What are the best God of War games?
Since debuting in 2005, God of War has become one of the most popular video game series of all time.
Following the story of Kratos, the series kicks off in Greece but spans all the way to Scandinavia in later installments.
While the series has received numerous awards and several Game of the Year honors, today, we’re ranking the best titles in the franchise.
The Best God of War Games Ranked
To create this list, we’ve considered the story, impact, and overall popularity of each God of War game.
While all of the games in the series are worth playing, we’ve focused on the ones that are the most popular overall.
Here’s our list of the best God of War games, ranked:
8. God of War: Ascension
God of War: Ascension kicks off our list, and it serves as a prequel to the entire series.
While the premise is solid, this game often comes off as the weakest in the franchise, with a lackluster story and dumbed-down combat that centers mainly on dodging.
That said, this was the only game to include a multiplayer mode, and it’s also the last time Terrence Carson voiced Kratos before Christopher Judge took over.
Despite its faults, Ascension is still worth playing if you’re a God of War fan, as it is the first to show Kratos’ struggle to free himself from Ares.
7. God of War: Chains of Olympus
Chains of Olympus is one of the best PSP games of all time and the first game in the series to appear on a handheld platform.
This game is another prequel, and it follows Kratos as he searches for Helios, but it also sees him reunite with his deceased daughter Calliope in a heart-wrenching way.
While Chains of Olympus is the shortest game in the series, it received universal acclaim from critics and fans for its graphics, story, and presentation.
Despite being limited to the capacity of the PSP, this game continues to be one of the best in the series for combat and story.
6. God Of War: Ghost of Sparta
God of War: Ghost of Sparta is another game in the series that was released for the PSP, and it sees Kratos battle visions of his mortal past.
After learning that his brother Deimos is still alive after having been taken by the gods during their youth, Kratos tracks him to the domain of death.
Wielding the Blades of Athena, the combat in Ghost of Sparta is smooth, engaging, and combo-based.
Its story and cinematic cutscenes were praised by fans and critics, with some even considering it one of the best-looking games on the PSP.
It may be a spin-off from the main games, but Ghost of Sparta is essential to play if you are invested in Kratos’ story.
While it was remastered as a part of the God of War Saga for the PS3, you can also use one of the best PSP emulators to play it in its original format.
5. God of War
The original God of War takes our number five spot, and it is what set the foundation for the entire franchise.
Not only did it debut as one of the best hack-and-slash video games of the time, but its use of devastating combos and QTEs made it feel incredibly rewarding to play.
This game introduced players to the Blades of Chaos for the first time, a set of blades that have become one of the most recognizable in video games.
God of War follows Kratos after Athena has tasked him with killing Ares, a god who previously tricked the Spartan into killing his own wife and child.
Fueled by vengeance, Kratos tears his way through towering enemies in search of Pandora’s Box, an object capable of stopping the war god for good.
This game took home numerous Game of the Year awards, spawned a novel, and talk of a live-action film that was ultimately canceled.
Needless to say, this is one game any fan shouldn’t miss out on, and it is still playable on the PS4 and PS5 using Sony’s subscription service.
4. God Of War 2
God of War 2 is still a visually impressive game, despite having been released in 2007.
Everything from the first game is built upon and fleshed out further, including the story, mythology, and combat.
This game follows Kratos after having killed Ares and taken up his mantle of godhood.
However, when Zeus betrays him and he is dragged to the Underworld, Kratos must search for the Sisters of Fate to get his revenge on the King of the Gods.
The story in this game is possibly the most well-paced of any in the series, and nothing about it feels too short or drawn out unnecessarily.
There are also a huge variety of enemies to slice through, from Gorgons and Sirens to the towering Colossus of Rhodes.
Arguably one of the last great games to debut on the PlayStation 2, God of War 2 somehow managed to exceed all expectations to become even better than its predecessor.
3. God Of War 3
God of War 3 was seen as the grand finale of Kratos’ story, where his vengeance against the Gods of Greece is fully realized.
This game stands out as one of the best PS3 games ever created for its story and huge-scale action sequences.
Ascending Mount Olympus and guided by the spirit of Athena, Kratos has to tear his way through gods, titans, and monsters in search of Pandora.
While the gameplay remains similar to the past installments, this is not a bad thing in the slightest, since the combat was already some of the best in gaming.
Kratos’ revenge mission is front and center for the entire game, as are the extremely violent and over-the-top battles.
We don’t think anyone will easily forget the first time they had to take on Cronos, the towering titan that is possibly the largest enemy in the franchise.
Everything about this game was designed to be huge in scale, which is what has made it so unforgettable.
2. God Of War (2018)
Having become one of the most popular video game characters of all time, God of War 2018 brings Kratos back in a way no one expected.
After having gotten his revenge in God of War 3, Kratos appears in Scandinavia, now older and much wiser.
While other games had brutal and fast-paced openers, this game starts off much more somber, with Kratos and his son Atreus building a pyre.
However, because this is a God of War game, the peaceful life doesn’t last for long when a mysterious stranger arrives and throws Kratos back into action.
What sets this game apart is how much Kratos has seemingly grown as a character.
We see him change from a revenge-driven God of War to a father who is unsure how to connect with his son.
Although this reinvention of the series is still filled with no shortage of breathtaking fights, it is the story that takes center stage.
This game easily took Game of the Year at the Game Awards and kickstarted a new era for this classic video game protagonist.
1. God Of War: Ragnarök
Of course, our number one spot goes to one of the best PS5 exclusive games, God of War: Ragnarok.
Still set in Norse mythology, Kratos and Atreus kick off the game by dealing with the effects of Fimbulwinter.
With Atreus growing restless about his destiny and the Norse Gods knocking on his door, Kratos is thrust into the pull of Ragnarok.
Family is a huge overarching theme of this game, as is creating your own identity and following your own path.
However, while the story is multifaceted and filled with heart, the boss fights are still as grand as fans have come to expect.
There is also loads of puzzle-solving required throughout, harkening back to the very first game, which makes use of each of Kratos’s weapons.
While the game culminates in a massive battle against the gods, Kratos’s rage is much more tempered, owing to his incredible growth throughout the story.
The biggest question now is where the God of War story will go from here and how the developers will manage to top this masterpiece.
This franchise has undergone a radical shift since the first game in the series, and fans can’t get enough.
While not all games have left a lasting impact on players, they all have helped tell the extraordinary story of Kratos.
If you’re a fan of the God of War franchise, you won’t want to miss out on any of these games!
Here’s a quick recap of the best god of war games:
- God Of War: Ragnarök
- God Of War (2018)
- God Of War 3
- God Of War 2
- God of War
- God Of War: Ghost of Sparta
- God of War: Chains of Olympus
- God of War: Ascension
What’s your favorite God of War game? Leave a comment below.
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