Updated at: 23-05-2023 - By: Leo Hall
Planning to dive into the world of Dark Souls? A little late is better than never. All the Dark Souls games and other games with similar gameplay are compiled here.

In 2011, the original Dark Souls caused a sensation in the gaming community by breaking away from the standard tropes and clichés of AAA games of the time.

Part of its notoriety comes from how difficult it is, which is often overstated.

Dark Souls was not the first “Souls” game, but the franchise has left an indelible mark, inspiring an entire subgenre of “Souls-like” games and making Dark Souls IV highly improbable.

This article will provide a complete list of the Dark Souls games, as well as a brief summary of the other Souls-like games developed by FromSoftware.

The Souls Series

The “Souls” series comes first. It paved the way for subsequent works in the “Souls-like” genre.

Every Dark Souls Games In Order (Chronologically)

There are a total of three games in the original Dark Souls trilogy. However, due to the similarities in gameplay mechanics and narrative approach, they are often grouped together with their forerunner, Demon’s Souls (and its remake).

  1. Evil Spirits
  2. Evil Hearts
  3. DS2: Dark Souls
  4. 3.0: Dark Souls
  5. Evil Within (2020)

Demon’s Souls

Date of Publication:February 5, 2009

PS3 is the system in question.

It’s a shame that so few people play Demon’s Souls, a PlayStation 3 exclusive. It paved the way for future games that would be called “Souls-like,” as it was the forerunner to Dark Souls.

The key features were the importance placed on managing stamina during combat, the respawning of enemies, and the potential for the loss of XP (souls) upon death.

First and foremost, it possessed the distinct narrative style and oppressive atmosphere we now associate with the Souls games. All of these factors combined to make Demon’s Souls an innovative and difficult game that was years ahead of its time.

The game’s greatest strength and greatest weakness both stemmed from its experimental nature. When we say that the fights lack polish, we don’t just mean that the hitboxes and animations haven’t held up well over time; we also mean that there isn’t enough variety in the classes and play styles available to players.

Not all of the game’s bosses are engaging, and they certainly don’t measure up to the quality of those in later games.

Many gamers believe that Demon’s Souls is an underappreciated visionary masterpiece that will pave the way for future great games. And indeed, the game’s significance cannot be overstated, despite the fact that it never received much popularity outside of its niche and feels quite clunky and unrefined.

The rich world of Demon’s Souls, its beautiful environments, and its truly haunting atmosphere are what we enjoy most when we remove ourselves from the context of the series it preceded.

The Pros:

  • Excellent ambiance
  • Inspiring settings
  • Presented a number of novel features that would come to define the series.

The Cons:

  • Mechanics that need polish
  • Inequitable ways of playing
  • There were very few standout boss battles.

Dark Souls

Dates of Initial Release: September 22, 2011; Remaster Release: May 24, 2018

PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Windows, and Nintendo Switch are all supported platforms.

Let’s move on to the pinnacle of today’s gaming experience, the one that everyone seems to agree is the best. By expanding upon its predecessor’s innovations, Dark Souls revolutionized the modern action RPG and quickly became a cult classic after its initial release.

To that end, what are Dark Souls’ greatest strengths? For starters, there was the notorious difficulty.

Unlike modern games, which often remove any potential source of frustration for the player, Dark Souls actually made them earn their victories, which increased the game’s overall satisfaction. It was difficult, but not unfair, and most problems could be solved with a little time and effort.

The brilliance of Dark Souls, however, is not limited to the challenge it presents; rather, it is found in the game’s seamless integration of difficulty into its overarching story and gameplay.

The mythological tale is conveyed through seemingly inconsequential snippets of cryptic dialogue and item descriptions. The story of the dreary, decaying land of Lordran comes together, but only if the player puts in some effort.

Obviously, there are some problems with the game. Despite Dark Souls’ many enhancements over its predecessor, Demon’s Souls, the combat still felt a bit clumsy and unrefined.

Also, the PC port that arrived a year later was nearly unplayable without the aid of mods, and there were plenty of bugs in the original console releases.

The Pros:

  • The finest level and world design in the Souls series.
  • Mythological tale of unmatched brilliance
  • Enhanced Method of Combat
  • There are a lot of fun boss battles.

