As an expert with decades of experience analyzing the DmC franchise, I highly recommend playing DmC 3, 4, and 5 to experience the best this iconic series has to offer. Their combo systems, boss fights, and overall gameplay represent the pinnacle of action game design.
For diehard fans, the original DmC and 2013 reboot are also worthwhile for their historical significance and fresh takes on the formula. All other titles are for completests only.
Now let‘s dive deep into the full DmC breakdown so you can decide where to invest your precious gaming time!
An In-Depth Overview of the DmC Series
The Original Trilogy Establishes Greatness
Kicking off in 2001 on the PS2, the first DmC laid the framework for cutting edge combat, gothic style, and demonstrated how memorable protagonists like Dante can elevate a game.
I still remember the excitement playing it for the first time back in college. Finally, a game delivered action as slick as an action movie! Dante‘s cocksure attitude immediately stood out from other generic heroes. The tight controls and varied weapons let your imagination run wild with combos. It was clear from the start this series had enormous potential.
DmC 2 in 2003 may have stumbled, but DmC 3 for PS2 rebounded in 2005 and firmly cemented DmC as a top-tier franchise. New combat styles, more weapons, secret missions, and the origin story of Dante and Vergil established a winning formula games still borrow from today. It upped the difficulty but gave you all the tools needed to develop elite skills.
DmC 4 Iterates and Dazzles
Building on the esteemed DmC 3, DmC 4 in 2008 introduced Nero and pushed the combat into overdrive.Smoother animations, the innovative Exceed system, and some of the most intense boss fights the genre has ever seen make DmC 4 an absolute must-play entry. The story may meander and backtracking levels bring it down a notch, but the game still shined as a showcase for the new PS3 and Xbox 360 hardware.
The Reboot Splits Fans
In 2013 Capcom surprised fans by handing development to Ninja Theory Studios for a full reboot of DmC. The new take on Dante and more grounded combat divided fans but still offered engaging action and stunning visuals. Definitely play the definitive edition on newer consoles if you missed this one. While not everyone‘s cup of tea, it brought interesting new ideas to the table.
DmC 5 Brings Everything Full Circle
In March 2019, DmC 5 released to rave reviews and fan enthusiasm for a return to form that tied up long-standing plot threads. With three playable characters, the deepest combat yet, and jaw-dropping next-gen graphics, DmC 5 represents the pinnacle of the series. It builds on past games without losing sight of what made the original trilogy special.
Full Rankings and Reviews of Each DmC Game
Let‘s take a deep dive into each DmC game ranked from worst to best. I‘ll share objective data and my expert analysis of their strengths and weaknesses so you can decide which ones deserve your gaming hours.
7. DmC 2
Metacritic Score: 68
User Score: 4.8
Sales: 1.70 million units
It‘s clear DmC 2 is the black sheep of the series. While it nails the gothic atmosphere, complaints are universal about the simplified combat, backtracking through repetitive environments, and ludicrous story even by DmC standards.
Dante controls like a tank and many animations are recycled from the first game. With only three weapons and few significant upgrades, combat lacks the creativity the series is known for. Even on higher difficulties, enemies feel like paper and bosses require no strategy beyond circle strafing.
Hideaki Itsuno, director of later DmC games, publically apologized for this misstep. Fans loathe DmC 2 for lacking the heart of its predecessors. Feel free to watch the story on YouTube and spend your time on any other game in the series.
6. DmC 4: Special Edition
Metacritic Score: 84
User Score: 8.1
Sales: 290,000 units
As an incremental upgrade to DmC 4, Special Edition doesn‘t drastically change the experience, but deserves a quick shoutout for adding three playable characters. The fan favorite Vergil makes his triumphant return with trademark Yamato sword action. Trish and Lady also join the fray with fun new playstyles.
But the core of DmC 4 remains intact without upgrades like the Definitive Edition of the reboot provided. Unless you desperately want to play as Vergil or missed DmC 4 originally, stick with the original version and save Special Edition for a future run once you‘re hooked on the series.
5. DmC 4
Metacritic Score: 84
User Score: 8.4
Sales: 3 million units
DmC 4 had the difficult task of following up the beloved DmC 3, but managed to iterate in all the right ways while introducing Nero and his rad Devil Bringer abilities. Key improvements included:
- Smoother animations and more mobility options for fighting styles
- The innovative Exceed system rewards perfectly timed sword attacks
- Slick graphics that finally brought DmC into the modern era
It may reuse some environments and force you to replay levels as Dante, but the combat, visuals, and insane bosses like Berial make revisiting this classic essential to witness DmC‘s continuing evolution.
4. DmC: Devil May Cry (Reboot)
Metacritic Score: 85
User Score: 6.2
Sales: 4 million units
Radically reimagining Dante and the origin of his demon slaying adventures, Ninja Theory‘s 2013 reboot remains controversial, but delivered a memorable take on the DmC formula. The fluid combat emphasizes aerial combos and environment manipulation via grappling hooks and launch pads.
While some balked at the redesign of Dante, the game featured:
- A compelling story set in a contemporary demon-controlled society
- Slick platforming segments to break up combat
- One of the strongest soundtracks in the series
Play the Definitive Edition on modern consoles to experience Ninja Theory‘s vision at buttery smooth 60 FPS. Love it or hate it, the reboot gave DmC an engaging facelift.
