Mass Effect is among the many amazing role-playing games (RPGs) that have become cult classics over the years.
One of the most critically acclaimed games of all time, this science fiction epic is a shining example of the studio’s work. In light of the recent release of the remastered Legendary Edition, which brings the original Mass Effect trilogy to modern platforms, now is a great time to give the series a try if you haven’t already.
Still, if you’re curious about the full catalog of games in this series as it stands, we’ll run down the titles in order and provide brief summaries for each.
November 20, 2007: Publication Date
Windows, Xbox 360, and PS3 are the supported platforms.
The original Mass Effect game, an Xbox 360 exclusive, was the beginning of one of BioWare’s best franchises and added to the studio’s impressive track record of excellent games released in the 2000s, which included Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Neverwinter Nights, Dragon Age: Origins, and Jade Empire.
Commander Shepard, the trilogy’s main character, is introduced in the first game and can have their name, gender, appearance, and background changed.
It established the series’ trademark third-person shooter gameplay, complete with cover and a variety of playable classes that specialize in or strike a balance between combat, technology, and biotic abilities, with support for up to two computer-controlled allies.
It was also the first game to include the “dialog wheel,” a feature that would later prove to be divisive in other role-playing games (RPGs) due to complaints that it simplified the gameplay too much and removed the rich variety of conversational choices found in earlier RPGs.
Even though the story in the original Mass Effect was powerful and well-executed, the sequel improved upon the experience in many ways, especially in the storytelling department.
Mass Effect Galaxy
Publication Date: June 23, 2009
Mass Effect: Galaxy, an isometric action game, was the second Mass Effect game to be released. It was a prologue to Mass Effect 2 that introduced the player to Jacob Taylor and Miranda Lawson, the first two allies they would meet in the sequel.
But Galaxy wasn’t well received, so Apple removed it from the App Store in 2012.
Mass Effect 2
January 26, 2010 — Date of Publication
Windows, Xbox 360, and PS3 are the available platforms.
Mass Effect 2 was released in 2010 and is widely considered the series’ apex for a number of reasons.
While some may have been put off by how much more like a traditional third-person shooter it felt than an RPG, it can’t be denied that Mass Effect 2 was a significant improvement over the original in terms of level design, story presentation, and character depth.
The number of playable characters was double that of the original, but that increase in quantity was not at the expense of quality; each playable character felt distinct from the others and had a story worth exploring.
Overall, Mass Effect 2 was a vast improvement over its predecessor, smoothing out many of the rough edges while offering a longer main story and more interesting optional activities.
The only real letdown was the combat system, which was neither as deep as the original’s nor as fast-paced and fluid as a game with this label should be.
Mass Effect 3
Due out on March 6th, 2012
Windows, Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii U are the supported platforms.
Mass Effect 3, the concluding chapter of the original Mass Effect trilogy, was a divisive entry that had its fair share of positive aspects.
In particular, the combat in Mass Effect 3 was excellent; it was much more polished than in the previous game, Mass Effect 2, and thus made for a more exciting and rewarding experience.
However, compared to its predecessor, the game was severely lacking in many other areas. The environments were less striking, the dialogue system was simplistic, and the plot and ending felt tacked on and unfinished.
Almost everyone is aware of the controversial ending to Mass Effect 3, which largely disregarded the player’s decisions throughout the trilogy in favor of offering three options that were essentially identical before being expanded in a free DLC. While the downloadable content improved things, many players still believe the epic saga was not given a fitting conclusion.
In light of this, Mass Effect 3 is not a terrible game, and it’s easy to see how it could have developed into a formidable RPG in its own right.
But the controversy that surrounded its initial release has cast a shadow over everything else, and the story still feels unfinished.
Mass Effect: Infiltrator
March 6th, 2012 – Date of Publication
iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch/Google Play/Microsoft Windows/BlackBerry
The mobile version of Mass Effect 3, titled Infiltrator, was also released at the same time. It was a third-person shooter that was a marked improvement over Mass Effect: Galaxy, the previous mobile installment in the series.
Unfortunately, Infiltrator, like Galaxy, was removed from the App Store around three years after it was first made available.
Mass Effect: Andromeda
The 21st of March, 2017 is the official release date.
Windows, Xbox One, and PS4 are the supported platforms.
For the better part of five years, Mass Effect 3 was universally acknowledged as the series’ most divisive entry. However, Mass Effect: Andromeda surpassed it in 2017 and became the best-selling video game of all time.
The game is set in a universe other than that of the original trilogy, the Andromeda galaxy, as suggested by the title. As a result, they were able to leave Mass Effect 3’s ending open, and they gained the breathing room they needed to establish a brand-new canon for the series’ next installments.
Andromeda’s lackluster side quests, uninteresting new characters, and unoriginal story felt like lazy rip-offs of the original trilogy, so the game didn’t do much with its clean slate.
When you factor in the ridiculous number of launch-day bugs that plagued the game, it’s easy to see why so many people were let down by Mass Effect: Andromeda.
