All Fallout Games, Ranked From Worst To Best

The Fallout series is a gaming masterpiece that has cultivated a following of millions of die-hard fans over the past decades. The freedom of shaping your story in a captivating post-apocalyptic setting, remarkable RPG gameplay, and world-building mechanics always make the Fallout games a memorable experience that you’re bound to cherish even years later. Having said that, ranking all Fallout games from worst to best is a daunting task, but in this list, we’ll be going through that together.

All Fallout Games, Ranked

This list is based on a Fallout fan’s personal opinion along with some hearsay from Metacritic. There’s a chance you won’t fully agree with which title is ranked as the worst Fallout game or best, and if you harbor a different opinion, be sure to voice what you would change in the comments.

9. Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel

Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel

Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel was one game that totally dumped what made the franchise so popular. Instead of building upon the series’ strengths, Brotherhood of Steel went a very linear route. It had zones you could only visit once and going forward was the only path ahead, which kind of butchered why the Fallout games were fun to begin with.

Its uninspiring narrative, mundane combat, and overall inconsistencies with the Fallout lore were main reasons why people directed their hatred at it, so much so that even Bethesda treats it as non-canon to this day.

8. Fallout 76

At launch, Fallout 76’s buggy lifeless world, boring dialog, and blatant quest design made enjoying the game seem like a chore. Although the game has improved in many ways since then, it still doesn’t have the same appeal as its predecessors due to which it is ranked by many as the worst out of all Fallout games to date.

7. Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel

Even though Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel strayed from the path that made the original Fallout games great and opted for a turn-based RPG system, it still managed to captivate a wide majority of series veterans. While the tactical combat didn’t hit the sweet spot like Fallout 1 and 2, the inclusion of strategy as a big gameplay element made it a remarkable entry in the series that still seems worth it even now.

6. Fallout Shelter

Although quite small in scale, Fallout Shelter is definitely worth investing your time in as it’s filled with all the charm found in the best Fallout games. Fallout Shelter is a great free-to-play management simulator where players oversee a Vault. You are tasked with rescuing and then assigning the survivors duties. 

But that’s not all. You also need to take care of the little colony by making sure their power, food, and water meters are up. Fallout Shelter is the traditional experience the franchise is famous for but the addicting management gameplay loop will keep you hooked for hours.

5. Fallout 1

Fallout 1 is the game that laid the foundation for the series that we all know and love today. Granted, it hasn’t aged very well, but it is the game that set the bar for the quality we see in the franchise.

Fallout 1’s straightforward mission design, and more obviously the graphics, might be kind of simplistic in today’s terms but the lore and its story alone are enough reasons to revisit it.

4. Fallout 2

Fallout 2

Fallout 2 took what its predecessor did great and made it even better. Quality of life improvements, a bigger open-world, and plenty of exploration choices made it a major upgrade over the original, even if at times its narrative choices were silly. Fallout 2’s story wasn’t as good as its predecessor, however, the immersive open-world and interesting setting, like always, are more than enough to make it one of the most satisfying experiences in the franchise.

3. Fallout 4

Fallout 4

The most recent single-player Fallout game received widespread praise, and deservingly so. Considering the abundant amount of fun content it came jam-packed with, Fallout 4 was just as good as Bethesda’s previous title, Skyrim. Fallout 4’s main story may seem a bit lacking, but the expansive world, settlement-building system, and overall improved gameplay more than make up for its few shortcomings.

2. Fallout 3

Fallout 3

The jump from Fallout 2 to Fallout 3 was a generational leap in the formula that made the series so popular. Fallout 3 featured an expansive and richer wasteland that nailed the atmosphere, a cast of characters that fit its theme to a T, and the ultimate balance of narrative and the choices offered within it.

Though Fallout 3 came out in 2008 and didn’t have over 200 endings like Todd said, it has still aged like fine wine and its RPG elements hold up exceptionally well compared to modern titles. It just shows you how good it really was back when it first came out.

1. Fallout: New Vegas

Fallout: New Vegas

Fallout: New Vegas is the perfect amalgamation of all of the best Fallout games. It’s simply an RPG that takes note of its predecessors’ qualities and expands on them tenfold. 

