Every FromSoft “Souls-Type” Game, Ranked By Difficulty

Every FromSoft "Souls-Type" Game, Ranked By Difficulty

FromSoftware (or FromSoft) is the Japanese video game development company behind popular video game titles such as Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and Sekiro. The company is known for making incredibly difficult games that focus on punishing the players with strong bosses and tactical fighting.

RELATED: 10 Dark Souls-like Games For Casual Players

The games are notorious and now beloved. The lore within the games runs deep as the setting for these Souls-like games is always gritty and dark yet stunning, totally fitting the aesthetic of the difficulty, making them rewarding to play.

Updated on February 27th, 2022 by Melody MacReady: FromSoftware had already been on a roll with titles such as Dark Souls and Bloodborne. Though many had hoped for a Bloodborne or Sekiro sequel, the fans were eager for FromSoft’s newest game and IP: Elden Ring.

Elden Ring is one of, if not the most, anticipated games of 2022, and with its release, many players are going in with a certain question; did FromSoftware top themselves yet again with difficulty? Is Elden Ring the hardest game in their library or is it an easier experience to help bring in new players who have never played a Souls-like game before?

7 Demon’s Souls (2009)

Demon's Souls

Demon’s Souls is what started it all. It is the beginning of the franchise and the first of any Souls-like games. It was released originally in 2009 and has a pretty bad AI that makes combat incredibly slow and lackluster.

The game was recently remade and released in 2021 with its own series of difficult boss fights, which fans were happy with. The combat is still just as brutal, but it is pretty widely known that Demon’s Souls is a lot easier compared to some of the newer games due to that slow-moving combat.

6 Dark Souls (2011)

Warrior lighting a bonfire in promo artwork for Dark Souls Remastered

Similar to Demon’s Souls, the combat in Dark Souls is slower in pace. The original game was released in 2011 and has been considered one of the greatest video games of all time. This game rewards players for exploring and punishes players for slow reaction speeds.

RELATED: The 10 Hardest Bosses In Dark Souls, Ranked

While some may feel that Dark Souls is too unforgiving, that is the exact reason why so many players have been drawn to this series. Bonfires are scattered around the world and serve as checkpoints for the players. But each time one is used, all the enemies respawn which would become a staple of Souls-like games.

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5 Dark Souls III (2016)

Dark Souls III, is a much faster-paced game compared to the rest of the Souls games, and actually has made it one of the toughest from the company. This game was released in 2016 on a number of different platforms and continues and finishes the Dark Souls series; it is also often considered one of the best modern RPGs ever made.

The enemies in the game move quickly, giving players little time to react compared to the other Souls games as it borrowed some of the gameplay choices from Bloodborne. While the game closely follows the gameplay mechanics of Dark Souls II, it also introduces the two different attacks for each weapon similar to Bloodborne.

4 Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (2019)

Wolf leaping to a boss with an ax in Sekiro Shadows Die Twice

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a very different Souls-like game released by FromSoft in 2019. This game isn’t easy by any means, but it has brought in a ton of new players to try their hand at running through this game and then exploring other Souls-like games.

Sekiro is set in Japan, where the main character must fight his way through bosses of Japanese mythology while also focusing on stealth. The enemies are fast in this game, which may list it on the harder end for some, but once players figure out the rhythm of combat in this game, it becomes a bit more bearable.

3 Dark Souls II (2014)

Many fans consider Dark Souls II to be a bit harder compared to its sequel for the reason that it also falls under the same slow-moving and lumbering characters as both Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls. Whereas Dark Souls III, though still very hard, is much more refined with the faster combat,

RELATED: The 10 Most Powerful Monsters In The Dark Souls Series, Ranked

The bosses are rather difficult while the level designs are also wildly hazardous, so players will need to be wary of both their enemies and the environment. Healing and general use items are also a lot slower acting in this game, making for intense situations. This game also has some of the most difficult DLCs out of all the Souls games, with even harder bosses than in the main game.

2 Bloodborne (2015)

bloodborne

The combat in Bloodborne is faster than the Souls games but so are the enemies which can turn a simple fight against an ogre feel nightmarish. Bloodborne was released in between Dark Souls II and Dark Souls III and inspired much of the combat for the latter game as well as inspiring the fast-paced action in Sekiro.

The enemies in this game are super quick and aggressive, not to mention downright terrifying. This game is heavily based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft and Bram Stroker, so it is infused with monstrous and eldritch horror as it fits in with its gothic Victorian-era aesthetic.

1 Elden Ring (2022)

elden ring patch incoming performance issues save data

FromSoft made its epic return in 2022 with Elden Ring. Essentially, this is their way of replacing Dark Souls as it plays very similarly but with significant changes. It takes a note from The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild and makes it an entirely open-world game. There are no indicators as to what’s available to do in Elden Ring.

The player can go wherever they want, including places that they are not strong enough for yet. There are a plethora of things to do as well as the dungeons filled with some of the hardest Souls-like bosses that FromSoft has made yet. Also, the added jumping and parry mechanics add just enough variety while keeping what fans loved about Dark Souls III.

NEXT: 10 Best Games Like Elden Ring

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Juliana Failde
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Juliana Failde is a writer for CBR, Screen Rant, and the Sartorial Geek. She is a writer and podcaster and has been published in the Spring 2019 and Summer 2020 editions of the Sartorial Geek Quarterly Magazine.

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