Ranking the Soulsborne Games

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Prox

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I'm just curious, how do you guys rank the Soulsborne games from best to worst?

While I don't consider Sekiro to be part of the Soulsborne formula, you can add it in there if you want.

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inevpatoria

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Some order of Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and Sekiro.

And then everything else.

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Cory7911

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Bloodborne, Dark Souls 3, Demon Souls.

Might have something to do with the fact these are the only ones I have actually beaten.

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SethMode

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I go Bloodborne, Dark Souls 2 (because I'm a deviant), Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, Dark Souls 3 and then Sekiro is way down almost off the list because I really gave it so many shots and just actively dislike it.

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Efesell

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I would definitely count Sekiro and place it leagues above any of the others.

But after that Bloodborne and the probably Souls 3, 1, 2 and finally Demon's.

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baltaronsteam

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@sethmode: If I was told I could only play one Souls game ever again, including all the clones, not hate on em - but if i had to pick ONE, desert island situation..

Id go with Dark Souls 2. Is it as meticulously crafted as the others? No, I dont think so. I think its a fantastic game; but like Bloodborne is almost perfection in regards to gameplay and design.

All that being said - I can beat Bloodborne in a single sitting (and have done so with Dark Souls 1)

Dark Souls 2, legitimately, probably has around double the content of every other game in the series. Is it AS GOOD of content moment to moment? Probably not; it does excel at some things, though.

But if I had to pick one cause you were sending me away to a desert island and giving me a PC... Ill take DS2 with DLCs and accept my dark fate as the Accursed Undead...

I would have rather been a posh Hunter; but, Yharnam is a small place :(

lol

Just needed to spread some DS2 love as well

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SethMode

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@baltaronsteam: Nice!

Really the only thing keeping DS2 from being my favorite is just that I dig on the setting and aesthetic of Bloodborne just so much. But I wholeheartedly agree with everything!

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Shindig

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Bloodborne, Dark Souls, Sekiro, Dark Souls 2, Dark Souls 3, Demon's Souls. It's purely in order of games I would replay. I keep going back to Sekiro even though I have hard limits on my patience for that game. Demon's brings up the rear solely because I can't remember the last time I felt like replaying it. Maybe that's partly due to it being the only one on the PS3 now. Everything else is under one roof.

I've platinumed DS3 but that game doesn't sit easily with me. I just don't like the feel of the combat in that. DS2 has a momentum to it and the tons of needless bosses at least give you somewhere else to go. Bloodborne is king. The combat feels fluid, the rally mechanic keeps you in the fight and gives you breathing space. To me, it has the best collection of bosses, too.

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Stephen_Von_Cloud

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#9  Edited By Stephen_Von_Cloud  Online

First thing is I haven't played Bloodbourne.

Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, Dark Souls II, Dark Souls III, Sekiro.

Yeah that is not the most common feeling but that's really how I feel. They have slowly lost their way unfortunately in my eyes. I love the story, atmosphere, more level focus, and structure of Demon's Souls and think the following games have lost the magic and mostly focused on adding way more bosses with too many phases and over the top difficulty after Dark Souls.

The first 2 are great and Dark Souls II is really good. Past that I am not a fan.

And for me I hate how Sekiro even feels, never mind the rest as it went on (all the above applies). No longer felt like an attempt at real tactical combat.

I have been waiting for the fabled PC version of Bloodbourne and expect to like it as much as Dark Souls II if not higher on my rankings. But maybe I wait in vain lol.

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Meptron

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DS3, DS1, bloodborne, demon souls, DS2

Most people don't put DS3 so high, but it was the first one I played and it was my favorite. I loved it so much I went back and played them all. It is tough for me to rank demon souls, maybe it deserves to be higher, but because I came to it after the others it felt dated to me when I played it. But the other games stand on it's shoulders and it deserves respect for that. Even though I put DS2 last I still really enjoyed it. I don't think any of them are bad at all.

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Nordom

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I think my ranking would be like this (I have not played Demon's Souls):

Dark Souls (Was my first souls game and I also really like the first 3rd of the game where you can't fast travel, which they didn't do with any of the later games).

Bloodborne (Love the art design and combat. It looses some for not being on PC where I have played most of these games. And I wish the game balanced the weapons a bit better. For a game that doesn't have alot of weapons I still feel like there is to big a gap between how strong each are).

Sekiro (Really like the combat and the tuning of encounters is the best in all of these games imo. The negative side of that is the lack of character/build customizability).

