A trilogy is in line with the standardized three phases of story-telling: You have the beginning, the middle (body), and lastly, the end. That’s the reason why creators and companies of all sorts - including game developers and studios - have always strived to reach this number in their products.
But for video games, we don’t consider three continuous games with the same name or as part of the same series to be a ‘trilogy’. So Super Mario Bros., for example, will not be considered as a trilogy since the story-line between the three games isn’t interconnected whatsoever. And Uncharted, even with it being such an amazing series along with a connected story-line between all of the games; since it’s got a fourth game (Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End), it will not be listed also.
You may notice that some of the games within the list to have a fourth or a fifth game in the series. But if you look a little bit closer, you will see that the story-line between the three games within to create rather solid trilogies.
But you may be wondering that if there are so many good video game trilogies out there, how do we find the best ones to recommend to you? Well, we’ll base each of them on a rating scale. Each of the games in the trilogy will be given the score, which will be added up to a sum then divide by three for the average score. Ten trilogies with the highest averages will make it on the list.
If you plan on getting into a long series of games, then be on the lookout for the following trilogies.
While the aggregated score of the game isn’t quite high (91, 86, and 79 for each of the three games down to an average of 85), it’s still a beautiful trilogy that warrants at least one playthrough.
At the time of its release, the thing that Camelot - the developers - did was unprecedented. You can actually transfer the data between the first two Game Boy Advanced games if you know the passwords. Though the transfer process isn’t as smooth on the third game, it’s doable. Technology aside, the thing that makes the game itself stands out the most is that you can enjoy the story through multiple perspectives from different characters. You can even experience the protagonist’s story from different timelines through the three games.
The second game in the rebooted trilogy of Tomb Raider (Tomb Raider: Rise of the Tomb Raider) was once an Xbox One’s exclusive, we wanted to follow Microsoft’s footpath with this entry. The first Tomb Raider got an 86, the second one also got an 86, and the last one (Tomb Raider: Shadow of the Tomb Raider) got an 82. So the trilogy got itself an 85.
When the first game came out it took everyone by total surprise. Not only it proved to be a worthy successor to all of the past games, but it also rose to become a heavy candidate for Game of the Year title. Ever since the PS1 era, it’s never been in the realm of possibility that a Tomb Raider game would be nominated for the title. Well, the first game in the renewed trilogy proved that sentiment to be wrong.
The rest of the games in the trilogy are also quite good, but the last game eventually fell from favor.
While the second and third Witcher got onto consoles, the first one never did. So to make it a little bit easier, we’ll use the collective scores for the PC version. The first Witcher got an 81, Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings got an 88, and the last game Witcher 3: Wild Hunts got the highest score out of all the games with a 93. In total, the entire trilogy has an average of 87.
It’s not that surprising to see The Witcher on the list, considering CD Projekt Red’s solid grasp on the game’s idea that stays consistent from one game to another. Each new iteration saw improvements over the last to finally shine at its best in The Witcher 3. The last game, in fact, is so brilliant that it’s often compared to the likes of Skyrim. For some, Witcher 3 is even a notch or two above Skyrim with the masterfully crafted and told plotline and narrative as well as the branchings in the story.
This trilogy will also be assessed using the scores taken from the PC version. The first Max Payne scores an 89, Max Payne 2 an 86, and Max Payne 3 an 87. The average is 87.
The trilogy is quite a monument for gamers who are invested in the shooter genre. With amazing gunplay and the extremely fun bullet-time mode similar to The Matrix that can create some cinematic gunfight scenes, it’s not that big of a surprise Max Payne found its way to the list. The story-line is also compelling, following the life of Max from one tragedy to the next. It’s an adrenaline-pumped and soul-crushing adventure simultaneously everyone’s going to enjoy.
Assassin's Creed - Ezio Trilogy
Finally, we’re migrating to consoles. For this one, we’re using the scores taken from PS3. Assassin's Creed II got a 91, Brotherhood got a 90, and the last one, Revelation got an 80. So all of the games featuring our beloved Assassin Ezio Auditore got an average of 87.
