God of War is one of the most popular gaming franchises in the world; but if you haven’t played it and you want to start playing it from the very beginning, then you should know all about the God of War games in order of their release date. And that’s exactly what this article aims to do, tell you about the franchise from its inception to the latest title!
God of War made its debut in March 2005 with the first-ever game for PS2 titled God of War. Created by David Jaffe, the God of War franchise is an action-adventure game and has become a flagship title for the Sony PlayStation brand. The franchise consists of eight titles in the main series followed by a ninth one in the making and scheduled to go live in 2022.
The God of War franchise is based on ancient mythology. The game commences with Greek mythology where the lead protagonist Kratos, a Spartan warrior, is tricked into killing his family by the Greek god of war Ares. This sets the events where Kratos fights and combats against men, monster, and Gods alike on his path of vengeance.
The second era commenced in 2012 that follows Norse mythology. It has an older Kratos with his son Atreus. Unlike the first era, Kratos is on his path to redemption which ends with Kratos and Atreus on a path of conflict with the Gods in Norse mythology. Developer Santa Monica along with Javaground/Sony Online Entertainment-Los Angeles and Ready at Dawn was tasked with developing games for respective systems including PS2, PS3, PS4, PS5, PSP, PS Vita, and mobile phones. The franchise sold over 51 million copies at the time of writing this.
All the God of War Games In Order
The first era commences the events in the fictional fantasy world of ancient Greece and deals in Greek mythology. It has almost all the games till 2013 and here are all the games in their proper order of release date.
1. God of War
- Release Date: March 22, 2005
- Platforms: PS2, PS3, PS Vita
This is where it all started. Developed by Santa Monica Studio for PS2, God of War is based on the protagonist Kratos who is a spartan soldier who serves the Olympian Gods. Kratos is tasked with killing the God of War Ares with the motif being Ares tricks Kratos by killing his wife and daughter. Kratos ends up in a quest to find Pandora’s Box, one object that can stop all the Greek Gods for once.
The game uses combat mechanics where the players control Kratos swinging his primary weapon called the Blades of Chaos. Kratos uses quick time events with his secondary weapon to kill stronger enemies and bosses on the way. The game made its debut on March 22, 2005, in North America followed by its launch in Europe on July 8, 2005. It is one of the most popular games in the franchise with more than 4.62 million copies in sales as per the last record available.
God of War is technically the third in the series of the chronological order of events. Read ahead to know both about the games in the franchise and their chronological order of release and events.
2. God of War II
- Release Date: March 13, 2007
- Platforms: PS2, PS3, PS Vita
God of War II is the second installment in the franchise and the fifth in terms of chronological order or events. The game first arrived on PS2 followed by PS3 and later PS Vita over a couple of years.
The game follows the events after the first installment where Kratos has killed Ares and he is the new God of War. Betrayed by Zeus later after stripping him of his power, Kratos returns from the underworld with the help of Titans to seek vengeance from Zeus, the King of the Olympian Gods. God of War II follows almost similar gameplay where the Blades of Chaos has been renamed as Blades of Athena. Some new weapons have also been added in the new installment.
With improved mechanics and graphics, the God of War II will satisfy your urge to play the world-class franchise of action-adventure games. According to the last update, it sold approximately 4.24 million copies worldwide in the first week in the UK. The game arrived in North America, Europe, and Australia in consecutive months.
3. God of War: Betrayal
- Release Date: June 20, 2007
- Platforms: JAVA ME
The only game that arrived on non-PlayStation devices i.e. Java ME-powered mobile phones, God of War: Betrayal is the third installment in the series. However, chronologically, it falls between God of War: Ghost of Sparta and God of War II.
It is also the only God of War game to have side-scrolling gameplay where Kratos is framed for murder and he is on a rampage to find the assassin. In-between, he kills Ceryx, the son of the Greek God Hermes and that puts Kratos in an alienated position against all other gods.
Kratos still has his mighty weapon dubbed as the Blades of Athena that can now go through various maneuvers. He is battling minotaurs, Gorgons, Cerberus among others during his quest on God of War: Betrayal.
