Gamesradar explains why it placed Dark Souls at the very top of its top 100 games of all time list.

Top 100: Why Dark Souls is simply tha top billin game of all time

If you haven’t played Dark Souls (and I mean straight-up played, to tha degree dat you KNOW tha utta folly of mah even rockin tha word ‘played’ up in dis paragraph, when I should straight-up be termin tha experience ‘utterly, obsessively lived in’), then tha chances is you have a entirely false impression of tha top billin game of all time. You’re probably ‘aware’ of a monstrous brute fo' realz. A blunt, unswerving, wack, unfair bully of a game, all brawn, misanthropy, n' torment. Da vizzle game equivalent of dat kid whoz ass spendz all summer pullin tha hairy-ass legs off insects, only up in Dark Souls’ case, tha kid be a 40 foot dragon, n' tha hairy-ass legs is yo' self-esteem.

Dark Souls aint dis shit. Dark Souls is tha opposite of dis shit. Dark Souls be a warm, benevolent, enriching, n' deeply, deeply gratifying experience. Yes, it will demand thangz of yo thugged-out ass. Things that, when you first start out, will feel impossible. But here’s tha thang. Dark Souls do not make those demandz outta wackty or spite. Dark Souls, like all tha dopest mackdaddys and muthafathas, knows dat achievin tha impossible is one of da most thugged-out blingin and positively affectin thangs a human bein can be encouraged ta do.

And Dark Souls be all bout encouragement. Of course, it won’t patronise you wit hand-holding, or tool-tip suggestions, or easy as fuck , slow-mo introductionz of its enemy types up in relatively safe, contained combat situations. Well shiiiit, it will throw you literally n' figuratively up in all up in tha deep end, taskin you initially wit escapin tha bowelz of dark, decayin dungeon full of unknown n' seemingly unknowable horrors n' plights, wit no prior knowledge or warnings fo' realz. And from then on, it will continue ta deprive you of any explicit help. But ‘explicit’ is tha key word, cuz Dark Souls is, up in truth, givin you tha tools ta triumph every last muthafuckin step of tha way.

I’ve freestyled at length bout tha benevolent juice of Dark Souls’ core gameplay loop, so I’ll spare you the full lecture here, so peek-a-boo, clear tha way, I be comin' thru fo'sho. But know that it aint nuthin but a system of both elegant �" yet deeply thoughtful - simplicitizzle and boundless importance. Yo ass explore, ekin up a lil mo' knowledge of your environment n' tha immense dangers it holdz each time. Yo ass bust XP-furnishing souls along tha way. Yo ass die, n' you lose dem souls fo' realz. And then you fight back to tha point where you fell, mandatorily clingin ta every last muthafuckin scrap of knowledge you garnered tha last time, up in order ta do betta n' reclaim yo' bounty before you take a thugged-out dirtnap again. I aint talkin' bout chicken n' gravy biatch.

Harsh, biatch? Possibly. But tha blingin part is dat bit about clingin ta knowledge. Right back up in yo muthafuckin ass. Simply, wit so much on tha line, n' so lil overt assistizzle given, Dark Souls forces you tha fuck into a menstrualitizzle of pure, true learning. Not dat edge-softened, insulting, pseudo-learnin dat game so often throw yo' way, tarnished as it is wit tutorials, n' tha brazen delivery of vital shiznit so dat you don’t gotta git all up in tha shiznit of discoverin it fo' yo ass. This is peepin' as you do up in tha real ghetto, fuelled by underground experience, by trial n' error, n' accelerated by curiositizzle n' tha desire ta KNOW n' masta n' shit. Only when you play Dark Souls do you realise how tha fuck rare dat is up in vizzle games. Only then do you realise how different, how tha fuck personal, n' genuinely empowerin it feels when yo' trip is truly yo' own.

And ye gods, what tha fuck a journey. Dark Souls’ peerless personalisation of experience only straight-up begins at combat empowerment. While I can’t stress enough how tha fuck well tha fundamenstrual nuts n' boltz of battlin through Lordran is designed, as deep, nuanced, precise, yet utterly open ta playa interpretation as dem found up in any fully-fledged fightin game �" it’s no coincidence that, over tha years, I’ve found dat a pimped out nuff Street Fighter players is Souls fans, n' vice versa �" beyond that, every last muthafuckin moment and experience is immaculately designed ta make it truly yours.

