With Telltale’s The Walking Dead releasing a Definitive Series, I thought it best to buy it and play the seasons I had never got around to.
And, boy, was it an emotional ride.
I forgot how great the writing was for this game series (for the most part), and that made me decide I had to rank each season from the weakest to the best.
So, let’s get into it, starting with what I think is the weakest season.
4. The Walking Dead: A New Frontier.
A New Frontier is definitely the black sheep of all the Telltale’s The Walking Dead seasons.
It just does not live up to the quality of the other three.
Picking up years after Season Two, the third season follows playable character Javier Garcia in his efforts to save his family in the apocalypse.
After meeting Clementine, he learns of the titular New Frontier, a bad community who raid other communities for supplies.
Working with Clem and other survivors, Javier moves to take down the leadership of the dangerous New Frontier to protect his family.
Now, although this plot does sound interesting, there is sadly not that much to it.
In fact, I found there was very little that stood out about A New Frontier.
It was not bad, just very forgettable.
Almost none of the new characters are interesting, Clementine is relegated to a side character, the choices are way too easy, there are a few instances of bad writing, and the animation just looks really off.
This is most apparent in Clementine’s flashback scenes where characters like Kenny and Jane look atrocious.
Speaking of them, though, this is where my most hated part of A New Frontier comes in, which is the way it picks up from the great ending of season two.
Literally all of your choices in that ending are made completely pointless in the first episode.
If you saved Kenny or Jane both will die horribly written deaths in a flashback scene and Clementine will always end up in the same place before meeting Javi.
Now, with all my negatives out of the way, I will get into the few positives I have.
I like Javi as the playable character, comic book character Jesus was a nice addition, Conrad is a great example of a determinant character, and the resolution between Javi and David is well written if you make the right choices.
And those are pretty much the only positive things I have to say about A New Frontier.
Everything else about it is either bad or forgettable.
Thankfully, the other seasons are on a completely different level to season three.
3. The Walking Dead: Season Two.
It was very hard to choose between season two and the one that came in at number two.
Both are great seasons but, at the end of the day, what put season two in the third spot is its fourth episode, “Amid the Ruins.”
This is one of the worst episodes of Telltale’s The Walking Dead because of how aimless the plot feels and how absolutely no choice makes any difference.
If it had not been for this episode, though, season two would have easily taken the second spot because the other episodes are fantastic.
The first episode is a decent set-up episode with some great moments, but episodes two, three and five are amazing.
Episode two, “A House Divided” has a lot of intense moments but also some heartwarming ones with the return of fan favourite character Kenny.
Episode three, “In Harm’s Way” has a feeling of dread throughout as Clementine and her group attempt to escape the maniacal Carver.
And, finally, episode five “No Going Back” has one of the hardest decisions in the entire series, which results in a great ending.
This is all helped by a switch to playing as Clementine in this season, which really gives you the feeling of being a little girl in the apocalypse, even if it is a bit weird that said girl is the one making all the tough choices.
Overall, season two is an amazing season with some of the best episodes of the series.
If it had not been for the awful episode four it would have been higher on the list.
2. The Walking Dead: The Final Season.
After the highly problematic A New Frontier, many people were concerned that season four would be just as poorly done.
Thankfully, the final season is actually amazing, being the second best season of the game series.
The story is basically a reversal of season one, with Clementine looking after the young A.J just like Lee looked after her.
Playing as Clementine, you have to guide A.J through the apocalyptic world, teaching him how to survive and who to become.
A.J is also a great character which makes their bond all the more touching.
Along with him, the other characters introduced in this season are also well done, particularly Louis and Violet who are both possible love interests for Clementine and have great chemistry with her.
The episodes are all fantastic this season, with the best episode definitely being the third, “Broken Toys,” which is one of the best in the entire series.
Then there is the final episode “Take Us Back,” which, while still not as amazing as the penultimate “Broken Toys,” is very emotional and resolves Clementine’s story perfectly.
This season even incorporates gameplay that adds a lot to the experience, even if it is nothing special compared to other games.
Honestly, the only big problem I have with the season does not even have to do with the game itself.
That problem is the horrendous treatment of the Telltale Games employees who were let go with no warning after the company shutdown mid-way through the final season.
Thankfully, Skybound was able to finish the season but that does not change that fact that so many people lost their jobs without a moment’s notice.
This shameful event will remain a blotch on an otherwise fantastic season that ended the series and Clementine’s story right.
1. The Walking Dead: Season One.
As many of you probably expected, I consider season one to be the best Telltale Games Walking Dead season.
I remember when this game first got big and everyone was talking about it.
I played it and found it to be an emotional experience, but I honestly did not expect to be that invested when playing it for the Definitive Series because I knew what would happen.
You know what, though?
I still found season one to be incredibly heartfelt and sometimes tear inducing.
Playing as Lee trying to defend Clementine in a world of the undead is just as engaging as it was all those years ago when I first played it.
This is supported by the great bond between the two, and the excellent story, characters, and choices.
Probably the only bad thing I can say about season one is that it has not aged well gameplay wise.
When I was playing the second episode, I encountered a glitch that has been there for years, with no effort to fix, and it really drew me out of the moment.
Aside from this, and a few other glitches, though, season one of The Walking Dead is a masterpiece of a game.
There are so many amazing episodes, like the intense “Starved for Help,” and emotionally devastating “No Time Left,” which still makes me cry by the end.
Watching Clementine and Lee’s bond grow throughout this game and influencing that relationship with the choices will always be a joy.
It is for this and many other reasons that I consider season one to be the best season of Telltale’s The Walking Dead.