Seeing as though Devil May Cry 5 has a number in the title, it’s likely you’ll wonder whether or not you need to play the other games first. Playing the fifth numbered entry of any series might make you feel as though you are missing something in the story. After all, Devil May Cry has been around for 18 years. There’s bound to be some lore that carries over into Devil May Cry 5. So in order to get the most out of it, we will tell you what you should play before Devil May Cry 5 and what ones you can maybe even skip.
Do I need to play the other Devil May Cry games before I play Devil May Cry 5?
Devil May Cry is mostly known for its mechanics so if you purely want a mostly incredible combat game and are going to skip the cutscenes, then you can jump straight into Devil May Cry 5. However, the answer is different if you want to pay some attention to the story. And while not anything close to the peak of the genre, it’s got some good moments worth paying attention to.
The Devil May Cry games were not released in chronological order. Here is the actual order of events: Devil May Cry 3, Devil May Cry, Devil May Cry 2, Devil May Cry 4, and then Devil May Cry 5. DmC Devil May Cry is its own timeline.
While the game has some small gestures towards the original Devil May Cry, it does not include many overt (or any at all) references toward Devil May Cry 2. In fact, Capcom’s recap video barely even includes the maligned sequel outside of a few seconds of footage. Since these two games have fairly low stakes in Devil May Cry 5, it’s safe to not play them. Also both are quite dated by today’s standards and might be a bit difficult to go back to especially since neither game has checkpoints.
The other two Devil May Cry games are a different story. Devil May Cry 3 tells the story of Vergil and Dante, the two brothers at the center of the franchise. Devil May Cry 5 utilizes that bond as one of the key points of the story. Without knowledge of that story, their relationship, and how it all plays out, some events won’t make as much sense in DMC5 and will seem pretty random.
Therefore it is advisable that people hunt down copies of Devil May Cry 3 in order to get some of the reveals and narrative beats. The game is available on the PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC, and PS2. It’s widely regarded as the best in the series and holds up rather well. The special edition added Vergil as a playable character, tweaked the difficulty, and even added mid-mission checkpoints, which makes it easier to revisit today.
Devil May Cry 4 doesn’t play as big of a role in Devil May Cry 5, but is still worth tracking down. Both games star Nero, who has some deep ties to Dante and Nero and is worth seeing through. While he has a different personality, look, and voice actor from DMC4 to DMC5, Nero’s story doesn’t change and continues from game to game and isn’t as key as Dante’s involvement but is still pretty important especially for the last act.
The game is quite dated in some aspects but holds up relatively well. Devil May Cry 4 is available on the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC. The special edition adds Trish, Lady, and Vergil as playable characters and is on the PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
In essence, to learn more about Dante’s involvement in Devil May Cry 5, you’ll need to play Devil May Cry 3. And to understand why Nero matters in Devil May Cry 5, you’ll need to play Devil May Cry 4. And since you’ll likely want a full grasp on DMC5‘s story, you should probably play both.
Devil May Cry 3 and Devil May Cry 4 are still lauded today and even though the story carries through, both are important to play within the context of the genre and series. And even though DmC Devil May Cry is in its own separate timeline, it’s also still a great game in its own right and entirely worth playing. If anything, playing it will allow you to compare and contrast both series and see how they are similar and where they diverge.