With the Ace Attorney Investigations Collection releasing this year, we decided to make a ranked list of all Ace Attorney games from worst to best. Now let me be absolutely clear here – I don't think there's such a thing as a bad Ace Attorney game. However, not all turnabouts are created equal, therefore making some games a bit more exciting than others. Without further ado, let's head into the courtroom, review our evidence, and take a look at the Ace Attorney series. For reference, we did not include the Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright game.

Every Ace Attorney Game Ranked – What Are The Best Games In The Series?

10. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice For All

The sequel to Phoenix Wright's first adventure actually ranks as our least favorite entry in the series. In general, Justice For All is a short game (with only four episodes), and the cases and characters just didn't feel as interesting this time around.

The game introduces a new gameplay mechanic during the investigation phase called “Psyche-Locks”. When someone is hiding information from you, these locks will appear, and you must break them down. To expose their secrets, you'll engage in conversation with them, breaking each lock down with each lie you expose. Overall, this is a very fun mechanic that was re-used in several subsequent games.

One area I felt JFA was lacking in was its prosecutor. In this game you'll find yourself in court against Franzkisa Von Karma, a young prosecutor who holds a grudge against Phoenix. While maybe not the worst prosecutor in the series, she doesn't hold a candle to the likes of Edgeworth, Godot, or Van Zieks. She has very little character development compared some other prosecutors in the series, which removes any chance of her being interesting.

All of this said, the game's final episode is actually one our favorites in the entire franchise. It does something different from what we usually see in an Ace Attorney title, and is certainly worth checking out.

9. Dual Destinies

Ace Attorney's first step into the world of 3D felt like an awkward step into the future. That said, there's still plenty to like about the game. The cases are interesting for the most part, with a wide variety of settings that make them all unique. And we did enjoy the introduction of Athena Cykes', the newest member of the Wright Anything Agency.

The game also introduces a Mood Matrix mechanic, which lets you examine people's moods throughout their testimony. It's up to you to notice any contradictions in people's feelings and the statement they make in a number of ways. This feature went on to return in Spirit of Justice.

But one thing we can't help but feel about Dual Destinies is that the overarching story and character development is pretty weak. It marked the first game in the series since 2004 where you could actually play as Phoenix Wright. However, the game also wants to focus on Apollo Justice, who's still growing as a defense attorney, and the newly introduced Athena Cykes, who has an interesting past of her own. Overall, the game tries to focus on all three characters, but there's not enough time to really dive in to each subplot.

And above all of this, there's this whole story about the Dark Age Of The Law, which honestly wasn't as crazy as it sounded. The game's prosecutor, Simon Blackquill, is okay, but leaves a lot more to be desired. He feels more like a comedic villain, though his backstory is pretty interesting. But it

Despite being on more powerful hardware, Dual Destinies feels rather limited compared to even the series' first entry. One example includes the lack of examination sequences. In almost every AA game, you can examine the contents of nearly every room. Whether to progress the case, or just to see character interaction and dialogue, it's a subtle yet incredible feature that adds more life to the game.

Additionally, I think the character models in DD look a bit awkward, thanks to the series' transition to 3D. While they got better over time, especially in Spirit of Justice and Great Ace Attorney, they don't look amazing in Dual Destinies. Furthermore, we felt the soundtrack just wasn't as good as other entries (though Athena's theme slaps).

However, like Justice For All above it, Dual Destinies' final case is an absolute thrill-ride and extremely exciting. But that alone isn't enough to move this game higher on the list.

8. Apollo Justice Ace Attorney

We've seen Apollo Justice usually rank among the worst of the entire series, and there's definitely some truth to that. Overall, the game is short, the prosecutor is the worst in the series, and the character development is pretty lacking. All of this said, we believe it's far from the worst entry in the series.

The game follows Apollo Justice, a young and upcoming Attorney with really good eye sight and vocal chords. The story sees him cross paths with ex Ace Attorney Phoenix Wright and his adopted daughter Trucy. But how did Phoenix get disbarred? And who is the magician, Trucy Wright? You figure out the answer to these questions as you progress through the game.

Firstly, let us say that Apollo Justice probably has one of the, if not, the best soundtrack in the series. From investigations, to pursuing the criminal in court, the entire soundtrack complements the experience.

This game also features a new mechanic where Apollo can use his armband to view the witnesses' testimony closer. If someone's doing something odd while they talk, rest assured Apollo will point it out. Overall, this feature is pretty cool, but perhaps not as memorable as the Psyche-Locks or Logic Chess. However, it was good enough to return in future entries of the series.

But the thing that hurts Apollo Justice is its short duration and awful prosecutor. With only four episodes, Apollo really doesn't have time to shine in his debut game. And Klavier Gavin, the game's prosecutor, is the worst in the series. He has zero character development, despite everything that happens to him during the game. When compared to prosecutor's like Edgeworth or Godot, Gavin is just a poorly-written character.

