Wolfenstein is a classic game that’s on another level when it comes to the legacy, on pair with such titles as the first Quake or Doom. It has a great hero story of William Joseph Blazkowicz, trying to kill Hitler and save the world from Nazis, zombie Nazis, mech-nazis, and futuristic Nazis at many different times. It’s crazy, it’s wild, it’s full of surprises. It’s just a Wolfenstein!
The first game from the series came out in, you’d better grab your chair – in 1981! Some people born that year have grown-up children right now! With that in mind, we just have to acknowledge how big of an impact this game had on the development of the First Person Shooter franchise.
Whether we’re talking about a hero’s journey, a one-man-army saving the world, Nazi zombies (it’s a theme!), or anything in between – Wolfenstein games were there to pave the path of greatness for generations to come.
With so many different installments of this crazy game in the history of gaming, it’s just something you cannot miss out on. So, grab your luger, and let’s dive into the crazy world of Wolfenstein-ing!
Here are the best Wolfenstein games ranked, so you know to go straight for the top (or just stroll around a bit, there is some cool stuff on the way).
We’re counting down!
10. Wolfenstein: Youngblood
- Release date: July 2019
- Developers: MachineGames, Arkane Studios
- Platforms: PC, Xbox One, Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, Stadia
- Meta Score: 69
As this old saying goes – if you want to do too much, you sometimes also land on your face. And this is the case of Wolfenstein: Youngblood from modern Wolfenstein games. So, let’s start with what works, shall we?
Well – it’s not buggy, and it’s not total crap if you will. Also, it’s pretty good in the whole first-person shooter genre. It’s still a well-produced game, you have to give them that. The graphics and sound design are excellent, so we can’t complain. Also, they added the first female protagonists as fully playable characters. It has to count for something, right? Also – you can play it in co-op! It’s always a plus.
But – it does not change the fact that Wolfenstein: Youngblood feels like a try-hard game.
Like a friend who wants you to like them. But, the fact that they want it so much makes it a little less special. Let’s take co-op, for example. They wanted us to play this game in co-op mode, yet they only made it so we could open doors together or something.
It doesn’t make any sense to push so much for it when it does not deliver on the whole – gameplay front. Also, it saddens us to say that even though we’re all for some representation in the gaming community, the first two playable woman characters in the series, Jessica and Sophia Blazkowicz, are some of the most annoying characters ever created.
And the setting! Well, with all the hype for the 80s now, you’d thought that you simply couldn't go wrong with some disco-era style clothing and stuff.
Well, you’d be wrong. You can capitalize on the hype all you want, but if you don’t deliver on the story front, there isn’t much to talk about. In the end – the cool game could benefit from some better execution.
Still, if you want to check it yourself, Wolfenstein: Youngblood is available at Royal Cd Keys.
- First Wolfenstein game in which you can play some co-op.
- Introducing two female protagonists to the series.
- The 1980s setting was a good creative choice…
- …but they could have done much better with the setting.
- Simple story – 10x better if you like some sibling’s banter.
9. Castle Wolfenstein
- Release date: 1981
- Developer: Muse Software
- Platforms: Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, MS-DOS
- Meta Score: N/A
Castle Wolfenstein, you may believe it or not, came before the famous Return to Castle Wolfenstein. And the opinions were mixed. It combined a lot of things in one game. The first one – it’s the godfather of the whole Wolfenstein series. It started it all back in the day, a franchise that is still going strong after so many years. It also launched stealth games by accident, but it was just additional stuff that happened accidentally. The most important thing was creating some Wolfesteins for future generations!
Anyways, the question you’re probably wondering is – but was it even good? How did you play it? Do people live that long?
Well, we’ll try to answer all those questions except for the last one as it is insulting for some of our editors. So first – it was ok. It was ok enough to let the whole series grow and be what it is right now–an incredibly fun franchise.
It was refreshing back in the day to not only go all out, guns blazing, killing everything at sight – but also – to create a diversion, hiding from enemies and trying to be invisible. It was an unusual experience at that time.
So, with that in mind – you’ll probably never try this game as it has over 40 years of experience, but now you know where it all started. You can probably play it on your phone nowadays, if we’re being honest. The same goes for Beyond Castle Wolfenstein, a sequel to this masterpiece released three years later.
