FromSoftware is a Japanese company which is renowned for making brutally difficult games. Games that leave players scratching their heads for hours, trying to figure out how to defeat a boss and get good. However, did you know that the company has a history that dates back to the 90s?
FromSoftware has developed a cavalcade of good games before they shifted to making the severely brutal games we’re seeing these days. In the article below you, we will cover the best and underrated FromSoftware games ever released. We will also focus on obscure and hidden gems as well.
This section contains the best and most well-known titles by FromSoftware.
Release Date: March 22, 2019
Platform: Xbox One | PS4 | PC | Google Stadia
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is one of the latest FromSoftware games to date. Similar to the Souls games, the aforementioned isn’t a walk in the park. It’s a whole new experience compared to what FromSoftware has developed before. Sekiro nudges players to get good at learning the deflection, and the mikiri counter mechanics to progress further in the game.
In the game, you take on the role of a shinobi known as Wolf who has to protect his lord Kuro. He will travel the land of Ashina, fight fearsome bosses, and together with his lord, they’ll sever the ties of immortality.
The gameplay in Sekiro puts heavy emphasis on using your katana to damage your enemies’ posture. As a result, this leads to an opening that allows Wolf to perform a single killing blow. The health bar in Sekiro is a bit useless as some enemies will take ages to defeat using that method. So, it’s better to work on deflection and parrying when you have the chance.
With the release of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice – Game of the Year Edition, you can now relive extraordinary moments you’ve had with boss fights. This works best if one wants to practice before fighting a new foe.
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Release Date: 2011, 2016
Platform: Xbox One | PS4 | PC | Nintendo Switch | PS3 | Xbox 360
Dark Souls is a series of action role-playing games that are pretty much known by now. The series debuted with the release of Dark Souls 1 back in 2011 for Xbox 360, PS3, and later on PC. Similar to Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, the game is brutal and it punishes you for futile mistakes.
In the series, you assume the role of an undead character who departs on a journey to discover the fate of his kind. His journey will be filled with lots of trials and errors, but he will eventually manage to survive.
The world of Dark Souls is dangerous as danger seeps from every corner. Not a single place is safe except your bonfire. In order to finish Dark Souls, one has to be cautious and master the art of rolling. Otherwise, the game will be hell and nothing else.
The Dark Souls franchise has been cited as one of the best video games ever made with critics and fans praising every aspect of it, but on the other hand, they criticized its severe difficulty.
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: March 24, 2015
Bloodborne is another brutal RPG developed by FromSoftware and published by Sony Computer Entertainment, which released exclusively for the PlayStation 4 in March 2015. It was one of the first PS4 games along with Knack, The Order: 1886, and Uncharted 4.
The game casts you in the role of a Hunter who has to through the Victorian era–inspired city of Yharnam. Its people have been infected with a blood-borne disease. It’s up to the Hunter to find the source of the plague.
Bloodborne is pretty similar to Dark Souls with the game being played in third-person mode. Players take control of a customizable character who can carry a set of weapons, as well as, firearms while exploring the surroundings and unravelling the mysteries of the city.
Bloodborne should really make a comeback into current-gen consoles, or why not a pc port on Steam anytime soon. That would be sick, right?
Developer: FromSoftware, Acquire
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: 1998, 2009
Platform: PS1 | PS2 | PSP | Wii | Xbox360 | Xbox | Nintendo DS
Tenchu is an action hack and slash stealth game series. The first two games were developed by Acquire until FromSoftware bought the IP rights back in 2003 from Activision. It is actually thanks to Tenchu that Sekiro was born, and this is obvious in so many ways.
The series takes place in 16th-century feudal Japan, and you play as two shinobi, Rikimaru, and Ayane. The two skilled ninjas serve Lord Gohda and work for him as his secret spies to thwart corruption and gather information.
Tenchu series put a huge emphasis on stealth as fighting all enemies can get tough at times. You can finish off your enemies in different ways, but the important thing is that they won’t alarm the other guards. They can’t do that if they’re dead can’t they?
Publisher: Namco Bandai Games, Atlus USA, Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: February 5, 2009
Demon’s Souls is the first instalment of the Souls series that started it all and is often referred to as the spiritual successor to the King’s Field series. During its initial development phases, the game had some troubles as the developers had creative difficulties. Thanks to Miyazaki, Fromsoftware managed to pull off the title into what it has become today.
You take on the role of an adventurer who is brought to the land of Boleteria. His mission is to kill the fallen king Allant and pacify the Old One. On the one hand, the gameplay is pretty similar to the Dark Souls franchise as it has players navigating five diverse worlds from a hub called the Nexus.
