Although these action-adventure games never came out on the Wii, the God of War franchise has been the favorite franchise of many gamers since the franchise’s start in 2005. Whether you’re looking for intricate puzzles, enjoying the meaningful story, or admiring the intricate character design, you’re bound to find something special within these games. The first game came out for the PlayStation 2, which eventually became popular enough to make the entire franchise a flagship title for the console. Today we have 10 God of War games to enjoy on various different platforms, including a miraculous PC port! If you’re trying to find a full list of all 10 God of War games in order of release date, as well as the best order to play them, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s begin!
About the God of War franchise, and why it was so popular
The God of War franchise has sold millions of copies of all the games, both digitally and physically. The first report came in 2012, when we found out the games have sold over 21 million copies. However, another report in November 2020 revealed that 51 million copies have been sold overall.
Several gaming websites have also listed God of War as one of the best games on their respective consoles. The game made it to number 10 on IGN’s “Top 25 PS2 Games of All Time” list. Needless to say, this is a very impressive number.
However, all these numbers must have resulted from a good experience while playing the game. Most notably, the game is based on Greek mythology, which has always been an interesting topic. The original game tells the story of Kratos, a Spartan warrior who later becomes the God of War. After his former master and the original god of war, Ares tricks him into killing his family, he sets off on a path to vengeance.
The Norse mythology era of the game follows an older Kratos trying to set himself on the path to redemption. This era also features his son, Atreus. Together, they find themselves in an interesting conflict with the gods they never meant to enter.
But enough about the story, let’s talk about the gameplay. The God of War gameplay is renowned for its immersion and the challenges the players face. These challenges come both in the form of enemies you fight and the puzzles you must solve. The games can act as great hack and slash games when you want to let off a bit of steam, but they can also vex your brain. This duality is what makes God of War a fascinating franchise.
All God of War games in Order of Release
The God of War games have always been loyal to their publisher, Sony. However, they’ve also made successful migrations to other platforms such as PC and even mobile. Still, no matter where the games have been released, they’ve won the favor of countless gamers worldwide and sold millions of copies. In fact, Kratos’s journey has become widely regarded as one of the most famous franchises in the industry.
Overall, God of War has been a source of enjoyment and inspiration to many over the years. The developers couldn’t have done this without each aspect of the game being picture-perfect. The story, the gameplay, and the soundtrack have all contributed to creating an outstanding game. In tribute to how iconic the God of War franchise has become, we’ve put together a list of all God of War games in order of release. Take a look below!
God of War 2005
Being the first game in the series, this God of War game is what truly started it all. This is where we find out about Kratos and his story, and follow him on his path to vengeance. Over the years, Ares has become a formidable enemy to many, and the Olympians fear him. This is why they’ve sent Kratos on a mission to recover Pandora’s box and use it against Ares. However, Kratos is only on this journey to destroy Ares himself.
The main point of God of War’s combat is the combos you can mate. Wielding the Blade of Chaos, you hack and slash your way through various monsters in the franchise. However, you’ll recognize most of them, as they are common mythological beings. This means you can fight Sirens, centaurs, cyclopes, minotaurs, and harpies.
God of War II 2007
The second God of War game continues after the end of the first game. He has become the new God of War after dethroning and killing Ares, and he now sits on the Olympus throne himself. However, Zeus betrays and kills Kratos, sending him off to the Underworld. This is also where the Titan Gaia saves him and directs him to the Sisters of Fate. These Sisters of Fate must help Kratos travel back in time and have his revenge on Zeus.
God of War II also features combo-based combat while also keeping the hack-and-slash aspect of the first game. However, unlike the first game, your main weapon is now Athena’s Blades. Still, God of War II introduces some improvements from the first game. Now, you can enjoy getting stuck on better, harder puzzles, and fighting against even more bosses than in the first game. Now that’s what we call an improvement!
God of War: Betrayal 2007
After the events of the second game, you would have thought Kratos was done with his days of vengeance. However, he is now framed for the murder of Argos, the servant of Hera. In an attempt to prove himself innocent and, once again, get his revenge, he sets off in pursuit of the real assassin. In the end, he faces off against Ceryx, the Olympian messenger.
However, fans may be disappointed to discover that God of War: Betrayal is a mobile game. It comes in the form of a 2D side-scroller. This also means it’s missing all the features from the previous two games. Still, the approach is the same. Much of the focus is placed on the action happening within the game, along with platforming and solving puzzles. Sony made sure the game didn’t stray too far from the traditional God of War format.
God of War: Chains of Olympus 2008
God of War: Chains of Olympus is the first game in the franchise to come out on the PSP. However, instead of continuing the story, Chains of Olympus acts as more of a prequel. In this story, Athena instructs Kratos to find Helios, the Sun God. Because Helios has been absent, the Dream God Morpheus has made many gods fall into slumber. Morpheus, along with Persephone, the Queen of the Underworld, plans to destroy the Pillar of the World, taking Olympus along with it.
Even with the PSP’s limited capabilities, Sony has once again greatly delivered on the classic God of War elements. The engaging story, gory combat, and puzzle-platforming elements are all still there. They also look pretty darn good for a PSP game!
God of War: God of War III 2010
This installment of the God of War franchise picks up right after Zeus betrays Kratos. Our main character relaunches the Great War and climbs his way up Mount Olympus. However, Gaia, the Titan who saved him from the Underworld, suddenly abandons him. Still, Athena’s spirit helps the God of War continue his journey. With her help, Kratos takes on many enemies, including monsters, gods, and Titans. He also searches for Pandora. Kratos needs her to help him open Pandora’s box and defeat Zeus.