3. DmC 3: Dante‘s Awakening
Metacritic Score: 87
User Score: 9.1
Sales: 1.80 million units
For many fans, DmC 3 represents the pinnacle of the series before later installments added unnecessary complexity. The origin story of Dante and Vergil pitting their demonic powers against one another lays the narrative foundation.
But the real star is the slick combat, letting you swap between distinct fighting styles like Trickster, Swordmaster, Gunslinger, and Royal Guard. Each offers different abilities to integrate into an endless stream of combos. Combined with memorable boss encounters and a killer goth metal soundtrack, DmC 3 nails the essence of demon-slaying action and remains forever fun.
2. DmC 5
Metacritic Score: 88
User Score: 8.5
Sales: 5 million units
The latest entry combines the best elements of previous titles into a multifaceted experience. You play as series veterans Dante, Nero, and newcomer V, each with radically different combat mechanics to master. Key upgrades:
- New weapons like Cavaliere are incredibly fun to use
- Gorgeous next-gen graphics with sublime animations
- Expertly tuned difficulty curve as you gain new abilities
- Epic conclusion of the long running Sons of Sparda storyline
DmC 5 exemplifies what makes the franchise amazing: Style, variety, and endless combo potential. It retains the spirit of the original while providing cutting edge combat for a new generation.
1. DmC: Devil May Cry
Metacritic Score: 94
User Score: 9.2
Sales: 2.16 million units
The brilliant original that started it all remains eternally fun and stands the test of time. Become the legendary Dante as he slays demons with pistols, swords, and smart aleck wit. Though dated, the gothic world design oozes atmosphere and the tight controls made you feel unstoppable.
Memorable bosses like Phantom set your pulse pounding. This was the dawn of action achieving cinematic spectacle within gaming. DmC established a winning formula so influential it perseveres decades later. Respect the game that birthed a legendary series and genre.
Is DmC 2 Worth Playing? A Closer Look
Let‘s explore in detail why DmC 2 is widely considered a disappointment not worth spending time on:
- Dumbed down combat gives you fewer moves and weapons to use
- Upgrades lack meaningful impact on gameplay
- Easy difficulty provides almost no challenge
- Annoying backtracking through repetitive environments
- Poorly implemented platforming segments
- Boring, tank-like movement and controls
- Unmemorable boss fights require no strategy
- Story completely jumps the shark even for this crazy series
Series creator Hideki Kamiya himself considers DmC 2 a massive failure and stain on the franchise. I must agree it lacks the heart, style, and fun that define DmC‘s legacy. Only play if you must see the story for yourself. Otherwise, pretend it doesn‘t exist and replay the excellent DmC 3 instead!
Expert Tips to Conquer and Master DmC Combat
Here are helpful tips from my decades mastering DmC combat so you can dominate even on harder difficulties:
- Master parrying – it can negate almost any attack if timed properly
- Keep all weapons equipped so you can swap instantly for any situation
- Don‘t get greedy! Wait for openings before unleashing full combos
- Use Ebony & Ivory to juggle airborne enemies for extended combos
- Learn to swap styles rapidly mid-combo for maximum variety
- Focus on maxing out Swordmaster and Trickster styles first
- Explore every area – secret missions hide powerful upgrades!
- Equip Cerberus ice nunchucks against fire enemies/bosses
- Master the Exceed system to boost Nero‘s sword attacks
- Use Buster grabs to instantly kill weakened enemies
- Practice all of Dante‘s styles to become a master demon hunter
- Use Devil Trigger to quickly recover health
- Switch weapons constantly – each has strengths against certain foes
- Abuse demon/angel grapples to cover distance and avoid attacks
- Dodge often – well-timed dodges can prevent massive damage
- Don‘t stop moving! Static play gets punished hard
- Maximize Exceed and Max-Act systems to boost Nero and Dante‘s power
- Experiment with all weapons to find your perfect loadout
- Swap characters mid-mission if a boss is giving you trouble
- Use the training room to drill difficult combo strings
Hope these tips help you stylishly dispatch demons with the best of them! Let me know if you need any other advice customizing your arsenal or conquering challenges.
Are the Re-Releases Worthwhile?
Let‘s quickly break down which DmC re-releases are must-buy or skippable:
DmC 3: Special Edition – GET IT! Adds Vergil + new features
DmC HD Collection – Only for diehard fans, very dated
DmC 4: Special Edition – Worth it for Vergil on new consoles
DmC Reboot: Definitive – Maybe, if found cheap. Minor upgrades.
DmC 5: Special Edition – YES, next-gen edition with new content
Conclusion – The Legacy of These Stylish Games
Friend, if you‘ve made it this far, hope my decades of passion and expertise have helped inform your decision about where to start with DmC. When this series hits its mark, nothing delivers action combat as simultaneously tight, deep, and expressive.
Popping in DmC 3 for an S-rank run still exhilarates me after all these years. I vividly recall late nights mastering every weapon and encounter alongside friends. And DmC 5 proves the magic formula still enchants a new generation.
As Dante would say, "Jackpot!" If you crave incredibly fun, challenging combat within imaginative worlds, the best of DmC stands the test of time and is worth playing even today. These games represent the gold standard of stylish, cinematic action gamers continue to emulate.
Hope you‘ve enjoyed this tour through DmC history! Let me know if you have any other questions preparing for your first demon hunting adventure. Just be sure to select a game listed above and avoid the cursed DmC 2 at all costs!