It’s simple to see why Far Cry became one of Ubisoft’s most essential and influential franchises when you consider what the best Far Cry games have accomplished. Far Cry has come a long way from its humble beginnings in 2004, when it was effectively a precursor to what developer Crytek would go on to do with Crysis, to where Ubisoft Montreal has taken it now.
When you look at this list of the top Far Cry games, you’ll notice that it’s a story of painstaking refinement, with Ubisoft changing the concept one edition at a time as it expands its hectic first-person shooter action to progressively larger and more exotic open world settings. Far Cry is a game about traversing vast regions, shooting big waves of clever adversaries, and hunting anything that moves on four legs in order to improve your equipment. The most recent installment in the series was released in 2021, but where does it rank among the top ten Far Cry games of all time? To discover out, you’ll have to keep reading…
10. Far Cry Instincts
Far Cry’s console debut is understandably less ambitious than the series’ groundbreaking 2004 adventure. This more linear shooter, limited by original Xbox hardware, removes away the agency of the first PC game to deliver a technically confident, yet predictable OG Xbox shooter. Is Instinct capable of challenging Halo for Team Green’s first-person shooter crown? Clearly not. Instincts, on the other hand, isn’t half terrible for a shooter from the early 2000s.
9. Far Cry New Dawn
An superfluous but enjoyable Far Cry 5 spin-off that demonstrates, if nothing else, that the apocalypse is going to be pink. Aside from its obscene color choices, this aggressive side adventure succeeds by taking the beautiful open-world of its parent game and making it overgrown… and extra homicidal.
As you battle doomsday cults across a map sprouting with irradiated shrubbery – Far Cry 5’s closing nuclear blast casts one seriously long shadow – Far Cry New Dawn distances itself from the game that inspired it with some awesome new arsenal additions. Example? The headline crossbow is one of the most satisfying weapons to ever grace the unhinged series.
8. Far Cry
The tropical adventure that kicked off Ubisoft’s madcap series was initially developed by Crytek, not one of the French publisher’s internal studios. Perhaps the most free-form shooter of the early noughties, Far Cry was one of the first games to introduce sandbox mechanics into the FPS genre.
Letting your Hawaiian mercenary cut loose across a gloriously sunny archipelago, the original Far Cry distanced itself from the shooter pack by giving you a variety of vehicles, optional routes, and a hugely open map to cause chaos across. Are the late-game mutants you fight utterly silly? Absolutely. Still, as a pioneering showcase for early 2000s era PC hardware, Far Cry is right up there with Half-Life 2 and Doom 3.
7. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
One of the silliest video game spin-offs ever… and that’s not a complaint. Following the huge success of Far Cry 3, Ubisoft naturally chose to make a game starring ’80s action hero Michael Biehn. That appears to be true.
One of the first post-Millennium games to embrace 1980s culture, Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon went big on synth-heavy, deliciously cheesy music, neon dragons so bright they could singe your corneas, and a knowingly stupid script that makes Commando look like Citizen Kane. Blood Dragon is a joyously fun, self-deprecating side excursion.
6. Far Cry 4
Far Cry’s commitment to insane villains was confirmed in this game. Following on from the events of Far Cry 3, this Himalayan-set sequel focuses on Troy Baker’s extremely campy, gloriously inflated ruler, Pagan Min. Far Cry 3’s outpost-liberating, animal-slaughtering action is expanded upon in this cold sequel, which sees the serene and composed Ajay Ghale piloting gyrocopters over spectacular mountain ranges, shooting snow leopards in the face, and riding Dumbo’s cousin into awesomely chaotic shootouts. Pet elephants, it turns out, can trample dozens of adversaries in a particularly squelchy manner.
Is Far Cry 4’s fictional Himalayan province of Kyrat as memorable as the sun-kissed Rook Islands of its predecessor? Not even close. Still, this sequel solidly builds upon the blueprints of a modern FPS masterpiece.
5. Far Cry Primal
Perhaps the pinnacle of Far Cry’s infatuation with animal companions. This caveman diversion is still the most adventurous of the mainline entries in the series. Far Cry Primal immerses players in the furious toga of a surprisingly communicative neanderthal, channeling the prehistoric spirit that the original Far Cry meant to tap into – turns out, the 2004 Crytek shooter was originally supposed to feature dinosaurs, not slightly disappointing mutant slaughter.
