Every Mass Effect Game Ranked By Story QualityTime: Nov. 9, 2020
Mass Effect tells two stories: Shepard's in the trilogy and Ryder's in Andromeda. Here's each of their games ranked by narrative quality.
The Mass Effect series takes players through an expansive, ambitious sci-fi tale across its four games. With the first three titles following the exploits of Commander Shepard, Mass Effect: Andromeda tells a story set several centuries into the future, expanding the world beyond the story told in the original trilogy.
While the original trio of games all tell one, continuous tale, Andromeda's story takes players out of the reaches of the original trilogy in an effort to tell its own tale from the perspective of Scott or Sara Ryder.
With the announcement of the Mass Effect: Legendary Edition remaster of the original trilogy, players will be able to experience the entirety of the Mass Effect saga on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and next-generation platforms. The Legendary Edition release completes the saga, making the original story accessible on current platforms.
Mass Effect: Andromeda
The story of Andromeda, unfortunately, suffers from its lack of connection to the previous titles. Starting from square one, players are expected to forge new bonds with characters that feel like stand-ins for the original crew at times. While each character is certainly their own person rather than outright carbon copies, the Andromeda's character relationships and dynamic do not seem to carry with them nearly the same weight as the original trilogy.
Andromeda's plot also feels far more geared toward exploration, with Ryder leading an expedition to find a new home for former inhabitants of the Milky Way. As a result, the plot of the game is more aimed toward giving the player a reason to travel to the different planets, with the game's primary antagonist (the alien race known as the "kett," led by the Archon) bringing only a fraction of the stakes and danger imposed by the threat faced in the original Mass Effect trilogy.
The first game in the trilogy, Mass Effect introduces players to Commander Shepard and their crew on the Normandy, establishing the characters and crew of the vessel from the start, with the primary motivation revolving around a Turian known as Saren.
In continuing BioWare's previous efforts in Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire, the company's trademark style of binary morality choices makes a return in the form of the Paragon/Renegade system, giving players enough options to make Shepard truly their own.