All Diablo Games, Ranked From Worst To Best

All Diablo Games, from worst to best
Leah, adopted daughter of Deckard Cain and the biological daughter of Adria and Aidan/Diablo.

Which is the best Diablo game of all time?

How do you say which of the 3 Diablo games that span a massive 16 years between the first and last is the best? It's a really good question.

To put in context, the year the original Diablo was released, there were still games being released for the SNES. Even if you look at the top end PCs for gaming a year after Diablo was released, the reviewers at PC Gamer were going mental over a machine that had 128MB of RAM and twin Hard drives that could hold a whopping 4.5 gigabytes of data each...4.5 gigs, and ran Windows 95. You need to think about that for a minute. Fast forward sixteen years later and to install Diablo 3 on your machine now, you need a free 25 gigs on your hard drive and a recommended 4 gigs of RAM to play the game.

But obviously there could be no Diablo 3 without Diablo 2, and no Diablo 2 without the original. So how do you decide which is the best of all Diablo games? You make list and you measure it out.

Things to be aware of:

You can’t judge any or all Diablo games without their expansions. All Diablo games were good for their time. Saying one Diablo was better than another is like trying to figure out which one of the Spice Girls you wanted to get with back in the day. (That’s me making another point about the length of years between Diablo, and Diablo 3.)

16 levels of Hell

3. Diablo. (1996/97)

Expansion: Diablo: Lords of Hellfire. (1997)

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to slaughter we go

Back in January 1997, Gamespot declared Diablo to be ‘the best game to come out in the past year, and you should own a copy. Period.’ Diablo was something of a revolution when it was first released. The idea of randomly generated levels was completely new to me, and to most other gamers out there at the time. Blizzard were legends in the gaming community even then. Their back catalogue already included the original two Warcraft games, so they had a reputation to keep up. They didn’t disappoint with Diablo. Sure, there were only three classes, but at the time it was: ‘OMG there’s three classes!’ Not that it really mattered.

Choosing between the Rogue, Warrior, or Sorcerer didn’t really seem to affect anything. Any character could pretty much use any weapon or item, and you could respec whenever you felt like it. Diablo was a game that is perhaps best remembered for its atmosphere and the way the claustrophobic dungeons left you feeling. It was all shock and horror, and good storytelling. There was always a sense of disquiet, strange noises from all around and the way you had to step over bloodied corpses to move forward. The soundtrack was amazing as well.

Combat was frenetic to say the least, a maelstrom of frantic button clicking, potion drinking mayhem, never sure if any fight was going to be your last. There were skeletons, demons, demon dogs, and of course Succubus’s as well. But it was the loot drops and the levelling that kept me coming back for more; the feeling that your character was always getting stronger, more powerful, more able to deal out death as you progressed through the underworld. 

Diablo was one of the most popular multiplayer games ever released up to that point. Playing online was still a relatively new thing back in ‘97, but Diablo was at the forefront of the multiplayer revolution. The Hellfire expansion introduced the new Monk character, a host of new monsters, and some new levels. But unlike the Lords of Destruction for Diablo 2, it merely added some improvements and eliminated some minor annoyances of the original. But it was a must for single player addicts, as multiplayer wasn’t an option for the expansion.

Potions, check! Candles...candles? Anyone?

But what was the greatest thing about Diablo?

Diablo introduced us to Sanctuary, and of course the grand evil one, Diablo himself. I practically jumped the first time I met ‘The Butcher.’  

You see this game was before most of us had something like meaningful internet connections, so it wasn’t like we could browse and find out what it was all about beforehand. The bosses when they appeared were real surprises, and that’s a rare thing to find in a game these days. Oh and of course I should mention  the in game movies. Gamers played Diablo as much to see them as they did for the loot. Diablo also set the standard for an army of clones in that they all to one form another tried to replicate its success and addictiveness. They mostly failed.

But, and it’s a big BUT: it’s not the same if you go back and play it now. Diablo hasn't aged well, but it was a genre defining moment in gaming.


Diablo: 3/5*

Diablo: Lords of Hellfire: 3.5/5

Chilled, Calm, writer, lover, fighter
Gamer Since: 1994
Favorite Genre: FPS
Currently Playing: World Of Tanks, Skyrim, GTA5, Dying Light
Top 3 Favorite Games:The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn, Borderlands 2, Grand Theft Auto V

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