Introducing friends to the series, what order to play the games in?

I’m taking a friend through Borderlands 1 (and maybe 2 and TPS later). Should I suggest that we play in this order:

BL1, BL2, TPS?

Or BL1, TPS, BL2?

They kind of cross spoil each other’s plots/stories if you think about it. I still lean towards playing in release order (BL1, BL2, TPS).

But the prospect of seeing someone’s reaction to playing in 1, 1.5, 2 order could be interesting. They would see Handsome Jack in a different way than other players. 1.5 would foreshadow to them that Jack is bad, of course, but they wouldn’t see how bad until #2. And I think it would spoil some aspects about Angel, Jack, Roland, Lilith, Mordecai, etc… but it certainly is interesting.

edit: yes, this is similar to the idea of watching the star wars movies in this order: 4, 5, 2, 3, 6 (and 1 being optional)

1 Like

Or they would think he is a fallen angel like some others do. You never know how their mind will process the info. But on topic, I’d go in order of release.

Edit: Or maybe go 1, Pre, 2 if you want to not have sudden difficulty spikes and drops.


Yea. And I’m also suggesting that my Borderlands friends play through all of tales from the borderlands. That one being the last one to play in both cases. I suspect Borderlands 3 will be influenced by the TfTB game.

Side note: I really wish the borderlands ipad/iphone game had been meatier.

I would actually suggest the order in which the games were released, simply because the opening scene of TPS (as well as the characters in the on-going background narration and a lot of their jokes) are going to make absolutely NO sense without finishing BL2 first.

But then like @Matrixneo42 I would also tell them to play TftB as well, because Fiona!

1 Like

One thing I would advise against going 1, 1.5, 2 is that in the opening sequence of TPS, LIlith says something along the lines of “Handsome Jack, the man who killed my boyfriend, saved your lives?”. Granted with only knowledge from BL1 you wouldn’t know that Lilith and Roland had a thing, but there are later sequences in TPS that indicate that Roland and Lilith are a thing, you potentially spoil a major plot point

There is also a framing device that happens after the events of BL2 that requiires context ideally. Also 3/6 of the characters don’t make too much sense or have much meaning to people who haven’t played BL2. There are pros and cons, it kinda depends on how carefully you handle your friends with their questions.

1 Like

Yeah, major spoilers if you do them 1, 1.5, 2. BTW @Hoyle4, did you use spoiler tags, or did you just set the text color to black? Because clicking on the text isn’t revealing it like it would with spoiler tags.

I just used spoiler tags, but the underlying text is black for whatever reason.

Personally, I’d recommend playing them in release order. Just me though.


Play them in release order. BL2 is my favorite of the bunch but there is no way I can sit through any decent length session after tsp because the game play is not as good and I miss the verticality.

Probably BL1, TPS, and then BL2.

Once you get used to BL2&TPS engine BL1 really feels off, so you can’t really go back. So start with BL1.

Then TPS, so that not only is it chronologically right after BL1 but just the amount of content that leads nicely into BL2.

BL2 with its insanely harsh scaling and UVHM will be what BL1 & TPS have been leading up to. Besides, there’s most endgame content in BL2 so you can keep playing BL2 as final.

1 Like

Another point is that Bl2 will feel super sluggish if you rip away double jumps. That coupled with the story implications that I previously mentioned I seriously would suggest TPS be played last.


Haven’t found that personally. The biggest things that get me are: no-auto pickup; no moving in FFYL. It can also be a bit of a pain if you’ve got used to checking the minimap for red dots - I keep forgetting to look down instead of up. But the actual gameplay is fine. I usually adjust after running around the vicinity of Firestone for a few minutes.

1 Like

and I personally feel that way.

And notice how I specifically said engine, not just gameplay.

Fair enough. And I didn’t realise what you meant by saying ‘engine’ instead of ‘gameplay’, so sorry for misunderstanding. NBD.

1 Like

All three games use Unreal Engine 3.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but you have completely misunderstood the point of my post.

both Mass Effect 3 and Borderlands 1 2 and TPS use UE3. Yes. But they feel hella different, because guess what?

They put different tweaks to the base engine for each game. Hence the reason they feel different and hence the reason I used the term “engine”.

Well if I’ve completely missed your point I’ve not noticed.

ME1 - 3 all use UE3 and besides visual upgrades and combat improvements it feels very cohesive to me.

I’m not sure what you’re aiming at but the engine hasn’t fundamentally changed within the three BL games. The design and game philosophy has, which provides a greater impact than any additional engine upgrades could possible have on the feel of the game.

What are these “tweaks” you’re talking about?