Looking to jump into the God of War series? In this post, we’ve listed all of the God of War games and have ranked them from best to worst.
Since the first game was released back in 2005, the God of War games have been considered some of the best games on Playstation. In this post, we’ve listed all of the God of War games in order, ranked them, and have provided a rundown of the games’ story, graphics, and gameplay features to help you figure out whether or not the series would be worth picking up for you.
The Best God of War Games Ranked
If you’re looking for a quick list of the top God of War games to jump into, we’ve ranked the top five games in the series below.
Here is our rankings for the best God of War games:
- God of War (2018)
- God of War II (2007)
- God of War (2005)
- God of War III (2010)
- God of War: Ascension (2013)
Disagree with our God of War game rankings? Let us know what your favorite GoW game was in the comments below.
God of War
A decade before the events of God of War, a Spartan warrior known as “Kratos” – the protagonist of the God of War franchise – under the command of Ares, laid waste to a village.
Everyone was killed during Kratos’ attack on the village, including his own wife and child.
To renounce his sins, and forgive himself, Kratos chose to serve the other Olympian gods.
Right as God of War begins, Kratos is tasked by the Greek goddess Athena to eliminate Ares so that he can, in doing so, be forgiven for his crimes.
Released in 2005, the graphics seen in God of War were, at the time, considered some of the very best available.
Since then, the graphics have become rather dated, with muddy textures, flat lighting, and a lack of detail becoming all the more noticeable.
Even though this is the case, the graphics in God of War still possess plenty of charm. This charm is due to the excellent art design and unique environments. Both of these qualities culminate in a unique aesthetic that, to this day, remains enchanting.
A combination of combat, platforming, and puzzle-solving serves as God of War’s core gameplay.
You will be, throughout most of the game, battling large hordes of enemies.
To eliminate these enemies, you will be relying on brutal combo-based attacks.
Each one of these attacks involves pressing one button, which performs an attack, and then a series of other buttons, all of which perform other attacks, culminating in a combo attack.
The combat is, at first, quite challenging. But, once you know how to perform the different combo attacks, combat becomes less about pressing random buttons and more about moving with the rhythm of each combat encounter.
When you aren’t battling enemies, you will either be solving puzzles or jumping and climbing onto and around obstacles.
God of War II
Soon after the events of God of War, Kratos is stripped of his powers by Zeus and sent into the Underworld.
A Titan, known as “Gaia,” aids Kratos in escaping from the Underworld.
After escaping from the Underworld, Kratos becomes allies with the other Titans.
Together, they seek to destroy Mount Olympus and overthrow Zeus while also eliminating the other Olympian gods in the process.
Just like the first game in the series, the graphics in God of War II were very well-received during their initial launch, but today, they are quite dated.
You will find the same unique aesthetic, high-quality environments, and distinctive art design that the first of God of War offered.
You will also find larger environments that capture a greater sense of scale, which makes for an experience that, while dated, still looks quite pleasant.
Every mechanic found in God of War is present in God of War II.
But, these mechanics have been improved.
The combat is streamlined. Puzzles are more intuitive. Platforming feels better.
Every mechanic flows together very well, culminating in an experience that feels great to play.
Beyond those mechanical improvements, God of War II also offers a variety of new enemies and some new combo attacks.
God of War: Chains Of Olympus
Right before the first God of War, Kratos was serving the Olympian gods.
During these years of servitude, Kratos was sent to Attica to end a violent siege.
Soon after this battle took place, the sun fell from the sky and, with it, the light of the world vanished entirely.
The Olympian gods tasked Kratos with finding Helios and restoring the sun.
Many of the events within Chains Of Olympus serve to elaborate on Kratos’ past and the decisions Kratos makes in the mainline of games.
Since Chains Of Olympus is a PSP – a handheld system – game, the graphics are not as good as the two prior titles.
None of the environments, textures, or lighting are very detailed, and there’s less overall fidelity.
Just like the other games in the series, though, Chains Of Olympus has a strong art style and excellent environmental design.
As a result of being developed for the PSP, Chains Of Olympus’ gameplay is a little less elaborate than the gameplay found in the two previous titles.
A smaller selection of combo attacks to choose from, along with being less challenging than other titles, serves as the essence of this simplicity.
Outside of those two elements, though, the gameplay that Chains Of Olympus offers is identical to the gameplay found in the two previous God of War games.
