Friday Five – Video Game Franchises



Welcome to the Friday Five! Each week we help you get to know us a little better with the help of a top 5 list. This weeks category: Video Game Franchises.

It’s Friday once again, and while the site has been slow for news recently you can always rely on your weekly dose of top five lists from One-Quest. Now before we get into this weeks list we’ve got another order of business to take care of. Today is Audra’s birthday, as she mentions in her list, so make sure to wish her one in the comments or on our Facebook page!

Anyway with that out of the way this week we’re delving into our general love of gaming, and what better way then to list out our top five favorite video game franchises. It’s crazy to think that some of the most iconic games are closing in on their 30th anniversaries soon. On top of that in the last decade so many amazing games of come out and started not only new franchises but new ways to play games. So lets get this started, and don’t forget to let us know your favorites in the comments!

Chris

I’ve been playing video games for as long as I can remember, I’ve owned just about every major console release in the last 25 years. Through all that time I’ve stayed pretty true to a a few groups of games, Mario’s, Zelda’s, Pokemon’s. These franchises have dominated my life since childhood, and even thought I may not always finish them to completion whenever a new entry comes out I find myself buying it. Hell I own every main Pokemon game since Red and Blue, I’ve purchased the original Mario half a dozen times on different consoles over the years, not to mention all the original releases. It’s pretty safe to say when I find a series I like, I stick with it. For my list I tried to mix it up a bit, I have some of the standards you’d expect, but there are a few curve balls thrown in too.

  1. Pokemon – I’ve been playing Pokemon games since 7th grade. That’s when the game got big in America. Like a lot of people in my generation I started with Red and Blue and just never stopped. Now 15 years later the games are still coming and I’m still buying them. And you know what I wouldn’t change a damn thing.
  2. Kingdom Hearts – I forgot how much I enjoyed Kingdom Hearts until I started playing Kingdom Hearts 3D. It’s got a crazy story mixing so many iconic characters and they’re up to like 6 games. For anyone who grew up with Disney movies and loves to play role playing games, this is the perfect series. It’s not as difficult as some role playing games or as goofy as some Disney movie games. It has just the right mix of everything and so much original story that you’ll find yourself pouring over Wikipedia pages long into the night to see everything that’s gone on with these games since 2002.
  3. Final Fantasy – This isn’t a franchise that I love every game of. I’m not going to lie, there have been a few that just didn’t keep my interest like 12. And There’s plenty of older entries that I haven’t play all the way through. At the same time there aren’t many games I can say I would spend 60+ hours replaying over and over again like Final Fantasy VII – IX. Those were the 3 games that got me hooked on this series and I’ll spend months replying them any time! Oh and lets not forget about the original Tactics for PS1, you just can’t go wrong with that game.
  4. Ace Attorney– This is a bit of a weird entry for me, I don’t own all of the games, and I haven’t actually finished all of the ones I have. But Every time I sit down and start a new case, I’m sucked in for hours. For me this isn’t a handheld game that I play when I need to kill some time, this could end up being an all day affair.
  5. Castlevania– I’m surprised nobody else mentioned Castlevania, it’s got such a legacy and so many Iconic games. I’ve got to confess though, the games that everyone thinks of and loves in this series, I’ve probably never played. I got hooked to Castlevania on the DS games. I would spend all kinds of time playing them and loving every second. Some day I’ll get around to playing the original and Symphony of the Night and maybe all the others too.

Anthony

I suck when it comes to finishing games. So I feel I don’t have a right to say certain series are my favorites because, well, I never beat the games! At least I feel like I never do, but when I think hard about it, I realize the reason why. Sports games. If I’m in the middle of Mass Effect 2 and I’m super stoked, but the Hockey Playoffs just began, I get so into Hockey I need to play it myself. This happens several times with several sports each year.

