Video games are unique in that they get multiple sequels or iterations of the same series, yet they don't get bashed for it like films do when they go overboard (I'm looking at you Saw). Well... most series don't get bashed.
We play games that are in the same series because we are familiar with them, and when we know a sequel or successor is out, we buy it because it's gotta be good right? You liked the other games in the series, so you gotta like the one that just came out! Buying games is a hard decision for some people, and when you're a fan of a franchise/series, you can easily make a decision based on your tastes. Would you buy the new mario platformer that just came out... or the indie platformer that you're not that sure of? I know some people would choose the latter, but the majority of people would choose the former. It's because of the familiarity of it.
Anyway, enough chatting about why franchises/series are important to buyers of games.
I don't play FPSes all that often, but when I do, I play single-player experiences rather than multi-player shootouts, and Half-Life is a superb single-player experience. It takes all the narrative of a game and puts it through your eyes. There are no 'cut-scenes', but rather, you take part in the scenes that are happening throughout the story. The story of Half-Life is really why I love this series, and while other people may say it's not that great, to me, it's one of the better video game narratives out there.
Oh, and by the way...
WHERE THE FUCK IS EPISODE 3, GABE?
Team Ico Games
While the games aren't directly related to one another, they do seem to take place in the same universe. Fumito Ueda has created a pretty unique world with these games, and I've enjoyed both Ico and Shadow of the Colossus immensely. The atmosphere and emotion of these games hit me very hard while playing them. Not to mention the music from SotC, which has to be some of the best orchestrated pieces I've ever heard in a video game. I'm looking forward to seeing The Last Guardian release as well. I don't have a PS3 at the moment, but if any game could make me cave in and buy a PS3, it would be something from Team Ico.
While I haven't played Animal Crossing in quite a while, the time I have played it, I remembered fondly. Whenever I play an Animal Crossing game, it sucks me in, and I play for months. (Unfortunately, City Folk didn't do that for me.) The Gamecube version had me hooked after getting it for my birthday one winter, and the DS version made me so happy that I could take my town around with me anywhere, but City Folk, just didn't feel the same. I hope that the Animal Crossing for the 3DS will have more added to it to get me hooked again. Who knew fishing, catching bugs, digging for fossils, talking to animal neighbors and collecting furniture could be so addicting. For those who know Animal Crossing, you know how I feel, for those who don't... well... either you get it or you don't, you just gotta give the series a chance.
Super Smash Bros.
I'm sure this is a favorite for a lot of people reading this, because it might include some of your favorite characters, or maybe you just think it's a fun game. I like Smash Bros. because of it's concept, taking a bunch of video game characters and pitting them against each other in a fighting game. It also allows me to find out about other games I probably would not have played before. Thanks to Melee, I bought the Fire Emblem that came out for the Game Boy Advance because I was curious about the series. And thanks to Brawl... well, and my co-editor/friend Ink, I became curious about...
About... about... *sniff*
...ahem, sorry, that song just always gets me.
But yeah, Brawl and Ink got me curious about the Mother series. This is the only series that has ever competed for my love of the Team Ico games, and it's made it's way up past it on my list. The nontraditional JRPG stories that they tell are what interested me the most, and the very real emotions that are conveyed by just simple text just astounded me. That's not the only thing though, the humor in these games is just fantastic, that is, if you like quirky stuff. If you haven't played any of the Mother games, and aren't that much into JRPGs because of their stories, then this might be for you, because it's very different... and if you like JRPGs and you haven't played any of these games, then... what's wrong with you?!
*Ducks and hides from Renjaku's hatred of The Police*
I know some people here won't agree with my placement of this on the list, but damn it, it's one of my favorite franchises, just for the sheer enjoyment I get out of it. I've spent hours playing this game with friends and by myself, whether it be playing the fake guitar, singing, or learning a bit of keyboard. There is a great investment one has to take with this series also... well... that is if they want to get the most out of it. When having a large Rock Band library, you get a lot more variety in the songs you play, and it's actually helped me discover a lot more music and has broadened my horizons in that aspect. It has also reminded me of music that I have forgotten in long years passed. I do have quite a few complaints with the franchise, but the good always outweighs the bad.
(The tone of this song sort of expresses just how I feel about being out in the ocean, exploring what is unknown to land. Adventure!)
