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All God of war games ranked

The God of War series is one of the most popular and critically acclaimed action-adventure franchises of all time. Developed by Santa Monica Studio and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment, the games follow the story of Kratos – a Spartan warrior who seeks vengeance against the Greek gods who betrayed him.

The original God of War released in 2005 and set the template for the series – a fast-paced hack and slash gameplay mixed with cinematic storytelling. Players controlled Kratos as he journeyed through Greek mythological locations like Olympus, Tartarus, and the underworld, all while massacring hordes of creatures and enemies inspired by Greek legends.

The gameplay revolves around Kratos’ legendary chains and blades, allowing players to perform brutal combo attacks against enemies. Kratos also gains new weapons, armor, and abilities as the game progresses, constantly upgrading his already formidable strength and skills. Puzzles and platforming segments are also incorporated into the action to offer some variety.

The series went on to spawn 5 main installments, each sequel introducing new characters and gameplay mechanics while continuing Kratos’ epic quest of vengeance against the gods.

God of War (2018) served as a soft reboot for the series, allowing it to move forward with a new story arc while retaining Kratos’ character development. The Norse-inspired game won several Game of the Year awards for its fresh take on the franchise, focusing more on storytelling and character relationships alongside the trademark gameplay.

The God of War franchise is a shining example of how video games can blend intense action with deep storytelling to create immersive worlds inspired by real-world mythologies. While the gameplay itself remains relatively unchanged, each installment has managed to evolve and improve where needed to keep the series feeling fresh.

8. God of War: Chains of Olympus

God of War: Chains of Olympus is a masterpiece of a game that is set in ancient Greece and follows the story of Kratos, a Spartan warrior on a mission to save the gods from the Titans. The game is a prequel to the first God of War game, and it delves deeper into the backstory of Kratos and the world he inhabits.

The first thing that stands out about Chains of Olympus is the stunning visuals. The game was originally released on the PSP, but the graphics have been updated for the PS3, and they look incredible. The environments are incredibly detailed and immersive, and the character models are highly realistic. The cutscenes are also visually impressive, with epic moments that will leave you in awe.

The gameplay in Chains of Olympus is where the game truly shines. The combat system is fast-paced and fluid, and Kratos wields his signature blades of chaos to devastating effect. The fighting is incredibly satisfying, with a wide range of combos and abilities to unlock as you progress through the game. The puzzles are also well-designed, requiring you to use your intelligence as well as your brawn to progress through the levels.

One of the standout features of the game is the boss fights. These battles are epic in scale and require you to use all of your skills to emerge victorious. Each boss has its own unique abilities and weaknesses, so you’ll need to adapt your tactics to take them down. The final boss fight in particular is a true test of your skills and provides a satisfying conclusion to the game.

The story of Chains of Olympus is also well-crafted. The game explores Kratos’ character in more depth, showing us how he became the ruthless warrior we all know him to be. Kratos is a complex character, and the game does a great job of exploring his motivations and inner turmoil. The story also introduces us to some new characters, such as the goddess Persephone, who add to the game’s mythology and lore.

One of the few drawbacks of Chains of Olympus is its length. The main story can be completed in around six hours, which might be a bit short for some players. However, there are a ton of collectibles and challenges to complete, which adds some replay value to the game. Additionally, the game is so much fun to play that you’ll probably want to play through it multiple times anyway.

Overall, God of War: Chains of Olympus is an excellent addition to the God of War franchise. The game’s stunning visuals, fun gameplay, and well-crafted story make it a must-play for fans of the series. Even if you’re new to the series, Chains of Olympus is a great starting point, as it provides an introduction to Kratos’ character and the game’s mythology.

7. God of War: Ascension

God of War: Ascension is the fourth installment in the God of War franchise, and it follows the story of Kratos as he seeks to break his bond with Ares, the god of war. The game takes place before the events of the first game, and it explores Kratos’ past and the events that led to his servitude to Ares.

The first thing that stands out about Ascension is the incredible graphics. The game was released towards the end of the PlayStation 3’s life cycle, and it takes full advantage of the console’s power. The environments are incredibly detailed and immersive, and the character models are highly realistic. The game’s cutscenes are also visually impressive, with epic moments that will leave you in awe.

