The Best Anthology Games, Ranked

Since the dawn of video games, the industry has been filled with sequels, remakes, spin-offs, and spiritual successors. However, only a few video game franchises have managed to surprise audiences with a completely different story with each new iteration. Many of these series change the stories and characters with each new installment.

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Of these six individual video games, they have far better use of the anthology format than any other entry in their respective series. Whether it’s making the most of each character or creating a fresh new experience with each entry, these games prove that if you ain’t broke, you might as well do something entirely new anyway.



6 UFO 50

Promotional art for UFO 50 featuring the cast of characters

From the same development team behind indie classics like speleologist and time barons, UFO 50 It will comprise 50 different mini-games that vary between single player and multiplayer. However, the game has yet to be released, although as of December 2022, the development of the long-awaited collection of mini-games is still progressing steadily.

However, knowing how polished the team behind it is UFO 50 has been in the past, there is no doubt that this anthology game will be well worth the wait for fans. The game seems to consist of a bunch of simplistic gameplay with adorable pets, NES-era graphics, and great music to go along with it, so it’s a safe bet that this game will be another classic.

5 untold stories

A text-based game on a computer at Stories Untold

Released in 2017 for PC, untold stories is another traditional use of the anthology genre, mixing many elements of 1980s adventure games. It consists of four episodes, with the first three apparently involving entirely separate stories that require players to engage in a series of adventure games based in-universe text and various puzzle sequences.

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However, the fourth episode, titled “The Last Session”, ties these three episodes together by revealing that players control the same character each time. While it’s an interesting exploration of the anthology formula, its short length and lack of engaging gameplay, for the most part, make it easily forgettable.

4 live alive

A prehistoric cave battle at Live A Live

This example from an anthology game is a typical use of the formula, released in 1994 for the Super Famicom (the SNES in the West). It didn’t see a worldwide release until it was remade for Nintendo Switch in 2022, later porting to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC. The RPG consists of seven main characters who live in seven different time periods.

Like a true anthology, live alive it focuses on different narratives that do not intersect until the eighth and final chapter of the game. Along the way, players engage in turn-based battles in historical locations such as Imperial China, the American West, and the far future. Though beloved by critics, its more experimental and anthology elements have turned off some RPG fans.

3 game and wario

9 volt playing video games in the Gamer minigame

He WarioWare is perhaps Nintendo’s best-known anthology series. It often features the same supporting cast that surrounds Wario, who each have their own unique selection of microgames for players to conquer. However, the Wii U title game and wario features some of the most unique and engaging mini-games in the franchise yet.

Unlike previous entries, each character is the star of their own minigame, which is deeper than others. WarioWare microgames Highlights include Playerwhich is as exciting as it is terrifying, and Fruita multiplayer game in which one player must secretly steal fruit while other players guess who the on-screen thief really is.

2 silent hill 2

James looking at X-rays in Silent Hill 2

Unlike previous entries on this list, Silent Hill it is an anthology franchise, rather than containing separate stories in the individual games. The 2001 title silent hill 2which was originally released for PlayStation 2, Xbox and PC, is a favorite among Silent Hill fans. It is inspired by the films of David Lynch, himself an expert in the anthology formula.

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In its own unique story, players follow a widowed husband who travels to Silent Hill after his late wife sends him a message to meet her there. It’s widely considered one of the best video games ever made, with a remake in development starting in 2022. Hopefully, that remake lives up to the expectations fans have for their favorite in the anthology series.

1 final fantasy 7

Cloud drawing his weapon in Final Fantasy VII

similar to silent hill 2, final fantasy 7 is an entry in a franchise of anthology stories. Also considered one of the best video games ever made, final fantasy 7 stars the iconic character Cloud Strife, whose band of mercenaries get involved in stopping an evil corporation from stealing the world’s energy, resulting in a truly harrowing story.

it is not only final fantasy 7 a seminal title for the RPG genre, but its legacy lives on in many ways. Cloud and the antagonist Sephiroth appear as playable characters in Super Smash Bros., while Square Enix released a new version in 2020. Although it does not share ties with the rest of the Final Fantasy series, these characters will continue to be relevant to video game history.

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