“You seem like a calm and reasonable person. Are you a calm and reasonable person?”
God of War is an action-adventure game series by Sonu’s Santa Monica Studio. In particular, David Jaffe has the credit for creating the franchise.
Their ninth main title, GoW: Ragnarok, is in development. Perhaps it’s time to get ourselves up to date with the rest of the series.
God of War Games in Order
The series follows Kratos, a Spartan warrior who rose to become the God of War. Ares, the former God of War, tricked his soldier Kratos to kill his own family. It set off a serialized revenge against mythological pantheons.
The series starts around Greek mythology. The era sets Kratos on revenge against the Olympian God family.
The next era covers Norse mythology, where the series introduces Kratos’ son, Atreus. The second era comes with a new plotline that sets an older, wiser Kratos on a path of redemption. Nevertheless, he sparks a conflict against the Norse gods.
Overall, the series represents one of the best action video-game franchises of all time. Gameplay is often linear: you play as Kratos and beat your enemies with increasingly better skills, weapons, and combos.
So far, we’ve seen eight main games, one remasters, two spin-offs, and three collections. The total is 14 God of War entries. Not every main GoW title debuted for the console; some storylines happened on handheld and mobile devices.
God of War – 2005 (Main Series)
The original game debuted in 2005 for PlayStation 2, and it’s the third story within the timeline. God of War’s storyline doesn’t follow release date order.
In ancient Greece, Kratos served as a Spartan warrior for the Olympian Foods. Goddess Athena orders the protagonist to kill Ares, Kratos’ former mentor. He begins the mission willingly, as Ares tricked him into murdering his own family.
To accomplish the goal, Kratos must search for the one item that could stop the box. The goal is to find Pandora’s Box before Ares destroys Athens out of hatred.
The gameplay focuses on a 3D combo-based directional combat. Combos come through the player’s main weapons, the Blades of Chaos. There’s a secondary weapon later on, on top of power upgrades and magical attacks. Lastly, the title has quick time events during cinematic sequences.
God of War II – 2007 (Main Series)
The second entry debuted in 2007 for PlayStation 2. It’s not a direct sequel to the main game, though, as it’s the sixth entry timeline-wise.
Still, the setting and gameplay are similar. You play as Kratos in ancient Greece. Ares is dead, and now Zeus, God of Gods, strips Kratos from his godhood and sends him to the Underworld.
In the Underworld, the Titan Gaia saves Kratos and shows him the way of salvation. He must find the Sisters of Fate, ask them to send him back in time, and take revenge on Zeus.
The gameplay doesn’t change much compared to the previous entry. The main weapon is Athena’s Blades, and there are now multiple secondary weapons throughout the story. There’re also four magical attacks and skill upgrades. Outside of combat, the game adds platforming elements, puzzles, and many more bosses.
God of War: Betrayal – 2007 (Main Series)
Betrayal was a mobile action-adventure game by Javaground. It debuted in 2007 for phones supporting Java ME.
Kratos, as the God of War, is framed for killing primordial giant Argos. He sets off to pursue the true assassins, an Olympian messenger.
Betrayal is a 2D side-scrolling game. Still, Kratos has similar combo-based gameplay, and there’re puzzles and platforming segments as well.
God of War: Chains of Olympus – 2008 (Main Series)
Chains of Olympus is a Ready at Dawn and Santa Monica Studio title. It debuted in 2008 for the PlayStation Portable (PSP).
This is a prequel to the original title, as the plot happens 10 years before the opening events. It follows Kratos, a disciple of goddess Athena, on a mission to find sun God Helios. During the absence of the Dram God Morpheus, many Gods have fallen to a slumber. Soon, he discovers Morpheus is an enemy of the Olympian Gods.
Gameplay-wise, it has similar functionality as previous entries. Kratos has combo-based combat, the Blades of Chaos, and various secondary weapons. There’re also bosses, puzzles, platforming segments, and quick-time events.
God of War Collection – 2009 (Bundle)
Good of War Collection packs remastered ports of God of War and God of War II for PlayStation 3. The bundle debuted in 2009 as a single Blu-ray Disc.
God of War III – 2010 (Main Series)
The third main entry debuted in 2010 for the PlayStation 3. It’s the seventh installment chronologically and the last story in the Greek era.
Kratos went back in time to stop Zeus’ betrayal. To defeat his father, he must find Pandora to open Pandora’s Pox and murder the King of the Gods.
Gameplay is similar to previous entries. However, the game offers a new magic system, new camera angles, and DLCs. Then, his new weapon is the Blades of Exile, and there’re multiple secondary weapons throughout the journey. Each time Kratos finds a weapon, he learns a new magic attack.
Lastly, the game adds some new movement mechanics. There’s range-grab combat grabble, for example. Kratos can use it to maneuver across ledges and pull enemies and objects. Similarly, Kratos can ride harpies across chasms on some segments.
God of War: Ghost of Sparta – 2010 (Main Series)
Ghost of Sparta is another Ready at Dawn GoW title. It debuted for PSP in 2010 as the fourth story in the series’ timeline.
Kratos explores his human past and decides to go back to his origins in Atlantis. He finds his mother, Callisto, who asks him to save his lost brother, Deimos.
The gameplay follows the same mechanics as the previous PSP entry. There’re quick-time events, platforming segments, puzzles, bosses, and magical abilities.
God of War: Origins Collection – 2011 (Bundle)
The Origins Collection remastered the PSP titles (Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta) for PlayStation 3. It debuted in 2011 as a Blu-ray Disc.
