You might be thinking, ‘Having the Borderlands games ranked should be a hard feat, they’re all varied and great titles in their own way!’ And you’re right, well, partially. Gearbox Software let loose the planet of Pandora in 2009. Since then, it has spawned into a huge franchise that had its very own hits and misses throughout the years.
We’ve decided to rank them for you today from the worst Borderlands games to the best. Simply because ranking games is a great way for you to figure out which ones are worth playing. We don’t want you wasting your time on a terrible game and giving up on the franchise entirely! Especially since the Borderlands series is one of the best out there.
Let’s get to it!
8. Borderlands Legends
This was an ambitious attempt by Gearbox to bring the beloved game onto mobile devices. Sadly, what resulted was a disappointing mess. The game provided no challenge to its players and lacked any substantial content for players to want to continue playing. Just for that, Legends places last on our Borderlands games ranked list.
Borderlands Legends is also played in an RTS format where you get a top-down view of your characters for more of a team-based combat vibe. If you’re playing manually, you’ll have to tap each character and then the enemy for them to attack. Or, you could automate the gameplay which gets old really quickly.
The game did a great job at replicating the Borderlands visuals and vibes into a mobile format. However, it is one of the weakest entries in the Borderlands franchise. If you’re trying out the Borderland games in order, you can simply sit this one out.
7. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
This one came out five years after the first game, so there were a lot of expectations for it to be better than the first. Yet, expectations were not quite met. It’s not bad, but it held too many similarities to the first game when it could have been so much more.
Another issue that seems to deter players is the oxygen mechanic. You’ll be wandering around space a lot which will require you to replenish your oxygen supply continuously. This may be a welcome challenge to some, but to others, it’s just a hindrance.
Alright, enough of the negativity. Here’s what you’ll probably love about the game – its characters and storyline! You’ll have the chance to explore Handsome Jack’s rise to power and more of his motivations as a villain. Plus, getting to play as Claptrap is a solid win for us for sure.
Here’s the game that started it all! We’ve decided to place it lower down on this Borderlands games ranked list. Not because it’s bad, but because we feel like you would have a better time playing the franchise’s more updated games. It has been about 13 years since its release after all.
Borderlands provides a solid experience that will always remain in the hearts and minds of those who have picked it up in the beginning. This is the start of all our ventures in the world of Pandora. The game brought with it a cast of memorable characters, a rewarding looting experience, and an interesting yet short storyline.
Even after all these years, the original game still holds up and is a great entry point for those who are looking to play the Borderland games in order. The only issue is that it feels too short and the world too small even if it is packed with missions and things to do. There are also a couple of other issues that were improved in the later games.
5. Tales From The Borderlands
Another take on the Borderlands franchise. Tales From The Borderlands tells a story in an episodic interactive graphic adventure rather than the looting and shooting game we are all used to. This game tells the story of Rhys and Fiona, an unlikely duo that teams up on an adventure to find and open a vault.
The story is told in five episodes and all your actions have consequences on how the story plays out. Tales of The Borderlands allows you to care for your characters and form a deeper connection with the world of Pandora. It pushes the game to be more than just a game, but an experience for you to ponder and continue thinking about.
There are a couple of technical issues and glitches, but other than that, you’re looking at a story with solid and hilarious writing. If you simply enjoy looting and shooting, you might want to skip it. But you would be missing out on something wonderful by doing so.
4. Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep
The DLC that spawned into so much more is the best way to describe Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep. It’s essentially the same as Borderlands 2, but you’ll be experiencing the game with the craziness of Tiny Tina and her crew. You’ll be playing Bunkers and Badasses with Tina as the Bunker Master aka Dungeon Master.
You don’t have to play Borderlands 2 to get into this game, especially since it was released as a standalone in 2013. The only factor that may hold players back from playing this game would probably be its age. Although, it still holds up well even after all these years.
If you’re looking for a more chaotic experience compared to your usual chaos in Borderlands, Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep is a good choice for you indeed! It adds a twist to the looting and shooting with the tabletop elements of Dungeons and Dragons.
3. Borderlands 3
There’s just a lot to love in Borderlands 3 that it should decidedly be near the top on our Borderlands games ranked list. Borderlands 3 offers some of the best gameplay in the entire franchise.
Its villains, The Calypso Twins, are usually what sells the game short for most players. The Twins’ story and gameplay did not manage to create a lasting or memorable impact the way Handsome Jack’s did. The game’s split-screen mechanics were also a little wonky, making everything feel like a mess.
But besides those little hiccups, a lot of improvements were made to the game based on fan suggestions. More features were added as an improvement to the game which resulted in a better gameplay experience. And for all the Twins’ shortcomings, they were not terrible villains.
2. Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands
With the success of Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep comes the release of Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands. This time the game has evolved but keeps the same fun concept as the former DLC. Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands continues the story with another round of Bunkers and Badasses!
This mashup of the chaotic Borderlands shooter-style gameplay and the tabletop elements of Dungeons and Dragons works surprisingly well. Plus, the dialogues are comedically brought to life with Andy Samberg and Wanda Sykes at the forefront of it all.
In this world, the Vault Hunters were replaced with multiple classes of customizable heroes for you to choose from. This adds more of a personal touch for those who would like to be a part of the Borderlands world themselves.
1. Borderlands 2
Even after all this time and numerous releases, this is still one of the best Borderlands games to ever be released. There’s so much to love about Borderlands 2! The sequel to the first Borderlands game fixes many of the issues that players had previously encountered.
Aside from that, the introduction to Handsome Jack and Tiny Tina was made in Borderlands 2. These two characters are some of the most beloved personas of the series, which we dare say made it a whole lot better. Other than that, Borderlands 2 was just a significant improvement on the first game in every way.
Furthermore, you get a ton of DLC content – which expands the storyline and adds more hours for you to explore the world of Pandora. So yes, in this Borderlands games ranked list, Borderlands 2 will remain a winner in our eyes. Truly, with a whopping 8.2 score on Metacritic (and this score remains roughly the same for all platforms), Borderlands 2 is hands down a winner for most.
Whether you agree or disagree with our ranking of the best Borderlands games, do let us know nicely in the comments! We’d love to hear your thoughts and how you would rank the Borderland games. And if FPS games like Borderlands are right up your alley, you might want to check out this list we’ve got of the best FPS games of all time!