Decades after the release of the original Devil May Cry, the series remains a valuable icon in the genre. There were quite a several attempts to mimic Devil May Cry’s formula by a slew of developers, but in the end, these developers couldn’t touch the same heights as the former. The latter didn’t only revolutionize the way we will look at action hacking and slashing games in the future, but also came out with a peerless mechanic, unmatchless to this day.
Whilst the hack-and-slash genre enjoyed a plethora of amazing titles such as the God of War trilogy, Shinobi on the PS2, Onimusha series, Conan: The Dark Axe, and other amazing titles — they simply did not reach the same heights as what Capcom’s juggernaut brought to the table. Devil May Cry spawned tons of titles, and most of them are obscure since they were either released on a specific platform or the fact that they were released exclusively in Japan.
In case you’re wondering, the chronological order of the Devil May Cry series is the following:
A section dedicated to the main Devil May Cry games. There are no mobile titles, nor any pachinko crap here.
The game that started it all back in the PS2 era. Devil May Cry happened as a coincidence when developers were working on a game called Onimusha when a bug occurred in which an enemy was stuck in the air. Consequently, this bizarre coincidence inspired the developers to be more creative with their new games, and so Devil May Cry was born.
When it comes to the storyline, Devil May Cry acts as a sequel to Devil May Cry 3 which on the other hand is a prequel to the former. The plot begins when Trish bursts into Dante’s shop asking for help. Our pizza boy has no other option but to accept the lady’s request and embark on a journey to face off against demons once again.
Devil May Cry was a financial and commercial success that went ahead and inspired other games to follow in its footsteps. One fine example is God of War. Another crazy hack and slash that owes it to Devil May Cry.
After the success of the original Devil May Cry, Capcom went ahead and made a sequel. However, this one wasn’t directed by Hideki Kamiya or Capcom Production Studio 4. This disappointed Hideki since he was not called by his superiors at Capcom to work on a proper continuation of the series. Capcom’s plan was to make Devil May Cry 2 much bigger than its predecessor and much more fun of course.
Devil May Cry 2 took a dark direction compared to its predecessor, with an obscure tune, grotesque creatures and overly a taciturn Dante. The plot begins when Dante encounters a lady called Lucia in a museum. After talking for a short time, she asks him to help her defeat Arius, an international businessman who is using demonic to conquer the world.
Sadly, Devil May Cry 2 didn’t receive much appreciation compared to its predecessor. The game was criticized for its repetitive combat and poor level design, but gamers praised the game for its dark approach and its easter eggs.
After the tragic flop of Devil May Cry 2, Capcom managed to bring the series from the brink of death. This time they went back to give us more story details about Dante, his family, and his true nature. Surprisingly, Devil May Cry 3 outsold both its previous predecessors and brought newcomers to the franchise. Needless to say that some see this entry in the series as their favourite one. And I’m one of them too.
Vergil, Dante’s twin, invites Dante to come to pay him a visit to the tower Temen-ni-gru. Vergil and his partner in crime Arkham, conspire to use Dante to unlock the gate to the demonic realm. Just like in the previous games, Dante will meet a beautiful chick named Lady, who will ask him to stop her father from fulfilling his wicked dreams.
What made this entry so special is how it introduced new mechanics and different combos. Devil May Cry 3 introduced a multitude of new styles that broke free of the traditional repetitive hacking and slashing style syndrome previous titles were renowned. A ranking system that rewards players for stylish executions and fantastic performance have been included too. Devil May Cry 3 was a new entry that reinvented the hacking and slashing genre and went further beyond by introducing something that was not expected at the time.
After the success of Devil May Cry 3, Capcom immediately began working on a new instalment in the franchise. Similar to the third instalment in the series, this fourth entry is a blast to unleash your Devil Trigger for. Just like Devil May Cry 3, this one has brought some new changes to the overall gameplay and introduced a new main character.
The player controls both Nero, a new character, and Dante. The story begins when Nero has attended a certain ceremony in the church when suddenly a mysterious has appeared out of nowhere and began slaughtering everyone. Nero manages to defeat him, but is he? In the quest of investigating the true nature of this mysterious man, Nero will learn the truth about the Order and discover their intentional wicked plans that menace the safety of the world.