Dark Souls 3 (Not much to say. I liked it but I think it looses some for simply being a sequel. Both from a story perspective but also from a gameplay perspective as it takes some inspiration from Bloodborne but I liked Bloodborne's combat more).

Dark Souls 2 (I also like this game but I didn't know what to expect from a sequel to Dark Souls and I felt it were to similar with the whole going through a new cycle and getting 4 lords souls again. I also felt like it winked to much towards Dark Souls 1 without doing more with it. I think it improved on mechanics but it felt like a step back in terms of design. I think the level, NPC and encounter design were worse compared to Dark Souls 1).

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GuardianBob87

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Ranking these games is like trying to recreate the first flame: You don't do it, it's Chaos.

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BrunoTheThird

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Personal list: Demon's, DS1, Sekiro, Bloodborne, DS3, DS2.

What I think the actual best are in terms of overall quality: DS3, Bloodborne, Sekiro, DS1, Demon's, DS2.

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csl316

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#14  Edited By csl316

Bloodborne

Sekiro

Dark Soul 3, then 1, then 2

Demon's

But I'm ranking based on the games I would want to play today, not based on nostalgia or whatever. Still never played the DLC for 3 despite doing everything else, I should get on that.

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FacelessVixen

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Dark 1, Bloodborne, Dark 3, Demon's, and Dark 2.

Sekiro doesn't count because it's a fucking Tenchu game.

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DarkeyeHails

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Dark Souls, Bloodborne, Dark Souls 3 and Dark Souls 2. I have not played Sekiro or Demon's Souls.

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development

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#18  Edited By development

Aesthetics mean a lot to me and they did something with the lighting model of DSIII and Sekiro that I detest. I just hate looking at those games.

So:

1. Bloodborne. Most polished, cohesive, still looks the best, animations are the best, clearly had the most effort put into it. DLC beast and celestial transformations are what everyone hoped Dragon transformations would be..

2. Dark Souls. Significant improvements to combat and game feel over Demon’s Souls while creating a single massive world where you can run from Mt. Olympus to Hades by foot, with a tonn of gear to find.

3. Demon’s Souls. World is unique like Bloodborne. Was very difficult and truly “new” to me.

4. DS II. A different experience than the rest. A large story, very intricate, with some cool moments, such as visiting the war you’d heard about the whole game. This game would be higher if it had an extra year or two to be worked on.

5. Sekiro. I love Sekiro. Combat is unrivaled, but doesn’t give me the satisfaction that Bloodborne’s beast cutters give me. It’s just not a memorable game to me, and I’ve beat it 3 times. Also it looks graphically very similar to DSIII; aka bad.

6. DS III. Fun, but I don't like looking at it. The combat lacks the punch of the original somehow, even with the great new animations and weapons. It's a bit too fan-service-y. Failed to deliver a good Dragon transformation.

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MezZa

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1. Bloodborne

2. Sekiro

3. Dark Souls 3

4. Dark Souls

5. Dark Souls 2

Unplayed:

Demons Souls

Honorable tangential mention:

Nioh 1 and 2

Theme of the world and how fun it is to explore is important to me for a souls style game so that influences my choices a lot. I don't care as much about variety of builds like others might.

Bloodborne and Sekiro win me over in terms of world, themes, and general gameplay. These are the two I'm most likely to replay today outside of any nostalgia for Dark Souls 1.

Dark Souls 3 and 1 are pretty even for me. 3 feels better to play but I really enjoy the lore and forced travel around the world of 1. Fast travel really takes away from the feeling of discovering connections and shortcuts to get from here to there. And in some cases those same connections between zones just don't exist because they know you can fast travel. Dark Souls 1 also gets some bonus nostalgia points for being my first Souls game.

Dark Souls 2 I just don't really care for. The different branches of the world feel pretty linear and the boss fights felt more uninspired to me compared to 1. Honestly don't ever feel like replaying this one again. It's good as most if not all souls games are, but it doesn't compare as favorably to the others for me.

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TheRealTurk

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Dark Souls 1 - I won't claim this is the nicest looking or best playing iteration of the series, but I still think it's the best one just on pure atmosphere alone. Dark Souls 3 and Bloodborne are "better" games, but this is the one I find myself coming back to over and over again.

Dark Souls 3 - I wasn't as huge a fan of some of the tweaks to combat and systems (specifically, I wish they hadn't let you warp between bonfires right away and didn't like the changes to poise), but it was still a good way to end the series. Probably has the best DLC offerings in the Dark Souls games.

