Gears of War chainsaw bayonetted its way onto the Xbox 360 in November 2006. The game was released as an Epic-developed third-person cover-based shooter aimed at the “hardcore” Xbox 360 audience. 2006 was the era of gaming when titles like Call of Duty were taking over the world.
Gamers were hooked on violent war video games, and Xbox was looking for their own exclusive hyperviolent game to satiate their fanbase. Gears of War was able to fill that market. The Gears of War Games have become a fan favorite and, over the years, evolved to be much more than just chainsawing monsters in two. However, there is still plenty of that to go around.
This is every Gears of War Games ranked worst to best.
Gears Tactics Is the Worst Gears of War Game
The Gears series took the same route that Halo had previously and ventured into the strategy genre. As with Halo, the results are good but fall just short of the mainline entries.
This is not to say that Gears Tactics is a bad Gears of War game. Gears Tactics is a very competent strategy game. And the campaign acts as a prequel story to the original Gears of War game.
The Coalition decided to go with a turn-based strategy game rather then an RTS, potentially to quell further comparisons to the Halo franchise. This turned out to work really well for the franchise, giving us strong Wasteland vibes.
Multiplayer, a staple of the mainline series, would have been a welcome addition. But other than that, there isn’t much bad to say about Tactics. It’s a testament to the quality of the franchise with this game ranking lowest on our list.
Gears of War: Judgement Serves as a Prequel for the Franchise
Like Tactics, Gears of War Judgement acts as a prequel to the original Gears of War game. Judgment however lives in flashbacks from Damon Baird and his team as they tell their story in front of a military tribunal.
This narrative framing gives us an interesting story to live in, and the gameplay is solid Gears of War. Our major gripe with the game is the thin experience it delivers as opposed to the numbered titles.
This is still a great Gears of War game and one that fans of the franchise should experience.
Gears of War 4 Kicks off a New Story to Tell
Gears of War 4 is the first entry in the series to be released on the Xbox One, and the last to keep the “of War” moniker. The game is set twenty-five years after the third entry and wisely chooses to follow J.D. Fenix, Marcus’s son, rather than the characters of the original trilogy.
The time jump did wonders for the series and introduced some great characters, including Laura Bailey’s Kait Diaz. Gears of War 4 didn’t reinvent the gears formula, but they honed it well and multiplayer continued to be incredibly fun.
We would have liked to see the Coalition do a little more with this entry. The story sometimes feels a little too serious, but Horde mode and the gorgeous graphics make this a must-play.
Gears of War 3 Concludes the Original Trilogy
Gears of War 3 was the end of the Xbox 360 trilogy of Gears of War games, and the franchise was starting to show its age. The third entry is still an incredible one in the series, but it failed to innovate in any meaningful way over its predecessor.
Taken as a trilogy, the original three Gears of War games are some of the best the medium has ever seen. Only a few trilogies can truly top Gears of War, and Gears of War 3 is a fitting end to the saga.
Gears of War 3 picks up after the devastating events of Gears of War 2. The plot follows Marcus Fenix and Delta squad towards a thrilling conclusion. Taken by itself, Gears of War 3 is a great game. But as a part of the trilogy, it both shines and fails.
It shines because the story works best as an end to an era. And it fails by not innovating enough in its multiplayer modes. Rumors of a full collection release have been teased, but in the interim, they are all playable on Gamepass.
Gears 5 Is a Great Return to Form
Gears 5 was released in 2019 for Xbox One, with a Series S/X update coming the following year. Due to the Series S/X update, Gears 5 is undoubtedly the most gorgeous-looking game of the entire series. This is compounded by the brilliant sand and snow set pieces you’re given free rein over.
Kait Diaz takes the main stage for this installment and delivers a strong story that avoids the pitfalls of Gears of War 4. Gears 5 straddles the line perfectly of a heartfelt story while not taking itself too seriously. This is after all a game where you saw monsters in half with a bayonet.
It’s been three years since the release of Gears 5, and we are dying for a resolution to that cliffhanger. Hopefully the Coalition lets us know soon so we can get back on that skiff and kill monsters with motorcycles.
Gears of War 2 Is, for Some, the Best Gears of War Game
After the overwhelming success of the original, a sequel was all but certain. Epic delivered that sequel just two years after the original and managed to deliver an amazing experience.
The story takes place six months after the original game’s events and ends on a cliffhanger that would be resolved in Gears of War 3. It’s hard to find flaws in the franchise’s second entry, but the last boss was little more than a show, which is why Gears of War 2 lands just shy of being our favorite Gears of War game.
Even with our minor gripes, Gears of War 2 shows us the care Epic put into this franchise and how well the series works. Gears of War 2 is the same mechanics with a new story with slight gameplay additions. And that’s just fine by us.
Gears of War Is the Best Gears of War Game
It’s rare in video games for the first entry to be the best. Games do so much to innovate and add features with each entry the original often feels like a shell compared to the newest. That is not the case with the original Gears of War.
Gears of War was released in 2006 and the game is still just as fun to play now as it was on the Xbox 360. The remastered Ultimate Edition was released in 2015, making it even better now than it was at launch.
When Gears of War launched, it was a moment in gaming. Maybe not as much Halo or Modern Warfare, but this was a game everyone knew would be huge. When we finally got our hands on it, it was better than we had ever imagined.
The graphics and sound were flawless. Paired with the tremendous story, addictive multiplayer, and an innovative cover system, gamers knew this series would stand the test of time.
The formula of Gears of War wasn’t anything new, but it was easily the best action game around. Sixteen years later, Gears of War is still one of the best action shooters ever made.
Do you agree with our list? Is Gears Pop! you’re favorite and you’re mad it didn’t make our list? Let us know in the comments.