I’m a fan of the Uncharted series, and I know this is a common question: What is the best Uncharted game?
If you want the best game from the series, start with Uncharted 4: Thieves End. That’s my opinion.
Thieves End is an amazing game, full of plot twists and character twists. Before we look at what I consider the best Uncharted game, here’s an overview of the games in chronological order.
Note: No spoilers but I do list a little story in the article.
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune
Drake’s Fortune was released in 2007 for the PlayStation 3. It’s a single-player game in the third-person shooter and action-adventure genre.
It received critical acclaim. IGN awarded it the Best Action Game in 2007, PS3 Game of the Year in 2007, Best Graphics Technology for the PS3 in 2007, and Best Original Score for the PS3 2007.
The visuals do look good, especially for being a PlaySation 3 game.
Criticism focused on game play. The game is short, taking anywhere from six to 10 hours to complete. The pacing feels off — especially when dealing the the “constant stream of rebellious pirates.”
Sales was good, though. Sony noted in 2009 the game sold more than 2.6 million copies globally.
In 2015, Sony released the game for the PS4.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Released for the PS3 in 2009, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is in the action-adventure, third-person shooter genre.
Whereas the Drake’s Fortune was single player, Among Thieves added a multi-player dimension.
The game received high-acclaim and earned numerous game of the year awards. Much of its acclaim came from the cinematic experiences offered in the game.
A Los Angeles Times reviewer, for example, noted that Uncharted 2 would “fit better on a big screen in some multiplex” and that it is “ridiculously immersive.”
One year after the title was released it had sold more then 3.8 million globally. Sales have continued to increase. A March 2015 figure indicated that more than 6 million copies worldwide have been sold.
In October 2015, Sony released the title for the PS4.
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
Drake’s Deception is the third title in the series. It was released in 2011 for the PS3.
Uncharted 3 was met with huge critical acclaim.
It received game of the year awards, and reviewers noted how good its graphics, story and cinematic quality were.
But what was most impressive was the global sales number. Sony noted that they shipped 3.8 million copies on launch day. As of March 2015, more than 6 million copies worldwide have been sold.
Sony released the title in October 2015 for the PS4.
Uncharted 4: Thieves End
Thieves End is the fourth title in the series. It was released May 10, 2016, and marks the first in the series that was designed for the PS4.
The game looks stunning — absolutely stunning. The detail is amazing, and the cut-scenes transition to game-play so smoothly.
The story line shows the main character in domestic life and in treasure-hunter-adventurer life, with rocks to climb, Jeeps to drive, gunmen to take out, and searching for treasure.
Critical reviewers and user reviews have sung praise about the game and noted criticism of it, as well.
According to IGN, Thieves End is a “remarkable achievement in blockbuster storytelling and graphical beauty, only let down by an overly long third act.”
In my opinion, it offers the most diverse game play out of the series.
Why I think Thieves End is the best Uncharted game with a caveat …
Caveat: You may have recently bought a PS4 that came with Uncharted 1, 2, and 3. Between those three games, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is a good place to start. But, Uncharted 4: Thieves End is the best in the series. I think that it is worth the cash.
Drake’s Fortune is not very good, and the game seems poorly designed, especially when it comes to fighting the last boss.
Sure, it received a lot of praise, but compared to Uncharted 2, it is not as good.
The change from Drake’s Fortune to Among Thieves was drastic — much like the cinematography and beauty between Among Thieves and Thieves End.
The story in Among Thieves is fantastic and paced really well. I liked how it started in the middle of the action, with Nathan Drake hanging off a cliff. Then, cut to a flashback. It drew me in right away.
The characters are well-developed, and the relationships between characters have unexpected twists and turns.
The game is more cinematic and the set-pieces are gorgeous. Also, the story takes Drake from warm sunshine to frozen mountains.
There are 564 in-game cinematic animations in Among Thieves, compared with the 80 in Drake’s Deception, according to Eurogamer.
And the game play is a little better. The shooting sections and climbing sections still could use work, but that’s a criticism of the entire series.
After I played the second, I was astonished at how good it was compared to the first.
When I started Drake’s Deception, I expected the same experience. That did not happen.
Drake’s Deception has a good story, but I did not like the flashbacks were used.
At one point, you play Nathan Drake as youngster and learn how the relationship between Drake and Sully developed.
The storyline between the two is weaved together in an amazing fashion, and the cinematic shots and scenes are astoundingly beautiful.
I did not like the game play, some of the puzzles, and thought Among Thieves was a better experience.
And that brings me to Thieves End …
Thieves End does everything Among Thieves does but does it better — including story, flashbacks, cut-scenes, character development, and game-play.
The story-telling and cinematography for the first 5 scenes is amazing and drew me in. (The same holds true for the last 7 or so scenes.) The story weaves between characters, which adds a level of anticipation and excitement about what is to come.
The relationships between characters in Thieves End are much improved, and the character changes / development feels more plausible. The game also becomes a game within a game at times.
One complaint I have is the middle of the game. It feels repetitive: walk, climb, shoot — with little character-development. Despite that, I still really like this game.
What do you think is the best Uncharted game?