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Why You Should Play The Mafia Games Out Of Order

Mafia: Definitive Edition contains references to Mafia 2 & 3, so some players may be left scratching their heads if they haven’t played them first.

In order to get the whole story in a video game, it’s usually best to start from the beginning, but in the case of the Mafia series, that’s not the case. Mafia: Definitive Edition contains many references to Mafia and Mafia 3, so fans who play it first may not be able to fully appreciate it. In order to get the best experience possible out of all three games, it may be best to leave Definitive Edition for last.

The Mafia games are about up-and-coming criminals seeking to break into the life of organized crime. Mafia: Definitive Edition, which released in 2020, is a remake of the original Mafia, released in 2002. Since it’s a remake and not a remaster, there are a lot of changes from the original, some of which include the addition of several references to the second and third games. From Mafia: Definitive Edition‘s various outfits to its many cars, there’s a lot new in the game.


Related: How to Find All Secret Cars in Mafia: Definitive Edition

Without having played Mafia 2 and Mafia 3, players may not be able to fully appreciate all of the new references to them in Mafia: Definitive Edition, so in this case, it may be best to leave the beginning for the end. Definitive Edition‘s ending may also be less impactful without knowing everything that happens later. It may seem strange to start a game series in the second or third game and end it on the first, but understanding all of the little nods and references to them in Definitive Edition may be worth it.

The Mafia Trilogy Is Best Experienced Out Of Order

picture of the Mafia Trilogy featuring the posters of all three Mafia games

Since the Definitive Edition contains a plethora of references to Mafia 2 and Mafia 3, players who are just introducing themselves to the series may need to familiarize themselves with the sequels before playing the remake. Experiencing all the different elements of Definitive Edition, like getting away from Mafia‘s cops, feels more satisfying when players know all of the little callbacks to other games. Seeing all of the ways that the game calls back to its past (or technically its future) is far better than realizing them later were players to go through Mafia: Definitive Edition and then play Mafia and Mafia 3. All of the references make the game that much more special, and are a big part of what changed from the first Mafia, so it’s best to leave it for last in order to get the most out of the remake.

Definitive Edition‘s ending is another reason to delay it until players have played Mafia 2 and 3. Since it’s a remake of the original Mafia, the ending is slightly different, but it still shows players the consequences of everything they’ve done over the course of the game, usually violently, with Mafia‘s iconic Tommy gun. Without having played the second and third games, then it simply doesn’t have the impact that it would if players had played the later ones first. Mafia builds its themes of loyalty and betrayal up throughout its series, so seeing the first ending after fully experiencing the series just makes it hit that much harder.

Although the Mafia games’ stories aren’t deeply connected, playing through Definitive Edition last still makes it feel like a prequel rather than a remake of the original first game. The time period is the same, so after the later settings of Mafia 2 and Mafia 3, going back to the past makes it feel fresh but old at the same time. Especially with the references and the more impactful ending, the prohibition-set Mafia: Definitive Edition becomes more of a revisitation than a retelling. Playing the games out of order makes it feel like a whole new series, so first-time Mafia players should do themselves a favor and save the first for last.

Next: How to Find All Cigarette Cards in Mafia: Definitive Edition

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