Bloodborne - It's a very good game, but I personally find the world much less interesting that Dark Souls. However, some of that comes down to having "Cthulu fatigue" after so many games this generation seem to be using that conceit, so my opinion of it might improve over time. And while I really like the trick weapons, I wish there was as much variety in the armor appearance instead of just "generic Gothic attire."

. . . BIG GAP . . .

Dark Souls 2 - The black sheep of the Dark Souls series. It has some good points, but feels really disconnected from the other two. It's the one I feel the least compelled to go back and playthrough again.

. . . BIG GAP . . .

Sekiro - This is basically Bloodborne if you removed the cool setting, the rally mechanic, neat weapons, stats, any armor variety at all, or interesting enemy designs but for some reason kept the high difficulty and crappy camera. This was my most disappointing game of last year and nothing else came close. I don't see that changing. I absolutely loathe this game.

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SilverSaint

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#21  Edited By SilverSaint

Bloodborne > Nioh 2 > Dark Souls 3 > Dark Souls 1 > Sekiro > Nioh 1> Demon Souls > Dark Souls 2 > Surge 2 > rest.

Sekiro is quite good, but the lack of diversity (1 weapon, 1 build) hurts replay value and also the general player options. If you generally use weapons of Sekiros style its like they designed a game for you with no replay value, if not its a bit frustrating.

Bloodborne has the best aesthetic and world of any of these games, while also having some sort of variety and options (Realistically just Physical or Dex, Magic and Blood aren't really a primary). Its playstyle both involves and encourages no shields, which is one of the best / most effective styles in the Soulsborne games.

Dark Souls 3 is just the pinnacle of the series in combat, its incredibly fluid compared to the older series with some pretty brutal bosses, easily the hardest of the 3 mainline games. The world is worse to explore then say Dark Souls 1, but the combat improvements really push it a notch above.

Nioh 2 is like a combination of Dark Souls and Sekiro. You have the speed of Sekiro, while having the variety of Dark Souls with a large number of highly differing builds. The weapons are so much more indepth then a Dark Souls that the build variety is pretty unparalleled. The random loot allows for a large post-game and changes the minute details of how you handle each region. Its just a better Nioh 1 in every way, which has the best endgame of any of these games thanks to its Loot and Abyss systems.

Surge 2 has the best weapon designs of any Soulsborne game and maybe any game ever, the world is pretty small, repetitive, and the bosses are quite lacking though.

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TheWildCard

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#22  Edited By TheWildCard

Just in terms of personal affection:

1. Demon's Souls- Mechanically harder to go back to, but man still the best in terms of atmosphere and music for me. What a game.

2. Dark Souls III- Super satisfying capper to the series, just wish it was a little less derivative of DS1 (and incorporated DS2 a little more)

3. Dark Souls- Best world building and lore, even if it's maybe overly cryptic up front.

4. Dark Souls II- Clearly the least even Souls game but the peaks are as good as anything in the entire series. Really like the the variety of stats and builds you can do.

5. Bloodborne- Starting to feel diminishing returns in exploring yet another civilization that feel to ruin. I like a good Lovecraftian tale but found the cosmic horror undercurrents of the previous Souls games more interesting than the on the nose take here. Wasn't a fan of how slimmed down the rpg elements were. Still a really good game though, especially the Castlevania looking sections where it becomes the 3D Castlevania game I'd always wanted.

All of them are very close in quality though.

(Haven't played Sekiro)

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cubidog

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First let me start with my experience regarding each game:

  • Demon's Souls: Watched multiple let's plays and speedruns, never played myself.
  • Dark Souls: Played through multiple times(including DLC), watched many playthroughs, including challenge runs and modded runs, watched lots of invasions and lore videos. First one I played. One of my favorite video games ever.
  • Dark Souls 2: Played through twice, watched a couple playthroughs and speedruns, some invasions, and lots of lore videos. Never played or watched dlc content. Think it gets too much hate, it's a flawed, but still very enjoyable game.
  • Bloodborne: Watched 1 playthrough, never played due to not owning a ps4. Watched a couple invasions and 1 speedrun. Watched some lore videos. Think it's pretty good, but the pvp really sucks in it. If they ever ported it to pc I'd buy it in an instant.
  • Dark Souls 3: Watched the first 2 or 3 hours of a lp and stopped to avoid spoilers. Haven't played it yet, but I probably will by the end of the year. Actually the only one I'll have played through before watching a full playthrough, as I feel like I should experience one of these games relatively blind. I've
  • Sekiro: Watched 1 playtrhough, never played. Just wasn't really into it for some reason. Might play it someday, but there are so many other games I actually want to play it's very low on my priority list.

