In honor of the awesome looking Warcraft movie coming out on June 10, I decided to do another “Series Ranked” about the games that are responsible for getting me to have any interest in the movie at all.
As usual I will be ranking them from worst to best, and this is entirely my own opinion.
Before I begin, I want to note that I will not be including Warcraft II Battle.net edition, because it’s more or less the same game and irrelevant to add here. Also Hearthstone will also not be included, because it’s not actually a real Warcraft game.
Ok, there are eleven games by my count, so let’s get started!
#11 World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor
Now this isn’t fair, for I have never played this game, so really, I guess you can just disregard this. The only reason I am including it at all is because I guess I can say there was nothing about it that caught my interest to even have a single thought to want to play it, which I guess is a first in the series.
That is the only reason I place it at #11. It could honestly be a great game for all I know.
#10 Warcraft: Orcs and Humans
Now I am serious about the rest of this list, as I have played every other entry in the franchise.
Orcs and Humans is the game that started it all, and pretty much all of Blizzard’s success. For the time, this game was absolutely amazing, pitting two races against each other, each with different units and campaigns.
While the game has not aged well at all, it is still fun, and I would recommend it to anyone who has played either Warcraft II and/or III. Not really because it is good compared to its successors, but just to see where they got their start and how things have evolved. The most irksome parts of this game are the fact that you must build roads for your buildings and that you can only select one unit at a time, making everything go on for much longer, something that real time strategy games definitely do not need.
#9 World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
I never played this game when it was new, but only when the expansion to it came out and I had to play my way through, so I never got the full effect of WoW’s third expansion. I dove into this after not playing WoW for around four years, and the very first area I was in I hated and almost quit the game again because it was so bad. None of the areas were really that great at all.
The quests were a bit more unique then I had previously experienced, so that was always nice. The game also added two new races; the Horde got Goblins, which makes no sense, since they were always a neutral faction throughout the World of Warcraft series. The Alliance found themselves with Worgens, wolves that walk on their hind legs. These were pretty cool looking, though also kind of didn’t make sense, for veteran players most likely have slaughtered hundreds of these in their time in the game. Players can also increase their level from 80 to 85, marking the first time there was not a 10 level increase in caps per expansion.
The story, if I am thinking of the right one, involves killing Death Wing, an orc hero that was killed in Warcraft II, somehow resurrected. I don’t really know. The story line in the Warcraft series eventually just flies off the handle and all old characters resurface and continuity is just an afterthought. The whole world is just too expansive to really make any sense of it, but then again, no one plays these games for the story anyway.
#8 World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
The second expansion to World of Warcraft takes us to Northrend to take on the Lich King, continuing the story of The Frozen Throne randomly.
This was a neat area with a dark theme and was sort of fun to explore. I came back to play this game after about 8 months after I quit the last game and about two months after this was released. They kicked up the design of dungeons and quests in this game, and it also had some of the more memorable raids in my opinion. What fans of the original games didn’t want to face off against the Lich King? Though this is also when Blizzard started making the game really easy to level, which was my favorite part of the games, and just completely focused on heroics and raids. Once I raised my character to 80 from the previous cap of 70, I found they were taking forever releasing raids, spacing them out in huge intervals, and I lost interest, quitting again after just four months.
Something unique about this game was the addition of the first new class since the games creation, the Death Knight. This is also the series’ only “hero class” which really just meant you started at level 55 instead of 1, going right along with the whole fast leveling theme started in this expansion.
#7 World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
The world crapped itself when this game finally came out. The very first expansion of the ever growing, popular game that took the world by force. After being stuck at level 60 for what seemed like forever, players were finally allowed to move up to level 70 after stepping through the Dark Portal into a new land. We found tons of new gear, with ridiculously huge stat increases, making the lowest leveled gear completely dominate the best gear in the original game. Lots of new abilities were also included, and best of all…
This was something everyone was dying to have included, and we all got our wishes.
Another first was the expansion of races, introducing Blood Elves for the Horde, and Draenai for the Alliance.
The only trouble with this game, in my opinion, was that the entire area was pretty bland and uninteresting, the dungeons and raids stunk, and it all became boring very quickly. The main city, the first time to join Alliance and Horde in one place, meant horrible, horrible lag inside, or even flying near it. I think I quit within a month or two upon reaching level 70.