The game started off as a beautiful sequel, but the developers at Ubisoft soon decided that they would follow up the life of Ezio through two more games Brotherhood and Revelation, with the last game featuring him at his old age. Since the three games got all of the essences of Assassin's Creed as well as all three featured Ezio as the protagonist, the player base is much more attached to him than all the others. Naturally, that makes him the best character in the entirety of the franchise.
For the Batman trilogy, we’re also taking the scores from PlayStation consoles. The first game got a 91, second 96, and the third game 87. Overall, the rounded score for the series is 91.
2019 is a rather special year in the calendar of the series. It’s the tenth year anniversary since the release of Batman: Arkham Asylum. Before the game was released, no one could have thought that a super-hero game could be built to such quality. Even better, the developers at Rocksteady Studios also managed to drag the success of the first game to the two successors (Arkham City and Arkham Knight). Arkham Knight generated a fair bit of controversy due to the addition of the Batmobile, but overall, the trilogy paid itself off to both the developers and the gamers pretty well to be considered as a beautiful success.
To switch it up a little bit, for Mass Effect trilogy we’re sampling scores from the Xbox 360 instead. The first Mass Effect got a 91, the second game is the best of all three got a 96, and the last game a 93. In total, the trilogy is rated a whopping 93.
Everyone considers Andromeda to be a distant failure from the first three games so we're not factoring in Ryders’ story with Shepard’s. Looking at the score and in our personal opinion, the second game Mass Effect 2 must definitely be the best game in the entire franchise that sets up the tone perfectly for the third game. There are noticeable improvements in comparison to the first, which is also great but not particularly well-executed. Plus, the second game probably got one of the best openings in a game ever.
Gears of War
The ratings for Gears of War are also high to no one’s surprises. The iconic shooter has been a staple for consoles and one of the greatest franchises (Next to Halo) Microsoft has ever come up with. The first game got a rating of 94, second 93, and the third game got a score of 91. On average, that’s a solid 93.
Microsoft more or less cornered the market for shooter games back in the day. With the Halo franchise taking over the first-person shooter market. Gears of War later came in to also initiate a take-over on third-person, cover shooters. But in our opinion, Gears of War is a considerably more defining franchise cut out for consoles than Halo ever did.
We know that Gears 5 is about to come out very soon but don’t start rioting just yet. The new game will focus on a completely new set of characters, unlike the first three games. So we don’t really consider the new game to be a part of what we call the ‘Marcus Saga’.
The trilogy found itself on multiple platforms the older it gets, from GameCube to the Wii but it found itself warmly received by gamers worldwide regardless. The first game got a 97 score, second 92, and the third one a 90.
Now even though we have received information that a fourth game is coming soon, the fourth entry will actually be an attempt to reboot the series into a completely new story instead of the old one. The last game Metroid Prime 3 was launched in 2007, that’s quite a long time to keep up with the old plotline. Plus, the ending to the third game was so well crafted that it would be a complete blunder on the developers' part if they tried to drag it out even further.
I don’t think anyone’s surprise that Halo got itself the highest score. But if you’re well-versed in the franchise, you would realize that Halo is made up of more than just three games. Do take into account that the game has actually broken up into two different trilogies, the first one, called the Reclaimer Saga is the one we’re aiming at. The one that the good developers at Microsoft are pursuing is separately called the Forerunner Saga.
The first game got a staggering 97, second game 95, and the third game only one notch under at 94. Exchanging all of that into a proper average, we have a solid 95: The highest out of the bunch.
Though Gears of War has a considerably greater impact on consoles when it came out, Halo is not far behind on its influence not only on consoles but also on the entirety of the gaming industry as a whole. It’s been used as the case example for new generations of developers for years as a pointer on how to develop a good sci-fi shooter. And the games will still be enjoying the legendary status among gamers even decades from now.
Interested in more of our video games related articles? Please check out this post for the top 10 shocking plot twists in video games.