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How to play the western game series Red Dead Redemption in order (release or chronological)

Want to get started on the Red Dead Redemption video game franchise? Here’s how to do it!

Red Dead Redemption 2
Image credit: Rockstar Games

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Journey to the 19th century, when the American frontier was a lawless land filled with outlaws and gunslingers. Welcome to Red Dead, the groundbreaking video game series from Rockstar Games. The immersive Western saga features tales of outlaws, cowboys, and the struggle for survival in the American frontier. This open world game series allows players to explore the Old West, complete daring missions, and dodge other gunslingers. Plus, it has one of the most compelling and emotional stories you’ll ever find in a video game. Think of it like Grand Theft Auto but set in the 19th century.

If you’ve ever wanted to get into the Red Dead series, but haven’t been sure where to start, Popverse has you covered. This guide will break down the Red Dead timeline and tell you how to play the series in release and chronological order.

How to play Red Dead in release order

Red Dead Redemption
Image credit: Rockstar Games

There are currently 6 games in the Red Dead series, but only five of them are currently playable (more on that later). If you want to play them in release order, here’s how to do it.

It should be noted that Red Dead: Redemption: Undead Nightmare and Red Dead Online are considered expansion packs of Red Dead Redemption and Red Dead Redemption 2. However, each expansion has enough new gameplay and storytelling that they’re considered unique releases in the Red Dead franchise.

For information on what consoles they can be played on, please refer to the console section of this guide.

How to play Red Dead in chronological order

Red Dead Online
Image credit: Rockstar Games

The Red Dead series jumps around the timeline. For example, did you know that Red Dead Redemption 2 takes place before Red Dead Redemption? Some of the games are also set during multiple periods of the timeline. And then there’s Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare, which is a non-canonical game set in an alternate version of 1914.

Don’t worry, it’s not complicated. If you want to play Red Dead in chronological order, this list will help you navigate the timeline.

  • 1870s (unknown year): Red Dead Revolver (prologue)
  • 1880s (unknown year): Red Dead Revolver
  • 1898: Red Dead Online
  • 1899: Red Dead Redemption 2
  • 1907: Red Dead Redemption 2 (ending)
  • 1911: Red Dead Redemption and Red Dead Redemption: Gunslingers
  • 1914: Red Dead Redemption (ending)
  • Alternate continuity 1914: Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare

When is Red Dead Redemption 3 coming out?

Red Dead Redemption 2
Image credit: Rockstar Games

There is currently no release date for Red Dead Redemption 3, but we know that it’s coming. During the rollout of Red Dead Redemption 2, Rockstar Games co-founder Dan Houser said that if the game was a success, the studio would develop a sequel. Houser left the company in 2020, but there is no reason to think plans for Red Dead Redemption 3 have been abandoned. RDR2 was a critical and commercial success, topping numerous best video game lists.

However, Rockstar Games has a reputation when it comes to long waits for sequels. For example, Grand Theft Auto V was released in 2013, and Grand Theft Auto VI isn’t projected to come out until late 2025…possibly 2026. The long wait has been the subject of many memes.

A new Red Dead game is inevitable….just don’t expect it anytime soon.

What consoles do I need to play the Red Dead games?

Red Dead Revolver
Image credit: Rockstar Gamess

If you want to play the complete Red Dead series, here are all the consoles you would need.

Red Dead Revolver is playable on PlayStation 2 and the original Xbox. However, they can also be played on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One thanks to backwards compatibility and digital re-release. The PlayStation 4 re-release is playable on PlayStation 5, due to backwards compatibility.

Red Dead Redemption: Gunslingers was a flash game playable on Facebook. However, changes to Facebook’s platform made the game unplayable, and it was discontinued. As of now, there is no way to play the game. If you’re curious, there is gameplay footage on YouTube. It’s possible that Rockstar Games will find a way to re-release the game, even if it’s just a digital add-on.

Red Dead Redemption is playable on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Years later, the game was given a Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 release. Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare is playable on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The game was later re-released on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. Thanks to backwards compatibility, the game is also playable on PlayStation 5 and Xbox One.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is playable on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The PlayStation 4 version is playable on the PlayStation 5, thanks to backwards compatibility. The game is also available on Windows and Stadia.

Red Dead Online is playable on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Windows, and Stadia. Like the other Red Dead PlayStation games, it’s playable on PlayStation 5 thanks to backwards compatibility.

In short, if you want to play the complete Red Dead series, you will only need one console. As long as you have an Xbox One, PlayStation 4, or PlayStation 5, you can play every game in the series - with the exception of Gunslingers (which isn’t available anywhere).

Now you have everything you need to begin playing Red Dead! Outlaws for life!

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Joshua Lapin-Bertone avatar
Joshua Lapin-Bertone: Joshua is a pop culture writer specializing in comic book media. His work has appeared on the official DC Comics website, the DC Universe subscription service, HBO Max promotional videos, the Batman Universe fansite, and more. In between traveling around the country to cover various comic conventions, Joshua resides in Florida where he binges superhero television and reads obscure comics from yesteryear.
In this article

Red Dead Redemption

PS4, PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch

Red Dead Redemption 2

PS4, Xbox One, PC

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Red Dead Revolver

PS2, Xbox

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