FromSoftware have garnered quite the reputation over the past few years. Beginning with Demon Souls, (which is soon to get a remaster) each title afterwards has only increased in popularity and mainstream interest, due to their trademark style of firm but fair gameplay.
And with Elden Ring (Probably? Hopefully?) around the corner, it doesn't look like FromSoft has any intentions of abandoning their signature formula.
What makes this formula so great, besides the feeling of triumph after finally beating that one area on the 373rd attempt, is the skilful way the Soulsborne games manage to blend fear with sorrow.
The bosses are big, and scary, and well designed, but you could say that about Cuphead. For it to truly be a SoulsBorne boss, it needs a backstory so glum it'd make even the bleakest Tim Burton film look like Fall Guys by comparison.
From forgotten kings to lonely dogs, FromSoft loves to swipe at the heartstrings as they swipe at your health bar. So get those tissues ready and that stamina metre recharged, as we dive into the saddest denizens of Dark Souls and beyond.
Because the best bosses in SoulsBorne are the ones you feel sorry for. Even if you still end up smashing their faces in.
10. Headless Ape
The first Guardian Ape fight is one of the hardest that Sekiro has to offer, and the game tricks you into a crushing second phase fight right after you think you've finally beaten it.
So players can be forgiven for hating Donkey Kong's evil sadist of a cousin by the time they finally put it down.
It's only afterwards, when FromSoft gives you the first little lore tidbit, that you begin to feel the slightest bit guilty.
Because the Guardian Ape wasn't there flinging poo and eating centipedes for the good of its own health. Sadly, the Ape can't die. It's being controlled against its will by the centipede inside it, and can only get more pathetic from here.
In contrast to the first fight, the Headless Ape fight takes place in a hole in the ground, where you find it banging its head (well, neck) against the wall in brainless frustration. Instead of being another challenging and terrifying encounter, killing it just feels like you're putting the thing out of its misery.
And unless Sekiro has the Mortal Blade, death is only temporary, leading to a humiliating and endless display that would alarm more than one animal rights groups.
From a once proud titan of the Ashina to a headless centipede puppet, this Giant Ape has it worse than King Kong.