With that out of the way, I'd rank them from best to worst: Dark Souls, Dark Souls 2, Bloodborne, Demon's Souls, Dark Souls 3(very likely to change placement once I play it), Sekiro.

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Brackstone

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  1. Bloodborne
  2. Dark Souls
  3. Sekiro
  4. Dark Souls 3
  5. Demon's Souls
  6. Dark Souls 2

Bloodborne has the best combo of great combat/bosses and great world design. Dark Souls 1 still has mindblowing world design, and excellent enemy encounters, but while it has some real classic boss fights, they don't quite reach the heights of other games on the list.

Sekiro has fantastic boss fights through and through, the best From has made, and was refreshing for how different it was, but the world doesn't quite give the same feeling of grandeur and mystery that you get from the exploration in the other games, it's a bit closer to a typical action game. But by being less RPG, more action game, they solve most of the issues that being an RPG cause in the previous games. I will gladly give up build diversity for more tightly tuned encounters.

In general, Dark Souls is peak From world design, Sekiro is peak From boss design, and Bloodborne is right in the middle, not quite as good at either, but damn close.

Dark Souls 3 is a fantastic game, but doesn't feel special the way the previous 3 do. It has some of the best boss fights in the series, decent enemy encounters, but world wise it relies on the familiar just enough to not feel as mysterious and the focus point system could have used some more work. Demon's Souls has a great world, but the variety of enemy encounters and boss fights isn't quite there, and the basic gameplay definitely feels unrefined compared to later titles.

Dark Souls 2 is still a great game, but it just does everything worse than every other game in the series, not many memorable bosses, not many memorable enemy encounters, the world and story is fine but not amazing.

Haven't played the Surge games, but I plan to eventually, they seem really neat. I really got sick of Nioh 1 by the end, don't plan on ever going back to that series. Lords of the Fallen sucks.

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north6

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#25  Edited By north6

DS1 > DS2 > Demons > Bloodborne > DS3 > Sekiro

DS2 doesn't get nearly enough credit for it's DLC, which is possibly the best dlc of any game. SOTFS also mixes things up in a way that is fantastic, and may push it above DS1... but the first half of DS1, and it's world design, make it probably the most impressive feat in nearly any game to date. Second half of DS1 after Anor Londo is pretty trash though. DS2, or rather, the *entire rest of the soulsborne games* world design has maybe four sections where the world loops back on itself in an interesting way though, and DS1 is full of those moments, which is why it's not only best on this list but probably best *all time*. Really strange they fucking forgot how to do this in an interesting way after DS1.

Demons is so high because it is still amazing how fully formed the concepts that make the series interesting were, almost everything that is in the highlights of the other games is in this in some capacity, if not fully fleshed out.

Bloodborne's main game is impressive. I still need to finish the DLC, but the chalice dungeons are not at all what I want from that genre. I still don't even know if these levels are randomly generated or not.

DS3 feels small, feels like a sort of pathetic attempt to try to recapture the DS1 story, but without any of the heart.

I can't even bring myself to finish Sekiro. It's like they forgot about any sort of player choice in that thing, every step of it feels like being clubbed over the head with "you will play the game this very specific way and you will like it". It's probably better than I'm giving it credit for on some objective level. I guess I'd call it "focused" if I were being charitable.

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north6

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@cubidog: Do yourself a favor and get DS2 SOTFS (which includes the DLC), it feels like a newgame + done right, and feels almost new if you haven't played the game for a few years.

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Onemanarmyy

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#27  Edited By Onemanarmyy

At which point do we stop with the Soulsbornekiro names and just call them Souls games again or go for like character action RPG's or something? I understand that people pasted borne after it because Bloodborne was in the same vein as the souls games, and we like to include that in the conversation. But now we have a whole slew of games doing similar things and even FROM's latest one of these ain't Bloodborne anymore. It's no longer an all-compassing name.

Time to go back to my QuakadoolifeTournaCallGo games.

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SilverSaint

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#28  Edited By SilverSaint

@onemanarmyy: It makes sense to just call it the Souls Style or Souls Games since in every game involving collecting stuff that you lose on death you refer to the resource as Souls.

