It is worth mentioning that, since the original establishment of the franchise on the Xbox 360, the Gears of War series has been one of the crown jewels in the release line-up of the Xbox. The first game in particular seemed to start a wave of waist-high cover third-person shooters throughout the series, but the series has maintained a consistent level of release and game quality throughout the decade and a half.

The Gears series has even expanded to tie-in novels, and actor / wrestler Dave Bautista has spoken of his desire to play Marcus Phoenix in a live-action film. However, there have been some mistakes in the history of the series (such as not making movies with Big Dave), as well as some games that have unfortunately gotten a little worse than others. That’s why we’re ranking the best Gears of War, so you know which game to start playing. Here is every Gears of War game, ranked from the worst to the best.

Gears of War Rank

9. Gears Pop!

Gears pop

Developer: Alliance, MediaTonic
Publisher: Xbox Game Studio
Platform: PC, mobile

Given the fact that Gears Pop! This is the only Gears of War game that has been classified as Delisted and Defunct, which means that this game is considered to be the worst in the solo group. The game itself helped reinforce the idea, as it was a clone of the mobile strategy game Clash Royale, with only Fanko Pop fighting all the battles with inspired Gears of War characters.

As an idea, Gears Pop! Microsoft was certainly smart as it tried to encroach on the lucrative mobile gaming market. Unfortunately, Gears Pop! It was very difficult to unlock new characters and units without wasting your own money in the game, so it became a difficult game to recommend to players.

Now, his only legacy is the footnote to the otherwise stellar and hilarious series.

8. Gears of War

War machines
Source: IGN

Developer: Epic Games
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studio
Platform: PC, Xbox 360 (backward compatibility via Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S)

Time is brutal and unforgivable for everything, but as far as the Gears series is concerned, no bigger victim than the original game. As a launching pad for the entire Gears of War franchise, the legacy of the first game is undeniable, then we’re talking about Mad World, an airtight cover-based shoot, or an amazing ad featuring every game that comes after. Gears of War 1 was very gray and brown.

The main reason Gears of War is low on the list is that the series has evolved and grown over the years to add new features, strengthen the gameplay, and improve on what it means to be a Gears of War game in general. The original game is not playable in modern times, as it is better than some shooters, but the rust is definitely in the show.

Also, screw the krill. The worst enemy in the whole series.

7. Gears of War 4

Gears of War 4

Developer: Alliance
Publisher: Xbox Game Studio
Platform: PC, Xbox One (backward compatibility via Xbox Series X | S)

As the first Gears of War game after the Epic Games handed over the reins of the series to The Coalition, Gears of War 4 was very popular for survival and did not reach the eyes of many. The fourth mainline title got a frosty reception due to a light campaign, some weird design choices in terms of raising your character level in Horde mode and more.

In the past, Gears of War 4 has shown more value as a basis for Gears 5 events, allowing you to spend time with the characters leading the franchise. Without that time, Gears 5 would not have resonated so much, but it seems that Gears of War 4 spends a lot of time away from the rest of the franchise’s characters, only to come to its final stage.

Also, the reason for the swarm’s existence is a little cunning, honestly. A completely new enemy would have been preferable to just a “mutated locust with crystals”.

6. Gears of War: Judgment

Gears of war decision
Gears of war decision

Developer: People Can Fly, Epic Games
Publisher: Microsoft Studio
Platform: Xbox 360 (Backward Compatibility via Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S)

In the early 2010’s, slapping the shooter in the name of People Can Fly was a great way to make sure that the shooter in question was an excellent one, if less experienced. Just watch Bulletstorm. Gears of War: Delta Squad’s Epic Hand Development Duties for People Can Fly for a prequel focused on Aserbeek and comedy Damon Baird. The end result is a game that is fun, but doesn’t feel like Gears.

In the main story, Damon Baird seems to have been court-martialled for some incidents during the locust war, but really, this story complements the actual gameplay, which gives a more arcade experience than other gears games. At certain points, you will be challenged to complete the stars, unlock rewards as you go. It’s a different direction, but it’s a lot of fun.

There’s also a bonus act between Gears of War 3 that plays like traditional gears. Judgment is not the best game in the series, but it is definitely a solid and reliable choice.

