Uncharted games definitely offer some of the most pleasant experiences on the PlayStation platform. However, like many things in life, this series certainly has some chapters that don’t live up to the expectations. In this article, we took another look at the series and ranked Nathan Drake’s adventures from the worst to the best. Nevertheless, bear in mind that the rankings are based on our personal opinion. On the other hand, we excluded the iOS game Uncharted: Fortune Hunter, since it’s not really an “Uncharted” chapter.
6. Uncharted: Golden Abyss
The 2011 PS Vita release was an unexpected spin-off. Conversely, Sony Bend Studio attempted to bring the game to the handheld platform with lots of tweaks on the first game. The game had some touchscreen features and motion controls in order to cater to PS Vita owners. However, despite the platforming features, Drake’s story in this game was rather bland. Marisa Chase's character wasn’t too memorable or contributed to the overall experience. On the other hand, it was a rare shot at one of the milestone franchises to be “portable”. Therefore, it totally depends on what you expect from this game. If you liked going around with your Vita and heading into Drake’s adventures no matter what, this game appealed to you. Nonetheless, it couldn’t produce the narrative power its counterparts always bring forward.
5. Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune
This is the game that started everything and it outlined the first chapter of Drake’s saga. Moreover, the core characters such as Sully and Elena stepped into our worlds thanks to this game. However, Drake’s Fortune is definitely not the game that made the franchise an all-time great. To begin with, although they were innovative, the navigational and aiming mechanics required lots of polishing in future installments.
Furthermore, design decisions such as using the Dualshock to balance Drake didn’t come to fruition. Indeed, using the motion sensors of the Dualshock 3 was an early trend by many PS3 exclusive developers. Naughty Dog jumped on this train to abandon it later. Also, the graphics and textures didn’t come in great variety as the game was constantly revolving around jungles and temples. On the other hand, the narrative and presentation of the game are rather cheesy. To sum up, despite being promising, Drake’s Fortune isn’t a game that you would deem the foundation of this great franchise. However, it surely deserves some respect, as it ignited the fire for great Uncharted games.
4. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
Uncharted 3 is among the greatest moments of PS3. In other words, from its first presentation to the period after its release, Drake’s Deception revived the faith of many towards the technological capabilities of PS3. Its prequel, Among Thieves, blew minds with its animations and graphics. Nevertheless, Drake’s Deception improved them, which was a phenomenon that many didn’t expect from the four-year-old console. On the other hand, it kept the sense of exploration intact from the previous installments. Surely, Naughty Dog felt some pressure to build on the action sequences and cliffhanger moments the franchise always offered.
However, this time they fell a bit behind compared to Among Thieves. The storyline, the villains and other features of the narrative surely were much better than Drake’s Fortune. Nevertheless, they lacked the power and maybe the magic their counterparts had in Among Thieves. Delving into Drake and Sully’s past was a good idea, it surely shed some light and brought some depth into our favorite characters. However, it certainly didn’t take the series up a notch. In conclusion, Uncharted 3 is a great game and a memorable part of the main trilogy. Yet, it surely lives under the shadows of its prequel and sequel.
3. Uncharted: Lost Legacy
Naughty Dog’s constant search for improvements definitely found its way to Lost Legacy. Additionally, the game showed how the studio cares for storytelling even for a standalone
expansion. Lost Legacy didn’t have as many crossroads as A Thief’s End had in its storyline. However, the adventure with Chloe and Nadine definitely offered a refined experience. We could stumble upon certain graphical improvements in textures and animations. Indeed, this could be because the studio didn’t have too much on its plate compared to the main story installments. On the other hand, despite being shorter compared to its parent game, Lost Legacy was also a meaningful adventure. It was full of pure action and exploration.
The combat and stealth mechanics were intact (also with minor improvements), contributing to the intriguing atmosphere the unexpected travels created. Furthermore, Naughty Dog altered the melee mechanics to be more fitting to Chloe’s stature and physical aptitudes. Since the story took place in the Western Ghats, a region in India, visually it offered a great diversity when it comes to geography. To sum up, Lost Legacy was *almost* a better game than A Thief’s End and some deem it a great improvement compared to the fourth game.
2. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
A Thief’s End was a bit worrying at the beginning, because of the slight downturn with the third member of the Uncharted games. Therefore, as there was a hype building around it, skepticism was also running rampant. However, Naughty Dog proved that spending time with The Last of Us didn’t distract them from what they do so greatly. First of all, Naughty Dog revamped its formula and brought new toys for Nathan to play with. For instance, the grappling hook was a new addition and definitely introduced some interesting sequences.
Moreover, Sam Drake (Nathan’s brother) brought another depth to the narrative and contributed to the emotional aspect of the franchise. Indeed, with another likable character and a somewhat relatable villain (Nadine Ross), the series had another quantum leap at its cinematic quality. Therefore, Naughty Dog did right with what we like in the series the most: The storytelling. Yes, the improved combat and exploration features were surely welcome. Nonetheless, it would feel bland if the story wasn’t this great and fitting for the closure of Nathan Drake’s adventure. Also, it would be a mistake not to mention the great utilization of
face animations and graphics. Our favorite characters definitely looked much better and more alive.
1. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
The second of the Uncharted games definitely skyrocketed the bar, despite the competition wasn’t too great anyway. Uncharted 2 outshined its sequel with great graphics, animations, and more focused storytelling. Furthermore, the game set the standard for memorable action sequences. For instance, the helicopter attack in the city was one of the rare moments our palms got sweaty out of nowhere. And of course the train sequence no one can stop talking about, which was one of the peak moments in Naughty Dog’s storytelling career.
Surely, we all refer to classics like Indiana Jones whilst describing the influence on the Uncharted series. Indeed, Among Thieves definitely made us believe in the cinematic aspects of video games once again. Because the game made us feel like we were witnessing an all-time cinematic classic to be remembered for many years to come. Equally important, Naughty Dog made a statement that they can blend action-adventure features such as gunfights with memorable characters and unexpected twists in the story. With the studio’s courage to kick the game off at a spot that can be considered the middle of the story, the game’s main scenario grasped us from the beginning. Furthermore, we established stronger connections with the characters like Nathan, Sully, and Elena, which the prequel superficially introduced. Long story short, Uncharted 2 not only contributed to Naughty Dog’s and Uncharted games’ reputation, but it also added console gaming and the entire library of the PlayStation 3 great value.