  1. NHL – These are my favorite sports games of all time, I know Drootin will list this, but I don’t care. It sucked for several years in the late 90’s early 2000’s, but starting with NHL 08 it easily became the best sports franchise in existence on consoles. Be a Pro mode gives you the ability to control just one player which you can create or use an existing, real pro. You take shifts like you’re actually in a hockey game. Its awesome. If you see my lack of trophies on PS3, I blame this series. Its not that they didn’t have trophies, its just impossible to get them all. Believe me I spent a lot of time playing these games, and don’t have much to show for it.
  2. MLB The Show – I’m a huge fan of sports, and my whole life one of the greatest things about video games has been that it give me the ability to simulate being a professional athlete or be part of a professional team without possessing any actual athletic talent whatsoever. The Show gives you the ability to play what I call “Baseball the RPG”. You play Road to the Show mode and you create yourself and work your way up from the Minor leagues all the way to the Majors. You get to “level up” as you see fit, as you progress you get dealt in trades and get contract offers and all just like you’re really in the sport. Very much like Be a Pro mode in NHL, but I feel road to the show is a more complete experience.
  3. Sonic the Hedgehog – I still consider this one of the greatest franchises in video game history. During the Sega Genesis era, this was the best series out. 1,2,3, and Sonic and Knuckles were amazing games. They were revolutionary at the time, the sprite work was phenomenal. I guess I have no choice but to mention how, in the 2000’s, Sega pretty much flushed Sonic’s reputation down the toilet. I must say Sonic Generations(2011) is a great game though.
  4. Mortal Kombat – Ever since the first one came out, I’ve loved this series. They had a difficult transition trying to go full 3D, which games like SoulCalibur were doing well at the time. Also, Sub-Zero Mythologies was ridiculous. I never played the Shaolin Monks game, but that seemed ridiculous too. I think the series rebounded with Mortal Kombat Armageddon for PS2 and Xbox, that game had like every character ever! The most current title, named “Mortal Kombat” for PS3 and 360 was absolutely amazing. I loved every second of it.
  5. Little Big Planet – I’m a huge fan of CO-OP games and not only are these games super fun, but they are super silly and super cute. The customization of everything is amazing. The ability to create levels and have people all over the world jump in and play them is such a cool concept. Not to mention, chicks dig Sackboy. Just be sure if you play these games with your girlfriend, don’t smack her sackboy/girl around too much, she might get the wrong message about your idea of fun…

Drootin

So, video games guys, how bout them. It seems now pretty much any remotely successful game gets a sequel but only the truly great ones get to become a “franchise” and get to a 3rd, 4th, 5th, 14th or whatever. Some of which I’m a fan of, others, maybe should have stopped at 1. But in any case here are my Top 5 video game Franchises:

  1. Diablo – Is there any question that this would have ended up at #1 on my list? Diablo 2 was in my top 5 games and may still be (I’d have to think about it a lot though), and Diablo 3 has definitely earned its spot in my top 5 games, if not top 3. All 3 games are great and as any good franchise should they have progressed and evolved as the years have passed.
  2. Final Fantasy – Yeah, it’s a bit cliché, but there’s a reason that there are 14 numbered games with a couple sequels and a few spin-off franchises. Final Fantasy Tactics is my favorite of the franchise; I also loved 7, and very much enjoyed 8 and 10. I’ve finished FF1, and I’d strongly like to go back and play more of the ones from 2-6, I should give 9 and 12 another chance, and need to get around to 13.
  3. Uncharted – Uncharted will likely go down as the major franchise of the PS3 era. They were very Indiana Jones like, with adventuring in jungles and caves and everywhere else with a little sci-fi/mysticism thrown in for good measure. If you have a PS3 and somehow have not played these games, get on it.
  4. EA Sports NHL – I love hockey, and EA Sports has done the best recreation of the sport in the video game realm. They have evolved the games as the system generations have gone on, but many still call NHL ’94 the best (and to an extent that includes me, I love ’94 for some things and I love the newest NHL ’13, for others).
  5. Pokemon – Man, I feel kinda awkward putting this on my list, but, honestly, I’m not sure how I couldn’t. I’ve played almost all of them, I’m playing Black 2 right now, and I’m angry (but not surprised) that the ones recently announced (X/Y) are going to be on the 3DS.

Eric

AAAAAAAGH! This is absolutely one of the hardest lists I’ve ever had to write. I play far too many games! And I love way too many franchises! I want to give some shout outs to the legendary titles that have shaped gaming, but there are so many other games that I would rank up here too. Ugh. . . Here it goes.

