Developed by Santa Monica Studio, God of War is, arguably, PlayStation‘s most popular game franchise. Set in a world where Gods, monsters and mortals alike roam the earth, God of War follows the story of Kratos, a Spartan soldier in service to the Greek gods, particularly the god of war, Ares.
The mind-boggling puzzles, chaotic hack-n-slash combat, coupled with hordes of monsters and Kratos’ destructive and rage-filled fighting methods, and a great narrative; all make God of War a must-play for every gamer.
Table of Contents
- How Many God of War Games Are There?
- 1. God of War: Ascension
- 2. God of War: Chains of Olympus
- 3. God of War (OG)
- 4. God of War: Ghost of Sparta
- 5. God of War: Betrayal
- 6. God of War II
- 7. God of War III
- 8. God of War: A Call from the Wilds
- 9. God of War: Mimir’s Vision
- 10. God of War (2018)
- 11. God of War: Ragnarök
- What’s in Store for God of War?
How Many God of War Games Are There?
God of War has been around for 15 years now, starting back in 2005, with a total of 11 games released in the franchise to date. Only the recent soft-reboot games are available on the PS4 and PS5, although God of War III was also made playable via a remastered version on the PS4 and subsequently, the PS5.
The first God of War game, and its successor, were both released on the PS2. While the third mainline game and a prequel were released on the PS3. The PSP also received 2 spin-off releases. Later, the first 2 games and the PSP spin-offs were ported to the PS3. The rest of the games were on different platforms; a 2D mobile platformer, a Facebook Messenger text-based game and an iOS/Android AR game.
While all of the 11 games are canon, some games are not really that really important to the main narrative. Moreover, with so many titles released on different platforms, it’s difficult to make sense of the order but here it goes:
Chronological Order of God of War Games
If you’re eager to delve into Kratos’ tale and exact his wrath and fury on all those who oppose you, just follow the list below to get lost in the lore-heavy, action-packed world of God of War.
1. God of War: Ascension
Platform: PlayStation 3 | Release Year: 2013 | Rating: 4.5★ | Emulator: Yes – RPCS3
God of War: Ascension, while released well after the mainline games, acts as a prequel to the entire game franchise’s story. It possesses all the same gameplay mechanics and features observed in its predecessors. However, God of War: Ascension stands out from the rest, thanks to its multiplayer feature that supports both co-op and competitive modes with new gameplay mechanics.
The story follows Kratos, who is mourning his murdered wife and daughter, trying to escape the clutches of the Three Furies, who aim to punish him for breaking his blood oath with Ares. Unexpected alliances are formed, and utter carnage ensues when Kratos seeks to clear out every obstacle that dares stand in is path.
SEE ALSO: How to Play PS3 Games on PS4 ➜
2. God of War: Chains of Olympus
Platform: PSP, PlayStation 3 | Release Year: 2008 | Rating: 4.7★ | Emulator: Yes – PPSSPP
The first game of the God of War franchise to be released on the PSP, Chains of Olympus sees Kratos carry out the gods’ will of thwarting the invading Persian Army. Kratos manages to do this quite easily, but the real calamity strikes when he witnesses the sun fall from the sky, engulfing the world into darkness.
Upon chasing a dim source of light on the horizon, he meets Athena, who informs him that the darkness has placed most of the gods into a deep slumber, leaving Olympus ripe for the taking. Hence, Kratos needs to find Helios to restore everything back to normal. The search for Helios leads him to the Underworld, where many secrets await him.
Chains of Olympus is one of the PSP’s most celebrated titles, and due to its immense popularity, it was remastered and ported to the PS3 twice; first as a part of the God of War: Origins Collection in 2011, and the second time as a part of the God of War Saga in 2012.
3. God of War (OG)
Platform: PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PS Vita | Release Year: 2005 | Rating: 4.8★ | Emulator: Yes – PCSX2
The phenomenon that gave birth to one of the greatest gaming franchises of all time, while subsequently setting new standards for hack-n-slash games, God of War for the PS2 was a defining title for the platform. It was the first ever God of War game and due to its immense success and popularity it was ported to the PS3 as part of God of War Collection in 2009, and to the PS Vita in 2014.
