Probably lots of Dark Souls players will have had some horrible nightmares with one or more of the bosses on the list below. That’s what makes them great though and this is why they’re listed here in our top 10 bosses in the Dark Souls Franchise.
We’re ranking them based on personal preference (as it happens with all lists, actually) and from the easiest to beat to the most difficult ones.
Being Dark Souls, we know that they’re all incredibly tough… but trying to rank them out a bit never does any harm. So without further ado, here are the top 10 bosses in the Dark Souls series.
10. Sir Alonne (Dark Souls 2)
Found in the Memory of the Old Iron King, Sir Alonne is a wandering swordsman and formerly the Iron King’s right-hand man. He’s quite an intimidating opponent.
He attacks using several different strikes and dashing attacks from a long distance, and wields the Bewitched Alonne Sword. The good thing is that he is open to counterattacks while he’s launching his attacks. He also tends to act slower and uses fewer combos as the fight progresses.
Just make sure to bring a large shield to block all melee damage. While Sir Alonne is relatively resistant to all forms of magical attacks, he takes significant damage from Lightning.
9. Soul of Cinder (Dark Souls 3)
The final boss of Dark Souls 3, the Soul of Cinder is the amalgamation of all the Lords of Cinder. And even though you’re probably surprised to see him rank so low, well… here it is!
He’s a tall knight wearing badly worn/charred armor. The Firelink Greatsword is his weapon of choice. It’s a larger version of the Coiled Sword which can change its shape to suit its wielder’s needs.
For the first phase, he uses a variety of Dark Dialectics spells and movesets, and Gwyn’s moveset during the second phase. It will be hard for you to counterattack him as he changes his attack moves very smoothly.
This means you’ll need to utilize different fighting tactics. The Soul of Cinder is known to be weak to Frost, Lightning and Dark, as well as resistant to Bleed and immune to Poison/Toxic.
8. Pontiff Sulyvahn (Dark Souls 3)
The Pontiff Sulyvahn lurks in Irithyll of the Boreal Valley. Draped in bejeweled ceremonial robes, Sulyvahn wears a crown over a chain mail. He wields two greatswords – the Greatsword of Judgment on his left and the Profaned Ultra Greatsword on his right.
He is an extremely aggressive boss and attacks using two elements, Fire and Magic, giving you little breathing room. Blocking his attacks is hard, so the best thing to do is dodge and have a shield ready.
He has a ghost that he can summon, so make sure to hit him while he’s at it to deal a few good hits at his ghost at the same time.
Not only is Sulyvahn resistant to Fire and Magic, he’s also immune to Poison, Toxic, Frost and Bleed. Definitely not one of the funnest bosses you’ll ever encounter, but since it’s Dark Souls that we’re talking about here, there’s much worse coming!
7. Dancer of the Boreal Valley (Dark Souls 3)
One of the toughest bosses in the Dark Souls series, the Dancer was once a maiden to Gwynevere then forced by the Pontiff Sulyvahn to become a dancer and eventually turn into an Outrider Knight.
The Dancer is an unpredictable boss. She will make you second-guess every dodge and counterattack. That’s because she has an extensive moveset and deceptively short windups, leaving you struggling to come up with counterattacks.
She moves around with an eerie calm to bait you into circling her and getting hit easily as she’s quick to turn around and deliver strikes that deal large amounts of damage.
Her grab attack is also quite damaging, although gives you enough time to avoid it. The Dancer is known to be immune to Frost and Poison/Toxic.
6. Lud and Zallen (Dark Souls 2)
A pair of bosses in Dark Souls 2, Lud and Zallen are King’s pets, giant, magic casting sabretooth tigers, found in an icy arena in the end of the Frigid Outskirt. While these bosses are usually fought together, they can be beaten individually.
The fight starts with Lud, giving you a moment before he attacks. So make sure to buff quickly. He will either cast Crystal Soul Spears or do a lunging swipe, then deflect your attacks with Crystal Spikes or Magic Blast.
Zallen will then join the fight, so make sure to get hits on Lud as much as you can to quickly defeat him before focusing on Zallen and doing the same. Lud and Zallen are weak to Fire and resistant to Dark damage.