It’s true that the game isn’t completely without merit. It introduced new dimensions of mobility and verticality to combat that showed great promise, and the game’s environments were stunning.
But the game’s many problems overshadowed its positives, and it is now regarded as a minor entry at best.
Mass Effect: Legendary Edition
Time of Publication: May 14th, 2021
Windows, Xbox One, and PS4 are the supported platforms.
To those who have been playing the Mass Effect series since its inception, it probably seems like only yesterday that the first game was released. But it’s been nearly a decade since the original trilogy finished up in 2012, and there’s no denying that these great games now look very dated in comparison to the new titles that are coming out today.
As the new console generation has begun, EA has decided that now is a good time to remaster the original Mass Effect trilogy and release it on newer platforms.
The first three Mass Effect games are included in Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, and they have all been enhanced with new textures, models, shaders, and effects to ensure a smooth experience at higher resolutions and framerates.
It is important to note that the Legendary Edition is a remaster and not a remake, so it does not add any new content and only makes minor changes to the existing content, especially with regard to the first game.
Windows, Xbox One, and PS4 users can now get their hands on the Legendary Edition. As expected, the remaster won’t be available for current-gen consoles, but it will be playable via backwards compatibility.
Untitled Mass Effect Game
Date of publication not yet determined.
Distribution Methods: TBA
On N7 Day 2020, not only did BioWare reveal the remastered Mass Effect trilogy, but the studio also confirmed that a new Mass Effect game is in the works.
The original tease only included a single piece of concept art and the statement that a “veteran team” was hard at work on the project. However, the future of the Mass Effect series is rather uncertain at the moment, what with Casey Hudson’s sudden departure from BioWare and EA’s track record.
It’s also worth noting that a new teaser trailer was unveiled in December, featuring a very familiar face, implying that the franchise would be returning to the Milky Way and would presumably take place after the events of Mass Effect 3, although it’s not yet clear just how long after.
In any case, until more information about the new game is revealed, it’s best to withhold judgment and practice cautious optimism. However, it’s safe to assume that we probably won’t be getting any news for a while.
New Mass Effect poster teases Geth focus
This new Mass Effect poster was unveiled as part of N7 Day 2021, suggesting the next game in the series. The crater looks suspiciously like a Geth helmet, and if you look closely at the tiny space people, one of them appears to be clad in Krogan armor.
Gary McKay, general manager of BioWare, revealed in a January 2022 post on the BioWare blog(opens in new tab) that the poster contains “a handful of hidden treats,” including “at least five surprises, all of which point to an amazing future in the Mass Effect universe.
McKay doesn’t reveal any specifics, but he does say that he’s witnessing “incredible work from both teams” in regards to the Mass Effect and Dragon Age development teams. There appears to be a delay before we can learn any further information.
“The next Mass Effect” teaser trailer breakdown
The first image released on N7 and the announcement trailer have given us some information to work with. Before we get any official word from EA or BioWare, we’ve compiled every scrap of information we could find about the upcoming Mass Effect sequel so you can read it all at once and prepare yourself for the return of the series you love.
New Mass Effect poster teases Geth focus
A new Mass Effect poster hinting at the next game will be unveiled on N7 Day in 2021. If you enlarge the image of the tiny space people, you can see that one of them appears to be wearing Krogan armor, and the crater looks suspiciously like a Geth helmet.
In a blog post published in January 2022 (opens in new tab), Gary McKay, general manager of BioWare, revealed that the poster contains “at least five surprises, all of which point to an amazing future in the Mass Effect universe.”
Although he remains tight-lipped about the specifics, McKay does say that he is witnessing “incredible work from both teams” from the Mass Effect and Dragon Age development teams. It appears that we will be required to wait a little longer for additional information.
“The next Mass Effect” teaser trailer breakdown
BioWare released the first teaser trailer for the next Mass Effect game at The Game Awards 2020, and holy Liara T’Soni, was it a doozy. Though it lasted for less than two minutes, fans dissected every frame in an effort to deduce what it meant for the franchise’s future. When BioWare project director Michael Gamble said on Twitter(opens in new tab) that “there’s a lot to unpack,” the Mass Effect fan base went into an uproar, speculating on what the trailer could possibly be alluding to.
In the beginning scene, you can clearly hear the distinctive horn of a Reaper. Later on, keen observers noticed that the mysterious figure (later revealed to be Liara) walking through the snowy landscape is accompanied by the silhouette of a Reaper. The trailer (opens in new tab) features a sighting of a reaper, as confirmed by Gamble, so these are likely the survivors from the final showdown between Shepard and the reapers in Mass Effect 3.
In addition, having Liara around adds a lot of intrigue. Given that Liara finds some N7 armor, there is much debate as to whether or not the location we see her in is actually in the Milky Way. Some have even speculated that she already exists on Earth, which would make the next adventure a natural continuation.
There are also many well-supported hypotheses suggesting that the next is connected to Mass Effect: Andromeda. If so, that may hint at when our next adventure will take place. It makes sense for Liara to be around long after Shepard’s time, given her long life span, and the fact that you can listen to voice recordings of her in Andromeda, which takes place some 600 years after Mass Effect 3.
