!!YMMV for individual games:
* ''YMMV/DarkSoulsI''
* ''YMMV/DarkSoulsII''
* ''YMMV/DarkSoulsIII''

!!For the series in general:
* BrokenBase: It's not a very good idea to start an argument over which game in the series is the best. All 3 games have their supporters, and arguments between them can get quite heated.
* ComplacentGamingSyndrome: Players dedicated to [=PvP=] in the level 120 "meta" range will usually rely on the so-called "quality build" (40 to 50 Vitality, 30-40 Endurance, 40 Strength and 40 Dexterity) and rely on the top few weapons (of the ''many'' viable weapons) that best match those builds. As a result, [=PvP=] has little variance. [[note]]''Dark Souls II'' ups the [=PvP=] meta level range a little at 150, but has the same gist.[[/note]]
* CounterpartComparison: Has many, many similarities to the ''Literature/DyingEarth'' Series of novels by Jack Vance. This includes the fact that the Earth is dying, with the sun slowly fading to black, the medieval Europe setting and technology, and Dark Souls 1 and 2 even uses Vancian magic structure invented in that series.
* DarknessInducedAudienceApathy: The games truly live up to the ''Dark'' part of their title, being set in a dying world where most of the gods have either died or gone insane and most of the human race have become mindless undead. In order to save the world, your character has to submit to [[spoiler: burning alive for thousands of years]], and even then it's outright stated to just be delaying the inevitable. Each of the games seems to make the lore even bleaker, and the vast majority of the people you meet in each game die or go insane at some point, so some people can be forgiven for not wanting to get emotionally invested in the story of the games.
* FandomBerserkButton: For your safety, ''do not'' try to argue whether the series should be considered EasternRPG or WesternRPG. The games incorporate elements of both, but lean towards Western in overall design, except the games were made in Japan. Arguments on whether the series is one or the other tend to devolve into wars debating the merits and deficiencies of either.
* FandomRivalry:
** An odd mix of this and FriendlyFandoms with ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'', particularly around the divisive Wii/DS years of the latter series. With many longtime ''Zelda'' fans being disillusioned with the series for moving towards linearity, greater focus on story, and lowered difficulty, many of them came to ''Dark Souls'' for an more [[WideOpenSandbox open]] experience with little handholding, a more subtle and mysterious story, more complex and difficult combat. As such, it isn't uncommon for many classic ''Zelda'' fans to name ''Dark Souls'' as "what ''Zelda'' should be."
** A straight example of this is with ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls''. As both ''Dark Souls'' and ''Elder Scrolls'' are two of the most popular ActionRPG franchises of TheNewTens, fans of both tend to clash with one another.
* FriendlyFandoms: With ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'', due to the huge influence the manga has had on ''Dark Souls'', whose fans are the developers of the series. The fans are also quite friendly to ''LightNovel/ReZero'', because the anime adaptation of the latter was found as a fairly interesting SpiritualAdaptation of the series with it's idea of returning back after death.
* GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff: The games are very popular in Europe and North America, largely because they're strongly Western in terms of gameplay and aesthetics.
* HypeBacklash: Some feel that the series' memetic status as the gold standard for NintendoHard modern video games ("_____ is like ''Dark Souls''!" "The ''Dark Souls'' of _____") has gotten [[DiscreditedMeme worn out]] over time. Most of these complaints come from players who have gotten used to the series' brand of challenge, as well as [[FandomRivalry fans of other challenging games]].
* MemeticBadass: Plenty within the actual games, but the series itself has become a bizarre meta example. Just about any game that's even moderately challenging will be compared to ''Dark Souls'' or be called "the ''Dark Souls'' of its genre", even games with absolutely no similarities to the series such as ''VideoGame/{{Cuphead}}''.
* UnconventionalLearningExperience: ''Dark Souls'' teaches you different types of medieval weapons and armors (standard weapons, not boss weapons) as well as bringing attractions to historical European martial arts (HEMA). That said, [[RealityEnsues the overswings may get you killed in a real fight]].