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The Best 'Guitar Hero' Games

Updated October 30, 2020 5.4k votes 1.2k voters 25.6k views14 items

List RulesGame must be part of the 'Guitar Hero' series.

This list features all the Guitar Hero games, ranked from best to worst from readers everywhere. If you think the coolest Guitar Hero game to play isn't as high as it should be then make sure to vote it up so that it has the chance to rise to the top. Are you and a friend arguing over what the greatest Guitar Hero game of all time is? Use this list of fun to play Guitar Hero video games to see how many people would agree with you and end the squabble once and for all. Be sure to share this full list of iconic Guitar Hero games by clicking one of the social media icons on the top or bottom of the page.

Guitar Hero and Guitar Hero World Tour are included in this poll, along with many more.

If you're wondering, "What are the greatest Guitar Hero games?" or "What is the best Guitar Hero game of all time?" then this list should answer your questions. Vote up all your favorite releases over the years, and vote down all the games that didn't rock.

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  • Photo: Activision

    Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock was the first in the series to introduce Battle Mode, making it possible for you to go head-to-head with your friends, relying on a vast array of power-ups to emerge victorious. This game also altered the timing for hitting specific notes and is known for having one of the best setlists of any Guitar Hero game.

    Did you know: Poison singer Bret Michaels appears on a couple of songs, namely "Go That Far" and "Talk Dirty to Me." But he isn't playable without the use of a cheat code, which, unfortunately, is only possible on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 versions.

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    • Photo: Activision

      Featuring way more songs than the original, Guitar Hero II plays in much the same way, meaning, need to hit the exact notes as they cross your fretboard. The sequel received near-unanimous praise upon its release, with IGN stating, "Guitar Hero II takes everything that made the original game great and cranks it up to 11, maybe even 12."

      Did you know: The first Guitar Hero features the quote, "They don't want you to play Free Bird, they're just heckling you." "Free Bird" actually appears as a song you can play in this game. 

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      • Photo: Activision

        The game follows a similar format to previous iterations in the series. However, it was the first game in the series to introduce microphone and drum controllers, mimicking the layout of the Rock Band series. Using the "Music Studio" mode, users could create and upload their songs through each console's various WiFi networks. 

        Did you know: There was a team at Activision that was able to create a "perfectly respectable cover" of the first verse of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" through Music Studio. 

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        • Photo: Activision

          Much more than just a spin-off, gamers can play through 28 Metallica songs and 21 songs from guest acts in this game. Although it's often considered outside the main canon, it still functions with the microphone and drum features that were introduced in World Tour. You can also unlock each member of Metallica upon completion of their respective careers i.e. unlocking Lars Ulrich for completing the drums. 

          Did you know: The members of Metallica actually played every single song in the game via motion capture suits. 

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