What's new

Soulsborne + Sekiro Tier List Discussion

portent

Noob
These games are not part of the Soulsborne games. Only Miyazaki + FromSoft count as Soulsborne. You’re talking about “souls like” games. Which is very different.
I mean, if you're specifically talking about only games by them, then I understand what you're saying. Soulsborne itself is beginning to be called "circular combat" style games, of which all of the aforementioned games (the ones you've mentioned and ones I've mentioned) fall under that umbrella.

The entire circular combat style genre is pretty much one of the most fun genres out there.
 

Professor Oak

Are you a boy or girl?
I mean, if you're specifically talking about only games by them, then I understand what you're saying. Soulsborne itself is beginning to be called "circular combat" style games, of which all of the aforementioned games (the ones you've mentioned and ones I've mentioned) fall under that umbrella.

The entire circular combat style genre is pretty much one of the most fun genres out there.
Actually, Souls-like is beginning to be called that if anything. Soulsborne, in name, directly refers to the Souls series and Bloodborne. But yeah, fasho fasho.

Dragons Dogma is also similar and really good if were just shouting out games.
 
Rated as a complete package, my list would go:

1.) Demon's Souls
The original and the best. The game is innovative, compact, and focused. It strikes a perfect balance with its areas and bosses. Each boss and level is unique and interesting, and there's just enough to provide variety without becoming redundant or tedious. The areas themselves are all expertly crafted with each one having internal consistency unmatched by any other game in the series. The story/lore is also fantastic, with each item and NPC situated in just the right spot to provide you with the information you need to put the story together. There's plenty of enemy variety, build options, secrets and hidden paths/items, features (tendency, online interactions, etc), great boss music, and replayability. I think it's a near-perfect game, and have nothing bad to say about it.

2.) Bloodborne
Unlike the Dark Souls trilogy, Bloodborne takes the system built on Demon's Souls, and pushes it in a new direction. Just like Demon's Souls could be said to have innovated on the King's Field blueprint to forge its identity, Bloodborne does the same with the Souls engine. Appropriate for the game originally planned as Demon's Souls 2. The game has fast and fluid combat, great enemy designs, and fantastic variety with different areas and locations. Bloodborne's greatest strength however, is with its story and art direction. In my opinion, it is the best in the series with a unique premise and incredible level, weapon, and costume designs. If I had to knock Bloodborne for something, I would say that it lacks build/weapon variety, and has arguably the worst PvP in the Soulsborne series with tons of fast healing, parry-spamming, and same-y fighting styles.

3.) Sekiro
With the fastest combat to date, Sekiro really earns the GOTY title. Like Bloodborne before it, everything about the presentation is great. Enemy design, level variety, and boss battles are all top notch. It's difficult to pinpoint every detail that makes Sekiro so good because everything about it is just amazing. Unlike the other games, Sekiro introduces an element of stealth that I absolutely love, and as a Tenchu fan, have been waiting for for a long time. If I had any negatives, I'd say Sekiro felt a bit short, and really lacked the hidden paths, items, and optional areas to encourage exploring. An all-around great game, I don't think it reaches the highs of Bloodborne/Demon's Souls, but it is consistent in its quality throughout, and more than worthy of being in the top 3.

4.) Dark Souls
Dark Souls simply takes everything from Demon's Souls and refines it. Removing what people criticized while improving what was kept. It ditches the level selector for an open world which really helps to immerse you in the game, and to encourage thoughtful exploration. It falls short in the second half though with obviously rushed areas full of uninspired enemies and some tedious areas. The covenant system was a great way to improve the online, but most of them feel pointless or unfinished. Level design, build variety, and bosses are mostly good, but there are some serious offenders as well such as Bed of Chaos and Lost Izalith. It's still an AMAZING game by all standards, but I think it falls short compared to the other games above it on this list most likely due to a rushed development schedule.

