The rumor mill is at it again, and this time they’re swirling around Capcom’s series Devil May Cry. In light of the possibility that a fifth game (or sixth if you count the reboot) might be coming to the series, now seems a great time for us to look over the past games. The good, the slightly off the mark, and the considered bad by some. Having played these games since the release of the first game, here are my rankings for the Devil May Cry series going from worst to best.
5: Devil May Cry 2
I know most gamers who are long-time fans of the series will probably protest that the 2nd game is my pick for the game that was the... let’s say least good of the list. There is a lot of gamer frustration over the reboot of the series that came out in 2013, which I would presume would be most gamers’ number five. That game still has great scores and wasn’t bad overall, but we’ll get more into it's issues later. I chose Devil May Cry 2 as my personal least favorite due to the disconnection between it and the first game in the series.
While Devil May Cry introduced us to one of the best video game anti-heroes ever, Dante, the second game took away most of the fun of the first. Honestly, it’s a huge relief that the other games were made, considering the divergence that 2 took. In the original game, we were given a smart-mouthed hero who didn’t know when to quit. In the second game, we were kind of just given a game. Dante became a cold and serious character, a complete 180 from the first introduction. No jokes and little banter made it feel like we were playing a completely different character. Though this did spark some fan theories after later games with some presuming that this Dante was actually his twin brother, Vergil. I would say though, if that ended up being true, I would be willing to rearrange my rankings… not that Vergil’s my favorite of the two or anything. We’ll get more into the brother later, by the way.
4: DmC: Devil May Cry
Here’s the reboot, because it’d be kind of an atrocity to list it higher than here considering the way that the other games just fit together so well. DmC: Devil May Cry was released in 2013 after Ninja Theory’s success with Heavenly Sword. Ninja Theory was willing to take on the reboot of the series, and the original trailer had looked promising. A teenage Dante who has apparently been in and out of mental institutions because of the fact that he can see demons. What did we get instead? A toned down version of this and kind of a basic retelling rather than re-imagining. Though there were some great points. The art style was frankly beautiful, and the bond between the twins, Dante and Vergil, was thrust into the spotlight. Though the occasional digs at fans (specifically Dante having a white wig fall on his face causing him to declare he’d never be caught dead with white hair) did sting some. Ninja Theory had set out to give us an amazing game, and instead gave us a game that ended up blending in a bit with the landscape of the time. I would still highly recommend giving DmC:Devil May Cry a chance. I really appreciated the story that was given, and the bond between the twins. Though the afterthought of Vergil’s campaign being done largely in comic book style instead of the art style that the main game got made the game feel more rushed than actually completed.
3: Devil May Cry 1
A part of me really wants to put 1 in the top spot. It is the game that gave us Dante, Vergil, and their demon father Sparda after all. It has aged fairly well, considering it was released in 2003 on the PS2, but with the improvements on controllers and game play, the later games improved greatly upon the original. In this story, we meet Dante, a devil hunter who has been able to see demons since he was a child. He doesn’t know much of his past, just flashes. He finds himself lured into a hunt for demon emperor Mundus by a woman named Trish who happens to look exactly like his mother. The demon’s name is one Dante knows well, as Mundus seems to be the one responsible for the death and destruction of Dante’s family. He faces off against demons and monsters, but one keeps returning, Nelo Angelo. Nelo, sometimes known as Nero Angelo depending on the gamer, is rather familiar in a creepy way to Dante. As it turns out, he’s been looking for the real person behind Nelo Angelo since the events of Devil May Cry 3. And again… we’ll get to why.
2: Devil May Cry 4
Considered the best game in the series by most, Devil May Cry 4 was even treated to a Special Edition. The game is still fairly popular to this day and was one that had great art, wonderful voice acting, and a whole lot of sarcasm. This time around we have an older Dante and a new mysterious younger character with demonic powers so very similar to Dante’s, Nero. Nope, not the Nero/Nelo from the first game, this kid is a teenager who was raised in a cult who worships Dante’s father, the demon Sparda. There is a connection between the two though, but as of this point, it’s never been revealed. And we’re all still waiting on that, Capcom! Either way, the game can now, thanks to the special edition, be played through as 5 different characters. Dante, Nero, Vergil, Lady, and Trish. Don’t worry, Dante and Trish are good buddies by this point. Lady, we’ll get into in the last game on this list. I’ve replayed this game a few times and have it on a few systems, but my heart will always belong to the next game on this list, my number one.
1: Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening
So in chronological order, it’s presumed that the games go in order of: 3, 1, 2, 4. Though as I said before, due to the vast difference in characterization for Dante between 1 and 2, sometimes that’s left out of the mix and sometimes it’s placed after 4… depending on fan theories. In Devil May Cry 3 we are shown Dante starting off his business known as Devil May Cry. He’s a demon hunter heading out on his own, and his first big case lands beyond his doorstep and appears in his lobby instead. A man named Arkham extends an invitation to Dante from his presumed dead brother, Vergil, and with the invitation comes a slew of demons. Dante’s twin brother has erected a tower, and he is determined to bring Hell to Earth. This is where we really get to meet Vergil, see his powers and compare them to Dante’s. For instance, Dante’s moves are up front, in your face, where Vergil is more reserved in his fighting techniques. In the special edition, Vergil is a playable character, giving the game a new level as the player could compare and contrast the brothers. This is the game where we also get Lady, a demon hunter in her own right who’s been trying to get to her father, who happens to be Vergil’s right hand man, Arkham. Now you may think Vergil’s the clear bad guy in this game… you may want to play it to find out. And maybe find out more about the events of the first game as well. You know, the whole Nelo Angelo thing…
All in all, this game series is one that I’ve always found myself going back to. I’d highly suggest playing in chronological order as the story has a better impact that way. Since 3 is technically the start of the whole shebang, that’s why it’s my number one. If you've never played the series before, what are you waiting for? And let me know your thoughts afterward. If you have played it, then let's discuss. And lastly, to everyone, happy playing!!