My gaming moment of the year came from replaying this recently. I'd absolutely hated the latter bosses of DS3 from the Dancer onwards with my dex build back around launch. I could see they were well designed but they passed into madness territory in terms of difficulty, and after a whole weekend spent on the Princes in which I did nothing else and got angrier and angrier as time went on I was pretty much done with the series. I left Nameless alive and stopped when I saw the last boss had a second phase. It was just. Too. Hard.
This year I decided to give it another crack from the start, play alongside a mate and see how I got on with a strength build. And... well... it went pretty well. It's amazing how the muscle memory works for these things. As soon as I started fighting the dancer it was 2016 again and I knew exactly how she was coming at me. She went down second time of asking. Dragonslayer Armour I did in one, which had taken frustrating hours years prior. I think it helped I had a pretty beefy Yhorm's sword and crazy points in STR but I was just nailing it. Then it came to the Princes. I was genuinely tense walking up to their fog door, the memories of that awful, awful weekend when I should have just gone outside and walked away from it came flooding back.
They went down in one go. My gaming moment of the year and we're only in February. Every little thing they did was so ingrained in my mind from the countless hours spent failing to them that I just knocked the fuck of them first time of asking. No chest palpitations from last time, no swearing at the top of my voice, just "oh shit I can fucking well do this" and dancing around them until they were dead. I smashed through the back half of the game, Nameless fell solo after about five tries, I bought and loved the DLC, and Cinder went down after about three tries. Slave Knight Gael is second only to Artorius as my favourite Souls boss.
Dark Souls 1 is definitely my favourite of the games just due to dat structure. But 3 has by far the best bosses. It's yet another masterpieces by From... And those princes? Pieces of piss, mate.