Video games have always taken cues from movies. As video game technology became more sophisticated, it made sense that games themselves would begin to feel more like what viewers saw on the silver screen.
One game that absolutely took a look of direction from hit films like Indiana Jones was Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, a game that featured a heroic treasure hunter searching after lost riches.
The first game in the series was incredibly successful, leading to a host of sequels.
If you’ve never played the games, it’s definitely worthwhile to look at the series as a whole.
Below we’ll be discussing the Uncharted Games in order of chronological release, so let’s get started.
1. Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune (2007)
2007’s Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune is the game that really started it all of the series.
Pitched as kind of a modern Indiana Jones tale, the game was definitely something very different for Naughty Dog Studios.
At the time, the studio was best known for mascot games like the Crash Bandicoot series and the Jak and Daxter series, both of which had lain fallow for some time.
The game was set to be one of the real technological show pieces for the relatively new Playstation 3, and the game was something of a make or break for both Sony and Naughty Dog.
Fortunately, the first Uncharted Game proved to be a major hit. Its combination of exploration, gun play, and some impressive voice acting helped to usher in an all-new era of gaming for Sony.
The game was criticized for some iffy controls and the supernatural twist in the latter part of the story, but it otherwise proved to be a strong foundation for a new franchise.
2. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (2009)
Given the success of Drake’s Fortune, it really wasn’t much of a surprise that there would be a sequel to the first game.
What might have surprised players at the time, though, was the lengths to which Naughty Dog would go to improve an already-beloved game.
2009’s Among Thieves saw the return of Nathan Drake and Elena Fisher, but it also introduced new characters like Chloe Frazer into the mix.
A much bigger game than the original, Among Thieves was notable for its excellent story as well as its action set pieces.
Naughty Dog put in a great deal of work to fix what many saw as the mistakes of the first game.
Gone were most of the SixAxis motion control gimmicks, replaced with tighter gun controls and a better camera.
The game also managed the action aspects with the supernatural aspects a bit better than the first game, creating a world that felt less disjointed.
There’s a reason, after all, that this entry in the series is generally considered to be the most beloved.
3. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (2011)
2011’s Drake’s Deception was another obvious sequel to a successful game, but it’s a good case study in how even good intentions can go wrong.
Drake’s Deception took players to entirely new locations and put them into battle against new enemies, but the story of this game was far heavier than those dealt with in the previous games.
Spending more time dealing with Drake’s guilt and bad choices than anything else, the game managed to turn players off with some strange narrative choices and a few action set pieces that didn’t quite live up to the standards of the past two games.
That is not, however, to say that this was a bad game. It definitely pushed the PS3 to its limit, especially with its impressive desert vistas.
This was also the first game to really explore Nathan Drake’s past, giving players a look at the man who would become one of the Sony’s flagship heroes.
While this game would definitely influence what came next, Drake’s Deception is generally considered to be the low point of the original trilogy.
4. Golden Abyss (2011)
2011’s Uncharted: Golden Abyss was the first mobile entry in the world of Uncharted.
A prequel to the original story, it featured a mostly new cast of characters alongside Nathan Drake as they undertook an adventure that helped to define the man who Nathan would be at the start of the original Uncharted title.
As you might expect, this game was much smaller than the traditional Uncharted games but it was still one of the most expansive games ever released on the Vita.
Most players praised its controls and graphics, but most didn’t care for the story or the shoehorned-in Vita gimmicks.
A worthwhile game for fans of the series, it still stands apart as something of an unnecessary side story for most.
5. Fight for Fortune (2012)
If you’ve never heard of 2012’s Fight for Fortune, you’re not the only one. Definitely the most obscure title in the Uncharted franchise, this collectible card game-themed entry on the Vita wasn’t exactly a huge seller.
Developed by a mobile studio and making use of the kind of mechanics that most would expect to see in a mini-game, Fight for Fortune is probably the one entry in the series that Naughty Dog would like players to forget.
6. The Nathan Drake Collection (2015)
Developed by Bluepoint Games, The Nathan Drake Collection sought to solve a problem that tended to plague Sony during the PS3 and PS4 eras.
Since Sony wasn’t big on backwards compatibility, many new console owners found it hard to get into long-running series like Uncharted.
The Nathan Drake Collection wasn’t meant to do two things at once – to provide a way for new gamers to experience Nathan Drake’s story before Uncharted 4, and to create a unified Uncharted experience that took advantage of the new console.
The great thing about this collection is that it took pains to do some real improvement across the board.
It changed up the gun and grenade controls in Drake’s Fortune to match that of Among Thieves and Drake’s Deception, while bringing the camera of Drake’s Deception back to the much better version found in Among Thieves.
The game was also updated graphically to make use of new technologies that weren’t available on the PS3.
The overall effect was a great way for both new players and old fans to experience the Uncharted universe.
7. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (2016)
After a foray into mobile consoles and remasters, 2016 finally saw a proper Uncharted game launched on the PS4.
Billed as the conclusion to Nathan Drake’s story (at least for now), Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End promised to conclude some long-running plot threads in Drake’s life and finally give the hero a chance to settle down.
A truly technologically impressive game, this entry also had to fight against the resurgent Tomb Raider franchise in order to re-establish itself as the top franchise in the genre.
The great news about A Thief’s End is that it does a lot of work to bring Drake’s story to a good end.
Not only are there some flashbacks to Nathan’s past, but players also get a chance to see Nathan and Elena finally settle down into a peaceful life.
The introduction of Drake’s long-lost brother complicates things, of course, as does the introduction of a new treasure to chase after.
The good news is that almost everything introduced in the game manages to feel right as part of the story, leading to a satisfying ending for the Uncharted series.
8. The Lost Legacy (2017)
2017’s The Lost Legacy is a unique Uncharted game in that it attempts to do something that hadn’t been done so far in the series.
This game brings back the Uncharted formula, but it does so without Nathan Drake. Instead, this game makes Chloe Frazer from Uncharted 2 the protagonist and teams her up with Nadine Ross from Uncharted 4.
The resultant game feels different, of course, but it’s no less fun for that fact.
The Lost Legacy sees Chloe chasing down the Tusk of Ganesh in India. Much as the previous games had also explored a bit of Nathan Drake’s past, so too did this game give a bit more character depth to Chloe’s own upbringing.
The game itself was mechanically very similar to Uncharted 4, with the only real downside to the game being that it wasn’t quite as big as one of the series’ main entries.
9. Legacy of Thieves Collection (2022)
2022’s Legacy of Thieves Collection is another remaster of previous Uncharted games, now featuring A Thief’s End and The Lost Legacy.
Neither game was featured on the previous Nathan Drake Collection, so the graphical upgrades are brand new for PS5 players.
A bit less necessary than the previous collection due to the general backwards compatibility of the PS5 towards PS4 games, the Legacy of Thieves Collection nevertheless provides an enhanced way to play the most recent Uncharted titles.
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