Monster Hunter is a popular franchise that has captivated gamers worldwide with its thrilling gameplay and epic battles against monstrous creatures. This article ranks the top 10 Monster Hunter games based on their critical acclaim and fan reception. Topping the list is Monster Hunter: World, praised for its stunning visuals and expansive open world. Following closely are Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate and Monster Hunter Generations, both delivering exceptional gameplay and satisfying challenges. Other notable entries include Monster Hunter Freedom Unite and Monster Hunter Portable 3rd. The article also provides insights into each game’s unique features that have contributed to their success..
What are the best Monster Hunter games?
Created by Capcom, Monster Hunter is a fantasy action RPG that first debuted in 2004 for the PlayStation 2.
Tasking players with capturing or hunting down dangerous monsters, this game series has sold over 90 million units in total.
However, not all games in the Monster Hunter series have been successful, and today we’re looking at the ones that have stood out the most.
The 10 Best Monster Hunter Games
In order to create this list, we have considered the content of each Monster Hunter game, as well as its popularity and sales.
This has allowed us to round up the most successful games in the franchise and the ones that have had the biggest impact on the industry.
Get your Palicoes ready because here’s our list of the 10 best Monster Hunter games:
10. Monster Hunter
Kicking off our list, we have the first Monster Hunter game, which came to the PlayStation 2 in 2004.
As one of the best PS2 games ever created, Monster Hunter quickly became incredibly popular, selling over a million copies.
While much of the game can be played solo and offline, there is a lot of content only accessible online.
For example, the rewards earned from slaying monsters will be much less offline, making it more efficient to play while connected.
However, the goal online isn’t to kill as many monsters as possible, but rather to earn high ranks as a hunter.
Quests in this game are given either by the Village Elder or the Guild, and there are three different types you can expect.
These include Hunting, Gathering, and Capture, though hunter tasks make up a majority that players will receive.
Gathering requires players to collect either herbs or monster parts, while Capture tasks involve taking monsters alive using traps after weakening them.
This game singlehandedly kickstarted the Monster Hunter franchise, and while later games have surpassed it, it remains incredibly fun!
9. Monster Hunter Tri/ 3 Ultimate
Monster Hunter Tri was released in Japan in 2009, later coming to the West a year later as Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate.
While it was originally planned to be a title for the PS3, this was scrapped in favor of the Nintendo Wii.
Two years later, it also debuted on the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS with revised graphics and the ability to import game progress.
Although online multiplayer has since been shut down for the Wii, when the game was new, up to four players could co-op together during quests.
Quests in the online mode were designed to be more difficult to compensate for additional players, and this can still be accessed on the Wii U.
Monster Hunter Tri/ 3 Ultimate is similar to previous games in the series, allowing players to take on the role of a hunter.
However, it also reintroduces the G rank, a high-level feature that makes monsters harder but weapons and armor rewards better.
This setting hadn’t been seen since Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, and it was a well-received addition by fans.
Upon its release, over a million copies were sold for the Wii, along with an additional 2.6 million copies for the 3DS.
Despite not being the best-selling Monster Hunter game, it certainly was able to make its mark and remains a fan favorite today.
8. Monster Hunter Stories 2
Published in 2021 for the Nintendo Switch, Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin is an RPG and sequel to Monster Hunter Stories, which we’ll cover below.
This action RPG features 100 monsters to beat in the main game and an additional 150 that unlock after the main story.
There are many bosses and minibosses in this game, and some even make the hardest Elden Ring bosses look easy.
Once you complete the main game, things get even more difficult, with high-ranking and rare monsters becoming available.
The main story revolves around the disappearance of Rathalos around the world and strange pits appearing with strange pink lights glowing from deep within.
When monsters with pink, glowing eyes start appearing, it is up to players to slay them and find out what is going on!
Although the turn-based battle system is a bit repetitive at times, Monster Hunter Stories 2 quickly became very successful.
Once you get past the slow opening section, it is easy to lose hours exploring this game and gaining higher ranks.