- It’s the first game in Wolfenstein's history, it just had to be included.
- It started the genre and – the series.
- Great graphics! (at the time, now those are just some lines you could draw in paint).
8. Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot
- Release date: 2019
- Developer: Arkane Studios, Machine Games
- Platforms: Playstation 4, PC
- Meta Score: 54
We really cannot be as mad at this game as people want us to be. Like – you can try and be crazy over it or something, but in the end – it’s trying to do something groundbreaking, and for that – it deserves a spot on our list.
What do we mean by that? Well, this part of the Wolfenstein family is strictly reserved for some great VR action. So – it’s innovative, but is it good then? Well – it’s complicated.
As the whole VR experience is still coming up, especially for those big triple-A games, it’s not surprising that some of its elements are not as polished as they could have been. Let’s take controls, for example. Shooting is fun and all, but getting there is a nightmare. Trackpads are not the best of technologies, and many games are coming up, trying new stuff with movement in a VR set just because of how awkward trackpads are.
Also – everything else also feels basic, to be honest. As we stated before, it’s still a good shooting experience, but there are like two moves per each thing, so it’s not that exciting. It’s a novelty to be improved upon, for sure.
But what we disapprove of is that – if you have this crazy world of Wolfenstein – you could at least show some of it to us! Well, there is no reason not to include something completely bonkers to it if you have mostly plot and visuals playing for you.
In the end – it is what it is, and Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot (at least the first one) will be remembered as a game with potential. We’re putting it here hoping it could be improved upon, as there is a great game somewhere in there; it’s just not as obvious as it should have been.
- Wolfenstein in a VR setting feels great as a concept…
- …but delivery could be better.
- Great visuals and shooting mechanic….
- …but the potential was for much, much more.
7. Wolfenstein (2009)
- Release date: 2009
- Developer: Raven Software
- Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC
- Meta Score: 74
If you’ve ever wondered what happened after Return to Castle Wolfenstein, well – here you have it. A Bioshock game among the Wolfenstein family came to fruition. Nearly a decade after the first one, we got what we wanted. But did we really? Let’s dive in.
So, Wolfenstein from 2009 is mostly a classic first-person shooter, similar to what we remember from the 2002 installment. It’s crazy, with cool shooting and everything. Still, some time has passed, and plain old walking and shooting Nazis would probably not suffice for the audience wanting more. Raven Software did what it had to do. They added magic!
Supernatural was always a part of Wolfenstein's family, but in this case – it feels like they decided to give you some taste of it. And…it’s ok.
What you have to do is to look at what the competition was doing at the time. And, well, it looks pale in comparison. Like, you had Call of Duty 4, Bioshock, and many more that moved the goalpost far away, and just adding some supernatural elements would just not be enough. It felt dated when it came out, which is what we’re trying to get across.
But what worked is that after so many years, we got the experience of the absolute hilarious mayhem that is the Wolfenstein franchise.
It’s insane and does not make any sense, but damn, it is interesting! World War II was never this fun in Call of Duty. We can guarantee you that.
So, it was a good attempt that proved to us that, indeed, we needed some of the Wolfenstein action in our lives. Even though it wasn’t the best, it gave the impulse to return to the franchise so we could have…well, but that’s for later.
- Wolfenstein with superpowers feels great!
- A crazy, wacky story that was needed in the so-serious catalog at the time.
- It created hype for more Wolfenstein content.
6. Wolfenstein RPG
- Release date: 2009
- Developer: id Software, Fountainhead Entertainment
- Platforms: iOS, BREW, Java ME
- Meta Score: 88
As they say – that was an unexpected turn of events. A fully-fledged mobile/Java game in 2009 based on Wolfenstein world was made in part by id Software. Well, it came out great in the end. The game had heart, lots of laughs, and some of the more interesting mechanics ever created in a Wolfenstein game. Well, at least in other Wolfenstein games.
So – what is it, and what makes it so interesting? Well, first, you could play it on your phone or internet browser, so that’s convenient. Secondly – it was an RPG, a first-person turn-based game in Wolfenstein world which is a sentence that no one could predict. But – it is what it is, and for some reason, it works.