Throughout the events of the previous 2 games, Kratos had been plagued with visions about his past and he finally learns that it is none other than Ares who tricked him into killing his family, in hopes of reforming Kratos as the ultimate soldier. Kratos, enraged by this revelation, sets out to exact vengeance on Ares with the help of the goddess Athena, who tasks him with seeking out Pandora’s Box.
4. God of War: Ghost of Sparta
Platform: PSP, PlayStation 3 | Release Year: 2010 | Rating: 4.8★ | Emulator: Yes – PPSSPP
Ghost of Sparta is the second game in the God of War franchise to be released on the PSP. The title is a subtle reference to Kratos’ moniker “Ghost of Sparta” on account of his signature pale white skin and large red mark on his body. The game was later ported to the PS3 as part of the God of War: Origins Collection.
The game is set after the first mainline game and sees Kratos, once again, haunted by visions from his past. Against Athena’s advice, Kratos sets out in search of the truth behind these visions. His search leads him to Atlantis, where he learns that his brother and mother are still alive. From his mother, he learns that his brother is being held prisoner by Thanatos, the god of death.
5. God of War: Betrayal
Platform: Mobile (Java) | Release Year: 2007 | Rating: 4.5★ | Emulator: Yes – J2ME Loader, KEmulator
Before smartphones, Sony attempted to offer a mobile port of the God of War franchise in the form of God of War: Betrayal, a 2D side-scroller hack-n-slash. The game was released on older phones that supported Java games. Although its unavailable on any other platform, you can play it via an emulator; or just watch the gameplay on YouTube.
Although one wouldn’t expect such a minor game to be of importance, Santa Monica Studio animation director, Bruno Velazquez confirmed on Twitter (now X) that the game is indeed canon. In Betrayal, Kratos leads his Spartan army against Greece to truly cement his position as the new god of war. He is hindered in his quest by monsters sent by the gods and a mysterious assassin.
6. God of War II
Platform: PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PS Vita| Release Year: 2007 | Rating: 4.7★ | Emulator: Yes – PCSX2
The second mainline game of the franchise, God of War II released in the final years of the PS2. Like its predecessor, it received rave and stellar reviews and enjoyed great popularity. It was ported to the PS3 as a part of the God of War Collection in 2009, and on the PS Vita in 2014.
In God of War II, Kratos marches with his Spartan army to conquer Greece. He is still tormented by visions of his service to Ares and hopes to drown them out by indulging in what he does best; wage war. While Kratos has been crowned as the new god of war after defeating Ares, most gods do not approve of him on account of his savage and ruthless nature.
Kratos’ aim to conquer Greece further adds cause for concern and Zeus, the king of the gods himself, intervenes. Zeus deceives Kratos by stripping him of his powers and kills him. True to Greek mythology, Kratos is (once again) sent to the Underworld, where he is saved by Gaia, the mother of the Titans. She offers an alliance to help Kratos get back his powers and get revenge on the gods of Olympus.
SEE ALSO: How to Play PS2 Games on PS3 ➜
7. God of War III
Platform: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 | Release Year: 2010 | Rating: 4.7★ | Emulator: Yes – RPCS3
The third mainline game, and the conclusion to the franchise’s Greek saga, God of War III was another genre-defining release in the franchise. Receiving high critical acclaim, it was remastered for the PS4 in 2015. The remastered version is also backwards-compatible with the PS5. For 8 long years, it was regarded as the final game in the God of War franchise, up until the 2018 soft reboot.
God of War III picks up directly from where God of War II ended. Kratos, now leading an army of Titans alongside Gaia, intends to destroy Olympus and kill every god who opposes him. But once again, he is betrayed; this time by Gaia who reveals that she was using Kratos as a pawn to get own revenge on the gods of Olympus. Kratos falls to his death and finds himself in the Underworld once more.
In the Underworld, he has to fight his way back to the surface. He also meets Athena there, who promises to aid him in his mission. Facing off against many gods and monsters alike, Kratos finally makes his way back to Olympus and manages to defeat both Zeus and Gaia, with the help of the powers inside Pandora’s Box, but at a huge cost.
