Skip to Content

Do You Need To Play God of War 2018 To Play Ragnarok?

God of War Ragnarok is finally here, but do you need to play the 2018 game before this one?

The new God of War narrative and cast are relatively straightforward, and you can jump straight to Ragnarok with a couple of bullet points in your back pocket.

As a series with a long lineage of games going back to PlayStation 2, it is daunting to jump straight to the fifth mainline console release, God of War Ragnarok.

Luckily you can largely ignore the first chunk of games, referred to as the Greek mythology series, so we will only discuss the events of the last game to catch you up to the events before Ragnarok.

Can I Play God of War Ragnarok Without Playing God of War 2018?

Yes. You don’t need to play God of War (2018) before playing God of War Ragnarok, but you should if you’re interested in game lore and the relationship between Kratos and Atreus, among other characters.

However, players interested purely in combat and enjoying the latest adventure can get by with watching the built-in recap feature in the main menu.

Kratos Grabbing Atreus

We’d highly suggest playing the 2018 release before this game, but if you want to hop in blind, here’s what you need to know:

God of War is largely a story about a journey, so it does not have an extremely dense plot that you need a background in the series to understand. While characters develop and change throughout the first game in the Norse Series, the story is largely about spreading the ashes of Kratos’s wife with his son Atreus at the highest peak in the world.

At the end of the game, this journey and the actions of Kratos and Atreus put in motion the Fimbulwinter and the eventual apocalypse, Ragnarok. God of War Ragnarok picks up here as the two journey again to stop the end of the world.

Characters from the previous games are also returning, like the two comic relief dwarf brothers, Sindri and Brok, as well as the Goddess Freya, along with others and a number of newcomers.

What Do I Need to Know About God of War 2018 Before Playing Ragnarok?

At its core, God of War is about the coming of age of Atreus, as well as Kratos’s reconciliation with his violent past as they journey to scatter Faye’s ashes. But there are a host of twists and turns throughout its 20-hour runtime.

After killing his father, Zeus, in the Greek series, Kratos marries Faye and has a child Atreus with her. No longer in the realm of the gods, they lived their days peacefully in the forest.

When Faye dies, Kratos and Atreus plan to journey to the highest peak in the land to scatter her ashes.

Kratos readying an Axe

Kratos does not see Atreus as strong enough for the journey both because of his inexperience and mysterious illness. But after the immortal God Baldur breaks through the protective field surrounding their lands, Kratos determines they must leave as it is not safe.

Along the journey, they meet a helpful witch named Frigg, Mimir, a headless wise man, and two dwarven brothers named Sindri and Brok, that help upgrade your equipment and are constantly feuding over who the better smith is.

We have outlined the important reveals below:

  • Atreus is part God, part mortal, and part Giant. Kratos hid his Godly nature from him, which caused his sickness.
  • Atreus was initially going to be named Loki.
  • Kratos’s and Atreus’ journey was foretold by the Jötnar, the Giants of Jötunheim.
  • The Witch is Freya, a God and the ex-wife of Odin.
  • Baldur is Freya’s estranged son, who she made immortal and unable to feel pain to avoid a pointless death.
  • Kratos and Atreus kill Magni and Modi, two children of Thor, the God of Thunder.
  • Kratos eventually discovers Baldur’s weakness and kills him to protect Freya. Despite this, she swears revenge against him.
  • After spreading the ashes, Kratos and Atreus learn their actions will cause Ragnarok or the Apocalypse.
  • Kratos also sees his own end prophesized, at the hands of his son.

Where Can I Play the God of War Games?

All God of War mainline games are available on PS Plus Premium tier for PS4/PS5 users, allowing players to hop into the series from God of War 1 and play all the way through to God of War 2018.

God of War Ragnarok is then only available via separate purchase, on PS4 and PS5.

  • God of War (2005) is available on PS2, PS3 (God of War Collection or Saga), PS Vita (God of War Collection). Available on PS4 & PS5 via PS Plus Premium.
  • God of War II is available on PS2, PS3 (God of War Collection or Saga), PS Vita (God of War Collection). Available on PS4 & PS5 via PS Plus Premium.
  • God of War III is available on PS3. God of War III Remastered is available on PS4 & PS5 via PS Plus Premium.
  • God of War: Ascension is available on PS3. Available on PS4 & PS5 via PS Plus Premium.
  • God of War (2018) is available on PS4 and PC, as well as playable on PS5. It is part of the PlayStation Plus Extra subscription.
  • God of War Ragnarok is only available on PS4 and PS5.
  • In addition to the mainline series, spinoffs Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta are available on PSP or PS3 as part of the Origins Collection.

Regardless of whether you plan on skipping the first game in favor of God of War Ragnarok, both games in the Norse series are available on PS4 and PS5.

Share your thoughts, or ask a question: