Forums - Gaming Discussion - Rank the Soulslikes You've Played

1.) NiOh

2.) Code Vein (Haven't finished it yet. But I've been enjoying the online co-op aspect a lot.)

3.) Bloodborne (Only played up till the third boss or so. Don't think it was my kind of game.)


Dat damage tho.

Last edited by Hiku - on 20 October 2019

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1. Dark Souls
2. Bloodborne
3. Dark Souls III
4. Dark Souls II

Dark Souls is my favourite, largely due to its impeccable atmosphere, world building and design. I replayed Bloodborne earlier this year and as a result it rose above DS III on my ranking, though I consider the two almost equal, masterpieces both. Dark Souls II is the weakest in the series, but still an excellent game. Just one with more issues than the others. Unfortunately, I haven't played any other 3D soulslikes yet, but I have Nioh sitting on my shelf waiting to be played, and I'm planning on getting Code Vein at some point. The Surge and Lords of the Fallen never appealed to me, the latter looking and feeling like a cheap Dark Souls-ripoff, and the sci-fi setting of The Surge just not doing anything for me, so I've never played them.

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Demon's Souls > Bloodborne > Dark Souls > Dark Souls II >>> Let it Die

DS2 still is a great game, Let it Die is just OK - I also played the NioH alpha/beta, which was great, and the Code Vein demo, which was meh

I'm honestly kinda shocked at how many people seem to like Dark Souls II. I just recently finished it for the platinum trophy and hated every minute of it. Well, almost every minute of it. Seemed like difficulty was the name of the game but it was hard for all the wrong reasons; it was almost like a wholly different team to the first game made it without understanding the design philosophy behind why people loved Dark Souls so much! (Yes, I know this was exactly the reality of the situation as Hidetaki Miyazaki made Bloodborne instead of Dark Souls II).

My rankings:

1 - Bloodborne - Not perfect from a technical standpoint but I've never played a game that was so unique, interesting, and deep before. Everything about Bloodborne made me giddy, including the metroidvania styled main game, the sequentially semi-linear Chalice Dungeons, the fact you can play it strictly as a 'get to the next level and beat the boss' perspective or from a 'I care deeply about the lore and story but have to work for it' perspective. I love its art direction, I love how so much of the game's lore and world is labyrinthine and obtuse. I love that you can beat the game without even knowing about 75% of what the game offers, making most of it semi-optional. I love the world building! I love pretty much everything but the occasionally chugging framerate and the loading times. Above all else, I love, love, LOVE the bosses, combat, and world design. One of my all-time favourite games. 9.7/10 - Platinumed

2 - Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - I know a lot of people hated how they took away much of the RPG elements of this game...but it's not an RPG. IT's a character-driven action game with a far more straightforward story. I love the aesthetics almost as much as bloodborne, I love the world building and design almost as much as Bloodborne, and I think the game runs much better with better loading times. I don't like the lack of variety in weapons, but it's made up for by the finely tuned, near-perfectly crafted combat gameplay and the subtle differences in play styles thanks to the stealth and jumping and prosthetic upgrades. they sacrificed variety and choice but made up for it in a far better crafted combat system. The bosses are also some of the best in the genre, with the addition of minibosses a lovely balance for the relatively low number of main bosses. 9.6/10 - Platinumed

3 - Dark Souls 3 - Honestly, I just felt that of the souls games, it was basically 'what if Dark Souls I had more refined combat, better bosses, better graphics, better performance, and a whole lot of fanservice?" It lacks a bit of the world interconnectivity, but it also doesn't have nearly as many bad bosses, bad areas, or performance issues. The game played smoothly for me, had some of the best DLC and bosses I've EVER played, and..yeah, it's basically Dark Souls I in terms of design philosophy but with a bit more linearity and a whole lot more polish. 9.5/10 - Platinumed

4 - Dark Souls - I absolutely love this game and agree with every good thing ever said about it, but I also think it has a handful of problems that put it below the other three. sure, it was revolutionary, but it had some serious problems with performance (Blighttown, anyone?), some archaic design that went TOO Far off the deep end in terms of obscurity, and a few too many bad bosses and bad areas. I do love the game, but a lot of it came because the game grew on me and I learned to just sort of ignore or accept the bad parts of the game. While it had some of the absolute best bosses in all of gaming and is responsible for some of my favourite gaming moments (Besting Ornstein and Smough, for example), for every outstandingly memorable part there's a shitty boss or area to counterbalance it (Lost Izalith/Bed of Chaos.) I admit I'm being generous with Dark Souls 1 given my critique of it (As I said, the good parts are so transcendently good I mostly just ignore or gloss over the bad parts so they bad has less of an effect on my enjoyment overall), but you know what? I still love this game. 9.4/10 - Platinumed

5 - Demon's Souls - Never beat this game but I did make it about 2/3 through the game before I Started writing game reviews for this very website back in, I think, 2011. At that point, I started playing the games I wanted to/could for review and never finished it. I loved every minute of it, but after playing all three Dark Souls games, Bloodborne and Sekiro, I've decided I don't think I can return to this one without some sort of modern generation update. Too many obscure gameplay mechanics and annoying quests for super hard-to-farm weapons and items. I liked this game, but not enough to finish it and get the platinum trophy. 7.2/10 - No Platinum

6 - Dark Souls II - (More specifically, Scholar of the First Sin.) I platinumed this game but hated every minute of it. After getting all the trophies and beating all the bosses and DLC in Dark Souls Remastered, Dark Souls III, Bloodborne, and Sekiro, I felt I had an obligation to play this one. I had tried before (After beating 1 and Bloodborne and wanting MOAR like this), but I never liked it. After Sekiro came out and I got that platinum trophy, I Felt I had no excuse so I went for it. I hated almost every minute of it. I didn't like the graphics, I didn't like the world design, I didn't like the design philosophy, I didn't like that dodge-rolling was useless unless you arbitrarily upgraded a specific stat (Bloodborne made me a dodge-roll king, and that strategy worked in all other games sans Sekiro), I hated almost all of the bosses and areas with absolutely none of the bosses or areas standing out as being particularly good. The world didn't make sense to explore, the healing and health system were trash, and the game's primary goal was to throw a dozen enemies at you to make the game difficult. I could write a 20k word rant on this game (In fact, I got 10k into it before I gave up due to frustration remembering all the shitty things I hated about this game), but let's not do this here. I liked a handful of things in the game, but too much of it was poorly implemented or overshadowed but just so, so, SO many terrible decisions. 2.4/10 - Platinumed

(For the record, Dark Souls II is now in my list of 'absolutely abhorrent games from otherwise great franchises alongside Final Fantasy XIII, Mega Man X7, Grand Theft Auto IV, Assassin's Creed Unity, etc. It's my second most hated game just beneath FFXIII).

I have also played Nioh and Salt and Sanctuary, but didn't get far enough in either to really form a proper opinion on the game.

I got it all, baby! 

PS4, Switch, WiiU, XBO, PC
Vita, 3DS, Android

Top 6 this generation: 
Bloodborne, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, God of War, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Dark Souls III, Red Dead Redemption II

Machina said:


Thus began a long journey of my getting into and coming to like and, in some cases love these AA-AAA (not the 2D indie pixel releases; pixel graphics do less than nothing for me) Soulslikes. 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. Now I'm almost finished with The Surge 2. Next up I plan on playing Sekiro and probably then Code Vein (I'll skip Dark Souls Remastered because it looks so dated to me after having played Dark Souls 3). I have a self-imposed restriction that I won't start a new one until I've completed the one I've started. I also don't allow myself to use player summons.


When it comes to Sekiro, I highly recommend not treating it like a Soulslike. I know it shares a lot of its genetics with Dark Souls, Demon's Souls, and Bloodborne, but it's maybe 50% souls, 50% its own thing. You can't build or edit your own character, you can't control what weapon you use, you can't do Fashion Souls (Apparently this is a big deal online?), there is no online/co-op, and the game's focus is more on character-driven progression than RPG-based character design. 

It's an absolutely great game, but one of the truest and most poignant quotes about it is that if you go into it expecting a Soulslike game or try to apply your skill in prior games like Bloodborne, you're gonna have a BAD time. It is clearly spiritually related to Souls, but it is not Souls. 

Also, Dodge-Rolling is NOT the answer in this game. FAR fewer i-Frames, and each boss's tactics require you to know what method of evasion to use. Sometimes it's a jump, sometimes it's just moving your character, sometimes it's dodge-rolling, sometimes it's blocking, sometimes it's deflecting. There are so many counters and they're all circumstantial  and that's what' makes it feel so good! 

Also, Isshin the Sword Saint (the final boss) was BY FAR the hardest boss in this entire genre for me. Easily. 

I got it all, baby! 

PS4, Switch, WiiU, XBO, PC
Vita, 3DS, Android

Top 6 this generation: 
Bloodborne, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, God of War, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Dark Souls III, Red Dead Redemption II

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Is Demon's Souls the most important game of the last decade?

pokoko said:
Is Demon's Souls the most important game of the last decade?

Probably not.

2000~2009 had A LOT of going on.

It certainly is the responsible for a whole new style of game, tho, which is very important.

@Runa that is exactly why I personally think sekiro is one of the worst games I've played, it is a memory game. Reminds me of punch out.  It isn't fighting the enemy as much as memorizing patterns.  

pokoko said:
Is Demon's Souls the most important game of the last decade?

only to a small fraction of the gaming populace, but it has certainly been a game changer to us

1. Dark Souls 3 - My first full Soulslike experience. I had briefly tried Demon Souls, Bloodborne, Lords of the Fallen, and Dark Souls before committing to Dark Souls 3 and this is the game that really established my love of the genre. To me it's the best combat system, the most appealing world artistically, the most replayed OST, and some great lore. I could see how some would identify it as fan service but for me it was my first dive into the universe so it all felt fresh and impactful. 

2. Dark Souls (Remastered) - I bought the Prepare to Die edition on PC but due to its rough framerate and kinda dated feeling controls I could never really get into it. The difficulty put me off too as I was in a really busy time of my life and couldn't consistently give attention to a single game to get good enough to get through it. Then the Remaster came out and I saw that it fixed the framerate issues. Suddenly the controls felt a lot better too even if it didn't have the omnidirectional motion. In any case, I can see why this game is often regarded the peak of the series. It lays a lot of groundwork for the games to come in its world design and lore. Some of the bosses are kinda bullshit (I'm looking at you Capra Demon and Bed of Chaos) but all in all this game provides heaps of customization in build types and just has so much depth.

3. Bloodborne - 3 main things keep this from being #2 on my list. In a lot of ways it's objectively better than Dark Souls 1 to me. It has better combat, is far more consistent in its quality of areas and bosses, and is more visually striking in its art. But being tied to 30 fps with poor frame pacing, having a story and atmosphere I didn't gel as well with, and crushing me with Father Gascoigne early on in the game (seriously... I was stuck here for years) really sucked a lot of enjoyment out of it for me. Having said that, it's a stellar game and anyone used to console level IQ and performance should give it a shot. 

4. Lords of the Fallen - This one is on the list by default because it's one that I played enough of to add to the list. But all in all it's a pretty meh experience. I bought it for $3 thinking it would be an easier Soulslike to ease me into the game type after my prior poor experiences with Bloodborne and Dark Souls Prepare to Die. But I played it enough (~7 hours) to realize I would love this style of combat if the enemies and environments were more varied and interesting. And they certainly were in Dark Souls 3 from all I had seen... so this was a testbed title for me and I have it to thank for making me confident in purchasing Dark Souls 3 and the IDLCs and I'm so glad t did. 

I have yet to try The Surge and still need to get around to Sekiro and NiOh. 

I'm also really hoping Bluepoint is working on a Demon Souls remake. I briefly tried it on PS3 but can't seem to enjoy these games with poor frame pacing. I honestly think that's why Bloodborne isn't #2 on my list.

Edit: Added more reasoning to my list 

Last edited by trasharmdsister12 - on 20 October 2019