Hub areas are some of the most important locations in any Soulsborne game, where players can rest in peace and safety, interact with NPCs, and learn essential story beats. The role the areas play in the story varies from game to game, as does their aesthetic and sense of awe. This list details our rankings for the best hub areas in all seven FromSoftware Soulsborne games based on value to the story, lore implications, and general importance to the series as a whole.
7. Dilapidated Temple: Sekiro
Sekiro’s Dilapidated Temple, located on the edge of the Ashina Outskirts, is a reserved, quiet spot befitting the dour Wolf and the broken world he inhabits. Neither the most impressive nor important story location in Sekiro, it is nonetheless where most of the worthwhile NPCs come to rest and the source of the more complicated endings. It’s also the home of the tutorial character and lost-item collection box, making most of the Temple have a utilitarian feel rather than being a core part of the narrative.
6. Roundtable Hold: Elden Ring
Barring a shocking reveal midway through the game, Elden Ring’s Roundtable Hold is mostly a utilitarian location like Sekiro’s Dilapidated Temple. It has a larger story significance and is more aesthetically impressive. Most of all, its inhabitants and layout evolve as the game progresses, playing host to vendors, ending-specific NPCs, and entities that provide additional flavor to the world. The fact it’s only reachable by teleportation, and thus disconnected from the rest of the game, is a point against it, as well.
5. Firelink Shrine: Dark Souls 3
The second instance of Firelink Shrine in the Dark Souls games, Dark Souls 3’s variant, was a blueprint for Elden Ring’s Roundtable Hold in that it lacks physical connection to most of the game world. The difference is in how vital the Firelink Shrine is to the story of Lothric. The resting place of the various Lords of Cinder and the gateway to the Kiln of the First Flame, this version of Firelink is the most narratively important in the series.
4. Majula: Dark Souls 2
There’s something special about experiencing Majula that other hub areas can’t match. Though the music is understated and its aesthetic contradicts the rest of the game, the sense of peace and serenity here is unmatched. It’s also the first hub area on this list that directly connects to the rest of the world, even providing a bottomless pit that reaches the darkest depths of Drangleic. The only thing holding it back is a lack of story significance, as Majula serves more as a home for vendors and a place to rest than the source of narrative weight.
3. Firelink Shrine: Dark Souls
The first hub area most Souls players ever experienced, Firelink Shrine from the original Dark Souls is even more muted than Majula, but it’s a much more important place. Not only does it connect to the rest of the game and play home to vendors and story NPCs, but it also exists above both the Abyss and the gate to Gwyn’s prison, the Kiln of the First Flame. While not as impressive as Dark Souls 3’s Shrine, this version’s interconnectedness and importance to the series cannot be overstated.
2. Hunter’s Dream: Bloodborne
The Hunter’s Dream is unique in that it follows the Demon’s Souls pattern of being a hub area in the more old-school sense, offering a path to the various regions of the game through the headstones and hiding additional content just out of reach. The Hunter’s Dream speaks directly to Bloodborne’s underlying narrative and how the game plays with players’ expectations, showing one thing on the surface and hiding something far stranger. The number of character interactions here, the subdued but complex aesthetic, and the Dream’s narrative importance of the Dream elevate it.
1. The Nexus: Demon’s Souls
Sometimes the first effort is your best, and that’s true for the Soulsborne series. The Nexus in Demon’s Souls is not only the most impressive hub area, it is by far the most important to its story. While the game makes no bones about its purpose, the endgame reveal is nonetheless some of the best worldbuilding FromSoftware has ever done. The NPCs here are also some of the most interesting in the series, and while the location doesn’t evolve nor is it particularly complex, it remains the standard that all other Soulsborne games have to meet, and none of them have quite reached.