Best Soulsborne Games: All Games Ranked [2023]

Our best soulsborne game guide entails all the FromSoftware games that have been released since 2009 & which souls like game you must play in 2022.

Soulsborne video games genre or souls like video games have become equivalent of high replay value and tough to beat in 2023. If you’re a new fan or someone who is just as hooked to the Soul games just like we are, then it’s worth knowing the Best Soulsborne Games. Even though it’s hard to rank games like Bloodborne, Elden Ring, Dark Souls but it needs to be done in order to fulfill the needs of the gaming community.

Key Highlights
  • Bloodborne: This game is Playstation exclusive only. When it comes to graphical Fidelity, gameplay aesthetics, depth in Lore, Boss battle designs, weapon variety, and anything that you see in the bloodborne is the state-of-the-art experience created by the FromSoftware developer. Read Below for more in depth analysis.
  • Sekiro: It is the best soulsborne game that favors pure combat skill, no reliance on co-op playstyle to beat bosses or clear waves of enemies, and much more.Read the full article for more information.
  • Elden Ring: Elden Ring feels like a much more detailed, robust, and sophisticated take in the soulsborne genre. Just one look at the in-game design of Elden Ring, and you’d immediately realize how big, interconnected, and full of small side-quests the game’s world is created for the players to engage and play for countless hours. For more details Read Below.
  • Demon Souls Remake: Demon Souls Remake is basically a revamped version of the original title that came out in 2009 and was a PS3 exclusive. It applies a whole new layer of graphical enhancement on top of the core gameplay combat mechanics lore, enemy and boss designs, and much more.
  • Dark Souls 1: Dark Souls 1 is one of the Best Dark Souls and Soulsborne games when it comes to world design, dynamic NPCs, unique boss battles and designs, and much more. Also keeping in mind the fact that it was a multi-platform game that allowed Xbox, PS and PC players to experience the game.
  • Dark Souls 3: Dark Souls 3 features a larger gameplay world, expansive weapon choices, boss battles, tons of side missions, dynamic NPCs, both hostile and friendly, and much more. Dark Souls 3 provides the same stuff Dark Souls 1 did but only bigger and better.
  • Dark Souls 2: The least favorite game of the Soulsborne genre for most players would be Dark Souls 2. It had two basic problems. Firstly, the change in combat, character movement, and hitbox design was a massive lackluster as the animation for all these three, and maybe a few more features were changed significantly.Secondly, the graphic design was a tad bit better than Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls, but it was far from its roots, and the game looked and felt very different than the prequel.

Bloodborne

best soulsborne game Bloodborne
Bloodborne

Bloodborne is the only Fromsoftware game that is exclusive to PlayStation systems of consoles. It is also one of the many reasons that the game surfaces all expectations. When it comes to graphical Fidelity, gameplay aesthetics, depth in Lore, Boss battle designs, weapon variety, and anything that you see in the bloodborne is the state-of-the-art experience created by the FromSoftware developer.

When it comes to ranking the best soulsborne games, we think there is no parallel between Bloodborne to any of the games FromSoftware has released so far; that also includes Elden Ring. Of course, bloodborne was released years ago, and comparing it to the later releases of the FromSoftware developer, such as the crow and Elden Ring, may not be a reasonable approach. However, for a time and era and even the console exclusivity, the BloodBorne just stands out as the best of the bunch in the soulsborne formula.

If we have to put a pin on it, then we would highlight the boss battles aspect and the variety of weapons is the highlighting or even the selling point of Bloodborne. Also, the cherry on top is the landscape of the environment that the game has.

The corrupted Victoria London theme and the FromSoftware’s years old formula of designing Cursed beasts and unique enemy and boss battle designs just make the bloodborne a one of a kind of game that players get in decades.

Having played all Fromsoftware video games in the hierarchy, starting with demon souls, Dark Souls 1, Dark Souls 2, and Dark Souls 3, and then coming to the Bloodborne was a profound experience. Also, we can hardly go back to playing Dark Souls 3 after playing the beautiful world of Bloodborne and dominating the bosses and enemies using tons of weapon varieties and tools the game offers.

For us, Bloodborne is by far the best Soulsborne game, but we do realize that the ranking of all the soulsborne games, starting from the best to the average ones, is a subjective matter. Even though all the soulsborne games are miles better than most video games in the industry; however, if we are to rank the Good, the Bad, and the average soulsborne game, then Bloodborne is our top priority when it comes to ranking the best of the best in the league.

We think bloodborne had ticked most boxes as it had a decent multiplayer their players could come and go up for the boss fights are the difficult areas in the game. Other than that, the game also had amazing graphics and level design that FromFoftware is famous for.

Even though bloodborne was released seven years ago in 2015, if you still go back and play it, you will be captured in the dynamic world of the game. The grind, enemy design, unique weapons with signature changing weapon types, usage of tools, level traversal, and other similar small details all play a message part in making the bloodborne is one of the best soulsborne games you can experience even in 2023.

Also, there are only a handful of games in the history of video gaming that not only these base versions of the game have an excellent story and everything, but such games also get a decent DLC that comprehends the overall quality of the game; Luckily our blood bone happens to be on that list. 

Pros

  • Bloodborne is known for its incredibly challenging gameplay, which is perfect for players looking to put their skills to the test.
  • The combat in Bloodborne is fast-paced and fluid, with a variety of enemies you can fight.
  • There is a lot of weapon variety in Bloodborne, allowing you to pick the weapon that suits your play style the most.
  • Bloodborne has several very memorable boss battles that are challenging and epic.

Cons

  • The AI teammates in Bloodborne are designed horribly and can hinder your enjoyment of the gameplay.
  • Bloodborne has a very steep learning curve, which may be intimidating for some players new players that are not familiar with souls like games.
  • Bloodborne is locked at 30 FPS (Frames per second) and it still suffers from frame drop issues, which can be very unsatisfying to look at for some players.
  • The Chalice Dungeons of Bloodborne are not designed well and get repetitive very quickly.

If you want to learn more about the best souls like games, then our video has got your back. 

Sekiro

action soulslike game
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

If there is a soulsborne game that looks and plays like most games in this genre but yet presents a unique perspective to playstyle and replayability, then we then Sekiro is the one that takes the cake here. FromSoftware did massive changes from design, world settings, combat, leveling up, and the multiplayer coop player experience with Sekiro.

In a way, it was a risky adventure, but in the end, the developers ended up creating the best soulsborne game that favors pure combat skill, no reliance on coop playstyle to beat bosses or clear waves of enemies, and much more.

Even though FromSoftware made tons of changes by releasing Sekiro and broke the cycle of releasing iterations of Dark Souls games, the end product to many players is the best they could have asked for. If you ask me, Sekiro was by far the brutal soulsborne game the developers have ever released. They dropped the character leveling and the coop experience, the two features that gave most soulsborne games an easy mode.

The elimination of these two features indirectly increased the replayability of the game. It also allowed players to focus more on understanding and mastering the combat mechanics of the game instead of overpowering the character by leveling up, as was the case in previous soulsborne formula-based video games.

The core aspects of FromSoftware’s game design formula are still present in Sekiro. You will get to traverse maps, places, and areas that are interconnected with each other. Sometimes, you will need certain gear to obtain first before you can access a certain part of the area.

Other than that, the placement of unique gear in far corners of the game; this feature is also present in Sekiro. Moreover, the infamous method of losing all XP, souls, or runes, whatever you call it, is still in Sekiro. 

For better or worst, Sekiro is the best work of FromSoftware developers from the story, combat mechanics, world theme, and impact of having unique gear in the arsenal. Sekiro was released back in 2019, and even if you play it for the first time today or revisit the game again, you will have a hard time adjusting to the combat of the game as it deviates from most FromSoftware’s video games. 

There is a steady learning curve associated with the playstyle of Sekiro, one that is easy to forget if you keep playing the rest of FromSoftware’s catalog. As mentioned earlier, this is by far one of the top reasons why most hardcore players of this genre, and we think that Sekiro is the best soulsborne game of all time. Do you, too, think the same? What made you fall in love with Sekiro? Let us know more about it in the comments section below. 

Pros

  • The combat in Sekiro is intense and challenging but also incredibly satisfying when you finally defeat a difficult boss.
  • The environments in Sekiro are designed brilliantly, and they reward exploration.
  • Sekiro’s story is engaging and well-written, with complex characters and rich lore that adds depth and meaning to the gameplay.
  • Sekiro has excellent level design, as it has a variety of environments you can explore and secrets you can discover.

