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How to play the Far Cry games in timeline order

For a more chronological playthrough challenge.

The Far Cry series is one of the longest-standing action game franchises in gaming, with the first game being released all the way back in 2004. The Far Cry games always had a unique quirk to them that set them apart from similar titles, not to mention some of the most memorable characters, especially in the antagonist department. As all of the games take place in different eras and settings, you might be wondering what order should you play in. In this article, we will list all of the mainline Far Cry games in their in-world timeline order.

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What is the play order for the Far Cry series?

One of the main draws of the Far Cry franchise is that each game is completely standalone in relation to the other games in the series. That means that you can pick up any game that you find interesting and play it without fear that you’re losing out on vital story elements. Just pick and choose and play the ones that you find the most fascinating.

Far Cry games in timeline order

10.000 BC – Far Cry Primal

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It should come as no surprise that the game set during the dawn of mankind would be the first on our list. Released in 2016, Far Cry Primal was a big departure from the established norms of the series. Instead of guns, you wield flint weapons and bows. You can tame animals and collect material in more of a survival-lite version of Far Cry than the action-oriented gameplay of other titles. Primal is very different from other Far Cry games but well worth a shot.

1960-70s – Far Cry 5: Hours of Darkness

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Hours of Darkness is a standalone expansion for Far Cry 5, presenting a completely separate story from the main game. The action takes place in Vietnam during the war with the USA, and you take part as a mercenary fighting for the Americans. Unlike the main game, this DLC favors a stealthy approach in a short but sweet departure to this historical real-world conflict.

2007 – Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon

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Next up we have another standalone DLC that is far more famous than perhaps even its main game. Blood Dragon takes place in an alternate dystopian 2007, whose setting takes massive hints to the ‘80s action movie era. There are homages to the Terminator, Rambo, Escape from New York, Universal Soldier, Blade Runner, and more. It’s a great time, especially if you’re a fan of the genres that inspired it.

2008 – Far Cry 2

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Far Cry 2 was released in the same year that the game takes place. It centers around the conflicts in Central Africa, so that means that you’ll be running and gunning around savannas and jungles. As the second game in the series, Far Cry 2 set up the precedent for the franchise that sequels don’t follow the stories of their predecessors, which helped set the franchise apart in the first place.

2012 – Far Cry 3

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When you hear about Far Cry 3, you immediately think of one name — Vaas Montenegro. This psychopathic villain became so iconic with the title, enough that fans of the franchise have been clamoring for his return ever since. Far Cry 3 takes place on a fictional tropical island called Rook Island, where the protagonist is on a mission to save his friends from their pirate abductors. This entry solidified and expanded on everything that the first two games did right and is a fun romp even 10 years after its release.

2014 – Far Cry 4

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Far Cry 4 almost broke the formula, as it was first planned to be a direct sequel to Far Cry 3. Luckily, that didn’t come to pass, and instead, we were taken to Kyrat in the Himalayas. Following the same gameplay formula of the previous games, this installment also introduced a few ‘firsts’ for the franchise — multiplayer, map editor, and more RPG elements. The fans wanted more of the same, and Ubisoft delivered that and more.

2018 – Far Cry 5

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Another Far Cry game, another great villain. This time, it’s a “prophet” called Father Joseph Seed and his doomsday cult. Set in rural Montana, in the fictional Hope County region, Far Cry 5 takes our nameless protagonist to backwater America which features everything you would expect from cheesy tongue-in-cheek humor and a good dose of megalomania. Unfortunately, this game’s success was marred by a few microtransaction controversies but is an otherwise fun Far Cry experience.

2021 – Far Cry 6

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The latest entry to the franchise takes us back to tropical locales, where a fictional Carribian island nation faces rising totalitarianism. Legendary actor Giancarlo Esposito embodies the ruthless villain El Presidente Antón Castillo, who’s on a mission to bring back his son and heir apparent. The game is filled with political drama and tough moral choices, but still lives and breathes that Far Cry brand of gameplay that the fans have grown accustomed to. 

2025 – Far Cry

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The first game in the franchise is set in the future, after something that is called “The Collapse” — a nuclear catastrophe of global proportions that essentially reset the world. From the get-go, Far Cry established its identity with a vast world to explore, plenty of guns to shoot, and vehicles to drive. It’s something that every game that followed embraced and expanded upon. It might look dated now, but back in the day, Far Cry was one of those games that needed a beast to run.

2035 – Far Cry: New Dawn

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New Dawn marks the first standalone expansion in the series, naturally following after the first game. It takes place 10 years after Far Cry’s timeline and is set in a completely different locale that’s more Mad Max than anything else. None of the storylines and characters from Far Cry make an appearance in New Dawn, so it’s able to tell its own story. Clearly, Blood Dragon is where New Blood got its DNA from and where Ubisoft got the idea that separate timelines can work really well if the gameplay is solid.

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Image of Miljan Truc
Miljan Truc
I have been into gaming since the days of Sega Mega Drive and Amiga. Over the years in gaming, I have raided at a high level, completed rare achievements, coached other players, and written about games since 2016. Whether it’s been clicking heads; developing cities, colonies, and empires; or commanding parties of adventurers; I’ve always prided myself on being able to understand the underlying mechanics of games. Outside of gaming, I enjoy a variety of activities and hobbies, including playing with my pup Astra, working out, as well as crafting, painting, and leatherwork.