While dis seems a initially cold, indifferent ghetto, obscure, arcane, n' closed off from tha playa up in its lore n' inner workings, those willin ta pay attention n' truly submerse theyselves will discover one of tha richest, most involvin narratizzle environments up in all of gaming. The truth is everywhere, so peek-a-boo, clear tha way, I be comin' thru fo'sho. It’s up in seemingly innocuous snatchez of dialogue. It’s in stories �" oldschool n' current �" obliquely hinted at up in item descriptions, and on tha fuckin' down-lowly built all up in subsequent texts, n' you can put dat on yo' toast. It’s up in tha names of environments, n' bosses, n' weapons, n' it’s all held together and strengthened by tha none-more bangin connectizzle tissue of tha silences in between. I aint talkin' bout chicken n' gravy biatch.

By allowin space fo' ideas, concepts, n' glimpsed narratizzle ta grow up in tha playa’s mind, Dark Souls gives its lore immensely more scale n' game than it eva could wit a mo' explicit yo, but ultimately smaller, mo' traditionally related rap fo' realz. Again, up in tha same way dat its immediate exploration works, Dark Souls’ narratizzle operates just as tha real world’s do.

Ghetto history n' events do not exist fo' tha benefit of any one person, served up directly, up in conveniently complete chunks. Yo ass explore Dark Souls as you explore game, initially clueless yo, but peepin' �" n' empowering yo ass �" wit mo' knowledge every last muthafuckin step of tha way fo' realz. And just like up in tha game, curiositizzle is rewarded, n' dem rewardz bait further curiosity. It’s all an endless process, encouragin ongoin underground growth. Yo ass might level up in cold, hard numbers as you go yo, but up in all elementz of Dark Souls, from exploration, ta combat, ta understandin yo' own place within its ghetto, you do just as much - n' arguably mo' meaningful - levellin up inside of yo ass.

There’s so much mo' ta rap about. Right back up in yo muthafuckin ass. So much dat Dark Souls’ design could easily warrant its own fruity-ass malt liquor table book (someone git on that, please). There’s tha physical structure of Lordran, which takes as its starting point a highly abstracted version of Da Legend of Zelda’s self-contained, themed dungeons yo, but blows tha wallz of tha entire concept by makin its areas not closed off, individual labyrinths yo, but organically flowing, interconnected elementz of one complete ghetto. Right back up in yo muthafuckin ass. Y'all KNOW dat shit, muthafucka! Nothang here is background detail. No distant vista or structure a mere piece of empty set dressin yo, but rather a gangbangin' future component of Lordran’s twisting, foldin yo, but ultimately logical geography.

If you can peep it, you’ll go there eventually, yo' arrival often revealed wit enigmatic wit, drama, n' at times no lil' small-ass sense of humour, as briefly glimpsed, half forgotten bridges, streets n' ledges identify theyselves by surprisin you wit sweepin visionz of where you’ve been, where you was �" physically, menstrually, n' wackly - when you first saw em. Don’t be thinkin fo' a second dat these moments is anythang less that Dark Souls’ straight-up deliberate, deeply reassurin nature at play, compoundin how far you’ve come, what tha fuck you’ve conquered, n' how tha fuck you’ve grown, wit its trademark wordless warmth.

And then there’s tha dunkadelically realised co-op n' PvP, by way of playa summons n' invasions. Da forma forges a genuinely chivalrous, knightly culture of support, honour, n' even brotherhood, through mutual understandin n' shared bullshit. Da latta is yet another proving ground, subtly focusin both, probably terrified, playas on what tha fuck they’ve grown into, what tha fuck they’ve become capable of, n' where they can improve yet further n' shit.

As I holla'd up in mah entry fo' Dark Souls up in our 2015 top 100 game of all time feature, From Software’s creation represents every last muthafuckin thang that is blingin ta vizzle game up in tha modern era, from polished, core gameplay mechanics, ta playa agency, ta narratizzle involvement, ta ghetto design, ta the many, nuff wack peaks n' troughz of a expertly paced yo, but organically delivered journey. But it do dem betta than any other n' shit. Well shiiiit, it delivers them with thought, wisdom, n' insight, n' never as individual elements yo, but always an inseparable facetz of a holistic, total game design. I aint talkin' bout chicken n' gravy biatch fo' realz. And that’s why Dark Souls is tha top billin game eva made.

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