God of War has had a bit of a resurgence ever since the well-received 2018 reboot, so with the franchise continuing to go strong with a PC Port and God of War Ragnarök, now is a perfect time for a look back.
Now one of PlayStation's prestige titles and an unofficial mascot, God of War began life as a 2005 hack and slash focused on Greek mythology that has since expanded in scope, focus, and gameplay.
However, with several spinoffs, mobile versions and a somewhat non-chronological order, it can be easy to lose track of the over-the-top series. Luckily, however, we are here to straighten things out.
With many of the games receiving remasters or being offered as part of PS Plus Extra, it's possible to play through the main games in order, whether you'd prefer chronologically or release order.
We'll let you know both options down below, so you can battle oversized monsters in your chosen order!
How to play the God of War games in release date order
Dating all the way back to the late PS2 era in 2005, here is the release order that everyone else experienced Kratos's journey in. We've included the original platforms and release years in brackets.
- God of War (PS2, 2005)
- God of War II (Ps2, 2007)
- God of War: Betrayal (Mobile, 2007)
- God of War: Chains of Olympus (PSP, 2008)
- God of War III (PS3, 2010)
- God of War: Ghost of Sparta (PSP, 2010)
- God of War: Ascension (PS3, 2013)
- God of War: A Call from the Wilds (Facebook, 2018)
- God of War: Mimir's Vision (iOS/Android, 2018)
- God of War (PS4, 2018)
- God of War Ragnarok (PS4/5, 2022)
It's also worth noting that the PSP and mobile entries are considered side games, and while they are canon and have mostly been ported to home console, they can be skipped if you're looking for a more streamlined playthrough.
How to play the God of War games in story order
Want to experience the full story of Kratos from the start to the finish? Follow the order below and you'll play through it all in the official story order, watching events unfold in the same order that Kratos did.
God of War: Ascension
Despite being the seventh instalment in the series and the last release of the Greek era, God of War: Ascension is actually a prequel to the entire series. Six months after breaking his blood oath to Ares, Ascension sees Kratos imprisoned by the three Furies and learn the truth about his bond with the God of War.
2013's God of War: Ascension is also the only game in the series to feature multiplayer, which included both cooperative and competitive online modes with new gameplay mechanics.
God of War: Chains of Olympus
God of War's first entry on the PSP, God of War: Chains of Olympus, follows Kratos around five years into his service to the Gods. The 2008 title sees Kratos investigate the abduction of the Sun God Helios, which leads to him unravelling a conspiracy in the underworld.
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God of War: Chains of Olympus became one of the most critically acclaimed PSP games of all time with particular praise directed towards the controls, and was later ported to the PS3 as part of God of War: Origins Collection.
God of War (2005)
The game that kicked off this larger-than-life series, God of War, sees Kratos tasked with killing his former master Ares after 10 years of serving the gods - which requires the elusive Pandora's Box.
God of War introduced players to the franchise's signature combo-based hack and slash combat, and is widely regarded as one of the best games on the PS2. It was remastered for the PS3 in 2009 as part of the God of War Collection.
God of War: Ghost of Sparta
The second God-brawling experience on the PSP, God of War: Ghost of Sparta, sees Kratos search for his mother in a quest to find his origins. He then discovers his brother Deimos may still be alive - and held prisoner by the God of Death.
Widely thought to be one of the best-looking games on the PSP, Ghost of Sparta was also remastered for the PS3 as part of both the God of War: Origins Collection.
God of War: Betrayal
An early attempt to replicate console games on mobile, God of War: Betrayal is a 2D side-scroller that follows Kratos on a bloodthirsty quest to clear his name after being framed for murder.
Despite fan speculation, God of War: Betrayal has been confirmed to be canon, although the game seems very tricky to find these days. Videos like the one above can help you get a feel for it, though.
God of War 2
A late PS2 release, God of War 2 follows a bitter Kratos as he leads his Spartan army on a rampage across Greece which soon worries the Olympians and causes Zeus to intervene. Kratos then spends the game on a quest to get revenge on Zeus, leading to revelations for Kratos, the Titans and the Gods themselves.
God of War 2 received similar critical acclaim to its predecessor and was soon ported to the PS3 in 2009 as part of the God of War Collection.
God of War 3
The franchise's PS3 debut sees an epic yet emotional end to the Greek era. After being betrayed by the Titans, the game sees Kratos go on a soul-searching quest through the Underworld and Mount Olympus, fighting God and Titan alike in a quest to finally kill Zeus.
With a revamped magic system and more enemies, God of War 3 was also critically acclaimed and was remastered for the PS4 in 2015.
God of War: A Call from the Wilds
Not a fully-fledged entry, God of War: A Call from the Wilds is a short text-based game available on Facebook Messenger. It is a prequel to 2018's God of War, telling the story of Atreus on his first adventure in the Norse wilds.
Downloadable concept art is unlocked upon completing the game. To have a go yourself, head to the game's page on Facebook and click 'send message' to start it.
God of War: Mimir's Vision
God of War: Mimir's Vision is not a full game either, but rather an iOS and Android AR game released as part of the promotion for the 2018 God of War.
Pointing your camera at a flat surface causes the game to load an interactive 3D map of Midgard, revealing information about the setting and lore of the reboot.
God of War (2018)
This iconic entry sees the famously angry Kratos reimagined as an older, more reflective character attempting to put his past behind him with his new wife Faye and son Atreus in the Norse world. However, when Faye passes away, Kratos goes on a quest to spread her ashes, teaching Atreus key life lessons along the way.
The gameplay was also reimagined, with the magical Leviathan Axe replacing the usual double-chained blades, an over-the-shoulder free camera and RPG elements.
The best-selling PS4 game and winner of numerous Game of the Year awards, God of War was universally critically praised. The God of War PC port was released in 2022.
God of War Ragnarök
Following on from events from the previous game, God of War Ragnarök sees the prophesied Ragnarök come about as Kratos seeks out the Norse God of War Týr to take on Odin and the Asgardians. What could go wrong?
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