Elden Ring has taken over my life in recent weeks. Every day I jump on my Xbox and land in the Lands Between wondering where my adventure will take me today. Every second of the game something is happening, so it can be hard to choose just 10 moments that have stuck out to me. But I have done my best.
While these aren’t the extent of the moments that I cherish in Elden Ring (this game is massive after all), these are the ones that popped into my head immediately when I pondered the question. So without further ado ye Tarnished, let’s rise up and take a look at the 10 best moments in Elden Ring.
10. Introduction to Limgrave
Everyone loves a good world reveal and Elden Ring is no exception. Much like a Fallout game or Breath of the Wild, Elden Ring starts you out in the dark before you finally grope your way out of the depths of the world by taking an elevator to the surface. Once you push open the heavy doors, you’re given your first real glimpse at the Lands Between.
In this case, you start out in Limgrave which will serve as your first exposure to the open-world nature of Elden Ring and it’ll help prepare you for what’s to come.
From the get-go, you can see the giant Erdtree, Stormveil castle which is your first real challenge, and the church of Elleh. All of this is included in your first view and helps to guide you through this extraordinary world.
9. The Battle Against the Fire Giant
There have been few bosses that have truly surprised me during my adventures. Typically I can guess what’s coming down the pipeline based on what I have been seeing and reading. However, when I stepped out onto the snowy slopes of the Mountaintops of the Giants, I thought that all of the giants in the area had been exterminated but there was one more.
The Fire Giant is a real terror who will throw devastating fireballs at you and bludgeon you over the head with his shield like Naruto did to Pain. This giant is also a lot more agile than you’d expect as he rolls around repositioning himself and his second phase is both beautiful and terrifying. He was a worthy foe and one I won’t soon forget.
8. The Quest of the Blind Woman
Early on in Elden Ring, it can be easy to become overwhelmed and feel like you can’t make any real progress. I went straight to Margit but I wasn’t quite ready I realized after he kicked my butt about a dozen times so I ventured elsewhere.
This is what led me to the Weeping Pennisula where, after I ran past some grumpy guards on a bridge, I found a lone woman who had come from Castle Moore. She said that her father helped her escape but that he stayed behind to fulfill his duty, so she asked me to deliver a letter to him. I laid siege to the castle, took out everyone inside, including Leonine the Misbegotten, and found her father.
He was impressed with my efforts and was happy to hear of his daughter’s safety. He said he would return to her shortly. I wanted to give the woman the good news myself so I went back to her only to find that she had been killed.
The murderer’s weapon was stuck in the ground next to her. I paid my respects and vowed revenge for her. And this moment is what has fueled my motivation to keep pressing forward in Elden Ring ever since.
7. Defeating Margit
The first wall that most people are going to come across is the big bad Marigt the Fell Omen himself. Margit’s attacks can hit like a truck early on and the consecutive attack patterns and delayed hits will test your patience like a late-game boss in Dark Souls 3.
Learning to anticipate attacks based on the specific boss and not just whenever they move a muscle is what the Margit fight is all about. It might seem early to test these skills for some but seeing the later roster of bosses, Margit is a necessary teacher.
Margit is where the game separates the wheat from the chaff and once you beat him, you can bet that you can take on just about anything Elden Ring has to throw at you. Though you should probably get some stronger weapons to deal with the foe lurking inside the Erdtree!
6. Finally Getting Into the Capital
I can not tell you how long I circled around the capital trying to find a way inside. First things first, you need to find a way up the Grand Lift. You can either find both halves of the medallion that will activate the lift or you can make your way through some optional caves where a mighty boss is waiting to stop your progress.
Even if you manage to get up, pass a dragon, some angry giants, and hordes of guards, you’ll still be confronted by the high walls of the inner capital. There is a beefed-up Tree Sentinal who’s blocking your path inside.
If you can’t take him out (like I couldn’t), you might be able to find a secret way in via the underground city. After defeating some nasty gargoyles, I rode a mystical coffin into a new region which then spit me out inside the walls of the capital.
It’s these kinds of moments that make me feel just how intricate the map design can still be despite it being open world and I’m curious how many other methods to get places there might be.
5. Festival of Radahn
I found the festival for Radahn by complete accident initially. I had stumbled into the near-quiet halls of Redmane Castle where I lurked around feeling like I was about to stumble upon something unpleasant.
As it turned out, the castle was a nice little safe haven where I met a few other warriors and heard that a festival was about to begin. I said I was in and then I heard the story of Radahn.
The general who Malenia cursed to walk the Lands Between. Scarlet Rot has taken his sanity but he rides his mighty steed Leonard into combat with giant swords, missing feet, and a hunger for a warrior’s death. My new warrior friends and I would grant him that relief (after struggling to survive for an entire weekend of playing).
The ending is also one of the most beautiful moments in Elden Ring and I’ve watched it three times already. Radahn deserved better.
4. Finding Yourself in the Crumbling Farum Azula
There are a few locations in Elden Ring that will cause a player to pause and take their next few steps a little carefully. The Crumbling Farum Azula is one of these locations with its landscape full of tornados, misbegotten, and ravaged architecture. There are two ways (that I know of thus far) that could lead you here unexpectedly.
Allowing Melina to set fire to the great Erdtree will have you waking up in the Crumbling Farum Azula and if you weren’t ready to be here, it’ll be a mad dash to find a Site of Grace for safety.
Alternatively, you might have sprung up here accidentally by teleporting from the Four Belfries. You’ll be on a disconnected part of the area but you’ll still be left speechless by the swirling storms happening all around you.
3. Completing Ranni’s Questline
Ranni is potentially one of the earliest friendly NPCs you’ll run into and the one that will gift you with the Spirit Calling Bell. She has her own tower in the northwest where she’ll be waiting for you to ascend so she can ask for your assistance.
Helping Ranni will have you exploring ancient underground cities, attending bizarre festivals, and escorting a doll through dark caves.
It’s always fun to tear off from your search of becoming the Elden Lord and Ranni is one of the most iconic new characters in Elden Ring. Maybe you’ll even be rewarded with something so much more than a silly weapon but a friend for life.
2. Becoming Elden Lord
Of course, this is in the top two. After all the NPCs and bosses that have talked smack and said that a Tarnished could never become Elden Lord, it feels incredible to prove them wrong.
The fight to claim this title is a tough one. You have to clear everything that’s been discussed so far as well as take down Godfrey the first Elden Lord, Ranaquin, and the Elden Beast.
These are some tough foes but when you finally pin the Elden Beast’s tail to the ground and defeat him, you can rest easy. Now take your throne mighty Tarnished – you have done the impossible and become the Elden Lord that no one thought you’d ever become.
1. Defeating Malenia Blade of Miquella
Let me level with you. I just beat this boss last night. It took days. I was struggling to finish with the final blow so I tried to respec my character. See the problem is that Malenia is very fast and heals every time she hits you. If you aren’t careful, she can undo any progress you made on her health in a few seconds. It’s extremely disheartening.
Every build I tried was even worse, so I ended up reverting back to my original stats (luckily, I wrote them down) but changed my strategy a bit based on what I had learned by using other people’s builds.
Finally, I struck her down and didn’t let up until she burst into a cloud of dust and I let out a celebratory scream. This is the only boss that had me questioning whether I had the ability to succeed. Defeating her felt like the highest accomplishment of the game.
However, I’ve started new game+ and I’m already getting antsy to face her again. I want to prove that my victory wasn’t some fluke but the success of a battle-hardened warrior.