S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Games In Order

stalker games in order

With the recent news of a long-awaited S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2 title in the works, we thought that now would be a perfect time to take a short look at the history of the stalker franchise from the very beginning.

With a fairly fast release cycle of only three years, you may have missed out on what these games have to offer – especially as they are only available on PC. Although they are starting to show their age a little now, the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series of games are based in an alternate history version of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

This series perfectly nails the Soviet-style, post-apocalyptic atmosphere and is perfect for those looking for a challenging, immersive experience. If you are a fan of the Metro series of games, this is a perfect series to check out.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl

Release Date: 20 March 2007

Platforms: Microsoft Windows

In the first game of the series, a second nuclear disaster has taken place at Chernobyl and has started to cause strange changes in the areas surrounding it. In this alternate take on history, players take control of the “Marked One”, a man suffering from amnesia whose aim is to find and kill a man named Strelok.

The storyline is pretty well detailed and is partly based on the Russian book Roadside Picnic and the 1979 Stalker film. You’ll venture into the Zone to complete missions and retrieve artifacts – all while avoiding bandits, helping fellow Stalkers, and killing mutated beasts. There are also seven different endings to find here, which speaks volumes to the depth of the game.

Taking place in the Zone, there is plenty to see and do here, if you can survive long enough. Compared to modern standards, the difficulty level of this title is pretty tough, but if you master it, the combat is gritty, challenging, and engaging. The environments may look a little bit dated by today’s standards, but they offer the perfect setting for your adventure, and the impressive weather effects really bring them to life.

There is also an engaging survival aspect to the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games. In Shadow of Chernobyl, you’ll have to manage radiation levels, make sure you have enough energy to sprint and stock up on different types of ammunition on your travels.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky

Release Date: 5 September 2008

Platforms: Microsoft Windows

Released only a year after the first S.T.A.L.K.E.R. title, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky acts as a standalone prequel to the first game, set just a year before. This time around, you’ll play as a mercenary named Scar whose notable trait is the ability to survive the deadly radiation in the Zone.

There are plenty of references to Shadow of Chernobyl throughout, so it’s recommended you play this game in release order rather than chronological. You’ll be retracing Strelok’s footsteps through the environments, trying to avoid some of the chaos of the Zone. Along the way, you’ll join forces with the faction of Stalkers and scientists who aim to research and understand the Zone’s mysteries.

If you’ve picked up Clear Sky straight after finishing the first game, you may be a little disappointed. Although you’ll see some tweaks here and there, the graphics aren’t a massive improvement, there are a fair few bugs and a couple of recycled areas that you’ll easily spot.

There are a few new weapons to play around with though and the faction system has been expanded from the first game. The open-world is as great as ever and the difficulty hasn’t been dumbed down at all. This makes each encounter pretty terrifying and you’ll have to manage your health, inventory, and ammunition to survive.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat

Release Date: 2, February 2010

Platforms: Microsoft Windows

The final game in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise so far is S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat. This is many fans’ favorite title in the series and brings welcome improvements to the upgrade system, while still keeping the core mechanics the same.

Yet again, you’ll play the role of a different protagonist, Major Alexander Degtyarev. Following on from the events of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, the Zone is filled with Stalkers who are all rushing to find rumored treasures and artifacts. As usual in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series, nothing is as simple as it first seems. On your travels, you’ll meet numerous factions that you can choose to help out or simply ignore.

The difficulty is on par with the previous titles as well, but this time around you’ll have to worry about the random emission pulses of lethal psychic energy. You’ll have to keep close to a shelter to escape them, or just keep stocked up on drugs that render you immune to psychic activity.

Although Call of Pripyat is still running on the same game engine as its predecessors, a lot of the stability issues and bugs have been taken care of this time around. This leads to an all-round hassle-free experience which is great news for players.

Final Word

There we have it, a complete list of all the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games released so far. If you are a fan of open-world, post-apocalyptic action, this is a series you should definitely try out. With S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 being recently announced, now is a perfect time to get stuck into the history and lore of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. world.

Which is your favorite game of the series? Have you recently started a playthrough or do you find the game a bit too dated? Let us know down in the comments section below, we love hearing your thoughts.

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