  1. Ratchet and Clank – I fell in love with this game by accident. I purchased it because at 16 I was working full time, thanks mom, and had a ton of money to waste on shit. Ratchet and Clank reviewed well, so I picked it up. I traded it in 2 days later because I didn’t like it. A few years later I checked out the newest entry, which was going commando, and then decided to pick up the rest. I’ve been unable to put these games down ever since. Ratchet and Clank is the absolute best series of games I have ever played. Each game get’s better than the previous, and they’re all amazing on their own. Tons of humor, excellent gameplay, wonderful character, beautiful worlds to explore, and the weapons! So many awesome weapons! This is an absolute must play for platformer fans.
  2. The Legend of Zelda – Link and his adventures to save Princess Zelda have shaped the industry like few other franchises have. It has a deep, 25 year history, and a timeline that’s more confusing than the entirety of Lost.
  3. Final Fantasy – I have played every official numbered Final Fantasy title ever. I have beaten them all as well. The only exceptions are XI, because I thought WoW was far better, and XIII-2, because I have yet to unwrap it. My absolute favorite Final Fantasy game is Final Fantasy Tactics. From the numbered series I would toss it up between IV, VIII, and IX. Each of these introduced some excellent mechanics not seen in previous games, and their stories were phenomenal. X would be right behind those, with everything about it being top notch. VII and VI are over rated, but still amazing games. II is horrendous. The original FF is great just for starting the franchise. III and V are commended for introducing the ability to change classes in the Job system. XII is misunderstood, an excellent game with a poor story. XIII was beautiful in every way, except Lightning. She was too one dimensional.
  4. Command and Conquer – I’m a huge RTS fan. And while I think WarCraft III and StarCraft II are better games, Command and Conquer was the one that started my love for the genre. I was introduced to this series around the time Tiberian Sun was released. My friend brought his copy over and I fell in love with it! Especially the Brotherhood of Nod. I’ve played every C&C game including the FPS, Renegade(it was horrible). The series sort of went downhill after Westwood was purchased from EA, but I still consider this one of my favorite gaming franchises.
  5. Assassin’s Creed – Yeah, I ranted about 3. I complained about it’s numerous glitches and poor designs. But this is easily one of my favorite series of games I have ever played. Everything about it’s conspiracy theory driven plot line just sucks me in! Although I was disappointed in 3, I can’t ignore the series high points at II and Brotherhood. I can not wait to see what UbiSoft has in store for their next Assassin’s Creed release.

Honorable mentions: Super Mario Bros, gaming wouldn’t be the same without this series. Kingdom Hearts, I have a heartless tattoo. Diablo, DII was my go to for years, and now it’s DIII. Pokemon, can’t wait to get X and Y!

Shannon

I’m with Anthony about never beating games. I think I’ve finished maybe 3 video games in my lifetime, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy them.

  1. Monster Hunter – I’m really excited about the new one coming out on the WiiU… now I just have to get the system.
  2. Final Fantasy – I haven’t played one in a while, but it’s an amazing franchise and there are a couple I’d play again.
  3. Pokemon – Haven’t played this recently either, but I’m sure I’ll be getting a 3DS and the new ones when they’re out.
  4. Halo – This is the only shooter I play. I suck at it… really bad, but it’s so much fun.
  5. Lego – Ok, I don’t actually play these, but I love to watch Rob and our son play them. Lego Marvel Heroes is going to be amazing, yet another game I’m looking forward to.

Audra

First off, happy birthday to me. Second off, this is a excitable Friday Five. 🙂

  1. The Legend of Zelda – The series brings a tear to my heart! My first zelda that I ever played was Ocarina of Time. I saw my brother playing it and stole over control of the game. You know, just like little sisters do. I have yet to play every zelda but I have time.
  2. Mario Kart – I remember climbing over fences in our back yard to get to my friends house just to play the hell out of the original. Then I became quite the force to be reckoned with when the N64 version was releases.
  3. Dance Dance Revolution – I learned about this game through a friend that wasn’t much of a gamer. I was 15 at the time, and my life slowly started to evolve around coming home and becoming better at the game then my friend and cousin. I also succeeded in hitting 1000 calories burned during one night of game play.
  4. God of War – Kratos is definitely one of my favorite video game characters ever. The story line is awesome and he just has so much brute strength and anger.
  5. Donkey Kong – I love Donkey Kong! My cousins, aunt and I used to take turns trying to get through all the stages in Donkey Kong Country. I have the newest one for Wii, its fabulous!

talks a bunch on PodQuest each week. He's also been known to write about stuff from time to time.

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