‘Fallout’ games, ranked from worst to best

The Fallout franchise is a great example of how one can effectively resurrect nostalgia for a dead brand. Since they were brought back by Bethesda Softworks in 2008, the Fallout games have skyrocketed in popularity.

In the years since the franchise was revamped, it has inspired toys, board games, helmets — which were unfortunately recalled due to mold exposure — and enough sequels and spinoffs to drown in. The wealth of Fallout content can, occassionally, lead to confusion among fans, but we have the answers you seek.

Below you will find our ranking of the best games in the Fallout series.

Warning, there may be some mild story spoilers.

6) Fallout 76 (2018) – 49 on Metacritic

Fallout 76 Artwork

This game had a host of issues when it was released, but it has thankfully improved immensely since its first days on the market, and may finally be worth considering for Fallout fans. Bethesda was clearly trying to jump on the hype train when it released Fallout 76, and it resulted in a mostly terrible game. There are a few redeeming factors — and yes, it is a different take on the Fallout franchise — but that doesn’t excuse Bethesda’s decision to release a half-made, buggy, broken game to the public.

5. Fallout 4 (2015) – 88 on Metacritic

The fourth installment in Fallout‘s numbered offerings fell short for many players. While some delighted in the ability to craft and form settlements, others balked at the lack of evil options and excessive requests for help from endangered settlers. The core motivation for the player journey is also often considered too similar to the last time Todd Howard and his crew played in the nuclear sandbox, but Fallout 4 is still certainly worth a play. Just don’t expect anything groundbreaking from the story.

4. Fallout 3 (2008) – 93 on Metacritic

The third numbered offering in the Fallout series sits around the middle of our ranking. It has a lovely, foreboding atmosphere that perfectly suits the post apocalyptic setting, and included a number of stellar celebrities among its cast. It strays from the top of the pack due mostly to its lack of reactivity, and its many bugs.

3. Fallout (1997) – 89 on Metacritic

This game made Fallout what it is. A killer idea influenced by Wasteland, Fallout has great music, fun Easter eggs, and heaps of variety. Time has made some of this game’s controls a bit dated and challenging to use, there is still plenty of fun to be had in this title. You’ll need to take your time in getting used to it, but its well worth the effort.

2. Fallout: New Vegas (2010) – 84 on Metacritic

The team behind New Vegas was comprised of many of the same people who worked on the first two games in the series, and it shows. Many of the same mechanics are brought back for this immensely popular game, but greater complexity is added to the weapons, every faction offers up a variety of different endings, and each of your available companions have deep personal quests to be explored. The game is slightly undone by some of its most irritating bugs, and as a result barely misses out on this list’s number one spot.

1. Fallout 2 (1998) – 86 on Metacritic

Fallout 2 is one of the best sequels of all time. It expands the Fallout world, gives players additional character options, provides crucial answers to big questions, and makes sure to raise plenty more. For all of these reasons, along with countless other freedoms, this is our pick for the best game in the Fallout series. Maybe one day it will get a remake akin to the more modern releases, but, for now, learning the old ways is worth it to enjoy everything Fallout 2 has to offer.