The gameplay in Ascension is similar to that of the previous games in the series, with Kratos using his signature blades of chaos to defeat enemies. The combat system has been tweaked and refined, making it even more fluid and satisfying than before. The game also introduces a new mechanic called the “World Weapon”, which allows Kratos to pick up and use weapons dropped by enemies. This adds more variety to the combat and makes for some epic moments.

The puzzles in Ascension are well-designed and challenging, requiring you to use your intelligence as well as your brawn to progress through the levels. The game also introduces a new mechanic called the “Trial of Archimedes”, which is a series of three difficult challenges that test your skills to the limit. Completing these challenges is no easy feat, but the rewards are worth it.

One of the standout features of Ascension is its multiplayer mode. The game allows up to eight players to compete in a variety of modes, including team-based matches and free-for-alls. The multiplayer is well-designed and adds an additional layer of depth to the game. It’s also great to see the God of War franchise branching out into multiplayer, and it’s something that fans of the series will definitely enjoy.

The story of Ascension is well-crafted, with Kratos seeking to break his bond with Ares and exacting revenge on those who have wronged him. The game also introduces us to some new characters, such as the Furies, who add to the game’s mythology and lore. However, the story does feel a bit weaker than previous games in the series, and it doesn’t quite have the same impact.

Overall, God of War: Ascension is a great addition to the God of War franchise. The game’s stunning graphics, refined gameplay, and challenging puzzles make it a must-play for fans of the series. The introduction of multiplayer is also a welcome addition, and it adds an additional layer of depth and replay value to the game. While the story may not be as strong as previous games in the series, it’s still well-crafted and worth playing through. If you’re a fan of action-packed adventure games, then you won’t be disappointed with God of War: Ascension.

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6. God of War: Ghost of Sparta

Ghost of Sparta serves as the second PSP installment in the God of War series, telling another prequel story focusing on Kratos’ younger years before the events of the main games. This time, we learn more about Kratos’ family history and how his tragic past helped shape him into the rage-fueled Spartan we know and love.

Ghost of Sparta’s biggest strength is its story. We learn that Kratos once had a younger brother named Deimos who was taken from him at a young age. Kratos’ entire quest in the game is to seek the truth of what happened to Deimos and avenge his brother.

The narrative does a great job of exploring Kratos’ character further. We see him grapple with emotions like regret, sadness and sorrow – things the brutally violent Spartan rarely shows in the main games. Seeing Kratos as almost a tragic figure in his younger years helps develop his motivation for seeking vengeance against Olympus in the future.

Ghost of Sparta remains an important chapter for fans who want to learn more about Kratos’ Tragic backstory and what originally set him on his path of vengeance. The game does a solid job of bringing some welcome emotional depth and character development to Kratos, showing a more vulnerable side we rarely see in his later bloody rampages. Hopefully we’ll eventually see a proper remaster or remake to allow a new generation of fans to experience these prequel tales in a more visually stunning form. But for now, digging out that dusty PSP remains the only way to witness Kratos in his formative years.

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5. God of War

The original God of War released in 2005 was a major turning point for the PlayStation 2. It helped popularize the “Spectacle Fighter” genre with its over-the-top, fast-paced action mixed with melodramatic storytelling. Players controlled the Spartan warrior Kratos as he sought revenge against Greek gods who betrayed him.

The gameplay was basically “button mash heaven.” Kratos’ main weapons were his legendary Blades of Chaos which allowed for brutal hack and slash combos against hordes of enemies. As you progressed, you’d gain new weapons, magic and combo moves, constantly upgrading Kratos’ already formidable skills. While light on strategy, the gameplay was extremely satisfying and visceral.

The story follows Kratos swearing vengeance against Greek gods after they tricked him into killing his family. But players soon came to love the cheesy tone, with Kratos’ over-the-top rage against the gods becoming iconic.

God of War also pioneered the use of “quick time events” where the game would pause and prompt players to quickly press buttons for cinematic action sequences. These moments added huge production value for a PlayStation 2 title and helped craft an immersive story experience alongside the hack and slash action. Though QTEs would get criticized in later games, they worked well here.

God of War was also visually groundbreaking for the PS2. Blood, gore, particle effects and realistic character models pushed the console to its limits. Even today, the graphics hold up fairly well compared to other PS2 games thanks to the artistic art style.