The Cons:

  • Warfare is still in its early stages.
  • Neither the PS3 nor the Xbox 360 perform well.
  • Awful initial PC adaptation

Dark Souls II

Dates of Initial Release: March 11, 2014; Remaster Release: February 15, 2015

Xbox 360, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch

It’s generally agreed that Dark Souls II is the series’ weakest entry, offering little in comparison to its predecessors and the sequels. Since many of the original Dark Souls developers were busy with Bloodborne, the game suffers from a noticeable lack of polish.

Dark Souls II is a prime example of the “more for the sake of more” type of sequel. In spite of a few standouts like Majula and Heide’s Tower of Flame, the majority of the game’s content fails to inspire. Everything from the plot and level layout to the majority of the game’s bosses falls into this category.

We also can’t ignore the drastic graphics reduction that was required to get the game onto previous-gen consoles before it was ported to the current-gen a year and a half later.

But we could go on and on about the specific ways in which Dark Souls II fails to live up to the promise of its predecessor. The point is that while it’s not a terrible game, it doesn’t live up to the legacy of the previous titles in the series. The sheer quantity of available content is ultimately the game’s greatest strength.

The Pros:

  • Plentiful material
  • Quite a few standout saves

The Cons:

  • Extremely antiquated visuals
  • Overall, uninspiring design
  • Doesn’t live up to the greatness of the rest of the series.

Why do we play Dark Souls?

Dark Souls III

Date of Publication: March 26th, 2016

Sony Playstation 4, Microsoft Xbox One, and PC

Dark Souls III was the final entry in the Souls series, and upon closer inspection, it seems to be a synthesis of nearly every positive aspect of both the first Dark Souls and its sequel, Bloodborne.

The game’s highly Bloodborne-esque art direction sets it apart visually from its predecessors, while the combat becomes more fluid and fast-paced, doing away with the clunkiness that plagued the Souls games prior to Bloodborne.

The boss design, too, takes a lot of cues from Bloodborne, making boss battles significantly faster than their predecessors.

In terms of its narrative, Dark Souls III stands on its own. However, newcomers to the series may be confused by the plot, as if the storytelling in these games didn’t already present enough challenges.

Now, it’s true that some die-hard fans of the first game didn’t enjoy Dark Souls III, mainly because of how much it borrows from Bloodborne. Having so many wide-open areas to freely spam rolls in makes it feel much less oppressive than the original game.

When compared to the first Dark Souls, this one is still a close second.

The Pros:

  • Modernized, more rapid combat
  • Incredible scenery and settings
  • The series’ finest boss battles

The Cons:

  • Doesn’t hold up as a story-wise independent game
  • Similar to Bloodborne more so than Dark Souls

Demon’s Souls (2020)

Due out on November 12th, 2020.

PS5 is the system in question.

Many people were taken aback when they learned that a new version of Demon’s Souls would be released in 2020. Despite laying the groundwork for the Souls series, as mentioned above, Demon’s Souls was overshadowed by Dark Souls and the other Souls-like games developed by FromSoftware and released after it.

It’s important to note that this is a remake, not a remaster, of the original game. That is to say, it’s not just a port of the PS4 version of Demon’s Souls to the PS5 with improved graphics.

Instead, Bluepoint Games remade the game for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3, following in the footsteps of their Shadow of the Colossus remake for the PS4.

It’s true that they did a fantastic job of recreating Boletaria this time around, but the new Demon’s Souls also feels very different from the original, for better or worse.

With new animations, re-recorded NPC dialog, and a proper orchestral soundtrack, the game looks much more realistic while attempting to maintain the somber atmosphere of the original. Some players feel that the visual updates to Demon’s Souls 2020 take away from the game’s charm, despite the fact that the game plays more like a modern title.

They improved the gameplay by introducing new elements, readjusting the effectiveness of others, and fixing numerous issues. To begin with, healing grasses now have weight, so farming them and potentially carrying around hundreds of healing items at once is no longer an option.

Finally, there’s the issue of whether or not the PC version of the remade Demon’s Souls will be released. A trailer for the game was released in the days leading up to its release, revealing that it would be available for the PlayStation 5 and the PC. Sony, however, quickly clarified that this was an oversight and that the game would indeed be PS5-exclusive.

