Anime fighting games are a carefully crafted art, and Arc System Works is the master artist. With many different game franchises under their belt, this company has brought out some of the most hype and colorful fighting games in history. Perhaps the one they are most known for is Guilty Gear. This zany series can be described in many ways, but everyone who likes fighting games agrees that there is at least some charm in the colors, sounds, and movements of the GG characters. So, whether you’re new to the series or just wanting a bit more info on this incredible franchise, we hope we can help you out!
How many Guilty Gear games are there total?
The Guilty Gear series includes seven core Guilty Gear games as well as seven updated versions. There are also six spin-off Guilty Gear games that aren’t usually counted among the core series.
The series began with the original Guilty Gear, which released in 1998 in Japan for the PlayStation. The most recent game in the main franchise, Guilty Gear Strive, released on June 11, 2021 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Microsoft Windows.
To add on top of the main franchise, there are multiple additions to the games called “Updated Versions.” These include patches and new characters that alter gameplay enough to require a new disc entirely. There are two updates for GG X, four updates for GG X2, and one update for GG Xrd REVELATOR. This totals seven updates for the Guilty Gear series so far.
Other than the mainline fighting games, there are also a group of spinoff games for the series. There are six in total, including the Petit series, Isuka and Dusk Strikers, Judgement, and Pro Jumper! Guilty Gear Tangent!?. Most of these games actually released outside of Japan, and tend to still be beat-em-ups, basic fighting games, or Arena fighters.
Which Guilty Gear should I play first?
There’s no wrong answer for which Guilty Gear game to play first; they all serve as a fine starting point. It’s true that all of the games have lore and mythos behind their characters, but it’s more fun to stop asking questions and just enjoy the chaos!
Because of this, you can realistically start right at the newest game, Strive. While Strive is the seventh game in the franchise, you’re not going to be missing out on the storyline all too much. The characters are well-established and don’t pull on their own backstory too much. And Strive is also the most new-player friendly entry to the series; since it’s new, there are a lot of players flocking in that you can test your skills with. Plus, it’s available on modern PlayStation consoles and PC, which makes it a bit easier to find than some of the older GG titles.
That being said, if you want to get the full experience, the original Guilty Gear is available on the Switch. You can begin there if you’d like to see where the series started out. This is the other reasonable starting point. And since it’s on the Switch, there are still a strong community of players that can help you test your skills… Though, you’ll likely not have quite as many new players to go against.
Is there an order to play Guilty Gear games?
There is no recommended order in which to play Guilty Gear games. It’s a fighting game franchise, so you can basically hop in wherever you want. Strive, the newest series release, offers a compelling narrative that doesn’t rely on the original games to be effective. However, the original GG might be a reasonable start for players who want to see how the series has evolved.
If you want to see how your favorite characters have developed over time, here is the numerical order:
- Guilty Gear (PlayStation, Switch, PS4, PC)
- GG X (Arcades, Dreamcast, PS2, PC, GBA)
- GG X2 (Arcades, PS2)
- XX Acent Core Plus R (PC, Switch, PS3)
- GG2: Overture (Xbox 360, PC)
- GG Xrd SIGN (Arcade, PS3, PS4, PC)
- GG Xrd REVELATOR (Arcade, PS3, PS4, PC)
- Xrd REV 2 (PC, PS3, PS4)
- GG Strive (PS4, PS5, PC)
All of these games are currently available, in some way, on PC. That means that a GG collector can actually own every single game on a modern console! That’s really cool, and pretty rare for most franchises.
Seriously, though: If you’re not collecting all of the games, you can start with Strive. That’s a good way to get into the series and characters before moving back to the more complex and tricky mechanics that Xrd and Overture have.
Which Guilty Gear is best?
The Guilty Gear games all have their charm, personality, and comedy. That being said, some games are certainly more popular than others.
Right now, according to Metacritic, there are several Guilty Gear games that are basically tied according to critics:
Currently, the numerically most popular game in the franchise is X2, at a solid 87 Critic score and 8.7 fan score. This is also among the hardest GG games to play currently, but these scores are definitely a sign of the beauty of Arc System Works’s earlier projects.
Guilty Gear Xrd REVELATOR is hugely popular amongst fans of the series for its fast gameplay, complex movesets, and crazy graphics. For the same reasons, Strive has also become popular among critics and fans alike… Though, the PS4 version has notably worse reviews from fans, likely due to online problems with the last generation of consoles.
As for the least popular game in the series, the worst Metacritic score for a Guilty Gear game comes from Overture, which received poor reviews from critics at the time of its release. This is likely due to the fact that Overture takes a small step away from the normal fighting game elements that the series is well-known for, and steps into the RTS genre. If you’re not a fan of fighting games but like the world of Guilty Gear, check out Overture. You might find a diamond in the rough!
Which One Do We Recommend?
Xrd REV 2 is a stellar game, but Strive is showing itself to be a more open for new players and ready to host massive lobbies. Because of that, we think that Strive is, right now, the best Guilty Gear game that you can purchase. While the mechanics are a bit more simple, it is the perfect gateway into this universe, and the combat engine is silky-smooth. Not to mention… It is a beautiful game!
Wanting more about Guilty Gear Strive? Check out some of our other Fighting Game articles!
- Does Guilty Gear Strive Have Crossplay?
- FighterZ Controls and the Future of Fighting Games
- Virtua Fighter 5 | How To Block
Jason Toro-McCue has committed his schooling to the study of the connection between game design and narrative. When he's not working on this bond through writing articles or guides, he's playing Dungeons & Dragons, or just playing games themselves and looking at the story there.