5.) Dark Souls 2
There's a lot wrong with DS2. There's still a lot to like, but DS2's biggest flaw is that it simply disappoints. As expected with a game that has to be scrapped, and put back together again halfway through development, it can feel all over the place. As for positives, I'd say it has the best PvP in the series with tons of build variety, and an easy way to change your builds which further encourages you to experiment. It had some great ideas like the bonfire ascetics, new enemy/boss locations in NG+, and things like small soapstones. As for bad things, obviously the soul memory system is flawed. Level designs all seem great on the surface, but most levels are full of empty rooms, corridors, and boring/bland straightforward design. Bosses also mostly look uninspired, and the game focuses too heavily on crowd-control, often throwing heaps of enemies on you in order to emulate difficulty. I don't hate DS2--far from it--but I do think it commits the mortal sin of being a disappointing follow-up, and that those expectations and promises it failed to meet will forever stain it.

6.) Dark Souls 3
The Metal Gear Solid 4 of Souls games. By far the weakest entry, in my opinion. Like DS2, it disappointed greatly by failing to meet expectations. For example, the Covenant system somehow manages to get worse than DS2, the level design becomes more straight-forward and bland, the story/lore becomes increasingly nonsensical and convoluted, and the online experience fails to improve over past iterations. Unlike DS2 which took the good from DS and tried to add to it, DS3 seems adamant about ditching everything from DS2, whether it be good or bad. As a result of this, we lost some good mechanics that should have stayed. Additionally, the game focuses so heavily on references to past games, it lacks an identify of its own. It's impossible to go five minutes without tripping over a reference to Demon's Souls or DS/DS2 or picking up a reused item/weapon from one of those games. There's nothing wrong with references, especially in a sequel, but there's a line that shouldn't be crossed, and DS3 leaps over it. Level design is okay at best, bosses are pretty forgettable (with some exceptions), and the story is somehow worse than Dark Souls 2 because it further muddies the already-vague, but consistent lore of DS1. Like DS2, it's better than 99% of other games on the market, but it's by far the weakest Soulsborne game in my opinion. Hopefully this marks the end of the Dark Souls series so that FROM can branch out in new directions.
 
Last edited:

Juggs

Lose without excuses
Lead Moderator
Rated as a complete package, my list would go:

1.) Demon's Souls
The original and the best. The game is innovative, compact, and focused. It strikes a perfect balance with its areas and bosses. Each boss and level is unique and interesting, and there's just enough to provide variety without becoming redundant or tedious. The areas themselves are all expertly crafted with each one having internal consistency unmatched by any other game in the series. The story/lore is also fantastic, with each item and NPC situated in just the right spot to provide you with the information you need to put the story together. There's plenty of enemy variety, build options, secrets and hidden paths/items, features (tendency, online interactions, etc), great boss music, and replayability. I think it's a near-perfect game, and have nothing bad to say about it.

2.) Bloodborne
Unlike the Dark Souls trilogy, Bloodborne takes the system built on Demon's Souls, and pushes it in a new direction. Just like Demon's Souls could be said to have innovated on the King's Field blueprint to forge its identity, Bloodborne does the same with the Souls engine. Appropriate for the game originally planned as Demon's Souls 2. The game has fast and fluid combat, great enemy designs, and fantastic variety with different areas and locations. Bloodborne's greatest strength however, is with its story and art direction. In my opinion, it is the best in the series with a unique premise and incredible level, weapon, and costume designs. If I had to knock Bloodborne for something, I would say that it lacks build/weapon variety, and has arguably the worst PvP in the Soulsborne series with tons of fast healing, parry-spamming, and same-y fighting styles.

3.) Sekiro
With the fastest combat to date, Sekiro really earns the GOTY title. Like Bloodborne before it, everything about the presentation is great. Enemy design, level variety, and boss battles are all top notch. It's difficult to pinpoint every detail that makes Sekiro so good because everything about it is just amazing. Unlike the other games, Sekiro introduces an element of stealth that I absolutely love, and as a Tenchu fan, have been waiting for for a long time. If I had any negatives, I'd say Sekiro felt a bit short, and really lacked the hidden paths, items, and optional areas to encourage exploring. An all-around great game, I don't think it reaches the highs of Bloodborne/Demon's Souls, but it is consistent in its quality throughout, and more than worthy of being in the top 3.