#6 World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria
The fourth expansion brought players to a whole new world and me out of a four year retirement of the game. Besides additions to both race and class, with monks being the new class and Pandarians being the new race, for the first time, the areas were truly enticing and filled with interesting scenery and characters. The dungeons and raids were unique and fun. The gear looked awesome, having a samurai-ish look to it.
Players could increase to level 90 from 85, really giving you that sense of closeness to level 100. There was a lot of cool new mounts as well. This expansion was the first to hold me in end game, and I believe I played it thoroughly with 4 characters for over a year before finally quitting the game for good. Ironically, it wasn’t because I was bored, like it was for all the other expansions, but because I was sick of spending so much time and money on the game, despite wanting to still play it.
#5 World of Warcraft
The game that took the world by storm and the lives away from many gamers. I remember getting the game when it was a month or two old, and quit within a month because I hated it. But I think it was because I mostly never knew what I was doing. I decided to give the game another chance about a year later and that is when I got hooked. In that year, a lot more people joined in too.
Why I like this one the most is simply because it was so humongous. There were countless places to go to, leveling took FOREVER to reach 60, and there was just an endless amount of things to do.
It also had actual skills trees that eventually were taken out later on and a bunch of other features and what not that also eventually disappeared. As the expansion came out, they seemed to simplify everything, no doubt to make it more appealing to newcomers and to quicken leveling for new characters made by veteran players. But to me, this took away the charm and adventure of the game, but it really does make perfect sense that they did this, as everyone always is focused on end game. But eventually, people were even beating all of that too quickly, and now they complain expansions are not coming out fast enough.
I don’t know…I just think the original build was the best. Though, that is not to say that there weren’t plenty of things wrong with the game that have been improved as the years went by. The “Looking For Group” channel comes to mind. Just to do any dungeon back then was like a five hour commitment, and half of that time was spent trying to find five party members, before dragging yourself through the long dungeons. This, along with many other things, has been greatly improved.
#4 Warcraft II: Tides Of Darkness
With all the World of Warcraft games out of the way, it is now time for the games I obviously find much better. The original RTS styled games, (besides the primitive original of course.) And all I can say about this game is HOLY CRAP!
It is an absolutely massive improvement over the original. The game speed is kicked way up. Tons of new units yielding tons more strategy, custom stages pre-built, or you can make your own, resulting in endless hours of gameplay. This game and its expansion basically sucked up my childhood. I played it endlessly.
Another amazing addition is the beautifully orchestrated music, something pretty much unheard of back then.
The only thing about this game, is it is really, really hard in the later levels.
#3 Warcraft II: Beyond The Dark Portal
The expansion to Tides of Darkness, the games difficulty picks up right where it left off, making this quite possibly the hardest game I have ever played. Most of the levels are impossible without cheating, which thankfully, like the two games before it, there are plenty to choose from.
There isn’t too much else different, except you get a lot more hero’s running around to fight with you or fight against you.
Great game, endless hours of fun.
#2 Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne
The expansion to Warcraft III continues the story, taking it to all new kinds of places, where you meet many new heroes.
To be honest, I don’t remember much about this game, as I have only played it through once, having been burned out on RTS’ by this time in my life. I just remember enjoying it immensely. They added new units, I believe, always a plus!
But yeah, it was an extremely polished game, and I would absolutely recommend it to any RTS fan.
#1 Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos
And here we are at number 1! This is my favorite Warcraft game of all time. After spending so many hours on WC2, it was great to finally experience something new, and Blizzard did not disappoint. This game was as much of an improvement to 2, as 2 was to 1. The graphics got an extreme overhaul, instead of just playing as orcs and humans, Night Elf and Undead were added, doubling the campaigns! Each race had completely different units and buildings, each requiring different strategies to master.
Best of all were the inclusions of heroes that you had with you every level, instead of just random ones. They also created buildings that could resurrect them if they died. This was most welcome to me, who always wished in 2 that there was something like this. I never, ever used my heroes in that game because if they died, the mission failed. But this game fulfilled my wish. And on top of it, you could level the heroes from 1-10, upgrading and learning new spells and abilities along the way.
To me, this game had by far the best and most solid story too, before World of Warcraft flipped it on its head and made it all convoluted. In fact, the story is probably why I prefer this over its expansion. It is truly a masterpiece.
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