It’s unclear if Sony made a genuine error or if it simply has no plans to port the game to PC in the near future. There is a good chance that we will see the game on PC in a couple of years, as many high-profile Sony exclusives have been ported to Windows after they no longer served the purpose of boosting Sony’s console’s sales.

The Pros:

  • Excellent new version
  • Better than the original in every way
  • fixes some bugs and the game’s balance.
  • Modified audio and re-recorded dialogue

The Cons:

  • True fans may be disappointed by the alterations.

Souls-like FromSoftware Games

You probably already know that the Souls series has inspired an entire subgenre of action games and action RPGs known collectively as “Souls-like.” These games take inspiration from Dark Souls by emulating its difficulty, stamina system, death penalty, and other features.

Even though the games in the original Souls series can’t be lumped in with Demon’s Souls and the Dark Souls games, their creators have made games that are very much in the same vein.

Bloodborne, released in 2015 exclusively for the PlayStation 4, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, released in 2019 for multiple platforms, are the only Souls-like games developed by FromSoftware currently available.


Date of Publication: March 24, 2015

Video Game System: PlayStation 4

Bloodborne isn’t technically a “Souls” game, but it does borrow heavily from the series’ formula and add its own twists. This marks the very first time that FromSoftware has made changes to their own methodology.

Bloodborne features a higher-risk, higher-reward play style than its predecessor, the Souls games, which emphasized caution and punished carelessness.

Bloodborne’s fluid and exhilarating combat stemmed from several factors: parrying was safer, trick weapons had two modes with distinct movesets that could be switched between mid-combo, and health could be restored by attacking an enemy immediately after taking damage. This also contributed to the numerous thrilling boss battles in the game.

That’s not all, though. Bloodborne also excelled at world building by establishing a fresh, memorable setting that successfully fused Gothic and Lovecraftian horror within a gorgeous Victorian-era inspired backdrop, full of previously unseen details.

Chalice Dungeons, the randomly generated areas where players can search for better blood gems to use in weapon upgrades, are Bloodborne’s main flaw.

The Chalice Dungeons were interesting in theory but underwhelming in execution. They quickly become tedious grinds, which is not what we’d expect from a game developed by FromSoftware.

The Pros:

  • Fantastic and one-of-a-kind setting
  • The combat system is unique and fluid.
  • Stunningly realistic settings
  • Superb artistic direction

The Cons:

  • Chalice dungeons are boring and tedious.
  • To reach the pinnacle, grinding is essentially essential.
  • A number of Dull Stages

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Publication date is March 22, 2019.

PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows

Although Bloodborne deviated from the standard Souls formula, it still maintained many of the RPG staples. However, Sekiro is a much bigger departure from the standard Souls game formula.

It’s an action game, not an RPG, for starters. More like a pure skill-based action game than an action RPG, it still has some basic stats that can be upgraded as the game progresses and several skill trees with various unlockable abilities.

Instead of a stamina meter, there is now a posture meter. The player’s main weapon remains constant throughout the game. The game’s multiple play styles stem from an assortment of “combat arts,” which are similar to Dark Souls III’s weapon skills, and “shinobi tools,” which are attached to the protagonist’s prosthetic arm and function like Bloodborne’s trick weapons.

Furthermore, some basic stealth mechanisms were included. There is no online co-op play, and the game has shifted its emphasis from dodging to parrying (or “deflecting” as it is called in-game) enemy attacks in order to weaken their defenses and deal lethal blows.

Also, the game’s namesake resurrection mechanic lets you come back from the dead not once, not twice, but three times before you have to respawn.

Because of its lightning-fast combat that outshines even Bloodborne, Sekiro is arguably the most challenging Souls-like game to date, if not the one with the steepest learning curve.

Set in a fictionalized version of medieval Japan, it is brighter than the previous games and features a soundtrack heavy on traditional Japanese instruments. The narrative is also less mysterious and more straightforward than in the previous games, which some players may prefer.

The Pros:

  • Extremely difficult
  • Combat based on speed and skill
  • Large, airy floor plans
  • Both the visual direction and the score are superb.

The Cons:

  • There have been multiple instances of the same managers leading
  • Disappointing story compared to Dark Souls and Bloodborne.
  • Doesn’t offer as much variety in gameplay as its predecessors.

How To Play Dark Souls Games

Know Your Class

Dark Soul is not like playing games at an online casino in the United States, so new players will need to pick a character class before they begin. And each of the many playable protagonists has their own unique set of base abilities and equipment. Each of the game’s eight playable attributes—Intelligence, Attunement, Endurance, Strength, Faith, Dexterity, Resistance, and Vitality—begins at a different level depending on the class you choose. Furthermore, your character’s abilities are governed by a combination of the attributes.

In addition, you’ll need to iterate across the various classes, making notes on the features unique to each. Focusing on Strength, Endurance, and Vitality is a good idea for knights and warriors, while Dexterity and Endurance are more important for mercenaries in melee combat. It is not recommended that a new player of the Souls series begin their adventure as a spellcaster, but if you insist on taking on this challenge, you should prioritize Vitality to improve your character’s survival rate, followed by Intelligence, Magic, and Faith, depending on the nature of the spells you plan to cast.

Souls Series | Dark souls, Fantasy games, Demon souls

How To Level Your Character

Once the game begins, your character will need to be leveled up if you want to give them a fighting chance. And if you keep up the fight, you will succeed. In addition, killing enemies in the game rewards you with souls that can be spent on character upgrades and additional gear.

A bonfire is where you gain experience and level up your character, where you can then decide how to distribute your experience points. New weapons and armor won’t do you much good if you’re too weak to use them effectively if you don’t level up.

Once you’ve gotten the hang of the enemies in a given area, you shouldn’t be afraid to return there to farm souls. You should know by now that when you die or use a Bonfire for healing or transportation, all enemies in the game will respawn. If you’ve found a safe area with plenty of enemies that drop souls, you should clear that area multiple times to level up your character before venturing into more dangerous regions.

Managing Your Humanity

The concept of humanity, one of the game’s most crucial elements, is widely misunderstood. Maintaining your state of humanity requires nothing more than collecting humanity and converting it at bonfires in order to increase your defenses and improve your chances of searching for items.

In addition, death plays a significant role in dark souls; if you die and return to your last safe point, you will be resurrected as a hollow, a kind of zombie. In addition, you can return to your human form and resume all the exciting activities available to you as a human by amassing Humanity and performing a Reverse Hollowing at a bonfire. In addition, you may build bonfires, and your standing may improve with certain covenants you have previously entered into.


Do I Need to Play the Souls Games in Order?

The Souls games can be played in any order you like.

The concept of the Age of Fire has some tangential relationship to the Dark Souls Trilogy. The playable characters, enemies, environments, and plotlines are all unique to each game. The third installment doesn’t require you to have played the previous two to understand what’s going on.

All of the other titles in the Souls series can be played independently of one another.

Will There Be Another Dark Souls Game?

Maybe we’ve reached the end with Dark Souls III and the only things left to look forward to are remakes and remasters. Can we even predict the future? Nobody has any idea…

It’s not true. What lies ahead is known to us. FromSoftware is busier than ever as they develop the Elden Ring, a new souls-like.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (2019) is another excellent single-player experience from FromSoftware that channels the spirit of the Souls series.

The Final Word

That wraps up everything FromSoftware has released that can be classified as a “Souls game” or “Souls-like game.”

FromSoftware is currently working on Elden Ring, a highly anticipated title that features contributions from George R.R. Martin. Almost two years after the initial E3 teaser in June 2019, fans finally got a proper trailer for the game in June 2021.

For the time being, it appears that both the visual style and the gameplay of Elden Ring are harkening back to the original Dark Souls. Some viewers were disappointed because they were hoping for something new and different, while others were pleased to see a faithful continuation of a beloved series.

Regarding the future of the Dark Souls franchise, we simply do not know. The director has expressed his desire to not see the franchise diluted to the point where it loses all significance. Furthermore, many spiritual sequels to Dark Souls are undoubtedly on the horizon, including Bloodborne and Elden Ring, both of which look to expand the gameplay formula by introducing new themes.

This means that new Dark Souls games, outside of remasters and remakes, are highly unlikely. We think it’s safe to say that the majority of fans share our optimism that FromSoftware will continue to release innovative and entertaining games.