The Bioshock series is one heralded throughout gaming, both for its strides in storytelling and its timeless appeal to gamers. Not every entry was created equal though, so we’re here to rank every game from fine to phenomenal.
Note that this list will only include the full releases. DLC like Minerva’s Den and Burial at Sea will be factored into the ranking of the larger game’s they’re tied to. Likewise, some story elements will be discussed, so be aware that there are *Spoilers Ahead.*
3. Bioshock 2
It’s not uncommon for a legendary game’s sequel to fall short of expectations, and Bioshock 2 is no exception.
Set ten years after the first game, the title sees players take the role of Delta, a prototype Big Daddy tasked with rescuing Eleanor Lamb, his former Little Sister.
Standing in-between him and his goal, though, is Sofia Lamb: Rapture’s former psychiatrist and the city’s new ruler following the death of Andrew Ryan, as well as the mother of Eleanor.
Intent on unifying the world’s consciousness by using Eleanor’s Little Sister abilities, she’ll throw everything she has at you, be it hoards of splicers, the newly created Big Sisters, or even threats against Eleanor’s own life.
It was a decent premise, with plenty of potential to live up to the first Bioshock’s story. In execution though, that potential never shined through.
To be sure, it was a competent game. The shooting was tight and precise, there were plenty of Plasmids to use and experiment with, and the story had twists, turns and new perspectives that made the series’ universe as a whole more enjoyable to be in.
Likewise, the Minerva’s Den DLC offered an exceptional side story for fans to delve into. In only a few hours, it developed a memorable character and told a story that easily could have occurred on the fringes of Rapture, achieving what other full games still struggle to do to this day.
Over all though, it never escaped the original Bioshock’s shadow. The risks it took, like introducing the Big Sisters, never truly paid off, and felt more like ideas that needed more time to be properly fleshed out.
Toss in a multiplayer mode that was tacked on for no other reason than to chase trends at the time of release – only to be scraped entirely upon the game’s remastered release – and you’ve got a passable game that didn’t live up to the pedigree of the series it was tied to.