Though the gameplay is fairly simplistic by today’s standards, the original God of War laid the foundation for what would become one of gaming’s best selling franchises. The blend of intense action, stunning visuals and heavy metal soundtrack all came together to provide a thrilling entry point into Greek mythology for those unfamiliar with the stories. And of course, we were first introduced to the iconic bloody rage of Kratos, who would go on to become a hallmark of the PlayStation brand.

In summary, while the gameplay may feel dated, the original God of War deserves credit for pioneering the “Spectacle Fighter” genre and helping to define what the PlayStation brand represents. The bombastic mix of action, storytelling and visual polish set the stage for the entire series that would follow. For fans of hack and slash action games and Greek mythology, going back to play the 2005 original is still a thrilling experience.

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4. God of War III

God of War III released way back in 2010, but it still stands as one of the most epic action games of all time. The game continues the story of the Spartan warrior Kratos and his quest for revenge against the Greek pantheon of gods. The action, story, and overall experience in this game is just mind blowing.

The game starts right where God of War II left off with Kratos setting out to destroy Zeus, the king of the Greek gods. Kratos has lost pretty much everything – his family, his city – all because of the gods’ deceit and trickery. So now, Kratos is out for blood and total vengeance.

Most of the game follows Kratos as he slays gods left and right in utterly brutal and violent ways. The fighting mechanics remain unchanged from previous entries in the series – it’s just hack and slash at its finest but dialed up to 11. Kratos possesses an array of weapons and magical powers to just destroy everything in his path.

Kratos fights bosses non-stop throughout the game – you face off against Poseidon, Hades, Hercules, and many more. Each boss fight is more intense and epic than the last and really pushes the PS3 hardware to its limits. The graphics are still mesmerizing today, especially when you chain together massive combos and watch the gory finishing moves in slow-motion.

What really makes God of War III so memorable though is the scale of the story – the fight between Kratos and Zeus is one for the ages. All of Mount Olympus has been shattered and Kratos must literally climb the backs of Titans to finally confront Zeus at the peak. The visual landscapes are breathtaking and the action is frantic and awe-inspiring.

Overall, God of War III is an experience I’ll never forget. Storming Mount Olympus, scaling the backs of Titans, and finally confronting Zeus to end it all – there hasn’t been a more epic action gaming experience since. Even today, God of War III stands out for its stunning visuals, brutal violence, and just pure gaming awesomeness. If you haven’t played it yet, find a copy and enjoy several hours of the most epic gaming imaginable. You won’t be disappointed!

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3. God of War Ragnarök

God of War 2018 was already one of the best PlayStation exclusives of all time, so expectations were sky high for the sequel – God of War Ragnarök. And man, does this game deliver! Ragnarök takes everything that made the previous game great and cranks it up to 11 – from the brutally epic battles and gameplay to the deeply emotional story of father and son.

The game picks up right where the last one left off, with Kratos and his son Atreus starting to uncover Atreus’ true Godhood. Atreus was actually Loki in Norse mythology, the trickster God and adversary of Thor. So the story of Ragnarök revolves around Kratos and Atreus coming to terms with Atreus’ destiny while trying to stop the prophesied Ragnarök – the end of the Norse world.

Gameplay-wise, Ragnarök retains the over-the-shoulder, hack-and-slash combat that the series is known for, but everything just feels bigger and badder. Kratos has more combos, ranged attacks and special moves at his disposal. And his iconic Leviathan Axe and Blades of Chaos have been significantly upgraded with new abilities and magic.

But where the combat in Ragnarök really shines is the addition of Atreus. He has grown into a formidable fighter in his own right, and you can issue commands to have him assist Kratos in battle. Having Atreus rain down arrows on enemies while you toss your axe like a buzzsaw really makes fights feel cinematic and epic.

The boss battles are where God of War has always excelled, and Ragnarök truly cranks things up to epic proportions. You’ll go toe-to-toe with some of the most iconic Norse monsters and Gods, including Thor, Freya and Odin himself. These encounters push the visual limits of the PS5 while also creating some of the most emotionally compelling moments in the game between Kratos, Atreus and their foes.

