Soulsborne video games genre or souls like video games have become equivalent of high replay value and tough to beat in 2022. This genre took birth when Demon’s Souls was first released exclusively for PlayStation 3; however, due to the exclusive nature of the title, not many players were made aware of it.
That changed when FromSoftware, the developers and think tank of the Soulsborne genre, released Dark Souls on multi-platforms. Over the last 11 years, the company has inspired tons of AAA and Indie video game developers to release their versions of games sandwiched with the Soulsborne formula. However, the original library has grown vastly over the years and our today’s guide entails the best soulsborne games you should play in 2022.
We have listed all the soulsborne games that released so far including the Demon’s Souls remake. We have ranked each game based on how we find them standing at the top, mid, and low in the soulsborne genre. Hierarchy-wise, the top one is by far the best soulslike game on our list. Before you continue reading the list, consider reading our Top 30 Best Games Like Elden Ring.
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 2022.
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.
Also, consider reading our Top 19 Games Like Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands guide before moving further with the list.
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.
While you’re at it, why not go through our 6 Best Games Like Deathloop guide.
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.
Demon 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.
Dark Souls 1
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.
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.
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.
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.
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