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5 Best Borderlands Games, Ranked

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As equally as outrageous as every Borderlands entry may be, we do still have to question which shoot-and-loot chapter ranks the highest in our list. Although, with the amount of carnage and mind-boggling fun that sinks into each entry, forging said list isn't exactly the easiest task in the world. It is, however, made possible if we scrutinize every core element of every block in the sequence. I mean, they can't all be perfect, can they?

Borderlands has been providing millions of players with mindless button-mashing action for years now. And, you know — we're still hungry for more madness. There's a genuine level of joy with every mission, and a reason to keep shuffling through the layers of Pandora in search of that iconic vault. Characters are ludicrous, enemies are memorable and unpredictable, and every lashing of the open-world never fails to shed the brightest of lights. Again, that doesn't make this list any easier. That being said — here are the best five Borderlands games, ranked.


5. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel

Borderlands The Pre Sequel : Handsome Jack Trailer

While fans were overjoyed to see another slice of Handsome Jack, the fast-talking anti-hero, The Pre-Sequel still fell short with its galactic setting and floaty mechanics. Pandora, which we had grown to love over the first two installments, had taken a backseat in order for a new backdrop to be toyed with. Only, a lot of the original charm that Pandora possessed was missing on Elpis. Jokes were a little too played out, and combat slowly rolled into being somewhat tiresome — where gravity became the burden we just didn't need.

That being said, The Pre-Sequel was and still very much is a fun little number in the shoot-and-loot library. It's just that, well, it's not quite the ultimate Borderlands experience that we'd expect from 2K. But who knows — perhaps Pandora's moon will pull you in after all? It's worth treading the waters at the very least.


4. Borderlands 3

Borderlands 3 - Official Cinematic Launch Trailer

The latest entry to the Borderlands world brought just as many outrageous one-liners and riveting quest chains as previous chapters. And, although the third main chapter went on to sell five million copies and become 2K's best-selling title — it still didn't capture the world by its heartstrings.

Of course, Borderlands 3 is in no way a bad game. In fact, it's superb, and definitely a worthy piece to the wacky puzzle. But, as previously mentioned — the charm that made the franchise iconic was missing in one too many places and therefore couldn't be ignored. The gameplay was there, and the characters were definitely memorable — but it didn't quite match its older siblings. And, to be honest — a lot of us noticed the missing ingredients.


3. Tales from the Borderlands

Tales from the Borderlands - World Premier Trailer

Okay, so this one isn't exactly the shoot-and-loot extravaganza you'd expect from a Borderlands game — but that isn't to say it's unworthy of hosting Pandora. Although stepping away from fast-paced action and mindless grave robbing, Tales from the Borderlands still captures the essence of the original series and immerses us into a breathtaking chapter that never strays too far away from the core ingredients. That, unsurprisingly, sounds like an impossible task when stripping away the elements that made the mainstream games celebrated. And yet, here lies a genuine story that is both captivating and thought-provoking.

Tales from the Borderlands takes us on a journey unlike any other in the series. It sets aside time to explore the backstory of the iconic Vault and the life around the Pandora wastelands. It's the breath of fresh air that any fan of the series would love and crave. That, of course, is the reason behind the bronze medal on our list.


2. Borderlands

Borderlands Trailer [HQ]

Back in 2009 when Gearbox Software aimed to build the most outlandish first-person shooter game on the market — people were not aware of the madness being forged from within. Sure, players expected something a little more unique from the teams behind some of the biggest titles in the history of gaming — but nobody expected what Borderlands turned out to be. Of course, it was praised for all the right reasons in the end. And, it even went on to be the leading force within the shoot-and-loot genre. But still — what a surprise, eh?

Borderlands became an instantly recognizable hit after launch, and almost every gamer could pinpoint its title from the pop art influences alone. Following on from that, 2K looked to evolve Pandora and induct even more mind-boggling mechanics to the fold in follow-up entries. This, of course, leads us to our final listing. May we present to you…the big one.


1. Borderlands 2

Borderlands 2 - Doomsday Trailer

There's a reason why franchise followers adore the second chapter. It isn't because of the inclusion of the loveable, albeit spiteful Handsome Jack — or anything like that. It's essentially because Borderlands 2 managed to take its previous best-selling combination of hilarious characters and addictive bullet storms — and times it by ten. And then some.

Thanks to the perfect mixture, Borderlands 2 became a global smash-hit after its 2012 launch. It became the magnum opus of the 2K portfolio, and quite simply paved the way for later releases. And, although spin-offs have tried to meet par with it, none have managed to meet that same level of wackiness and open-end storytelling. But hey, we'll always have Borderlands 2, right? That's good enough in our books.

You can pick up Borderlands: Legendary Collection on Xbox, PlayStation, and Switch. Are you ready for the madness Pandora has in store? It's time to boot up, Vault Hunters!

Jord is acting Team Leader at If he isn't blabbering on in his daily listicles, then he's probably out writing fantasy novels or scraping Game Pass of all its slept on indies.