The first generation of Monster Hunter is comprised of the original set of three games released between March 11, 2004 and September 21, 2006. The first generation laid out the groundwork of the entire series and established the central gameplay, visual aesthetic, and core content that would serve as the foundation for all future releases.
Monster Hunter was established in the first generation as a hack-and-slash character action game with RPG elements. The original games introduced the character creation system, which allowed for rudimentary customization of one's in-game avatar including names, hair styles and colour, eye colour, and clothing. The central gameplay was established, which revolved around the undertaking of quests and the crafting of equipment to further one's character progression. Also introduced was the village hub, which serves as a preparation area for the player when not undertaking quests. Here, a player can visit the forge and craft equipment, buy items, gather items from the village farm, and change their equipment set. The meal system was introduced in this generation, which allows players to buff various stats through the mixing and matching of meal items before setting out on a quest.
The first generation introduced seven weapon types, classified into either melee or "Blademaster" weapons, and ranged or "Gunner' weapons.
The first generation featured ten hunting grounds. Five of these were general hunting grounds meant for multi-purpose exploration and traversal, two were battle arenas, and three were special boss areas.
|Forest and Hills||Old Jungle||Old Desert||Old Swamp|
|Old Volcano||Fortress||Castle Schrade||Battleground|
The first generation games shared a unique audio-visual aesthetic which derives from a range of inspirations. The musical score featured the notable use of bagpipes, and certain areas and buildings are reminiscent of medieval European and Eurasian locales. This generation featured arguably the most realistic tone and presentation, with monster and equipment designs largely grounded and utilitarian in nature with little in the way of theatrics or camp.
- The first generation introduced the most weapon types, monsters, and monster types.
- The first generation is the only generation in which two games share the same flagship monster, not accounting for localization changes.
- The first generation to appear on PS2 and PSP platforms.