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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Ranking all of the Soulslikes I/You've Played

This was one of the posts/threads that got wiped when the site was hacked, but fortunately it was saved on Wayback. I completed Elden Ring a few months back and I've just started playing Sekiro, so I wanted to revive the thread and my ranking list, ready to slot Sekiro in when I've finished it (though I'm aware it's not all that Souls-y, which is why I've put it off for so long).


Here's a modified version of that original post:

Lately I've been really into Soulslikes, which is quite a turnaround for me. The first Soulslike I bought I hated. It was obtuse; there was no explanation for all the items and features and what they did; there was no knowing where to go next once you hit the main portion of the game, so I'd end up getting slaughtered tackling a high level area far too early; the controls (PC port) were... bad; it felt like you needed a Wikia to make any progress; and so on. That game was Dark Souls 2 and I gave up after a few hours and didn't return. I knew the series was supposed to be difficult, but the difficulty - to me, at that time - felt like it was derived not from challenging gameplay as much as just a lack of explanation for everything if you were a newcomer.

That experience almost put me off the genre altogether, but then The Surge came out. I liked the look of it in gameplay clips and the sci-fi setting was appealing to me. So I took a chance on it and... I loved it.

Thus began a long journey of my getting into and coming to like and, in some cases love, AA-AAA Soulslikes (although not the 2D indie pixel graphic releases - I'm really not a fan of that art style).

Next was Bloodborne, then Lords of the Fallen, then I finally gave Dark Souls 2 a second chance and, armed with my experience of Soulslikes, I came to enjoy it and finally complete it. After that I went on to Dark Souls 3, which I thought was outstanding. Then back to where my love of the genre began, with The Surge's sequel, although it was sadly disappointing. And so on. 


I've decided to rank all of the Soulslikes I've played (see below). I'm curious how other fans of the genre rank the ones they've played. I might also get some suggestions for ones to add to my wishlist in the process. So go ahead and rank all of the Soulslikes you've played!

My ranking so far:

1 - Dark Souls III
2 - Elden Ring
3 - The Surge
4 - Bloodborne
5 - Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin
6 - Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice*
7 - Salt & Sanctuary
8 - Dark Souls Remastered
9 - Hellpoint
10 - The Surge 2
11 - Mortal Shell
12 - Nioh
13 - Lords of the Fallen
14 - Death's Gambit*
15 - Hollow Knight*
16 - Code Vein
17 - Remnant: From the Ashes
18 - Blasphemous*

*I know these only contain a handful of Souslike elements, which is probably why I didn't enjoy them as much.

Last edited by Machina - on 04 January 2023

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I think the only change on my last update is the addition of Elden Ring. It’s a comfortable second for me. I definitely prefer Dark Souls III – it feels more carefully curated and more balanced, there’s not much repetition (Elden Ring by contrast frequently duplicates assets, dungeons, and bosses), and the boss fights are more memorable in my opinion.

I’ve kept the other rankings the same, but the gaps between certain entries have changed for me over the last year or so. I now put The Surge and Bloodborne much closer together (my view of Bloodborne has improved a lot), and Dark Souls II is a much more distant 5th.

Mine, as of today: 

1.- Bloodborne
2.- Hollow Knight
2.- Elden Ring (tied)
4.- Dark Souls III
5.- Dark Souls Remastered
6.- Ender Lillies
7.- Salt and Sanctuary
8.- Nioh 2
9.- Dark Souls II
10.- Code Vein
11.- Sekiro
12.- Deaths Gambit
13.- Blasphemous
14.- Remnant from the ashes
15.- Nioh 

Bloodborne is easily the best for me, its gameplay is still the best Fromsoft has done IMO, but the overall experience is a 100/10, the bosses, the setting, the atmosphere, its all perfect. Hollow Knight is probably my favorite indie game and metroidvania of the past 20 years, so its hard to compete against it, but Elden Ring obviously is a bigger game with bigger scope and I absolutely love it, so lets say the 2 of them are tied in 2nd. I dont think I have to elaborate much on the rest, I havent played Demon Souls (plan to), which is why its missing from the list. So thats that. 

I will obviously get a lot of flack for this, but I really only like the Miyazaki games.

9.8 - Bloodborne
9.7 - Elden Ring
9.6 - Dark Souls III
9.5 - Dark Souls/Remastered
9.4 - Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
9.3 - Demon's Souls/Remastered
2.4 - Dark Souls II/Scholar of the First Sin

I also have Nioh, Nioh 2, Mortal Shell, Salt and Sanctuary, Salt and Sacrifice, Hollow Knight, Blasphemous, code Vein, and Thymesia but I haven't finished any of them. I finished and got platinum trophies on all the ones up there I gave scores to. I also REALLY like the Miyazaki games. He seems to be the only one that is able to make a game frustratingly hard but greater than or equally rewarding. The games not made by him just seem to lack that sense of reward and crank up the frustration dial.

My Console Library:

PS5, Switch, XSX

PS4, PS3, PS2, PS1, WiiU, Wii, GCN, N64 SNES, XBO, 360

3DS, DS, GBA, Vita, PSP, Android

I'll rank ones I've played through as well.

1. Dark Souls Remastered (A lot of this is due to nostalgia, as other games have long since surpassed Dark Souls in terms of gameplay, but the world and atmosphere in it is still impeccable and almost without equal)

2. Bloodborne 

3. Elden Ring

4. Dark Souls III

5. Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin

6. Hollow Knight

7. Code Vein

8. Nioh

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@Machina We yet again agree on something and my journey was kind of similar to yours in getting into this style of game. My first experience with it was annoyance with the 2015 game awards because I was a HUGE fan of The Witcher 3 and kept seeing it put up against Bloodborne and often losing out. TW3 blew my mind and was the first game to do so to that extent since Skyrim in 2011. Every video I watched of Bloodborne's gameplay confused me because it just seemed so simplistic - Oh how wrong I was. 

A few months later I saw Bloodborne for $20 at a local retailer and I bit. I was intrigued to understand what the hype was. I bashed my head against the wall for a couple of weeks and managed to get to Father Gascoigne after about 10 hours. And that's where I hit a wall. No matter how hard I tried (and even attempted to cheese) that boss, I couldn't do it.

In my reading of the Father Gascoigne boss fight online I came across explanations of how this is the boss that will make you learn to play on Bloodborne's terms and how you need to unlearn how you play Dark Souls with turtling and playing reserved. And that explanation really spoke to me. I wanted to turtle. I wanted to take my time. So I took a look at Dark Souls: Prepare to Die edition and felt like I didn't want to make the $60 investment to see if it would gel. Instead I found Lords of the Fallen for $5 and gave it a shot. 

Needless to say I wasn't impressed. I shelved my interest in the style of game and just kept giving Father Gascoigne 2-3 hours of my life every couple of months and failing for the next 2 years. Then in the middle of 2017 I saw this trailer for Dark Souls 3. It immediately grabbed my attention as Agnes Obel is one of my favourite artists and I already loved that song. But even moreso, the visuals and style of the game set my imagination ablaze. It's like all the imagination I possessed but couldn't put to paper due to my lacking artistic skills had come to life right before me. I immediately put the game on my wishlists and started looking for deals. This was going to be my next attempt at Souls. After a couple more months I found a great deal - $30 for the base game and the DLCs. I immediately pulled the trigger and the rest was history.

  1. Dark Souls 3
  2. Elden Ring
  3. Sekiro
  4. Hollow Knight
  5. Dark Souls: Prepare to Die/Remastered
  6. Bloodborne
  7. Remnant: From the Ashes
  8. STAR WARS Jedi: Fallen Order
  9. Death's Door
  10. Nioh - DNF - Played about 30 hours 
  11. Mortal Shell - DNF - Played about 2 hours
  12. DarkSiders 3
  13. The Surge 2 - DNF - Played about 3 hours
  14. The Surge - DNF - Played about 2 hours
  15. Lords of the Fallen - DNF - Played about 7 hours

I've never given Dark Souls 2 a chance. And I'm not sure if games like Death's Door and Jedi: Fallen Order, and DarkSiders 3 should count.

