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Far Cry Games Ranked From Worst to Best

It wasn’t easy putting together this Far Cry games ranked article. Psychotic but compelling antagonist? Check. Plenty of guns, cars, and helicopters? Check. Way too many enemy camps to take over? Check. A bear companion named Cheeseburger? Uh, maybe in one of these?

If you’ve played the Far Cry series, all of this probably sounds familiar. It practically invented these gaming staples. While the most recent releases may have felt samey, the Far Cry 6 trailer looks like an invigorating refresh of the franchise (mostly because of Giancarlo Esposito).

“Why does it need a refresh?” you may ask. Let’s rank the Far Cry games and find out where the series achieved virtual perfection and where it fell into the pitfalls of Ubisoft annual titles.

All Far Cry Games Ranked Worst to Best

Far Cry is a storied series with plenty of mainline titles to choose from. That said, some truly embrace what makes the series great while others feel like rehashes of tired tropes. Here’s what we consider to be the best Far Cry games ranked from worst to best.

12. Far Cry: Vengeance

Far Cry Vengeance
  • Platforms: Wii
  • Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
  • Release Date: December 12, 2006

Far Cry Vengeance is one of those Wii ports that should have never been made. Like so many other AAA franchises that made the jump late in a console’s lifecycle, Vengeance is simply a watered-down experience. The low quality might have something to do with the weaker Wii hardware, or the simple fact that it’s a remake of a remake of the original.

Whatever the case, it’s a visual disaster with equally disastrous enemy AI, which is a problem for a game that operates off of smart scenario design. Top everything off with motion controls (which admittedly weren’t all that bad), and you have the worst Far Cry experience. Don’t just take our word for it — the critics felt the same way back in 2006.

11. Far Cry Instincts: Evolution

Far Cry Instincts Evolution
  • Platforms: Xbox
  • Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
  • Release Date: March 27, 2006

The Far Cry series is no stranger to taking side steps, allowing the developers to stretch their creative muscles and try innovative concepts and scenarios with their new titles. Evolution is not one of those titles.

Evolution serves as a small expansion with a relatively short single-player campaign to wrap up Jack’s story from the original Far Cry. Graphics and gameplay are virtually the same, and the only real improvements are additional weaponry and a simple multiplayer mode. The latter two elements would be scrapped on future titles, showing how much impact it made on the franchise.

10. Far Cry Instincts

Far Cry Instincts
  • Platforms: Xbox
  • Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
  • Release Date: September 27, 2005

Remember how we said Vengeance was a remake of a remake? Instincts is the first remake in that disastrous line. Its only purpose was to bring Far Cry to consoles, serving as a necessary step for a title that may have remained on PC otherwise.

The main drawback of Instincts is the concessions it makes to run on the Xbox. The Xbox simply wasn’t powerful enough to handle the original’s open-world sandbox, making the final game a much more linear experience. It doesn’t feel like a proper Far Cry title. It’s more like a modern Call of Duty campaign with less impressive multiplayer.

9. Far Cry Instincts: Predator

Far Cry Instincts Predator
  • Platforms: Xbox 360
  • Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
  • Release Date: March 27, 2006

We promise this is the last port of the original Far Cry on this list (unless Ubisoft launches a remaster). Predator brings both of the Instincts titles to the Xbox 360 as an all-in-one package. Released on the same day as Evolution, it serves as the final Xbox exclusive for the series.

Now, you’d think a more powerful console would mean a better experience. While the games do play better, they somehow look worse on the 360, making this port somewhat disappointing.

Predator only beats out the original Instincts titles because of its backward compatibility, making it currently the best and only way to play Far Cry on any console.

8. Far Cry 

Far Cry 1
  • Platforms: PC
  • Developer: Crytek Studios
  • Release Date: March 23, 2004

It’s finally time to talk about the game that started it all. The original Far Cry serves as a vast departure from the series today. No psychedelic trips or charismatic antagonists; just a soldier on an island fighting mercenaries and mutants. Pretty standard stuff, right?

It isn’t the story that makes the original Far Cry so influential, though — it’s the gameplay. This game introduced the idea of smart, randomized AI. Place them in an open-world sandbox environment, and suddenly you have intricate and diverse scenarios that vary from player to player. 

Do you want to run every enemy over with a Jeep? Snipe hostile combatants? Maybe just go in guns blazing? All of these options and many more are viable in Far Cry, and it truly introduced this concept to developers and players alike.

7. Far Cry 5

Far Cry 5
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Developer: Ubisoft Montreal, Ubisoft Toronto
  • Release Date: March 27, 2018

We all know how Ubisoft likes to annualize franchises. While it’s great to keep the ball rolling and dive back into fan-favorite franchises every year, it typically leads to diminishing returns. It happened with Assasins CreedTom Clancy titles, and Far Cry.

