• Wolfenstein games had a massive influence on the FPS genre, but are often overlooked by modern gamers.
  • Wolfenstein RPG introduced turn-based combat to the franchise and had a strong emphasis on story.
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus successfully reinvented the franchise for modern gamers with immersive gameplay and compelling stories.

Wolfenstein is a hugely underrated franchise that deserves a lot more praise from the gaming community than it generally receives. Despite the massive influence that these games had on the FPS genre, they are generally forgotten by modern gamers in favor of the Call of Duty or Battlefield franchises due to the heavy focus on multiplayer.


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However, Wolfenstein games have been a mainstay of the gaming world. While they don’t have quite the same popularity nowadays, they deserve to go down in gaming history for having changed one of the most popular genres of game that there has ever been.

Updated on April 8, 2024, by Chris Harkin:The Wolfenstein franchise continues to wait for another big announcement about the future, having no clear plans. Without anything left to add from the previous entries, there is nothing to do but wait to see when the next entry will arrive. Nevertheless, this legendary franchise will continue, one way or another, already having found success through reboots. To prove Wolfenstein’s staying power, just take a look at these fantastic entries in the series that have helped define different eras of the gaming industry already.

12 Wolfenstein RPG

Metacritic Score: N/A

Wolfenstein RPG
September 30, 2008
First-Person Shooter , RPG

Built similarly to the Doom RPG, this spin-off from the main Wolfenstein franchise was released for mobiles in 2008. It allowed players to return to the world of the series with turn-based combat, which was a first for the franchise and remains the only instance of it in the series.

For a mobile release, the Wolfenstein RPG put a lot of emphasis on story, producing another fascinating one in the history of an already impressively narrative-based franchise. With many great role-playing elements added, a lot of humor, and great writing, Wolfenstein RPG became an impressive hit.

11 Castle Wolfenstein

Metacritic Score: N/A

Castle Wolfenstein
Apple II , Atari 400 , Commodore 64 , MS-DOS


Muse Software

Action-Adventure , Stealth

One of the very first stealth games and the first game in the franchise, Castle Wolfenstein released in 1981 and was a thrilling ride for its time. This influential early game was a huge hit, even before it turned to the first-person shooter style that would make the franchise so popular.

The game was focused on a soldier who was trapped as a prisoner in the titular castle and was tasked with finding Nazi war plans and escaping. Castle Wolfenstein had many stealth options and elements that are retained in the genre to this day.

10 Beyond Castle Wolfenstein

Metacritic Score: N/A

Beyond Castle Wolfenstein
Apple II , Atari 400 , Commodore 64 , MS-DOS


Muse Software

Stealth , Shooter

This direct sequel to Castle Wolfenstein was the last entry in the Wolfenstein franchise before the FPS genre became the mainstay for the series. With several improvements over the first game, Beyond Castle Wolfenstein gave players more of the ahead-of-its-time gameplay they got from the first game.

The story this time was the opposite of the first game. Instead of attempting to escape Castle Wolfenstein, players were attempting to break into the bunker of Hitler himself. This helped bring a sense of completion to the story of these early entries, as well as upping the stakes for the sequel.

9 Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot

Metacritic Score: 50

Many different franchises decided in the last few years to diversify their new entries by bringing famous franchises to VR, in an attempt to dominate the market. While VR gaming still hasn’t really taken off yet, Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot was one of the most interesting attempts to make use of the new format.

Most VR games from this time weren’t well-loved or played because the platform was fairly expensive and the games were mostly limited in their abilities. Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot made a bold attempt to get the format to work by having players take on the role of a French Resistance Fighter who was able to hack into different machines and take control of them, all set around the same time as Wolfenstein: Youngblood. Though it isn’t one of the best-remembered entries in the series, Cyberpilot has given

8 Wolfenstein 3D

Metacritic Score: 66

Wolfenstein 3D deserves credit as one of the most influential games of all time. While many today consider Doom to be the titular FPS that led to all the others in the genre, it was Wolfenstein 3D that got there first and was credited as having popularized the FPS genre.


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Swinging the franchise away from the earlier top-down perspective stealth games, Wolfenstein 3D was based on William Blazkowicz as he escapes from Castle Wolfenstein and engages in a variety of missions against the Nazis. The gameplay was revolutionary and similar in style to what the early Doom games would later use.