All of that said, Apollo Justice is still a great game. The cases are good, the characters are fun, and the music is incredible. Plus, it was cool to see Ema Skye make a return to the series as a fully-fledged detective and forensics expert.

7. Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth

Miles Edgeworth has his own game? Sign us up!

The investigations games in the Ace Attorney series take you out of the courtroom and out of the traditional first-person perspective. In this game, you control Edgeworth's actual movements as you explore crime scenes and discover clues. Instead of testimonies and cross-examinations, you'll listen to arguments expose contradictions in your rebuttals.

Like Phoenix, who's usually accompanied by Maya Fey, Edgeworth has his own partner, Kay Faraday. She's a pretty cool character with an interesting background. Her willingness to help Edgeworth and discover the truth make this self-proclaimed thief a great sidekick throughout the games. And of course, you'll also receive help from the series' best detective, Dick Gumshoe.

Investigations also introduces our favorite mechanic in the entire franchise – The Logic menu. Overall, this menu lets Edgeworth piece together vital pieces of information he's gathered during the case. You can point out contradictions, or discover new truths as you compare the information you've learned so far.

The overall story is okay, but the cases are all pretty interesting. I personally love Case 4, which takes place during Edgeworth's early days as a prosecutor. It stars a new detective character, Tyrell Badd who serves as Gumshoe's mentor. Badd is an awesome character, one who surprises you a lot throughout the games.

Furthermore, the game has a great soundtrack, giving you that “gotcha” vibe when exposing someone's lies. Whether you're investigating, or hot on the murderer's trails, you'll be accompanied by some nice tunes.

We really enjoyed Edgeworth's debut title. The fact that it seems low on this list is a testament to the quality of Ace Attorney games.

6. The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures

The Great Ace Attorney Adventures is the first of two games in the GAA series. It follows Ryunosuke Naruhodo, the ancestor to legendary defense attorney Phoenix Wright. While not an attorney right away, this game follows Naruhodo's journey to become a defense attorney. This adventure sees him travel from Japan to London, encountering all sorts of crime along the way.

This game adds tons of new gameplay features, both inside and outside of the courtroom. In the former, a new jurist system means you'll need to convince six additional people as well as the judge. At times, you'll need to pit their statements together in order to change their minds and prevent the judge from making a guilty verdict. However, not all cases use this system, and go back to the traditional Ace Attorney trial setup.

Outside of court, you'll have your usual investigations, but with a brand new twist. Thanks to the great detective Sherlock Holmes, you'll partake in his “Logic and Reasoning Spectacular”, which offers you new way to gain information. Sholmes makes the initial deductions, and you correct the inconsistencies that appear throughout. Overall, this feature makes the investigation phases a lot more fun.

Out of all Ace Attorney protagonists, Ryunosuke has probably the best character development. He goes from a regular guy to a fully-fledged and extremely capable defense attorney. He does all of this while getting thrown into chaotic situations, too. Fortunately, there's a strong cast of supporting characters to help you out. From your assistant Mikotoba, to the inventive Iris Wilson, Ryunoksuke is surrounded by a group of lovable characters.

Speaking of characters, both entries in this series are packed with some interesting folk. Prosecutor Barok Van Zieks is so interesting and enshrouded in mystery, that you always wonder what's up with him until the end. And there's lots of other characters who'll make you feel the same.

Overall, Great Ace Attorney: Adventures is a solid entry in the series. However, it acts like more of a setup game, taking its time to introduce you to its setting, characters, gameplay mechanics etc. While we think it's a great game, we think the sequel is that much better. If you want a break from the contemporary courtrooms, come to London and check out GAA: Adventures.

5. Ace Attorney Investigations 2: Prosecutor's Gambit

Only released in Japan, this Ace Attorney game continues the adventures of Miles Edgeworth. Overall, this story has a much darker tone, with Edgeworth even contemplating whether or not he should even be a prosecutor. But we won't spoil the story, and will let our American readers find out the truth in September.

In terms of gameplay, the sequel carries everything over from the first game. However, it goes a step further with a new Logic Chess battle system. In this system, you engage in conversation with the character of interest, and need to discover the truth in a limited amount of time. In order to do this, you need to select the dialogue in the right order, so you can build evidence to crush their argument. For everything you get wrong, you lose time, which could cause you to lose.

Another feature in this game that was also present in the first is the use of Faraday's device, Little Thief. This lets you simulate a re-creation of the crime-scene, which you can change by discovering contradictions and falsities.

The story is amazing, but I will say there's one thing that bothers me about both Investigation games. While I know the main point is to investigate, a little more action in the courtroom would've been welcome. There's only a few brief times where you'll duke it out in the courts, and even then it's different from the usual Ace Attorney formula. However, this is more of a nitpick rather than full-on critique.

