It’s important to deviate from your routine. Since 2004, the Far Cry games have offered players the escapism they need, alongside thrilling action.
Entries in the Far Cry series have been criticized as repetitive and formulaic in more recent years, but each new entry has its merits. Releases in the franchise have allowed players to fight their way through ancient times, embark on adventures across a fictional island, shoot their way across the U.S. state of Montana, and explore a war-torn Africa.
When combined with the various other entries in the franchise, it can be hard to know which Far Cry games are the best. We’ve got answers to your questions, in our official ranking of the best games in the Far Cry series.
Warning, there will be some plot spoilers below.
6. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon (2013)
The lowest entry on this list comes from a time in which the Far Cry series was deviating into weird territory, long before its quirks were sidelined for clichés. In Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, we swap out realistic visuals for something more akin to a 1980s imagining of what the future might look like. This game is a bit short, but it packs in plenty of great jokes, a killer amount of references, and an ending song that sparks positive nostalgia in many of the game’s fans. It’s no wonder the Xbox 360 version got an 80 score on Metacritic.
5. Far Cry 3 (2012)
Continuing on with its more serious — but still occasionally silly — look at what savagery can do to a sane man, Far Cry 3 shines a little bit brighter than its sibling above. This is entirely due to the game’s magnificent villain. Michael Mando, of Better Call Saul fame, stuns as Vaas Montenegro. He remains one of the scariest bad guys players have ever faced down. He is unpredictable, knows how to make a good quip, and would elevate the series if he returned in future releases. The Xbox 360 version of this game has a 91 Metacritic score.
4. Far Cry 5 (2018)
This entry in the Far Cry series only has a Metacritic score of 82, but we think it deserves a higher spot on this list thanks to its setting and unexpectedly dark ending. The game is somehow both overtly political and completely apolitical, and the storyline involves much darker themes than many of Far Cry’s other offerings.
3. Far Cry Primal (2016)
Creativity and chaos go together like chocolate and strawberries in Far Cry Primal. This game proved that atmosphere can make a mediocre game more memorable and superior than its predecessors. Stories revolving around simply shooting guns start to bleed together after a while, but stories where you play in prehistoric times stand out. If you find yourself looking for something different in the series, make sure to check out this 77 Metacritic hit.
2. Far Cry (2004)
We would be remiss to ignore the one that started it all. Before the series became an anthology in a loosely-connected universe, it told the story of the forgettable Jack Carver. The original Far Cry has some cool moments, side stories that wander into delightfully batty territory, and the game even inspired a truly terrible film adaptation. This production, with its Metacritic score of 89, is the total package.
1. Far Cry 2 (2008)
Far Cry 2 received criticism for its mechanics, but the game’s realism and reactivity is a prime example of what games could be. It details how war is hell, and those mired in conflict are often looking to make money at the expense of the innocent people caught in the middle. This game’s richness and depth earned it an 85 on Metacritic.
Reports suggest that another entry in the franchise may be incoming. Ubisoft is making the next game something “very different” than what we’ve seen before, but fans are hoping the games’ most entertaining elements will remain.