Every Fallout Game Ranked

VOICE OVER: Riccardo Tucci WRITTEN BY: Caitlin Johnson
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Script written by Caitlin Johnson

Every Fallout Game Ranked

Welcome to MojoPlays! Today, we’re looking at every “Fallout” game ranked. You’ll want to crack open an ice-cold Nuka-Cola for this one.

#9: “Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel” (2004)

The franchise’s first foray into the 3D era is better left forgotten. Released on the PS2 and the original Xbox, “Brotherhood of Steel” hardly keeps a thing that actually made the two classic RPGs so good. It was watered down into an action-based adventure with mostly hack and slash gameplay – though it was still played from a top-down perspective reminiscent of the old isometrics. Players took on the role of a new recruit to the Brotherhood of Steel, but what followed was an incredibly bland and linear story – and linear is one of the worst things a “Fallout” game can be. Rather than tackle deep and interesting themes, “BOS” simply swears at you any chance it gets to trick you into thinking it’s mature.

#8: “Fallout Shelter” (2015)

At E3 2015, Todd Howard dropped a bombshell: not only was “Fallout 4” going to release in just a few months but a mobile game, “Fallout Shelter”, had just launched on the app store. This charming game lets you become the overseer of your own vault, and it’s up to you to keep humanity alive in the increasingly hostile Wasteland. For what it is, “Fallout Shelter” is great. It knows exactly what it needs to be, and it’s even received plenty of content updates since its release. It does have a few microtransactions, but this is easily forgivable with the addition of new mechanics and even quests. Constructing your vault can be a project that lasts for years.

#7: “Fallout 76” (2018)

An online “Fallout” was something that had been toyed with for a long time, but at launch, “Fallout 76” failed on every level. There were no human NPCs, almost no story, and it was full of glitches that made it totally unplayable – and worse, unlike with “Bethesda’s” other notoriously buggy games, because “76” was online it couldn’t be fixed by modders. The only thing saving “Fallout 76” from being the absolute worst “Fallout” game is that Bethesda has stuck with it in the years since its release, putting out lots of updates including finally bringing humans and actual quests to the game. It’s still not as good as any of the single-player RPGs, but as an online game, it’s not so bad anymore.

#6: “Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel” (2001)

A “Fallout” RTS game is an interesting idea, and it would be easy to write off “Tactics” on the assumption that it just wouldn’t work. But actually, “Fallout Tactics” is both a great RTS game and a great “Fallout” game. Once again, the focus is on the Brotherhood, but their militarism and access to advanced technology make them the perfect faction for RTS. But you’re not playing as either the west coast or the east coast Brotherhood, it’s an entirely new and less xenophobic faction that genuinely wants to protect wastelanders and stabilize the ruins of Chicago. With a long and interesting story and a wealth of new game mechanics, “Tactics” is an overlooked gem.

#5: “Fallout 4” (2015)

Seven years after the last mainline “Fallout” from Bethesda Game Studios and the series came back with a vengeance – though it couldn’t quite measure up to most of its predecessors. It had just as many hilarious and engaging side missions but yet again suffered from a main story you’d rather ignore about synths taking control of the Commonwealth. Worst of all was the incredibly over-simplified dialogue system where you just didn’t know what your character – now fully-voiced – was actually going to say; this was such a misstep it was rolled back in “76”. But “Fallout 4” did drastically overhaul the combat, providing the most fun and exciting gameplay the series has yet seen.

#4: “Fallout 3” (2008)

This was the game that truly made “Fallout” 3D, translating the original games’ mechanics – like the VATS and leveling systems – for a new generation. “Fallout 3” has some issues, namely its non-stop crashes and lack of iron sights, but it was good enough to turn an entirely new set of players onto the franchise, players who have stuck with “Fallout” ever since. The Lone Wanderer is cast out of the isolationist Vault 101 to search for their missing father, and eventually finds themselves caught in a far larger conflict between two powerful factions with advanced technology. The fact the Enclave and the Brotherhood are both fighting for a water purifier means you really feel like you’re giving hope to the Capital Wasteland – or perhaps that you’re taking it away, depending on your choices.

#3: “Fallout” (1997)

The game that started it all, the original “Fallout” still holds up today. Its UI design might be outdated, but once you make your character and get to grips with how to play, you’re in for one of the best RPGs of all time. Playing as the Vault Dweller, you’ve got a very simple mission: leave the vault in order to find a replacement water chip or everybody in there will die. This simple quest will take you across the American southwest meeting all kinds of people who will remain staples of the “Fallout” universe forevermore, including the Brotherhood of Steel and the super mutants.

#2: “Fallout 2” (1998)

The original game struck gold, and the sequel kept going to even greater effect. With the Master’s super mutant army gone, it was time for a new faction to rise up on the west coast: the Enclave. This was their first appearance, introducing them as a group made up of the former United States government now intent on rebuilding America by force. This time, you’re the Chosen One on a hunt for a GECK to help save your home, Arroyo, from a dangerous drought. Though “Fallout 2” didn’t improve or even particularly change much from its predecessor, its story was even better, and it added things to the “Fallout” lore you still see in the more recent games.

#1: “Fallout: New Vegas” (2010)

With the “Fallout” IP in the hands of Obsidian, a studio made up of many of Black Isle’s ex-developers who worked on the first two “Fallouts”, the series reached its all-time-high. “New Vegas” took players to the ruins of Vegas itself after getting shot in the face during a routine package delivery. Mr. House, the NCR, and Caesar’s Legion all want control of the city, and many more factions are all closely involved in this conflict; with difficult moral choices and no easy answers, it’s entirely down to you to decide who should have Hoover Dam at the end. It’s nothing short of a miracle that Obsidian made this game in just 18 months, and “New Vegas” isn’t just the best “Fallout” game – it’s one of the best RPGs ever made.