What you should have played first: Darksiders
On the outside, some may have scoffed at Darksiders, dismissing it for being so clearly influenced by Legend of Zelda. But if you could overcome that seeming lack of originality, you’d find a grand, post-apocalyptic adventure that starts with the end of the world and goes from there. Playing as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, War explores the ruined world, out to prove his innocence in the fall of man. In an interesting twist for a sequel, Darksiders II stars a different Horseman, Death, and takes place at basically the same time as the first game. You’ll run into multiple characters and situations that War also encountered, so it’ll be an extra treat if you actually recognize them thanks to doing your homework ahead of time.
The next step: God of War 3
Unlike most of the entries on the list, there’s only one previous entry in the series to catch up on, so if you’re looking for more you need to think outside the box. Gameplay-wise Darksiders II has more than a little in common with the God of War games, so the finale to that trilogy is a good place to get used to the controls.