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Efesell

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@onemanarmyy: I do think adding borne at the end is slamming the door on that concept, yeah. I haven't seen anyone affix some manner of 'Sekiro' to the end of that but if anyone was thinking of it.... stop it.

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darkmoney52

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Bloodborne: Great area design, great combat, just good enough in build options and customization.

Sekiro: No customization at all but some of my favorite combat of any game and a great world that really doesnt get enough credit. The way the world slowly got stranger and more supernatural as it went on was super cool.

Dark souls 1: My first souls game, it had some very high highs, but also some incredible lows. Some of these struggles I appreciate as part of the experience (such as Blighttown) but other parts I truly dislike (anor Londo archers, bed of chaos). Its the latter that usually keeps me from replaying the game despite my affection for it.

Dark Souls 3: Not as interesting as the games higher on the list, and the sheer amount of levels and bosses (combined with Froms minimalist style) made a lot of the game feel inconsequential, and lacking of any particular momentum. Still, it had a couple truly spectacular areas (archdragons peak and Irythill) that were From at their peak.

Dark Souls 2: This felt a bit like a dark souls imitation, and like most dark souls imitations, I played it right up until it got challenging and then promptly quit. There just wasnt enough intrigue in the world or excitement in the combat to pull me through any significant challenge. Really cool hub though.

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doctordonkey

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It's Bloodborne at number one, vanilla DS2 at dead fuckin' last and the rest could honestly be in any order.

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Rejizzle

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  1. Bloodborne is a really great game.
  2. I guess I almost beat Dark Souls 3...
  3. Demon Souls was interesting I guess.
  4. Dark Souls was kinda boring. Still don't know if I can parry those Gem Golems in front of the stupid Hydra boss.

Those are all the ones I played. I would probably like Sekiro if I tried it.

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Humanity

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@onemanarmyy: Yah I didn’t want to be too pedantic but I don’t get why you’d call it Soulsborne when Bloodborne is just a “Souls” derivative. All the games stem from Demon’s Souls so it has always been, if we must, the “Souls-like” genre. Sekiro is a Souls game and The Surge is a Souls game as well, even though you collect “tech scrap” instead of Souls or Blood Echoes or whatever.

Either way for me it’s probably Demon’s at the top because nostalgia and then Bloodborne, The Surge, The Surge 2, Sekiro, Dark Souls 3, Dark Souls 2....and maybe somewhere far in the back Dark Souls.

It’s not a scientific list because technically I enjoyed Dark Souls 3 more than Sekiro for its versatility, but at the same time DS3 was the third “one of those” in a row and Sekiro was a breath of fresh air even if I didn’t like the combat as much. Also Sekiro I would have probably enjoyed a TON more if I had played it on PC instead of console and didn’t have all these framerate issues. When I tried playing a bit on PC later on it felt like a vastly superior experience when it was running at a smooth 60 FPS.

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FancySoapsMan

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I like Bloodborne the best because of the atmosphere and the gameplay style. Demons Souls is second because I played it right when it game out and the memory of experiencing that kind of gameplay for the first time still stands out.

As for the rest of the games I have no real preference. They're all fantastic but none have made an impression as much as the ones mentioned above.

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Sombre

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#35 Sombre  Online

Dark Souls is the best

Dark Souls 2 is the worst

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#36  Edited By HIMSteveO

I’m the weirdo who puts Sekiro first, because I preferred the setting, look, and gameplay over the rest (of what I’ve played at least). I’d then say Bloodborne as 2 (it was the first of those games I played...), and Dark Souls Remastered third. I prefer the faster pace of Sekiro and BB over the slower pace of DS, and thought the darkness of DS got in the way (literally! Seeing in that thing is hard!). I haven’t played 2 or 3, but I enjoyed Nioh as well. I’m waiting for Nioh 2 to come out on PC...

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OurSin_360

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#37  Edited By OurSin_360

Dark Souls 2

Dark Souls

Bloodbourne

Dark souls 3

Demon souls (forgot this one)

haven't played Sekiro

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someoneproud

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#38  Edited By someoneproud

1. Sekiro. Mainly because I adore the combat keeping me on my toes and I appreciate not being able to grind it out.

Also 1. Nioh 2. Wow, I've been blown away by this game. The fast & aggressive combat & tools to create your own openings from Sekiro and the build variety of a DS.

The setting is also phenomenal, taking part in a lot of the major moments of the rise and fall of Nobunaga is exactly my Jam. So many cool cameos and so much fan-service for fans of the era.

