God of War has had some incredibly high highs across its seven mainline titles, and Kratos’ journey through the years has provided many moments that continue to stick out in memory. God of War Ragnarok will be launching soon, and the hope, of course, is that, there will be many more of those moments lying in wait for fans. Before that happens though, here, we’re going to take a look back at some of the best moments we’ve experienced throughout the entire series. Obviously, there are major spoilers ahead for every God of War game, so continue at your own risk.
KILLING ARES (GOD OF WAR)
The final fight between Kratos and Ares to close out the first game in the series remains an epic one to this day. Growing massively in size, Kratos stands toe to toe with Ares, and the two battle it out in a climactic duel, which ultimately sees Kratos lifting the sword off of a nearby gargantuan statue and driving it through his Ares’ heart.
KRATOS AND DEIMOS VS THANATOS (GHOST OF SPARTA)
God of War fans had known about Kratos’ mysterious brother Deimos long before he first made his appearance in Ghost of Sparta, and when he finally did, it was well worth the wait. Upon their reunion, though the two brothers clash initially, they are able to quickly put their differences aside and fight together against Thanatos. The two on one clash continues to live long in the memory- thanks in no small part to its tragic end, with Kratos losing yet another family member.
COLOSSUS OF RHODES (GOD OF WAR 2)
God of War games have a knack for having stellar beginnings, and God of War 2 ranks high even in that group. The game starts out with one of the best boss fights we’ve seen in the series to this day. Being able to take on the gargantuan Colossus of Rhodes in battle is an exhilarating experience, and getting to watch Kratos take down his enormous foe by literally going into its innards and smashing its mechanical heart was an excellent way to kick off the game.
God of War Ascension didn’t have a ton of memorable moments- that was one of several problems that dragged the game down. Even so, for all its issues, the game at least continued the series’ tradition of starting off on a strong foot. The boss fight against the Hechatonchires is classic God of War, from its multi-phased structure to its impressive scale to, of course, the brutal fashion in which Kratos ultimately dispatches his enemy. It may have been all downhill from there for God of War Ascension, but at least that fight remains a fond memory.
LOKI (GOD OF WAR 2018)
God of War’s 2018 reinvention gave us a number of moments we’re unlikely to forget anytime soon, many of which we’ll be speaking of here. One that instantly comes to mind is at towards the very end of the game. At the end of their journey, which is a dramatic one as it is, the game throws a massive reveal our way- that Atreus is actually Loki, and that Faye was a giant. It’s an absolutely ingenious twist that serves as a shining example of how well the game puts its own spin on its source material.
KRATOS AND ATREUS VS BALDUR (GOD OF WAR 2018)
Of course, though Kratos and Atreus’ revelations in Jotunheim are excellent moments, what leads up to it is just as good, if not even better. The duo’s final duel against Baldur is one for the ages- the invincible Aesir proves to be a formidable foe, and of course, the inclusion of a dragon and the reanimated corpse of a dead giant only add to how good that entire sequence is. The way it caps off, with Kratos snapping Baldur’s death and telling Atreus about his past deeds, is worth mentioning as well.
KRATOS VS POSEIDON (GOD OF WAR 3)
Out of all incredible God of War openings, the one that stands tallest even now is God of War 3’s. Picking up right where God of War 2 left off, the game instantly sets the tone with the ridiculous scale of its opening minutes. Watching the Titans ascend Mt. Olympus and waging war against their enemies is a breathtaking sight as it is, but even that doesn’t compare to Kratos’ own unforgettable fight against Poseidon- which, of course, ends in typically brutal fashion.
THE STEEDS OF TIME (GOD OF WAR 2)
God of War 2 may have been thoroughly outdone by its successor where scale was concerned, but it, too, had some visually breathtaking moments of immense scope. The sequence that sees Kratos activating the massive Steeds of Time is one in particular that is hard to forget. That single cutscene alone where the horses pull the Island of Creation into place is one of God of War 2’s most jaw dropping moments without a doubt.
KRATOS’ PAST (GOD OF WAR 1)
The original God of War did a spectacular job of slowly doling out information on Kratos’ haunted past, from how he got the Blades of Chaos and how he was tricked into killing his own family by Ares. What caps that off is that absolutely chilling reveal that when he did kill his wife and daughter, the ashes of his dead family would always remain stuck to his skin- which is what earned him the infamous “Ghost of Sparta” moniker.
KRATOS AND CALLIOPE (CHAINS OF OLYMPUS)
Kratos’ debut outing on the PlayStation Portable often gets unfairly overlooked simply due to its nature, but as those who’ve played it will tell you, it had a lot of great things going for it- and its ending was among them. Part of that ending was absolutely heartwrenching, as Kratos, obviously still tortured by his past, is forced to push his dead daughter away from him after a very brief reunion, knowing that even if he were to accept it, it wouldn’t be real, and it wouldn’t take away what he’d done.
KRATOS VS ZEUS (GOD OF WAR 3)
God of War 3 was defined by a string of spectacular boss fights, so it’s only fitting that the game closed things off with another one of those. Kratos’ final battle against Zeus is a suitably high-octane and dramatic one. It’s a long fight that takes many shapes and forms throughout its several phases, from Kratos and Zeus duking it out mano-a-mano to them finding themselves inside Gaia’s innards to a final throwdown that sees Kratos smashing his father’s head in with characteristic brutality. It serves as an appropriately bloody and well-crafted final fight.
ATROPOS AND LAKHESIS (GOD OF WAR 2)
Kratos’ relentless drive for vengeance sees him crossing paths with the Sisters of Fate in God of War 2, who stand in his path as he looks to alter the past and take the fight to Zeus, and the encounter that sees him squaring off against two of the three Sisters at the same time is probably one of the best God of War boss fights of all time. Not only is it a mechanically solid duel, it’s also a narratively rich one, thanks in large part to how it weaves Kratos’ past into the story again.
THE END BEGINS (GOD OF WAR 2)
Cliffhanger endings can be incredibly tricky to pull off, but there’s little doubt that God of War 2 did just that, and with great aplomb. After Kratos’ exhilarating journey through time and fights against the Sisters of Fate and Zeus himself, God of War 2 ends with him bringing an army of Titans back from the past with him and launching an attack on Olympus. Seeing him ascend the mountain on Gaia’s back and screaming at Zeus that he’s returned for his vengeance is undoubtedly among the best and most unforgettable God of War moments to date.
KRATOS VS CRONOS (GOD OF WAR 3)
We were obviously going to mention this. Even in a franchise that is as jam-packed with stellar boss battles as this one, nothing God of War has ever done has managed to even come close to what it accomplished with the Cronos boss fight in God of War 3. It was the very definition of epic, a ridiculous display of scale, and yet another brilliant example of Kratos’ savagery, and how he can channel it to take down even the biggest threats.
BLADES OF CHAOS (GOD OF WAR 2018)
God of War (2018) was incredibly restrained in is references and callbacks to the series’ older games, which is why when it did actually go back to Kratos’ past, it felt so incredibly impactful. And of course, nothing in the game hit harder than the sequence where Kratos goes back to retrieve the Blades of Chaos. Not only is it an unbelievably hype-inducing moment for series fans when we finally get to use the Blades again, it’s also a very rich and powerful storytelling moment, and adds a great deal of nuance to Kratos’ character. We can only hope that God of War Ragnarok will be able to deliver something on this level.