Everyone has favorite game series that they follow and buy. Final Fantasy, Zelda, and even Call of Duty have a loyal following. These are my top 10 favorite game franchises of all time.
I wanted to add more than ten games and decided to give the ones that got the short end of the stick some love by placing them in my honorable mentions list.
The Legend of Zelda
Ocarina of Time was my first Zelda game and it’s still my favorite one today. Majora’s Mask, Windwaker, Twilight Princess, and A Link Between Worlds are great games. I’ve had many wonderful moments playing this series and even though I think Breath of The Wild is a bad Zelda game I enjoyed that too. Zelda didn’t make my top 10, but I had to at least have it listed in my honorable mentions.
Phantasy Star is the first JRPG I ever played. I’ve been a fan of this series for as long as I can remember. The series wasn’t always an action RPG. It was your traditional turn-based game, like Final Fantasy, back in the day. I love this series to death and it’s too bad Sega won’t make any more games. It’s not like they’re going to give us the MMO…
Fire Emblem has been around for a long time. It was almost canned before Awakening saved the series and made it mainstream. I’ve been a Fire Emblem fan since they started releasing them in English. This is a fantastic series and the older games can be brutal if you don’t think before you act. Perma-death was rare in games back then and helped set this game apart from others in the genre.
Agent 47 is one of my favorite protagonists. Blood Money is a masterpiece and is the best stealth game ever made. I can’t think of a single bad Hitman game and that includes Absolution by the way. Agent 47 and his iconic silver ballers have been a part of my life for a long time and I hope the future of this series continues to shine brightly.
I’ve never played a bad Soul Calibur game. I’m really looking forward to part VI. It’s been too long since I’ve played the best fighting game series around. I was a huge online player in parts 4 and 5. I plan on coming out of retirement for part 6 and learning all of my favorite characters moves again. Soul Calibur is fantastic and if you’ve never played these games you should. Who needs Mortal Kombat when you’ve got these games?
That wraps up my honorable mentions. Here are my top 10 game franchises of all time!
10. Splinter Cell
Splinter Cell is the greatest stealth series ever made. I’ll happily debate that with anyone. Sam Fisher is one of my favorite protagonists of all time and this franchise has more than one masterpiece. Chaos Theory, Blacklist, and Conviction are my favorites in this amazing series of games. Taking my time and playing these games my way has always been a huge reason why I preferred these games over every other game in the stealth genre. I went back and forth on this and Hitman because I’m a huge fan of that series too. Absolution was the deciding factor that made me drop Hitman to an honorable mention.
9. The Witcher
What more can be said about The Witcher? There are only three games in the series, but they’re three fantastic games. Two of the three can be considered masterpieces and The Witcher 3 is one of the best games I’ve ever played in my life. I hope one day we get a Witcher 4 or something set in the same universe because I’m not ready to say goodbye to these amazing games that CD Projekt Red has made for us.
8. Dragon Age
I can easily swap this with The Witcher. The truth is I love both series the same and it was really hard for me to choose between the two. So why is Dragon Age above The Witcher? I played some Dragon Age: Origins last night and had a nice nostalgia trip. Dragon Age is fantastic. Dragon Age: Origins is a masterpiece that tells one of the best stories in gaming history and the ending of that game is one of the best endings in all of gaming. Yes, the gameplay is a bit wonky, but it’s still very playable today and is the best CRPG ever made (followed very closely by Original Sin 2).
7. Total War
It seems like I have more negative things to say about Total War these days than positive. I don’t like the direction the new Total War games have gone, but this series is 17 years old and a good majority of the games in this series is great. Total War Shogun 2 and Rome 2 are my favorite games in the series. I’ve spent many nights leading my armies to countless victories both online and offline. I’ve been defeated, I’ve lost cities, countries, and even had my own people rebel against me, but I always come back stronger. Total War is the pinnacle of RTS games and a big reason why I became a PC gamer.
