God of War: Best to Worst

We rank the adventures of Kratos. Which one do you think wears the blood-soaked crown?

Erik Norrisby Erik Norris

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In a fate fit for the gods, we received our copy of the God of War: Origins Collection a few days ago. Ever since the game’s arrival, I’ve been playing the hell out of it to get a write-up ready for when the review embargo lifts (look to CraveOnline on August 29th, wink wink). This got me to thinking: how would I rank the five God of War titles that have released thus far? And thus, this list was born out of the sweat and tears of trying to establish rank between five fantastic titles. Let's count this mother down…

5. God of War: Chains of Olympus

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Ready at Dawn’s first God of War offering on the PSP is a great God of War game, no doubt about it. But when stacked against the competition, it just can’t compete. Chains of Olympus offers the epic set pieces, massive environments and tough bosses we’ve come to expect from the GoW series, but the real thing holding it back is the game’s length — Chains of Olympus clocks in at under four hours. However, it should be noted at this game was released on the PSP, a system designed for short spurt gaming sessions. 

 

4. God of War II

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God of War II took the foundation of the original game and made everything grander in scale. However, that’s also the game’s ultimate downfall, as the plot was pushed aside for epic fights against the Gods. Where Kratos was somewhat of a sympathetic character in the first God of War, all of that was lost with God of War II. Kratos was just a big douche here. Thankfully, the gameplay of God of War II helped make up for the game’s lackluster narrative. But still, God of War II was an overall step backwards for the series.

Continue to page 2 for entries 3, 2 and 1…


3. God of War: Ghost of Sparta

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When Ready at Dawn returned to the God of War franchise on the PSP with Ghost of Sparta, they brought their A-game. All of it. Ghost of Sparta is a magical ride that peels back some fascinating layers to the backstory of Kratos and his brother, Deimos. Ghost of Sparta truly pushed the PSP handheld to its limits and easily ranks as one of the system’s best games, without question. Ghost of Sparta could have easily been a console title, which makes it even more impressive that Ready at Dawn was able to cram everything this game offers onto a single UMD disc for the PSP. 

 

2. God of War III

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Sony Santa Monica’s final ride with Kratos was a glorious swan song for the character. This title also, thankfully, took some time to dial things back and deliver some heart to wrap up this truly tragic saga. I know not everyone plays God of War for the sappy, melodramatic story, but giving context to all the bloodshed doesn’t hurt. After the disappointment that was God of War II, God of War III blew down the doors and made me fall in love with this series all over again. 

 

1. God of War

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Did you really expect anything else to be in this spot? The first God of War title changed the way we look at action-adventure games. Just take a moment to think about how many copycats of the God of War formula we’ve seen since this game’s release. Answer: a lot. There’s a reason why this game is often considered not only one of the greatest PlayStation 2 games, but also one of the greatest games of all time period. Even the story of the original God of War was great and really hit like a truck by the time the twist was revealed. While the God of War franchise has had some great sequels over the years, none match the originality and freshness that the first God of War offered. ‘Nuff said.