Every God Of War Game, Ranked
God of War is easily one of gaming's most iconic IPs, but which God of War game is the best?
God of War was PlayStation’s response to the likes of Halo and Zelda, making Kratos one of the most iconic videogame characters ever. Kratos became iconic due to the quality and innovation of the God of War games. It allowed players to delve into Greek and now Norse mythology, but with a unique (and entirely metal) twist on the tale.
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The series began in 2005 and is still thriving with God of War: Ragnarok on the horizon. God of War is perhaps one of the most recognizable video game IPs of all time, but not all entries within the franchise are made equal. Which title was the best of the best when it comes to our favorite angry Spartan?
8. God of War: Betrayal
It’s the mobile debut and definitely not a definitive entry into the classic series. This 2D side scroller was completely different from the other classics and ranks last due to how forgettable it is.
For a mobile game, it’s perfectly fine. In fact, it’s probably above average. It did try to keep the essence of its fast combat and puzzles, yet it wouldn’t be enough for most fans who most likely skipped this entry. Betrayal belongs nowhere else except last in this ranking.
7. God of War: Chains of Olympus
Being stuck on the hardware of the PSP did no favours for this installment. The biggest problem with Chains of Olympus is the lack of innovation in any department. The character development on Kratos was good, except that the game excelled in nothing particular.
On a standard scale, it would be great, but since it is from the celebrated God of War series it has a higher hurdle to jump. Chains of Olympus had the weakest plot in the series, which would generally be God of War’s strong point, thus it ranks last out of the PlayStation God of War games.
6. God of War: Ascension
Ascension just felt like an unneeded addition to the series. It was always going to be a challenge to live up to the hype after the epic finale that three provided. The plot was still fine, but the combat didn’t improve from three, in fact, it degraded.
Santa Monica added a dodge system, which in theory sounds good. Alas, it didn’t — it ruined the smooth flow of combat the original trilogy had. We got more character development from Kratos, and that was well written, at least. But Ascension was rather forgettable as it didn’t introduce any characters or boss fights that end up standing out.
5. God of War: Ghost of Sparta
Once again God of War appeared on the PSP. This time it brought one of the best plots in the franchise, giving us a deeper look into Kratos and his personal life. Finding out about Deimos, the brother of Kratos, was a shock. And learning about the reason he was captured and the prophecies Zeus was privy to brings further depth to the journey of Kratos.
The presentation is admirable considering it was on such a weak system. Ghost of Sparta is short-but-sweet and provides an excellent tale of tragedy and a further look into Kratos and his past. Ghost of Sparta lacked bigger moments that were in the main titles, still, it was a brilliant game.
4. God of War
The one that started it all. This introduced us to Kratos and Santa Monica’s version of Greek mythology. We find out here that Kratos was a mere puppet of Ares and was tricked into killing his own beloved family. The gods need help from Kratos as it is against their laws to kill each other — thus begins Kratos’ epic god-slaying spree. The hack and slash adventure was amazing and a terrific start to an unforgettable series. It takes a few knocks with some awkward platforming and uninspired puzzles, but when looking back on some of the subtle foreshadowing this provided, it takes on a special nuance on a playthrough after completing the trilogy.
3. God of War 3
God of War 3 was a dream for epic boss fights — Kratos encounters some of the biggest fights gaming has to offer in this unforgettable adventure. Fighting Cronos was a particular highlight as Kratos can’t even compare to the size of his nail. We have so many memorable moments, like tearing off Helios’s head or gouging Poseidon’s eyes out, except we were (un)fortunate enough to watch it from Poseidon’s perspective, showing us how terrifying Kratos truly is.
The music was daunting and gave players chills, lending a certain gravity to Kratos essentially becoming the most fearsome god there is himself. It was a good send-off for the trilogy and a deserved ending for Kratos, or so we thought at the time, which leads us to…
2. God of War (2018)
The reboot signified a new style for God of War and gave us a grizzled, but wiser Kratos. 2018’s God of War changed what we knew about God of War. Going from a hack and slash to a more personal over-the-shoulder perspective gives a grittier and more personal look at the action. The camera never cuts once, giving a seamless flow throughout the entire playthrough. Kratos delves into Norse mythology and it was a fascinating insight into the mythos.
Among the greatest things 2018 brings, as mentioned, is a different Kratos. He’s transformed from a vengeful warrior full of rage and anguish to a calm, wise father who realises the emptiness revenge brings. God of War proved that this new bold change was worth it. The few problems in God of War were the repeated troll bosses, lack of finishing moves, and the side missions that weren’t exactly memorable.
1. God of War 2
From start to end God of War 2 was a mesmerising experience. The pacing was spot on and never had a dull moment. Two had the greatest plot of any of the God of War games. Seeing the betrayal of Kratos and his battle against fate itself left us in awe. Perhaps his most triumphant moment was defeating the Sisters of Fate and proving that he can forge his own destiny. Using time travel can be convoluted and awkward, but God of War 2’s use of it worked perfectly.
It used the first game’s biggest problems to its advantage by creating fun puzzles that were fulfilling to solve without being too hard. The platforming was made with far more precision, making traversal fun. There is little to say about God of War 2 as it simply improved everything that its predecessor did. The combat, story, characters, scale, graphics, puzzles, and level design all improved, making it the greatest God of War game to date.