The Most Popular Dark Souls Game: Ranking the Fan Favorite

Choose the game you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Oct 2, 2023 07:35
Welcome to StrawPoll's epic showdown of the most popular Dark Souls game ever! As a true fan of this enigmatic, soul-crushing, and exhilarating series, it's time to make your voice heard and cast your vote in the ultimate test of loyalty and passion for the world of Dark Souls. Delve into the treacherous lands of Lordran, Drangleic, and Lothric as we pit these iconic games against each other in a battle for supremacy. Will the groundbreaking original claim its rightful throne, or will the sequels rise to the challenge and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat? The choice is yours! Join the fray, vote for your all-time favorite, or even suggest a missing option if you dare. Let the fires of this heated debate fuel your excitement for the series and may the best game emerge victorious!

What Is the Most Popular Dark Souls Game? (October 2023)

  1. 1

    Dark Souls III

    Considered by many as the best entry in the series, Dark Souls III is known for its challenging gameplay, beautiful visuals, and intricate level design.
    Dark Souls III is an action role-playing game known for its challenging and unforgiving gameplay. It is the third installment in the Dark Souls series and offers a dark and atmospheric world filled with menacing enemies and epic boss battles. Players navigate through treacherous environments, uncover the mysterious lore, and strive to survive against all odds.
    • Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
    • Release Date: April 12, 2016
    • Genre: Action, RPG
    • Game Modes: Single-player, Multiplayer
    • Difficulty: Very challenging
    Dark Souls III in other rankings
  2. 2
    The game that started it all, Dark Souls is known for its unforgiving difficulty, deep lore, and memorable boss fights.
    Dark Souls in other rankings
  3. 3


    While not technically a Dark Souls game, Bloodborne is often grouped together with the series due to its similar gameplay mechanics and difficulty. It's known for its gothic horror setting, fast-paced combat, and Lovecraftian themes.
    Bloodborne is an action role-playing game exclusively released for the PlayStation 4. It was developed by FromSoftware and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. Set in the fictional city of Yharnam, players take on the role of a hunter seeking the cure for a mysterious blood-borne illness. They venture into the gothic and dark world, encountering terrifying creatures and challenging boss battles along the way.
    • Genre: Action role-playing
    • Platform: PlayStation 4
    • Release Date: March 24, 2015
    • Mode(s): Single-player
    • Developer: FromSoftware
    Bloodborne in other rankings
  4. 4

    Dark Souls II

    Despite not being as well-received as its predecessors, Dark Souls II still has a devoted fanbase thanks to its intriguing story and varied environments.
    Dark Souls II is an action role-playing game released in 2014, and it is the second installment in the Dark Souls series. Like its predecessor, the game is known for its challenging and unforgiving difficulty, deep lore, and atmospheric world design.
    • Release Date: March 11, 2014
    • Platform(s): PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows
    • Genre: Action role-playing
    • Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
    • Difficulty: High
  5. 5


    Shadows Die Twice - Another game from the developers of Dark Souls, Sekiro is known for its unique setting (feudal Japan), fast-paced combat, and challenging boss fights.
    Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is an action-adventure video game that takes place in a dark and twisted world inspired by late 1500s Sengoku-era Japan. Players assume the role of a shinobi warrior named Wolf who embarks on a mission to rescue his lord and seek revenge against his enemies. The game combines intense combat, intricate level design, and a gripping story to deliver a challenging and immersive experience.
    • Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
    • Release Date: March 22, 2019
    • Genre: Action-adventure
    • Rating: Mature (17+)
    • Modes: Single-player
  6. 6
    The game that laid the groundwork for the Dark Souls series, Demon's Souls is known for its punishing difficulty and oppressive atmosphere.
    Demon's Souls is an action role-playing game developed by Bluepoint Games and SIE Japan Studio. It is a remake of the original Demon's Souls game released for PlayStation 3. Set in the dark fantasy kingdom of Boletaria, players embark on a treacherous journey to save the realm from a dark force called the Old One. The game features intense combat, challenging enemies, and a richly detailed world.
    • Platform: PlayStation 5
    • Genre: Action role-playing
    • Release Date: November 12, 2020
    • Mode: Single-player
    • Resolution: 4K (PlayStation 5)
    Demon's Souls in other rankings
  7. 7


    Team Ninja
    Similar to Bloodborne, Nioh is often compared to the Dark Souls series due to its challenging gameplay and Japanese-inspired setting. It's known for its deep combat system and rewarding progression.
    Nioh is an action role-playing game (RPG) known for its challenging gameplay and intense difficulty. Set in the fictionalized Sengoku period of Japan, the game follows the protagonist William as he battles a variety of supernatural enemies. Nioh incorporates elements of Japanese history, folklore, and mythology into its narrative, offering a unique blend of historical fiction and fantasy.
    • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows
    • Genre: Action RPG
    • Release Date: February 7, 2017 (PS4), November 7, 2017 (PC)
    • Difficulty: High
    • Game Modes: Single-player, Multiplayer
    Nioh in other rankings
  8. 8
    While not as well-known as the other games on this list, Lords of the Fallen is still popular among fans of the genre thanks to its challenging combat and dark fantasy setting.
    Lords of the Fallen is a challenging action role-playing game (ARPG) developed by Deck13 Interactive and CI Games. Inspired by the Dark Souls series, it sets players in a dark fantasy world where they must battle formidable enemies and powerful bosses in order to save humanity from an ancient evil.
    • Release Date: October 28, 2014
    • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
    • Single-player: Yes
    • Genre: Action, Role-playing
    • Difficulty Level: Hard
    Lords of the Fallen in other rankings
  9. 9