All that said, Investigations 2's gameplay improvements make it a great successor to the original. We can't wait for fans in the U.S. to try it out this September.

4. Spirit of Justice

This is the most recent game in the series to feature Phoenix Wright, and man is it a good one. The story follows Phoenix, who's visiting the land of Khura'in to see Maya Fey. But meanwhile, Apollo Justice and Athena Cykes are holding the fort down back at the Wright Anything Agency.

Khura'in's court system is pretty bizarre. Thanks to the Defense Culpability Act, defense attorneys share the same fate as their clients. So if the defendant is guilty, their attorney suffers the same penalty. Because of this, the land is devoid of people and brimming with corruption. Furthermore, the courts use a divination seance which shows the sights and sounds that occurred before a victim's death.

Therefore, the stakes are higher in this game than perhaps any other Ace Attorney title. Not only is your victim at risk, but you are too!

Perhaps our favorite thing about Spirit of Justice is its story. The way it weaves both Phoenix's and Apollo's story together is really well-done, and the writing is superb. Plus there are some insane reveals and plot twists here that caught us off guard. The characters are also very well written and interesting.

Speaking of characters, the game's prosecutor, Nahyuta Sahdmadhi, is very interesting. Like all other prosecutors, you'll learn more about him throughout the game. He's pretty funny at times, but his backstory and reasoning for being a prosecutor is very unique. I very much enjoyed watching his character develop throughout the game.

Overall, Spirit of Justice was a great game, and perhaps one of the strongest in the series. With a good soundtrack and story

3. The Great Ace Attorney 2: Resolve

The final Great Ace Attorney game puts Ryunosuke's resolve to the test. It continues the overarching story from the first game, as Ryunosuke practices law in London. We won't spoil the story much from here, but rest assured it's a good one.

Overall, Resolve doesn't add any new gameplay features or gimmicks, but it doesn't have to. It makes up for it with a great story, cases, and characters. There's a lot of twists and turns to keep your jaws dropped. That said, I was a bit disappointed by the fact that the final case was a bit too predictable.

But the soundtrack, characters, and writing all make up for it and make the game worth playing. Van Zieks returns as the prosecutor, and he just exudes awesomeness. Whether he slams his foot on the table, or fills his hallow chalice, Van Zieks is just such a cool character.

We'll keep this one short, but we feel Resolve is a great Ace Attorney game, and maybe one of the best.

2. Trials and Tribulations

Often considered one of the best games in the series, Trials and Tribulations marks the final entry in the original Ace Attorney Trilogy. In this game, you once again control Phoenix primarily. However, in two of the game's cases, you'll control a familiar character. The way these two stories tie-in was masterfully written and fun all throughout.

Overall, Trials and Tribulations really doesn't add any new gameplay mechanics to switch things up. However, it makes up for this with some exciting cases, and wonderful characters.

This game introduces Godot, a mysterious new prosecutor who seemingly holds a grudge against Phoenix. He's funny yet really intimidating. At times you'll think he's just giving you a not guilty verdict on a silver platter, only for him to shatter those chances immediately. And his backstory is absolutely mind-blowing.

We won't say much more in order to prevent spoilers. However, we really recommend checking out the original Ace Attorney trilogy if you're interested in playing the series.

1. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

Sure, you can call me basic for picking the first game in the series. And sure, it doesn't have all the cool features and gimmicks of recent titles. However, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney still remains our favorite game in the series.

The game follows our beloved titular protagonist, Phoenix Wright, during his early days as an attorney. But as soon as he wins his first case, something tragic happens to his mentor. Will Wright be able to continue in their footsteps?

Of course, this game pins you against the series fan-favorite character, Miles Edgeworth. But in this game, Edgeworth isn't the truth-seeking man of justice we see in other titles. He's darker, more isolated, and more willing to just get a guilty verdict. How did he become this way, and how can you save him?

The original version of Phoenix Wright offered only four episodes. However, the DS release and everything afterwards features a fifth episode called Rise from the Ashes. It's here you'll get introduced to Ema Skye, who becomes a recurring character in future games. And this new episode is definitely a blast and makes the experience that much better.

Our favorite thing about Phoenix Wright is its amazing soundtrack. The trial theme in this game is easily the best, and fits so well with the atmosphere. Then, when you object and pursue, you'll be greeted by even more amazing songs. Between the quality of cases, the characters, and the story, Phoenix Wright's debut game is still our favorite… for now.

And that wraps up our rankings of all Ace Attorney Games. Like we said, although this a worst-to-best ranking, we still feel that every Ace Attorney Game is a good one that's absolutely worth playing. Visual Novel games don't have to be your forte to enjoy a great series full of mystery and adventure. And if you don't agree with our list, then feel free to object! We'll just ask you to present some evidence, as it is the most important thing in the courtroom.

For more gaming news, visit ClutchPoints. Furthermore, subscribe to our gaming newsletter for more weekly info.