This bundle has 1080p resolution, 60fps, and anti-aliased graphics. Also, it added the DualShock 3 rumble features to the games.
God of War Saga – 2012 (Bundle)
The God of War Saga is a bundle with the five GoW games for the PlayStation 3. The remasters of the original two games are the same present on the 2009’s God of War Collection.
- God of War (Remastered)
- God of War II (Remastered)
- God of War III
- Chains of Olympus (Port)
- Ghost of Sparta (Port)
In Latin America, the bundle debuted as the Omega Collection.
God of War: Ascension – 2013 (Main Series)
Ascension debuted in 2013 for PlayStation 3. It’s a prequel of the entire series, so the events are before Chains of Olympus.
The plot happens right after Kratos kills his wife and daughter. Responding to Ares’ trickery, the Spartan demigod renounces Ares. The God of War responds by torturing Kratos. So, the protagonist must escape, confront his wardens, and free himself from Ares.
The gameplay evolves from previous entries. The Blades of Chaos are Kratos’ main weapons, and there’re magical attacks, power-ups, puzzles, and platforming. The whole system came through new gameplay mechanics, movements, skills, and performance. Additionally, the game adds a promptless system to its quick-time events.
Lastly, Ascension had a multiplayer feature, but it didn’t become popular. Even so, the developers released a companion graphic novel, Rise of the Warrior, that ties to the multiplayer experience. It was only a beta, though, and it featured 4 to 8-player parties on a PvE experience.
God of War Collection (Vita) – 2014 (Bundle)
The next bundle packs God of War I HD Remaster and God of War II HD Remaster for the PlayStation Vita. The collection debuted in 2014.
God of War III Remastered – 2015 (Remaster)
In 2015, Sony released God of War III Remastered for the PlayStation 4. Wholesale Algorithms made the port. The newer version had 1080p resolution, 60 frames-per-second, and a new photo mode.
God of War: A Call from the Wilds – 2018 (Spin-off)
A Call from the Wilds is a text-based spin-off experience for Facebook Messenger. It was a marketing experiment to promote God of War through social media.
The short story follows Atreus, Kratos’ son, on an adventure in the Norse wilds. He learned about runes and archery from his mother, and now he’s traveling to find a dying deer he heard telepathically. Kratos has to save him, though, as Atreus could not defeat a couple of draugars in the journey.
God of War: Mimir’s Vision – 2018 (Spin-off)
The experience lets users tap, zoom, and explore a map to find points of interest, lore, and stories behind Kratos’ Norse adventure. Mimir guides users from The River Pass to the Mountain Peak to showcase the new map of the upcoming title.
God of War – 2018 (Main Series)
The latest game in the series, God of War, debuted in 2018 for PlayStation 4. In January 2022, Sony is also releasing a version for Microsoft Windows PCs.
The eighth installment is also the last timeline-wise. The new entry is inspired by Norse mythology; the majority of sets are in Scandinavia, within the Norse mythical realm of Midgard.
God of Wa introduces Kratos’ son Atreus as a secondary protagonist. While the demigod deals with his troubled, violent past, he struggles to lead Atreus by example. Atreus is unaware of his divine nature, and Kratos aims to keep the secret away from him.
However, unforeseen events lead the duo into conflict against the gods of Norse mythology. The conflict happens during Atreus’ request to spread his mother’s ashes at the highest peak of the nine realms. Atreus’ mother is Kratos’ second wife.
The gameplay re-imagines the franchise with a semi-open world design, prominent magical abilities, and a fair character progression system. The camera changes from a third-person perspective to over-the-shoulder. Additionally, Atreus assists Kratos in combat.
In particular, Kratos’ main weapon changes from dual swords to a magical ax. The ax works akin to Thor’s Mjolnir, as he can throw it and summon it back to stun and defeat enemies. Over time, he can upgrade the ax with runes that add magical attacks and effects. Also, Kratos has a shield, the Guardian Shield, and it can both attack and defend.
The RPG elements add crafting resources and recipes to upgrade and create armors and other items. Armors come with perks, passive bonuses for the playable character. Additionally, Kratos gathers Hacksilver, an in-game currency viable to buy gear from vendors.
Likewise, the game has an XP system that allows Kratos to learn and improve skills. There’s also loot in the game, like secondary weapons, armor, weapon upgrades, runes, special items, and currency.
Lastly, both Kratos and Atreus have playable sections, although most of the game happens with Kratos. Still, there’s a button to command Atreus to help in combat, exploration, puzzles, and traversal.
Every God of War Game in Chronological Order
- God of War – 2005
- God of War II – 2007
- God of War: Betrayal – 2007
- God of War: Chains of Olympus – 2008
- God of War Collection – 2009
- God of War III – 2010
- God of War: Ghost of Sparta – 2010
- God of War: Origins Collection – 2011
- God of War: Ascension – 2013
- God of War Collection (Vita) – 2014
- God of War III Remastered – 2015
- God of War: A Call from the Wilds – 2018
- God of War: Mimir’s Vision – 2018
- God of War – 2018
God of War games in timeline order:
- God of War: Ascension
- God of War: Chains of Olympus
- God of War (2005)
- God of War: Ghost of Sparta
- God of War: Betrayal
- God of War II
- God of War III
- God of War (2018)
Will the God of War Series Continue?
The series will continue with God of War Ragnarok, set to debut in 2022 for PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4.
Are God of War games Available for PC?
God of War (2018) is debuting on January 14th, 2022, for Windows. It’s already available for pre-order at Steam.