Join dozens of Factions, make choices that impact NPCs, and see side characters with insane levels of depth to them, Fallout: New Vegas pretty much has it all for you to see. The entire game is built in a way that screams replayability, and with the expansions added into the pot, New Vegas cements itself as the most memorable Fallout tale of all time.

Do you agree with these rankings, or would you rather switch them up?

  1. The only thing I would switch is Fallout Shelter and Tactics. Simply swap spots and you’re done.
    Tactics allowed both turn based traditional Fallout play *or* you could turn on Real Time and things could get really dicey real quick.
    With Tactics I remember having to switch between the two modes because some areas you really really needed to take turn by turn and other maps you could do just fine with real time all the time.
    Basically, I still play FO2, Tactics, and New Vegas to this day. The others… man you kinda nailed it.

    1. If you rank Fallout 3 or Fallout 4 above the first two titles, you immediately rescind the right to have your opinion on this series taken seriously. Fallout 4 is a Fallout-themed Skinner Box. Fallout 3 has absolutely nothing on the first two games except for presentation. The late Shamus Young (RIP) already provided an excellent breakdown of the shoddy world-building and crummy logic of that game at his blog and YouTube channel, so I won’t go into that here.

      Excluding Fallout shelter, the correct order is as follows:

      8) Fallout Brotherhood of Steel
      7) Fallout 76
      6) Fallout Tactics
      5) Fallout 4
      4) Fallout 3
      3) Fallout 1
      2) Fallout 2
      1) Fallout New Vegas

      This ranking takes all aspects of what we would want from a Fallout title into consideration. Naturally, New Vegas finds the best balance between accessibility and quality of writing.

      If we were only to rank the Fallout games in terms of story, then Fallout 1 would easily top the list, as that game has the greatest tonal and thematic consistency of any in the series.

        1. That’s more than just an opinion. It’s a very well considered viewpoint, one which I agree with.

      1. Boomer comment, new Vegas has ages terribly, have fun modding your game for hundreds of hours to make the gameplay half as good as fo4! Blinded by nostalgia

    1. I recently played New Vegas and found it utterly boring. I don’t see how it could possibly be the best in the series. Sorry if this opinion hurts. I did however enjoy Skyrim back in the day and can see the similarities.

  2. I just don’t understand the hype behind NV. I liked NV a lot, but the praise it gets is still too much. Half of the map (Most of the northern area) is empty and seems like it was meant to have more going on but the game being rushed out didn’t allow them to fill it. The finale of the game sucked (Not as bad as 3’s, though) because the result was basically the same no matter what faction you chose. This is one thing that sets 4 & 1 apart from the others. Your decisions resulted in meaningfully different outcomes.

    My three favorites are NV, 3, & 4.

    I loved FO1, but FO2 didn’t seem different enough for me to keep playing it. As in, the formula was already tired to me at that point. It was “same $%&@, different place” in other words.

    Lastly, I think FO4 gets too much undeserved hate. You praised NV as the one with the most replayability, but that goes to FO4 in my opinion. I don’t play Fallout, or even Bethesda RPG’s for that matter, for the storyline. I play them to explore, d&%$ around, & progress my character. I never closed one Oblivion portal in Oblivion. The world itself was more interesting and I loved that about it. That said, criticizing FO4 for its short story is a shallow position. That’s not what Bethesda games are predicated on the first place.

    I feel like Fallout 3 was overall the most fun. I just hated that meaningless illusion of choice at the end. If 3 ever got a graphics remaster, it would be phenomenal.

    My order would go.
    4. Fallout
    3. Fallout: New Vegas
    2. Fallout 4
    1. Fallout 3

    1. Totally agree with your opinion. I played 3, 4 and atm I’m playing NV. I don’t feel like nv is touching me emotionally. While deep diving into every single note, conversation, audio records or diary in f3 and f4, I’m trying hard to find something in nv that gives me the chill or at least entertain me somehow. Will keep finishing the game with all addons. So far, I played “Honest hearts” only that was, to be honest, such a big pain.

    2. Agreed, NV got a on a hype train imo, a few people liked it then everyone blindly agreed. I’ve played fallout since 3, NV is the only one I didn’t complete even once. I found it boring.

    3. The only way it would be possible for you to never close even one oblivion gate would be foe you to never go to kvatch.

