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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Speaking of things that are enormous, we should take a moment to address one of the promises Sony made early on. In our first real preview with the game, we got to hear all about Titan gameplay, which as we said earlier was supposed to be a revolutionary idea that would set entire levels on the bodies of Titans. These Titans, in turn, would behave dynamically as they wandered around a huge, persistent game world, making for landscapes that would shift unpredictably with every movement.
The sci-fi tabletop universe is enjoying a video game boom, with a handful of great games set within its very grim and very dark universe launched in recent years. Where there was nothing but an endless stream of mediocre Warhammer 40,000 games to play, like the terrifying Tyranids, the genre has adapted, improved and launched yet another wave, better than what came before.
Black Lab's turn-based strategy game is arguably the best video game version of the Warhammer 40,000 tabletop available to play right now. It's "battle-scale", which means the gameplay is of a scale bigger than an XCOM-style game, or the superb Warhammer 40,000 Chaos Gate Daemonhunters, but smaller than the likes of Warhammer 40,000: Armageddon.
The Blood Angels chapter of the Space Marines takes centre stage here in a fierce battle against the relentless onslaught of the Tyranids, but Black Lab has added the Necrons as a DLC faction, with more to come. I had an absolute blast smashing through the Battlesector campaign, fussing with my list for each battle, then executing my carefully laid plans against the xenos. Some of the models on show are impressively-detailed, with nice animations for combat. If you're into Warhammer 40,000 and like video game strategy, Battlesector is a great shout.
Don't let the awfully clunky name put you off: Warhammer 40,000 Chaos Gate Daemonhunters, from Complex Games, is a wonderful take on the 40K / XCOM dream. There are a lot of reasons to love this multifaceted strategy game, from the voidship-level resource management to the fun interactions between the three opposing personalities of Inquisitor, Grey Knight and Tech Priest, with the occasional interjection from a stern veteran played by Andy "Gollum" Serkis.
Sticking with Relic Entertainment, we brave the warp as we move into real-time strategy territory with the eternally brilliant Dawn of War 2. Relic raised eyebrows with this sequel for ditching the traditional RTS base-building of the first Dawn of War game in favour of micromanagement of a small number of Blood Ravens squads, each led by a powerful hero character. The decision paid off, because Dawn of War 2, perhaps more so than any other video game, captured the weight and heft of the Warhammer 40,000 universe.
For some grizzled old veterans, Relic's Dawn of War remains the best Warhammer 40,000 video game ever made. This traditional real-time strategy game is as dark and gothic as you'd want, with heavy-duty base building and large scale battles that revolve around capturing strategic locations. Sure, Dawn of War has aged visually, but its spirit burns as brightly now as it did when the game came out in 2004. And those unique combat animations still look the part.
There are loads of factions to play with, too. Dawn of War launched with four playable races (Space Marines, Chaos Space Marines, Orks and Eldar), but post-launch saw the addition of the Imperial Guard, the Tau, the Necrons, Sisters of Battle and even the Dark Eldar. If you want some chaotic RTS gameplay with everything happening everywhere at once, Dawn of War is for you.
Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War 3 failed in such dramatic fashion that it caused Relic to abandon the game - and we haven't heard a peep out of Dawn of War since. It's a real shame, not just for fans of the series, but for those who found Dawn of War 3's ill-judged mix of RTS and MOBA a decent enough time.
Of course Dawn of War 3 isn't the best Dawn of War game, but it's got a lot going for it, I think. It's a shame only three factions (Space Marines, Orks and Eldar) are available to play, particularly given the variety on offer in previous Dawn of War games, but Dawn of War 3's towering Titans always get my blood pumping, even if the units running about their feet aren't the most inspiring. The mighty Imperial Knight, Gorkanaut and Wraithknight all make an appearance on the battlefield, with devastating effect.
Tindalos Interactive's real-time tactics game Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2 focuses on Warhammer 40,000 space battles. This means there's loads of "engaging engines!" and "systems failing" barked about the bridges of various void ships. "Captain! Xenos contact!"... you get the idea. It's an absolute blast to see these gargantuan spaceships shooting each other to bits in space. Who needs a Space Marine when you've got a planet-destroying stellar vessel actually called Planet Killer?
Bulwark Studios' brilliant turn-based strategy game revolves around the Adeptus Mechanicus, the machine god-worshipping cyborg priest army of the Imperium. The Ad Mech, as they're affectionately known, are on a quest to salvage ancient technology from the catacombs of a Necron Tomb World. Things are dark, but also bright in a neon in the dark kind of way.
Mechanicus involves upgrading and outfitting your tech priests using the resources and equipment you've gathered while out on missions, and of course the missions themselves, which fuse exploration and turn-based combat encounters. The Adeptus Mechanicus rarely enjoy centre stage in Warhammer 40,000 video games, so it's refreshing to zero in on this crucial faction of the Imperium. And it's always great to see the Necrons clank about in the dark.
Armageddon takes Warhammer 40,000 into hex-based territory in a strategy game that sees players lead the Armageddon Steel Legion of the Imperial Guard against the Orks - with a little help from the Space Marines (the Salamanders, Blood Angels and the Ultramarines all lend a hand). Any fan of the Panzer Corps games will feel right at home with Armageddon, which is set on a polluted hive world packed with lava canyons and acid rivers. This 2014 40K game is creaking at the seams as it approaches its 10th birthday, but it still offers an engrossing fight against the greenskins.
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