Cons

  • Some of the bosses in Sekiro are reused, which can take away from some of the overall experience.
  • Sekiro has a lack of difficulty options that may make it less accessible to players who are new to the genre or who prefer more casual gameplay.
  • The stealth in Sekiro is not the greatest, as it can feel clunky and unsatisfying.

Elden Ring

best soulsborne game Elden Ring
Elden Ring

Elden Ring is the recent experience that Hidetaka Miyazaki created after decades of experience with the Soulsborne formula, releasing various iterations and perfecting each with a sequel. 

This game is not the only brainchild of Hidetaka Miyazaki, but George R. R. Martin also got to plant his seeds in the development of the game’s story, world design, boss names, and much more. It is probably one of the many reasons that Elden Ring feels like a much more detailed, robust, and sophisticated take in the soulsborne genre.

The easy-to-spot feature that makes Elden Ring stand out from the rest of previously released soulsborne games, exclusive or not, is the open-world design of the game. Just one look at the in-game design of Elden Ring, and you’d immediately realize how big, interconnected, and full of small side-quests the game’s world is created for the players to engage and play for countless hours.

Of course, the open-world design is not the only selling point of Elden Ring that makes it the best soulsborne game. However, it is also not an underwhelming one as well. Besides this, other little features that FromSoftware took from previous games and inserted into Elden Ring also make it a complete package that the developers have created for the first time.

That also does not include the new additions that Elden Ring features, such as using various Ashes of War on various weapons instead of getting stuck with default ones. 

Like most soulsborne games, we have played more than 100 hours of Elden Ring as well, and the sheer amount of exploration, replay value, and the feeling to discover it all never ceases. From a player’s perspective, we think FromSoftware ticked all the boxes and knew exactly what players wanted from the next Hidetaka Miyazaki video game the company delivered.

Moreover, the addition of an open world also gave players the element of exploration and progressing story at their own pacing. Sure, there are still soft blockades that can be cleared after beating a certain boss before moving further but still, the linear experience that previous soulsborne games had is no longer present in Elden Ring.

In other words, free-roam and the ability to approach the game just the way you want is another excellent reason we think Elden Ring deserves the title of best soulsborne game ever. To many players, this video game will be the best in the league, and to us, it is too, but just for this element alone.

Even though Elden Ring has ticked most boxes and offers unparalleled and unmatched experience players can get, there are a few missed opportunities that could have been made a tad bit better. By far, one of the greatest issues we think in the game is forgiving boss designs. While on the subject of boss designs, why not read our Elden Ring Bosses Tier List.

Most side-quests or dungeon bosses are just the re-iterated versions of the base game’s bosses who are just given a slight change of weapon and sometimes deal different elemental damage.

It is not a game-breaking experience or anything that ruins the quality of Elden Ring but still, the boss’s design is the field we think FromSoftware downplayed a little and should look at it if they’re planning to launch Elden Ring Story DLC in the future.

Pros

  • The open world of Elden Ring is very well-designed.
  • Some of the areas are exceptionally stunning, with detailed environments that are incredibly immersive.
  • Elden Ring’s characters are amazing and memorable.
  • The writing is great and does an amazing job of keeping you engaged in the story.
  • Elden Ring’s combat system is unique and incredibly fun

Cons

  • The AI in Elden Ring can be a bit dumb sometimes, leading to a slightly less immersive experience.
  • Some bosses in Elden Ring appear multiple times in a single run, which can be very repetitive.

Demon Souls Remake

best graphics souls like game
Demon’s Souls Remake

Demon Souls is the first game that gave birth to the punishing video game genre called soulsborne that we know of today. The original Demon Souls was released back in 2009 as a PlayStation 3 exclusive, and the hard-to-win and survival aspect of the game immediately made it stand apart from the rest of the video game genres of the time.

Anyone who played the original Demons Souls, if you ask them to list down the best experience regarding the game, you’d most likely get the “it is a difficult game but rewarding for sure” answer. 

Even though for soulsborne veterans, the original PS3 exclusive Demon Souls must be the best soulsborne game of all time but Demon Souls Remake is the real deal here. Re-released 11 years later than the first release of the game, Demon Souls Remake is basically revamped version of the original title and applies a whole new layer of graphical enhancement on top of the core gameplay combat mechanics lore, enemy and boss designs, and much more.  

