Worms are made and developed by Team17 Software which is one of the pioneers of popularizing the artillery tactical games genre and has gained twenty-six games under their radar within less than twenty years. Strategy games aren’t for everyone, but Worms decided to break that meta and introduced idiosyncratic elements that have been a heavily featured aspect of the series ever since.
The titular worms are an actual part of a militia and you play as them to eliminate opposing forces, and it uses the childish slapstick humor matched with the deep but similar surrealist visuals. The simple approach made the game feel like art, but all twenty-six games deserve to get highlighted.
From 1995 to 2022, Worms is still going strong and never sunk their battleship down, being as consistent as less-known series that gets love from their makers. Which ones will get a salute and which games will get nuked out of existence? Let us rank every Worms game from worst to best.
Starting at the twenty-sixth ranking…
26. Worms (1995)
|Platforms||Amiga, Amiga CD32, Genesis, Windows, SNES, PlayStation, Saturn|
Originally a game made by Andy Davidson, Worms is Team17’s first game of the series it is the traditional 2D turn-based artillery game and it was released on various platforms at the time. The video package at the game’s intro was a good introduction for the game even if it confused me when I watched it the first time, but that’s pretty much it, there is nothing special to discuss in the first Worms game.
To be fair, the game is quite amazing and its excuse is that it is a product of its time, so it isn’t polished or anything just yet. It only requires the player to cause havoc by defeating rival worms and not some overdramatic Call of Duty storyline, now that’s simple entertainment. There are no great qualities of the game aside from being the one that gave a blueprint for the later releases.
25. Worms: The Director’s Cut
|Developer||Team 17 Software|
|Release Date||October 17, 1997|
Worms: The Director’s Cut is the Amiga-only exclusive release of the first Worms game with some features that are changed immensely, but it is still on 2D and the turn-based gameplay is still the same. Nothing has changed except for the severe changes for the better or worse.
It doesn’t offer that many fresh options of gameplay despite being an overhauled version of the first installment. But the main feature of the game that made it stand out is the ability to play 2v2. For a 1997 game, that makes everyone say ‘wow’ and it is the time before multiplayer gaming really took off, and that says a lot about the game.
24. Worms: A Space Oddity
|Release Date||March 18, 2008|
Derived from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, Worms: A Space Oddity didn’t become a timeless classic, unlike the critically-acclaimed film. With this being their first entry for the Nintendo Wii, it didn’t find its way into success and seemed like it was just a piss-poor attempt to bring the Worms series into the platform.
The space theme is a breath of fresh air to the series, but it didn’t do enough to save the game from being a blasphemous failure. Also, the controls only made it worse for a game that is morbidly dull and lazily made. Then again, the Wii just proves its platform is not suitable for games that are already established.
23. Worms: Battle Islands
|Release Date||November 23, 2010|
|Platforms||Wii, PlayStation Portable|
After taking a huge L with A Space Oddity, Worms: Battle Islands took a huge step with the addition of online gameplay only to get greeted with the same old hideous flaws that the players saw in the previous installment. That’s it? Only an online mode and they pretended that nothing happened.
Worms: Battle Islands looked like a multiplayer sandbox rather than the turn-based artillery they’re so known for, and it is nothing special other than having the ability to play with your friends. Wii is meant for sharing, but bringing Worms into the platform is a huge mistake, to begin with.
22. Worms Rumble
|Release Date||December 1, 2020|
|Platforms||Windows, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Switch|
Worms Rumble is a spin-off to the long-running series featuring a free-for-all arena map with their signature turn-based strategy gameplay, but did it work well? Not quite. The aura that the older games had isn’t present on Rumble anymore, replaced by a modern UI and a confusing game in general.
The game features four game modes: Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Last Worm Standing, and Last Squad Standing. Each mode is very estranging to play without practice, so better yet, go to training mode first before playing. And with this title being an online game, it just sucks because you cannot play offline at all.
21. Worms World Party
|Release Date||April 6, 2001|
|Platforms||Windows, PlayStation, Game Boy Advance, Dreamcast, N-Gage|
Keeping the childish approach when it comes to the game’s humor, Worms World Party is the only fifth-gen title that didn’t live up to its glory and remained as the rotten old Worms game that hasn’t aged well. There aren’t that many changes aside from it kept everything that made the previous titles great.
