Ranking the Hardest Soulsborne games by their difficulty can be as hard as the games themselves. We have the Dark Souls series that popularized the genre. Then we have different takes on the games with Bloodborne and Sekiro. Not to mention we have the latest entry Elden Ring which is one of the best games of all time and not just a good Soulsborne game. But when you compare them to each other, which is really the hardest? Without further ado, let us check the answer to that in this list of all Soulsborne ranked by their difficulty.
All Soulsborne Games Ranked by Difficulty
Below is my list of all the Soulsborne games from FromSoftware ranked by difficulty. Depending on the Souls game you played first you might not agree with this list. That is because the difficulty is subjective and there is no fixed answer. In this list, I have considered the boss fights and overall mechanics to gauge the difficulty. These are all the games ranked from easiest to hardest.
7. Demon Souls
6. Dark Souls
5. Elden Ring
4. Dark Souls 3
3. Dark Souls 2
Here is my reasoning as to why each of them is placed in those positions.
Demon Souls – Easiest Soulsborne Game
Starting with Demon Souls, the easiest Soulsborne game on the list. It is not that the game doesn’t have tough bosses. There were certainly some fearsome ones like Flamelurker, Penetrator, and Old King Allant. But otherwise, the game was more on the easier side when you compare it to the games that came after it. The enemy mobs and design also weren’t too difficult or annoying to frustrate the player.
Dark Souls is also a pretty easy game when you compare it to some of its later entries. But it is the game with arguably one of the best world designs of all time. Unlike the later games, you didn’t get to fast travel until very late in the game. Thus you were forced to explore and unlock shortcuts. And the fact that most areas were closely tied to the Firelink shrine had its own charm.
Other than level design the game had some of the most memorable boss fights. But sadly they weren’t as tough as the newer games. I will even go so far as to say that Gwyn Lord of Cinder was a walk in the park if you knew how to use parry. Though without parry you were sure to have a hard time landing hits on him. He didn’t give you many chances to heal either. But at the end of the day, the in-game mechanic made him a joke for me.
Elden Ring has its fair share of hard parts but it is definitely not the hardest Soulsborne game. The reason for it is you have plenty of summons and build options. You could argue the late-game bosses can be very tough which is true. But by then your character is already very strong, be it stats or your choice of weapons. Not to mention you have some very broken weapons like Rivers of Blood, Sword of Night and Flame, and sorceries like Rock Sling, Comet Azur, and more.
The open world does make the game quite hard because you can reach some high-level areas not meant for your current level. But that also allows you to get better weapons and Ashes of War from there. Elden Ring is by no means a bad game. If you choose to not use summons or over-level your character you can definitely have a really good challenge. But when you take all the options that the game gives you it just doesn’t feel right to call it the hardest Soulsborne game.
Dark Souls 3
The reason Dark Souls 3 isn’t above Dark Souls 2 is that it isn’t as annoying. The game has plenty of hard bosses, but it feels better made than Dark Souls 2. But while it appears to be down on this list it has plenty of hard bosses like Nameless King, The Dancer, & Lothric Younger Prince. Other than that both Dark Souls 2 and 3 and pretty close to each other in terms of difficulty. But if you had to compare which game is better, then Dark Souls 3 definitely is above Dark Souls 2.
Dark Souls 2
This game isn’t hard because of its bosses but rather because of its design. The game annoys you with unexpected enemy encounters. Not to mention this game has the very annoying feature of your health decreasing each time you die. So at one point, you will straight up be fighting with half your actual HP. This isn’t exactly a big issue as you can restore it but it is still a hassle nonetheless. And even without these inconveniences some of the bosses can be very troublesome.
Bloodborne is the second hardest Soulsborne game. To beat Bloodborne you need to be aggressive, the game punishes you for playing passively. This game has some of the hardest bosses of all Soulsborne games. These bosses are equally punishing as Sekiro bosses are, if not more at times. Although if this is your first Soulsborne game you might find it slightly easier. But if you are used to the mechanics of Dark Souls then you are most likely to have a hard time. As it requires you to change how you approach many enemies and bosses.
Sekiro – Hardest Soulsborne Game
Finally, we have Sekiro the hardest Soulsborne game so far. It is the most different game on this list because of its mechanics. Sekiro is also the game that has the highest difficulty curve. But once you master it this game can go from being the hardest to the easiest. Although there is a long time for most players to reach there. To begin with, Sekiro’s combat is very different. Unlike most Soulsborne games you can’t play passively.
In Sekiro you need to actively parry and deflect enemy attacks to build their posture, which then allows you to finish them off. And depending on the enemy you might have to chip away at their health. The game also restricts you to a sword so there is no ranged build as such for you to rely on. Once you get used to your enemy’s attack pattern then you can start countering them. But the bosses will punish you even for the slightest mistakes at times. So the game has the potential to be the easiest Soulsborne game, but only once you get the enemy attack pattern down and have a good amount of time invested in it.
That covers this list of the hardest Soulsborne games ranked by difficulty. Since you are interested in Soulsborne games you might find our guides useful for Elden Ring and Sekiro. And for more things on other games check out Gamer Tweak.