5. Gears of War: Final Edition

Gears of War: Ultimate Edition
Gears of War: Ultimate Edition

Developer: Alliance
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studio
Platform: PC, Xbox One (backward compatibility via Xbox Series X | S)

The primary reason for the lack of original Gears of War is that Gears of War: Ultimate Edition does what the original game does, but better. The gameplay engine brought improvements to both the Gears 3 and Judgment, while the graphics and completely remade cut scenes took the original game out of the water.

Gears of War: Ultimate Edition also tops the list as it includes earlier PC special chapters where Delta Squad battles Brumac. All this extra material and stellar upgrades make Gears of War: Ultimate Edition come alive with its subtitles. It’s probably not as extensive as the other Gears of War games that came before or after, but playing out the original is a reprehensible sight, especially by today’s standards.

Fighting Krill is still completely depressing.

4. Gears trick

Gears maneuver
Gears maneuver

Developer: Splash Damage, Alliance
Publisher: Xbox Game Studio
Platform: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S.

Ranking Strategy Spin-Off on this list is likely to raise some eyebrows, but Gears Tactics is an incredibly enjoyable strategy game that is not afraid to keep an eye on XCOM’s notes beforehand. Nonetheless, it introduces enough of its own ideas and concepts into the strategy genre, which simplifies Gears strategy and welcomes new players and Gears fans who can’t usually play turn-based strategy.

Gears strategy is set at the height of the locust warfare, while Kat’s grandfather follows Gabriel as he leads the crack team to the center of the locust’s scientific division. Players control the squad of characters, each with their own unique abilities, but the trick is to take advantage of their reputation and gameplay to inform the mechanics of the gears. Hanging gives your squad an extra twist, encouraging the player to get stuck and kill the locusts.

While there’s not much reason to go back to you once the main story is complete, Gears Tactics is worth the journey.

3. Gears 5

Gears 5
Gears 5

Developer: Alliance
Publisher: Xbox Game Studio
Platform: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S.

The most recent mainline game, Gears 5, is a huge improvement over the previous entry in many ways. While Gears 5 seemed more perfect than the other games in the series, including the amount of mods and content available at launch, the reinforced Horde mode, and the new Escape mode, the campaign filled two free-world maps. With secrets and upgrades to discover.

The biggest improvement came from the change in lead character, as Cat Diaz is infinitely more interesting than the “Daddy Issues” JD. Seeing Katla as she tries to wrestle with her legacy as the heir to the Locust Throne prepares for a fascinating campaign, and her growing relationship with Dale propels the campaign forward.

Moreover, Hollywood’s worst son Rahul Kohli takes a great turn in the role of Fahz Chutani. If you like disgusting, bitter characters, Fahz is one of the best.

2. Gears of War 2

Developer: Epic Games
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studio
Platform: Xbox 360 (Backward Compatibility via Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S)

With the release of the first game, Gears of War as a franchise gained a bit of a reputation as a game of mass violence with big guns and chainsaws. It’s been a notorious game since then, but Gears of War 2 was the first game to prove that the game is more capable. Sure, it was more bombastic than the first game, but it was the subtle touches that went on.

Especially since the storytelling felt like a big blow to the hand, Gears of War 2 is responsible for some of the more shocking and emotional moments in the entire franchise. The death of Dom’s wife Maria and Tai’s persecution are two incredible moments that will last a long time for fans. With the re-release of that rumored Gears Collection, hopefully those moments will be even more impressive.

Gears 2 has also brought Horde mode to the world and we are all either grateful / sick for adding it to every existing game. (Delete as appropriate.)

1. Gears of War 3

Gears of War 3

Developer: Epic Games
Publisher: Microsoft Studio
Platform: Xbox 360 (Backward Compatibility via Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S)

For some, you might argue that Gears of War 3 is the pinnacle of the series as it has managed to bring new colors to the series in addition to gray, brown and red. Sure, that color has turned yellow, thanks to the shiny lambent enemies the game throws at you, but at least it’s something different. Seriously though, Gears of War 3 is the best game in the whole series and it would have been the best conclusion of the troll. That dome moment is still one of the saddest moments in gaming, you can’t change our minds.

Gears of War 3 was probably the biggest game in the series at the time, introducing a four-player co-op for the campaign, which made the campaign even more fun once you found the full squad to kick the ass. With the improved Horde mode, along with the “Beast mode” which reversed the Horde concept and allowed players to control locusts against some defensive humans, Gears of War 3 felt like a total package.

It may be partly nostalgic here, but Gears of War 3 is the undisputed highlight of the whole franchise.

Read more: 15 Best Co-op Games on Xbox Game Pass

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