4.) Dark Souls
Dark Souls simply takes everything from Demon's Souls and refines it. Removing what people criticized while improving what was kept. It ditches the level selector for an open world which really helps to immerse you in the game, and to encourage thoughtful exploration. It falls short in the second half though with obviously rushed areas full of uninspired enemies and some tedious areas. The covenant system was a great way to improve the online, but most of them feel pointless or unfinished. Level design, build variety, and bosses are mostly good, but there are some serious offenders as well such as Bed of Chaos and Lost Izalith. It's still an AMAZING game by all standards, but I think it falls short compared to the other games above it on this list most likely due to a rushed development schedule.

5.) Dark Souls 2
There's a lot wrong with DS2. There's still a lot to like, but DS2's biggest flaw is that it simply disappoints. As expected with a game that has to be scrapped, and put back together again halfway through development, it can feel all over the place. As for positives, I'd say it has the best PvP in the series with tons of build variety, and an easy way to change your builds which further encourages you to experiment. It had some great ideas like the bonfire ascetics, new enemy/boss locations in NG+, and things like small soapstones. As for bad things, obviously the soul memory system is flawed. Level designs all seem great on the surface, but most levels are full of empty rooms, corridors, and boring/bland straightforward design. Bosses also mostly look uninspired, and the game focuses too heavily on crowd-control, often throwing heaps of enemies on you in order to emulate difficulty. I don't hate DS2--far from it--but I do think it commits the mortal sin of being a disappointing follow-up, and that those expectations and promises it failed to meet will forever stain it.

6.) Dark Souls 3
The Metal Gear Solid 4 of Souls games. By far the weakest entry, in my opinion. Like DS2, it disappointed greatly by failing to meet expectations. For example, the Covenant system somehow manages to get worse than DS2, the level design becomes more straight-forward and bland, the story/lore becomes increasingly nonsensical and convoluted, and the online experience fails to improve over past iterations. Unlike DS2 which took the good from DS and tried to add to it, DS3 seems adamant about ditching everything from DS2, whether it be good or bad. As a result of this, we lost some good mechanics that should have stayed. Additionally, the game focuses so heavily on references to past games, it lacks an identify of its own. It's impossible to go five minutes without tripping over a reference to Demon's Souls or DS/DS2 or picking up a reused item/weapon from one of those games. There's nothing wrong with references, especially in a sequel, but there's a line that shouldn't be crossed, and DS3 leaps over it. Level design is okay at best, bosses are pretty forgettable (with some exceptions), and the story is somehow worse than Dark Souls 2 because it further muddies the already-vague, but consistent lore of DS1. Like DS2, it's better than 99% of other games on the market, but it's by far the weakest Soulsborne game in my opinion. Hopefully this marks the end of the Dark Souls series so that FROM can branch out in new directions.
That’s wild to have Dark Souls 3 as your lowest. It’s arguably the best souls game all around. I agree there were some mechanics from DkS2 that they should have kept, namely the power stance mechanic. But I definitely wasn’t expecting anything from DkS2 to be present in DkS3, since Miyazaki wasn’t apart of DkS2 and obviously was for DkS3. A lot of references were made for sure, but that’s kinda what a sequel does. Then again, story is the absolute least important thing to me in Soulsborne games. You pretty much have to watch VaatiVidya’s videos to even understand all the lore and story. Which DkS3 seemed to me to do just as good of a job as its predecessors. Also, the amount of side quests that you can complete only if done in a particular order is a really cool idea, imo. Which I know isn’t exclusive to DkS3, but I feel like there were a lot more in this game. I also dug the fact that there were 3 different endings you could get.

But anyway, to each their own.
 

Juggs

Lose without excuses
Lead Moderator
Actually, Souls-like is beginning to be called that if anything. Soulsborne, in name, directly refers to the Souls series and Bloodborne. But yeah, fasho fasho.

Dragons Dogma is also similar and really good if were just shouting out games.
Yes exactly. It seems people often get Soulsborne and Souls-like confused with one another. “Soulsborne” specifically identifies the Dark Souls trilogy, Demon Souls, and Bloodborne. And I added in Sekiro for this thread because it was made by Miyazaki and FromSoft, the same people who made soulsborne games (Miyazaki wasn’t apart of Dark Souls 2 tho, but FromSoft was).

