There are some games that define or re-define a genre. God of War is certainly among their number, bringing in high-octane, combo-heavy combat to the world of third-person action games.
Though players today are waiting for a new entry in the series, there are actually 13 other games in the series that players can go back and play.
In the article below we’ll go through each Game of War edition in order of chronological release which is also a good order to play the game if you are just starting out.
God of War (2005)
The original God of War, released in 2005, was definitely something of an outlier in the world of video games.
A Playstation 2 exclusive, the game tackled not only incredibly heavy subject matter but did so in a way that was significantly more violent and adult-oriented than most of the titles releasing in that era.
The original game was a massive hit for Santa Monica Studio and helped establish it as one of Sony’s most important internal divisions.
God of War introduced players to Kratos, a former Spartan general who was indebted to Ares.
The character fought his way through the world of Greek mythology in order to not only confront Ares, but to gain some measure of redemption for his own horrific actions.
A major hit from the beginning, it’s not a surprise that God of War spawned a franchise.
God of War II (2007)
If there’s a word that describes the second God of War game, it’s undoubtedly ‘more’. One of the final major releases on the Playstation 2, God of War II not only pushed the system to its limits but made for a fantastic swan song for one of the best-selling consoles of all time.
The game also managed to push boundaries even further than the original game, helping to establish God of War’s Greek era as something truly different.
God of War II is a continuation of the original game, picking up with Kratos as the titular Greek God of War.
With a startling revelation about his parentage, Kratos has to build himself up to a degree that he can confront not only a single god, but an entire pantheon.
Along the way, he accesses new powers and solves puzzles that are significantly grander in scale than those in the original game.
God of War: Chains of Olympus (2008)
Released on the Playstation Portable, God of War: Chains of Olympus was a technical showcase of the series that also helped to help further round out the character of Kratos.
Considered one of the better games on the console, Chains of Olympus was a strong entry into the God of War canon.
Taking place before the original game, Chains of Olympus filled in some of the blanks about what Kratos was doing during his decade of servitude to the Greek gods.
After a brief foray into the Persian empire, Kratos is tasked with finding the missing Helios and eventually adventuring through the Underworld.
The game also shows at least some of the events that led Kratos to becoming disenchanted with serving the gods.
God of War Collection (PS3) (2009)
While the God of War series was already very successful, it was notable that there were not yet any Playstation 3 releases in the series even though the console had already been out for a few years at that point.
With God of War 3 on its way, it was important that Santa Monica Studios and Sony were able to introduce new Playstation 3 owners to the series.
The God of War Collection featured both God of War and God of War II on a single Blu-Ray disc, complete with all of the extras that had been included with both games.
Upgraded to run at 720p, these games looks better and played more smoothly than their predecessors while still largely preserving the original God of War experience.
God of War III (2010)
God of War III was many things to its fans. It was not only proof that the God of War series would continue to be one of the major franchises that would move between Sony’s future generations of consoles, but it was also the end of a story that had begun five years ago.
One of the earlier games to really push the Playstation 3’s hardware, it was also a graphical powerhouse that took the franchise to new heights.
This iteration of the series picked up where God of War II left off, with Kratos waging his war against the gods.
Not only did it feature some truly huge set pieces, but it was the first game to really stop and examine the fallout from everything that Kratos had done in the first two games.
The game ended Kratos’ Greek journey on a fairly definitive note, leaving many players wondering where the franchise could possible go next.
God of War: Ghost of Sparta (2010)
Another Playstation Portable entry, God of War: Ghost of Sparta is an interquel that took place between the first two games.
Praised as perhaps the best-looking PSP game, Ghost of Sparta felt and played like a full entry into the series rather than as a side story.
Ghost of Sparta played an important story role in the series, as it explained the change in Kratos’ attitude between the first and second entries in the series.
This game saw Kratos exploring not only his past, but his relationship with both the gods and with his human brother Deimos.
Though much of this story has been left by the wayside, it’s a constant source of discussion in the fandom.
God of War: Origins Collection (2011)
While both of the God of War handheld games were well-received, there was a huge portion of the fandom that simply didn’t own a portable console.
As such, it made sense to port the two handheld games to the PS3 in the form of the God of War: Origins Collection.
The Origins Collection not only put Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta on one disk, but it updated the graphics to PS3 standards and even allowed for stereoscopic 3D for the first and only time in the series history.
This collection also included a few pieces of DLC that had originally been pre-order exclusives for the older games.
God of War Saga (Collection) (2012)
One of the best values ever put together on the Playstation 3, the God of War Saga included not only the first three God of War console games, but also both of the portable games that had been released at that point.
This unique collection included all of the downloadable content that had been available for those games as well as some unique content created just for the anniversary edition.
Given that this set included every God of War game made up to that point except for Ascension, it was the closest players could get to playing the entire series with a single purchase.
God of War: Ascension (2013)
What do you do when you’ve concluded the narrative of your story but aren’t sure where to go next? If you’re the creators of God of War, you release God of War: Ascension.
A prequel game that also included multiplayer for the first time, this is the lowest-rated console entry in the God of War universe.
Ascension is canonically the first game in the series, helping to explain how Kratos went from the warrior who initially came into the service of Ares to the champion of the gods seen in Chains of Olympus.
The story saw Kratos taking on the Furies and dealing with the consequences of oath breaking, all while learning more about what it was like to be at the whim of the Greek gods.
The game also featured an online-only multiplayer version, in which players would take on the role of other damned warriors.
God of War Collection (Vita) (2014)
While the Playstation Portable had been well-supported when it came to God of War titles, the Vita didn’t receive a new entry.
Instead, it brought the first two games in the series to the portable console, with updated graphics.
God of War III Remastered (2015)
While God of War III might have been one of the most graphically impressive games to release on the Playstation 3, the truth is that it was definitely showing its age by 2015.
That, combined with Sony’s reticence to really engage with backwards compatibility during the PS4 era, made it very difficult for many new players to go back and engage in the God of War series.
God of War III Remastered featured a visual upgrade to the original version of the game, the ability to use a photo mode, and all of the downloadable content that had been released for God of War III.
While it’s hard to say that the game was a must-buy for fans of the original, it was a great entry point into the series for PS4 gamers.
God of War: A Call from the Wilds (2018)
A text-based game meant to tie in with the 2018 retooling of the series, God of War: A Call from the Wild put players in the shoes of Kratos’ son Atreus.
A short and simple game designed to allow players to download concept art, it served as a quick and simple introduction to the dynamic between the protagonists of the upcoming game.
God of War (2018)
Though the God of War series had moved along quite nicely over the eight years since God of War II, many players were left wondering if they’d ever get a chance to see if and how Kratos’ story might continue.
The new game, God of War, was released on the Playstation 4 to answer just that question, but in doing so radically changed the God of War experience.
Though some of the bits of the God of War series remained intact in the jump to the new console, Kratos himself was a very different character.
Now far more stoic (and wielding a completely different weapon), the game saw Kratos undertake a new journey with his son as the two of them were caught in an unintentional battle with the Norse pantheon.
Another major hit, this redefinition of Kratos’ character and the new gameplay elements helped to ensure that God of War would stay relevant as it moved into a new decade.
God of War: Ragnarok (2022)
The upcoming God of War: Ragnarok is still largely a mystery.
Though we do know that the game is meant to be a direct sequel to 2008’s God of War and that the game will still follow the adventures of Kratos and Atreus, almost nothing else is known about the game’s plot is known as of this time.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is that this game will not be a Playstation 5 exclusive; instead, it will be playable for both Playstation 4 and Playstation 5 owners.
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