But for me Dark Souls 3 has my favourite world, lore, music, boss fights, and visual design of all of the games listed above. It comes in second for pure combat next to Sekiro. It was my gateway into this style of game and I've played it through a good 5 times since with different play styles. Of the games that changed gaming for me this generation (TW3, Zelda:BOTW, RDR2, GoW, DS3), it's the one I feel compelled to play more of the most. And with a Steam Deck I'm at risk of playing it anywhere at any time and continue to ignore my backlog! XD

It was a really tough call between Sekiro and Elden Ring for #2. Initially I gave Sekiro the second place position but switched them just before posting. In terms of pure combat, Sekiro is exhilerating in a way that no other title on this list is. But it's also not a traditional "Souls-like" and is also a game that I've never been able to bring myself to start a second playthrough of despite it. It's also not going to be too different in terms of play style a second time through, while Elden Ring has immense flexibility. 

I gave Hollow Knight the edge against Dark Souls 1. Although Dark Souls is the more groundbreaking title that set a lot of this in motion (in combination with Demon's Souls - which I've only just started and am beginning to work through), Hollow Knight is the best example of a non-FROM Souls like for me and had to be of immense quality for me to put 80+ hours into it. And that's saying something as I typically get scared away from 2D games because I'm so bad at them. But I pushed myself to get through that game because it's just that good. It combines the precise and risk/reward combat of Sekiro with the exploration and build variety of a Dark Souls 1/3. Alternatively though, I don't think I'll ever play it again while I see myself regularly going back to DS1 and DS3 in the future.

And to conclude my Bloodborne story, after finishing DS3 and blasting through DS:Prepare to Die/Remastered as a follow up, I decided to dive back into Bloodborne with some more confidence. I started all over and still got stuck on Gascoigne for a couple of weeks but eventually I did it. And once I did I couldn't put Bloodborne down. I blasted through it in a weekend! It's an incredible game but it's another one I can't go back to because it's stuck at 30 fps with a poor framerate/frame-pacing which just destroy the experience of playing it. It's a game I simply can't go back to until that's updated. And heck, once it is I can see it becoming second or third fairly easily. 

Last edited by trasharmdsister12 - on 24 December 2022

1. Bloodborne
2. Hollow Knight
3. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
4. Blasphemous
5. Demon's Souls (PS3 version)

1. Nioh 2
2. Nioh
3. Dark Souls 3
4. Elden Ring
5. Strangers of Paradise? (it is only slightly similar)
6. Bloodborne
7. Lords of the Fallen (trash tier)

Lots of Dark Souls 3 fans in here, I like that. But overall winner for me is Nioh 2. While Dark Souls 3 is often about rolling, Nioh 2 is all about aggression much like Bloodborne. Skill expression felt much more smooth in Nioh 2, whether you decide to dodge or fight much like Bloodborne. But Bloodborne loses points simply due to being short and easy. Still much more enjoyable than Lords of the Fallen.

  • 1.Bloodborne
    4.Elden Ring
  • 5.Nioh 2
  • 6.DS1
  • 7.DS3
  • 8.Nioh
  • 9.Demon Souls
Last edited by ArtX - on 24 December 2022

I've only played 4 including demos, only 1 of those to completion.

1. Jedi: Fallen Order
2. Stranger of Paradise FF
2. Code Vein
3. Sekiro

Just not my genre, don't particularly enjoy throwing myself at brick walls over and over. I rate Fallen Order and Stranger of Paradise higher simply because they have difficulty options. Fallen Order the highest because it is actually a good game, whereas Stranger of Paradise seemed quite meh.