Mario has been around longer than I’ve been alive. You can’t make a top 10 franchises of all time list and not include everyone’s favorite plumber. Mario is constantly evolving and wowing audiences all over the globe. This series has sold over 500 million units and is still getting rave reviews today. Mario is the face of gaming and has brought joy to millions of people. Myself included. I’ve introduced my kids to a character that I grew up playing. Mario did something that very few games can do and that’s stood the test of time.
Here’s another longrunning series. The only difference is this one has a questionable future while the one above is still alive and kicking. Castlevania has a ton of games. All of them aren’t good, but most of them are. The great ones are considered masterpieces by many people and this game, along with Metroid, made the term Metroidvanias. Castlevania is the Dark Souls of its’ day and without these games, you could argue that there probably wouldn’t be a Dark Souls or any other game that drew inspiration from them.
4. Dark Souls
There are only four Souls games in existence and they’re all masterpieces to me. Dark Souls has created a genre that doesn’t have a name yet. Many games have been inspired by these games and everywhere you look there are people comparing the latest “hard” action game to Dark Souls. These games require timing, skill, and patience to complete and even though From Software announced the end of the series there are more than enough “clones” to keep me happy for a very long time. None of them will ever surpass the original 4 kings though.
You knew Pokemon would be somewhere on this list. I’m a Pokemon fanatic and I can’t get enough of them. Pokemon helped me through school by giving me a release from bullying. It helped me through some hard times in my life because catching those adorable little monsters can’t help but bring a smile to my face. Even now I feel that same childish pride that I felt when I was 8 years old holding my GameBoy in my tiny hands after I beat the Elite 4 and became the Pokemon Master. I can’t wait for the next generation of Pokemon to release on the Switch. It’s going to be glorious.
2. Mass Effect
Mass Effect has the greatest trilogy known to man. I’ll place it above Lord of The Rings, Star Wars, and every other trilogy you can name to me. Shepard is the greatest protagonist ever and these games are masterpieces. I’ll even throw Andromeda in there because it deserves to be mentioned along with them. There is no bad Mass Effect game. They’re all fantastic and they made me feel things no game has ever made me feel before. When Shepard died I felt it. I wanted him (Male Shep for life!) to live happily ever after with Liara, but Bioware had different plans for him. Mass Effect is the pinnacle of gaming for me. The stories that Bioware put together for the first three games are amazing. The companions that they introduced us to will live on forever and losing one of them felt like losing a friend because I had watched them grow over the course of the last 3 games. Andromeda continued this by making our companions feel like an actual family instead of just slapping them together and only giving them a relationship with the main protagonist. Ryder is a great protagonist too and unfortunately, we might never get the sequel that this game deserves. It’s been a hell of a ride and it’s one I’ll gladly take again.
1. The Elder Scrolls
I honestly can’t decide which games I like more. Mass Effect or The Elder Scrolls? Both games have given me so many stories to tell that I gave up. Even though there’s a number 2 next to Mass Effect it’s actually tied with The Elder Scrolls as my all time favorite game series. Morrowind was my introduction to The Elder Scrolls. The combat was terrible, the graphics will hurt your eyes today, and there are no map markers or fast travel so you can’t just click the map and magically appear next to your objective. A game like that wouldn’t last today, but I love it. I’ve put hundreds of hours in Morrowind on the OG Xbox and every time I think back to the best games of my teenage years Morrowind is always the first game that pops into my head. The Elder Scrolls isn’t about fancy stories or awesome combat. It’s about exploration. You can choose any direction you want to go and experience your own personal story. No playthrough of these games will ever be the same. Skyrim changed open world games. Even today people still compare the newest open world games to Skyrim. Why? Because it’s that damn good. The Elder Scrolls never ceases to amaze me. No one can build an open world like Bethesda and I can’t name a game that I’ve played more than this series.
I’m sorry this turned out to be so long. I didn’t mean to get so carried away with Mass Effect and The Elder Scrolls. This is my top 10 game franchises of all time. What are yours?