Playstation’s Uncharted series is singlehandedly responsible for delivering some of the most polished, cinematic, and adventurous interactive experiences out there. Not content with simply providing players with wall-to-wall third-person shooting galleries full of forgettable grunts (although they do get their comeuppance), with every new Uncharted release developers Naughty Dog prove that they remain titans in their field in terms of storytelling, characters, and graphics.
While Uncharted 4 capped off the supposed narrative of the wise-cracking yet loveable Nathan Drake, we were still treated to the a sidequel of sorts in the form of Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. So, with the series allegedly laid to rest at least for the indefinite future, the time has come to rank every Uncharted from worst to best.
6. Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune
Nathan Drake’s first adventurous outing to the farthest reaches of South America might have introduced us to Uncharted’s ensemble cast of endearing rogues and allies, but compared to later series entries it struggles to hold up. Drake’s mission to retrace the steps of his supposed ancestor Sir Francis and seek the ancient city of gold El Dorado gives Drake’s Fortune a good through line, but a decent story can’t save the first game from samey environments and annoying jet ski set pieces.
5. Uncharted Golden Abyss
The PlayStation Vita’s Marquee first party title, Golden Abyss did a lot to prove to the naysayers that a true console-quality Uncharted experience was possible on a handheld. A prequel to the franchise’s original game, you’d never know that Golden Abyss was in fact handled by a different developer in Bend Studio, still feeling as smooth and fresh as ever, albeit with a bite-sized story. The game even managed to craft its own identity by way of retconning the feisty Chase into Drake’s backstory, but did little more to take the series leaps ahead.
4. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
The most recent and arguable polished entry on this list, The Lost Legacy originally started out life as a piece of single-player DLC to Uncharted 4’s riveting finale but eventually grew into its own entity. The core gameplay mechanics of the previous title remain intact, sometimes to an uncomfortably familiar degree. But in general Naughty Dog’s decision to follow fan-favourite treasure hunter accomplice Chloe Frazer was a clever way of continuing the Uncharted story to some degree, even if the adventure is all too brief to breathe.
3. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
Uncharted very much ended its run on the console that birthed it with a bang. This time documenting Drake’s attempt to discover the Arabian Peninsula’s “Iram of the Pillars”, Drake’s Deception rendered the series more Indiana Jones than ever, complete with bombastic set pieces. The whole experience was very much a continuation of the template and gameplay established in the prior title, with the nifty addition of some memorable flashback sequences which catalogue Nate’s early interactions with partner in crime Sully. A thrilling ride from start to finish, Uncharted 3 is no slouch.
2. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Fans had remained patient a whole 5 years since the release of the last game with Uncharted 4, being the series entry that promised to tie everything up together in one final globe-trotting journey. Despite a rocky development cycle Drake’s last outing is absolutely one of the most memorable, introducing players to a long lost sibling, taking a more stripped-back approach, in a game that took its time to treat its characters well and provide plenty of fan service. A Thief’s End was a more than worthy ending, and one which we’re never likely to forget.
1. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
The game which elevated both the Uncharted series and those who developed it into super stardom, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves remains a masterclass in set piece execution and whimsical storytelling. Despite not being the prettiest of the bunch by today’s standards, at the time Naughty Dog were able to drop millions of jaws with the release of Among Thieves purely due to the power they were able to squeeze out of the PS3. None of this would matter however should the experience surrounding it not have been in a league of its own. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is an action-adventure that should be experienced by all.