Selling 1.5 million copies in total, this Monster Hunter game is easily one of the best ever created for the series.
7. Monster Hunter Stories
Monster Hunter Stories was released as one of the best Nintendo 3DS games in 2017 and quickly became a top-selling game.
This installment in the Monster Hunter series gives players the role of Rider instead of Hunter and the goal of befriending monsters.
While you still have to battle plenty of difficult foes, your main aim will be stealing monster eggs and hatching them.
Unlike other games, Stories features a traditional turn-based combat system with three types of attacks: Power, Speed, and Technical.
Each of these attack types will do more damage against some foes than others, so you need to pay attention to your foe’s weaknesses.
This RPG, as the name might suggest, also boasts a remarkably engaging story that keeps you wanting to learn more.
Although it originally debuted on the 3DS, it was later ported to Android and iOS devices with updated graphics and a new UI.
The success of this game led to the creation of its sequel, mentioned above, and both are now beloved by fans.
Monster Hunter Stories is a unique entry in the series, but its difference is what makes it such a must-play for anyone who loves the franchise.
6. Monster Hunter Freedom Unite
Monster Hunter Freedom Unite is an action RPG, and it expands upon the original Monster Hunter Freedom 2.
Released in 2008, Freedom Unite features more equipment, more missions, and more monsters than Freedom 2.
This game also allows players to hold 99 of each item in boxes, store 20 equipment sets for easy access, and recruit a new Lelyne companion.
There is even a new type of quest, called a Epic Hunting Quest, which allows players to take on up to four monsters in a single mission.
Well received by fans and critics, this game quickly became the fifth best-selling game for the PSP, selling 3.8 million copies in Japan alone.
Although it was only ever made playable on the PSP, we’re still holding out hope that it might be ported to other consoles in the future.
While there was a rumor that an Italian developer was working on a remaster in 2020, so far, nothing more concrete has come forward.
Fortunately, if you no longer have a PSP to play this game on, you can still use one of the best PSP emulators, many of which can run it perfectly.
5. Monster Hunter Generations/Generations Ultimate
Released in 2015 in Japan before coming to the rest of the world a year later, Monster Hunter Generations is one of the biggest installments in the franchise.
Featuring gameplay similar to other titles, Generations revolves around hunting dangerous creatures.
While all 14 types of weapons from MonsterHunter 4 Ultimate make a return, there is a new role that allows players to play as a Felyne.
To become more powerful, players can use materials harvested from monsters to craft better armor and upgrade weapons.
This will enable players to be able to take on more difficult monsters and, in turn, upgrade their weapons further and craft even better armor.
Due to the popularity garnered by these gameplay enhancements, Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate was released in 2017 in Japan and in 2018 internationally.
Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate was created as a Nintendo Switch port that allowed for progress to be transferred between the 3DS and the Switch.
Generations Ultimate also boasts cross-platform multiplayer, allowing players on either the Switch or the 3DS to play with each other.
To date, this game has sold 8.3 million copies in total, easily making it one of the most successful games in the Monster Hunter franchise.
4. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate
Originally released in Japan as Monster Hunter 4 in 2013, this title debuted internationally as Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate in 2015.
Similar to other Monster Hunter games, 4 Ultimate has players take up the mantle of Hunter with the goal of completing quests to defeat dangerous monsters.
As players complete quests, they will be rewarded with items, money, and materials that they can use to become stronger.
When questing, players are taken to a distant region, usually made up of several smaller areas where creatures roam and need to be vanquished.
A majority of these quests require players to kill one or more monsters, though some have time limits or resource limits.
Players are only allowed to die twice, and after the third time, the quest will be considered failed, with all rewards forfeited.
What makes this game unique is that there is a much greater emphasis on 3D movement and combat.
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate was also the first game in the series to have fully integrated online multiplayer.
This easily made it one of the best multiplayer games of all time, as it added a whole new level of connectivity with other players.
Once released in North America, it became the fastest-selling Monster Hunter game in the region, selling an ultimate total of 4 million units worldwide.
