Box art - Red Dead Redemption

Do I Need to Play Red Dead Redemption Before Playing Red Dead Redemption 2

The newest entry in the Red Dead Redemption series is almost upon us. It was first announced two years ago via screenshots that exploded over social media, and even though the title has since been delayed twice since that initial announcement, all signs are pointing towards Red Dead Redemption 2 releasing on time on October 26. The hype surrounding this title has left people wondering whether they will need to play Red Dead Redemption first before enjoying this sequel. We’ll cover the important bits about the first title and what you should play if this is the first time you’re getting into the series.

Do I Need to Play the Other Games in the Series Before I Play Red Dead Redemption 2

If you’re totally new to the Red Dead Redemption franchise, then you’re probably going to want a bit of a crash course in the major characters and how Red Dead Redemption 2 makes the most of their appearances.

From what we know already, this second title is going to focus on the events that come before the original game. It’ll be set in 1899, and you’ll be playing as someone who was a part of the same ragtag cowboy gang as John Marston from Red Dead Redemption. It’s common knowledge that things go south with Marston’s old crew by the time of the first game (around 20 years later), so it’s plausible that Red Dead Redemption 2 is going to focus on the events and the motivations that allowed that to happen.

It might even focus more on Marston himself, given how he is confirmed to be in the sequel. Seeing him in the second game might give players in the previous entry some insight on how he started out. Rockstar, knowing that many people will have played the first Red Dead Redemption, might even play with those expectations and go in in some unexpected territory.

If you haven’t actually played the original, then you’re going to likely struggle connecting to the Van der Linde gang. There’s a lot of knowledge that Red Dead Redemption players will be taking into the sequel about the gang’s history. While approaching it with fresh eyes could be a good thing, there are likely going to be some emotional beats that will miss their mark for those who are being introduced to the gang for the first time.

We would definitely recommend playing Red Dead Redemption first before you crack into Red Dead Redemption 2, and not only because of the fact that the narratives are probably going to be intertwined, especially considering John Marston. Rockstar’s product still holds up all the years after its release, and it’s a one of a kind experience that will better prepare you for navigating the treacherous Wild West wastes that make up the majority of the landscape in the franchise. Whether it’s rootin’ tootin’ cowboys or riding roughshod the law, Red Dead Redemption would be the best place to start to get an optimal experience out of the sequel.