Guide for Playing the Borderlands series in Order – What to play first?

Borderlands is a super-exciting looter-shooter series loaded with unbelievable action sequences. To top that off, it includes a few RPG elements as well. Throughout the course of the franchise, players adorn the role of numerous mercenaries and set out on a hunt for various mysterious vaults.

Every game in the Borderlands franchise expands on the same narrative, constituting the Borderlands universe. However, not every release continues the storyline from its previous entry, so it may become difficult for beginners to decide what game of the series they should play first and what play order to follow.

The Borderlands series should be played in the Release Order. Its release order is as follows:

  1. Borderlands – 2009  
  2. Borderlands 2 – 2012  
  3. Borderlands Legends – 2012
  4. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel – October 2014  
  5. Tales from The Borderlands – November 2014 to October 2015 
  6. Borderlands 3 – 2019  
  7. Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands – 2022  

However, story-wise, the order of the games is much more complicated. Therefore, it is recommended that only those interested in the series’s entire story should play it in chronological order.

1. The Chronological Order to Play the Borderlands Series 

The chronological order to play the Borderlands series is as follows:

  1. Borderlands 
  2. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel (The Flashbacks) 
  3. Borderlands 2 
  4. Tales from The Borderlands (Episodes One to Three) 
  5. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel (Athena’s Interrogation) 
  6. Tales from The Borderlands (Episodes Four and Five) 
  7. Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands 
  8. Borderlands 3 

Note: Tales from The Borderlands consist of five episodes, and a part of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel takes place chronologically between the third and fourth episodes. 

2. Which Borderlands game should you play first? 

Borderland 1 should be played first in the series because it comes first release order-wise and chronologically. However, the game contains a few game-breaking glitches, so starting with Borderlands 2 is also a viable option.

Additionally, players don’t need any prior knowledge of Borderlands 1 to start Borderlands 2 as the latter comprises a recap at the start, describing the occurrences in Borderlands 1. This recap is more than enough to give players an idea of what went down in the first installment of the series. Also, it’s worth mentioning that you can play Borderlands 2 as a standalone game too. 

Nevertheless, players are advised not to begin the Borderlands franchise with the latest installment unless they wish to use the latest items and upgrades at maximum graphics settings.   

3. Do you need to play all Borderlands games before Borderlands 3? 

Players do not need to play all Borderlands games before playing Borderlands 3. Although they may miss out on the excitement of watching their favorite characters, make an entrance, skipping forward to Borderlands 3 won’t take away from the storyline. 

Getting acquainted with the previous Borderlands games will give you a better understanding of the lore and time before Borderlands 3, but it’s completely playable as a standalone game. Nonetheless, you’re recommended to play the previous installments simply due to their outstanding quality.  

4. Which Borderlands game is hardest and easiest?  

Borderlands 1 is the hardest game in the Borderlands series. This is primarily due to the older and, at times, clunky gameplay. Nonetheless, several players also found Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel to be equally challenging due to a couple of difficult boss fights at the end of the game. 

Contrarily, Borderlands 3 is one of the easiest Borderlands games because, unlike other installments in the series, it allows you to level up easily and drops legendary characters like Cady. 

The difficulty level of the numerous installments in the Borderlands series somewhat also depends on your in-game level. If you complete objectives, acquire experience points and upgrade, you’ll breeze through most installments in the franchise. 

5. Which Borderlands game is the shortest? 

The shortest game in the Borderlands series is Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, which takes only 17.5 hours to beat on average. On the other hand, Borderlands 3 is the lengthiest game, taking almost 35 hours to beat. 

Borderlands 1 and 2 story lengths fall between the two, clocking gameplay durations of 22.5 and 30.5 hours, respectively.  

6. About Borderlands

Borderlands is a 2009 action role-playing first-person shooter video game developed by Gearbox Software and published by 2K Games. It is the first game in the Borderlands series. It was released for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and Shield Android TV.

Epic Dope Staff

Epic Dope Staff

Our talented team of Freelance writers - Always on the lookout - pour their energies into a wide range of topics bringing to our audience what they crave - fun up-to-date news, reviews, fan theories and much much more.


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