Every Borderlands Game In Chronological Order (2023)

Borderlands is a fantastic, action-packed looter-shooter series with plenty of RPG elements included as well. The series is full of amazing, memorable characters, exciting combat, and a fascinating world to explore. Throughout the series, you take on the role of several mercenaries on the hunt for mysterious vaults.

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Each installment in the series has expanded on the lore of the Borderlands universe, but not every release has followed on from its previous entry. Instead, with spin-off games and prequels, the series jumps around in the timeline. So, in what order do you need to play the games if you want to play them chronologically?


Warning: This article will contain minor spoilers for the Borderlands series.Updated April 11, 2022, by Luke Ackroyd: Trying to put the Borderlands games in order is not as straightforward as you might think. Each new installment likes to jump around on the timeline. Although it does not matter too much what order you play Borderlands, it is nice to know how they fit chronologically. Also, the Borderlands series has launched another spin-off title: Tiny Tina's Wonderlands. It is a fun, chaotic adventure parodying fantasy tabletop roleplaying games but incorporated with the classic series style. So, where does Tiny Tina's Wonderlands fit in the Borderlands timeline? Here is the updated list of the Borderlands chronological order to incorporate this new release.


Every Borderlands Game In Chronological Order (1)
  • Originally launched: October 2009.

Borderlands is your first introduction to the wacky, chaotic world of Pandora, a planet full of abandoned criminals and dangerous monsters. The game begins in the year 2864. A group of mercenaries set out to find an alien vault that is said to contain ancient technologies, secrets, and treasures. The first Borderlands sets off the entire series and so far is the earliest game in the timeline.

Borderlands had a wonderful mixture of RPG elements and combat. It can be played single-player, with the option for your friends to drop in and out of cooperative play. Initially, the game could only support two players, but the enhanced release bumped this up to four. The four main protagonists, Brick, Lilith, Mordecai, and Roland, become reoccurring NPCs in future games.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel (The Flashbacks)

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  • Originally launched: October 2014.

Told mostly in flashback, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is set between the original Borderlands and Borderlands 2. The Pre-Sequel continues the looter-shooter gameplay of the previous installments. Additionally, it also adds new elements such as low-gravity environments to mess around in.

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Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel gives you a chance to find out more about Handsome Jack (and his terrible deeds) before his transition into the role of the antagonist of Borderlands 2. In the Pre-Sequel, you play as a new group of Vault Hunters (Athena, Wilhelm, Nisha, and Claptrap) assisting Handsome Jack with the exploration of Elpis, Pandora's moon. You are helping Jack find another alien vault while also battling the Lost Legion along the way.

Borderlands 2

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  • Originally launched: September 2012.

Borderlands 2 is set five years after the events of the first game. Due to Handsome Jack's descent into tyranny during the events of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, he now has complete control over the planet of Pandora. You play as a new group of protagonists: Axton, Maya, Salvador, and Zero. Initially tasked with finding yet another vault, you soon realize this was all just a trap to kill you off. After this, you set out to defeat Handsome Jack instead. At the same time, you get the chance to save the protagonists from the first game, who proceed to help you along your journey.

The gameplay is as fun as the original game, with a wide range of legendary weapons to test out on your enemies. Borderlands 2 is where the series really starts to put more focus on its story and world-building while keeping that fast-paced, entertaining gameplay the series is known for.

Tales From The Borderlands (Episodes One to Three)

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  • Episode one was launched: November 2014.
  • Episode two was launched: March 2015.
  • Episode three was launched: June 2015.

Tales From the Borderlands is a great choose-your-own-adventure game from Telltale Games. It offered a very different approach to the series compared to the combat-heavy main entries. The game was launched episodically, with five episodes in total, all focused around Rhys, a Hyperion employee, and Fiona, a con artist.

Although the story is told through the lens of Rhys and Fiona acting as unreliable narrators, it is still clear that the series takes place not long after the events of Borderlands 2. The story begins with Fiona and Rhys reluctantly working together to retrieve a briefcase full of money, but they soon find themselves caught up in the hunt for another vault.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel (Athena's Interrogation)

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  • Originally launched: October 2014.

Not all of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel takes place at the same time. The game is bookended by scenes that take place immediately after Episode three of the Tales From The Borderlands games. This bookending approach acts as an excellent framing device for the Pre-Sequel narrative, helping to contextualize the game's place in the overall narrative of the series.

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In these opening and closing scenes of the Pre-Sequel, Athena has been taken captive by Lilith, Brick, and Mordecai (the protagonists from the first Borderlands game). Lilith and her team question Athena, who proceeds to tell her story of events. Once the account has been revealed, Athena almost reaches a deadly fate before a mysterious entity interrupts the interrogation with some important news.

Tales From The Borderlands (Episodes Four and Five)

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  • Episode four was launched: August 2015.
  • Episode five was launched: October 2015.

Taking place at the same time and beyond Athena's interrogation in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, the Telltale series continues with two more episodes. Episode three ended with Athena being taken away by Brick and Mordecai for her interrogation. Episode four continues following Rhys and Fiona's story as they are now forced to work for Vallory and head to Helios.

The Telltale series introduced many interesting characters into the series, some of which have yet to show up in the series again. The games place a higher focus on storytelling than the other entries into the series. Although your decisions do not affect the key narrative beats of this game too much, each episode provides an interesting plotline to explore. Unfortunately, it's unlikely that there will be a second series of this spin-off due to Telltale games' studio having closed in 2018.

*Tiny Tina's Wonderlands

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  • Originally launched: March 2022.

Tiny Tina's Wonderlands is the latest spin-off title from the Borderlands series. Although a specific date is not given, the game takes place between all of the previous games and Borderlands 3. This is clear because of Tiny Tina herself. She is older than her first appearance in Borderlands 2 but younger than her appearance in Borderlands 3.

Tiny Tina takes on the role of the Bunker Master and is going to lead you through a fantastical tabletop adventure using the Bunkers And Badasses roleplaying system. You get to pick different classes to play in this game, such as the Stabbomancer. You also get to meet a bunch of wacky NPCs. This game is a lot of silly fun and a nice alternative to the world of Borderlands.

Borderlands 3

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  • Originally launched: September 2019.

Borderlands 3 is the latest installment in the main series. It takes place around six years after the events of the Tales From The Borderlands spin-off game (so, seven years after Borderlands 2). You get to play as Amara, Zane, Moze, and Fl4k, four Vault Hunters who have set out to investigate the Children Of The Vault cult and find a lost vault map. Traveling on the Sanctuary III spacecraft, you get to venture beyond Pandora, exploring various planets around the galaxy.

This fifth installment in the series is just as fun as its predecessors. It has many stories to uncover along the journey as well. It continues the main narrative of the series while also expanding on it and going further than before.

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