The Best EA Games of All Time, Ranked

     July 22, 2020

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Electronic Arts, better known as simply EA, has been around for quite some time, longer than many of its biggest fans and harshest critics have been alive. In EA’s nearly 40 years of existence in the video game industry, the company has seen its share of ups and downs, spectacular successes and outright failures, and legions of fans fighting for (and sometimes against) their most famous titles and franchises. But while the overall story of EA is one that’s yet to be fully written, it’s not the focus of this piece. Instead, we took a look at the hundreds (yes, hundreds) of titles that EA is known for in order to bring you a definitive ranking of the Best of the Best

These titles are mostly ones that EA developed and published, but since they’ve also acquired titles for franchise purposes, you’ll see quite a few of those, too; they own them now after all! (Sorry, no DLCs here; stand-alones and sequels only.) For this ranking, rather than go 100% subjective ourselves, we actually crunched the numbers from a variety of other subjective scores. We averaged scores from Metacritic — including critical Metascore and Metacritic’s user scores — Gamespot critics’ scores, and IMDb user ratings. Where appropriate, we took the score for the best platform, though clearly there are differences to be found among PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, and PC systems, even for the same title. Don’t be surprised to see mostly older, “classic” titles listed below alongside more modern, contemporary, and “popular” games. Your favorite still didn’t make the list? It’s probably because they didn’t crack the 80th percentile of our rating system. (Don’t worry, they may be populating Amazon’s bestsellers for EA titles as we speak.)

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Image via EA Games

To give you an idea of how it all stacks up, here are a few titles that didn’t quite make the cut:

  • James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing = Average of 79.5
  • Titanfall = Average of 79
  • Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit = Average of 78.5
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic = Average of 77
  • Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 = Average of 74.5
  • FIFA Soccer 13 = Average of 72
  • The Sims 2 = Average of 71.25
  • Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003 = Average of 71

Plus, honorable mentions go to Caveman Ugh-lympics (just because it’s one of the first computer games I ever remember playing) and the Ultima franchise, which is so massive and unwieldy as to be nearly impossible to quantify. Got all that? Cool!

So, with no further adieu, here are the 5 Best EA Titles of All Time, followed by more EA titles (in order from best to “worse”) that are worthy of your time and attention. Starting with #1…

1. Mass Effect 2 – Average of 92

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Image via EA, Bioware

Yep, the numbers don’t lie. Mass Effect 2 is the top pick from all of EA’s many titles. And while you may argue over the finer points of this list, this award-winning entry really shouldn’t be a point of contention. It’s a multi-Game-of-the-Year winner, among other accolades, including placement on quite a few “Best Games of All Time” lists.

But here’s where those “finer points” I mentioned come in: You can also call Mass Effect 2 one of BioWare’s best (if not the best) title from the developer. And that’s where the distinction lies, because BioWare were indeed the Devs on this one but EA was the publisher. That will be the case for quite a few of the “Best Of” titles below, so it’s probably best to get comfortable with that idea now.

2. Portal – Average of 91

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Image via EA, Valve

Yup, I know. Portal is 100% a Valve game. The company developed and published the award-winning title to much acclaim, so much so that EA partnered up with them just a couple of months after the game debuted in order to beef up distribution and bundle the title together with other heavy hitters in The Orange Box for release on the PlayStation 3. EA UK helped develop and distribute that version, with the previous efforts from Valve made for a Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360 release. That partnership was so lucrative that the two companies teamed up yet again for another go-round when Portal 2 debuted a few years later. We think that’s more than enough reason to keep this title on EA’s list, even if they don’t own it (or Valve, though they’ve tried) outright.

3. Dragon Age: Origins– Average of 91

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Image via EA, Bioware

Another BioWare darling, another hit for publisher EA. Somehow, both Dragon Age: Origins (which tied with #2 in terms of raw score but not in terms of “popularity”, based on the number of reviews) and the overall #1 pick released in less than three months of each other. That’s insane. (And perhaps that creative and productive drain explains why Dragon Age II, released about a year later, was … not so great.) The franchise-launching title acts as a perfect complement to the sci-fi series that started with the original Mass Effect. Both games (and the best titles in their respective franchises) focused on solid storytelling and complex character development and relationships that had fans playing them over and over again. And while some of that magic may have been lost along the way, these core titles remain gems more than a decade later.

4. Diablo – Average of 90.5

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Image via EA, Blizzard

Aw yeah, we’re going back to the 1990s for this action / hack ‘n’ slash RPG! And yeah, it’s another title that was developed and even originally published for PC by another company (Blizzard Entertainment this time) before EA saw the writing on the wall and decided to get in on the action. EA ported this hit title over to the original PlayStation, and had designs to do the same for the Sega Saturn, but that was not to be. Diablo “finally” made it to the console a little over a year after its PC release, offering evidence that fans and game journalists were as impatient 20+ years ago as they are today (though, to be fair, Blizzard did sell worldwide rights to console versions of the title in 1996, which was well before anyone knew how successful Diablo would be.)