This installment of the game is a bit more gory and brutal than the others, though it’s no less entertaining. As you can imagine, it includes all the previous aspects of God of War gameplay, and even improves on them! It also seems that Sony was trying to test the limits of game development, as you’ll sometimes be facing off Titans even larger than entire game levels!
God of War: Ghost of Sparta 2010
God of War: Ghost of Sparta is yet another PSP game that delivers an amazing story and immersive gameplay. In this game, Kratos is on a journey to discover his origins. He travels to Atlantis, where he finds his mother, Callisto. In a surprising turn of events, Callisto reveals to Kratos that his brother, Deimos, is alive. Naturally, Kratos makes his way to the Domain of Death where he rescues his brother and teams up with him to battle the God of Death, Thanatos.
This God of War installment is different in the fact that it reveals a whole new side of Kratos. It keeps all the same elements from previous games in the franchise and even delivers 25% more gameplay than Chains of Olympus! We suppose that makes it an even better game than the previous PSP game.
God of War: Ascension 2013
This God of War game deals with the moment Kratos got tricked into murdering his wife and daughter by Ares. Despite his blood oath to the God of War, he renounces him. This leads to him being imprisoned and tortured by the three Furies, who have come for him as a consequence of breaking his blood oath. The three Furies are the guardians of honor and enforcers of punishment, which makes sense in the context of the story. However, the oath keeper Orkos helps Kratos escape, and our main character must battle the Furies to break the blood bond between him and Ares.
Unlike the other God of War games, Ascension displays a calmer side of Kratos. Although the blood and gore are great fun, this is one game where the player can enter a state of reflection. This is especially true if they’ve followed Kratos’s story and character development through the games.
God of War 2018
God of War 2018 takes a completely new inspiration for the story, basing it around Norse mythology rather than Greek. This is also how most younger fans will remember the games nowadays. The game’s setting is in ancient Scandinavia, in Midgard more precisely. This is also the first game in the franchise to introduce two playable protagonists, Kratos and Atreus. Kratos embarks on a journey to spread his deceased wife’s ashes at the highest peak of the nine realms. His son, Atreus, accompanies him. However, it seems Atreus doesn’t know about his father’s divine nature just yet. Still, it’s a bit hard to keep it in check considering they encounter many monsters and gods along the way.
This story puts a parental twist on the God of War series, with Kratos in the role of a father. Despite the challenges they face along the way, players will find their story heartwarming and endearing. However, it also delivers on the violent and gory aspect of the franchise without fail. It seems many regard the 2018 God of War as the most popular game in the franchise.
God of War Ragnarök 2022
The latest addition to the God of War series takes place three years after the events of God of War 2018. After killing Baldur, Freya decides to pursue Kratos and Atreus, on a quest for vengeance. She aims to kill Kratos, as he has also killed her son Baldur in God of War 2018. The death of Baldur has also triggered Fimbulwinter, the events which immediately precede Ragnarök, which is seemingly the end of the world in Norse mythology.
This game delivers a complex and emotional story, but it also keeps most of the traditional God of War elements. This includes hack-and-slash, gory, combo-based combat, as well as puzzle-solving. Although this game was set to release in 2021, waiting another year was definitely worth it. It’s not just because it’s the latest game, God of War Ragnarök is a masterpiece in and of itself!
God of War Collections
The God of War collections also became renowned and popular due to the quality of the remasters. Well, it’s either that or the ridiculously good price-to-quality ratio, delivering great-value games for a decent price. Still, the God of War collections are a must-play experience for any God of War fan out there. Sony had somehow outdone themselves, and made already great games even better!
God of War Collection 2009
The first God of War Collection came out in 2009 for the PlayStation 3. This collection features a remastered port of God of War and God of War II for the console. This was great news at the time for critics who held the opinion that God of War II should’ve been a PlayStation 3 title. However, the most impressive part about this collection is the quality. Many considered it to be one of the best games on the PlayStation 3 at the time, and it wasn’t even originally a PlayStation 3 game!
God of War: Origins Collection 2011
The God of War: Origins collection takes us back to the amazing PSP games players were able to enjoy back in the day. Although the two original games have held up surprisingly well so far, enjoying their remasters on the PlayStation 3 excited players due to the limitations of the PSP console. It’s also a good way for those who haven’t played the original games to catch up on God of War: Chains of Olympus and God of War: Ghost of Sparta in their definitive editions. This release also features Stereoscopic 3D, something we hadn’t seen before or since in the God of War franchise!
God of War Saga 2012
The final PS3 collection came out in August 2012. The God of War Saga features God of War, God of War II, God of War III, and Ghost of Sparta. Three games remastered and ported for the PlayStation 3 was basically a dream come true for GoW fans at the time! Even though the original games have held up well, the experience of playing their remasters on the PS3 is surreal. These games make a great addition to a dedicated God of War fan’s collection.
God of War games Chronology: In what order should you play the games to get the story right?
With 10 total God of War games and 3 collections, it’s hard for new players to decide which games they should be playing first. Fear not, as we’ll give you a solid recommendation on how to play all God of War games in order to get the full, chronologically correct story. Here’s a quick and simple guide for those who are confused.
The first of the God of War games in order is God of War: Ascension. We’ve already mentioned the game is a prequel and takes place 10 years before God of War. Next, you should play God of War: Chains of Olympus. This is the game where Kratos still serves the Olympians.
After that, you can finally play the first God of War game where he takes revenge on Ares. Then, you’ll want to play Ghost of Sparta and Betrayal, as these games are set during Kratos’s reign as the God of War. Afterward, you should be playing God of War II. Luckily, you can play God of War III immediately after this one. After finishing God of War III, you should look to play God of War 2018. Finally, you can then play God of War Ragnarök, which takes place three years after God of War 2018. With that, you will have played all God of War games in order and gotten the full story.