Like we get it already, there isn’t that much to prove until Worms gets to the next generation of consoles. The themes and gameplay salvage what should be fun. Worms World Party seemed like their last resort to the platforms they were in, and it sure remained that way.
20. Worms: Open Warfare
|Release Date||March 24, 2006 (United Kingdom)|
|Platforms||PlayStation, Nintendo DS|
Worms: Open Warfare is Team17’s first outing on the handheld console platforms as the game was released on PlayStation Portable and Nintendo DS, both titans of the handheld market at the time. And with the adjusted but limited platform, can they produce a decent product? Nope, not this one.
How come a platform like PlayStation and other fifth-gen consoles put out better Worms games than the PSP and DS? It’s so unfair. As for the actual game itself, Worms: Open Warfare doesn’t give bring that much on the table other than porting a rather snoozefest of a game into handheld gaming consoles. Just the mindless turn-based fun you’ll have with the other games.
19. Worms: Open Warfare 2
|Release Date||August 31, 2007 (United Kingdom)|
|Platforms||PlayStation, Nintendo DS|
After the mess that the first Open Warfare did, Worms: Open Warfare 2 was called from the curtains that are about to close for Worms on the handheld platforms. Open Warfare 2 has a massive difference from the first Open Warfare entry as it was objectively better in any form.
Even if it is perfectly tailored for the PSP, it is the DS version that made this a calamity. And with the multiplayer for the handheld gaming consoles not holding up until the Switch debuted, Open Warfare 2 was in the limelight and didn’t get to shine that much.
18. Worms Blast
|Release Date||March 22, 2002|
|Platforms||Windows, Mac, PlayStation 2, GameCube, Game Boy Advance|
Worms Blast is a puzzle game released for various platforms and is different from the usual artillery platform gameplay. Puzzles are fun when crafted majestically, but was Worms Blast any good? For a puzzle game, yes. But as a Worms game by itself? Won’t mind if I do because Blast is a guilty pleasure of mine.
Similar to bubble-popping puzzle games out there, Worms Blast isn’t any different from those. Getting to pop bubbles with the same color is satisfying enough, but it isn’t enough to consider this a great Worms game. This is one of the cases where they just put a label on a pre-existing game and a lot of developers seem to get away with it.
17. Worms Battlegrounds
|Release Date||May 30, 2014|
|Platforms||PlayStation 4, Xbox One|
Worms Battlegrounds is the first Worms installment for the eighth generation of consoles, and the welcoming party didn’t go well due to how repetitive it is and didn’t go for any changes. It is the same old game over and over again but with slight graphical tune-ups and being able to play on newer platforms.
It’s just the silly slapstick comedy paired with the usual turn-based gameplay on your PS4 or Xbox One. It isn’t worth your money at all so you better save it up if you’re trying to go to every game and paying the price for it. It doesn’t focus on expanding the series into something bigger and introducing it to a newer variety of audiences at all.
16. Worms Pinball
|Release Date||January 20, 2000|
Worms are back at it again with yet another spin-off and this time, they are under the gimmick of good old pinball that everyone probably played on their Windows XP computers back in the day. Who would have thought that Worms and Pinball would work well?
Worms Pinball encapsulates the fast-paced nature of the game and is popular with the classic gamers out there. Pinball machines cost a lot these days and are only for aesthetic purposes, but Worms Pinball is an exception for that. It’s nothing flashy or whatever, it’s just Pinball with Worms visuals on it.
15. Worms Forts: Under Siege
|Release Date||November 19, 2004|
|Platforms||Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox 360|
Worms Forts: Under Siege is the third game for the sixth-gen made by none other than Team17 and it features a tower defense theme that became famous a couple of years later with the boom of mobile gaming. Protecting a castle and sacrificing your battalion of worms seem like quality time.
As for the audio, it just borrowed what Worms 3D had and didn’t innovate on the SFX at all. As much as this had the chance to be a great Worms game, the lazy sound effects just killed my enthusiasm for it. The excitement gets derailed and my hopes are crushed indefinitely.
14. Worms 4: Mayhem
|Release Date||July 29, 2005|
|Platforms||Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox|
Worms 4: Mayhem is the last title to ever come out for the PS2 and Xbox consoles and this is the time where it is getting tiresome and they are now phasing out from major platforms. It’s quite sad to see franchises with such history taking a downward spiral, and Worms 4: Mayhem was the beginning of the end for the series.