Despite the history of Blizzard and EA working together, EA doesn’t own Blizzard Entertainment, which is a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard after a merger of Activision and Vivendi Games, but I understand the confusion. And whatever you make of the current state of both companies, the fact remains that Diablo was and is a fantastic title that tied the two industry behemoths together in video game history.

5. Half-Life 2 – Average of 90

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Image via EA, Valve, Sierra

The Orange Box rears its lovely head again for the fifth and final spot for EA games that tallied at or above the 90th percentile. Half-Life 2, another Valve / Sierra offering that predated Portal by three years, gets an extra wrinkle as far as EA is concerned. Their involvement with the Valve title once again arrived about a year after the initial release as EA distributed the Game of the Year edition of the standalone game, in addition to The Orange Box compilation we discussed previously. As for the game, its 30+ Game of the Year awards should speak for itself.

*This title tied, but was more popular overall, based on the sheer number of reviews

Now that the Top 5 are squared away, here are more than 70-odd titles that are the best of the best that EA has had to offer over almost 40 years. (Keep in mind all the caveats we discussed above.) Here they are from best to “worse”, including quite a few of the EA franchise hits you’ve come to know and love:

  • system-shock-2

    Image via EA

    System Shock 2  = Average of 89.8

  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert = Average of 89.5
  • SSX Tricky = Average of 89.3
  • Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri = Average of 89
  • *Clive Barker’s Undying = Average of 88.5
  • SSX 3 = Average of 88.5
  • *Medal of Honor: Allied Assault = Average of 88
  • Dungeon Keeper = Average of 88
  • Burnout Revenge = Average of 87.8
  • Titanfall 2 = Average of 87.5
  • *Dead Space 2 = Average of 87.3
  • Battlefield 2 = Average of 87.3
  • Left 4 Dead = Average of 86.8
  • Quake III: Arena = Average of 86.8
  • *Rock Band = Average of 86.5
  • NHL 2002 = Average of 86.5
  • *Dead Space = Average of 86.3
  • *Left 4 Dead 2 = Average of 86.3
  • Medieval: Total War = Average of 86.3
  • Team Fortress 2 = Average of 86.2
  • *Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 = Average of 86
  • *Battlefield: 1942 = Average of 86
  • *Medal of Honor: Frontline = Average of 86
  • oddworld-strangers-wrath

    Image via EA

    Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath = Average of 86

  • Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning = Average of 85.8
  • *Battlefield: Bad Company 2 = Average of 85.5
  • *Def Jam: Fight for NY = Average of 85.5
  • TimeSplitters = Average of 85.5
  • *Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005) = Average of 85
  • *Plants vs. Zombies = Average of 85
  • F1 Challenge ’99-’02 = Average of 85
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth = Average of 84.8
  • NBA Street Vol. 2 = Average of 84.5
  • Command & Conquer: Generals = Average of 84.3
  • Shogun: Total War = Average of 84.3
  • *Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars = Average of 84
  • *Freedom Fighters = Average of 84
  • Wing Commander: Prophecy = Average of 84
  • *Burnout Legends = Average of 83.8
  • Sid Meier’s Gettysburg! = Average of 83.8
  • *NHL 2002 = Average of 83.7
  • Warhammer: Dark Omen = Average of 83.7
  • *The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King = Average of 83.3
  • *FIFA Soccer 10 = Average of 83.3
  • *Medal of Honor: Underground = Average of 83.3
  • Need for Speed: High Stakes = Average of 83.3
  • *Mass Effect 3 = Average of 83
  • *Battlefield 3 = Average of 83
  • the-sims-3

    Image via EA

    *The Sims 3 = Average of 83

  • FIFA Soccer 11 = Average of 83
  • *The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II = Average of 82.5
  • *FIFA Soccer 12 = Average of 82.5
  • *Madden NFL 2003 = Average of 82.5 – 189
  • NHL 11 = Average of 82.5
  • *NFL Street = Average of 82
  • Rumble Racing = Average of 82
  • *The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers = Average of 81.8
  • Medal of Honor = Average of 81.8
  • NCAA Football 2005 = Average of 81.5
  • Populous: The Beginning = Average of 81.3
  • *Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun = Average of 81
  • Emperor: Battle for Dune = Average of 81
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order = Average of 80.8
  • Shadows of the Damned = Average of 80.5
  • Skate. = Average of 80.3
  • *Dragon Age: Inquisition = Average of 80
  • *Apex Legends = Average of 80
  • *NCAA Football 2003 = Average of 80
  • NASCAR 06: Total Team Control = Average of 80

Did we miss any? Be sure to let us know!

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