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Home / Features / Ranked: Every Uncharted game in order of greatness

Ranked: Every Uncharted game in order of greatness

Where does The Lost Legacy rank in Sony's brilliant franchise?

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End might have capped off Nathan Drake’s epic journey, but lo and behold, here we are one year later with a brand new Uncharted. What gives?

As our review explains, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is actually an excellent spinoff: not quite as expansive as the last main quest, but packed with big moments, compelling characters, and dazzling graphics. There’s little reason to skip it if you’re a fan of Naughty Dog’s fare.

But where does it land in the series’ pantheon? Uncharted is perhaps the greatest action game series of all time, so the competition is fierce. Well, let’s have a look: we’ve ranked the franchise’s six core adventures (excluding card and puzzle spinoffs) and come up with our definitive list, ranked worst to best. Or least best to most best, really.

And no, mobile puzzle game Fortune Hunter doesn’t count. Because we said so.

6) Uncharted: Golden Abyss (2012)

Don’t remember this Uncharted? If you never bought a PlayStation Vita, then you probably never encountered it. Golden Abyss was an impressive launch showcase for the portable hardware, handling a console-scale adventure without losing too much in terms of looks and feel.

But it lacked the big, defining moments of the main console entries. Taken outside of the Vita launch buzz, this prequel is remembered mostly as a totally serviceable, barely memorable bonus quest that has no real impact on the franchise as a whole. It’s kind of surprising that we never saw a console port… but also, it’s not that surprising, really.

5) Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune (2007)

Given the incredible quality of, well, all of the mainline entries thereafter, it’s easy to forget that the first Uncharted game isn’t quite up to par with its successors. It was certainly pretty for its day on the PS3, and had most of the fundamentals intact, but Drake’s Fortune wasn’t as fluid or precise, or nearly as well-paced as the later entries.

Still, as the all-important starting point, it’s worth looping back on – especially in The Nathan Drake Collection for PS4, where it’s been enhanced with more responsive controls and better animations. And it establishes the characters we know and love, with some thrilling moments along the way.

4) Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (2017)

So here is where The Lost Legacy lands, and it’s a more than respectable slot for a spin-off that lacks strong connections to the series’ ongoing narrative. The Lost Legacy follows Uncharted 4, but gives you a new heroine: Uncharted 2‘s Chloe Frazer, who is flanked by U4‘s Nadine Ross.

They’re on the hunt in India for the Tusk of Ganesh, and the focus on a single part of the world adds another new twist: an open hub area, which to be honest proves a bit meandering. But then you’re back into the thick of things with wild set pieces, thrilling action, great characters, and absolutely brilliant graphics – especially on the PS4 Pro.

3) Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (2011)

It’s tough to follow a masterpiece like Uncharted 2 (list spoilers!), but Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception did a rather fine job all the same. Drake’s Deception spends a fair bit of time looking back as it pushes the story forward, melding playable memories of Drake’s upbringing with absolutely insane new adventures.

Seeing young Drake get tangled up with Sully showcases Naughty Dog’s storytelling growth and fleshes out the backstory a bit, and then adult Drake has his fair share of delightfully bonkers moments – like falling out the back of a cargo plane along with a heap of, well, cargo. It’s not as tight as Uncharted 2, but its best moments are pretty much on par.

2) Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (2016)

Ah, the grand finale. We waited a long time to see how Drake’s tale would finish up on PlayStation 4, but it proved to be well worth the wait: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is the culmination of all of the series’ strengths, and it’s incredibly impressive as a result.

Granted, suddenly introducing a previously-unmentioned brother is awkward, and there are some slower missions that drag on too long – but the action scenes are some of the series’ best, the combat has a fresh edge, and the characters and storytelling are oft-brilliant. It’s also insanely gorgeous, plus we get a proper, satisfying sendoff. Fabulous.

1) Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (2009)

The only game that could possibly top Uncharted 4? It’s Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, of course. Building from the solid foundation of the original game, this PS3 classic ratcheted the action and set pieces to a previously unseen level, matching the greatest Hollywood blockbusters with seemingly every new level.

Your jaw will drop at least a few times, we promise, and the game just never lets up. Uncharted 2 also improved the storytelling and gave us a wider array of compelling characters, while delivering dazzling presentation all the while. Uncharted 4 might be bigger and grander in scale, but Uncharted 2 is legendary. It’s still the series’ defining moment.

Profile image of Andrew Hayward Andrew Hayward Freelance Writer


Andrew writes features, news stories, reviews, and other pieces, often when the UK home team is off-duty or asleep. I'm based in Chicago with my lovely wife, amazing son, and silly cats, and my writing about games, gadgets, esports, apps, and plenty more has appeared in more than 75 publications since 2006.

Areas of expertise

Video games, gadgets, apps, smart home

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