What are the best Wolfenstein games?
This World War II video game traces its roots back to 1981 when M.U.S.E. Inc first published Castle Wolfenstein.
Often cited as a pioneer in the earliest eras of gaming, this series has heavily influenced both the first-person shooter and stealth game genres.
While there are many games in the series, some have had larger impacts than others, which is why we’re ranking them today.
The 12 Best Wolfenstein Games Ranked
In order to create this list in an unbiased way, we compared the ratings and overall popularity of each game in the Wolfenstein series.
This has allowed us to rank them in a way that shows which ones have been the most impactful overall.
With that out of the way, here’s our list of the 12 best Wolfenstein games, ranked:
12. Beyond Castle Wolfenstein (1984)
Beyond Castle Wolfenstein was released in 1984 as a World War II stealth game and direct sequel to Castle Wolfenstein.
The second game in the series, this was the last to be released by Muse Software before it was revived as a first-person shooter in 1991.
This game, like the first game, combines action and adventure with stealth sequences, and it tasks players with taking out Hitler with a bomb.
To do this, players had to get through several levels of a secret bunker to plant the bomb outside of the room where Hilter is holding a meeting.
While Beyond Castle Wolfenstein was criticized for having the same Apple II graphics as its predecessor, it was still considered a success by fans.
Although it is a far cry from what the game series has since evolved into, this game remains an important part of the Wolfenstein franchise.
11. Wolfenstein: Youngblood (2019)
One of the newer games in the series. Wolfenstein: Youngblood is a spin-off of the main games, and it is set 20 years after The New Colossus.
Players can choose to control either Zofia or Jessie Blazkowicz and either complete the game with a friend or AI companion.
The game itself takes place in 1980, and after the disappearance of their father, B.J. Blazkowicz, the girls set out with the help of their friend to find him.
This leads players to Nazi-occupied Neu-Paris and a secret installation called Lab X, where they must descend to the deepest levels to find their missing father.
Although this game is considered weaker than the mainline games, it was still received positively by many players and critics.
Its challenging combat was particularly applauded, and it ended up becoming the second best-selling game in the UK after its release.
10. Castle Wolfenstein (1981)
While it’s a far cry from the best PS5 FPS games, Castle Wolfenstein, the first game in the series, has influenced the entire genre since its release.
One of the first games to boast stealth mechanics, this game is set during WWII, where the player takes control of an Allied POW.
The goal is to find the secret war plans the Nazis have concocted and escape from Castle Wolfenstein by sneaking past or killing the enemy soldiers.
Upon release, this game was praised by critics and became one of the best-selling games of the 1980s.
While its long loading times were criticized, its graphics and gameplay were applauded for being ahead of its time.
Many modern games owe their success to this Castle Wolfenstein, which helped pave the way for modern shooters and stealth titles.
It also set in motion a franchise that would continue to be one of the most successful in gaming history.
9. Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot (2019)
This first-person shooter is another spin-off of the main Wolfenstein games, and it was created to be a virtual reality experience.
The first in the series to be designed for VR, Cyberpilot, takes place a week before the events of Youngblood.
In this game, players take control of a cyberpilot working for the French resistance to take over war machines and use them against the Nazis.
While the game’s visuals received a lot of praise, the short length of the campaign was criticized by some players.
It also received some backlash around its clunky controls and the fact that encounters seemed to lack a sense of urgency.
Despite not being able to live up to the narrative prowess of previous games, Cyberpilot still stands out as an overall entertaining experience.
8. Wolfenstein (2009)
This entry in the franchise serves as a standalone prequel to Return to Castle Wolfenstein, and it is set in Isenstadt during WWII.
As the game progresses, things get more and more strange around the fictional town that the Nazis are using to mine rare crystals.
Supernatural creatures soon replace military patrols, and it comes down to B.J. Blazkowicz to set things right.
Upon release, this game received lukewarm reviews, with many considering it engaging but ultimately forgettable.
However, despite its lackluster debut, it still managed to become one of the best Xbox 360 games of all time, thanks to fans of the franchise.
Unfortunately, this game has been unavailable digitally on the Playstation Network, Xbox Live, and Steam since 2014 for undisclosed reasons.
While it may make a comeback in the future, no information has been released on the subject so far.
7. Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory (2003)
Released in 2003, this entry in the franchise is a free and open-source FPS game that was originally planned to be an expansion pack for Return to Castle Wolfenstein.
However, because there were problems with the single-player aspects, it ended up being released as multiplayer freeware.
This game uses the same engine as Return to Castle Wolfenstein, and its source code was made public so the modding community could use it.
In terms of gameplay, players can interact with others on the network and act as either the Allies or Axis to destroy or defend areas during missions.
There are six official maps that exist in the game, as well as hundreds of custom maps that were made by modders.
Enemy Territory made its release on Steam in 2022, 19 years after its official debut, and has since received very positive reviews from players.
It may have had some hiccups in the past, but regardless, this entry in the franchise is still going strong today.
6. Wolfenstein RPG (2008)
Combing first-person shooter mechanics and RPG elements, this installment in the Wolfenstein series was released specifically for mobile phones.
In this entry, players control B.J. Blazkowicz, who has been captured by the Axis forces and must now escape while dealing with their Paranormal Division.
While it is a first-person game, it uses a turn-based combat system rather than real-time shooting.
Additionally, this game has a much lighter tone than previous installments, including things like mutant chickens and romance novels.
When it was released, Wolfenstein RPG was favorably received by fans and critics, with many praising its attention to detail and humor.
The controls, weapon variations, and RPG elements were also commended, though some critics did point out the lack of animation as a downside.
