Whenever the topic of the best open-world first-person shooters comes up – the Far Cry franchise is never far behind. The first game felt revolutionary for its time thanks to the gorgeous graphics, realistic environment, and intelligent enemy AI. And the sequels have successfully expanded on that formula over time, with Far Cry 3 especially being nothing short of an iconic adventure in the gaming community.
It’s safe to say that Far Cry is a staple franchise for Ubisoft, who are well-known for owning tons of recognizable IPs such as Prince of Persis and Assassin’s Creed. And within nearly two decades of existence, the franchise has spawned six mainline games, seven spin-offs, and even a remake.
Naturally, not every Far Cry game is great. And since they are anthologies rather than a continued storyline, it’s very easy to hit and miss in terms of the narrative.
So, to save your time and money – we’re here to help. It’s time to rank all the Far Cry games from best to worst based on their story, gameplay, and overall quality. Let’s get started!
Far Cry Games Ranked
Sometimes, spin-offs are so different to the main games that they are categorized separately. Interestingly, Far Cry spin-offs are standalone stories similar to the main games and act as an anthology as well. So, we don’t need to separate the mainline games in the ranking. With that in mind, let’s see all the Far Cry games ranked.
11. Far Cry: Paradise Lost
Far Cry Paradise Lost is an on-rails shooter spin-off based on the world and characters of the first game. It’s an alright way to kill some time at an arcade, but as you can tell, not a relevant entry in the franchise.
Any time we look at Far Cry games ranked, it’s no surprise that it’s going to be at the bottom. And since it was an arcade game, it’s as difficult to get hands on today as the JAVA port of Far Cry 2.
10. Far Cry: Instinct & Evolution
Far Cry Instinct and Evolution are two console-exclusive titles that are remakes of the original game. This is because of the fact that the consoles at the time couldn’t handle the PC version of the game properly. So, the game was stripped down to a linear experience that played a bit differently to the real deal. Unfortunately, these two games just feel unnecessary if you have access to the original experience. And they don’t offer anything unique that you still might want to experience either.
If you can’t beat your curiosity though, there’s an HD compilation of the two games on the Xbox 360 called Far Cry Instincts: Predator. And there’s also Far Cry Vengeance, which is a remake of Far Cry Instincts: Evolution specifically for the Nintendo Wii. It adds three new levels, more multiplayer maps, and new weapons – which are fun to play with if you like these versions of the game in general.
Even though these are multiple games at the end of the day, they feel like expansions rather than standalone titles. And that’s why when Far Cry games are ranked, it’s fair to include them as one entry.
9. Far Cry: New Dawn
Far Cry: New Dawn is a spin-off of Far Cry 5 and is even less interesting than the main game. It takes place in a post-apocalyptic town where a few survivors are working hard to rebuild their community. And of course, things are never that simple and there are opposing forces that you must fight.
If you enjoyed Far Cry 5, then New Dawn might be fun for you too. But in terms of overall quality, it’s just not something that you’ll regret missing out on.
8. Far Cry 5
Far Cry 5 is where things kind of go downhill. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad game by any means. But the story is not that engaging (though the antagonist is fun to watch). And there is nothing in the gameplay that feels new. The map is one of the least interesting ones in the series and the only innovative thing about the game is the fact that you can throw melee weapons.
If you have an unbelievable itch that just needs more Far Cry 5 – this game will do the job as it does retain the formula of the previous entries. But it just feels like a game that exists for the sake of it. Every game on this list prior to this point is pretty good. But this game begins the bottom side of Far Cry games ranked.
7. Far Cry Primal
Far Cry Primal is a spin-off that no one saw coming, and if you’re not a fan – you won’t believe what you’re about to read. It’s a game set in the prehistoric era and you play as a caveman who must survive in a harsh environment. You use bows, arrows, spears, and go up against both human enemies and giant animals with tusks. Not every animal is hostile, of course, as you can tame some and make them your sidekick too.
It’s a pretty gun game that may or may not be something that you enjoy. And it’s a bit more comparable to Ark: Survival Evolved than a modern-day first-person shooter, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Unfortunately, you won’t care about the story because the characters don’t speak in a coherent language. Why? Because they’re cavemen, of course.
6. Far Cry 6
Far Cry 6 is the most recent game in the franchise, and it’s easily the best-looking one too. Unfortunately, despite the fact that the game has Giancarlo Esposito as the antagonist – the story leaves a lot to be desired. And he does not show up that often in the game anyway, which makes you wonder what Ubisoft was thinking.