    Salt and Sanctuary

    Ska Studios
    A 2D side-scrolling game that draws heavy inspiration from the Dark Souls series, Salt and Sanctuary is known for its challenging gameplay and atmospheric world.
    Salt and Sanctuary is a challenging action role-playing game that draws inspiration from the Dark Souls series. It presents a dark and unforgiving world where players must navigate treacherous environments and face brutal enemies to survive. The game features a deep, intricate lore and a variety of character classes with unique abilities and playstyles. With its intense combat, intricate level design, and atmospheric visuals, Salt and Sanctuary offers a tough but rewarding experience for fans of difficult games.
    • Developer: Ska Studios
    • Publisher: Ska Studios
    • Release Date: March 15, 2016
    • Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
    • Genre: Action role-playing
    Salt and Sanctuary in other rankings
  10. 10

    The Surge

    Deck13 Interactive
    Another game that takes inspiration from Dark Souls, The Surge is set in a dystopian future and features challenging combat and deep character customization.
    The Surge is a challenging action role-playing game that takes place in a dystopian future. It offers a similar gameplay experience to the Dark Souls series, combining intense combat, strategic thinking, and intricate level design.
    • Release Date: May 16, 2017
    • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
    • Genre: Action role-playing game
    • Single-player: Yes
    • Difficulty: High
    The Surge in other rankings

Missing your favorite game?


Ranking factors for popular game

  1. Game Mechanics and Gameplay
    Consider the combat system, character progression, and level design in each game. Look for improvements or regressions in gameplay elements, such as controls and responsiveness, enemy AI, and variety in weapons and abilities.
  2. Boss Fights and Difficulty
    The Dark Souls series is known for its challenging boss fights, so it's important to consider the design, difficulty, and memorability of such encounters. It is also important to appraise the general difficulty level of each game and how it affects the overall experience.
  3. Graphics and Audio
    While not as crucial as gameplay elements, the visuals and soundtrack play a large role in creating the overall atmosphere in each Dark Souls game. It's important to consider any improvements or detriments to graphics, animations, and the music and sound design.
  4. Innovation and New Features
    As with any gaming series, consider the introduction or removal of features between games. Look at new gameplay mechanics, the addition or removal of multiplayer functionality, and risks taken by the developers in evolving the format.
  5. Storytelling and Lore
    Although Dark Souls games have a relatively non-linear and sparse narrative, they feature rich world-building and lore. Take into account the quality and depth of the story in each game as well as the in-game storytelling techniques such as item descriptions, NPC interactions, and environmental storytelling.
  6. Reception and Popular Opinion
    Review aggregate websites, player reviews, and community forums provide a wealth of information on how well each Dark Souls game was received by players and critics. Take into account both initial and current opinions to see how popular each game remains within the community.
  7. Replay Value and Longevity
    Some games in the series may offer a more engaging experience upon multiple playthroughs, with options like New Game+ mode, varied character builds, or branching questlines. Consider the amount of content, customization options, and post-launch support like downloadable content or patches that could affect the longevity and replayability of each game.
  8. Accessibility and Learning Curve
    Although the Dark Souls series is known for being difficult, some games may be more approachable for newcomers to the series. Consider the learning curve, the availability, and helpfulness of tutorials or in-game explanations of mechanics, as well as the availability of difficulty adjustments or aids for players new to the series.
  9. Platform Availability and Performance
    Lastly, consider the platforms on which the games are available and any potential differences between them, such as performance, graphical quality, or control schemes. This is important for those who may have access to only certain gaming platforms or prefer one over another.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular Dark Souls game. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or your favorite game is missing from the list, feel free to help us improve the ranking.


  • 169 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each game once every 24 hours. The rank of each game is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular dark souls game

Background Information: Dark Souls is a series of action role-playing games developed by FromSoftware. The series is known for its challenging gameplay, intricate level design, and dark fantasy setting. The series has gained a massive following since its debut in 2011 with the release of the first game in the series, Dark Souls. The game's success led to the creation of two sequels, Dark Souls II and Dark Souls III, as well as several spin-offs such as Bloodborne and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Each game in the series offers a unique experience, but they all share the same punishing difficulty that has become a hallmark of the franchise. With so many entries in the series, it's no wonder fans continue to debate which Dark Souls game is the best.