 3 has to offer.

Dark Souls

Dark Souls stands as a profound gaming experience, an unpolished diamond that captivates with its depth and complexity. Initially daunting due to its lack of direction—evidenced by my early struggles against the relentless skeletons in the graveyard—the game gradually unfolds into an engrossing adventure that’s now a personal favorite. The game’s deliberate obscurity and enigmatic world evolve from puzzling to utterly fascinating as you traverse its bleak yet compelling landscapes.

Delving into the game’s intricacies reveals a rich tapestry of lore and challenge, from leisurely explorations of the ethereal Ash Lake to intense confrontations in the DLC with iconic figures like Artorias and Manus. While these bosses may not be the pinnacle of difficulty in retrospect, battles like the one against Artorias are unforgettable high points. The additional content in the DLC is essential, enriching the overall narrative and gameplay.

Despite its brilliance, Dark Souls shows signs of strain in its latter stages, with frustrating segments like the Bed of Chaos and the less polished Lost Izalith. Yet, these moments don’t detract from the overall journey, a testament to the game’s enduring allure. A word of advice: minimize your time in the notorious Blighttown.

Dark Souls 2

Despite facing criticism from various quarters—be it for the significant changes in lighting from its development phase, the puzzling geographical layout with a fire castle atop a poison-swamp windmill, or the belief that it was crafted by From Software’s “B-Team”—Dark Souls 2 holds its ground as a remarkable entry in the series. The primary aspect that players often find contentious is the agility mechanic, which necessitates stat allocation to achieve the familiar Dark Souls feel in movement and dodge mechanics.

Yet, beyond these criticisms, Dark Souls 2 offers a rich and expansive journey, from the serene yet somber Majula to the dramatic confrontation atop a castle with the Looking-Glass Knight amid a torrential downpour. The introduction of bonfire ascetics, allowing players to revisit and intensify challenges in areas and against bosses, was innovative and added a new layer of depth to the gameplay.

The game’s DLC stands out as particularly exceptional, even within a series renowned for its compelling additional content. Encounters with formidable adversaries like Sir Alonne and Fume Knight, not to mention the exploration of Eleum Loyce’s chilling landscapes, contribute to a DLC package that is arguably one of the franchise’s best, enriching the Dark Souls 2 experience with memorable battles and breathtaking settings.


Bloodborne stands as an exquisite fusion of gameplay and atmosphere, where narrative and world-building intertwine flawlessly with its mechanics, exuding a distinct essence from the initial encounter to the climactic confrontation. Its introduction may be notoriously challenging, potentially daunting for newcomers, but the rewards for persistence are immense. Bloodborne allows From Software to unleash its full creative prowess in crafting a universe of horror.

The game initiates in a classic horror setting—a city plagued by lycanthropes and various ghastly creatures—then progressively delves into a realm of cosmic terror that engulfs the player in its eerie narrative. The game’s design ensures that every character and confrontation feels integral to the world, eschewing the typical game design artifice of strategically placed items or contrived puzzles, offering players a genuine existence in a world both grim and grotesque.

The transformation of the game’s reality post the unsettling battle with Rom, and the subsequent revelation of otherworldly horrors that lurk in plain sight, epitomizes the marriage of gameplay and story. Bloodborne pushes players into an assertive playstyle, a departure from the more cautious approaches often viable in Souls games, heightening the intensity and urgency of combat.

The core game is profoundly impactful, but the DLC, The Old Hunters, elevates the experience further with its daunting environments, formidable foes, and a roster of boss battles that range from fan-pleasing throwbacks to some of the most challenging encounters in From Software’s repertoire. Bloodborne transcends the conventional game structure to offer a profound experience, inviting players to delve deep into its dark and enthralling world.

Our Score

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