Developed by THQ and Volition, Saints Row is an open world crime sandbox game that presents the player with the same power fantasy as Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto series.
With a focus on high stakes cinematic action and outrageous comedy that is worked into it’s very gameplay design, the franchise has been a hit since it’s first installment. With a new entry on the way, we figure now is as good a time as any for us to put the Saints Row games in order and tell you a little bit about them.
We’ll avoid spoilers whenever possible, but some of the story set ups are connected to one another which make revealing a later in the story plot beat necessary sometimes. We promise we won’t ruin the deaths of anyone who dies and stays dead.
In 2006, a young man nicknamed ‘Playa’ is caught up in gang violence in the debaucherous city of Stilwater, he is rescued by Julius Little and recruited by The Third Street Saints. Alongside his new friends in the Saints he goes up against the Los Carnales, Vice Kings and Westside Rollerz for control of the city.
Saints Row 2
Five years later in 2011, ‘Playa’ —who can now be a woman— returns to Stilwater and declares that they are ‘The Boss’ of a revived Third Street Saints. After reuniting with close friend Johnny Gat, they recruit Pierce Washington and Shaundi as new lieutenants and set about making sure everyone knows that the Saints are the de facto rulers of the city.
In the post-game downloadable content packs, the Third Street Saints find themselves going to war with the Ultor Corporation (from Red Faction) and it’s private army. After the conflict, the gang finds itself to now be in charge of one of the biggest multinational corporations in the world.
Saints Row: The Third
This one is where things start to get really wacky. It’s now 2014, and the Third Street Saints have used their considerable power and influence to become celebrities known and appreciated around the world. After a bank heist gone wrong, the Saints/Ultor Media Group find themselves robbed and captured by Phillipe Loren and The Syndicate.
After narrowly escaping death at the cost of Johnny Gat’s life, The Boss, Pierce and Shaundi find themselves in a gang war once again, this time not only for the city of Steelport, but for revenge for their friend. With the help of new friends Oleg Kirrlov, Angel De LaMuerte and Kinzie Kensington they destroy The Syndicate, fight off the Special Tactical Anti-Gang Unit and even stop a zombie apocalypse, reminding the world that nobody fucks with the Saints.
Saints Row IV
In the prologue to Saints Row IV, the Saints save America from a nuclear missile attack. Now known as heroes, The Boss is elected President of the United States in 2019, with his gang lieutenants taking on the roles of his cabinet of senior staff. Shortly afterwards, Earth is invaded by the Zin Empire and members of the Third Street Saints are put into captivity in a VR simulation of Steelport.
Kinzie uses her technical know-how to help The Boss escape and after they rescue their friends with their new simulated super powers —including surprisingly, Johnny Gat, who had secretly been abducted by the aliens— the Third Street Saints get to work disrupting the invasion and defeating Emperor Zinyak. Planet Earth is destroyed during the Saints-Zin conflict, but the Saints discover that they now have a fully working time machine.
Saints Row Gat out of Hell
An indeterminate amount of time later, the Third Street Saints are living a strange life on a spaceship together as time travelers. When playing with a ouija spirit board, they accidentally contact Satan himself, who takes a liking to The Boss and announces that they will marry his daughter Jezebel before teleporting them to Hell against their will.
In a series first, the player chooses between Johnny Gat and Kinzie Kensington as they go on a mission to New Hades to rescue The Boss with their new angelic powers. After defeating Satan, Johnny Gat chooses to use his one favour from God to undo the apocalypse and restore the Earth, rebooting the series timeline from scratch.
Agents of Mayhem
In the new timeline, Johnny Gat is a lieutenant in the Seoul Police Force. He works with Kinzie, Oleg, Pierce and Matt Reeves —who was formerly leader of The Deckers in Saints Row: The Third— alongside a handful of other G.I. Joe-ish hero types to protect the world from a shadowy organization called L.E.G.I.O.N. and the villainous Dr. Babylon.
While Agents of Mayhem was supposed to be its own franchise spin-off, it continued plot beats from Saints Row Gat out of Hell and featured other series staples like the Ultor Corporation and Saints’ purple fleur-de-lis logo.
Saints Row (2022)
In this franchise soft-reboot, The Boss is still leader of the Saints but now lives in Santo Ileso. They are now far less well known, far less rich, and have presumably never been President of the United States or fought with zombies, aliens or demons.
The Third Street Saints now battle against the Los Panteros, the Idols and Marshall Defense Industries for control of Santo Ileso, a city in the American Southwest. While the old gang are nowhere to be seen —presumably because they are now working for the hero group M.A.Y.H.E.M.— new friends Neena, Kevin and Eli seem like they are more than capable.
Saints Row (2022) has set a release date of February 25, 2022. We don’t yet know how the rest of the story will go for The Boss and the Third Street Saints, but if you’d like to order the game and find out, then we have these useful links for you below:
Purchase Saints Row (2022) on Amazon US: