Near the end of 2009, the long-anticipated Dragon Age: Origins was released. Thus began my
unhealthy obsession with Dragon Age in every capacity. I’ve played every game, all of the DLC,
gotten every achievement, read all the books, and owned the graphic novels and art books. I’ve
been fully immersed for the last 14 years, and the fandom has absolutely had its ups and downs.
I’m definitely qualified for the job of ranking the Dragon Age games, so let’s jump in and list BioWare‘s fantasy RPG games!
Dragon Age: Origins
Where do I even begin? Not only does it top the list of Dragon Age games ranked, but it’s also my
favorite video game, period. It changed the chemical makeup of my brain and wedged its way
into my heart. This was made for me as someone who grew up obsessed with Lord of the Rings and anything medieval, romantic, or containing dragons.
Being able to start the game and choose from several different upbringings and backgrounds
that affected how others perceived you in the game blew my mind. A great example of this was my first ever play-through of the game, where I chose to be a city elf who ended up in a romantic relationship with the heir to the throne of Ferelden. I watched my character fall in love the entire game, only to get to the finale and have the heir tell me I could not be his Queen because I was an elf, and it was forbidden. I’ll admit, I cried my real-life eyes out, but that was the beauty of this game. It felt so real. I was immersed in this world!
Here’s Why This Tops the List of Dragon Age Games Ranked
The gaming mechanics are also superior in comparison. I adored that your character
didn’t have their own voice allowing you to read your responses in the exact tone you wanted
rather than using the dialogue wheel they implemented in the next two games. Being able to read a response word for word before selecting it made for a much better experience overall.
Having a central base camp where all of your companions are together and being able to have
conversations with them while roaming the world was something that was sorely missed in
Dragon Age II. It was a perfect system that didn’t need any changing; hence them bringing it
back for Dragon Age: Inquisition.
I played Dragon Age: Origins from beginning to end five separate times and enjoyed every minute
of it. Well, maybe not The Fade (if you know, you know). I honestly have nothing negative to say
about this game. I love it with every fiber of my being, and it deserves its seat on the throne at
the number one spot.
Dragon Age: Inquisition
The middle child of this list of Dragon Age games ranked is the most recent release.
It took what felt like an eternity for Dragon Age: Inquisition to release after Dragon Age II’s massive disappointment when there were only a few short years between them.
After playing Dragon Age: Inquisition for barely an hour, it was evident that this would
compensate for all the pain and suffering that Dragon Age II caused me. It’s a beautiful game with
beautiful scenery, an enchanting storyline, and characters you can grow to love, much like
the ones in Dragon Age: Origins. It was a fully fleshed-out video game, and I couldn’t have been
The second game and this one contain small callbacks to the games before them, including
mentions of happenings in collectible texts or meeting the other main characters from previous
installments. They put their all into making the new characters you could relate
to and want to have on your team. The romance storylines have as much depth and heart
as they did in origins, and the choices you make along the way feel like they have real
consequences. All in all, Inquisition was what a sequel should be, and it still holds up.
Dragon Age II
I can’t describe to you the crushing blow of disappointment I felt when I first saw the trailer for
Dragon Age II. It felt like a bastardized version of the beautiful game I fell in love with.
It was clearly rushed and lost a lot of magic as a result. The developers were only given around 14
months to complete the project, and they began development during the production of the
expansion pack Awakening for Dragon Age: Origins. So once again, the money-hungry higher-ups pushed for more content at the cost of quality.
While I don’t absolutely hate the game, it’s definitely the worst of the Dragon Age games ranked. A lot of good came from it, involving story arcs and important characters that would carry into the third installment. However, it was clear they steered the game in more of a “hack and slash” direction which wasn’t a horrible idea, but it just made it feel less like the first one in terms of combat style. My biggest gripes were those horrendous, poor excuses for dungeon maps. They were a joke.
At times they would have you enter the exit of a map as a way to try and trick you into thinking it was a different map. I’m sure, as I mentioned above, it was a casualty of a time crunch. Stacked against other Dragon Age games, Dragon Age II will fall short every time. It lacks in every area they excel, which is why it’s at the bottom of my list.
Unfortunately, we’re coming up on the 9th anniversary of Dragon Age: Inquisition. It’s been a
long wait for the fourth installment, Dragon Age: Dreadwolf, but I’m hoping it will be worth
it. I’ve never been one for rushing the creation of a game. I’d rather wait for something and give
it all the time it needs.
We’ve seen what rushing perfection gets us in the gaming industry, and it’s never good. So BioWare, take all the time you need. I’ll wait another decade if I have to, but
please don’t make me.