Far Cry is a cornerstone of Ubisoft’s portfolio and one of its most beloved series. The Far Cry games are first-person shooters with unique open worlds that you can explore. The first release in this franchise was in 2004, meaning Far Cry predates the popular Assassin’s Creed franchise.
As the series has evolved, so have the series tropes. After Far Cry 3, the series became known as the franchise with the charismatic villain. Gameplay mechanics like stealth, traversal, and hunting have also become quintessential to Far Cry. This formula has done a lot to establish Far Cry as a tentpole series in gaming.
That said, the strict adherence to a formula has also led to some missteps in the series.
There are a couple of caveats for each entry on this list. The first caveat is that we will not include remakes or remasters. Additionally, the VR Far Cry games will not count as an entry in the series. Finally, the Far Cry Instincts series will count as one entry on this list because of the length of those games and their console exclusivity.
The ranking of each game will be based on average review scores and creative contributions made to the series. With all of that said, here is our list of the Far Cry games ranked from worst to best.
Far Cry Instincts
Far Cry instincts is a weird blip in the history of the Far Cry franchise. The idea behind Far Cry Instincts is that it is the watered-down version of the original Far Cry game. The open-world portion of the game is removed and replaced with linear campaign missions. Of course, the developers added some extra content to make up for this change, but it is still a shadow of the original game.
That’s not to say that Far Cry Instincts was all bad. It was still a lot of fun to play, and it managed to bring a very ambitious open-world game to the original Xbox console. Furthermore, it did well enough to get a sequel called Far Cry Instincts Evolution. Far Cry Instincts Evolution continued the story from Instincts and featured new multiplayer maps.
The Instincts series of Far Cry games brought the franchise to consoles, although its linear game design didn’t stick.
Far Cry 2
Far Cry 2 is the toughest Far Cry game Ubisoft has ever released. That is no joke, part of the game requires you to find and take malaria meds whenever you start feeling its symptoms. If you neglect to take these meds, you will pass out. It’s an aggressive system designed to challenge the player, but it goes too far.
Other complaints against Far Cry 2 were the game’s AI and difficulty. As a result, many reviewers thought the game was punishing and unrewarding. It’s not all bad. While the game did receive lots of criticisms for the core gameplay, many reviewers loved the new open-world design and graphics.
All and all, Far Cry 2 is generally looked back on favorably and led to the evolution of the series. Mostly, Far Cry 2 brought out the elements that didn’t work and led to the refined gameplay of Far Cry 3. In many ways, this title is why Far Cry Games ranked at the top of our list developed into the games that are loved by so many gamers.
Far Cry is a unique entry on this list because it was developed by Crytek and published by Ubisoft. Yes, you read that correctly, the same team that later made the Crysis series. This entry was Crytek’s only contribution to the series. Granted, it was the first, so it was a pretty significant contribution.
A lot of the core DNA of the series is still the same from this first entry. It should be stressed that this game is far from bad even though it is near the bottom of this list. It’s just hard to compete with the sequels that have improvements over this game’s gameplay and narrative.
Far Cry is a product of its time and worth checking out. Just don’t watch the movie.
Far Cry New Dawn
Far Cry New Dawn is a spin-off title based on Far Cry 5. It takes place after the shocking ending of Far Cry 5, which we will spoil, so spoiler warning.
Far Cry 5 ends with a series of nuclear bombs destroying the earth. The extent of which is global. New Dawn takes place in a post-apocalyptic version of Montana and leans into the crazier elements of Far Cry.
The big issue with this spin-off is the world is heavily recycled from Far Cry 5. Also, the story was immediately forgettable.
Far Cry Blood Dragon
Far Cry Blood Dragon is the first spin-off game and is fairly short compared to New Dawn and Primal. The concept behind Blood Dragon is over the top, and for the most part, it pays off. It’s a funny spin-off of Far Cry 3 with great visuals and dragons with laser eyes.
It’s most memorable because it was so bonkers, but it’s a favorite among long-time fans.
Far Cry Primal
Far Cry Primal was an odd experiment in the Far Cry franchise, but it wound up being one of their better spin-off games. Far Cry Primal is set in 10,000 B.C.E and focuses on a tribe of humans trying to survive their harsh environment and a warring tribe of cannibals. It’s a bold departure from the mainline entries in the series but capitalized on the franchise’s idea of crazy fun.