While we have been living in an era of remakes for the last seven years or so, where most video games get up-scaled treatment, Bluepoint Games did magic with Demons Souls Remake. These are the same game developers who also did justice with the re-imagined version of Shadow of the Colossus video game and re-created a significantly graphically-enhanced version of the game.

If you are to understand what made Demon Souls a genre-creating video game, then playing the Demons Souls Remake might be a better idea than the original version of the game. It is because the original title is still PS3 exclusive, and the graphics today are a generation apart from what they used to be back in the day.

The graphical enhancement of Demons Souls Remake is not the only reason to experience this title. Still, the number of bugs, clunkiness in combat, and several other issues are irked out in the remake version of the game.  

So, for a lot of players out there, the original Demon’s Souls is probably the best soulsborne game ever, mainly because they get to experience the genre firsthand, had to learn the learning curve of the game, and triumph over the bosses.

However, to us, the Demon’s Souls remake is still one of the massive, dynamic, and intriguing gameplay experiences that simply is much better than the Dark Souls series and is why we think this title is the fourth-best soulsborne title.

Pros

  • The graphics and atmosphere of Demon’s Souls Remake are breathtaking, with detailed character models and immersive environments that draw you into the game world.
  • Demon’s Souls Remake’s music and sound design are also top-notch, they do a great job of adding to the overall immersive experience.
  • While Demon’s Souls Remake is a very difficult and challenging game, the reward for overcoming these challenges is great, with players able to level up and acquire new skills and abilities as they progress through the game.
  • The combat in Demon’s Souls Remake is brutal and incredibly satisfying, with each hit feeling very heavy.

Cons

  • The UI in Demon’s Souls Remake can be incredibly clunky and awkward to navigate.
  • Demon’s Souls Remake has very limited accessibility, as it is a game that is remade exclusively for the PS5 console, which can be incredibly hard to get for some players.
  • There are not that many core changes in the remake of Demon’s Souls compared to its 2009 counterpart.

Dark Souls 1

Dark souls
Dark Souls

The release of Dark Souls 1, after Demon’s Souls, back in the day, was a significant jump when it comes to connected level design, combat mechanics, NPC interactions, expansive lore, and other interesting gameplay elements. Where Demon’s Souls lacked behind in gameplay experience, FromSoftware picked right from that point, improved upon, and delivered its Dark Souls product. 

It was Demon’s Souls that gave birth to the soulsborne formula, but we think the Dark Souls was the first game that had an influence on the video game industry into making more soulsborne clones that we see today. Part of the reason was the multi-platform release of the game, which allowed players of Xbox and PC along with PlayStation 3 to experience Hidetaka Miyazaki’s new video game genre. 

Regardless of the multi-platform approach, Dark Souls 1 is still one of the best Dark Souls and soulsborne games when it comes to world design, dynamic NPCs, unique boss battles and designs, and much more. Sure, there are tons of downsides that the game has got due to hardware limitations of the time it was released in.

However, the replayability, exploration, and approach to progress the linear story of the game is unmatched when you compare Dark Souls with Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls 2, and Dark Souls 3.

Pros

  • Dark Souls 1 has an incredibly satisfying combat system that requires you to be very strategic and precise to master it.
  • The world of Dark Souls 1 is very captivating and mysterious, as it is full of mysteries and deep lore that you can explore.
  • Dark Souls 1 is a very difficult game but the sense of accomplishment after overcoming its challenges feels very rewarding.
  • The original enemy design in Dark Souls 1 is arguably the best out of all the Dark Soul games.

Cons

  • The online Netcode of Dark Souls 1 is horrible and players experience a lot of issues when trying to play with their friends.
  • The controls of Dark Souls 1 might feel outdated to some players.
  • The second part of Dark Souls 1 might feel slightly rushed in pacing.
  • Dark Souls 1’s PvP (Player versus Player) is incredibly unbalanced for both casual and competitive players.
  • Upgrading your weapons in Dark Souls 1 can be very complicated while not being very fun.

Dark Souls 3

Dark souls 3 action FromSoftware game
Dark souls 3

After the release of Dark Souls 2, the Dark Souls 3 was a miles better video game if you compare it to the prequel. Part of the reason here was due to out of ordinary adventure developers went through while designing the gameplay elements of Dark Souls 2, which deviated massively from Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls. Most players hated DS2, and this contributed to the company dropping the idea of making Dark Souls 3 on the same engine. 