What truly elevates Ragnarök though is the father-son story at its core. The complex relationship between Kratos and Atreus continues to develop in interesting ways as Atreus struggles with his emerging Godhood. These personal moments between battles help ground all the epicness in genuine human emotion, creating an experience that is not just visually stunning, but deeply profound.

So if you love over-the-top action mixed with emotional storytelling, or if you’re just a fan of epic fantasy, mythology and monumental boss fights – you have to play God of War Ragnarök. It truly might be the high water mark for action-adventure gaming, marrying brutality, beauty and heart in a way few other franchises can. Get yourself a copy and prepare for an experience you won’t soon forget.

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2. God of War II

The God of War series has been one of the most popular action franchises on PlayStation, and God of War II is arguably the best game in the series. Released in 2007 for the PS2, God of War II picks up right where the original God of War left off. You once again take on the role of Kratos, a rage-filled Spartan warrior wielding those iconic dual blades chained to his forearms.

In God of War II, Kratos is betrayed by Zeus and stripped of his godly powers. Naturally, Kratos is not too pleased about this and embarks on a quest for vengeance against the King of the Gods. The game takes Kratos throughout ancient Greece, including famous locations like Rhodes, the Island of Creation, and the Temple of Lahkesis. The environments are stunning, especially considering this is a PS2 game. From lush forests to crumbling temples, God of War II is a showcase of what the PS2 hardware could pull off in its later years.

The combat in God of War II builds upon the original with new weapons like the Spear of Destiny and the Barbarian Hammer, as well as new magic abilities. Combat is fast, fluid, and gloriously over the top. Kratos wields massive weapons and employs brutal finishing moves to tear his enemies apart in spectacular fashion. The boss fights are epic, with massive foes that often occupy the entire screen. The combat and spectacle in God of War II still hold up remarkably well today.

Beyond the combat, God of War II has some fun puzzles and platforming sections to break up the action. There’s also a compelling story full of betrayals, revelations, and cinematic set pieces as Kratos encounters famous figures from Greek mythology. The game has aged very well for the most part, though the graphics and presentation show their age compared to modern titles.

Overall, God of War II is a must-play for action fans and anyone with an appreciation for Greek mythology. It’s a prime example of cinematic gaming and a pioneering title for the hack and slash genre. God of War shaped the action genre, and God of War II perfected the formula. If you have yet to experience Kratos’ saga, God of War II still holds up as an immensely enjoyable title over a decade after its initial release.

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1. God of War (2018)

The God of War franchise got a major reboot in 2018 with the simply titled God of War. Released as a PlayStation 4 exclusive, the new God of War is a triumphant revitalization of the series. It reinvents the combat, reimagines the characters, and takes the setting in a bold new direction.

In this God of War, Kratos is older and has left his life as a Spartan warrior behind. He now lives in ancient Scandinavia with his young son Atreus. When Atreus’ mother passes away, Kratos and Atreus set out to fulfill her dying wish of spreading her ashes at the highest peak. This emotional journey takes the pair through the Norse realms, encountering monsters and gods of Norse mythology along the way.

The most striking change in the new God of War is the camera and combat. Instead of a fixed camera, God of War uses an over-the-shoulder free camera that makes the combat feel more intimate and visceral. Kratos now wields his signature Leviathan Axe, which can be thrown and summoned back to his hand. The axe requires more precision and strategy versus the all-out mayhem of the original games. Atreus also fights alongside you, firing arrows to stun and kill enemies. The more tactical combat works beautifully, giving encounters a deep, satisfying flow.

Beyond the combat, this God of War focuses heavily on story and characters. Kratos is a more complex character, struggling with both grief over his wife’s death and learning how to properly connect with his son. The dynamic between Kratos and Atreus is brilliant, watching their relationship evolve over the course of the game. The story also does a magnificent job of reimagining Norse mythology, with some twists on famous myths and legendary characters like Thor’s sons Magni and Modi.

God of War is a triumphant rebirth for the franchise. It reinvents the combat, story, setting, and characters while still maintaining the epic spectacle the series is known for. Kratos’ journey into a new mythological setting is a poignant coming-of-age tale. The new combat system provides a level of depth and nuance the previous games lacked. Simply put, God of War is one of the best games of this console generation and a new high point for cinematic action adventures. If you own a PS4 or PS5, God of War is a must-play experience.

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