Devil May Cry 4 introduced a new gameplay element, and that is the Devil Bringer. This ability grants Nero the ability to grab enemies and slam them on the ground, throw them in the air, or execute a finishing move. Needless to say that this technique is useful against bosses and holy smoke, it’s epic I tell ya. Meanwhile, Dante was granted a new set of weapons, and different combo techniques in this one as well.
Originally announced by Capcom in October 2011, Devil May Cry: HD Collection is a compilation of the first three Devil May Cry instalments. This collection brought the trilogy with graphical upgrades, pushing the game up to 720p on Xbox 360 and PS3, whilst the PS4 and Xbox One versions were enhanced to be played at 1080P.
One of the other few changes the compilation brought is reducing loading times, opting for a seamless experience with fewer interruptions. Although this collection has had its pros, it also suffered from several flaws. However, all in all, the compilation is a great way to experience the trilogy in one setting.
DmC is Ninja Theory’s attempt to make a western Dante, a more edgy and cocky one. Sadly, this one was criticized for its poor plot, and at the same time, it was praised for its visuals and combat mechanics. Yet, diehard fans disliked this instalment upon its release, which sparked a controversy that led many to feel disappointed. On the other hand, for newcomers, the game was a blast to go through.
In DmC, You take on the role of a different version of a dark-haired Dante wearing a red coat ready to kick some ass. The story takes place in a place called Limbo City, a contemporary metropolis, where humans are brainwashed and manipulated by demonic powers. Yet, Dante sees through the beautiful nightmare when he meets a girl called Kat who asks him to join their forces together alongside Vergil to stop the villain.
DmC introduced several new features like a complete 3D camera instead of the old-fashioned Biohazard perspective seen in previous DMC games. While this version of Dante had familiar weapons like Rebellion, Ebony, and Ivory. It introduced a couple of fantastic weapons that are as stylish as the originals.
After a quiet 6 years without any news about the franchise, Capcom dropped a nuke on fans by revealing a proper sequel to Devil May Cry 4 in 2019. Boy, it was a bomb.
After DmC: Devil May Cry, Hideaki Itsuno wanted to leave Capcom, but the latter refused to let him go. In return, they listened to Hideki’s demands. One of these demands was to make a Devil May Cry game the way he wanted. And you can see the results with your own eyes. Just like the situation with Devil May Cry 3, this new entry has adopted a wave of newcomers that instantly fell in love with the gameplay, graphics, and of course, soundtracks. (And let’s not forget waifus too).
Once again, the game follows Nero as he fights a myriad of demonic invasions alongside Dante once again, but this time a new character is introduced that puts a further twist on things in the end.
Devil May Cry 5 introduced a couple of new gameplay mechanics like giving Nero a metal arm that acts like his previous Devil Bringer, but this one has other functionalities. In addition, Dante was also granted new weapons and familiar ones as well. And let’s not forget the new playable character, V.
A section dedicated to the pachinko games in the franchise.
Release Date: June, 2007
Publisher: Sega Sammy Fields
Japanese Name パチスロ デビルメイクライ3 Pachisuro Debirumeikurai Suri
Devil May Cry 3 (パチスロ デビルメイクライ3 Pachisuro Debirumeikurai Suri) is the first pachinko game of the Devil May Cry series. What’s surprising is why did Sega Sammy bother to publish this one, and why? Was it because of the success of the original game on the PS2?
Damn, Japanese people are a mystery I tell ya. I don’t have much information about the game since all I know is that the game takes place in DMC 3 and reuses assets and locations featured in the game.
Release Date: 2013
Publisher: Capcom Fields
Japanese Name: パチスロ デビルメイクライ４
This one is the second pachinko game in the series. This time it was published by Capcom itself. There’s nothing much to say about this one. It reuses pretty much all of the assets and locations of the original console game. However, there are two special stages in this one. One is the inside of the saviour, and the other one is the Devil May Cry office.
Surprisingly, the game sold pretty well for a pachinko game with 25.000 units sold. These numbers pushed Capcom to port the game to Android and iPhone devices.
Release Date: 2016
Publisher: Capcom Fields
Another pachinko game that uses Devil May Cry 4 as its template. There’s not much to say about this one as it is similar to the game mentioned above. This one sold 15.000 units and was also ported to mobile devices later on.
Despite this story being similar to Devil May Cry 4, there are a few changes here and there, but it’s not a big deal. Unless you are a diehard fan of this stuff.