3. Monster Hunter Rise
Monster Hunter Rise came to the Nintendo Switch in 2021, introducing many new features and mechanics that fans instantly loved.
While it still follows a similar path as previous titles, there is a new companion, the Palamute, that can be used to traverse the map or ride into battle.
The maps in Monster Hunter Rise are also seamless, like in Monster Hunter World, and have a much greater focus on vertical movement.
Four Hunters can also band together in the online multiplayer mode, while in single-player, players can use up to two companions at any time.
Along with the traditional hunting quests, Rise also introduces a tower defense mode, where players have to defend villages from numerous monsters.
Rise also benefits from the expansion, Sunbreak, which adds in the Skill Swap feature, allowing players to switch their skills mid-hunt.
One of the newest games in the series, Rise is the perfect thing to play while waiting for Monster Hunter Now to be released!
2. Monster Hunter World: Iceborne
Okay, so, Icebourne is an expansion pack for Monster Hunter World, but it deserves its own spot on our list for reasons we’ll explain below.
Monster Hunter World: Iceborne was released in 2019 for the PS4 and Xbox One, and it adds a ton of new monsters.
It also features a brand-new story that takes place in Hoarfrost Reach, an arctic region that looks absolutely gorgeous.
Along with boasting one of the largest maps in the entire Monster Hunter series, Iceborne is also much more open, allowing for a lot of exploration.
New mechanics have also been added, including snow slowing down player movement and adding stamina depletion in the cold.
The Clutch Claw gadget was also added in this expansion, a tool that allows players to grapple monsters and stun them with Flinch Shot.
Additionally, Iceborne adds a new hunter rank, the Master Rank, which allows players to encounter harder enemies and earn even better rewards.
As of 2022, Monster Hunter World: Iceborne has sold 9.2 million copies across all platforms, making it a huge commercial success.
1. Monster Hunter World
Taking our number one spot is Monster Hunter World, the fifth title of the mainline Monster Hunter games.
Released for the PS4 and Xbox One in 2018, this game has all of the mechanics that fans of the series love but makes some notable improvements.
Monster Hunter World removes the zones of previous games and instead offers players a much more open world map.
It also boasts improved AI for monsters, making them even more difficult to defeat, especially at higher levels.
The UI has also been overhauled, and an optimized online co-op mode added, though one that doesn’t support cross-platform play.
Similarly, the skill system has also been streamlined to make it easier to understand, especially for those new to the game.
In fact, a lot of the changes and improvements were made with the hope of attracting new players to the franchise.
This decision obviously worked, as Monster Hunter World has become the highest-selling game in Capcom’s history.
By 2022, it has already sold an impressive 21 million copies, making it the best-selling Monster Hunter game of all time.
One of the best PS4 RPG games, Monster Hunter World is an absolute must-play both for old fans and those new to the series!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of the 10 best Monster Hunter games as much as we’ve enjoyed playing these games!
Monster Hunter is one of the most successful franchises in gaming history, and while these are the series’ best games, they are all worth checking out.
If you’re new to the series, though, we would definitely recommend checking out Monster Hunter World, as it is the best place for newcomers to start!
Here’s a quick recap of the 10 best Monster Hunter games:
- Monster Hunter World
- Monster Hunter World: Iceborne
- Monster Hunter Rise
- Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate
- Monster Hunter Generations/Generations Ultimate
- Monster Hunter Freedom Unite
- Monster Hunter Stories
- Monster Hunter Stories 2
- Monster Hunter Tri/ 3 Ultimate
- Monster Hunter
Which Monster Hunter game is your favorite? Leave a comment below.
The article discusses the 10 best Monster Hunter games, based on content, popularity, and sales. The list includes the first Monster Hunter game, Monster Hunter Tri/3 Ultimate, Monster Hunter Stories 2, Monster Hunter Stories, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, Monster Hunter Generations/Generations Ultimate, and Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. The article highlights the unique features and success of each game, such as online multiplayer capabilities, engaging storylines, and gameplay enhancements. These games have contributed significantly to the success and impact of the Monster Hunter franchise in the gaming industry.
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