The success of Elden Ring has driven many Western developers mad. Games like Assassins Creed and Red Dead Redemption have sold well but have been received in various ways. While Western gaming developers like Rockstar and Ubisoft have seen success differently, none have been as beloved as Elden Ring or FromSoftware games.
But to get down to what makes the games great, we must go back to the beginning.
Demon Souls is a game that fans have loved for years. Not many fans know the story of Demon Souls or how the game came to be. From now on I will be referring to Dark Souls games as the entire Dark Souls library. The inspiration for these games came from King’s Field where the dark tone and difficulty took center stage over the storyline. The idea was to give the player a sense of accomplishment when defeating a hard area or boss. Hidetaka Miyazaki cemented himself as a premier developer after he became the director of Demon Souls and aligned the studio with his vision. That vision was what players wanted.
Dark Souls was the next game FromSoftware put out and it’s still believed today. Dark Souls took everything great about Demon Souls and gave us a connected world with Dark Souls. The main difference was the lessons the game taught us, none other than the skeletons that killed us over and over again until we moved on. The idea was to give the player a challenge and for them to figure out how to overcome that challenge and in doing so, felt accomplished.
Dark Souls II is probably the outlier on this list because of how contentious it has become. Personally, I’ve never played Demon Souls or Dark Souls, but I played a little bit of Dark Souls II and would love to sometime. The complaints with Dark Souls II are the ridiculous boss runs and the enemy placement. But I can say Dark Souls II seems to be the game where the magic users were seemingly easier to deal with on a larger scale since the focus was more on melee bosses.
Dark Souls III is arguably the best one in the series and is one of the most loved. DSIII is by far one of my favorite games of all time, if not the favorite. The level design, the enemy design, the builds, and even the weapons are amazing. The progression seems to be perfectly balanced and is great for melee builds, including strength. In the years since that game came out, I have played over 500 hours on it and I would do it again. The DLC has arguably the best boss fight in the series with Sister Friede and her father, which is truly the only three-phase boss in the series. Midir is another fantastic boss with the Demon Princes and don’t forget Pontiff in the main game. DSIII will go down as one of the most brilliantly designed games.