I know there are only two games in the series so far, but if you know me, you know why it's so high on the list. I was really impressed with just how much of a game they made out of a scuba-diving simulator. Collecting the information on the marine life and taking photos of my dives is something I want to do in real life eventually, but in the meantime, Endless Ocean is a great substitute. Like Animal Crossing, if you enjoy these games, you know how I feel, and if you don't... then you hate the ocean!
I think everyone here might have Mario in their top 10, if not, then... what are you doing here?
I do enjoy the spin-off games, like Mario Kart and the sports games, but I love the main series as well as the RPGs the most. I've played just about every Mario platformer there is, though I haven't beaten them all. Nintendo has a way with platformers, and the Mario platformers always have tight controls and great level design. I can always go back to a Mario platformer, play it and get a smile on my face. So far, it seems the Galaxy games have topped my list as the best games of this generation, and I hope that there's more where that came from. It seems likely from the screens we've seen of the Super Mario game for the 3DS, and I'm drooling with anticipation. As for the RPGs, well, I've also played nearly all of them, and the Paper Mario games are my favorite. Again, I'm eagerly awaiting what they have in store for Paper Mario on the 3DS.
(The anime's music will never be this good again.)
It may be due to the hype and excitement of playing Pokemon Black recently, but again, like with Animal Crossing, when I get into Pokemon, I play it a LOT. It's that addictive and tantalizing nature that makes me rate this so high on my list. Training and collecting Pokemon is just as much a craze to me today as it was over a decade ago in 1998. I'm very excited to see what Nintendo has in store for the Pokemon games being developed for the Wii and 3DS. I'm hoping that the new Wii game will be better than Battle Revolution, and that the 3DS game is the third pillar of the Black/White games. Though, if they're just some spin-off, I won't worry, because the shear amount of content in Black will keep me busy for quite a while, and I'm planning on doing a Nuzlocke run with Platinum.
Honestly, I don't know why I like Metroid so much.
Is it the sense of isolation the games present?
The unique environments that Samus has to explore?
The awesome music is has?
Well, maybe I do know. It's all of those things. To sum up how I feel about the series, here's an image of my opinions about each game in the franchise:
Surprised? Well, I was debating on whether to put Zelda in my Top 10 or not, but ultimately decided not to put it in, because, well... I'm not that big of a Zelda fan. I do enjoy the games, a lot... but not enough to have it be one of my favorites. Maybe the fact that my favorite Zelda is Link's Awakening, and that I think Twilight Princess is better than most others may show that I'm not the biggest fan.
Roller Coaster Tycoon
This is a series I played a lot of when I was bored in the afternoon of the late 90's/early 00's. Building and managing theme parks seemed so cool to me, and it made me want to visit them... though not ride many of the rides. I'm actually terrified of Roller Coasters. I recently purchased RCT3 Platinum off of Steam, I already had the game before, but not the expansions, so having it on Steam is a delight. It doesn't have quite the 'Chris Sawyer' charm that the other games had, but it has a ton of content and has allowed people to make incredible parks.
The Zoo Tycoon series hits home a bit more with me, and it was very close to being in my top 10. If it wasn't for Endless Ocean, this probably would have been up there. Unfortunately, I don't think there will ever be another Zoo Tycoon, Blue Fang has no mention of it, they recently made a Facebook game called 'Zoo Kingdom', maybe they're just trying to make some money so they can make another Zoo Tycoon. The Zoo Tycoon 2 collection is fine, but for some reason, I felt that some things were missing. Maybe I just want an Aquarium Tycoon... is there such a thing? Well, there's a SeaWorld Parks Tycoon, but that's just horrible.
Well, that's my list. What do you think?
And what would be in your Top 10 franchises/series?
10. Mortal Kombat series (Mortal Kombat II) 09. Silent Hill series (Silent Hill 1) 08. Uncharted series (Uncharted 2: Among Thieves) 07. Bioshock series (Bioshock 1) 06. Prince of Persia series (Prince of Persia: Sands of Time) 05. Metal Gear Solid series (Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots) 04. God of War series (God of War II) 03. Castlevania series (Castlevania II: Simon's Quest) 02. Metroid series (Super Metroid) 01. Legend of Zelda series (Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past)