In the trailer, we hear “godspeed” being said over the comms as Ryder takes off in the Tempest ship for the first time. More evidence has been accumulated for the theory that the next adventure will be connected to Andromeda after Gamble confirmed on Twitter that this was “intentional”.
Many people speculated that the trailer would have some sort of Andromeda connection before it was even released, thanks to the official artwork that was unveiled on N7 Day alongside the blog post announcing the film. One of the four silhouetted figures in the concept art titled “Mud Skipper” has the same physique as the Angara, a race we meet for the first time in Andromeda. Is Jaal possibly the one speaking? We don’t know much about the mysterious Salarian and Drell, but they seem to be present. When Liara turns and smiles in the trailer, we briefly see the same image, leading us to speculate that she was the fourth figure from the left in the original.
Who’s making the new Mass Effect game?
A “veteran team” at BioWare is developing the next Mass Effect game. Director of the BioWare project, Michael Gamble, took to Twitter shortly after the teaser trailer’s debut to highlight some of the familiar faces returning to work on the next installment in the franchise.
To kick things off, Dusty Everman(opens in new tab) has returned to the team as a principal narrative designer. Gamble says that Everman, a former senior level designer at BioWare, was instrumental in bringing the Normandy ship to life. Former cinematic director for the Mass Effect trilogy Parrish Ley(opens in new tab) is also returning to add “his vision” to the new adventure, as are longtime BioWare programmer and technical designer Brenon Holmes(opens in new tab) and original Mass Effect art director Derek Watts(opens in new tab).
When will the new Mass Effect game be released?
When can we expect the next Mass Effect adventure to be released? is the burning question on everyone’s mind. Given that BioWare is still in the planning stages, an official release date is unlikely to be announced for some time. It’s safe to assume that it’ll be released for the Xbox One X and PlayStation 5; the prospect of a next-gen Mass Effect game is, to put it mildly, thrilling.
The BioWare team is “looking forward to sharing our vision for where we’ll be going,” as stated in an official blog post. While we shouldn’t expect any major announcements or developments regarding the next game any time soon, we’ll be keeping a close eye on any further information regarding Mass Effect 5’s development.
Mass Effect 5 wishlist: here are the features we’re looking for
Until we hear more about Mass Effect 5, these are the things we hope to see in the next installment of the series:
A more linear mission design
Mass Effect Andromeda shifted to an open world format like many other games have in recent years. Although you are free to explore the galaxy and complete side quests at your leisure, the main story of Mass Effect: Andromeda is unlocked once you have completed enough quests on a planet in the Heleus cluster to increase that planet’s viability level. Dullness sets in quickly with such routine work, and both planets and their settlements appeared to be largely deserted. In contrast, in Mass Effect 2 and 3, gathering your forces was an endgame activity that came after engaging story developments. The suspenseful elements of Mass Effect Andromeda are depleted by having you repeat the same tasks repeatedly before the game finally moves on to the plot. In the vein of earlier Mass Effect games, a more restrictive narrative could make for more engaging missions.
Make it Andromeda 2
A significant portion of the audience is split on this one; some want the next game to take place in the Andromeda galaxy, while others prefer a return to the Milky Way. But ignoring Andromeda’s existence is an insult to those who toiled on its production. Though the plot wasn’t significantly different from the first Mass Effect trilogy, it did leave some unanswered questions, which may be enough to keep some players interested. Perhaps in the sequel, we can learn more about the Ryders and their history or examine the racial tensions that arise after everyone has finally settled down. Andromeda introduced some intriguing new alien races, and just as Shephard’s team had multiple opportunities to develop as players over the course of the trilogy, so too should the Andromeda crew.
An overhauled morality system
Previous games’ Paragon/Renegade systems were eliminated in Andromeda. There was never much of a loss, as the dialogue options were already separated into good, rude, and vaguely sarcastic even before the system was scrapped, but a greater focus on repercussions would be welcome. Even though Mass Effect 3 didn’t maximize the impact of your choices, you still felt the repercussions of your actions in certain situations, such as whether or not you rescued the general of the Quarian flotilla. We believe that there is a lot of potential for Bioware to explore in expanding Mass Effect’s scope to include more weighty choices.
The ability to control squad powers
The fights in Mass Effect: Andromeda are exciting. The game doesn’t try anything new, being content to be a cover shooter like previous Mass Effect games, but it does add some interesting variety to the genre with its various combat profiles. Even though your squad mates let you down, the good AI behavior of the enemies kept things challenging. Team members in Mass Effect games have never been at their best, but you made up for it by ordering them to use their abilities. Andromeda lacks this functionality. Returning it would complete the already enjoyable gameplay.
This, then, is a full accounting of all Mass Effect titles.
One of our favorite video game science fiction sagas is not over, and fans around the world can rest easy knowing that Andromeda did not manage to kill the franchise as was feared. Don’t miss out on upcoming information!