2. Dark Souls. The first one that really grabbed me, mostly due to the world design and some of the bosses.

3. Bloodborne. Loved the setting and enemies (just not quite as much as DS') and the aggressive combat (just not quite as much as Sekiro's)

4. Nioh. Pretty much entirely down to the combat, I really like all the options to dominate with.

5. Dark Souls 2 (SOTFS) Liked the setting and all the knight fightin'. Them nerfing the roll at the start forced me to dial it in better.

6. Dark Souls 3. Enjoyed it as a conclusion but played too much like DS1 and by the time I played it, it felt a little too familiar.

Barely touched Nioh 2 and Demon's Souls and I haven't played the Surge games yet but I expect I will sooner or later.

EDIT: Having played a lot more Nioh 2 I absolutely adore it. Ties with Sekiro in my mind, might even like it a little better.

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SethMode

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Very psyched at the amount of love for DS2 in this thread. Even if it is counterbalanced by those ranking it last. I'm just glad that there are dozens of us DS2 lovers...DOZENS!

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ChiefBeef123

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#40  Edited By ChiefBeef123

Dark Souls 1

Bloodborne

Sekiro

Demon's Souls

Everything else is not worth playing, imo.

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Mezmero

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Dark Souls 2 is my fave. Sure it doesn't have the mystique of its predecessors but of all these games it was the one I had the most fun building my character class, which I call the Dark Sun Sage. Played Scholar of the First Sin sometime last year and boy does it do a great job revitalizing the narrative and layout of the game.

Dark Souls 1. It took me some time to really appreciate this one, especially after you look at videos and podcasts on the significance of the lore. As cool as this game is in retrospect, building a caster character was not as fun. Yeah people aren't wrong when they call it an overpowered build, but the game obscures the best spells behind some annoying quantum roadblocks and I can't help but be salty about my first play through.

Demons Souls. Honestly I could swap this with DS1 as the second best purely on the novelty of what this game was doing as the first one. I think this has to be lower because it was missing a number of quality of life stuff that went on to give these games legs.

Bloodborne. It's tough to rank this so low but I do think it takes some steps back in some of the game play systems and certain level layouts. That being said, holy shit dat styyyyyyyle. It does some amazing things thematically and if we're talking purely aesthetics it would be at the top of my list.

Dark Souls 3. It was okay but it's easy to see how this series was getting long in the tooth.

I've only played the opening of Sekiro. My impression was that it's a Tenchu game with Souls-like elements.

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Shindig

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#42  Edited By Shindig

So I started a new save on Bloodborne. I have a question for the floor:

Do these games suffer by putting their best foot forward? Basically the Sonic problem where the first zone is always the good aspects distilled into a tight proper area. Now that I'm thinking about it, Central Yharnam and Boletaria Castle are huge culprits. Now that I think about it, Lothric opens the same way. Big expansive areas with lots of shortcuts and stuff to find that you don't quite find in the latter stages of the game.

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Humanity

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#43  Edited By Humanity

@shindig: Some of the later stages of Bloodborne are maybe less memorable but I do think as a whole it is quite a good experience. It's not Dark Souls 1 where like half the areas of the game are absolute trash. There is a pervasive climate to it all that even despite the lesser level design of some of the spaces beyond our opening playground are still quite enjoyable in their own right.

But yah, Central Yharnam is THE area of the game.

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So I'm the exact wrong person to ask this, since my thoughts about the Souls series (and Souls-likes in general) are... not kind. But I love RPGs and these games are ubiquitous, so I've ended up playing a fair share of them.

1. Demon's Souls- I played this when it came out, and adored this game. The atmosphere was so unique and so implacably odd- I can't say I was ever really head-over-heels about the gameplay, but the atmosphere (that I even found profoundly creepy at times) kept me hooked.

2. Dark Souls II- Never quite got the atmosphere right (or at least couldn't sustain it when it did), but I quite enjoyed the art design for most of it, and I actually had a pretty good time building my character. It's the one I think about going back to from time to time, though I don't really know why.

(PRETTY BIG GAP)

3. Bloodbourne- To be fair, I only played a few hours of this when it was free for PS+ members. I found nothing about it I really enjoyed, and I learned my lesson from playing DS 1, so I put it down rather quickly instead of forcing myself to slog through it. No plans on going back.

