The logo of the Red Dead series since 2010.

Red Dead is a video game series developed and published by Rockstar Games, consisting of three standalone games and associated downloadable content.

The series is influenced by both westerns and the realities of the 19th and early 20th century American West. Due to the time period in which the games are set, the horse, stagecoach, and train are the primary methods of transportation.

Gameplay varies between the two games in the series. The first game, Red Dead Revolver, follows a purely linear story line with fixed, limited locations. The second game, Red Dead Redemption, provides the player with an open world setting and more options for side missions and random exploration. The third game, Red Dead Redemption 2, expands more from the second game with a bigger world, new and deeply refined mechanics and improved gameplay. Gunplay features heavily in all three games, which the latter two have emphasized storytelling.


All the games take place in the final years of the American Old West (1834-1920). The main titles are third-person shooters, but there are key gameplay differences between both.

The franchise's trademark game mechanic is the Dead-Eye targeting system, which allows the player to aim at targets in slower motion on the battlefield and then attack with a flurry of bullets. Both games also share similar themes of the Western genre of media. Although both protagonists are unrelated, they do share similar traits such as similar facial scars, hats, and strong devotion to their family.

The lead character of the first game, Red Harlow, appears to be an amalgamation of various Western Clint Eastwood-inspired characters from assorted movies, mainly the "Man with No Name" from the "Dollars" films and the titular character from the 1970s film "The Outlaw Josey Wales". Red Dead Revolver is a fairly linear game, with most of the action driven by the story. The game also reproduces a "grainy film" effect and uses music that is highly influenced by the music of famous Spaghetti Western composer Ennio Morricone. Revolver was not a widely acclaimed success but received mostly positive reviews in its day.

Red Dead Redemption is not a direct sequel to Red Dead Revolver, instead it is a loosely-based spiritual successor to the previous title. Red Dead Redemption boasts an incredibly broad, open game environment comprised of three unique territories representing different regions in the American Southwest and Northern Mexico. There are many things to do aside from the main story such as hunting, clearing gang hideouts, treasure hunting, and exploring.

Red Dead Redemption makes use of a morality system where players have the ability to gain positive or negative "honor". Some of the ways to gain positive honor include taking an outlaw alive instead of killing him, or saving a kidnapped innocent. Negative honor can be gained for committing crimes including killing or robbing civilians. This works along with another system, "fame" showing and governing how people react based on Marston's honor.

Red Dead Redemption 2, meanwhile, is a direct sequel to Red Dead Redemption. The game brings back mechanics and features in the second game and massively improves them, such as, the combat, hunting, honor system, wanted level system, and more. Red Dead Redemption 2 expands Redemption's environment and adds three more territories in the east, each representing different states in the American South and Midwest. However, Mexico can be observed but inaccessible. Like the second game, the player can hunt new species of animals, explore new regions, do challenges, and commit crimes in the already-massive world.

Combat and gunplay are an integral part in all three games. Players can cover, blind-fire and free-aim. Kinds of weapons are introduced on both games, mostly rifles and revolvers in the Western Era.

Redemption also is the first in the franchise to feature a comprehensive multiplayer experience. Redemption has achieved wide critical acclaim following its release and has a steady online community.


The games have a similar Western setting, with canyons and towns that are quite alike. In Red Dead Revolver, the setting of the game is transitory, as Red moves from town to town during the course of the game.

In Red Dead Redemption and Red Dead Redemption 2 , the player can have more meaningful interaction with the environment. The location is bigger than the previous game, ranging from canyons to deserts, but the player cannot reach to the outer limit due to the borders surrounding the game area (i.e. mountains, rivers and deep ravines). There are several towns and settlements that the player can visit, each with their own citizens (of whom the player can interact with).

Red Dead Redemption's setting is also a near 30 years after that of Red Dead Revolver's, taking place in the dying days of the "wild west", as technology and civilization seep into the border states.

Red Dead Redemption 2's setting takes place 12 years before Red Dead Redemption, it is located within the states of the second game's world but expanded further to the east. Aside from New Austin and West Elizabeth, there are three more territories that the player can explore. The game takes place in the days where the outlaws and "wild west" have started to die out.

The settings on both games are located in United States of America and Mexico. Redemption 2 takes place within United States only.


