FromSoftware's hub worlds are often a place of solace, a place you can dip into to escape the horrific world and grotesque monsters and catch a breather. Additionally, these areas allow you to upgrade your equipment and spend your hard-earned Souls on new weapons and armor, valuable items, and much more.
With Elden Ring adding the seventh hub world into FromSoftware's catalog of Soulsborne games with the Roundtable Hold, it was near impossible not comparing it to the excellent ones that came before it. These locations are not only a safe haven for exhausted hunters but a home that provides comfort and security and holds a special place in everyone's heart.
7 Firelink Shrine – Dark Souls 3
Dark Souls 3's hub world was seemingly dealt a lousy hand, following three stellar havens and being named after one of the most iconic areas in gaming: Firelink Shrine. While this Firelink Shrine isn't bad by any means, it fails to capture what made its namesake so special in the first place.
However, we appreciate its somber atmosphere, which lends itself effortlessly to the music, narrative, and overall style of Dark Souls 3. Still, it may be a bit too drab, especially in contrast to every other hub world in the series. The skybox outside isn't particularly striking, and you pretty much just want to leave as soon as possible, which is a bummer.
6 Dilapidated Temple – Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
In general, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a stunning game with an excellent score and arguably one of the best combat systems in gaming. For the most part, all of this carries over to the Dilapidated Temple, a beautiful Buddhist Temple that has talismans scattered throughout its worn-down architecture and serves as the game's hub world.
While the Dilapidated Temple is gorgeous despite being in ruins, it doesn't offer much outside of a handful of story moments and the wonderful undead sparring buddy Hanbei. Outside of the limited number of NPCs that can appear in the temple, you will spend most of your time outside this hub world and in Ashina Castle, making it feel pointless and like a wasted opportunity.
5 Firelink Shrine – Dark Souls
The original Firelink Shrine found in the first Dark Souls title is amongst the most recognizable areas in gaming, and there's a good reason for that. How this hub acts as the bridge to many crucial areas found throughout Lordran is genuinely special and unmatchable. We'd also be remiss if we didn't mention the haunting -yet alluring- song that echoes off the destroyed walls.
Even if most of the Firelink Shrine vibe is dejected and isolated, it's still beautiful and feels oddly calming. Firelink Shrine is a remarkable area through and through. It is an excellent example of a well-designed hub world that props the lore and world-building up while also encouraging exploration and curiosity.
4 The Nexus – Demon's Souls
Being the first hub world of what would become an industry-changing phenomenon, Demon's Souls' The Nexus is very near and dear to many, but does it hold up? If there was any doubt, Bluepoint's recent remaster went above and beyond to rekindle the love of this moody area, showcasing precisely why it's one of the best of the bunch.
The otherworldly vibe of The Nexus is unlike any of the other hub worlds that would come after, and the same can be said about its unique design that does an excellent job making you feel like the story's "Chosen One." There's always a sense of mystery with a hint of impending doom whenever you visit The Nexus, and we oddly love everything about it.
3 Roundtable Hold – Elden Ring
Aside from being one of the most aesthetically pleasing hub worlds in FromSoftware's catalog, Elden Ring's Roundtable Hold feels important the moment you get invited to it and does an excellent job carrying that feeling throughout your adventure. The Roundtable Hold is also packed full of fascinating NPCs, with the majority of them having their own questline or personal obligations to deal with.
What makes the Roundtable Hold stick out above the rest is how lived-in it feels and how it houses some of FromSoftware's best characters. Whether it's pouring over the juicy lore with Gideon, having Smithing Master Hewg upgrade or gear, or hugging Fia after losing a large sum of Runes, the Roundtable Hold has all you could possibly need and then some.
2 Hunter's Dream – Bloodborne
When it comes to the general concept of hub worlds in games, Bloodborne may be one of the best ones ever created. One of the best features of Hunter's Dream is it's unavoidable and is needed to restock your inventory, upgrade your gear, and even purchase items to proceed further into the world. This area feels like an actual hub world and is a crucial part of the game as a result.
Seeing the world evolve and change around Hunter's Dream is always a sight to behold. Seeing the blood moon sitting high above the workshop after the Moon Presence descends is the kind of detail we love, and Bloodborne is chock-full of examples of this. Furthermore, the Doll genuinely makes this place feel like home and makes things feel not so dire after all. She makes the Hunter's Dream feel safe and provides much-needed comfort when you need it most.
1 Majula – Dark Souls 2
Whether you love or hate Dark Souls 2, there's no denying the beauty of Majula or the sense of calm it offers from its twisted and punishing world. Out of every other hub world, Majula is by far the most atmospheric and has the best theme out of the bunch. When you head back to Majula, you immediately feel at peace and want to watch the sunset above the ocean forever.
Majula isn't in another realm only meant for the "Chosen Ones," nor is it a consecrated building in an isolated area. It's a slapped-together outpost that acts as a place for adventurers to stop in during their journey to purchase things from the many merchants present or just take a load off. Simply put, Majula is home and offers serenity in your time of need.
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