God of War has had a bit of a resurgence since the 2018 reboot, so with the PC port and the franchise going strong with God of War Ragnarok, now is the perfect time to look back.
Now one of PlayStation’s iconic 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 so many spinoffs, mobile versions, and a somewhat non-chronological, over-the-top series it can be easy to lose track. Fortunately, however, we’re here to set things straight.
With many games receiving remasters or being offered as part of PS Plus Extra, it’s possible to play the main games in order, whether you prefer chronological or release order.
We’ll let you know both options below, so you can fight giant monsters in your chosen order!
How to play God of War games in order of release date
Since the PS2’s last release in 2005, here’s the release order in which everyone has experienced Kratos’ journey. We’ve included the original platform and release years in parentheses.
- 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: Vision of Mimir (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’re canon and mostly ported to home consoles, they can be skipped if you’re looking for a more streamlined playthrough.
How to play God of War games in story order
Want to experience the full story of Kratos from start to finish? Follow the sequence below and you’ll be able to play through it all in the official story order, watching events unfold as Kratos does.
God of War: Ascension
Despite being the seventh installment in the series and the last release in the Greek period, God of War: Ascension is a prequel to the entire series. Six months after breaking his blood oath to Ares, Ascension finds Kratos imprisoned by three Furies and learns the truth about his bond with the God of War.
2013’s God of War: Ascension is the only game in the series to feature multiplayer, including both cooperative and competitive online modes with new gameplay mechanics.
God of War: Chains of Olympus
The first God of War entry on the PSP, God of War: Chains of Olympus, follows Kratos around five years in the service of his gods. In the 2008 title, Kratos investigates the kidnapping of the sun god Helios, leading him to uncover 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 for the controls and was later ported to the PS3 as part of the God of War: Origins Collection.
God of War (2005)
God of War, the game that kicks off the larger-than-life series, 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 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
Another god-brawling experience on the PSP, God of War: Ghost of Sparta follows Kratos as he searches for his mother. He then learns that his brother Deimos is still alive – and has been held prisoner by the god of death.
Considered one of the best looking games on the PSP, Ghost of Sparta was also remastered as part of both the God of War: Origins Collection for the PS3.
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’ bloodthirsty quest to clear his name after being caught in a murder case.
Despite fan speculation, God of War: Betrayal has been confirmed to be canon, although the game is very difficult to find these days. Videos like the one above can help you realize this.
God of War 2
A late PS2 release, God of War 2 follows the bitter Kratos as he leads his Spartan army on a rampage in Greece that soon worries the Olympians and prompts Zeus to intervene. Kratos then spends the game on a quest to avenge Zeus, leading to revelations to Kratos, the Titans, and the gods themselves.
God of War 2 received the same critical acclaim as 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, in the game Kratos searches for souls through the underworld and Mount Olympus, ultimately fighting gods and titans alike in an attempt to kill Zeus.
With an improved magic system and more enemies, God of War 3 was also critically acclaimed and was remastered for PS4 in 2015.
God of War: A Call from the Wilds
Not a full-blown 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, which tells 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, go to the game’s page on Facebook and click ‘Send Message’ to start it.
God of War: Vision of Mimir
God of War: Vision of Mimir is not a full game, but an iOS and Android AR game released as part of the 2018 God of War promotion.
Pointing your camera at a flat surface causes the game to load an interactive 3D map of Midgard, revealing information about the reboot’s setting and lore.
God of War (2018)
This iconic entry reimagines the famously grumpy Kratos as an older, more reflective character who tries to put his past behind him in the Norse world with his new wife Faye and son Atreus. However, when Faye passes away, Kratos goes on a quest to spread her ashes, teaching Atreus important life lessons along the way.
Gameplay was also reimagined with an over-the-shoulder free camera and RPG elements, replacing the usual twin chain blades with a magical Leviathan Ax.
A best-selling PS4 game and winner of multiple Game of the Year awards, God of War was widely praised by critics. God of War PC port released in 2022.
Read more about God of War:
Ragnarok God of War
Following the events of the previous game, God of War Ragnarok sees the prophetic Ragnarok unfold as Kratos searches for the Norse God of War Tier to confront Odin and the Asgardians.
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