The God of War series is a Sony-exclusive franchise of third-person action games that has appeared on the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, and PlayStation 3 consoles. The game takes place during the mythological time of ancient Greece, inserting the protagonist Kratos into Greek myth. It tells the story of how Kratos, a Spartan Army Captain, pledges his allegiance to Ares after being defeated in battle. Ares grants him the god-like Blades of Chaos, weapons that allow him to dominate the battlefield. Ares continues to use Kratos to wage war across Greece, and tricks him into killing his wife and daughter, thinking it will make him a better warrior. The plan backfires, and Kratos renounces his master, and vows revenge on the God of War. The games in the series continue to centralize on this theme of revenge, and the stories of how these circumstances came to be.
The first game in the series was created and directed by outspoken game developer David Jaffe, and received critical acclaim and numerous awards when it was released in 2005. Sony quickly green-lit the development of a sequel, which was also a commercial success. The series has since become a flagship title for Sony, with a new game being released nearly every year, to mostly favorable reviews.
The games in the series all have extremely similar gameplay. The games are hyper-violent move-based brawlers, allowing for combinations of button presses to execute different types of attacks. As players move through the game, they are able to unlock more complicated moves and better weapons in order to defeat tougher enemies. Certain areas of the game have some light puzzle elements & platforming to them, such as pushing blocks or pulling levers. There are also collectibles to search for, which also grant bonuses to health and magic meters. The games also heavily feature Quick Time Events that usually trigger more cinematic gameplay experiences.
In Order of Release:
God of War (PS2)
The original God of War was released on March 22, 2005 for the PlayStation 2. The protagonist in the series is the anti-hero Kratos, a former Spartan general who battles his way through mythological Greece in his quest for revenge against Ares, the God of War, for the deaths of his wife and daughter.
God of War II (PS2)
God of War II was released on March 13, 2007, also for the PlayStation 2. It continues Kratos' story after defeating Ares in the first game. With his new god-like powers obtained from Ares, Kratos is able to lead the armies of Greece to glory, much to the dismay of other gods. After being betrayed by Zeus, Kratos must find a way to escape his fate and exact his revenge on the King of the Gods.
God of War: Chains of Olympus (PSP)
God of War: Chains of Olympus was released on March 4, 2008 for the PlayStation Portable, and serves as a prequel to the original God of War. After receiving magical abilities from slaying the Persian king, he is tasked with rescuing the kidnapped Helios and restoring light to the world.
God of War III (PS3)
God of War III, released on March 16, 2010 for the PlayStation 3, puts an ending to the story. Picking up immediately after the events of God of War II, Kratos, with the his newly restored powers and the aid of the Titans, marches on towards Mt. Olympus, where he vows to slay all the gods in his final act of vengeance.
God of War: Ghost of Sparta (PSP)
God of War: Ghost of Sparta, the fifth game released in the series, and the second on the PSP console, was released on November 2, 2010. The game is a "interquel" that fills in the story between the first and second God of War games, telling the story of Kratos' ascension to power as the God of War.
God of War: Ascension (PS3)
God of War: Ascension, the sixth game in the series, was released on March 12, 2013 on PS3, and serves as a prequel to the entire franchise. It is Kratos' true origin story, set 6 months after Kratos condemns his soul to Ares for god-like power and kills his family. He was sent to a prison by the Furies and escaped. Kratos is tasked to kill the Furies so he can break bonds with Ares.
A number of collections have been released for the PS3, which bundles together games and gives them HD graphical upgrades. The first two PS2 games were given HD treatment & bundled together on one disc for the God of War Collection. The two PSP games were also given similar treatment, and bundled in the God of War Origins Collection. Later on, the first five games in the series were all bundled together in one package for the God of War Saga.
- God of War: Ascension
- God of War: Chains of Olympus
- God of War
- God of War: Ghost of Sparta
- God of War II
- God of War III
- God of War (2018)