Despite being an older mobile game, this game holds its own, even against the most popular video games right now on modern consoles.
5. Wolfenstein: The Old Blood (2015)
Published for the Xbox One and PS4, Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is a standalone game in the Wolfenstein series and a prequel to The New Order.
This game is set in an alternate-timeline version of 1946, and it gives players control of B.J. Blazkowicz, who’s on a mission to infiltrate Castle Wolfenstein.
Every section of the game is arranged into different chapters that players must complete in order to make progress.
There are also numerous types of weapons that can be used and dual-wielded during combat, as well as a cover system that allows players to lean and shoot.
Critics praised The Old Blood’s intense firefights, as well as the balance between stealth and action gameplay.
However, the story itself was criticized as weak compared to The New Order, though this did little to stop fans from enjoying it.
While it isn’t the best Wolfenstein game in the franchise, it is still an all-around solid experience that remains popular in the community.
4. Return To Castle Wolfenstein (2001)
Published by Activision in 2001, Return to Castle Wolfenstein is considered one of the best PS2 games ever created, and it still holds up today.
This game kickstarted the rebooted series and came with a multiplayer mode that ended up becoming one of the most popular parts of the game.
Played from a first-person perspective, this game tasks players with performing several missions to take out Axis-aligned enemies.
However, while players often go up against standard Nazi soldiers, there are also undead soldiers and experimental creatures to contend with.
Outside of single-player, the multiplayer mode offers players the ability to join either the Axis or Allied forces to complete a series of objectives.
Return to Castle Wolfenstein quickly became one of the most popular entries in the franchise, selling over 2 million copies by 2004.
This game received favorable reviews upon its release, with critics praising both the single and multiplayer game modes.
That said, this game also faced controversy from the United States Department of Defence, who called the game anti-Semitic.
According to their report, this stemmed from the game giving players the ability to play as Axis-aligned characters during multiplayer matches.
3. Wolfenstein 3D (1992)
Wolfenstein 3D changed gaming forever, and it served as the third installment in the franchise.
In this game, players take control of B.J. Blazkowicz once more, an allied spy who must escape from Castle Wolfenstein to carry out several missions.
Players have to make their way through several levels in order to progress, with some ending with a final boss.
This game was designed to be fast-paced and violent, unlike many of the other computer games on the market at the time.
As a remake of the 1981 stealth shooter, Wolfenstein 3D took the gaming industry by storm and has since become known as one of the greatest games ever made.
A commercial and critical success, this game earned numerous awards and is credited with helping popularize the 3D shooting genre.
While there were no clear expectations for the game upon its release, it ended up selling 4,000 copies per month by mail order alone.
Critics praised its immersive sound, realistic graphics, and non-stop action that was unlike anything else in gaming.
Suffice it to say that some of the best first-person shooter PS4 games would likely be very different if it weren’t for Wolfenstein 3D transforming the genre.
2. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (2017)
The New Colossus is the eighth installment in the Wolfenstein franchise and a direct sequel to The New Order.
Set in 1961 in a universe where the Nazis won WWII, the story follows B.J. Blazkowicz as he fights against the Nazi regime in the US.
Like other games in the series, different segments of The New Colossus are separated into chapters that players must complete to progress.
Choices made in the prologue will also completely change the game’s storyline, with some plot points and characters even being replaced.
In combat, players can use melee weapons, firearms, and explosives to fight enemies, though there are also stealth levels that present unique challenges.
Weapons can also be customized with upgrades or dual-wielded to maximize damage in combat.
There are also three DLC packs, collectively called the Freedom Chronicles, and each introduces a new protagonist that gets added to the resistance.
While critics noted there were some minor issues throughout the game, these were largely overlooked in favor of the superb gameplay and story.
1. Wolfenstein: The New Order (2014)
Taking our number one spot is Wolfenstein: The New Order, a game that stands out as the best in the entire franchise.
This game is set in the 1960s, and it revolves around B.J. Blazkowicz trying to stop the Nazis from taking over the world after having won WWII.
The New Order adds a couple of new mechanics, including a morality choice in the game’s prologue that affects the rest of the story.
There are also numerous weapons that can be dual-wielded, as well as a dynamic cover system that allows players to lean out and shoot.
While there are many elements carried over from previous installments, The New Order also makes an effort to develop Blazkowicz more than its predecessors.
Upon release, this game was met with positive reviews from critics and fans, with many praising the game’s narrative and smooth combat mechanics.
Similarly, this installment manages to capture the nostalgia of the series while still updating it enough for modern-day gamers.
Wolfenstein: The New Order is, by and large, the best installment in the Wolfenstein franchise, and it remains a fan favorite today.
We hope you enjoyed our list of the 12 best Wolfenstein games and maybe learned a few things about the series along the way.
While each game since the franchise’s debut has brought something unique to the table, The New Order has stood out from the rest in popularity.
However, with rumors of Wolfenstein III on the horizon, it may end up dethroned in the near future. We’ll just have to wait and see!
Here’s a quick recap of the 12 best Wolfenstein games:
- Wolfenstein: The New Order (2014)
- Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (2017)
- Wolfenstein 3D (1992)
- Return To Castle Wolfenstein (2001)
- Wolfenstein: The Old Blood (2015)
- Wolfenstein RPG (2008)
- Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory (2003)
- Wolfenstein (2009)
- Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot (2019)
- Castle Wolfenstein (1981)
- Wolfenstein: Youngblood (2019)
- Beyond Castle Wolfenstein (1984)
What’s your favorite Wolfenstein game? Leave a comment below.
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