The Best Monster Hunter Game Really Doubled Down on an Important Element

Monster Hunter World is the best game in the series, according to us.

By Jason Collins | Published

The Monster Hunter gaming series has become very popular in North America, mostly due to the massive success of 2016’s Monster Hunter World and its 2019’s Iceborne expansion. The game’s developer and publisher, Capcom, decided to follow up on the game’s success by releasing the next entry in the franchise, Monster Hunter Rise, for the Switch handheld console and the PC. However, the longstanding fans of the series, as well as newcomers, all agree that the Monster Hunter World and its expansion are the best Monster Hunter game there is.

The game’s overall popularity is undeniable, and it’s one of the bestselling entries in Capcom’s charter, with over 75 million copies sold since release. But to really grasp the magnitude of its success, we have to take a stroll down Memory Lane and discuss the beginnings of Monster Hunter, which, just like the God of War franchise, made its debut on the world’s best-selling console, the PS2. However, unlike the first God of War outing that was wildly praised by critics and audiences, Monster Hunter was a bit misunderstood at the time of its release.

The game was similar to modern Monster Hunter installments, in which players would venture into the world, hunt for monsters, collect various rewards, craft new gear, and rinse and repeat until they’ve beaten the game. However, it was also riddled with massive issues, most of which were actually derived from audience expectations rather than technical aspects of the game. The players complained about the slow combat mechanics, long fights against massively-sized enemies, difficult resource management, and rather bland and grindy crafting system.

With that said, a distinct demographic among the gaming community liked Monster Hunter enough to stick with the game, which resulted in several sequels that have refined the series into what it is today. Unfortunately, the player base for the previous games was smaller, so the series was ported over to the now-dysfunctional PSP console, which helped raise the popularity of the series across handhelds, and soon, Nintendo started porting the game for its own pocket consoles, and the series ever-increasing success saw it return to home gaming console systems.

After years of PSP and 3DSentries, the best Monster Hunter game brought the series back to its native consoles, and the game was released on PlayStation 4, the discontinued Xbox One, and PC. But what has improved from the previous iterations? Well, everything — and we do mean everything. Of course, more powerful gaming hardware brought more visual fidelity, but the game’s overall design is what made the biggest impact. For example, the environment is much more details and can be used to the players’ advantage during the hunt.

But the monsters in the best Monster Hunter game are designed in a way that they match their habitual environment, which means that they can also use it to their own advantage in some very dynamic ways. This prompts players to think about different strategic approaches to hunting different monsters in different environments and scenarios, as well as learning a particular monster type’s strengths and weaknesses. Knowing the weakness of their prey makes the hunt easier for gamers.

The gameplay is also more varied and accessible compared to the rest of the series since Capcom doubled down on the hunting aspect of the game. This eliminated the needless and aimless meandering across the in-game world in an attempt to spot the Monster and tag it as prey. Instead, the players can now scour through the environment and look for clues, tracks, and other signs of life that would help them track their oversized prey.

The best Monster Hunter game made all the elements from previous installments less boring and tedious. Harvesting materials and crafting support items is now easier than before and involves less soul-consuming grinding, while the improved controls made both the movement and combat aspects of the game much more enjoyable compared to previous games of the series. But all of this isn’t to say that the game and its expansion aren’t without their flaws.

Monster Hunter World was initially released with a very short list of monsters and very skinny end-game content. However, this was rectified with the release of Iceborne expansion, which brought plenty of monsters to the game, along with additional mechanics. This has players plenty of stuff to do in the game, which, admittedly, still lacked content compared to its predecessor releases. But the success of Monster Hunter World and its Iceborne expansion speaks for itself, and there’s a reason why the fandom considers it the best Monster Hunter game.