You won’t get shotguns or AK47s from Primal, but who needs automatic weaponry when you can order a chorus line of ancient feral monsters to slaughter your opponents at the drop of a prehistoric hat? Tame wolves, bears, leopards, and even sabre-tooth tigers, then unleash them on your cavemen adversaries like furry, heat-seeking missiles. While Primal’s bows and clubs are fun to use, no other game in the series nails animal attacks like this striking precursor.
4. Far Cry 2
The one with all the fire, sure. Far Cry 2 has a cult following unlike any other game in the franchise after more than a decade. This brutally gritty sequel is a shooter that loves to make you suffer, far from the Dr. Moreau monster-slaying action of the previous game.
To avoid a game-ending blackout, contract malaria and take medications every 15 minutes. Only to have your decrepit jeep’s motor fail after you’ve gunned down half a dozen tooled-up guerrillas in one of dozens of heavily fortified roadside checkpoints. Enter a combat with a trusted sidekick… then revive them every 17 seconds because they’re getting shot in the spleen all the time. In Far Cry 2, the game lets you crawl through a river of s**t for every tiny win.
However, all of this dedication to severe realism makes this African open-world extremely gratifying. When every triumph requires a constant balancing act of pill-popping, engine-fixing, and gun-repairing quick reactions, the final successes are incredibly fulfilling. Also, the fire effects are incredible. Want to use a flamethrower to burn down an entire virtual Sergenti? Have fun with it! Just don’t flamegrill all those beautiful zebras.
3. Far Cry 5
“Fear will hold you prisoner…,” to paraphrase a sentence from The Shawshank Redemption. “I’m hoping (County) would free you.” Now that we’ve ruined an all-time great movie tagline in the name of a flimsy pun, it’s time to show some love for Far Cry 5‘s Midwestern (extra fictitious) US state.
Far Cry’s maiden journey to the United States of America yields a stunning, deliciously free-form playground that ranks among the best open-world shooters of the Xbox One/PS4 generation. As a mute sheriff’s deputy, it’s your mission to put an end to an out-of-control cult, which usually entails blowing up silos, shooting topless cultists in the face, and occasionally harvesting bison testes…
Far Cry 5 is a fantastic game, because to Ubisoft’s Dubai engine, which allows for smooth shooting and frenetic animal slaughter. Is it really a Far Cry game if a bear/mountain lion/other fanged beastie isn’t charging you down every 32 seconds?
My game is quite close to taking the top slot on this list, with clever, well-paced objectives and a magnificent slice of fictional North American real estate to create havoc in… If it weren’t for a particular threequel, that is.
2. Far Cry 6
Far Cry 6, developed by Ubisoft Toronto, is without a doubt the best-looking and feeling game in the franchise to date. While it lacks the narrative hooks of the best Far Cry game of all time, it does a fantastic job of immersing you in a breathtaking open environment. You’re tasked with leading a guerilla movement on the fictitious island of Yara (which is partially modeled on Cuba), using bold experimental weapons to fight back against a harsh tyranny.
If you’ve played any of the other Far Cry games, you’ll feel right at home here, while Far Cry 6 has its own unique vibe. Sure, you’ll be attacking outposts and completing missions for a variety of larger-than-life NPCs – some things will remain the same – but the enemy AI, weapon modeling, and more nuanced world state make this feel like an adventure worth investing tens of hours in. Far Cry 6 is a great place to start if you want to lose yourself in a shooter this year.
1. Far Cry 3
Were you expecting anything different? One of the best first-person shooters of all time is Jason Brody’s sun-kissed sandbox. It’s also one of the most pleasant (and influential) open-world games ever created.
Far Cry 3 is arguably Ubisoft’s most significant game, with a reach that extends far beyond the shooter genre. The innovations introduced by the Rook Islands shooter have benefited everything from The Crew to Assassin’s Creed. Scaling a tall structure reveals critical map locations. Taking down enemy outposts with a mix of stealth and brutal killing. I’m scavenging for critters to upgrade my gear. Far Cry 3 should be compared to Grand Theft Auto 3 in terms of genre-defining gameplay, whether it comes from Red Dead Redemption 2 or Horizon Zero Dawn.
Far Cry 3 isn’t just the best game in the series; it’s one of the best games of the last 20 years, thanks to awesome (almost unparalleled) shootouts, a generation-defining bad guy in Vaas, and a gloriously diverse environment that begs to be explored.