Five Nights at Freddy’s first rocked the horror game scene when it came out in August 2014, the mysteries of the game’s lore led to an incredible amount of speculation and a demand for more. And more lore did come, with Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 coming out just a few months after in the same year and the third in just about the same amount of time. Each game in the series offers a look into the events surrounding, leading up to, and following the “bite of ’87,” as well as just what wrongdoing the series antagonist William Afton got and is getting up to.
Being that there are so many official Five Nights at Freddy’s games now alongside an ever-growing list of canonical fangames, the debate over which are the better of the lot only gets muddier as the months and years trudge on. In this article we’re going to go into which are the best (and worst) of the FnaF mainline series from the original developer Scott Cawthon, so it won’t include FnaF World or Ultimate Custom Night. It will, though, give you something to chew on and maybe help new entries to the fandom choose which games to actually play.
The Best Five Nights at Freddy’s Games Ranked
8. Five Nights at Freddy’s Security Breach
Five Nights at Freddy’s Security Breach is widely considered to be the worst entry to the series despite introducing exploration to the formula. The change in format, lackluster scares, bugs, and just general mediocrity of its presentation do nothing to endear Security Breach among fans. The free Security Breach: Ruin DLC released to higher acclaim that the base game, it offering a delve into the events well past the original game with its own unique mechanics. That doesn’t quite raise it to even the level of FnaF 3, though.
7. Five Nights at Freddy’s 3
After all the effort to create new characters in the second game, Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 dashes it all and focuses on just one villain: Springtrap. Springtrap is intimidating and the new Phantom designs for the classic animatronics are pretty scary, but there’s little doubt the third game was rushed out to capitalize on the craze. Minigames were introduced in FnaF 2 and do return here to feed you more lore FnaF 3, but they don’t make up for the rest of it as it’s mechanically less complex than its predecessor.
6. Five Nights at Freddy’s 2
FnaF 2 totally blew the first game out of the water in terms of mechanics and animatronics. The roster in this entry featured Balloon Boy, Puppet, the Toy and Withered variants of Freddy, Bonnie, and Chica; as well as some surprises. Along with the enhanced roster are a total lack of doors and a need to check the vents, babysit a music box, and the introduction of death minigames elaborating on the lore surrounding the “Purple Guy”. Keeping all the mechanics straight while avoiding being shoved into a suit and crushed is a challenge. Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 is the second least accessible entry to the mainline FnaF series thanks to its pile of mechanics and constant threats.
5. Five Nights at Freddy’s
The release of the original Five Nights at Freddy’s was a shock to the horror game community. Not only because it was so different from staples like Resident Evil or then-favorite Amnesia, but also due to the lack of information surrounding Scott Cawthon’s first horror game nor the creator himself. The original FnaF is the most barebones entry to the series, as you might expect, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth playing even now. It’s got such a cult following for a reason, and the first game is the perfect entry point as later titles ramp up the tension and gameplay mechanics.
4. Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria Simulator
Marketed as the conclusion to the series, Pizzeria Simulator answers many lore-related questions the community had floating around at the time. It certainly helps that its looks are deceiving: what you see is most certainly not what you get with Pizzeria Simulator. While this may look like one to pass up, it is a mainline Five Nights at Freddy‘s game and it’s one of the more entertaining ones in the series. Despite all appearances, there’s plenty of animatronic horror to be found in this management title. It’s worth noting this is considered the sixth game in the series.
3. Five Nights at Freddy’s 4
If you’re looking for the scariest game in the series, this is it. Forget being a security guard, instead imagine yourself as a child in size and imagination, hiding from waking nightmares. That’s the premise of the fourth entry. Defending your bedroom from the creeping Nightmare Bonnie, Nightmare Chica and Nightmare Foxy is no easy feat without the aid of cameras.
Even though it’s the scariest of the games, its lack of answers that is promised to provide pushes this down from higher spots in the ranking. It actually did the exact opposite, introducing more questions for the community to mull and debate over.
2. Five Nights at Freddy’s Sister Location
A reimaging of the series, Sister Location adds several new animatronics alongside unique versions of the classics. Circus Baby’s Pizza World is more than it seems, and Baby herself is unsettling in ways new to the series. The mechanics here are once again shaken up, as you’ve taken on a “late night technician” job at this particular establishment. You’re still wrapped up in Afton’s machinations here, but the lore is distinct from other entries. Five Nights at Freddy’s Sister Location is by far one of the best entries to the series.
1. Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted
You don’t need a VR set to play Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted, it’s here at the top whether you’d be playing in VR or not. Help Wanted features animatronics and locations from the series thusfar, featuring their unique mechanics. There’s also a handful of DLC with unique challenges. This one’s at the top of the list because of the sheer amount of content compared to other FnaF games. You don’t get much lore here, but what’s in store is a lot more fun than grinding custom nights. The VR component, while optional, shouldn’t be missed by fans.
Those are all the mainline Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise ranked. Believe me, it was not easy! Except Security Breach, that was an easy one to put at the bottom. With the movie featuring Matthew Lillard finally making its way through production and creator Scott Cawthon allowing and encouraging fanworks and giving them canonical status, there’s still a lot more to come for FnaF.