Diablo games always hyped the gaming world with a great buzz. Indeed, Blizzard’s action RPG has offered many moments that defined and sometimes changed the genre. Since the fourth game is at the door, it’s a good time to take a look at how these games rank against each other. Oh, I almost forgot Diablo Immortal will release sooner. Nonetheless, let’s dive into our list, shall we?
6. Diablo: Hellfire
The expansion of the first game brought Monk class and tidied up things a bit. In detail, there were new monsters and new levels. It kept the loot and the sensation of grind alive. Many players enjoyed getting their characters stronger and getting through the tough layers of the dungeon faster. On the negative side of things, the game didn’t support the multiplayer feature its predecessor brought. Therefore, its improvements didn’t reflect in the online arena. Since it carried over the art and the storytelling features of the main game, it still offered many hours of content. It’s down at the bottom of the list with not much further to say, because it doesn’t mean much if you don’t buy it with the original Diablo.
In the first game that started everything didn’t age too well. Moreover, Blizzard also abandoned it and if it wasn’t for GOG, we (almost) wouldn’t be able to play it today. However, during its release, Diablo created lots of marketing buzz. The global satanism controversy made the game a target, yet also advertised it greatly. On the other hand, its gothic art and choice of music have definitely attracted lots of players as a novelty. Surely, the visuals didn’t mean comprehensive depth for the game as choosing classes didn’t change the experience much. Furthermore, there were only three classes available: Rogue, Warrior, and Sorcerer. The game took place in a multi-layered dungeon and didn’t offer the environments its sequels brought to the franchise. Nonetheless, it had a strong sense of grind and character progression. Blizzard attached these features to the franchise’s DNA and made players invest many hours in Diablo games. Also, it was one of the first games that offered a satisfactory multiplayer experience.
4. Diablo 3
When the third of the Diablo games was released, it sold really fast and broke the world record for PC games. Indeed, the fans have waited for so long to get their hands on the grind. Despite the loot being bigger in the other Blizzard franchise, World of Warcraft, players definitely missed the single-player sensation. Graphically, the game was a technological marvel. However, the players criticized the brighter tone, which goes against the franchise’s dark traditions. The auction house also granted the players the opportunity to turn their loot into actual money. But, on the bad side of things, the game had many glitches such as the infamous Error 37. Blizzard’s mandate of always being online didn’t help with the reception of the game’s fanbase either. Therefore, when players expected something better than Diablo 2, they got treated with a game that took a different and maybe a ‘contemporary’ direction. The game didn’t lack the excitement and narrative power, however, definitely didn’t appeal to the fanbase strongly. And, they didn’t add the necromancer as a playable class to this one, which is another big sin *ahem*.
3. Diablo 2
This is the milestone that paved the way for a greater franchise. In particular, there are fans still striving to keep the multiplayer alive, so they can grind together, forever. Blizzard worked hard on this one to cement the lore of the Diablo series. Conversely, the first game had set the world up, without offering too much detail. The second game took on that setting and built upon it with more memorable moments. On the other hand, this sequel had one of the best excuses for the main villain to return. In detail, our character from the previous game put the soulstone of Diablo on his head. Then, this character started wandering the world of Diablo, us on his trail. Therefore, Diablo 2 took us out from the claustrophobic dungeons to jungles and deserts. The game had a brighter palette too, however, this decision didn’t rage the players like the third game. Because it offered a more pleasant experience and a greater variety in many aspects.
2. Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls
The expansion of the third game really tidied up things. In particular, Blizzard seemed to have remembered what made Diablo games great. They ditched the auction house and optimized the loot drops. Furthermore, the studio introduced a new main boss and a new class, Crusader in particular. The game also brought the fan-favorite class, Necromancer back to the franchise. Therefore, it was an overall compensation for what drove the Diablo fans to the edge of the original game. Apparently, it’s a Blizzard tradition to improve a game with its expansion packs. Firstly, the graphics that were already good somehow started to look better. On the other hand, the art design received some better steps such as Westmarch. The final boss Malthael’s home was also such eye candy. The Crusader and Necromancer classes also offered unique gameplay experiences that built upon the character progression feature of the game. Consequently, many fans returned to the franchise and learned to accept the new direction Diablo games took.
1. Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction
In my opinion, if this expansion didn’t exist, Blizzard wouldn’t have the courage to develop the third game. Moreover, we wouldn’t have people still playing Diablo 2 relentlessly on both offline and online platforms. Although Diablo 2 was already a great game, Lord of Destruction made it an unforgettable masterpiece. The relationship between the first game and Hellfire appeared in a much stronger form in this case. The expansion brought two new classes: Assassin and Druid, with their unique skill sets and items scattered across the realm. This was a fresh opportunity for the connoisseurs and another warm welcome to the new players. Additionally, the game introduced Baal to lore as a new demon for players to hunt. On the other hand, Act V and Mount Arreat’s Barbarian sanctuaries brought an enticing chapter to the narrative. Features like the increased stash size and improved minimap made Diablo 2 impossible to consider without Lord of Destruction. On the online side of things, players found the combinations between new and old classes suitable for great adventures. With the increased difficulty settings, Diablo 2 became a package that asked for more and more hours from its fanbase, with each passing day.