A “Souls-like” game is a game that has Dark Souls like gameplay and combat. There’s no direct or vague references to Dark Souls in these games, and these games are not made by FromSoft or have anything to do with Lord Miyazaki himself. “Souls-like” directly refers to the style of “fighting/combat” and action gameplay the Souls series has. It’s hard to describe the combat and actual gameplay of the Souls series. Well, not necessarily hard to explain, just long and can be confusing. So, they came up with a way to describe that style of combat and gameplay by just labeling it “Souls-like”.

Best example of games that are “Souls-like” are; NIOH, NIOH 2, Code Vein, Ashen, The Surge, Outward, Jedi Fallen Order, etc

Then there are games that are labeled “Souls-like” for different reasons and kinda misuse the word. These games often get the meme of “it’s the Dark Souls of X, Y, or Z”. These games are often games that are difficult where in which you die a lot in order to learn, improve, and progress the story. The best example of that would be games like Hollow Knight, Salt and Sanctuary, I Wanna Be The Guy, Dead Cells, etc. These games don’t have the “souls-like” combat, but they do what I described above. They force you to make mistakes then learn from those mistakes. However, this is still a misuse of the term “souls-like”.

Hopefully that wasn’t too confusing and was easy to understand. If someone can explain it better please feel free!
 

Juggs

Lose without excuses
Lead Moderator
Im replaying Bloodborne currently. Such a fun game, tbh.
I’ve been replaying Dark Souls 3. I was attempting a no death run, which I’m still “on” technically. But decided to play some PvP. And my build is amazing. Got the highest rank (gold badge) in the arena, and been Flawlessing a lot of people. Here’s one of my duels if anyone is interested, lol


Gotten a few hate mail messages too. God I forgot how much fun DS3 PvP is when you know what you’re doing. People get so mad at you.
 
No joke, if they release a remastered version of Demon's Souls for next gen, I will seriously consider buying a day-1, overpriced, buggy, red ring of death PS5.
 

Juggs

Lose without excuses
Lead Moderator
No joke, if they release a remastered version of Demon's Souls for next gen, I will seriously consider buying a day-1, overpriced, buggy, red ring of death PS5.
I hope they do remaster or remake it. Because I have zero desire to play it based on what I’ve heard. Essentially that if it wasn’t your first Souls game, it will be hard go back and play it since you’ll be so used to the newer, better mechanics of the newer souls games. And that it’s a but outdated. The only console I’ve never actually owned is the PS3, so that’s why I never played it to begin with. Hell even Dark Souls 1, I came very late to the party. Dark Souls 2 was releasing in a few months, so Dark Souls 1 was on sale for like $5. And I had heard so much about it, decided to try it. I had never seen ANY videos about it though, went in 100% blind. And tbh, my first impressions weren’t that great. And it was because I was playing Skyrim religiously at the time, and was so used to that gameplay and also 1st person. But, I slowly but surely started to fall absolutely in love with the game. And it’s still the most memorable and fun single player experience I’ve ever had in any game ever. Your first souls game blind playthrough really is unmatched!
 

Kiss the Missile

Red Messiah
@Juggs I'm playing Nioh 2 right now and I'm remembering why I like it so much more than the Souls series. The combat feels so much more engaging in Nioh to me. There's so much more to do when fighting in Nioh than there is in Dark Souls. Everyone always talks about managing Ki, but it's the stances that make it for me. Mid stance guarding, low stance enhanced dodging, high stance massive damage, choosing which one is most important on the fly and then unlocking abilities that lets you chain stances and even weapons together on the fly. God it's so fucking satisfying.

I haven't played Souls in a while, but when I think back to it all I remember the combat being was 50 shades of R1. Maybe you get fancy with a spell or a parry, but it's all slow and sluggish in my memories.
 
I have zero desire to play it based on what I’ve heard. Essentially that if it wasn’t your first Souls game, it will be hard go back and play it since you’ll be so used to the newer, better mechanics of the newer souls games.
What a truly AWFUL opinion. That's like saying "don't bother playing DMC or DMC3 because DMC4 and 5 have better, more refined gameplay and graphics." Or, "don't play any of the old Final Fantasy games because the newer ones have deeper combat, and bigger worlds to explore." A good game is timeless, and the experience it provides cannot be hampered simply by newer games existing.
 