5. Knight Artorias (Dark Souls 2)
Also known as Artorias the Abysswalker, the Knight Artorias can be found in the coliseum area of Oolacile Township, at the end of the Royal Wood.
He was once one of the Four Knights of Lord Gwyn before being corrupted by the Abyss and losing his sanity. Although he has virtually no ranged attacks, he has incredible speed that makes up for it. As such, almost every attack coming from him tends to be very powerful.
The good thing is that he broadcasts his moves beforehand, giving you time to dodge, block or come up with counterattacks.
You’ll need to use far-reaching weapons like Crystal Halbred as he’s a very fast opponent.
The Knight Artorias is resistant to Magic and Fire as well as immune to Bleed and Poison/Toxic.
4. Fume Knight (Dark Souls 2)
Also known as Raime the Traitor and Rebel Raime, the Fume Knight is the final boss of the Crown of the Old Iron King and found at the bottom of the Brume Tower.
The fight starts with the Fume Knight wielding a Fume Sword and a Fume Ultra Greatsword, which he uses to attack with random combos. He buffs the greatsword with a mix of Fire and Dark. You can block his attacks, but doing so can eat up your stamina.
So make sure to sneak your counterattacks while dodging his advances, the best times being the ones when he swings the Ultra Greatsword.
Not only is the Fume Knight extremely resistant to Fire and Magic – with medium resistance to Lightning and Dark – he’s also immune to Bleed and Poison/Toxic.
3. Manus, Father of the Abyss (Dark Souls)
One of the most difficult bosses to defeat in Dark Souls, Manus is the final boss of the AotA expansion. He was once a human before becoming the Father of the Abyss, losing his humanity in the process. Since he’s a force to be reckoned with, you’ll need additional help.
What you need to do is either summon the Great Grey Wolf Sif or collect the Silver Pendant in the Oolacile Township in order to deflect sorcery. Having a strong shield with high endurance will also help you block most of his attacks.
His downward strikes can’t be blocked, and the only way to avoid it is to roll. You’ll also have an edge if you’re an Intelligence Caster or a Faith Caster.
Manus is weak to Lightning while being resistant to Fire and Magic, as well as immune to Curse and Poison.
2. Nameless King (Dark Souls 3)
The Nameless King is known to be the hardest boss in Dark Souls 3, especially when riding his dragon King of the Storm. The Nameless King is located in the Archdragon Peak and can be summoned by ringing the bell of the Great Belfry.
He will be riding King of the Storm in the first phase. Which means you’ll have to kill the dragon first. The best place to dodge his attacks is to stay underneath him and his dragon. Make sure to wear heavily resistant lightning gear to block his Lightning attacks and avoid massive Physical damage.
He becomes more powerful once his dragon is dead as he can absorb the latter’s powers. His attacks may not be incredible, but the damage large enough to lose nearly half your health for every swing.
He is weak to Fire and Dark damage, resistant to Frost and Lightning, and immune to Poison/Toxic.
1. Dragon Slayer Ornstein and Executioner Smough (Dark Souls)
The top spot in this list is none other than Dragon Slayer Ornstein and Executioner Smough. They are a pair of bosses that guard Gwynevere, Princess of Sunlight in Anor Londo. The vicious duo has proven to be challenging to many players.
Facing one boss is hard enough. Fighting two at once is a very tough challenge. Smough is slow but extremely strong. Thus, it’s hard to avoid his attacks at close range.
He can be staggered by melee attacks though, which easily disrupts his attack patterns. Ornstein, on the other hand can absorb Smough’s power once the latter is defeated. This makes him a lot stronger and more difficult to fight. Y
ou can take advantage of his weakness against Fire by using a +5 fire weapon in the fight. Pyromancies also prove to be effective. They’re both close-ranged opponents, so the Havels shield and Iron Flesh can be useful. Both of them are resistant to Lightning and Fire.
This would be our ranking of the top 10 bosses in the Dark Souls franchise. Let us know what you think about the list and which are your top three bosses of all time.