Ever since its introduction, Borderlands has been able to make its mark on the gaming world. The first game set things off with a trailer that was both intriguing and confusing. The art style was different from anything we had seen, but it worked. The world seemed intense and we wondered what kind of game it would be. It turned out to be one of the greatest looter shooters of the generations. Borderlands had guns, a ton of them. And every one of them was a little different and sometimes a lot better. Then Borderlands released some sequels. Some of them were great and one of them was one of the best games to ever be released in the looter shooter genre. We’re here to rank every single Borderlands game and let you know which one is the most complete Borderlands experience.
The original Borderlands was the bread and butter of the series. Even if it is last on our list, it doesn’t mean it’s bad by any means. We just wished that the story would have given a little bit more in terms of content. Everything was pretty simple. Vault Hunters find the Vault. There are some fun characters but we can tell that the developers focused on the gameplay with this one because the abilities and guns are fantastic, but the characters themselves don’t interact with the outside world.
Synopsis: “A beacon of hope for the remaining colonists emerges in the form of a mysterious alien Vault carved in the side of a mountain. This Vault is said to contain vast stores of alien technology and secrets. The only problem is that the people who discovered the Vault were completely wiped out by some sort of protective force, with the only evidence of their discovery being a scattered radio transmission, proclaiming the Vault’s majesty, but not its location. The stories of this wealth have sparked renewed interest in Pandora, and corporations and treasure hunters have begun to return to the wastelands to try and claim the treasures of the Vault.”
4. Borderlands The Pre-Sequel
The Pre-Sequel is technically the third game to be released in the original Borderlands timeline but it takes place before Borderlands 2. It centers around Handsome Jack and what made him spiral into evil. The Pre-Sequel brings back what we loved about Borderlands 2, and even dives deeper into the characters. It’s fun to see our Vault Hunters engage a lot more than usual and for fans of Borderlands 2, you’ll be happy with all the callbacks to the series. We get to see a lot of characters in their original forms. They did add an annoying oxygen component that makes it so that players need to keep an eye on their oxygen or they will randomly start to lose health.
Synopsis: “Set at a point between Borderlands and Borderlands 2, four aspiring Vault Hunters fight alongside Handsome Jack, witnessing his transformation into the ruthless tyrant people loved to hate in Borderlands 2, and inadvertently assisting with the rise of the Hyperion Corporation and his position within it. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel begins as Colonel Zarpedon and her Lost Legion assault and capture the Helios space station. Jack proceeds to send his new Vault Hunters to the surface of Elpis, Pandora’s moon, to find a way to retake the station. Unlike Borderlands or Borderlands 2, where events take place as they occur, the events of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is the story told by a captured Athena to an audience of Lilith, Mordecai, and Brick, with occasional interjects from other characters as the story progresses.”
3. Borderlands 3
Borderlands 3 is a game that we waited for, for a very long time. After the success of Borderlands 2, we were hoping that Borderlands 3 would just build up on everything and deliver an equally impactful story. Unfortunately, it did a lot of things, but the characters just weren’t memorable and neither were the guns. The abilities were top notch and the gameplay itself was amazing, but we just wanted a villain that would at least remind us of how powerful of a character Handsome Jack was.
Synopsis: “Borderlands 3 takes place approximately seven years after the events of Borderlands 2 and six years after the events of Tales from the Borderlands. Borderlands 3 begins with four new Vault Hunters – Amara the Siren, FL4K the Beastmaster, Moze the Gunner, and Zane the Operative. They join Lilith’s Crimson Raiders as recruits sent to investigate the Children of the Vault cult and their mysterious leaders, the Calypso twins, Tyreen and Troy, who are believed to be in possession of the long lost Vault Map. Upon reclaiming the Vault Map, The Crimson Raiders and allies board the Sanctuary III spacecraft to journey beyond Pandora to other planets throughout the galaxy to claim the Vaults they hold before the Calypsos can steal their power for themselves.”
2. Tales From The Borderlands
Tales from the Borderlands was a real surprise when it was announced. Tell Tales was on a huge roll with games like The Wolf Among Us and The Walking Dead and their storytelling was top tier so when a game in the Borderlands universe was announced we were excited. The game focused on the story because this time there was no looter shooter mechanics. It introduced some heartwarming characters and let us see how the Borderlands world was when it came to just an average Hyperion employee. It brings back Handsome Jack in an interesting way and we loved every second of it. We wish Borderlands 3 would’ve taken more from it and expanded on some of the points.
Synopsis: “Unlike the Borderlands shooter games, Tales of the Borderlands is a storytelling adventure where players choose how the story plays out. There are twists and turns that are dependent on player choices, and using simple keyboard or mouse commands players will be asked to react to situations. The game will usually wait until a decision is made, but sometimes choices must be made before time runs out. “The episodes feature two main characters: Rhys, a Hyperion business shark, and Fiona, a tough-as-nails con artist. They have vastly different personalities but their circumstances force them to work together. How they and other characters in the story react is up to the player. Every choice made and everything they say is remembered by other characters and can influence later events.”
1. Borderlands 2
Borderlands 2 is easily the best game in the series and it isn’t even close. Handsome Jack is an incredible antagonist that will have you laughing and smiling throughout the whole game. He’ll also piss you off. But we love it. The game also features some of the best Vault Hunters in the game with some of the most iconic abilities. Maya’s Siren ability allows you to warp enemies into a cacoon sort of thing and once fully upgraded can dish out tons of elemental damage. It’s just plain fun. The DLC was also some of the best we’ve seen and the guns are at their best here. Every gun feels unique and when you get a legendary gun it feels special.
Synopsis: “Set five years after the events of Borderlands, Handsome Jack, the game’s main antagonist, has taken over the Hyperion Corporation, declared himself Dictator of Pandora and taken all of the credit for finding The Vault – going so far as to claim responsibility for killing The Destroyer. Jack has also blotted out much of the light on the planet by having a giant orbiting H-shaped base set in front of Pandora’s stationary moon, creating a ‘big brother’ atmosphere throughout the planet. The new group of Vault Hunters in Borderlands 2 are tasked with killing Jack and returning peace to Pandora.”