God of War III
A direct continuation of the story that God of War II began, you, as Kratos, begin the game storming Mount Olympus.
You, playing as Kratos, are storming Mount Olympus, working to systematically take down every single Olympian God residing on the mountain.
Throughout the game, you battle those gods while moving through the vast spaces within Mount Olympus to reach the top. On the top of the mountain, you will battle Zeus so that you can finally move on from the past.
Even though God of War III was released in 2010, the graphics are still excellent.
A rich color palette; good lighting; excellent art design; distinctive environments.
Each one of these elements culminates in a game that is not only excellent on a technical level but beautiful and striking on an aesthetic level.
Just like the previous games in the series, you will be spending most of your time fighting vast hordes of enemies. Anytime you aren’t fighting enemies, you’ll be solving puzzles or completing platforming sections.
Some new weapons, plenty of new mechanics, and larger environments are also present.
None of these are unique to the franchise. Still, they enhance the experience and make God of War III feel similar but also unique.
God of War: Ghost Of Sparta
Right after the events of the first game, Kratos learns that his long-lost brother, Deimos, is still alive and is imprisoned by Thanatos, the God of Death.
The events of Ghost Of Sparta follow Kratos as he attempts to find Deimos, all while learning more about who he is and why Deimos was taken.
Just like Chains Of Olympus, Ghost Of Sparta was released for the PSP.
Since this is the case, the graphics are much weaker than those seen in God of War III.
If you can look past that, you will find a game that is filled with beautiful environments, all of which embrace the distinctive art style that God of War is known for.
The gameplay found in Ghost Of Sparta is nearly identical to the gameplay that Chains Of Olympus offers.
You will find some new attacks, along with unique puzzles.
Outside of those particular elements, though, the gameplay is identical to Ghost Of Sparta.
God of War: Ascension
A prequel to every other game in the God of War series, Ascension is set six months after Kratos murdered his wife and child.
As a result of the heinous crime that was committed, Kratos attempts to break his oath to Ares but, in doing so, is imprisoned.
Throughout Ascension, you play as Kratos, who attempts to escape from his imprisonment and free himself from Ares’ control.
Released just three years after God of War III, the graphics seen in Ascension are very similar.
Many of the textures are a little more detailed, and the lighting is more dynamic. But, outside of those elements, the technical aspects are identical to what God of War III offers.
The same can be said for the aesthetic elements that Ascension offers. But, this certainly isn’t a bad thing since all of the environments are beautiful, and the art design is excellent.
Even though Ascension is an excellent game and well worth playing if you enjoy the God of War series, it received a fair amount of criticism.
The majority of this criticism was directed towards the similarities between Ascension and God of War III.
Many of these similarities revolve around graphics, storytelling, and, of course, gameplay.
Ascension plays and feels just like God of War III.
You will find some new features – new weapons and attacks, for example – but, beyond those additions, there’s little difference between Ascension and God of War III.
God of War (2018)
Many years after the events of the third game, Kratos is living in Midgard, one of the nine realms found within Nordic mythology, with a son named “Atreus.”
Right before the game begins, Kratos’ wife, Faye, has passed away.
Together, Kratos and Atreus seek to fulfill her last wish, which is to have her ashes sent out at the highest peak in the nine-realms.
Rather than being set in the worlds of Greek myth, God of War takes you through six of the nine realms of Nordic mythology.
Out of all the God of War games, this one is most known for its excellent writing and characterization, both of which make for a slower, more somber experience than the other games.
Out of all the God of War games available, this one offers the best graphics.
Every frame of this game is filled with great textures, fluid animations, and dynamic lighting.
To enhance those technical qualities, God of War offers excellent art design.
Every one of the realms you explore is distinctive, with its own unique aesthetic and memorable environments.
Since God of War is set many years after the earlier games, you play as a much older Kratos.
Just like the earlier games, combat is brutal and based on combo attacks.
But, since Kratos is older, combat is slower, and you must play more defensively,
To make things easier, you can upgrade your abilities, weapons, and armor.
Anytime you aren’t battling enemies, you will be exploring the world.
While playing, you can complete side-quests and explore a variety of locations.
Beyond those mechanical differences, God of War feels very different from the previous games.
A large part of this is due to the over-the-shoulder camera – rather than the fixed camera seen in the other games – making every action feel intimate and tangible.
Have you played all of the God of War games? Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments.