every fnaf game

Every FNAF Game Ranked

Latest posts by Kara Phillips-Ashman (see all)

Due to how many games are now involved in the Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise, declaring which one is ‘the best is a difficult feat. In fact, deciding on ‘the best’ of any game in any franchise is almost impossible without causing some stir.

At FNAFInsider, we pride ourselves on the collective knowledge and passion we share in the Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise. So if anyone is going to give you an honest yet personal opinion on the ranking of Five Nights at Freddy’s games – it’s going to be us.

The Selection Process

When ranking the mainline Five Nights at Freddy’s games, many factors must be considered. For example, you need to think about the story, the accompanying characters, and the importance of the game within the timeline. Just because one game may be the scariest doesn’t mean it’s the strongest in every other element. So as you can see, it’s a lot harder to decide than just going; this game is my favorite, so it’s number one.

I’ve been a fan of the Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise since it was released in 2014, so I have a lot of fond memories of the game. Of course, this relationship I’ve developed with the game throughout the years plays a part in the selection process, but it also means I’m experienced enough to take all of the above elements into account.

1, Five Nights at Freddy’s

Five Nights at Freddy's

  • Release date: 2014
  • Metacritic rating: 78%
  • How long to beat: 2.5 Hours
  • Fear-factor: 6/10

It’s hard to rank every Five Nights at Freddy’s game without putting the first installment at the top. I think many fans will agree with this high rating, primarily because of the nostalgia we all hold for this title now. 

Even though the gameplay is straightforward, I could recount my first experience with this title as if it were yesterday. As someone who usually avoids horror games at all costs, this game had me jumping in with both feet from the moment I found it.

Its point-and-click gameplay has a perfect balance of fear factor and tension. Even after putting hours into it, this game has never become outdated or stale.

There’s a reason it’s been such a reliable horror game since its release and continues to be so popular. It’s a classic in the genre and has created an almost cult following. Moreover, it’s the game that most people tend to play to start their journey with Five Nights at Freddy’s, so it’s a prominent place in players’ hearts – which is why we have ranked it so highly. 

2, Five Nights at Freddy’s: Sister Location

Five Nights at Freddy's Sister Location

  • Release date: 2016
  • Metacritic rating: 62%
  • How long to beat: 3 Hours
  • Fear-factor: 9/10

Sister Location was pivotal in the Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise, introducing a much more considerable amount of exploration alongside its cast of genuinely terrifying animatronics.

The story of Sister Location dives into the lore while leaving a lot of room for interpretation. With characters like Circus Baby having such a significant amount of history, this game tends to be the first experience players face with the gritty backstory. All the while still having a lot of classic Five Nights at Freddy’s mechanics.

Of course, you’re still tasked with defending yourself against the army of animatronics during a night watch, but Sister Location feels like a lot more than that.

This is because there’s such a large amount of space for the player to explore, not to mention the title’s general tongue-in-cheek humor, which makes it an unforgettable experience. Sister Location is a Five Nights at Freddy’s game I always find myself coming back to. 

3, Five Nights at Freddy’s 4

Five Nights at Freddy's 4

  • Release date: 2015
  • Metacritic rating: 51%
  • How long to beat: 3 Hours
  • Fear-factor: 7/10

Even though many players will suggest that Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 should be lower on the list, I think it fully earns the third position. It relies heavily on the players’ senses since subtle noises like footsteps and heavy breathing will signify a threat, so it creates an immersive atmosphere and thus raises the tension of the game. 

Additionally, it’s the first installment to the franchise, which isn’t based in one of the many Fazbear Pizzeria locations. Instead, the player takes the role of an undisclosed young boy who is being haunted by animatronics in the comfort of his own home. Which is even scarier than being stuck in an office. 

Not to mention how scary the animatronics are. This game is the first instance where we see the nightmare version of the animatronics, and they are precisely what they say on the tin. So if you’re looking for a spine-tingling FNaF experience, this is where I would direct you. Additionally, this game is ranked highly as it is technically the first FNaF game if you want to play it in chronological order.

4, Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach

Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach

  • Release date: 2021
  • Metacritic rating: 64%
  • How long to beat: 9 Hours
  • Fear-factor: 7.5/10

Security Breach drummed up a lot of attention when it was released, and I can understand why. Much like Sister Location, I’d say that this game was pivotal in the franchise.

Rather than adopting the typical office-based, night-watch approach the franchise usually offers, Security Breach feels almost open-world and consistently encourages the player to explore while being chased down by a somewhat new cast of animatronics.

However, Security Breach isn’t higher on the list due to the sheer number of bugs the game continues to present. Unfortunately, these bugs can be pretty detrimental to the gameplay and have caused a lot of players to be put off.  Additionally, because the content is so different compared to what we are used to seeing in the franchise, it takes a bit of an adjustment period to get used to the new style. 

5, Five Nights at Freddy’s 3

Five Nights at Freddy's 3

  • Release date: 2015
  • Metacritic rating: 68%
  • How long to beat: 2 Hours
  • Fear-factor: 9/10

Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 is the first experience players will have with William Afton. Due to the unsettling nature of Springtrap, it certainly packs the fear factor. I remember playing this game for the first time and jumping out of my skin at every jumpscare. It had been a while since I left a game of FNaF genuinely terrified, and this one takes the biscuit. 

In my opinion, Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 is one of the most terrifying installments of the franchise. Not only does it contain terrifying characters, but once you’ve been jumpscared – that doesn’t automatically end the game like previous titles would. Instead, a flash of bright lights and a loud noise will make you jump. But, you’ll have to frantically continue defending yourself afterward. 

The only reason this game isn’t ranked any higher is because of the mechanics. Even though one of the charms of Five Nights at Freddy’s is its simple gameplay, by the third title, it leaves you wanting something more. It’s a new location with new enemies, yet there’s still too much similarity.

Occasionally, the gameplay can be slightly overwhelming. Not only do you manage the cameras around the location, but the cameras within the vents, and frankly, it becomes quite a lot to manage. 

6, Five Nights at Freddy’s 2

Five Nights at Freddy's 2

  • Release date: 2014
  • Metacritic rating: 62%
  • How long to beat: 3 Hours
  • Fear-factor: 6/10

Five Nights at Freddys 2 builds upon the foundations of the first game but still manages to expand on the storyline and feature new elements to the game. For example, we meet characters like Balloon Boy and the ‘Toy’ version of our favorites through this game. 

My favorite feature of this game is the ‘Death Minigames’ that appear randomly once the player has been killed by an animatronic. They offer a positive incentive for repeated deaths and are one of the best ways to start learning about the lore of the pizzeria without having to read into it. Because of this, FNaF 2 is classed as one of the first chances players have to witness the dark events of the pizzaplex.

However, it’s so low on the list because it doesn’t offer much more than a pastime. This isn’t necessarily a game you’d revisit for a well-versed player in Five Nights at Freddy’s lore. As fun as it is, it’s a bit of a one-and-done experience. 

7, Freddy Fazbears Pizzeria Simulator

Freddy Fazbears Pizzeria Simulator

  • Release date: 2017
  • How long to beat: 2.5 Hours
  • Fear-factor: 5/10

Freddy Fazbears Pizzeria Simulator will always be one of the most intriguing additions to the timeline to me. Rather than maintaining the same features as other FNaF games, such as sitting in an office and defending yourself against the animatronics, this game allows players to build their own pizzaplex from the group up. 

Because of this, you’d expect the game to not contain many jumpscares – but don’t you worry, it still does. There are a number of scary elements about Freddy Fazbear’s pizzeria simulator – but they’re presented in a way you aren’t used to because of the gameplay. This game focuses more on minigames to explain lore and has the same appearance as the death minigames from the second title. 

