Alongside the Wolfenstein and DOOM franchises, there are the Quake games. Known for fast-paced and insane multiplayer deathmatch action, there was a time Quake was best known for its single-player design.
That all changed as time passed (i.e., after Quake 3 Arena). Multiplayer deathmatches were never the same.
As other FPS games leaned more into improved narrative and storytelling, id Software delivered a genre-defining multiplayer experience.
It hasn’t always been a happy story for all Quake games. While some have been met with worldwide praise, others have had the opposite reaction. How do they all compare ranked? Let’s find out.
Using a mixture of critical response, fan reaction, and personal opinion, it’s time for a list of the Quake games ranked from worst to best.
Quake Plus 3D Is a Mobile Release That Is One One of the Worst Quake Games
id Software has a proven track record of delivering great mobile experiences. Quake Plus 3D is not one of those.
In all fairness, Quake Plus 3D is developed by M3GWorks, not id Software. The difference is noticeable. Instead of adapting the Quake experience for mobile devices, the game attempts to shoehorn a circular peg into a square hole.
The result is the absolute worst of the Quake games. Nothing is redeeming about this title.
Quake Champions Offers a Hero-Shooter Take on the Quake Game
A successful crossover of Quake and hero shooters could have resulted in the best Quake game.
Quake Champions is not that game.
Falling to typical Early Access trappings, Quake Champions fails to deliver on a promising idea. An emphasis on loot boxes, an unhealthy player base, and other upsetting practices makes it feel like the game is dead on arrival.
Quake Iii Revolution Lacks Online Multiplayer.
Quake III is the best Quake game.
Sorry for the spoiler.
Quake III without online multiplayer? That’s a bit rough.
There is an additional loss in translation, moving from a mouse and keyboard setup to a controller. Some solace can be made in enjoying local multiplayer, but it’s not the same.
Quake III Revolution looks and feels like Quake III but lacks the heart and soul of one of the most beloved Quake games.
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars Is a Good Idea That Didn’t Stick the Landing
The original Enemy Territory is a fantastic free-to-play Wolfenstein team shooter. Its spiritual successor, Quake Wars, couldn’t capture the same magic.
Fans are divided when it comes to their opinion. Some love what Quake Wars has to offer. Others are upset that its release divided the Enemy Territory player base.
Despite some devotional and passionate fans, an argument Enemy Territory: Quake Wars feels like an FPS with a Quake skin. Like other previously mentioned releases on our Quake games ranked list, it lacks the identity of what makes the franchise great.
Quake Iv Is the First of the Quake Games to Release in the HD Era
Releasing on PC and as an Xbox 360 launch title, Quake 4 tries to become the first great FPS of its generation. Unfortunately, the game falls short of truly leaving its mark.
Forgotten by time, Quake IV puts all its eggs into the single-player basket. The attempts with storytelling and actor performances are noticed and appreciated. The second half of the game does some really cool things, too.
The multiplayer front takes a back seat to everything else, unfortunately. Things feel a lot like Quake III, but without innovation. More Quake III is great, but what we have here is essentially a re-skin and nothing more.
Quake Live Is a Remake of the Best Quake Game
Quake Live attempts to re-capture lightning in a bottle. Releasing in 2010, it brings Quake III to a new audience.
Despite the game’s greatness, age hasn’t necessarily been kind to it. Quake III is still in a league of its own regarding multiplayer deathmatch. Some extra modern enhancements and refinements would have been nice, though.
The gameplay in Quake III is incredibly unforgiving. There is a clear difference between the best and worst players in the room. The inclusion of a balancing and ladder system is nice, but there is a distinct difference between modern multiplayer shooters and Quake III.
If players put the time and effort into it, they will be handsomely rewarded with one of the greatest gaming experiences ever. Plus, it’s free!
Quake Is Another Revolutionary Fps From ID Software
If Wolfenstein and DOOM helped put id Software on the map, then Quake put the developer into a league of their own.
The entire FPS genre owes its evolution to Quake. In terms of gameplay, 3D rendering, source code, and gameplay, Quake established the framework for the future of video games.
Best of all, it establishes its world and lore. Its gothic and Lovecraftian inspiration is visible throughout. The fantasy roots are felt throughout, offering a great change of pace from the hell-ish enemies in DOOM.
The gameplay expands thanks to the open-ended nature of exploration. There’s a verticality present in Quake that wasn’t always present in other games.
Quake Ii Pushed the Boundaries to Become One of the Best Quake Games
The original Quake is a revolutionary FPS that, once again for id Software, changed the gaming world forever. Quake II took everything to a new level above and beyond the original.
The graphics, sound design, levels, and audio are a huge leap forward in quality. That’s not to talk about any technical issues with Quake; Quake II is just that impressive.
id Software trades in the gothic vibes for a science fiction feel, introducing the enemy Strogg. Its storytelling is impressive for the time, helping to establish lore and new characters once again.
For some, the quality of graphics and gameplay would result in Quake II topping our list of Quake games ranked, but the successor is just that good.
Quake Iii Arena Is Definitively the Best Quake Game
Multiplayer deathmatch would never be the same. This is the definitive FPS experience.
Quake III doesn’t just deliver high-octane action and fast-paced gameplay. There isn’t an experience like this in all of gaming. From rocket jumps to railgun snipes, there is only one Quake III.
As time has gone on, the most popular subgenre of multiplayer FPS has become Battle Royale. It feels like games such as Quake III have been, unfortunately, left behind. That doesn’t tarnish the game’s legacy; there’s undoubtedly a place for it in the gaming world, even in 2022.
Quake is a fantastic franchise that hasn’t seen a reboot along the veins of DOOM or Wolfenstein. The market feels ripe for a return to Quake, and hopefully, it’s something we can see soon.
As for our list of the best Quake games ranked, let us know how you think we did! Keep the conversation going in the comments below.
If you want to get in on the Quake action, check out the franchise on the Bethesda page on Steam!