Juggs

Lose without excuses
Lead Moderator
What a truly AWFUL opinion. That's like saying "don't bother playing DMC or DMC3 because DMC4 and 5 have better, more refined gameplay and graphics." Or, "don't play any of the old Final Fantasy games because the newer ones have deeper combat, and bigger worlds to explore." A good game is timeless, and the experience it provides cannot be hampered simply by newer games existing.
No it isn’t. If you started with the newer versions of a game, in general it’s going to be hard to go back to the older versions of the game and experience the game the way it was intended. Games evolve with the times to have better, more fluid working mechanics. Playing older versions of games you never previously played, but have played the newer versions, almost always ends in disappointment. Because usually, the next or newer version(s) of a game have been improved upon in many different areas. None of this is even an opinion, btw.

Now, if you were to start with the older version as your first game, your experience won’t be tainted by expectations. And you certainly won’t feel any sense of limitations other than the limitations of the game itself, because you have no baseline to compare it to.
 
No it isn’t. If you started with the newer versions of a game, in general it’s going to be hard to go back to the older versions of the game and experience the game the way it was intended. Games evolve with the times to have better, more fluid working mechanics. Playing older versions of games you never previously played, but have played the newer versions, almost always ends in disappointment. Because usually, the next or newer version(s) of a game have been improved upon in many different areas. None of this is even an opinion, btw.

Now, if you were to start with the older version as your first game, your experience won’t be tainted by expectations. And you certainly won’t feel any sense of limitations other than the limitations of the game itself, because you have no baseline to compare it to.
If that's how you feel, then I truly pity you.

My first Zelda game was Ocarina of Time, and once I finished that, I went back and started at the first one and thoroughly enjoyed my time with the entire series. Persona 3 was my first foray into Shin Megami Tensei games. After I finished that, I started playing the Super Famicom entries, and slowly worked my way back to the modern era. Now those games are among my favorites of all time even though I played the much newer, more refined versions first. The same thing happened with Final Fantasy, Nier, Tales of, Star Ocean, Shadow Hearts, and countless other great series where my introduction was with a later entry.

If your enjoyment of a game is hampered because you played a newer, "better" entry first, then I don't know what to tell you other than I feel sorry for you.
 
  1. Dark Souls
  2. Sekiro
  3. Dark Souls 3 and Bloodborne (tie here. I suppose I liked Dark Souls 3 alot more than most)
  4. Demon Souls
  5. A flaming pile of garbage
  6. A flaming pile of dogshit
  7. Literally anything else
  8. Dark Souls 2
EDIT:
To be honest it's hard to put this series in a list without doing a diservice to some of the titles. I'd actually say I have a favorite, then a 4-way tie, and then DS2...

so:

  • Dark Souls 1 is perfection to me
  • Sekiro, Dark Souls 3, Bloodborne, and Demon Souls were all amazing
  • I disliked Dark Souls 2 immensely
 
Last edited:

iNoScopedJFK

Silent Salty Solider
Dark Souls 2 is easily my favorite. The build variety in that game is insane. Ive created more builds for DS2 than I have for any other Souls game combined.
 

Zviko

Noob
I only played Sekiro and it was amazing. I thought it was so good that it ruined all the other games for me. Then I tried Nioh couple of days ago and it's even more fun. The fact that you can build your character however you want makes it so much better imo. And the loot system makes boss fights so much more rewarding as well.

Souls games have that right? Character creation, rpg elements, different weapons and gear? I'll have to try them one day. That's what Sekiro is missing to be perfect.
 

Juggs

Lose without excuses
Lead Moderator
I only played Sekiro and it was amazing. I thought it was so good that it ruined all the other games for me. Then I tried Nioh couple of days ago and it's even more fun. The fact that you can build your character however you want makes it so much better imo. And the loot system makes boss fights so much more rewarding as well.

Souls games have that right? Character creation, rpg elements, different weapons and gear? I'll have to try them one day. That's what Sekiro is missing to be perfect.
Yeah, that’s one of the biggest reasons Souls games are so much fun with tons of replayability. Character creation and unique character builds adds such a fun aspect to the game. Especially if you’re at all interested in PvP. This is also a big reason I’m so hype for Elden Ring. Character creation and character builds are coming back. Tbh though, I hope the character creation aspect is expansive. Dark Souls character creation is great, but it always seems just a tad limited. (For instance only like 20 different type of hair styles). I want all the options, lol