The quirky, battling worms are in for one last ride as they go to different historical settings, but that’s just about it. The story was great for a game that requires minimal narrative and just goes all out on the gameplay, and at least the multiplayer was actually enjoyable.
13. Worms: Reinforcements
Worms: Reinforcements is an expansion for the original game released in the same year as it added more sets of rules and a campaign mode that changes things up a bit to ease the base game’s monotonous aura.
It sure did improve the game a lot, and it was something I expected from an expansion set. But it wasn’t enough to give the original release a better name. And yes, I’ll take Reinforcements over the original by unanimous decision.
12. Worms: Ultimate Mayhem
|Release Date||September 28, 2011|
|Platforms||Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360|
Worms: Ultimate Mayhem is an enhanced version of Worms 3D from the previous gen, but are there any enhancements? From the graphics, there is, obviously. But for the features? Nothing changed that much at all. It is a remastered version of Worms 3D and the drastic changes to the visuals were the only good portion of it.
Even if it is necessary or not, Ultimate Mayhem doesn’t exist for the sake of it. But maybe try out Worms 3D first before jumping to this one. You can see the differences by comparing and contrasting them, and Worms 3D might be the first but it doesn’t mean it’s the best. Speaking of which…
11. Worms 3D
|Release Date||October 31, 2003|
|Platforms||Windows, Mac, PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube|
Now entering the decent entries, Worms 3D is Team17’s first three-dimensional Worms game that entered the sixth generation of consoles and poured all of it to make a game that will be remembered for its jump from 2D to 3D. Worms 3D is one enjoyable game from the series and it doesn’t get the credit it deserves.
The overall presentation of the game is adorable and isn’t over the top. It feels right to see Worms sticking to their pledge by not taking itself way too seriously or it’ll hurt their reputation. The only downside of this game is how everything feels so strange. It doesn’t feel like the old games anymore, and it’s like a whole new game.
10. Worms Revolution
|Release Date||October 10, 2012|
|Platforms||Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, Mac|
Coming back to your origins feels great, doesn’t it? Well, that’s the case for Worms Revolution. After pondering the three dimensions, Team17 decided to revert to the 2D-based Worms bonanza and the results weren’t that bad. There is nothing wrong with experimentation and all but sometimes, you just have to stick with what you have.
With a lot of themes making their return and some new elements debuting, Revolution is a mixture of both old and new school, giving it a unique twist to differ itself from the other games. I cannot help but think about how Team17 managed to pull that off.
9. Worms 3
|Release Date||August 8, 2013|
Worms 3 is Team17’s first entry for the Android system and is quite well-received on the platform, and maybe they just found a perfect shelter for them to publish the classic artillery game. Their reign might be short-lived but it was sure sweet. Worms 3 is a hidden gem, and after all these years, it is still available on Google Play.
The controls are much simpler this time, making the game a breeze to play especially for beginners, especially since this is their first-ever game meant to play on Androids phones. But still, the game requires skill and prior knowledge of the previous games and learning how to play it. Wouldn’t be an issue if they just addressed it earlier.
8. Worms (2007)
|Release Date||March 7, 2007|
|Platforms||Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, iPhone, Android|
Worms is a remake of the original 1995 game for the seventh-gen consoles such as the Xbox 360 and the PS3, and it is the gateway for the possible players to try out and give the game a shot especially since it has great multiplayer capabilities even if it is full of bugs, ruining the online mode for everyone.
In short, Worms 2007 is the best mobile installment that Worms ever had by Team17. Even if it is a full-fledged title for PC, 360, and the PS3, it is also nice to have it on your mobile device and it just beats the handheld titles completely. It’s the best of both worlds and I cannot deny that.
7. Worms 2: Armageddon
|Release Date||July 1, 2009|
|Platforms||Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, iPhone, Android|
Worms 2: Armageddon is released on July 1, 2009, for Windows, PS3, Xbox 360, and mobile devices and it is one of the most consistent games by Team17 out there. In some instances, they succeed in outdoing themselves over the years, and Worms 2: Armageddon is a living example of that.