Moreover, players who played Dark Souls 1 would simply term Dark Souls 3 as an elder sibling of the franchise because the game does the same as the first one did, only bigger and better. Dark Souls 3 features a larger gameplay world, expansive weapon choices, boss battles, tons of side missions, dynamic NPCs, both hostile and friendly, and much more.

Other than that, there are many places that were also a part of the Dark Souls 1 game, and it is because both games share the same lore, more or less, and that is why the boss and areas were designed in DS1 and DS3 overlap with each.

So, if you’re to highlight the best dark souls or soulsborne video game that shares elements of the first game but still delivers much more than that, then Dark Souls 3 will come first to your mind. Also, the co-op experience of Dark Souls 3 was made much better than the first two-game, and we think it increased the replay value of the game as you can always play the game with strangers or friends via jolly cooperation.

Pros

  • Dark Souls 3 offers a very challenging gameplay experience and it can feel incredibly rewarding to some players.
  • The combat is amazing and requires you to be very strategic while having a decent learning curve.
  • Dark Souls 3 is one of the best games for players looking to put their skills to the test.
  • The art direction and atmosphere is phenomenal, with each area giving you a sense of wonder that drives you to explore much more of it.

Cons

  • Dark Souls 3 is a very difficult game for beginners to get into, as it gives you no explanation for the mechanics or the items you need to use.
  • The frame rate can drop occasionally, which is a big issue especially if you are in the middle of a battle.
  • All of the endings can be incredibly disappointing and anti-climactic.

Dark Souls 2

Dark Souls 2
Dark Souls 2

The least favorite soulsborne video game for most players of this genre would easily be the Dark Souls 2. Don’t get us wrong, and this game still has all of the core elements that Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls had. The game had two basic problems which ruined the overall experience, at least it had been the case with us.

First, the change in combat, character movement, and hitbox design was a massive lackluster as the animation for all these three, and maybe a few more features were changed significantly.

Of course, the new additions are always welcomed in video games, but only if they comprehend the existing system of a game engine. This was not the case with Dark Souls 2, and that is where the core problem was. 

Secondly, the graphic design was a tad bit better than Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls, but it was far from its roots, and the game looked and felt very different than the prequel. This reason also contributed further to making Dark Souls 2 an underwhelming or below-average soulsborne game of all time.  

While the expansive lore of the first Dark Souls paved the way for the sequel to pick things off where it ended, the Dark Souls 2 deviated from the story continuation idea. Instead, a brand new story and lore were set up for Dark Souls 2, which was slightly interesting, but it could have been much more if FromSoftware had decided to continue or connect the first game’s story with the second one.

Sadly, that was one massive potential that did not see the light of day and was never realized until the release of Dark Souls 3.

Regardless of all the core issues that made Dark Souls 2 a not-so-great soulsborne game that most players know, this is still a FromSoftware video game and is fun to play. Even if you play for the first time the remastered version of the game containing all story DLC or revisit it again, you will find yourself hooked on the game’s story and exploration.

The combat may seem dated, but if you are willing to see past it, you will appreciate the beauty of Dark Souls 2, and it is still far from being the best soulsborne game.

Pros

  • The PvP in Dark Souls 2 is incredibly well-designed, as it is based on skill and strategy while being relatively balanced compared to the other Dark Souls games.
  • Dark Souls 2’s soundtrack fits the dark and haunting atmosphere very well.
  • The art direction of Dark Souls 2 is exceptional, as it creates a dark and ominous aesthetic that adds to the haunting atmosphere.
  • Dark Souls 2 has a lot of content that can keep you engaged for many hours.

Cons

  • The world of Dark Souls 2 does not feel as connected and feels more like going through individual levels, rather than a single big world.
  • Dark Souls 2’s controls feel incredibly awkward and unsatisfying.
  • The movement in Dark Souls 2 feels restrictive and can be frustrating sometimes.
  • Many players feel that Dark Souls 2 mechanics are too different from other Dark Souls games and can be incredibly frustrating to get used to.
  • The lighting can make the graphics look horrible in some areas of Dark Souls 2.

Summary

That is pretty much everything you need to know about all soulsborne games and how each video game title holds its standing in the genre. Do you find our ranking of each game similar to yours? Let us know more of your thoughts in the comments section below. 

Next: Games like Psychonauts 2

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Irfan Ansari


With four years of Video Game Journalism and Tremendous love for Gaming, Irfan loves chatting and writing everything about video games.

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