4. God of War: Chains of Olympus
- Release Date: March 4, 2008
- Platforms: PS2, PSP
God of War: Chains of Olympus is the fourth installment in the series released on March 4, 2008, for PS2. Chronologically, it is the second installment after God of War: Ascension that was released a few years after this game.
The gameplay revolves around Kratos who is tasked by the Goddess Athena to find Sun God Helios. The Dream God Morpheus along with his associate, the Queen of the Underworld Persephone and the Titan Atlas has caused a lot of destruction and is on the verge to destroy the pillar of the World. Only Helios can save and Kratos is set on a quest to find him fighting the dangers in the way.
God of War: Chains of Olympus was released in North America first followed by Australia and finally, it landed in Europe. The game saw an IGN rating of 9.4/10, Eurogamer rated it as 8/10, and Metacritic gave it 91/100. The game later became a part of God of War: Origins Collection in 2011 that I have explained ahead.
5. God of War Collection
- Release Date: November 17, 2009
The God of War Collection brings a remastered collection of games that includes the God of War and God of War II that were released in 2005 and 2007 respectively. This time around, it is for PS3 and it was officially released on November 17, 2009, in North America.
Both the games were ported to 720p high-definition with anti-aliased graphics at 60fps. Originally released on Blu-ray discs, the God of War Collections was released as a digital download on the PlayStation Store on November 2, 2010. It was also released as a part of God of War III Ultimate Trilogy Edition under Sony’s Classic HD games in many parts of the world.
6. God of War III
- Release Date: March 16, 2010
- Platforms: PS3, PS4
God of War III is the 6th installment in chronological order of events and sequel to God of War II. The game follows the events of Kratos who is betrayed by Zeus. This commences the Great War where Kratos is abandoned by Titan Gaia. Kratos is now on a quest to find Pandora’s Box within the Flame of Olympus to pacify Zeus. The game has Kratos unleash the motif of vengeance while his new weapon is dubbed the Blades of Exile.
Kratos is tasked with combating enemies ranging from minotaurs, satyrs, cyclopes, gorgons, Cerberus, sirens, harpies, centaurs, and others. God of War III uses the TPP perspective unlike the previous installments and has elements ranging from platforming, combating, puzzle among others. As of June 2012, the God of War III sold approximately 5.2 million copies worldwide.
7. God of War: Ghost of Sparta
- Release Date: March 16, 2010
- Platforms: PS3, PSP
God of War: Ghost of Sparta made it to PlayStation Portable in November 2010. Chronologically in the fourth position, the game sets events rolling between the ones of God of War and Betrayal. The plot shows Kratos getting visions of his mortal past. That’s when the protagonist sets on a quest to find his mother named Callisto only to realize that his brother Deimos is taken hostage and imprisoned by Thanatos, the God of Death. Kratos sets on a journey to save Deimos, however, Thanatos kills Deimos during the battle between him and the two brothers. This is when Kratos kills Thanatos and makes a comeback at Olympus.
The game arrived in North America on November 2, 2010, and went on to release in Europe, Australia, and the UK in consecutive days in order. Ghost of Sparta holds a special position in the franchise as it was heavily acclaimed and praised for its gameplay, story, and graphics by many reviewers and players alike. A total of 1.2 million copies of the game were sold worldwide by June 2012. It is also a part of the God of War Origins Collection and God of War Saga on PS3.
8. God of War: Origins Collection
- Release Date: September 13, 2011
God of War: Origins Collection, also called God of War Collection – Volume II, is the series that brings remastered versions of two PSP-powered installments – Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta, on Sony PlayStation 3 with a single Blu-ray disc and it was released on September 13, 2011, in North America.
Developed by Ready at Dawn, the game saw its release in Europe and Australia along with Japan soon after. First released as a physical Bluray disc, the collection soon ported to digital downloads via the PlayStation Store. As per the resorts, the God of War: Origins Collection sold over 711,737 copies worldwide as of June 2012.