In the final scene, the spot where a wounded Kratos was shown lying, is empty; only showing bloody drag marks.
8. God of War: A Call from the Wilds
Platform: Web-based (on Facebook’s Messenger) | Release Year: 2018 | Rating: 4.5★ | Emulator: No
God of War: A Call from the Wilds is a tie-in to the 2018 reboot of God of War. It was available to play on Facebook’s Messenger but was shut down later. It was a text-based game where you could learn about Atreus, Kratos’ son in the new game. You type in your choices and, at the end, get rewarded with pieces of concept art. You can check out the gameplay on YouTube.
9. God of War: Mimir’s Vision
Platform: iOS, Android | Release Year: 2013 | Rating: 3★ | Emulator: No
Another tie-in to the 2018 reboot, God of War: Mimir’s Vision is an AR game. Technically, it’s not a game; it displays you a 3D map of the regions that will be explored in the new reboot and offers lore and hints about what to expect in the reboot at those locations.
10. God of War (2018)
Platform: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 | Release Year: 2018 | Rating: 4.8★ | Emulator: No
God of War (2018) sees the titular Kratos leading a peaceful life with his wife, Faye, and his son, Atreus, in the Norse region. When Faye passes away, her last wish is for Kratos to scatter her ashes at the highest peak in all the Nine Realms. Thus, Kratos, accompanied by Atreus, set on a journey across multiple worlds to fulfil this task.
During the journey, they encounter many characters from Norse mythology; as both ally and foe alike. Kratos is determined to instruct Atreus in the ways of life and groom him into a skilled, capable warrior. Unbeknownst to Atreus, Kratos’ dark past is the cause of all the hinderances they face in their journey as the Norse gods consider Kratos a great threat to their very existence.
The reboot is true to the franchise’s core as a hack-n-slash, but adds RPG elements as well; armour sets, skills, a third-person shoulder view camera etc. Kratos also has a new weapon; the Leviathan Axe, a magical axe with the power of frost and the ability to return to its owner when summoned, much like Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir. Players can also command Atreus to shoot arrows and act as support.
God of War was a smash hit among both critics and audience alike and received stellar reviews from all fronts. It won the 2018 Game of The Year. Due to Sony’s commitment of providing PC ports of its fan-favorite franchises, God of War was ported on to PC in 2022.
11. God of War: Ragnarök
Platform: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 | Release Year: 2022 | Rating: 4.7★ | Emulator: No
The sequel to the 2018 reboot, and, according to Santa Monica Studios, the last part of the Norse saga God of War: Ragnörok is the latest installment in the God of War franchise. The game sees the prophesized Ragnarök in Norse mythology, finally taking place, amidst the chaos that ensues when Kratos, Atreus and their allies take on Odin, the All-Father and the mighty Thor, amongst others.
The gameplay is the same as its predecessor and instead expands on the explorable area, allowing you to explore all 9 Realms. The game also explores Atreus’ newly developed powers and also features him as a playable character. The game has enjoyed great commercial and critical success, even being nominated for the Game of the Year Award 2022, but ultimately lost out to Elden Ring.
What’s in Store for God of War?
God of War has become one of PlayStation’s most iconic franchises, and with the release of Ragnarök, the question on everyone’s minds is; where does God of War go from here? While the Norse saga is concluded, it doesn’t mean that the story cannot continue.
A fully-fledged Atreus game, a prequel showing Kratos’ journey to the Norse realm and his fateful encounter with Faye; these are just ideas on how Kratos’ story can be explored. Then, there’s the spin-off route; where you can explore the more prominent characters introduced in the Norse saga.
Safe to say, that God of War is far from the end and we can expect another game from Sony. But what’s concrete is the fact that we’ll be treated to a live-action God of War series. The series, in development at Amazon Prime, aims to adapt the Norse saga of God of War for TV, with game director Cory Barlog set to serve as an executive producer.
Are you excited for the future of God of War? Let us know in the comments down below! And if you liked this article, check out our similar roundup of all 8 Uncharted games released so far.