[Top 10] Reasons Why Soulsborne Games Are Popular and Loved by Gamers

Welcome to Soulsbornes unapologetic world

The Soulsborne series changed how we view games. Having a set of challenges and learning to master them is a million times more satisfying than dialing down the difficulty and cruising through the game. One great aspect of FromSoftware games is the sense of accomplishment we feel when we overcome a previously challenging situation.

1- We all love a good challenge

Phalanx of Demon's Souls

Phalanx of Demon's Souls

"It's so hard bro, you'll love it," is almost always the basic answer to "Why should I play a Souls game?" Something in our primitive human brains finds joy in challenges. I remember playing Demon’s Souls back in 2009 and getting stuck on the very first boss "Phalanx". Of course, it can be frustrating sometimes, but Soulsborne games often have an "easy mode" if you know where to look for it. For example, Phalanx was quite tanky with good defensive attacks, but once you tried fire buffs, it melted like butter! This takes us to our 2nd reason.

2- Our instinct to solve puzzles

Puzzles of Elden Ring

Puzzles of Elden Ring

The enjoyment of FromSoftware games is like when you encounter a new puzzle that you’ve never seen before. Most people find it quite fun to tackle a problem and spend a big chunk of their time on it. The puzzle mechanics are always the same throughout the series, but we get better at recognizing the patterns and finding the best possible solutions for them. After a couple of hundred hours into the series, it becomes second nature to identify and execute the best strategy for even the most challenging situations.

3- Static NPC levels

Radahn and Melanie

Radahn and Malenie

One concept that grinds my gears is, mobs leveling up with you. Unlike Soulsborne games, most action RPGs do that. I don’t want to sound like a hater, but Fallot 4 killed my vibe with this one. After hours of grinding, it feels cheesy that the game levels up the mobs you’ve been grinding for. I like that the enemies’ difficulty never changes in Souls games, so you have to try different areas to see which part is more suitable for your skill/level. It’s oddly satisfying when you return to an area after several hours and it’s easy to cut through the mobs that felt like bosses before.

4- It’s almost always your fault when you die.

DS Death Screen

DS Death Screen

We die a lot when we play FromSoftware games. Although it may seem unfair or unnecessary at first, we see it was our fault with time. Unlike other games, there’s never been a fairer scaling system than Soulsborne games have. There are people beating the games on dancing pads, or even with driving wheels! There have been multiple no-hit runs. What all these say is that it’s your fault when you die and lose all your souls. You can’t just hate a game just because you can’t deal with it.

5- The series is rhythm-based

Dancer of the Boreal Valley

Soulsborne series is a lot like rhythm games, as the timing of your actions is very important. At first, you may not be familiar with the controls, mechanics, and rhythm, and will fail in mere seconds. The only way to get better and enjoy the game is to just practice and “git gut” with the flow. After you get the hang of it, you press the right buttons at the right time, getting a full combo without really thinking about it. When you get hold of this rhythmic combat, it becomes meditative, and it’s almost addictive.

6- The combat

Bloodborne Combat

One great reason is the combat. It's very satisfying, and a key part of what makes the game worth playing at its core (and sucks you in despite any initial apprehension about the whole "You're going to die a lot" stigma). One thing that always makes me appreciate the Soulsborne games is how they sort of rewired my brain as far as a mindset towards difficulty goes. Instead of death being a big deal, it’s just a natural step in the learning process and always gives you a point to consider what went wrong in that attempt.

7- The learning curve

Sekiro Learning Curve

Learning to play a Soulsborne game is like learning to speak a new language. It seems insurmountable at first, but once you learn the tricks, the design, and what it’s asking of you, playing the games feels like coming home. The process of going from beginner to master is one of the most satisfying experiences I’ve ever had playing a game. The ability to apply what I’ve learned from one Soulsborne game to another gives a great sense of accomplishment.

8- The sheer quality

Demon's Souls quality

Part of the genre’s popularity is that it’s filled with such incredibly high-quality games. They’re all critically acclaimed. Beyond all the other factors we’ve listed, Soulsborne games are polished, well-written, well-acted, aesthetically pleasing, and feel premium. The first time you enter a new area, it’s impossible for you to deny it’s modern art. The architecture, the enemy design, and the world-building all complement each other and give the series a feeling of unity.

9- Environmental story-telling

DS3 Storytelling

Cosmic horror in general is fairly reliant on the unknown and the unseen. Soulsborne’s style of storytelling is a huge compliment to that. Environmental narrative and the archaeological approach it necessitates from players is a much better use of the medium as a story-telling device. The method FromSoftware uses is much more intriguing than the conventional, linear, set-piece-driven stories that games tell nowadays.

Personally, I love the fact that they require me to rely on my own wits to search for and put the puzzle pieces together in order to riddle out what is happening beneath the murky surface. The “oh!” moment will hit you when you see the bigger picture these games try to show you, and that feeling alone is worth a million dollars.

10- They can be mindlessly fun

Mayhem is FUN!

Forget all the previously stated reasons, it can be quite a mindless fun! Say that you’ve spent a long and tiring day, opening your favorite Soulsborne game and cutting through hundreds of enemies is as relaxing as a good bottle of wine. Of course, there are leveling mechanics and good reflexes, etc., but when you equip the biggest great-sword you have and summon a friend, you can keep going for hours. Even death can be fun when you blindly spam your heavy-attack and hope for the best. Sure, you can play CoD or LoL for the same reason, but doing it in a game that most people find quite challenging is more than satisfying.


Drinking and driving will cause you a DUI, but drinking and online gaming will make you new friends!
Gamer Since: 2001
Favorite Genre: PVP
Currently Playing: League of Legends
Top 3 Favorite Games:Rainbow Six Siege, Crysis: Warhead, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn

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