How to play all the Monster Hunter games in order

Nearly 20 years of hunting.

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The Monster Hunter series burst onto the scene in 2004 with the Japan-only debut game, simply titled Monster Hunter. If you want to play every game in the series in their order of release, you’ll have to do some hunting of your own, as there are multiple versions of each game on several different, competing platforms. If you’re up to the task, here’s how to find and play every game in the Monster Hunter franchise in the right order.

Monster Hunter/Freedom (2004/2005)

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The first Monster Hunter game was released in Japan initially, coming to North America later in 2004 for the PlayStation 2. I would see an enhanced, updated release in Monster Hunter Freedom for the PlayStation Portable. To play Freedom, you’ll need to invest in a PSP or use a PSP emulator.

Monster Hunter 2/Freedom 2/Unite (2006/2007/2008)

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As with the first game in the series, the base Monster Hunter 2 was only released in Japan, with Freedom 2 releasing a year later, again for the PSP and also iOS. For ease of use, we recommend emulating it. Freedom Unite was released a year after Freedom 2 as an enhanced version for PSP, adding multiplayer, a lengthy campaign, new weapons, armor, and other features.

Monster Hunter Tri/3 Ultimate (2010/2011)

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Originally only released on the Nintendo Wii, Monster Hunter Tri was later updated as Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, which launched for both 3DS and Wii U. The game is available on the Nintendo 3DS eShop for $19.99.

Monster Hunter 4/Ultimate (2013/2015)

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Like the previous initial launches, Monster Hunter 4 was released for the 3DS in Japan only, but 4 Ultimate came to western markets in 2015 for the 3DS.

Monster Hunter Generations (2015)

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Generations added some new and fun mechanics, like controlling your Felyne companions and new attacks and combo routes. It’s not currently available on the eShop because the updated title takes its place.

Monster Hunter Stories (2016)

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Stories is spin-off series that sees you collecting monsters as friends as well as hunting them, with a more significant focus on story and the addition of turn-based RPG combat. It’s available for the Nintendo 3DS.

Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate (2017)

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A fan-favorite entry for veterans of the series, Generations Ultimate introduced new monsters, weapons rarities, an expanded endgame, and Transfiguration, which allowed you to mix and match armor stats and effects among other additions.

Monster Hunter: World and Iceborne (2018, 2019)

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The introduction to Monster Hunter for many players, Monster Hunter: World released on PS4, Xbox One, and eventually PC in 2018 with much larger playspaces, a host of quality of life upgrades, and enormous weapon rebalancing across the board. The Iceborne expansion continued the trend, adding another huge world space, another 40+ hour campaign, and new monsters, gear, and mechanics.

Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin (2021)

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A follow-up to the original Stories title this Nintendo Switch game expands on the mechanics of the original with a new story and an even larger character focus.

Monster Hunter Rise and Sunbreak (2021, 2022)

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As the most recent Monster Hunter game, available on both Nintendo Switch and PC, Rise streamlined many of the mechanics World did not, including faster gathering, quicker access to hunts, less focus on story, and plenty of new and returning monsters. It also added the Wirebug and associated Silkbind moves, vastly expanding a hunter’s repertoire and enabling increased verticality of map design. The Sunbreak expansion, also massive, builds on the foundations laid by base Rise, with weapon rebalancing, new monster variants, a new story, and more.