7 Wolfenstein: Youngblood

Metacritic Score: 69

Taking place twenty years after the events of Wolfenstein: The New Colossus, Wolfenstein: Youngblood is a shorter entry that features the daughters of B.J. Blazkowicz as they attempt to find their father, who disappeared without a trace while on a secret mission to help the French Resistance still fighting against the Nazi regime.

Youngblood wasn’t as large or well-regarded an entry as the other recent additions to the franchise. But the change of pace with Jessie and Zofia Blazkowicz following in the footsteps of their father, featuring a great story and solid gameplay within the realms of what franchise fans came to expect made for a great additional piece of content.

6 Wolfenstein (2009)

Metacritic Score: 72

Wolfenstein 2009 failed at a number of things, partially because it was more obsessed with other franchises such as the recently popularized Call of Duty franchise, than it was with the Wolfenstein games. The shifting trends of the gaming industry took control of the production process for this game. As such, it was a bit of a stylistic mess.

Nevertheless, it successfully put together a sequel to the hugely successful Return to Castle Wolfenstein and managed to garner some interest for the franchise at a time when that was an incredibly difficult feat to accomplish. Not the most intriguing game to return to now, but a reasonably memorable part of the franchise’s history.

5 Wolfenstein: The Old Blood

Metacritic Score: 76

Wolfenstein: The Old Blood

Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is a 2015 prequel to The New Order, which kept much of the same style and flair of the hugely successful switch-up for the franchise. The main problem with The Old Blood is that it forgot about much of the story aspect that set The New Order so far apart from other FPS games. As a result, a nice addition to the franchise but nothing special was created.

Even so, Wolfenstein: The Old Blood was well worth a look for fans of the series, and it was a great way to fill the wait while the team behind the Wolfenstein games began work on The New Colossus. The Old Blood is a shorter but highly amusing adventure that added to the world of the franchise as it is known today.

4 Wolfenstein: The New Order

Metacritic Score: 79

Wolfenstein: The New Order

If Wolfenstein 3D was a complete overhaul of a little-known genre, then Wolfenstein: The New Order was a complete overhaul of the franchise. Taking place in a dieselpunk world where the Nazis won the war and are in control of the world, The New Order pits Blazkowicz against a government that controls the entire world.

The story and characters were impeccable in The New Order, and the gameplay was at a high level even compared to the many other FPS games that were coming out around the time in 2014. This reinvention of the franchise for modern gamers was a genius way to keep Wolfenstein relevant even in a world saturated by gaming.

3 Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus

Metacritic Score: 87

Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus
October 27, 2017

When the Wolfenstein franchise revamped itself for the modern era of gaming, nobody expected what level of success the old-school franchise would find in a new, much larger world filled with various types of games. But the success of The New Order led to a sequel that focused on Blazkowicz and other survivors helping liberate America from the Nazi regime.


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While many felt a direct sequel to The New Order was unnecessary, The New Colossus was a huge success because the story, characters, and gameplay were all so well-executed. The game was helped by many drawing comparisons to real-world political events taking place in America at the time, which the team satirized in Easter Eggs but did not intend to make into such a big deal.

2 Return To Castle Wolfenstein

Metacritic Score: 88

Return To Castle Wolfenstein
November 19, 2001

id Software, Splash Damage, Gray Matter Studios, Nerve Software, Threewave Software

Return To Castle Wolfenstein was a game-changer after another game-changer for the franchise. Wolfenstein 3D did something massive when it was released, but when Return to Castle Wolfenstein came out in 2001 it was unrivaled in the way it made players feel like a true highly-trained operative as they sped through the game.

Return to Castle Wolfenstein featured the titular William “B.J” Blazkowicz going up against both Nazis and zombies because the Nazis have awakened great evil in an attempt to enslave the undead creatures. While the single-player campaign is well-remembered, it was the multiplayer mode in Return to Castle Wolfenstein that took over as the most popular aspect. The team-based multiplayer was a huge deal at the time and helped many games develop their own versions of similar multiplayer modes.

1 Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory

Metacritic Score: 90

Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory

One of the more tumultuous development processes for a Wolfenstein game, Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory was supposed to be an online multiplayer game with a single-player campaign included. However, severe problems with the single-player aspects led to them releasing the multiplayer mode as a free and open-source game in 2003.

Enemy Territory pits two teams against each other as the Axis and Allies. The game had a great modding community due to the open-source nature of the game. Despite being initially conceived as an add-on for Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Enemy Territory has retained an active community of its own over the last twenty years and was made available on Steam in 2022.


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