4. Dark Souls- I can't stand this game. I was so excited when it came out- being a big Demon's Souls fan- but deeply disliked it almost immediately. So I sold it. Then the game blew up, and I decided to give it another shot. Rang the second bell and basically hated every minute of it. Didn't think the atmosphere was there, thought almost every bit of the art design I had saw was bland and entirely uninteresting. So I stopped playing it. Unfortunately, I hung around some people/ was a part of certain communities at the time that had really rabid, shitty fans of the game in them, and they were insistent that my opinion was worthless and I didn't know what I was talking about since I had not beaten the game. So, being a hard-headed asshole teen myself, I decided to say "screw you" and force myself to play through it. My opinion of it did actually go up a little bit, but I still mostly hated it. I thought, from an artistic standpoint, that Anor Londo and a lot of the stuff around it was awesome. I thought the ending area was pretty striking, too. But ultimately, the only nice things I can say about the game is that it has fantastic sound design and moments of great art design. Nothing else. I also found the difficulty to be weirdly over-stated? I dunno. Maybe it was my experience with Demon's Souls, but I beat nearly every boss on my first try and never summoned a human player. I never want to play it again.

Since I am incredibly fatigued with the entire style of the Souls-Like genre and think any game that includes any of its mechanics are actively worse for doing so, I have not played DSIII or Sekiro, and I almost certainly never will.

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#45  Edited By CyrusRaven  Online

#1 with a bullet literally my favorite game ever - Bloodborne

The hidden depth the horror drenched setting the speed omg the speed. PRAISE BE TOO THE OLD ONES! GRANT US EYES! GRANT US EYES!

#2 Just a hair below - Sekiro

Maybe sensing a theme here. I don't care about blocking at all let me move fast and parry my opponents with absolute precision. The only reason it falls under Bloodborne is because I don't enjoy the setting as much.

#3 - DS3 - I played so much PvP in this just a stupid amount.

#4 - DS - Not much too say that hasn't already been said.

#5 - Demon Souls - My first "Soulslike"

#6 - DS2 - Maybe to big for its own good. But there is some real good stuff in here.

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That post has given me an appetite for some long-form critical video of Souls from a perspective of someone who doesn't like it.

Well explained, man. You're not wrong either. The art in these games is kinda .... wrote for the most part. They stick to the fantasy (or Victorian) tropes and maybe pull the curtain back for an area (Anor Londo's grandeur, Fountainhead Palace, the Nightmare areas of Bloodborne). Demon's Souls has the benefit of treating its areas like very separate locations so you get variety from the Stonefang Mine to the Valley of Defilement. It's all covered in this rather dank, ethereal atmosphere.

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#47  Edited By Stephen_Von_Cloud  Online

@markus1395 said:

2. Dark Souls II- Never quite got the atmosphere right (or at least couldn't sustain it when it did), but I quite enjoyed the art design for most of it, and I actually had a pretty good time building my character. It's the one I think about going back to from time to time, though I don't really know why.

Dark Souls II has the best character build stuff out of all the games I would say. There's cool variety and a lot of it is viable and satisfying to progress through.

Also, cool to see a few Demon's Souls people in this thread.

I wouldn't go so far as you on how Souls mechanics are bad for other games but I do think the wrong things are kind of championed from the Souls games as far as what other games choose to bring on. The stuff I loved about Demon's Souls, and I take it you might too, has been kind of left in the dust a while ago by From and hasn't been picked up by anyone else either.

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If they wouldn't have charged extra for SOFTS (and just provided it free sans DLC to owners of DS2), DS2 would be much higher on everyone's list. I get why they sort of had to though, because the DLC is all wrapped in up there, so I guess that would be impossible. Just goes to show how infrequently DLC actually makes meaningful differences to most games that this is one of the few times this conversation even needs to be had.

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Dark Souls - Honestly, the only reason this game is at the top is because it was the first souls-like I played. The combat is really good though and it has some of my favorite areas and boss fights in the entire series; Ornsiten and Smough, Undead Burg and Parish, The Painted World, Artorias. There are also some of the worst fights and areas in the entire series; Lost Izzilith, Blight Town, The Great Hollow, Ceasless Discharge. The graphics, performance, and explanations of some of the basic mechanics also really suck. I think that the good out ways the bad with this game but, I understand that its an opinion heavily rooted in nostalgia.

Sekiro - The best part of this game is that its the least souls-like game on this list. The combat is some of the best From Software has ever made. The world design is not European castles, which is really refreshing. And most of the boss fights don't have any analogue in any of the other From games. Its honestly amazing that From was able to make a game that is a significant departure from their previous work while still maintaining the core of what made those game fun.

Dark Souls 2 - In retrospect, I was way to harsh on this game when I first played it at launch. Its not the sequel to the original Dark Souls that I wanted but, after playing DK3 I am glad that this game tried to shake up the formula a bit. I also no longer see many of the things I despised about the game at launch as flaws. The lack of consistency between areas is a small price to pay for a greater variety in types of areas. The lack of good shields means you are forced to play better. And the abundance of "dudes in armor" bosses is actually a good thing considering those are the best types of fights in the series. It also does some really interesting things such as letting you respec mid-game and giant memories showing bits of the world before you got there. It does fumble the execution in some parts but overall, its a good time.

Demon's Souls - This game is hard to go back to for me because it is a ps3 game and, my copy of the disk is scratched. And maybe, if I did go back to it I would put it in a different spot on this list. It has been so long since I played it though, that I don't have any "take" on it other than to say I remember really liking it at the time, which for me was the time between the release of DS1 and DS2.

Dark Souls 3 - This game is fine. Its well made and has no real flaws from an execution perspective. It suffers alot though from being the fourth or fifth game in the series, depending on how you count it. My biggest problem is that it does nothing new. Rehashing the previous games in a way that just feels tired at this point. Its the game that made me realize that I have no interest in playing anymore games with "souls" in the title unless they are doing something drastically different than the first on.

Bloodborne - I have zero patience for farming items in single player games. So, when I ran out of blood vials shortly after the Vicar Amelia fight, I lost all desire to play any more of the game. Its a shame though because I was really enjoying the game up to that point.

Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin - The main change they made from base DK2 is adding more enemies to every area in the game. This, in my opinion, makes the game significantly worse. Exacerbating all the design flaws of the original release. There are more enemies between bonfires, so now weapon durability is way more of a concern. You'll probably take more hits between bonfires, making the dearth of healing items in the early areas a significant problem. And the game is harder so, you'll die more, making the decreased health after every death feel way more punishing. In the early-mid game, after you've beaten a few of the "primal bonfire" bosses the problem changes. Its no longer that the game is hard, its that its tedious. Its not that killing all of the knights in the iron keep is a challenge. Its that you have to kill fifteen of them every time you want fight the first boss which makes the game a slog, as it takes half an hour to make two attempts at the boss.

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#50  Edited By sweetz

I have a very weird relationship with these games. I don't like difficult games, yet I've ended up playing quite a few of these when they go on sale (or they're free on PSN) out of some sort of weird "academic" fascination. I do like the world design and exploration aspect of them, but I take no pleasure upon muddling my way through them.

I've played Dark Souls 1, 2, and currently playing 3 on PC right now due to Steam sale. Played Bloodborne and The Surge on PS4 via PSN freebies.

If it wasn't for the fact that The Surge is the least stable console game I've ever played (had multiple crashes including one immediately after beating the final boss which denied me getting the trophy for it) I might actually say I liked it the most. I guess I just prefer sci-fi setting and the simplicity of that game as compared to the Souls games. Plus there's none of the multiplayer aspect (invasions) which is my least favorite aspect of the From games (although I do really like the player messages).

Among the From games, I guess I'd have to give the nod to Dark Souls 1. Like I said, I like the world design of these games more than anything, and though it's the least good looking game at this point, I love how the whole world was connected. How you'd feel like you waked miles and then unlock a lift that goes right back to the center. I found it pretty fascinating and had never really seen anything like it before.

Dark Souls 2 was my least favorite. I only played it as the Scholar of the First Sin re-release...which it seems many people say is actually worse. Extremely punishing for repeated deaths, consumable health items. I found it to be the most difficult of the games by far and ended up cheating to get through it. I remember almost nothing about the world design, because I really just wanted to be done with the game.

Bloodborne was ok, I even Platinumed it (mostly just because Brad did so and I figured I could too) but needing to farm blood vials nearly broke it for me and the Chalice dungeons were lame. Also as mentioned, I absolutely hate the invasion aspect of the Souls games and there's that one area that forces invasions on you.

I'm getting along ok with Dark Souls 3 at the moment - way better than DS2. I'm so glad they moved away from consumable health items and just went back to regenerating Estus flasks. I never understood why they felt like that had to mess with that system in DS2 and Bloodborne in the first place. I like that they basically introduced a mana bar instead of spells having a pre-defined number of uses...but I'm still not good enough to play a "caster" character in these games.

I was interested in Sekiro, but from everything I've heard and seen of the game, I would get super, super frustrated with it and I don't think I'm going to bother attempting it.