From Software is often hailed as one of the gaming industry’s best developers, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. Since the release of 2009’s Demon’s Souls, the Japanese studio has released some of the most groundbreaking and acclaimed action-RPG titles on the market, spearheading a new subgenre called Soulslike. Today, we’ve ranked every Soulslike From Software game from worst to best, including the Dark Souls trilogy, Demon’s Souls, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Bloodborne and Elden Ring.
Before we begin, this is list based on a combination of critical reception, polls on message boards and forums, and generally some of our own personal thoughts thrown into the mix. We’ll also be excluding Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon and the PS VR game Deracine, since those are technically not Soulslike games. Furthermore, we’re only including Soulslike games released after Demon’s Souls.
All From Software Soulslike Games Ranked (From Worst to Best)
7. Dark Souls II
Dark Souls II stands out from the rest of From Software’s library but not in any particularly good way. While it’s still a solid game at its core, it’s also a bit of a misstep for the Dark Souls franchise. It suffers from a case of tedious repeated bosses, messy visuals and a notable lack of an interconnected world as meticulously thought-out as the first game. It’s not a bad game at all – in fact, it was the first Souls game that I played – but compared to the big leaps and achievements of the whole series, it falls short of being remarkable.
6. Demon’s Souls
We’re going to bundle the original Demon’s Souls and Bluepoint’s excellent 2020 remake here because in every way except visuals (and a few minor gameplay tweaks), they’re practically the same game. Demon’s Souls is the one that started it all and while From Software would only find booming success with Dark Souls a few years later, it’s still a noteworthy release on its portfolio. A masterclass in challenging difficulty, suspense and wonderfully designed levels and enemies, it’s a tremendous first impression in retrospect.
5. Dark Souls III
The first Dark Souls and Dark Souls III are still argued back and forth online about which is the better game, so this is a subjective pick. However, Dark Souls III features more refined combat, more detailed levels and a range of spectacular bosses that are arguably some of the best in the trilogy (not to mention the fascinating lore behind them). Where the third game slips up is in its world design. For the most part, Dark Souls III is a pretty linear experience that misses some of the interconnected exploration of the first game, but it’s safely in a league of its own too.
4. Dark Souls
Time has not been very friendly to the first Dark Souls but there’s no mistaking its huge impact on the gaming industry that changed the landscape of action-RPGs forever. The first game may not have the dazzling spectacle of the third game’s bosses but it excels in three key areas: desolate atmosphere, captivating lore and meticulous world design. These vital components form the backbone of Dark Souls‘ legendary status in gaming – a masterpiece that’s fondly remembered today.
3. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
I don’t think the world was ready for Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice when it launched. A mechanically different beast altogether from the Souls series, Sekiro grabbed your attention thanks to its stylish execution, laser focus on tight action elements and easily the most brutally challenging gameplay yet from the developer. There’s a big emphasis on parrying, timing your deflects and counter-attacking which are mechanics that might not gel with everyone but I simply can’t help but admire how terrific the package is as a whole.
We flipped the next two spots around a lot but ultimately landed on Bloodborne here. From Software’s love-letter to the gothic Victorian era of horror and a Tim Burton LSD trip gone wrong – Bloodborne‘s focus on fast-paced combat and faster enemies made it a challenging but highly rewarding masterpiece. It’s also the From Software game that seems to have embedded itself the deepest in pop culture which is a testament to its signature style and tone that hasn’t successfully been replicated (not until Lies of P anyway).
1. Elden Ring
There’s not much more that can be said about Elden Ring, From Software’s magnum opus. Just when we thought it was impossible to refine its Soulslike formula any more than Dark Souls III and Bloodborne, the developer took the open-world concept and seamlessly melded it with its staple gameplay to create an astounding, monstrous RPG in scope and ambition. Simply put, Elden Ring is not only the best Soulslike game ever made, it’s also one of the best games of all time.