But there’s much more to the title than the cutesy, 8-bit minigame style screen. Once the game glitches and you’re taken to the desk with the cassette, the actual game begins. Completing every task on the computer screen while defending yourself against animatronics is considerably stressful. In a way, I wish the entire game was the pizzaplex creation from the beginning. 

8, Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted

Five Nights at Freddy's Help Wanted

  • Release date: 2019
  • Metacritic rating: 80%
  • How long to beat: 12 Hours
  • Fear-factor: 8/10 in VR, 6/10 otherwise

Essentially Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted is a more immersive experience with the FNAF franchise, but it doesn’t offer anything new. Instead, this game covered every previous FNaF title in a humorous style and was initially released as a virtual reality game for the Oculus Rift. The game was later released on Steam, Switch, PlayStation, and mobile. 

There are over forty playable minigames within Help Wanted, so it’s not short for content. But I can’t help feeling like it’s easy to gloss over in the franchise. It doesn’t dive into the story until about mid-way through. It comes in a series of cassette tapes rather than utilizing any gameplay.

After the recordings have been listened to, the player can access a nightmare mode of the title that ramps up the difficulty. But that’s about it in terms of perks. 

The immersive nature of Help Wanted is one of the only compelling features of the games, so for anyone looking for more FNaF content without replaying the original games, this is a great addition. But due to not offering anything we haven’t already seen or discovered ourselves, it’s toward the bottom of our ranked list. 

9, Five Nights at Freddy’s Ultimate Custom Night

Five Nights at Freddy's Ultimate Custom Night

  • Release date: 2018
  • How long to beat: Each night lasts 4 minutes and 30 seconds, so it’s down to the player on how long they play.
  • Fear-factor: 6/10, but it depends on which jumpscares are applied to a night and how the player reacts to them.

Ultimate Custom Night falls to the bottom of my list because I don’t feel like it offers anything new to the game. While it’s a great way to meet and experience the terror of animatronics you may have overlooked in other games, it doesn’t offer mechanics we haven’t experienced before. Frankly, a few runs will satisfy anyone. 

It’s nice to have the opportunity to create a unique Five Nights at Freddy’s experience, especially considering how much time we had spent alongside the game. But similarly to Help Wanted, it doesn’t have the compelling story previous FNaF titles do. 

One of Ultimate Custom Night’s main selling points is it’s free-to-play on PC, so it can be accessed by any budding Five Nights at Freddy’s fan who just wants to test the waters. But because of how long I’ve spent amid the story-driven mainline games, Ultimate Custom Night is something I can easily pass on without feeling like I’ve missed out. 


Question: What about Fanmade Games?

Answer: Since this is a list of the mainline FNaF titles, we didn’t want to include the fanmade games in case it caused confusion. But let’s face it, some fanmade games are so well-made they could be in the main Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise. Maybe in the future, we will create a ranked list of the top fanmade/fanverse games – but for now, this list features mainline games exclusively. 

Question: Where can I download Ultimate Custom Night for free?

Answer: Ultimate Custom Night can be downloaded for free via GameJolt. You’ll need to head to @realscawthon to access Scott Cawthon’s official page, where you can access Ultimate Custom Night. Additionally, you can also download one of the first playtests for Sister Location, Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria Simulator, and three fanmade games.

I appreciate that Scott Cawthon has posted these games for free since it’s made the franchise accessible to everyone. I’d love to know if any players have grown to love FNaF through his free games. 

Question: What’s the Scariest Five Nights at Freddy’s Game?

Answer: Deciding on the scariest Five Nights at Freddy’s game is pretty subjective to the player. Many elements of each title will affect players differently. While jump scares may get my heart racing – sound or character design could frighten someone more. However, I’d say that Sister Location is the scariest game for me.

The humanoid animatronics and the general tension of exploring the area alone are terrifying, especially since we hadn’t experienced this gameplay style before. Though saying that, the sound design of Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 always has an honorable mention regarding scary. I’ll never get the sound of those footsteps out of my head.

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