Ranking Mass Effect games is hard. They are (mostly) the pinnacle of what video games offer. The original trilogy is a crowning achievement in storytelling, character development, and gameplay. On the other hand, its spin-offs could not tap into that magic.
Buckle up, but not too much, because this is a short list: we’re going over the Mass Effect games ranked from worst to best.
Our criteria will be solely based on the author’s opinion. You may agree. You’ll probably disagree. Just make sure you sound off in the comments below with your own reasons for ranking the games.
Where Do We Start Ranking Mass Effect Games From Worst to Best? Mass Effect Galaxy Is Unquestionably at the Bottom
I said during our BioWare games ranked list that the less said about this game, the better.
Mass Effect Galaxy is the definition of sleaziness. There’s nothing wrong with a mobile spin-off that ties into the anticipated release of a sequel. However, everything is wrong with rushing the game out the door so fast that it makes your head spin.
On paper, a top-down shooter in the Mass Effect franchise works well. In execution, it’s easily the worst of all the Mass Effect games ranked.
Despite a pleasing art style, there’s nothing to redeem Mass Effect Galaxy. The controls are awkward, the combat is uninspiring and boring, and the story and characters are forgettable. It eschews everything that normally makes Mass Effect great.
Mass Effect: Andromeda
There’s a genuinely great game found hidden within Andromeda. Unfortunately, when ranking Mass Effect games, we have to put it near the bottom of the list.
Mass Effect Andromeda already had the difficult task of following one of the greatest trilogies ever made. Moving on from beloved characters was always going to be difficult. With Andromeda, the mark was missed before you account for the bugs and glitches.
A beautiful-looking game complete with enjoyable combat is hampered by the weight of everything Andromeda tries to accomplish.
In terms of story, world-building, and character development, Andromeda tries to cram everything in as fast as possible, refusing to let things build naturally. By comparison, the original Mass Effect took its time and let things breathe.
Much has been made about the troubled development cycle for Mass Effect: Andromeda. It could have been a great game with enough time in the oven. Instead, it nears the bottom of our list for Mass Effect games ranked.
Ranking Mass Effect games is hard enough, but the Legendary Edition is super tough to place
What’s the best way to remind everyone how good Mass Effect can be? Re-release the original trilogy in HD!
As great as the original Mass Effect is, a much-needed facelift is very welcome. Refined controls make navigating the Mako infinitely better. The improved visuals, however, are a little hit or miss. Much was made about the addition of lens flare, but truth be told, it’s always been there.
The biggest issue with the legendary edition is the lack of multiplayer. Mass Effect 3 offered a surprisingly enjoyable experience, playing off the popular horde mode genre in other games. It had a lot of legs, giving the game some staying power despite its controversial and disappointing ending. Its omission cannot be ignored, resulting in its place in the middle of our list of Mass Effect games ranked worst to best.
Mass Effect 3
When ranking Mass Effect games, placing Mass Effect 3 is the most difficult decision.
Most of Commander Shepard’s finale is a magnificent work of art. The satisfying conclusion of several storylines results in memorable moments throughout the game. Yet the most memorable climax in Mass Effect 3 is its most infamous: the ending.
While DLC helped improve things, it still doesn’t quite stick the landing. The feeling of all prior choices through the trilogy being meaningless left a sour taste in the mouth of gamers.
Was it as bad as the internet made it out to be? Absolutely not. That doesn’t make it less disappointing.
That multiplayer mode was an absolute blast, however. I hope the franchise continues to embrace it moving forward in the next entry.
There’s only one true RPG on our list of Mass Effect games ranked worst to best.
Mass Effect is a magnum opus for a sci-fi RPG. The BioWare magic is present throughout, delivering incredibly memorable characters that seem to grow each time you play through the game.
Every decision in combat, dialogue, and exploration changes your playthrough. Characters and crewmates live or die by your choices.
There’s an impressive amount of freedom to be found in the game, which is amazing considering that missions play out in a linear structure.
The only thing holding it back is the controls. While combat is super smooth, especially when it comes to giving your squad orders, we have to talk about the Mako.
I would rather ride a whale underwater while racing a heat-seeking missile than control the Mako again.
Mass Effect 2 Is the Best Game in the Franchise
Never mind our list of Mass Effect games ranked. Mass Effect 2 is one of the greatest games ever made.
BioWare shifted to be less of an RPG and more of a third-person shooter. The (at the time) controversial design change pays off in spades. The same character-building, narrative choices, and storytelling are all present here. Now there is the added benefit of the game handling like a warm knife through butter.
Mass Effect 2 is how you make a sequel. Keep everything that makes the original memorable while addressing the issues that held it back.
What do you think the best Mass Effect game is? Sound off in the comments.