Fortunately, the gameplay of Far Cry 6 saves the day. There are a lot of fun experimental weapons in the game which adds a nice touch of wackiness to the experience. Then we have the fictional island of Yara, which is very fun to explore. The environments are great and there are a lot of side missions, which even includes a Tekken-like Cockfighting game. And the island is filled with diverse wildlife that has more personality than ever before in the franchise (minus Primal).
It’s not a great game but it’s a fun way to kill time. And if you beat the top 5 games in our list and still want more, this is the next best thing in Far Cry games ranked.
5. Far Cry 4
Far Cry 4 is what many consider to be the last truly good Far Cry game. The tropical setting of the game feels very refreshing, thanks to all the mountains and snow in Kyrat. And this is one of the few times when the story of the game is personal for the protagonist, so it creates an interesting dynamic. And while he’s no Vaas, Pagan Min is an interesting antagonist in his own right.
As for the gameplay, the game expands on everything that made Far Cry 3 fun. The shooting is great, you can mess around with the environment, there are lots of side quests, and you can choose what side you support too. It doesn’t add anything substantial to the formula – but you can drive rikshaws this time around. And I don’t have to tell you how rare it is!
When Far Cry games are ranked, Far Cry 4 may not be a particularly exciting title. But if you loved the last three games, then you’ll at least appreciate this one.
4. Far Cry 1
Far Cry 1 is where it all started and it surprisingly still holds up very well. It felt revolutionary to many when it first came out and rightfully so. The graphics of the game are gorgeous and do justice to the diverse open-world of the game. The enemies are relentless and have smart AI, which lets them adapt to your movement. And the gameplay is not linear, so you can do things at your own pace.
And just when you think you’ve got the hang of it all – the game throws in monsters that stalk you around. It’s not a decision everyone loves, but hey, it’s different. The main story is bland and lacks side content, but the game comes with a map editor so you can still have some extra fun. Both by downloading maps of other people and by creating challenges for yourself.
All in all, it’s very surprising that even though we have 13 titles to look at when Far Cry games are ranked – the first one is still top 4.
3. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is the most popular spin-off in the Far Cry franchise, and that’s because of how unique it is. It’s a parody of futuristic action movies of the 80s, so there are cyborgs, giant monsters, huge guns, and dangerous women. And those who love cheesiness know that this is the perfect recipe for a good time.
It’s certainly not a game that you can take seriously, so it might not be everyone’s cup of tea. However, given that the Far Cry games were all about innovation in the past – it’s no surprise that B
2. Far Cry 3
Far Cry 3 is the game that singlehandedly made the series mainstream thanks to its entertaining story, colorful characters, a fun open-world, and addicting gameplay. Granted, it made things more casual and its tone is a bit too overused at this point. But it’s undeniably the second best game in the series for many reasons.
The very first thing that you notice is the fact that the characters have a personality this time around. And the antagonist is so much fun to watch that he ended up being more memorable than the protagonist. Then there’s the gameplay, which is not incredibly difficult like the first two games.
The best part is that – it’s not just the big things. There are a lot of small touches that make the game iconic, such as a scene where you burn a weed farm while Make It Bum Dem plays in the background.
1. Far Cry 2
Far Cry 2, despite its age, stands tall as arguably the best game in the franchise. The reason behind that is simple: it has an unapologetic vision that does not try too hard to cater to industry standards.
First of all, Far Cry 2 was very innovative for its time. The AI of the enemies is brutal, the environment is very destructive, vehicles and items break down, and the African location gives the game a dynamic atmosphere. It’s a very realistic game that still feels impressive in 2023 and it has a different tone compared to what the franchise became after Far Cry 3. You can even catch malaria in this game!
Sadly, only later games in the series started to have a larger focus on the story and characters – so that’s something that is missing here. Only later games in the series started to have a larger focus on the story and characters – so that’s something that is missing here. But when you think about it, the main attraction of Far Cry has always been the gameplay and environment. And Far Cry games haven’t had a memorable antagonist since Vaas anyway.
All in all, this is the definitive game to play. And it deserves the top spot every time we see Far Cry games ranked. Unless of course, the next game in the series manages to set a new standard.
That’s it for our list of Far Cry games ranked from best to worse! We hope that you found it helpful and have a similar opinion to hours. But entertainment is subjective, and if you like a game more than us – that’s entirely valid too.
It’s certainly a very enjoyable franchise and even its lows are still not outright bad. And that’s what makes it so difficult to pick favorites. We can’t wait to see where the franchise heads to next.