Which Adventure Sits at the Top?
Kratos has been on a rampage, killing Gods in epic battles, since 2005. With each release managing to offer high-octane action, fans have flocked to every release with the Ghost of Sparta, which has helped solidify his status in the pantheon of PlayStation. So join me as I explore each God of War title and rank every adventure from his journey to Olympus to his Norse tales of fatherhood.
9. God of War: Betrayal
Kratos made his mobile debut in 2007 and while it was a strong release for the platform, it pales compared to his home console appearances. Set between his first two adventures, this side-scrolling adventure captures the same combination of violent action and puzzles, which are a hallmark of the series. Unfortunately, it came nowhere close to reaching the heights of previous entries in the franchise, which made this a forgettable release.
8. God of War: Chains of Olympus
Although it was incredible to experience the patented hack-and-slash gameplay on a handheld device, Chains of Olympus lacks the ambition which permeates the majority of releases in the series. Its basic plot, short run time and absence of memorable moments make this a game that you can easily skip.
7. God of War: Ascension
Ascension felt like an afterthought. Following the epic conclusion of the trilogy, Santa Monica made the decision to revisit Kratos’ past. While the story was adequate, it felt unnecessary and didn’t add much to the lore of the universe. In addition to this, the gameplay also got a tweak with a new dodge system. The inclusion of this was jarring as it clashed with the combat. Although it’s not the worst of the franchise, it’s definitely the weakest of the home console titles.
6. God of War (2005)
The original God of War laid the foundations that every following release was built upon. At its core, the series is about visceral combat, thought-provoking puzzles and a strong narrative; all of which were established in the very first entry to the celebrated franchise. Its premise was unique and its violence was extreme. Due to this, Kratos quickly became an icon in the industry.
5. God of War: Ghost of Sparta
I know. Some of you may be disappointed that I have placed a PSP game over the original but hear me out. Ghost of Sparta features an incredible story that explores the troubled relationship between Kratos and his brother Deimos. The focus on a deeply personal story makes the game feel unique and due to this, is a must for fans of the series. While it is held back by the hardware of the system, it still manages to deliver excellent and memorable moments. So if you can, check out this often-overlooked gem.
4. God of War 3
The trilogy’s finale has some of the greatest boss battles. Climbing Gaia to fight Poseidon and taking on the mammoth titan Cronos could be considered some of the best encounters in the medium. As this was the first release in the franchise to move generations, God of War 3 was a jaw-dropping experience. Its stunning setpieces and the conclusion of Kratos’ Greek tale make this an incredible experience.
3. God of War 2
God of War 2 improves on every aspect of the original. The story provides further insight into Kratos and his relationship with the gods, raising the stakes on your quest. With plenty of twists and turns on the way, Santa Monica exercises its narrative flair in this entry. Platforming, combat and puzzles were all refined, improving each asset of the gameplay. The combination of all of these elements results in the best traditional God of War game.
2. God of War (2018)
Santa Monica’s brave decision to reinvent the iconic series certainly paid off. Transforming Kratos into a father who wants nothing more than to live a peaceful life couldn’t have been further away from his previous representation, but it worked. This made the Ghost of Sparta more relatable as it added that much-needed human quality to his persona. The transition to a Norse world set up some incredible match-ups and its reinterpretation of the combat set a new precedent for modern action games.
1. God of War Ragnarök
2018 left a litany of narrative threads and Ragnarök concludes these in epic fashion. While its predecessor includes cinematic clashes with Baldur and Freya, top-tier Gods like Thor and Odin were left for the sequel. These mouth-watering encounters don’t disappoint and are a highlight of the entire franchise. In addition to this, the ability to control Atreus for portions of the game adds more variety and helps Ragnarök land the top spot.
What are your thoughts on the list? Do you agree with my ranking? If not, what would you change and why? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter, and get even more amazing video game content through the links below.
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