Release Date: August 20, 2018
Publisher: Universal Entertainment
Seems like Capcom has milked Devil May Cry 4 to the core with all those pachinko releases. However, the previous pachinko games I have mentioned above use the same in-game assets and stages included in Devil May Cry 4. CR Devil May Cry 4 has its own stages and assets. Vergil is also included in this game, and while his looks are based on DMC3 design, his movements are based on the DMC 4 Special Edition release.
Though, I’m not going to lie the CGI cutscenes look incredibly well-crafted. It makes you dream of seeing a full CGI Devil May Cry animated movie one day.
A section dedicated to mobile games in the franchise.
Release Date: 2008
This one had two versions, one is 2D and the other is 3D. Both are different in their own ways. This one will actually remind someone of God of War: Betrayal. A mobile depiction of the first God of War on the PS2. Sadly, it is quite difficult to find it these days.
The game is based on Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening and reuses pretty much most of the locations in the previous game. As I said earlier, the 2D version plays like God of War: Betrayal. Meanwhile, the 3D version follows a more traditional approach to the console release with few changes of course. Unlike the console game where Vergil is the last boss, in this one, the last final boss is Cerberus. In addition to an alternate plot where Dante has to save the city instead of climbing the aforementioned tower of Temen-ni-gru.
Release Date: February 3, 2011
Devil May Cry 4 refrain is a port of the console game. When the game was first released, it featured Nero as the only playable character. After an update, Dante was included as a second playable character.
The plot is largely similar to that of the console game, but luckily, Capcom has managed to tweak the story and added some minor changes to the overall plot. A fine example is that Nero and Dante’s stories are split into two different narratives rather than one continuous one.
One issue is the game is way shorter than the original game, but that’s understandable. There’s also a non-official Java version of this game which is 2D, and pretty much similar to the mentioned Devil May Cry 3 mobile in so many ways.
Devil May Cry: Pinnacle of Combat is a spin-off of the DMC franchise that uses assets from previous games and combines them. This one was developed by a Chinese team and was released back in 2021. This spin-off game came out as a surprise to so many of us. It was unexpected, to say the least.
Unlike previous mobile games, this spin-off will incorporate hack and slash elements with RPG. In addition, it will have an online mode such as team battles and PvP combat. While the game has the looks of DMC3, it was confirmed by the developers that the game would take place in DMC4. Other characters from the previous series will make an appearance including those from DmC.
Many are waiting for this game, and I believe they can’t wait to put their hands on it once it’s ready and loaded.
This section is dedicated to mentioning every special edition each entry in the series received from oldest to newest. The section will also tackle other editions such as Deluxe and Definitive editions.
After an outstanding success, and saving the series from the brink of failure after the fiasco that was Devil May Cry 3, Capcom re-released Devil May Cry 3 as a special edition with unique content. The latter enjoyed a couple of newly added content as well as lowering the game’s severe difficulty so that it’s easy for newcomers to get into the game.
One of the fascinating additions the Special Edition brought with it was the introduction of Vergil as a playable character. Unlike Dante, Vergil cannot switch styles, but he possesses 3 weapons; Yamato, Beowulf, and Force Edge. Three powerful weapons to cause pain to your enemies.
In addition to all this, Special Edition introduced three new boss fights against the clown, Jester. The first fight is mandatory while the other two are optional. Players can also fight Jester as Vergil, however, they’re not mandatory.
DmC Devil May Cry: Definitive Edition is a remaster release launched exclusively on consoles. The game runs at 1080p/60FPS and comes packed with new costumes, gameplay features and all new stuff for the player to discover. The Definitive Edition comes loaded with Vergil’s Downfall DLC as well.
Similar to the case with Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition release, Capcom ended up launching a special edition for Devil May Cry 4 as well. This edition comes loaded with all-new playable characters and costumes for the player to enjoy. Vergil, Trish and Lady are playable in the game from start to finish, but sadly the missions don’t differ much from one another.
You knew a special edition was bound to happen with the massive success DMC 5 has garnered. This special edition gave players the freedom to control our motivated son of Sparda, Vergil. As he slays and bashes demons with style throughout the entire game. However, it could’ve been much better if Capcom made Trish and Lady playable as well, but who knows, maybe Capcom will make it a reality.
I'm just your average gamer who enjoys hunting hidden gems and underrated games. My love for Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams is like a truck and I recommend that you play it.