There comes a time in gaming when a game so groundbreaking releases that it singlehandedly defines a genre, revolutionizing how games like it are handled in the future. Such is the case with Dota and MOBAs, or PUBG with battle royales. While their respective genres already existed in a different form (RTS games in the former, and regular shooters in the latter), the new elements that these games introduced effectively caused a schism in their respective genres and allowed them to branch out into their own thing.
Dark Souls is definitely one these defining titles that brought a unique formula to the existing elements in the action adventure genre, including resource-based real-time combat, RPG progression elements, and a wide variety of character customization options that gave it unparalleled replay value. And though this trend started initially with From Software’s 2009 PS3 hit, Demon’s Souls, it wasn’t until Dark Souls that the genre actually took off into mainstream notoriety.