9. God of War Saga
- Release Date: August 28, 2012
The God of War Saga was released on PlayStation 3 on August 28, 2012. Developed by Santa Monica Studio, Bluepoint Games, and Ready at Dawn, the series includes five games – God of War, God of War II, God of War III, Ghost of Sparta, and Chains of Olympus, in a two Blu-ray discs setup. It is one of the best-valued collections as it brings five games in the franchise and that too in the same package so you won’t have to buy them separately.
10. God of War: Ascension
- Release Date: March 12, 2013
- Platforms: PS3
Released on March 12, 2013, the God of War: Ascension was made available for PS3 as the only multiplayer game in the franchise. The game is technically first in the God of War franchise predating Chains of Olympus. It follows the events six months after Kratos was tricked into killing his daughter and wife. During his imprisonment, Ares’ son Orkos and the oathkeeper tell Kratos that both Furies and the God of War have planned to overthrow Mount Olympus and they want Kratos as Ares’ servant to serve him for the execution of the plan.
The game brings back the main weapon – the Blades of Chaos, that we have seen in the first installment released back in 2005. Its multiplayer mode is available online for both cooperative and competitive play. The game brings a tonne of downloadable content, new gameplay mechanics, and more on-board which makes God of War: Ascension a must-try; especially if you want to play the franchise in terms of its chronological order.
11. God of War III Remastered
- Release Date: July 14, 2015
- Platforms: PS4
God of War III Remastered as the name suggests, is a ported version of 2010 God of War III for Sony PlayStation 4. The collection was released on July 14, 2015, in Australia. This was followed in Europe on July 15 and then, it arrived in the UK on July 17. You can access all DLC, that was released with the original game. This game has been ported to 1080p resolution with 60fps. It soon rocketed, scoring high numbers in both sales, popularity, and charts such as seventh best-selling PS4 title on PS Store among other accolades.
The second era commences with the first and currently, the only game in Norse mythology. It will soon get another game next year. Here’s more information about it.
12. God of War (2018)
- Release Date: April 20, 2018
- Platforms: PS4
God of War (2018) made its debut on April 20, 2018, on PlayStation 4. It is technically the 7th installment chronologically (if the Betrayal is removed) from the franchise and a sequel to God of War III (2010). It is also the first game into the Norse mythology as all previous games were a part of the first era which was based on Greek mythology.
The game is set in ancient Scandinavia in Midgard and it has two protagonists i.e. Kratos (as you know him), and his son Atreus although the former is the only playable character in this game. Both Kratos and Atreus are enroute to the highest peak of the nine realms (in Norse mythology) where Atreus’ mother asked Kratos to spread her ashes after her death.
According to the sales reports, the new and improved God of War (2018) became the fastest-selling game in the God of War franchise. It sold over 46,091 copies in the 1st week in Japan. It was reported selling 3.1 million copies within the first three days of its release worldwide. More than 10 million copies were sold out by May 2019 making God of War (2018) the best-selling game in the franchise.
13. Untitled God of War Sequel
- Release Date: 2022
- Platforms: PS4, PS5
In the ninth installment in the God of War series, the sequel is expected to drop by 2022. Developed by Santa Monica Studio for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, the game will be loosely based on Norse mythology as it falls in the second era of the franchise. It is a sequel to 2018’s God of War and will feature both Kratos and his son Atreus.
According to the expected gameplay, the game will bring about Ragnarok that will unfold the events of the end of the days and the death of all Norse Gods. It was foreshadowed in the 2018 game when Kratos killed The Aesir God, Baldur, mentioned in Norse mythology.
The game was likely to be titled “God of War: Ragnarok”, however, it was later changed to “God of War” dictating that the title hasn’t been fixed yet at least at the time of writing this.
So, that’s the end of our post on the God of War games in order of their release date and chronological order as well. God of War is one of the most popular video game franchises clocking in more than 51 million copies as per the recent but non-dated report.
I hope you liked reading about this beloved franchise, and if you did, then make sure to share the article with a friend who’s a huge fan of God of War games!
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