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Change YoY: =   My Rating: 9.5 / 10

To put into perspective just how much I enjoy the Soulsborne games from FromSoftware, this is the second lowest of five of their games on my list. Dark Souls III serves as a perfect send-off to the series, bringing the story that had always existed in the background of the series full circle to a fitting conclusion, while also making some wonderful improvements to the gameplay the series had become known for. There are elements that don't quite reach the heights of the first game, but others were also the best in the whole series. There were some absolutely wonderfully designed locations in this game, and it also contains the absolute best boss fights in the whole franchise. The music composed by Yuka Kitamura and Motoi Sakuraba is excellent, the visual design and art direction were FromSoftware at their finest, and the gameplay was the most fluid and varied in the series, taking some lessons from Bloodborne's faster-paced combat. With some of the most intriguing lore in the whole series as well, Dark Souls III is a worthy final chapter for the series.

There was a clear sense of finality present here, with the world spiraling further and further into decay. You'd find yourself in various locations familiar from the first Dark Souls, and see just how far they had fallen in the countless eons since the events of that game. Some characters from previous titles would also make appearances, often either long-since deceased or barely shadows of their former powerful selves. This was made more and more obvious the further you got in the game, until it was practically spelled out to you in the final expansion. Yet, at the very end, by visiting a certain character after everything else was done, you were left with a sense of hope that perhaps something beautiful would eventually come out of these dying embers of the age of fire.