How to play the Armored Core games in order

How to be a good Raven.

Image via FromSoftware

One of From Software’s oldest franchises is the venerable Armored Core series. Debuting all the way back in 1997 on the first generation PlayStation console, it has since seen 17 different games across several consoles. In 2023, Armored Core is set to return for the first time since 2013’s Armored Core: Verdict Day. Newer players may be wondering how to play the games in the correct order. Do the numbers actually mean something? Here’s the proper order to play the Armored Core games across the series.

Related: Every Armored Core game, in release order

The Armored Core series in proper order

At the heart of the matter, each “generation” of Armored Core games is mainly represented by a number. The order in which you can experience these does not matter as the stories do not interconnect in any meaningful way; Armored Core 2 does not connect to Armored Core 3, and so on. Players could port their saves from one game to the next within the same generation, but not across different generations. However, in the PlayStation 2 years, there was a generational leap between Silent Line and Nexus. So much so that mechanics and parts from previous games were so significantly retooled that older saves did not work. Therefore, Nexus was treated as if it were a beginning of a new generation of games.

Certain games without a numerical title are connected within certain generations and do have a continued plot, but a few are considered not part of the canon or are ports of different titles to a different console. Listed below are the games in chronological and canonical order by their story:

First Generation:

  1. Armored Core (1997)
  2. Armored Core: Project Phantasma
  3. Armored Core: Master of Arena

Second Generation:

  1. Armored Core 2
  2. Armored Core 2: Another Age

Third Generation:

  1. Armored Core 3
  2. Silent Line: Armored Core

Third Generation Reboot:

  1. Armored Core: Nexus
  2. Armored Core: Nine Breaker *(This is a non-canonical spinoff that was an arcade-type experience, but players could port their saves from Nexus to Nine Breaker and forward into Last Raven as well, preserving their parts gained from these titles.)
  3. Armored Core: Last Raven

Fourth Generation:

  1. Armored Core 4
  2. Armored Core: For Answer

Fifth Generation:

  1. Armored Core V
  2. Armored Core: Verdict Day

Sixth Generation:

  1. Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon *(Coming in 2023 for PC, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, and Xbox One and Xbox Series S/X consoles.)

Independent games or non-canonical spinoffs:

  1. Armored Core: Formula Front *(A game released on PSP and re-released on PS2. No saves or data could be transferred to these versions.)