Of course, there are no guns in this Far Cry game, but that didn’t stop the developers from coming up with a variety of melee and ranged weapons that felt unique and fun. Moreover, the lack of vehicles introduced a more robust mount system to the franchise, which ended up being a really fun way to explore the world.
It’s far from perfect, but it was a creative spin-off and a welcomed change to the series.
Far Cry 5
Far Cry 5 took the series to the United States for the first time. More specifically, it takes place in rural Montana. Again, this entry was a bold move for Ubisoft because it was explicitly political, despite what Ubisoft corporate would have you believe.
In terms of Far Cry games, this is a gorgeous title, and Montana is a wonderful environment to explore. Also, the villain, Joeseph Seed, was compelling. Heck, the gameplay was also loads of fun. But there were some problems too.
Like Far Cry 2, this entry features a silent protagonist. This choice was to increase immersion, but it also came at the cost of the game’s narrative.
There is a lot of stuff that works in Far Cry 5, but ultimately it did have enough issues that held it back from being a great Far Cry game. These issues stem mainly from the weak plot and the lack of originality in the gameplay.
Far Cry 6
Far Cry 6 is a solid Ubisoft game, and out of all of the Far Cry games, this one feels the most formulaic. That’s not to say it’s a bad thing. For instance, Far Cry 6 has loads of content, and the open-world feels dense.
There’s a lot of detail thrown into the world of Yara, and exploring this island nation is a lot of fun. Plus, the biomes are reminiscent of the ones we saw in Far Cry 3, and the nostalgia does come through.
The main complaint about Far Cry 6 is that it relies too heavily on the classic Far Cry formula. The story, however, was far more memorable and interesting than most of the stories we’ve gotten from this franchise. The narrative does a lot to prop Far Cry 6 above the rest. Despite its derivative gameplay, the motivation to save Yara is excellent, and the game is a good time all around.
There’s nothing wrong with Far Cry 6, but there is nothing too exciting about it either.
Far Cry 4
Far Cry 4 was a great follow-up to Far Cry 3. There was a lot of pressure on this game not to succeed. First, it had to meet the critical praise of Far Cry 3. Second, it had to be successful for this franchise to become a tentpole in the Ubisoft catalog.
Let’s not forget that Far Cry 3 was a quasi-reboot for the series. Fortunately, it managed to win over critics and fans.
Pagan Min was a pretty strong villain, and Troy Baker brought a lot to the role, but it is hard to compete against Vaas. Unfortunately, the story was somewhat lackluster, and the gameplay felt too similar to Far Cry 3. As you will have read by now, this trend continued throughout the sequels. In Far Cry 4, this is more forgivable. That said, it is unfortunate that Ubisoft has not taken riskier choices with the series.
Overall, Far Cry 4 is a lot of fun and deserves its place among the best Far Cry games.
Far Cry 3
Far Cry 3 represents a turning point in the series. Far Cry 3 set a new tone that every subsequent game has emulated. If you consider most of the core ingredients of a Far Cry game, most of them started with this entry. For instance, charismatic villains, crafting, weapon customization, flight suits all began in Far Cry 3.
The Rook islands, which make up the fictional setting of this game, are stunningly beautiful and are intriguing to explore. Part of what made this game special was that the environment was fun to explore. The diverse wildlife also made the islands feel alive and kept you on your toes.
Moreover, Far Cry 3 has one of the best narratives in the Far Cry series. Granted, the competition is not too hard, and even Far Cry 3’s story is flawed. That said, the motivation is easy to love, and how can you not love Vaas as a primary antagonist.
Far Cry 3 holds a special place in the hearts of fans, and in most cases, it is where they first fell in love with the franchise. The gameplay, setting, and story from Far Cry 3 is the bar every new Far Cry seeks to surpass. That’s why Far Cry 3 is the best entry when looking at Far Cry games ranked within the franchise from worst to best.
What do you think are the best Far Cry games? Do you agree with this list, or do you disagree with our ranking? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out some of our other ranked listings: