Join Liv with Podcasters United and Between 2 Gamers as she dives into the order games should be played in a series!
Does the order in which you play through a video game franchise matter? Many people will play the most recent game in the franchise if it is appealing to him/her while others insist on playing the games in chronological order. Is there a right way to play or is it completely up to player preference? I’ve been a player who wants to play video games in the order in which the games were released, but I’m trying to change my ways! My struggle lies in my recent gaming history and video games I would like to play in the future.
I enjoy knowing all of the lore in video games. Therefore, I would miss references in later games if I didn’t play the previous installments! I understand the perspective that the later games may not be direct sequels, but I still feel like I’m missing out on part of the history of the games. For example, last year I played God of War (2018) for the first time which was a game that everyone told me that I didn’t need to play the older games to enjoy this game. Most of that statement is true! I loved my time in God of War, but I don’t have a vast knowledge of Norse mythology, so there were characters and plot points I didn’t know the reference to. This didn’t ultimately take away my joy for the game, but I believe playing the previous games would have helped me understand more of the dialogue exchanges. My experience with God of War makes me hesitant to play other games without playing the originals first.
Some video games you absolutely have to play in the order of release date to avoid spoilers. Life is Strange and Life is Strange Before the Storm are a perfect example of ruining a game for yourself if played out of order. Before the Storm is a prequel to Life is Strange and if you play Before the Storm first then you completely ruin the end of the first game. You no longer have the mystery that looms over you for the majority of Life is Strange which sucks the fun out of the game. Another game that’s imperative to play in order is the Horizon Zero Dawn series. This time it’s not about spoiling the ending of the game, but it’s about understanding the lore and history. If you play Horizon Forbiddden West before playing Zero Dawn, then you’re missing all of the context about the Faro Plague and Aloy’s purpose in the world. These are two games that instantly come to mind when explaining why playing games in order is important to me. I understand that it’s not always necessary and I’m trying to break that habit in order to avoid a long backlog of games.
Recently, I’ve been intrigued by the Yakuza and Like a Dragon franchises, but I’ve never played them before. To catch up on the newest games, I would have to play 7 lengthy games to know the characters and story. This is a huge commitment that I’m not sure I want to take on! One of my friends told me I can start with Yakuza 5 and then play onwards to catch up to the newest games. However, others disagree! Another group of my friends say I absolutely have to play Yakuza 0. This begs the question, who is right? I’ve been hesitant to make a decision on where to start, but I would prefer the quickest way to catch up to the newest games. I try to tell myself that I can always go back and play the older games if I enjoy them. For now, my decision is to be determined as to where I will begin my Yakuza or Like a Dragon journey!
Have you had a similar internal debate as to how to enjoy a video game franchise? Is there really a right way to do it? It seems to depend on who you ask. I’d say it depends on the series. All in all, video games are meant to be enjoyed, so you should partake in the games that interest you most!
Liv is the co-host of the Between 2 Gamers podcast with her friend Frewy. When she's not gaming, she's watching sports!
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