Dark Souls has been named the Ultimate Game of All Time at the 2021 edition of the Golden Joystick Awards, which is a gaming awards ceremony that is operated and hosted by GamesRadar.


Developed by FromSoftware and published by Bandai Namco in 2011, Dark Souls is an action-adventure RPG that is famed for its unforgiving difficulty level. Blending deep exploration with brutal battles makes it a truly memorable experience for any player, especially those with the patience to persevere and push through the hardest segments.

Itself a spiritual successor to FromSoftware's Demon's Souls, Dark Souls went on to spawn a brace of similarly gruelling sequels, and now the team at FromSoftware is working away on Elden Ring (a new fantasy game, boasting word-building from George RR Martin, that recently hosted a hype-building demo event).

But why exactly was Dark Souls named the best game ever, and how can you play it in 2021? Keep on reading and we'll fill you in on all those important details!

Why was Dark Souls named the Ultimate Game of All Time?

Simply put, Dark Souls has been named the Ultimate Game of All Time because it won a public vote. The poll was run by GamesRadar, the outlet behind the Golden Joystick Awards, with players given a shortlist of 20 nominees to choose between. The list of nominees, ordered by how many votes they received, looks like this:

  1. Dark Souls
  2. Doom (1993)
  3. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  4. Half-Life 2
  5. Minecraft
  6. Street Fighter II
  7. Tetris
  8. The Last of Us
  9. Super Mario 64
  10. Metal Gear Solid
  11. Halo: Combat Evolved
  12. Super Mario Bros. 3
  13. Grand Theft Auto V
  14. Portal
  15. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
  16. Pac Man
  17. Super Mario Kart
  18. Space Invaders
  19. Sim City (1989)
  20. Pokémon GO

Of course, there are probably games that you love that didn't make it onto that list, meaning they didn't get a fair shot at competing for votes.

Here at the RadioTimes.com office, when we saw that list of nominees, there were shoutouts for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - none of those stellar experiences were available on the poll, but we would've voted for them if we could.

You could argue that a public vote can be easily swayed, and it will only ever receive a limited number of votes, so perhaps it's not a true measurement of which games are the greatest. But still, this is an interesting result, and Dark Souls fans will be very happy!

GamesRadar's Joe Donnelly shared a lengthy explanation as to why he thinks Dark Souls won the vote, noting that the game "garnered cult-classic status from the off, before growing in stature over time, converting the non-believers one Taurus Demon-slaying at a time [...] We'll be talking about Dark Souls in another 10 years, and another 10 years after that again. In Dark Souls, we're told that history repeats itself. But in reality, there will likely never be a game quite like it again."

Read more on FromSoftware:

Where to play Dark Souls in 2021

Whether you've played Dark Souls before or not, this news may spark inside you a powerful desire to play the game - it's newly anointed as the Ultimate Game of All Time, so there's never been a better time to check it out!

More like this

The easiest way to play Dark Souls in 2021 is surely the Dark Souls: Remastered edition, which you can play on all of the major platforms. Order your copy now if you haven't already:

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