• If you are looking for a VPN this is the one we recommend MaxSecVPN.com as they have the BEST PRICE I have found and also the best quality.
  • QSG is currently looking for forum local moderators. Meaning you would pick a forum on the website and you would only be able to moderate that forum. This comes with making sure people are following the rules and being respectful. You are also responsible for promoting your forum. Please fill out an application here.

How to Play Every Dark Souls Game and Expansion in Order

Back in 2011, FromSoftware released a spiritual successor to its 2009 cult classic,
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
. This new game, titled
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
, was a tough sell: a punishing, hardcore RPG where players attempt to survive a haunting fantasy hellscape teeming with gruesome monsters that could eviscerate them in seconds. At the time, it was hard to imagine the team’s crushing new creation would become one of gaming's most revered modern franchises.


However, Dark Souls’ ruthlessly satisfying combat, brutal yet compelling boss encounters, and story-rich world transformed it into a global phenomenon,
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
that’s still thriving over a decade later. With FromSoftware’s work on the Dark Souls franchise now wrapped up, we’ve decided to break down every game and expansion in the trilogy, as well as offer new players a recommended starting point.

Jump to:

How Many Dark Souls Games and Expansions Are There?​


Not including remasters or ports, there are
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
, with every release arriving on home consoles and PC.

Where’s the Best Place to Start?​

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

For newcomers, picking a place to dive into the franchise is tricky. Some will suggest starting with the original Dark Souls, as it marked the beginning of the franchise and gives you a broad overview of what the series offers.

While Dark Souls 1 is a great place to start, from a gameplay standpoint, we'd recommend diving into Dark Souls 3 first. Although you can expect a steep learning curve at points, Dark Souls 3 is the simplest of the trilogy to pick up and play, with a more linear world to traverse and a series of early-game encounters that help you learn the ropes. It’s also the newest of the three Dark Souls games and, by extension, the smoothest to play.

That being said, if
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
appeals to you, you're probably best jumping into the original game first. Dark Souls has a rich world and a deep story that you’ll uncover over time, and while each game largely stands on its own, some aspects of the lore are best experienced chronologically.

Every Dark Souls Game in Release Order​


These blurbs contain mild spoilers for each game, including characters, settings, and story beats.

1. Dark Souls (2011)​

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

Hitting shelves in 2011, FromSoftware followed up its work on Demon's Souls by releasing a spiritual successor titled
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
. The game took place in the dour realm of Lordran, with players assuming the role of a hollowed warrior known as the Chosen Undead. Awakening in the desolate halls of the Undead Asylum, they’re given a quest: link the First Flame and continue the Age of Fire, preventing Lordran from plunging into darkness.

Escaping the Asylum, the Chosen Undead undertakes an adventure across the realm, battling through the onslaught of monstrosities and corrupted gods that call the haunting locale home. Players had to study their surroundings and create precise character builds in order to navigate its hopeless, punishing world. It demanded a lot from its audience, offering them challenging battles that felt genuinely rewarding to learn and master.

Whether it's enduring the perilous descent to the poisoned depths of Blighttown or
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
, Dark Souls' seminal moments and approach to difficult but satisfying gameplay made it an instant classic.


Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, Switch

2. Dark Souls: Artorias of the Abyss (2011)​

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

Shortly after the release of the base game, FromSoftware released the first and only major expansion for the original Dark Souls:
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
. Taking place during the events of the main campaign, it sees the Chosen Undead venture through a portal that sends them back in time. Arriving in the land of Oolacile, they must face an ancient and powerful new threat.

Alongside several bosses, including arguably the game’s toughest challenge,
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
, Dark Souls: Artortias of the Abyss added a new area to explore and some powerful end-game gear, while also building significantly on the series’ lore.


Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, Switch

3. Dark Souls 2 (2014)​

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

Three years later, FromSoftware released the second entry in the Dark Souls trilogy, with
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
picking up the story thousands of years later. This time around, a new hollowed warrior known as the Bearer of the Curse takes center stage, journeying to the kingdom of Drangleic to dispel the undead curse afflicting them.

Their quest puts them on the trail of the long-missing King Vendrick, kick starting an adventure to track down Drangleic's former liege. Dark Souls 2 built off the original Dark Souls’ foundation in a number of ways, implementing changes to the respawn mechanic so enemies no longer return if you’ve killed them multiple times, fully overhauling the humanity system, and making fast travel available from the very beginning of the game.


Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC

4. Dark Souls 2: Crown of the Sunken King (2014)​

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

The first of a three-part DLC slate for Dark Souls 2 known as
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
,
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
follows the Bearer of the Curse as they descend deep below Drangleic. There, they search for the titular Crown of the Sunken King.

The expansion provides an all-new labyrinthine underground area to explore, delivering a gauntlet of poison-inflicting enemies, hidden traps, environmental puzzles, and a handful of tough new bosses.


Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC

5. Dark Souls 2: Crown of the Old Iron King (2014)​

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

The second entry in the Lost Crowns expansion trilogy,
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
sees the Bearer of the Curse explore a new area known as Brume Tower. Much like the last expansion, the protagonist’s goal is to track down an ancient crown, this time belonging to the titular Old Iron King.

To find the artifact, they’ll have to make their way past the tower’s defenses, battling a range of powerful fire-wielding foes while navigating precarious pathways and going toe-to-toe with another wave of hyper-challenging bosses.


Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC

6. Dark Souls 2: Crown of the Ivory King (2014)​

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

The third and final entry in The Lost Crowns expansion trilogy,
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
sends players to the icy kingdom of Eleum Loyce. There, they’re tasked with tracking down the final missing crown: the Crown of the Ivory King.

Exploring the ruins amidst a blizzard, players must fend off a range of frozen threats, contending with rival phantoms, hazardous environments, and, of course, a handful of challenging new bosses.


Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC

7. Dark Souls 3 (2016)​

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

After the release of
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
, FromSoftware returned to the Dark Souls franchise for its final entry:
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
. Our story begins as, once again, the First Flame begins to fade, causing a hollowed undead by the title of Ashen One to rise and begin a quest to relink the flame.

To accomplish their mission, they must return the powerful
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
to their thrones, launching the Ashen One on a perilous journey across the kingdom of Lothric. Acting as a finale to the series, Dark Souls 3 was the biggest Dark Souls game yet, with grander, more intense boss battles; some of the franchise's most visually and technically ambitious levels; and faster, more aggressive combat.


Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

8. Dark Souls 3: Ashes of Ariandel (2016)​

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

The first of two major expansions for Dark Souls 3,
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
sees the player travel to the Painted World of Ariandel on a quest to fulfill a prophecy. There, they find a frost-covered world filled with danger.

Ashes of Ariandel unleashes a range of new threats on the player, as they explore fallen ruins while finding new gear, battling fierce endgame enemies, and tackling one of Dark Souls 3's hardest boss fights yet with
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
and Father Ariandel.


Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

9. Dark Souls 3: The Ringed City (2017)​

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

The second and final expansion for Dark Souls 3,
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
brings the Dark Souls series to a close. Exploring a distorted world of fallen kingdoms known as the Dreg Heap, players embark on an adventure through this haunting graveyard, setting up a climactic showdown against a corrupted foe.

The Ringed City delivered one final area for Dark Souls veterans to test their mettle, pitting them against brutal, high-level enemies who offered powerful endgame gear and delivered some of the trilogy's most challenging boss encounters.


Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

What’s Next for Dark Souls?​


As it currently stands, Dark Souls as a franchise is officially complete. Series creator Hidetaka Miyazaki has reiterated that FromSoftware is done with the series multiple times, although
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
back in 2016 that its conclusion “doesn't necessarily mean [we’re] not going to work on a Dark Souls-like game.”

We saw Miyazaki's words come to fruition six years later, with FromSoftware releasing a spiritual successor to the series,
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
, in 2022. Last year, we learned that Elden Ring will be receiving a major expansion in the near future, with FromSoftware announcing that an add-on titled
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
is in development.


Callum Williams is a freelance media writer with years of experience as a game critic, news reporter, guides writer and features writer.

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
 

Users who are viewing this thread

  • We value your privacy

    We use essential cookies to make this site work, and optional cookies to enhance your experience.

    See further information and configure your preferences

    These cookies are required to enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may not reject these.
    We deliver enhanced functionality for your browsing experience by setting these cookies. If you reject them, enhanced functionality will be unavailable.
    Cookies set by third parties may be required to power functionality in conjunction with various service providers for security, analytics, performance or advertising purposes.