Fallout is the classic action/RPG franchise that lets players have fun salvaging for supplies in a bleak, hopeless nuclear landscape, but which is the best Fallout game? The original Fallout was the spiritual successor to a game called Wasteland and casts players as a survivor who must venture forth from the safety of their fallout shelter to explore the dangerous world outside.
That same basic setup could be applied to almost any entry in the Fallout series, but along the way, the franchise would develop its own distinct identity. From Nuka Cola to the Pip-Boy and Ron Perlman’s somber narration, the Fallout series promises players a vast, open-world landscape to get lost in – and barely survive encounters with roving mutants and Deathclaws.
Let’s revisit the main entries in the series – apologies to Fallout: Pinball and Brotherhood Of Steel – and see which is the best Fallout game.
6. Fallout 76 (2018)
While Fallout 76 was met with a very mixed response due to buggy design, the departure in gameplay and other controversies surrounding its launch. It’s not an awful game overall, but it is extremely flawed. Fallout 76 is an online, multiplayer shooter, and allows players to band together to explore the wasteland. Aside from this core change, the gameplay is still very recognizable, mixing action and exploration but it feels somewhat lifeless compared to other entries. The lack of in-game NPCs also makes the world feel smaller and less interesting.
5. Fallout (1997)
The game that kicked it all off, Fallout is a solid top-down, turn-based RPG title. Players only familiar with the more recent entries might be shocked by how different the series used to look and play, but Fallout still originated all the key tropes of the franchise, from the retro-futuristic design to the story branching dialogue. The original is somewhat dated in design now, however.
4. Fallout 2 (1998)
Fallout 2 came out a year after the first and build on its foundation to make a stronger game. The sequel established the unique sense of humor of the series and is crammed with bizarre easter eggs and gags. It’s also more colorful and generally more entertaining. That said, a rushed production led to some annoying bugs, though the vastness of the game world makes up for this.
Related: Fallout 76 Survival Mode Beta Begins
3. Fallout 4 (2015)
Fans had to wait a long time for the arrival of Fallout 4 which is one of the most ambitious entries in the whole franchise. The game is the best looking in the series to date, featured much-improved combat mechanics and power armor added a new tactical element. The story mechanics took a hit, however, with the dialogue options being simplified and the narrative overall isn’t as interesting as other entries.
2. Fallout 3 (2008)
Bethesda Softworks took over the franchise with Fallout 3 which introduced a first-person perspective and a bigger focus on combat. This brought players into the scorched, post-nuclear landscape like never before, though some fans have lamented the changes the game made to the saga. Fallout 3 can be frequently buggy, but the scope of the open-world, variety of missions, side quests and the colorful characters that can be encountered make it an enthralling, classic RPG title.
1. Fallout: New Vegas (2010)
Fallout: New Vegas features the best narrative and characters of the entire franchise, and combined the improvements introduced in the third game while playing homage to the original titles. The game takes place in the Mojave desert, where players control the revenge-seeking Courier. The gameplay is just as in-depth as previous Fallout titles, but New Vegas does a fantastic job with the atmosphere of the world too, with players encounter more complex characters and factions. This one of the many reasons fans feel New Vegas is the best Fallout game.