The sameness from the last core installment already had fans growing bored, but Far Cry 5 pushed it over the edge. Sure, the environment, companions, and weapons are different, but the gameplay loop, story, and antagonist feel like a vague refresh of Far Cry 3 and 4.

6. Far Cry 2

Far Cry 2
  • Platforms: PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
  • Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
  • Release Date: October 21, 2008

Far Cry 2 pulled the fanbase apart so that the series could run (is that how that saying goes?). Representing the transition over to Ubisoft, the sequel to the beloved original set the stage for what the series would soon be known for. 

The story is a sharp departure from the standard military shooter genre, and it attempts to inject real agency into the players’ hands. It somehow simultaneously makes you feel powerful as you mow down hordes of enemies and entirely weak as you succumb to malaria or jammed weapons. 

If it weren’t for the continually spawning AI, muddy graphics, and so-so shooter mechanics, this could easily take the top spot. As it stands, however, it serves as a great lesson in innovation. It’s simply overtaken by the impressive visual, narrative, and mechanical nature of the sequels.

5. Far Cry New Dawn

Far Cry New Dawn
  • Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
  • Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
  • Release Date: February 15, 2019

If Far Cry 5 was a bit of a letdown, New Dawn is a return to form for the series (and honestly, props to Ubisoft for turning things around in one game). Continuing the story of 5, New Dawn embraces what makes the series so great. Colorful and dynamic visuals, a robust progression system, and an enjoyable encampment-capture gameplay loop all elevate the game above its predecessor.

Even the reused map is a benefit. There’s something special about revisiting locations that you didn’t care for with a renewed sense of purpose and a vibrant makeover. Plus, the co-op is even better here and truly makes the game worth playing (if not just to see what types of shenanigans you and a friend can get into).

4. Far Cry Primal

Far Cry Primal
  • Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
  • Developer: Ubisoft Montreal 
  • Release Date: February 23, 2016

Primal may serve as the sharpest departure for the series since Far Cry 2. Gone are the guns, vehicles, mercenaries, and outposts. In their place, a savage primordial environment, animal companions, and toned-down but invigorating gameplay. In a lot of ways, Primal was a necessary sidestep to refresh the series.

While previous titles had leaned into the run-and-gun nature of the originals, Primal focuses on survival. Crafting, weather, and predators are now more of a concern than even some human enemies. It’s unlikely that we’ll see a spin-off like Primal again anytime soon, but it hopefully taught the Montreal team that it’s ok to rewrite the formula.

3. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon

Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon
  • Platforms: PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
  • Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
  • Release Date: April 30, 2013

Throw out intricate storytelling, pump up the gameplay, and hit the Far Cry formula with a firehose of 80s nostalgia, and you have Blood Dragon. In many ways, it feels like a much-needed break after the complex moral dilemma presented by Far Cry 3. This spin-off gives you more of a good thing while adding a fresh coat of neon paint.

If other developers are going to do shorter sequels, they should make them like Blood Dragon. What more is there to say?

2. Far Cry 4

Far Cry 4
  • Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
  • Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
  • Release Date: November 18, 2014

Ubisoft loves taking advantage of new hardware, and Far Cry 4 is proof of that. A visually stunning game, it truly embraces what makes the series work while elevating intricate storytelling even further. Every mission, every side character, every choice feels heavy and offers in-game consequences.

In many ways, your somewhat-silent protagonist’s introduction as someone just looking to spread his mother’s ashes makes these scenarios all the more tragic. Play that against another eerily compelling villain in Pagan Min, and you have a sequel that knows the perfect formula for a Far Cry game.

1. Far Cry 3

Far Cry 3
  • Platforms: PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
  • Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
  • Release Date: November 29, 2012

Come on, you knew this would take the top spot. Far Cry 3 perfected what 2 started. The gameplay is tight, the combat is bombastic, the gameplay loop is addictive, and the environment is finally lush and pleasant.

Of course, what really sets Far Cry 3 apart is the antagonist, Vaas. Compelling, unpredictable, dangerous, intelligent, and oddly sympathetic, Vaas set the standard for what makes a memorable villain. Set him against your actions and the results you cause, and you have a game that truly makes you think between bouts of action. While later releases may refine much of the mechanics, Far Cry 3 is the greatest concoction of what the series has to offer.

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We hope you found our Far Cry games ranked article helpful as you explore this series. If you enjoyed this article, check out some of our other best-of lists below and be sure to subscribe to know when new content goes live. 

 

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Give feedback on the article, share additional tips & tricks, talk strategy with other members, and make your opinions known. High Ground Gaming is a place for all voices, and we'd love to hear yours!

Manuel Williams

Wow! That’s great. I love Far Cry games very much. Thanks for collecting the top 12 Far Cry Games in a single article.

Keep up the good posting, Kody Wirth.


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