Even if they kept the same formula and introduced a lot of weapons here and there, there is something that doesn’t beat the original. Armageddon is the rightful workaround for the series’ reputation, and it says a lot even if it is mixed and divided. Again, there is nothing wrong with trying out new things, but be ready for the unjust sacrifices and consequences.
6. Worms Clan Wars
|Release Date||August 25, 2013|
|Platforms||Windows, Mac, Linux|
Worms Clan Wars is the second PC and Mac-only entry by Team17 and it’s a bummer that we didn’t have this game for the Xbox 360 and PS3 since, at the time, the console wars are coming to an end and their shelf life is running out. It could have been a farewell to the two great consoles, but maybe keeping it on a keyboard and mouse was the right decision.
Clan Wars is worth it as a computer exclusive, to say the least. The changes aren’t that drastic and didn’t hurt the game as a whole, and it’s just the themes that received a major overhaul. And even if there aren’t any major game-changing features, being that good in the game and having the consistency on multiplayer will get you, the player, the satisfaction to play Worms Clan Wars.
5. Worms Reloaded
|Release Date||August 26, 2010|
|Platforms||Windows, Mac, Linux|
Still can’t get enough of Worms? Well, here’s Worms Reloaded for you. It is a PC and Mac port of Worms 2: Armageddon that was released in 2007. After looking at this game, maybe the return to 2D wasn’t a bad move by Team17. Worms are always meant for two dimensions, and Worms Reloaded didn’t need any of the 3D renditions to be a neat port.
With a bunch of graphical upgrades and questionable modifications on the weapons, I can say that Reloaded is a better game than Worms 2: Armageddon. To be fair, both are good but there is something about a port done right on a larger platform.
4. Worms Crazy Golf
|Release Date||October 17, 2011|
|Platforms||Windows, PlayStation 3, Mac, iOS|
Perhaps the weirdest yet one of the most entertaining entries of Team17’s flagship franchise, here’s Worm’s Crazy Golf. For those who find the sport of golf boring, maybe Crazy Golf might change your mind once you play it. With the combination of the humorous charisma that the game has and the passive competitiveness of the sport, you are in for a treat.
Yet another guilty pressure of mine is when a spin-off gives the series a simple but impactful twist that won’t affect the mainline installments whatsoever, and Worms Crazy Golf simply does that by blending the plethora of turn-based gameplay with a sport that is golf.
3. Worms W.M.D
|Release Date||August 23, 2016|
|Platforms||Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, Mac, Linux|
Worms W.M.D is the third entry for the eighth generation of consoles by Team17 back in 2016 and they have done the unthinkable: It worked! Being able to come up with a modern Worms game is a struggle for them, but not anymore as Worms W.M.D changed all that with its presence.
See, they kept what must be stored and gave more features to keep it fresh. And the graphics look totally refreshing, too. This might be the definitive modern Worms game out there, but nothing beats the classics. Let’s just hope for the better that Worms make their debut for the PS5 and Xbox Series sooner or later.
2. Worms 2
|Release Date||November 21, 1997|
And for the second-best Worms game ever, we have Worms 2. Released on November 21, 1997, Team17 simply improved the flaws of the first game and made it look like an embarrassment to the series. Credits to the first game, though. Without it, Worms 2 might not have been created by the British company.
It didn’t try so hard to be the best, but it certainly is one of their greatest releases. If you are looking for a classic, old-school experience, you might as well pay attention to Worms 2 because it is stunning for a 2D game. Worms 2 might be the second on this list, but don’t let that fool you.
1. Worms Armageddon
|Release Date||May 31, 1999|
|Platforms||Windows, PlayStation, Dreamcast, Nintendo 64, Game Boy Color, Mac|
And now, for the best Worms game of all time, Worms Armageddon gets the medal of honor. Released on May 31, 1999, Worms Armageddon upped what Worms 2 was hailed for and became the definitive turn-based strategy game on the market at that time. Sure, everyone can say that it hasn’t aged well and the modern titles are much better, but they didn’t have the charm that Armageddon had.
Aside from the hilarious humor that the game has, Armageddon is the first to introduce the requirement for being a strategist to balance the outrageous comedy it possesses. And even if it is used and borrowed a lot from Worms 2, it’s not like it is a disappointment. So bring out the troops, prepare the bazookas and Ninja Ropes, and commence for the best Worms game ever made by Team17.