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The Best 'Guitar Hero' Games

Updated October 30, 2020 5.3k votes 1.1k voters 22.4k 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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  • Guitar Hero Smash Hits
    Photo: Activision

    As the fourth game in the series, Smash Hits takes songs that were featured on previous versions of Guitar Hero. The difference is that while a lot of earlier songs were covers, this game includes the master tracks. It takes various songs from Guitar HeroGuitar Hero II, Guitar Hero Encore: Rock the 80sGuitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, and Guitar Hero: Aerosmith

    Did you know: The venues in this game are based on the wonders of the world, so you can play at the Amazon Rain Forest, the Sphinx, and the Great Wall of China. 

    • Release: 2009
    • Developer: Beenox
    • Platform: PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360
    120
    131
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  • Guitar Hero: Van Halen
    Photo: Activision

    This game features 25 songs from the titular Van Halen as well as 19 songs from guest acts, including Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters, and Blink-182. Current members of the band, which were Eddie Van Halen, David Lee Roth, Wolfgang Van Halen, and Alex Van Halen, exist as playable avatars. 

    Did you know: Most of the guest acts appearing in this game were hand-picked by Wolfgang Van Halen. 

    • Release: 2009
    • Developer: Budcat Creations, Underground Development, Neversoft
    • Platform: Wii, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
    113
    134
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  • Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s
    Photo: Activision

    The mechanics of Rock the 80s are very similar to Guitar Hero II., which left many gamers feeling like this installment was lacking in comparison to previous releases. However, this game focuses exclusively on hits from the 1980s, including "Electric Eye" by Judas Priest and "Holy Diver" by Dio. All of the playable characters have been revamped with 80s aesthetics. 

    Did you know: This was the final title in the Guitar Hero series to be developed by Harmonix. The company would go on to create Rock Band

    • Release: 2007
    • Developer: Harmonix
    • Platform: PlayStation 2
    91
    145
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  • Guitar Hero On Tour: Decades
    Photo: Activision

    Developed specifically for the NintendoDS, this game takes you on a journey through time. You travel through various decades from the 1970s to the modern age, playing five songs from each decade as you progress. The game came with an optional Guitar Grip that could be inserted into the console's slot. Because is was a DS exclusive, the gameplay and mechanics were a stark departure from other games in the series.

    Did you know: Some of the songs available to play within the "Modern" level include "The Pretender" by Foo Fighters and "Tarantula" by Smashing Pumpkins. 

    • Release: 2008
    • Developer: Vicarious Visions
    • Platform: Nintendo DS
    55
    140
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