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The Complete List of Nier Games in Chronological & Release Order

A screenshot of 2B from Nier Automata

The Complete List of Nier Games in Chronological & Release Order

Since spinning off from the Drakengard series back in 2010, the Nier series has taken on a life of its own and thrived outside of the shadow of its predecessor. The Nier games are futuristic third-person action games with RPG and hack-and-slash elements, offering a different experienced when compared to the Drakengard titles.

Nier Games in Chronological Order

Nier (2010)

The first Nier game released in 2010 and was developed by Cavia, which would later get absorbed by AQ Interactive. Square Enix served as the publisher for the first game. The story follows the fifth ending of the first Drakengard game, where the Earth is now in a state of ruin. It is up to the protagonist to find the cure for an illness called the Black Scrawl.

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Nier is a third-person action RPG that combines elements of multiple genres including hack-and-slash and even some aspects of shoot-’em-up games. Players battle Shades in various sizes, from very small to monstrous.

The version of this game Western audiences know is slightly different from a version Japanese audiences may know. Overseas, two versions of the same game were released — Nier Replicant, a PS3 title that starred a young protagonist avenging the loss of his sister, and Nier Gestalt, the Xbox 360 version that starred an older main character avenging the loss of his daughter.

If you’re looking for the complete story, you should play Drakengard 3, then the first Drakengard, before playing Nier.

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Nier: Automata (2017)

The installment that put the once-niche series on a global scale, Nier: Automata released in 2017 to critical and commercial success. Automata follows the story from the first game, albeit thousands of years after the events originally took place. It stars the very popular android named 2B, the apple of many cosplayers’ eyes. It was developed by Platinum Games and published by Square Enix.

Gameplay-wise, Automata improved on the original game’s combat system to be more streamlined yet stylish. The game also introduced new mechanics like mech fights, text-based RPG adventures, and platforming elements. It also features a ridiculous 26 endings. Don’t worry — only 5 of them are truly considered endings in that the player would complete the main story.

Nier Re[in]carnation (2021)

Released for mobile devices in 2021, Nier Re[in]carnation expands the series’ universe through the eyes of different characters. The main character is a young girl who is joined by multiple companions. Together, they explore The Cage, a series of towers populated by enemies. The game was developed by Applibot and published by Square Enix.

Re[in]carnation plays differently than its predecessors, opting for a turn-based approach that’s similar to Final Fantasy 7’s Active Time Battle. Characters take turns battling but can act once their action gauges refill. This is regardless of whether or not the opponent has acted. Battles don’t take place in an overworld, but rather in a series of dungeons or chain battles.

Characters are not unlocked through traditional means but are instead “won” using the gacha mechanic. Similar to a Japanese gachapon machine, players randomly receive characters and weapons pulled from different banners.

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All Nier Games in Release Order

  • Nier (2010)
  • Nier: Automata (2017)
  • Nier Re[in]carnation (2021)
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