From Software’s Soulsborne catalog is one of the most respected collections in gaming history but compared among themselves, a hierarchy arises.
When it comes to making a tier list of the FromSoftware catalog, it’s important to start with a major caveat: FromSoftware has never entered a glaringly bad game into the Soulsborne lineup. If the Soulsborne games, from Demon’s Souls all the way to Elden Ringwere pitted against other companies’ releases, they would all fare extremely well, but comparing them against one another uncovers tiny flaws and shortcomings that would, and should, be otherwise completely overlooked.
With that said, the Soulsborne games still exhibit major differences. Whether it be differences in the souls games’ difficulty levels, their underlying mechanics, or aspects of the aesthetic and plot, Soulsborne games tend to be fairly diverse titles, which inevitably means that fans have dramatically different opinions on each one.
- Elden Ring: There was never a doubt that Elden Ring would make the S-tier. Not only is it the finest example of the genre, but it’s the title responsible for bringing the Soulsborne games to the casual crowd. It flips the script by introducing an open-world concept and simultaneously offers both a difficult experience for hardcore souls players and one that can be forgiving enough for first-timers. As a testament to its popularity, Elden Ring passed Call of Duty: Vanguard in sales, an impressive feat for any Soulsborne game.
- Bloodborne: The most important reason why Bloodborne stands out from other souls games is its faster pacing. The combat is smooth, versatile, and arguably the most enjoyable of all the Soulsborne catalog. When that’s combined with a strange spin on Lovecraftian horror, the result is a near-perfect game. to top it off, The Old Hunters expansion brought out the toughest boss fights of any game, cementing it as the perfect choice for hardcore Soulsborne players.
- sekiro: sekiro remains a relatively polarizing title. With its all-important parry mechanic, sekiro plays much like a rhythm game, to the point that it alienated a lot of long-time souls fans. Eleven players have wrapped their heads around the unique way it handles though, the satisfaction from nailing the perfect timing required by sekiro is unparalleled.
- Dark Souls 3: Like Bloodborne, Dark Souls 3 took steps to refine and polish the combat of previous iterations. It remains faithful to the lore of the Dark Souls series while offering quality-of-life improvements that put its combat up there with Bloodborne and other titles. For the players who fell in love with the original Dark Souls feel but value a smoother experience, it doesn’t get better than Dark Souls 3.
- Dark Souls: original Dark Souls speaks for itself; it’s one of the most influential games of all time. It perfected the odd blend of dark and quirky that the souls genre is known for, and its cast of characters, like Solaire of Astora, is unforgettable. Even though it misses the S-tier, Dark Souls can hold its head high knowing that any future title’s success was borne by its teachings.
- Dark Souls 2: For some, Dark Souls 2 is the best souls game out there. There’s certainly a lot to like: Dark Souls 2 ushered in a new level of difficulty and still boasts the best PvP experience of the bunch, but a few odd quirks offset its many successes. Most notably, fans were unhappy with the weapon degradation system and its backtracking map design, but more hardcore fans may be a fan of Dark Souls 2‘s plethora of bosses and absurd difficulty.
- Demon’s Souls: When it was first released, Demon’s Souls was one of the best games for the PS3, but time has not been kind to the original souls game. It still deserves massive respect for establishing the Soulsborne genre, but Demon’s Souls feels clunky and somewhat empty compared to its successors. It’s worth a playthrough to see the beginning of souls titles, but subsequent games have managed to improve on it in almost every way.
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