The plot is just hilarious and incredible to follow, with all the Nazi nonsense we all learned to cherish and love throughout the years. And somehow, they managed to create an excellent movement system even though it’s “just” a Java/Mobile game.
The best recommendation is this: if you have never thought about kicking a mutated chicken, here is your chance to do so. It’s funny, it’s entertaining – it’s Wolfenstein! What more can you ask for? A Doom RPG? (it is a thing if you don’t know, so, yeah, now you know).
- A great and light introduction to the Wolfenstein family for Mobile/Java users.
- An immersive and funny plot with hilarious moments #mutatedchickens.
- RPG elements with turned-based gameplay work really well for some reason.
5. Wolfenstein: The Old Blood
- Release date: 2015
- Developer: Machine Games
- Platforms: Xbox One, Playstation 4, PC
- Meta Score: 76
It used to be a fun house – as Pink sang – but in this case – it was always a terrible. It’s a kind of remake of the old and gold Return to Castle Wolfenstein. And – it is as stealthy as we remember it. Of course, shooting elements are also solid in this one, but you can’t just get out and start shooting everyone, like in the case of Doom or something. Here it’s a much more subtle and elegant guns blazing experience.
It’s really good at what it tries to accomplish. First of all – it’s an incredibly well-put-together Wolfenstein. With a solid plot, well-thought-through puzzle elements of gameplay, and lots of crazy elements and even crazier Nazi inventions trying to stop you in your tracks, you have a perfect game for what it is.
The only thing that is not working in this one is that it’s a Wolfenstein game and that’s really much it. There is no “new” gameplay or “new” mechanics. It’s just a constant amazing action going on and on, and on forever and ever. It’s a standalone prequel that other titles wish to have, but it’s a prequel at its core with nothing more. If it’s your destiny to play Wolfenstein – you should give this one a chance. You will probably get caught in a Wolfenstein world that it’s so hard to escape. Ultimately – it’s a game with a solid adventure, and some ups and downs but overall – worth checking out for sure!
Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is available at Royal Cd Keys.
- If Return to Castle Wolfenstein is a bit too old for you – you got to download this one to better understand the sequel.
- It does everything well and still, to this day, in more ways than one – it’s a solid fps released in the last decade.
- Stealth elements being brought back to the series really added to the overall combat experience.
4. Return to Castle Wolfenstein
- Release date: 2001
- Developer: Gray Matter Interactive, Splash Damage and Nerve Software
- Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Xbox, PlayStation 2
- Meta Score: 87
2001 was a great year for gaming. And it’s mostly because of this gem. Return to Castle Wolfenstein is one of the best game-at-the-time in the history of the best games-at-a-particular-time ranking.
It is an excellent example of a game that not only adds to what came before it but develops the whole concept into some amazing territory. This one is truly marvelous without any hesitation. Stealth sequences are amazing, storyline is outstanding and B.J. Blazkowicz finally got a game to show how great the concept of Wolfenstein really is. It’s a little old but if you squeeze your eyes a bit, you can see still see what made people go crazy over this game back in the day. We cannot recommend this one enough!
And we really cannot speak of this game without mentioning Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory. We’ve decided just to add this one to this place because it’s essentially a Return to Castle Wolfenstein +.
Not only was it freeware at the time, but also had new amazing modes, maps, RPG elements, classes, and much more.
This one was years ahead of its time, and we can surely state that the question of whether Modern Warfare would be as good as it was without Enemy Territory as its predecessor is up in the air.
The legend says that the whole gaming newspapers’ editor rooms went blank after the release of this game. Truly a masterpiece to be enjoyed.
Return to Castle Wolfenstein is available at Royal Cd Keys.
- An amazing multiplayer of Enemy Territory with the implementation of classes and RPG elements that were really nowhere to be seen at the time.
- Great story with a lead that has no internal monologue but yet is an extremely charismatic character.
- Worldbuilding, worldbuilding, worldbuilding – killing Nazis has never been more fun than in this game.
3. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
- Release date: 2017
- Developer: Machine Games
- Platforms: PC, Xbox One, Playstation 4
- Meta Score: 88
Similarly to the case of Return to Castle Wolfenstein, The New Colossus does everything right when it comes to the polishing the rough edges of the first game. It does not add much to the New Order, but it takes it to the place where New Order has no weak points.
But most of all – it is just so damn fun to play! It feels like a crazy satirical movie about some guy who is just slamming Nazis left and right. And the whole game just feels like it’s a big and amazing play with you in the center of it, just rowing through the enemies and encountering such great villains like Frau Engel, who will forever have a stay in gaming history.
When it comes to the FPS genre – it really is perfection. Mick Gordon and Martin Stig Andersen did a great job regarding composing a unique soundtrack that adds to the atmosphere of serious but on the other hand - extremely wild action. The whole absurdity aspect of this alternative history with Nazis taking over the world is on par with some Terry Gilliam films or Delicatessen.
- Probably the best Wolfenstein title released as it improves on the groundbreaking New Order - but not as groundbreaking as the number one spot.
- Frau Engel is one of the best villains in the history of gaming (also – check out the head-chopping scene if you’re not sure about this game yet).
- Still looks and sounds amazing after a few years since the release.
- A ridiculously funny and stupid plot that will make you feel like you’re in an action movie from the 80s.
2. Wolfenstein 3D
- Release date: 1992
- Developer: id Software
- Platforms: DOS, Arcade (VR), PC-98, SNES, Jaguar, Classic Mac OS, Acorn, Archimedes, 3DO, Apple IIGS, Game Boy Advance, Xbox, Linux, iOS, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 (PSN), Android, Microsoft Windows
- Meta Score: N/A
Here we are – the man, the myth, the legend. It’s where it all started. Of course, it’s not the series' first game, but in some ways, it really is. Upon the first release of this game, everything in the gaming industry went blank for a while. Wait, you can do 3D models and just walk around shooting stuff! What the hell!
And it has begun. All the games you see and enjoy have the same engine that was put into this little masterpiece so many years ago. As you may presume, 3D was not something that just existed. We had to get there with many years of a thorough search for ways to introduce 3D models into modern gaming. This is the best we could come up with, and it was glorious.
Also, many people just stay in awe that Wolfenstein 3D with a Spear of Destiny expansion pack changed the gaming industry, but they seem to forget that it was a fantastic game in its realm. Like honestly – the Hitler in some kind of mech suit trying to kill you was hilarious!
Of course, it’s not as enjoyable right now as it was so many years ago, but it’s a testament to what we’ve accomplished throughout the years, and just for that – it’s worth putting on this list.
- The first game to introduce and master the 3D model of level design.
- This game made a pathway to hundreds of others games we all love and cherish today. It’s indeed a museum piece in itself
- Really funny story that, even though it’s simple by today’s standards, it’s still very enjoyable even after so many years.
1. Wolfenstein: The New Order
- Release date: 2014
- Developer: MachineGames
- Platforms: Xbox 360, Xbox One, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, PC
- Meta Score: 81
Here we are, the number one spot on our list – Wolfenstein: The New Order. First question first – if the New Colossus is better, why is this one at the top of the list? Well – it’s the foundation that the sequel was based upon. If this didn’t happen, there would be no reason to talk about the other. It paved the way for everything that came after it.
What made The New Order special? Well – the freshness of the gameplay. Not only did it have this crazy alternate history in place and a strong protagonist, but it also introduced some cool mechanics to the whole series. It introduced alternative choices that can influence the story, customizable weapons, and a new melee fighting system with dozens of animations.
It is really a full package, for sure. The non-silent B.J. Blazkowicz was a great narrative choice.
Wolfenstein: The New Order is available at Royal Cd Keys.
- Introduced some cool mechanics like cover shooting and advanced melee fighting.
- Strong voice acting, especially for the protagonist.
- Crazy alternative history world after World War II where Nazis won the World War.
Thanks For Stopping By!
As per usual - we’ve got the good, the bad and the ugly on our list. Wolfenstein is a tremendous franchise that is so grotesque in what it tries to accomplish – you really can’t get mad at it. For us, it was a pleasure putting together a list like this for you guys, and really a trip down memory lane for sure.
Check out our other lists if you want to find your new favorite game!