The Best Armored Core Games: Ranking the Top Mech-Based Titles

Long before the Soulslike sub-genre, FromSoftware created some of the best mech-based games with Armored Core. In this article, we'll rank the top Armored Core games, exploring the dystopian future and intense battles that define the franchise. From the classic original to the triumphant return of Armored Core VI, we'll delve into the exhilarating world of mech combat. Join me, John Smith, as we discover the best Armored Core games that have captivated fans for decades.

1. Armored Core V: A Step Backward for the Franchise

Explore the narrative reboot and gameplay mechanics of Armored Core V, a game that divided fans.

The Best Armored Core Games: Ranking the Top Mech-Based Titles - 16431278

Armored Core V, released in 2012, takes players to a dystopian future where humanity survives in a lone city amidst corrosive pollution and a wasteland. However, this installment reverts to the earlier gameplay mechanics, making it feel like a step backward for the franchise.

With its heightened difficulty and less intuitive gameplay, Armored Core V appeals to a specific niche of fans. It may not be as welcoming or enjoyable for the masses. Despite its follow-up in Armored Core: Verdict Day, the franchise remained dormant for a decade.

2. Armored Core 3: A Reboot That Falls Short

Discover Armored Core 3, a reboot that fails to fully capitalize on its fresh start.

Armored Core 3, released in 2002, attempts to reboot the series' continuity, returning to its post-apocalyptic roots. However, the game falls short in terms of narrative and level design.

While the game introduces the concept of malevolent artificial intelligence, the controls feel somewhat dated, and the level environments lack inspiration. Armored Core 3 received a direct follow-up, Armored Core: Silent Line, but the franchise didn't reach its full potential with this installment.

3. Armored Core: The Original Classic

Dive into the original Armored Core game, a classic that set the foundation for the franchise.

Armored Core, released in 1997, takes players to a post-apocalyptic world where two megacorporations battle for control. As a mercenary, players engage in intense mech combat while upgrading their own machines.

While the combat mechanics and controls may feel dated by today's standards, the game's standout feature is the staggering level of customization for mechs and weapons. This customization aspect sets the stage for the entire franchise, spawning multiple direct follow-ups and spin-offs.

4. Armored Core 2: Mars Colonization and Intense Battles

Embark on a journey to Mars in Armored Core 2, where corporations vie for control and mercenaries clash in epic battles.

Armored Core 2, released in 2000, takes place on Mars, 67 years after the events of Master of Arena. As a mercenary, players navigate the complex web of corporate control and engage in thrilling mech combat.

The game boasts improved technical presentation and a high level of mech customization. While the combat system remains largely unchanged, Armored Core 2 delivers an engaging experience that continues with its direct follow-up, Armored Core 2: Another Age.

5. Armored Core VI: The Triumphant Return

Experience the triumphant return of Armored Core with Armored Core VI, a polished and accessible entry in the franchise.

After a decade-long hiatus, Armored Core VI made its triumphant return in 2023 with Fires of Rubicon. Set on the devastated world of Rubicon 3, players engage in intense battles as different factions compete for the valuable resource known as Coral.

Armored Core VI stands as the best entry in the franchise, offering a more polished combat system and removing the debt system that penalized players. With its accessibility and captivating gameplay, Armored Core VI doesn't require prior knowledge of the series, making it a must-play for both newcomers and long-time fans.

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