Demon’s Souls demo received negative impressions, as well as, medium sales in Japan. However, the became a critical and commercial success in the West. Demon’s Souls success ignited the fuel for the beginning of Souls games.
Publisher: Namco Bandai Games, Sega, Sony Computer Entertainment, ASCII Entertainment, 505 Games, Ubisoft, Metro3D, Agetec, Red Ant Enterprises
Release Date: 1997-2013
Platform: PS3 | PS2 | PS1 | PSP | PSVITA | Xbox360 | Mobile Phone
Armored Core is a third-person shooter mecha series that initially debuted on Sony’s Playstation back in 1997. Unfortunately, the series has come to a halt in 2013, and nothing new was heard ever since.
The game centres around a silent protagonist who controls the Armored Core and has to finish several missions for his clients. As players complete missions, they gain credits that enhance their Armored Core and unlock other opportunities to make cash.
The gameplay is pretty similar to the likes of Konami’s Zone of the Enders, and Mobile Suit Gundam: Federation vs. Zeon, but the game has this fast action pacing that nudges players to be quicker as enemies aren’t playing around.
Armored Core is one of the best mecha games ever made, and every FromSoftware fan should give it a try.
A section that includes underappreciated titles by FromSoftware throughout the years.
Publisher: Sega, FromSoftware
Release Date: December 12, 2002
Otogi Myth of Demons and its sequel, Immortal Warriors, are one of the games that paved the way for the creation of the Dark Souls series. Unlike the Souls games, Otogi isn’t a difficult game. It is quite unfortunate that the game is still stuck with the original Xbox. Thankfully, those who own an Xbox console can try it via the backward compatibility feature.
The story centres around Raikoh Minamoto, a demonic warrior entrusted with the duty of crushing the devilish powers that caused havoc and destruction in the sacred capital of Japan. After being granted a second chance by the princess, he has to repent of his sins by purging the demons off Tokyo.
The gameplay in Otogi is pretty similar to the likes of Dynasty Warrior, Sengoku Basara, and Ninja Gaiden. Players can perform several combos either on the ground or in the air. In addition to this, Otogi includes destructible environments which reward its players. Otogi is a great underrated game that should be played by every hack and slash fan.
You can either buy an original Xbox console, subscribe to Game Pass, or use Xemu emulator to play Otogi. The choice is always yours.
Publisher: Agetec, FromSoftware, Indie Games Production
Release Date: April 1, 2004
What a lot of players don’t know is that FromSoftware has actually developed a couple of survival horror titles before their transition into the Souls games. Kuon is kind of similar to Sony’s Forbidden Siren and classic Silent Hill games as it also has tank controls.
The game’s story puts you in the shoes of 3 different protagonists. Each protagonist follows a particular chapter. Their objective is to explore the surroundings to discover the mystery behind a pair of strange twins. Eventually, the characters will learn that they are the manifestation of two evil mulberry trees.
In kuon, you can’t use guns. Instead, players have two types of attacks: physical and magical. Physical attacks are performed by using a set of melee weapons. Meanwhile, magical attacks include using magical spells to perform fire or ice attacks. In addition to this, players can summon creatures by their side which can help greatly.
Kuon has one of the best plots in survival horror video games. Its eery atmosphere will definitely leave you on your toes as the game will always give you the impression that something is lurking in the shadows. It’s highly recommended for every survival horror fan.
Publisher: Agetec, FromSoftware, Indie Games Production
Release Date: 1998-2004
Platform: PS1 | PS2
The Echo Night series has to be one of the most criminally underrated titles ever created. Unfortunately, it remains obscure now as the graphics of the first haven’t aged well, and the last game was kind of met with mixed reviews which ultimately annihilated any possibility for a revival of the franchise, or a sequel.
The first game debuted as a graphical experiment based on King’s Field 3 visuals. Later on, the second game expanded on that, and was created around the theme of “quiet horror”. Lastly, the third game used a different engine that attempted to mimic realistic graphics not seen in other previous titles. Echo Night: Nebula still looks and plays impressive to this day.
The Echo Night series casts you in the role of Richard who’s pursuing a magical artefact. Richard is capable of interacting with ghosts which aren’t normally visible to ordinary people. Similar to games such as Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Echo Night puts heavy emphasis on exploration and puzzle-solving.
You can either buy the trilogy from eBay or emulate it legally by using the DuckStation emulator. The game works perfectly fine, and as always, the choice is always yours.
Hidden gems by FromSoftware that sadly did not sell very well. Luckily, this section will let you know about them.
