God of War was PlayStation’s answer to Halo and Zelda, making Kratos one of the most recognizable video game characters of all time. Kratos became iconic due to the quality and innovation of the God of War games. It allowed players to delve into Greek and now Norse mythology, but with a unique (and totally Metallic) twist on the story.
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The series began in 2005 and is still thriving with God of War: Ragnarok on the horizon. God of War may be one of the most iconic video game IPs of all time, but not all entries within the franchise are created equal. Which title was the best of the best when it comes to our favorite angry Spartan?
8. God of War: Betrayal
It’s the mobile debut and definitely not a definitive entry into the classic series. This 2D sidescroller was completely different from the other classics and ranks last because it’s so forgotten.
For a mobile game, it’s perfectly fine. In fact, it’s probably above average. It tried to keep the essence of its fast-paced combat and puzzles, but it wouldn’t be enough for most fans, who most likely skipped this entry. Betrayal doesn’t belong anywhere other than at the bottom of this ranking.
7. God of War: Chains of Olympus
Being stuck on the PSP’s hardware hasn’t done this part any favors. The biggest problem with Chains of Olympus is the lack of innovation across the board. The character development on Kratos was good, except that the game didn’t really excel at anything.
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On a standard scale it would be great, but since it’s from the famous God of War series, it has a higher hurdle to jump. Chains of Olympus had the weakest storyline in the series, which would generally be God of War’s forte, hence it ranks last among PlayStation God of War games.
6. God of War: Ascension
Ascension just felt like an unnecessary addition to the series. It was always a challenge to live up to the hype after the epic finale that three delivered. The plot was still fine, but the fight didn’t improve from three, on the contrary, it deteriorated.
Santa Monica added an evasion system, which sounds good in theory. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case – it ruined the original trilogy’s smooth flow of combat. We got more character development from Kratos, and at least that was well written. But Ascension was rather forgettable as it didn’t introduce any characters or boss fights that stood out in the end.
5. God of War: Spirit of Sparta
Once again God of War appeared on the PSP. This time it brought with it one of the best plots of the franchise and gave us a deeper look into Kratos and his personal life. Learning about Deimos, Kratos’ brother, was a shock. And learning the reason for his capture and the prophecies Zeus was privy to adds further depth to Kratos’ journey.
The presentation is admirable considering it is such a weak system. Short but sweet, Ghost of Sparta offers an excellent story of the tragedy and another glimpse into Kratos and his past. Ghost of Sparta lacked any bigger moments than the main titles, but it was still a brilliant game.
4. God of War
The one that started it all. This led us to Kratos and Santa Monica’s take on Greek mythology. We find out here that Kratos was just a puppet of Ares and was tricked into killing his own beloved family. The gods need help from Kratos as it is against their laws to kill one another – so begins Kratos’ epic godslaying. The hack and slash adventure was amazing and a great start to an unforgettable series. It takes a few hits, with some awkward platforming and uninspired puzzles, but looking back at some of the subtle foreshadowing this offers, it takes on a special nuance now that the trilogy is complete.
3. God of War 3
God of War 3 was an epic boss fight dream – Kratos meets some of the greatest battles gaming has to offer in this unforgettable adventure. The fight against Cronos was a particular highlight as Kratos can’t even match the size of his nail. We have so many memorable moments, like ripping off Helio’s head or gouging out Poseidon’s eyes, except we were (un)lucky enough to see it from Poseidon’s perspective, which shows us just how terrifying Kratos really is.
The music was intimidating and gave players goosebumps, giving Kratos a certain seriousness that basically made himself the most fearsome god in existence. It was a good farewell to the trilogy and a deserved conclusion for Kratos, at least that’s what we thought at the time, leading us to…
2. God of War (2018)
The reboot meant a new style for God of War, giving us a grizzled but wiser Kratos. 2018’s God of War changed our knowledge of God of War. The transition from a hack and slash to a more personal over-the-shoulder perspective gives a darker and more personal look at the action. The camera never cuts once, ensuring a seamless flow throughout your playthrough. Kratos delves into Norse mythology and it was a fascinating insight into the myth.
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As mentioned, one of the greatest things 2018 will bring is another Kratos. He has transformed from a vengeful warrior filled with anger and fear into a calm, wise father who recognizes the emptiness that comes with revenge. God of War proved that this bold new change paid off. The few issues in God of War were the repeated troll bosses, the lack of finishing moves, and the side missions that weren’t exactly memorable.
1. God of War 2
From start to finish, God of War 2 was an immersive experience. The pace was spot on and never had a dull moment. Two had the biggest storylines of any God of War game. Seeing the betrayal of Kratos and his fight against fate himself left us in awe. Perhaps his most triumphant moment was defeating the Destiny Sisters and proving he could forge his own destiny. Using time travel can be complicated and awkward, but using it in God of War 2 worked perfectly.
It used the first game’s biggest problems to its advantage, creating fun puzzles that were fulfilling to solve without being to difficult. The platform has been made much more precise, making it fun to traverse. There is little to say about God of War 2 as it simply improved on everything its predecessor did. The combat, story, characters, scale, graphics, puzzles, and level design have all been improved, making it the greatest God of War game yet.
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