Volition's Saints Row series of open-world action-adventure games have comfortably found their niche today.
Initially considered a "GTA clone," the series has created its own brand, thanks to its over-the-top nature and humor. Over the years, the Boss and their gang have seen several entries in the franchise. Some were well-received, while others weren't.
With the upcoming reboot around the corner, newcomers might want a taste of what's to come. Listed below are all the Saints Row games, ranked from worst to best.
Note: This article is subjective and solely reflects the opinions of the writer
Saints Row: Gat out of Hell and other Saints Row games, ranked from worst to best
6) Agents of Mayhem
Bringing to mind Microsoft's Crackdown games, Agents of Mayhem is a 2017 spin-off set in the Saints Row universe. It takes place in a futuristic Seoul (in South Korea) and features the organization M.A.Y.H.E.M. battling against the villainous group called L.E.G.I.O.N.
Inspired by superhero cartoon shows, the sci-fi third-person shooter sees players navigate the colorful open-world city in high-tech vehicles and armed with whacky gadgets.
There are several heroes to pick from, each with unique playstyles and skills. They can also be swapped on the fly.
Unfortunately, the shallow and repetitive nature of the game failed to captivate players and critics alike. It is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
5) Saints Row: Gat out of Hell
Taking place after Saints Row IV, 2015's Gat out of Hell is an interesting trip to the underworld.
After the Boss is captured by Satan and carried off to hell to marry the devil's daughter, Kinzie Kensington and Johnny Gat must save them.
Gat out of Hell is a standalone expansion and, as such, borrows the core fundamentals from SR4. Throughout the campaign, players can explore (including flying through) the hellish city of New Hades and engage in mini-games to progress.
Sadly, the game lacks any of the charm that makes the series beloved and even key elements like customization. It feels like a rehash of SR4 with a new coat of paint.
Gat out of Hell is available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC.
4) Saints Row
Released exclusively for the Xbox 360 in 2006, Saints Row was the first-ever open-world game to grace the seventh generation of gaming consoles.
As a custom-created character, players join the 3rd Street Saints gang and rise up the ranks by taking down opposing criminal syndicates. Players can drive around, engage in third-person combat and perform various activities to help their empire grow.
In addition to being available only on one platform, the game is fundamentally the worst in the series due to its technical shortcomings and age. However, it is still one of the more respected entries on the list because it established the foundation Saints Row fans have come to love.
3) Saints Row IV
A standalone title inspired by the third installment, Saints Row IV ups the zanyness to 11. The series officially enters sci-fi territory with this 2013 game as the Boss is abducted by aliens after becoming the president of the United States. Stuck in a simulation of SR3's Steelport city, players must find a way out and take down the alien villain Zinyak.
While the mechanics are unchanged from SR3, new additions diversify the experience. These additions range from a new hacking mechanic (akin to Bioshock's pipe-minigame) to superhuman abilities, not unlike EA's Prototype. The Boss can sprint at high speeds and glide vast distances while possessing telekinesis and the ability to freeze foes.
However, the game is often considered the beginning of the series' decline. It is available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC.
2) Saints Row: The Third
Released in 2011, SRTT (or SR3) takes on a more comedic tone compared to its predecessor. This time, the Saints must once again rebuild their forces to take over the city of Steelport and defeat the Syndicate crime organization.
The game doesn't take itself seriously, so the humor may not be for everyone. However, it is a step up from the previous entry in some ways, including from a technical perspective.
By completing missions and engaging in side-activities (such as the physics-driven Insurance Fraud and the Genki challenge arena) players can climb up the ladder and take over the city piece by piece. However, the game is admittedly let down by a dull open world, a problem that future entries suffer from, too.
SRTT is available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC. A remaster is also available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and PC.
1) Saints Row 2
This is the absolute peak of the series. Saints Row 2 builds upon the foundations of the original for a richer, bigger experience.
After waking up from a coma, the Boss must bring back the disbanded Saints members and face off against new rival gangs.
This is the only entry that balances every aspect well. It has a good plot, memorable characters, fun gameplay, varied missions and even more customization compared to future entries.
The open-world city of Stillwater features far more varied areas than Steelport. Another element the game gets right is its aesthetic, which is a lot more serious than future entries. While the newer games are all about empowering the character to feel like a badass, SR2 does so while feeling grounded at the same time.
The game is available on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. Note that the PC version is one of the worst ports ever made, suffering from unstable performance and crashes even to this day.
Those aiming to check it out might want to download fan patches to stabilize the game, such as Gentlemen of the Row, which also features other tweaks and additions to gameplay.