Publisher: FromSoftware, Activision
Release Date: May 13, 2003
Lost Kingdoms II, or known as Rune II: Koruten no Kagi no Himitsu in Japan, is an interesting take on the JRPG genre by FromSoftware. While Lost Kingdoms II is a JRPG it combines elements from other games such as using cards for commands. It’s pretty similar to Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories if we want to be precise.
The game puts you in the shoes of Tara Grimface, a member of the guild of thieves who ventures on a journey with other companions to steal the runestones crafted in the caverns of Kendaria. During her adventure, she will discover her mysterious origins while surviving the dangerous world she’s in.
The gameplay isn’t like any ordinary JRPG, you fight your foes by using cards. These cards allow Tara to summon deadly creatures to fight alongside her. Tara gains experience points upon defeating her foes, likewise cards gain experience points and can be upgraded later on. Lost Kingdoms II is an unusual and original game that is worth your time as it incorporates diverse ideas that many will find interesting.
You can either buy the game on eBay or emulate it legally by using the Dolphin emulator. The choice is always yours.
Publisher: FromSoftware, Ubisoft, Agetec, Cave Entertainment
Release Date: April 27, 2000
Evergrace is one of PS2’s launch titles that was published back in 2000 by multiple publishers for each different region. A lot of players who discovered this hidden gem fell in love with it as it reminded them of Dark Souls and other games like the Lost Kingdoms series.
Nowadays, Evergrace’s gameplay doesn’t hold up. Still, at the time, the game was praised for its innovation. The game took advantage of the Dualshock 2 controller, and it included a unique system called ” Paper Doll “.
The aforementioned may feel dated to so many RPG fans out there, but we’re sure that those who yearn for the past will find it quite enjoyable for their taste.
You can either buy the game on eBay or emulate it legally by using a PCSX2 emulator. The choice is always yours.
Publisher: FromSoftware, Devolver Digital
Release Date: August 6, 2019
Platform: Xbox One | PS4 | PC
Metal Wolf Chaos was a buried title in Japan when it first came out on the original Xbox. It was thanks to fans that the game has finally managed to come out to the west 15 years after its initial release, and sure people were happy about it.
Players take on the role of the USA president Michael Wilson controlling a gigantic mech to thwart the rebellious military of Vice President Richard Hawk. There are bits of similarities between Armored Core and the aforementioned, but they’re still different when it comes to the battle system.
The game can be picked either on Steam or GOG for a pretty cheap price nowadays. If you’re a mecha fan, then go grab it.
Obscure titles by FromSoftware ranging from games that were released exclusively in Japan to others that simply went out of the radar of so many.
Publisher: FromSoftware, Ubisoft
Release Date: July 25, 2002
Yet another buried mecha game in Japan by FromSoftware, but seriously, what’s with FromSoftware and their unconditional love for mecha games? Murakumo is actually nothing like Metal Wolf Chaos or Armored Core games. It’s an arcade third-person shooter that is pretty similar to Sega’s Arcade game After Burner.
The gameplay is pretty frustrating at times, especially if you’re not accustomed to the like of After Burner and shoot-em-ups in general. Still, Murakumo still has its enjoyable moments where it succeeds at sucking you into the action.
If you’re a mecha freak like I’m, and enjoy shooting a plethora of robots on screen, then Murakumo is the one for you. It’s obscure these days, and you won’t see many mentioning it due to the fact that it’s buried in Japan. However, thanks to emulation, many are discovering it. Although, bear in mind that the game suffers from serious issues which prevent it from being playable.
Publisher: FromSoftware, Ubisoft
Release Date: January 12, 2006
Platform: Xbox 360 | PS3
Enchanted Arms is a turn-based role-playing set in a fictional world where the player controls 4 characters when fighting. The combat system is interesting as it takes place on grid layouts where characters can execute close combat and ranged attacks.
In Enchanted Arms, you play Atsuma, Makoto, and Toya, students of Enchanter’s University in Yokohama City. The trio is studying to become good enchanters while enriching their knowledge by learning about interesting topics such as the golems that populate the world and their origins. However, one day while they were skipping school, the town ends up being attacked by golems who cause havoc and destruction. It is up to the trio to discover what happened and go on an adventure together.
Release Date: July 15, 1999
This is the last mecha game that we’re going to mention here, we promise. FromSoftware is known for an abundance of mecha games such as the games we mentioned above as well as Another Century’s Episode on the PlayStation 2. Frame Gride is one of them too, but unfortunately, it was released exclusively in Japan.
Lucky for you, you can play this game via the Dreamcast emulator using a fan English patch which you can find somewhere on the internet. The patch will help you play the game from start to finish with no problems.
I'm just your average gamer who enjoys hunting hidden gems and underrated games. My love for Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams is like a truck and I recommend that you play it.
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