      The main quest has a mission where you have to save Martin. During the main quest just following the main quest, you close two or three oblivion gates.

      You cannot complete the main quest without closing at least one for sure.

      Of course, if you really never completed the main quest, I don’t blame you, it was kind of disappointing.

      The rest of the game, side quests and all, was far more interesting. To this day I’m not certain I completed every side quest in oblivion and I replayed the game about 6 times with different characters.

  3. I would rank Fallout:Tactics higher than that of Fallout 4 and 3, essentially the Black Isle Studio/Obsidian games besides Fallout:BoS, would end up in the top 4. Such as:
    1. Fallout 2
    2. Fallout New Vegas
    3. Fallout: A Post-Apocalypse Role Playing Game.
    4. Fallout Tactics
    5. Fallout 3*
    6. Fallout 4
    7. Fallout: BoS (at least it wasn’t buggy upon launch, still didn’t make sense)
    8 Fallout 76 (The most glitchiest game of the Fallout series .)
    *However, if Fallout: Van Buren was Fallout 3 it would be ranked higher.

  4. I dont understand why you all bash on Fallout 4. Its way more polished than 3, has more balance between attributes, better story, nicer environment, base building. For me Fallout 3 was a regression over 2 in everything but the 3D environment. Its also what contributed to the success of Fallout New Vegas. Which was great but not as big as Fallout 4. So for me the top five looks like this:
    5) Fallout 1
    4) Fallout 3
    3) Fallout 2
    4) Fallout NV
    5) Fallout 4

    1. It’s just hate for no real argument, it’s not a problem when people say they prefer one to the other but for some it’s hate for popular strong games in general,just for trolling, similar to those that say Skyrim is crap just because they liked Oblivin better, you’ll find em easy, the internet is full of hungry trolls ?…
      Fallout 4 it’s a huge step forward in fallout games history, basically u can do anything that u could do in 3 n NV and then some, story it’s pretty strong with very interesting characters and companions along the way, all with their unique skills that makes them valuable for ur future quests, the sandbox world is amazing, the levels of freedom to create or edit is impressive and addictive for a map of this size and a game that already has lots of ingredients …for me a great game is a game that keeps me interested and engaged in it for longer than a day or two, specially most games of the last 10-12 yrs tend to have this effect , unfortunately gameplay/story quality went down hill, microtransactions went up through the roof (only thing big studios care bout anymore)

  5. 1. 2
    2. 1
    3. Tactics BoS
    4. New Vegas
    5. 3
    6. 4
    7. Shelter
    8. Fallout BoS (Never played this one, I assume it’s better than 76.)
    9. Fallout 76

    1. FO NV worst game I’ve ever played except maybe elder scrolls
      FO 1 & 2 blah
      1. FO 3
      2. FO 4
      Conversation over

  6. Totally agree with you, most “modern fallout fans” sweep the old games under the rug because it’s “outdated” but never bother to try it out themselves.

    1. Nv totally sucks. Playing it atm. 80% of the map is empty. Empty buildings and empty scenery. Bad graphics and depressive atmosphere that has nothing to do with afterwar. Dungeons and vaults are mostly copy and paste. F3 was way more advanced in almost everything. Only advantage that I like in nv over f3 is the weapon system. Say what you want. Nv sucks.

    1. Fallout NV should be 4th place, 76 in 3rd, then 3, then 4 is the best one hands down. Obsidian was a shit developer before and should have never been revived

  7. I’m not one of these “Fallout 4 totally sucks” kinda people and enjoyed it very much, but overall agree with the order of the 3D games:
    1. NV
    2. 3
    3. 4
    4. 76

    I also agree with putting 2 slightly higher than 1. Fallout 1’s better story isn’t enough to compensate for the gigantic leap in quality, content and scope that 2 brings to the table. Haven’t played the spinoffs so can’t say about them

    However, ranking the 1&2 lower than all 3D titles bar 76 is ridiculous in my opinion. Negatively judging 20+ year old games for graphics is silly, and even then I personally think thanks to the art style they’ve aged well. Also recognition for how groundbreaking, genre-defining and pivotal these games were being completely absent indicates a complete lack of research went into this article.

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