The Guitar Hero video game series are a rhythm-game series originally created by Harmonix and RedOctane, but was later bought out by Activision and developed by Neversoft.


Sometime in the early to mid 2000s, hardware developer RedOctane discovered a rhythm game made by Konami called Guitar Freaks, which used a Guitar shaped controller and featured a rock and roll based soundtrack. This game had only been released in Japan, and RedOctane was confident they could make a very similar game, with a comparable Guitar controller, in the west. They partnered with rhythm game developer Harmonix, and released Guitar Hero in November of 2005.

The first game was extremely successful, prompting sequel, Guitar Hero II, a year later. Harmonix and RedOctane also developed a spin-off game titled Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s, but eventually RedOctane was bought out by Activision, and Harmonix by MTV. Activision chose a compay called Neversoft to develop the next entry in the Guitar Hero series.

The first Guitar Hero game that Neversoft created was Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, and it was the most successful game in the series, by far.

Neversoft introduced more instruments in the fourth main series instalment, Guitar Hero World Tour, likely in an attempt to compete with Rock Band, which had released not too long after Guitar Hero III. From that point on, the Guitar Hero series became more focused on full band gameplay.

While Neversoft was working on the console Guitar Hero games, Vicarious Visions worked on the On Tour series, as well as the Wii ports of the Guitar Hero games, and the iOS version of Guitar Hero. Beenox Studios  also worked on Guitar Hero: Smash Hits for the consoles.

Even though Guitar Hero 5 was released before Guitar Hero: Van Halen, Guitar Hero: Van Halen used the elements from Guitar Hero: Smash Hits and Guitar Hero: Metallica. Neversoft also developed the DJ Hero spin-offs and Band Hero.

Due to the lack of rhythm games in sales, Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock was Neversoft's final Guitar Hero game and would be the last Guitar Hero game to be developed for several years.

However, Guitar Hero returned back in 2015 with Guitar Hero Live, developed by FreeStyle Games, the developers of the DJ Hero series. This reboot proved unsuccessful.


Main series[]

Spin-off games[]

Band-related spin-offs[]

On Tour series[]


Mobile games[]


Cancelled games[]

Games of Guitar Hero
Main series
Guitar Hero - Guitar Hero II - Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock - Guitar Hero World Tour - Guitar Hero 5 - Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock - Guitar Hero Live
Band-related games
Guitar Hero: Aerosmith - Guitar Hero: Metallica - Guitar Hero: Van Halen
Spin-off games
Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s - Guitar Hero: Smash Hits - Band Hero
Guitar Hero Air Guitar Rocker - Guitar Hero Carabiner - Guitar Hero 2nd Edition Carabiner - Guitar Hero Arcade
On Tour series
Guitar Hero: On Tour - Guitar Hero On Tour: Decades - Guitar Hero On Tour: Modern Hits
Mobile games
Guitar Hero Mobile - Guitar Hero III Backstage Pass - Guitar Hero World Tour Mobile - Guitar Hero (iOS) - Guitar Hero 5 (Android) - Guitar Hero 6 (Android) - Guitar Hero Live
Guitar Hero I & II Dual Pack (PS2) - Guitar Hero II & Aerosmith Dual Pack (Xbox 360) - Guitar Hero: On Tour & On Tour: Decades Box Set (NDS) - Guitar Hero III & Aerosmith Dual Pack (Wii)
Community mods
Guitar Hero Three Control Panel (GH3/GH:A PC) - GH3+ (GH3 PC) - Guitar Hero II Deluxe (GH2 PS2/Xbox 360) - Guitar Hero World Tour: Definitive Edition (GHWT PC)