What's the best Monster Hunter of all time? In a series where half of the titles have the word 'Ultimate' fixed on the end, it can be a difficult decision to make. We're not averse to difficult decisions though, so we've taken it upon ourselves to rank every single Monster Hunter game (yes, in a departure from our regular programming, even the non-Nintendo ones) to determine which is the very best.
We've only included the western releases though because, well, we haven't played the others. We've been blessed with some top, top titles though, and it can be difficult to distinguish the Monster Hunters at the best of times, so it's no big deal.
So read on to learn who takes the crown as best Monster Hunter game ever.
12. Monster Hunter Dynamic Hunting (iOS, 2011)
Monster Hunter Dynamic Hunting is an iOS spinoff that provided a more linear hunting experience back when the App Store was in its infancy. You'd choose a monster to hunt, pick your weapon type, and head out into the hunt. You then use a series of taps and swipes to perform a variety of attacks, from blocking to evading to pulling off special moves. Beat the monster and you're graded on your performance and unlock new monsters to hunt. It's not the deepest experience if we're honest.
11. Monster Hunter (PS2, 2004)
Next up we have the original Monster Hunter, which launched on the PS2 way back in 2004. While it may not have aged quite as well as later entries in the franchise, the framework it established remained largely unchanged until Monster Hunter: World arrived to shake things up.
10. Monster Hunter Freedom 2 (PSP, 2007)
This is where the Monster Hunter timeline gets a little murky for us westerners. We never actually got Monster Hunter 2, which launched only in Japan. Instead, we got Monster Hunter Freedom 2, a direct sequel to the PSP remake of the original, Monster Hunter Freedom. It sits in a bit of an awkward position, as it felt a bit like a watered down version of both the original and Monster Hunter 2 thanks to Capcom's efforts to make it more portable-friendly.
9. Monster Hunter Freedom (PSP, 2005)
Monster Hunter Freedom is an enhanced remaster of the original Monster Hunter that launched in 2006. It was heavily based on Monster Hunter G, the Japanese expansion pack for the original Monster Hunter, but changed the formula to allow you to play largely solo. It was criticised for its long loading times and for being too slow, which doesn't really work for a portable game.
8. Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (PSP, 2008 - iOS, 2014)
Monster Hunter Freedom Unite is basically the ultimate version of Monster Hunter Freedom 2. It served as a standalone expansion for that game and later launched on iOS as the first true Monster Hunter game on mobile. The big new feature introduced in this was the Felyne fighter who could join you on quests. That's been a mainstay of the franchise since then.
Monster Hunter Tri returned the franchise to home consoles, and was a Nintendo Wii exclusive at launch. It was most notable for introducing underwater environments that included underwater combat – a feature that has remained absent in Monster Hunter games since. This is also the entry in which the Switch Axe made its debut.