FromSoftware is the only developer that has won Game of the Year two years in a row when their game was nominated. There’s no other studio that has done that, and quite frankly, FromSoftware is in a league of its own.
From creating an entirely new genre called Soulslike to redefining it with Elden Ring, FromSoftware has proved why it’s the modern-day king of game design. In this article, we’ll be going through the track record of the Japanese studio and picking the five best FromSoftware games of all time.
Best FromSoftware Games, Ranked
Before we jump into the rankings, it’s worth mentioning that each of FromSoftware’s games has a special place in someone’s heart. This list has some bias, so if you don’t see your favorite title at number one, please leave a comment telling us what you think the rankings should be.
5. Armored Core 6
Right after Elden Ring in 2022, FromSoftware followed up with Armored Core 6 in 2023. The studio returned to their mecha franchise guns blazing after a decade and fans couldn’t help but savor the experience.
Like all of FromSoftware’s games, Armored Core 6 brought innovation, and this time it was in mobile combat. You could now customize your entire Armored Core: equip it with machine guns or rockets, change the paint on it, name it, and even customize how it moved.
Armored Core 6 was easily the best action game of 2023 because of its high-octane combat, but since it didn’t have the grandeur of From’s Souls games, fifth place seems like the perfect spot.
Bloodborne is a gothic masterpiece. Every inch of Yharnam is brimming with lore, frightening sights, and a creepy-crawly waiting to hack you up. In terms of aesthetics and atmosphere, Bloodborne is the best FromSoftware game.
On top of the visual appeal, Bloodborne has a gripping narrative and a parry mechanic that depends on shooting at the perfect time rather than lifting up your shield as is in other FromSoftware games. Bloodborne might not be up to date anymore but its art direction and world-building will make you reminisce on them often.
3. Dark Souls 3
After the critical success of the first two games, it was only a matter of time before we saw Dark Souls 3. At the time of release, Dark Souls 3 was the toughest kid on the block with the Nameless King and Soul of Cinder boss fights. It was a pain through and through and masterfully managed to instill the love of masochism in you.
Dark Souls 3 has some of the best NPC storylines, and its innumerable unique weapons, characters, and endings are so enthralling that it’s one of FromSoftware’s finest.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is 2019’s game of the year, and if you’ve played it, you already know why. It’s the game in which FromSoftware perfected parrying and used it as the main combat loop. You’re always forced to learn each and every enemy’s attack patterns, parry thousands of times at the perfect moment, and attack with what little room you have.
The posture-parry system makes Sekiro almost feel like a rhythm game. By the time you reach the final arc, you’ll be so attuned to the sounds of swords clashing that you’ll feel like a real-life master swordsman.
Additionally, Sekiro has the best rogues’ gallery of any FromSoftware game. The Owl Father, Isshin, Genichiro, and the Divine Dragon, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice’s boss fights as well as its character design are unparalleled. Sekiro does a lot and does it well. It deserves all the praise it gets, and if there was any action game you need to play before “you died” for real, this would be it.
1. Elden Ring
If anyone could reinvent the Soulslike genre, it would be FromSoftware, the studio that invented it Soulslike in the first place. The concept of an open-world Souls game was incomprehensible, and at times, it even felt delusional.
How exactly would the Souls formula of dying to bosses over and over again within linear levels be brought to an open-world environment while still retaining the magic? Elden Ring was the answer.
FromSoftware handcrafted every part of Elden Ring’s The Lands Between. Each area had a distinct theme, unique patrolling NPCs, and boss fights that were out of this world. The set pieces of the side stories, in particular the Ranni questlines where a meteor blows a literal hole in the map, were insanely huge. Now imagine how bonkers the main story quests are.
That feeling of seeing Limgrave for the first time, riding with your trusty steed Torrent in The Lands Between, discovering the Haligtree, and trying to beat Malenia, the hardest boss of all time in any video game ever, was beautiful. Some games can’t even replicate that feeling once, but Elden Ring does it hundreds of times. There’s a lot about 2022’s game of the year that can be said, but the most important one would be that Elden Ring is an adventure of a lifetime and every gamer needs to experience it.