Is it always essential to play the first game in a series?

Martin Berisford

Article Author
Mar 29, 2019
Do you think it is vital to play the first game in a series? I'm talking Far Cry, GTA, COD etc. Is it essential for the player to understand the backstory of the game or the franchise? For me, I don't think it is for most but it does depend on the game itself. Some games actually develop and curate a story over the franchise whereas some seem fairly independant of each other. GTA doesn't seem to follow a storyline over it's series (with each game having it's own) nor does Far Cry (for me anyway) whereas RDR seems to have some continuation but I've never played RDR1 and picking up what happened in RDR1 from dialouge was easy for me. Doesn't seem like I needed to play the first game anyway.

So what do you think? Is it essential?
I don't think it's necessary but it helps. In some cases like say darksiders, you understand what is going on and finish the game in that order. So some of the time it helps and in others no so much.
I agree. Despite the genre, Darksiders is a story driven game with interesting lore, so playing the first game was essential to me.
As for the games like Battlefront from EA, there's no point.
While I don't see it as a must for a gamer to start from the first series, I believe that it will go a long time helping the gamer understand what it is all about and the need to focus on getting better with it. I always try to understand what the first series is talking about when I play games unless in situations where I can't get them around anymore.
Lot of people didn't played anything in the Metro series. But they did play the latest Exodus version. So it is often works out for some of the gamers in such context.
not really, especially for the CoD series. But something like a continuing RPG series would pretty much be a must.
Not always but I guess it depends on the games. For example, the GTA games don't require you to play any of the previous ones to understand it although there will be some references to previous games.
It depends on the franchise but in general, most entries are planned to be self-contained so even if you might be missing some context it should not stop you from enjoying the game or have an idea what you're supposed to do.

I could argue that even games like Mass Effect which are supposed to be part of a trilogy are done in a way that you can still play them even if you haven't tried the ones before. Heck, I think ME even gives you some sort of catching up.

Some other games, while not essential, it might still be recommended to familiarize yourself with the base. For example, Kingdom Hearts 3 might give you a hard time since it has introduced so many characters and twists and even people following the games have a hard time understanding it. hahaha.
I think some people may find playing random fun too. For example I recently came across some people who played darksiders that way. And they kind of liked it despite the story connection being lost in flow.

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