Red Dead Revolver

Red Dead Revolver Coverart

Red Dead Revolver is the first game of the series, it was released in 2004. It is a linear shooting-adventure gameplay that the player must progress through.

The story roles on Red Harlow, where his family is killed by Governor Griffon. After they are killed, Red became a bounty hunter and makes his way to find Griffon to avenge his family.

The game receives mixed to positive reviews. It received a 75% in GameRankings.

Red Dead Redemption

Rdr cover

Red Dead Redemption is the second game in the series and was released in 2010. Unlike Revolver, the game is a free-roam style where the player can venture and interact with different kinds of things.

The game carries most of the gameplay of its predecessor like the Dead-Eye Targeting but adds more improvement to it, but with the same setting of the previous game.

The story takes place in 1911, where John Marston must find Bill Williamson and the rest of his former gang in order to have his family returned safety after being abducted by the Bureau of Investigation.

After its release, it gained universal acclaim from several gaming websites due to its engaging story and open world gameplay. So far, the game has a 95% in both GameRankings and Metacritic. A Game of the Year Edition containing all pre-order and multiplayer content plus Undead Nightmare was released in October 2011. As of February 2017, Red Dead Redemption has shipped over 15 million units.

Red Dead Redemption 2

An epic tale of life in America’s unforgiving heartland, the game's vast and atmospheric world will also provide the foundation for a brand new online multiplayer experience.
Official description

Red Dead Redemption 2 is the third game in the series and a prequel to 2010s Red Dead Redemption.[1] It was released in 2018 for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.[2]

The game carries most of the gameplay of Redemption but further adds even more improvement and refinements to it, but with the same setting of the previous game.

Set in the American frontier in 1899, the game follows the story of Arthur Morgan, a member of Dutch van der Linde's outlaw gang.

Much like Redemption, its release gained universal acclaim from several gaming websites due to its story, realistic gameplay and details within the world. So far, the game has a 97% Metacritic for both consoles. Currently, the game had the largest opening weekend in the history of entertainment, making over $725 million in revenue in three days, and over 17 million copies in total in two weeks, exceeding the lifetime sales of Red Dead Redemption.


Outlaws to the End

RDR Outlaws to the End

Outlaws to the End is a downloadable content of Redemption, released in June 22, 2010. It is a multiplayer DLC with six new missions to choose from, available in the Xbox Live Marketplace and the PSN Network for free.

The DLC is a multiplayer-based content with additional achievements/trophies, adding the Redemption achievements to 58.

Legends and Killers

Legends and Killers is a primarily multiplayer pack. The DLC also features 8 characters from Revolver, new multiplayer map locations and the Tomahawk, along with new single player challenges. It was released in August 10th.

Liars and Cheats

Liars and Cheats is a DLC released on September 21, 2010. It features gambling-style gameplay. Horse races that aren't available later on the original game are available in multiplayer and single-player modes. There's also Poker and Liar's Dice in multiplayer modes and also, some of the major characters are available to play in the DLC.

Myths and Mavericks

Myths and Mavericks is a bonus pack which was released in September. The DLC contains new multiplayer locations and characters and in-demand modes in previous DLC. It is completely free of charge.

Undead Nightmare

Undead Nightmare is a DLC that features zombie-themed gameplay. There is a new single player story, new multiplayer modes, animals, weapons and challenges. It was released on October 26th. It was also released on a disk along with two other DLCs.


Red Dead Redemption: Gunslingers

Red Dead Redemption Gunslingers

RDR: Gunslingers was released on Facebook prior to Redemption. It is a browser game where players duel against friends and strangers.

The gameplay is very basic; the players duel and the game calculates a battle with a random outcome based on a player class and any spent skill points. The game had achievements available and classes to choose.

For some unknown reason, the game was removed from Facebook only a couple of months after release.


  1. Rachel Weber (December 21, 2017). Red Dead Redemption 2 - Outlaws, trailers, and everything you need to know: "Meet your new Red Dead Redemption 2 hero: outlaw Arthur Morgan. Our first introduction doesn't exactly present him as the 'take him home to mother' type. We're sure there's more to him than threatening people and robbing banks, but right now, all we know is he's rough around the edges and in the employ of original RDR antagonist Dutch van der Linde - which sets the game's timeline firmly in prequel territory."
  2. Red Dead Redemption 2 Specifications: "Platform: PS4, Xbox One"

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