Souls-like games are best known for their challenging combat, treacherous level designs, intricate puzzles, and unexpected death traps. They also feature spine-chilling dark and awfully grim atmospheres in which players must face horrific enemies and uncover long-forgotten hidden lore. With a variety of weapons and spells, players survive in such an unforgiving environment where each step forward is one step closer to death!
As of today, there exists a vast library of souls-like games. However, to date, the best souls-like games have only come from their original developers: FromSoftware. Back in the day, FromSoftware had little to no idea of the beyond-expected impact that their newly introduced RPG sub-genre was going to create. With the introduction of Demon’s Souls in 2007, the gaming industry had never been the same!
As such, in this article, we will introduce you to the top 5 best souls-like video games of all time. And guess what? All these games are from FromSoftware! Without further ado, let us see what these games are about.
5. Dark Souls 3
We start our list with the critically acclaimed Dark Souls 3 video game that was first released in 2016. It is a direct successor to the 2014’s Dark Souls 2 and seemingly perfects upon everything the Dark Souls trilogy has to offer.
The game plot revolves around the impending end of the Age of Fire caused by the treacherous Prince Lothric. Prince Lothric, who is the chosen linker for this age to keep the Fire burning, has abandoned his duty and preferred to watch the flame die out.
As such, the ringing of the bell has signaled that the first flame is dying out and warned of the approaching Age of Dark. Set in the desolate kingdom of Lothric, which is on the brink of total destruction, the player character must navigate its bleak landscape and unravel mysteries that have led to this once-beautiful world’s downfall!
There are further 2 DLCs made for the game which further adds to its rich lore while also ramping up the horror gameplay several notches up!
4. Demon’s Souls
Next on our list is the grandfather of all souls-like games: Demon’s Souls. Released in 2009, Demon’s Souls is the game that started it all. It even spawned a remastered version in 2020 exclusive for the PlayStation 5 gaming console.
Being a first in the genre, it is not surprising that the game lacks a number of quality-of-life features present in the modern game. Nevertheless, the game did not fail to mesmerize players who spent countless hours trying to survive and yet only manage to die again.
Demon’s Souls story takes place in the kingdom of Boletaria where its ruler, King Allant, has restored the lost Soul Arts. The return of the Soul Arts has awakened the dark Old One demon who is now attacking the kingdom and has taken King Allant hostage within its big body.
As the rescuer, the player character arrives in the kingdom of Boletaria. The path that lies ahead is filled with soul-thirsty demons and insanely powerful bosses. Eventually, players will come to make a difficult decision that will determine the fate of Boletaria.
The next souls-like game which secures the third place in our list is Bloodborne. Developed as a PlayStation 4 exclusive, the game was released in 2015. Bloodborne is notable for featuring gothic architecture which, in turn, plays a significant role in delivering its narrative.
The game is set in the fictional decrepit city of Yharnam known for its medical advances in the practice of blood ministration. For a long time, the city of Yharnam has attracted many patients who have come and gotten themselves cured. As such, the player character, known as the hunter, comes to Yharnam seeking a Paleblood cure. However, to his shock, the player character discovers that the city itself is ravaged by an endemic illness.
The consequence of the plague has been extreme which has transformed all the residents of the city into deranged creatures and horrifying monsters. The player character now must survive through the night and discover the source of the plague all the while butchering whatsoever beast comes his way.
Bloodborne also has 1 DLC which further expands on its gruesomely thrilling plot!
2. Dark Souls
Bagging the second place on our top 5 best souls-like video games of all time, Dark Souls is best known for its over-the-top game difficulty. The game was released in 2011 and made available on a wide number of console platforms. The critically acclaimed Dark Souls even spawned a remastered version as well in 2018.
The game’s setting takes place in the fictional kingdom of Lodran. Assuming the role of an accursed undead being, the player character makes a pilgrimage to discover the fate of their kind. After landing in Firelink Shrine, the game delivers players little to no storytelling. Much of the plot and lore is discovered via dialogues with NPCs, item descriptions, and world design.
After talking with the NPC near the first bonfire, it is revealed that the player has to ring the 2 bells of awakening. One is located in the Church above and one in the Blighttown Basement. As such, the game takes players on a thrilling but deadly quest filled with petrifying beings and deadly creatures.
Dark Souls also received 1 DLC that further supplements its jaw-dropping story.
1. Elden Ring
Winning the top place and undoubtedly THE BEST souls-like game ever, Elden Ring is known for its state-of-the-art lore-building. Winner of the 2022 Game of the Year award, Elden Ring tops our charts for reasons well understood.
The game’s epic lore revolves around the legendary Elden Ring: A ring so powerful that it acted as a physical concept of order. Before being broken by the immortal Queen Marika, it had been in her possession and had been acting as its keeper. In an ensuing event known as Shattering, Queen Marika’s demigod children clashed over the broken fragments of the Elden Ring.
When the game start, players assume the role of a Tarnished tasked with combining the broken fragments and hence reforming the Elden Ring. The quest to become the ultimate Elden Lord by repairing the ring takes players on a once-in-a-lifetime journey. Players confront deadly bosses and lethal beings so powerful that giving up is often the easiest of options!
Currently, at the time of writing, its first DLC is in active development.
This is our list of the top 5 best souls-like video games of all time. Do you agree with us? Share your thoughts with us and let us know in the comments below!