The Top 50 – Video Game Franchises – Part 2

Top 25 – 01 List

Points: 342

Points: 343

Tomb Raider
Points: 360

Points: 370

Call of Duty
Points: 376

Points: 400

Points: 408

Points: 415

Assassin’s Creed
Points: 422

Super Smash Bros
Points: 425

Mortal Kombat
Points: 425

Resident Evil
Points: 461

Donkey Kong
Points: 477

Points: 488

Points: 504

Mega Man
Points: 580

Mass Effect
Points: 595

Grand Theft Auto
Points: 599

Sonic the Hedgehog
Points: 611

Street Fighter
Points: 620

Points: 630(19)

Metal Gear
Points: 690

Final Fantasy
Points: 766

Legend of Zelda
Points: 854

Super Mario Bros.
Points: 1105

42 Replies to “The Top 50 – Video Game Franchises – Part 2”

  1. TVs Mr Neil

    By the way, here’s what I was talking about when I brought up the Donkey Kong Country VHS:

    Basically, in the video they make a point of talking about how technically advanced the game’s graphics are, and that the graphics were made on a series of super computers. Immediately following this comment, Mullets Magee says, “Will I need some sort of adapter for my Super Nintendo?”, which is meant to imply that there’s something special about the Donkey Kong raster graphics that needs SUPER GRAPHICS MEGA POWER.

    And then the other guy says something like “We’ve specially output this game to a Super Nintendo cartridge so that you can just plug it into the SNES,” which is just wordplay to get a 14-year-old thinking that they’ve squished down super computer technology onto a game cartridge.

    We’re talking about the graphics here. I’m a graphic artist myself, and I know this kind of bullshit talk when I hear it. This video has a lot of fast-talk to get around saying “Hey, these are rasterized versions of polygon models,” which is meaningless given that raster graphics are the norm on Super Nintendo. Raster graphics are just pixels.

    And this isn’t the only example of this. The entire ad campaign for this game had very carefully-worded so as to imply (but not explicitly state) that the Nintendo was rendering the CGI graphics in real time. In fact, the commercials also had the phrase “First fully rendered game EVER”. Yeah, rendered on a computer THAT ISN’T THE SUPER NINTENDO. That’s the sleight-of-hand that they were trying to make when promoting this game.

    It’s lying by omission, basically. And while I understand it’s just marketing, and it’s no different than Sega’s “Blast Processing” nonsense, I was nonetheless irritated by Nintendo’s and Rare’s marketing campaign to make the game seem more advanced than it really was. And even more ironic is that games that used the SA-1 chip and Super FX chip were WAY out-pacing Donkey Kong Country in terms of graphical power.

    And the rub for me is that they used super computers to convert polygon models into sprites and tiles, and then those sprites and tiles were used to make an exceedingly ugly video game. I’d rather have a dot artist make graphics from scratch.

    Long live Yoshi’s Island.

  2. Trevor Wilcox

    A great improvement from the last episode! Although whoever put Creed’s music in there should probably be arrested. I know need to clean out my ears with gasoline.

    If Mario wasn’t number one this list would have been broken. Halo, GTA, Mass Effect, and Assasin’s Creed are too high in my opinion. Doom, Tetris and Castevania much too low. Very shocked that Mario and Zelda made 1 and 2 but Mario Kart did not make the list at all.

    • Chev Jankowski

      Except Sonic is way too high. Top 25 at most for that franchise. The first two games are great but hasn’t had a good game in three generations.

    • TFG1Mike

      I was TRYING to think of a joke to go along with assassins creed, and it was only 24 SECONDS!!!! YOU DIDN’T EVEN HEAR scott stapp singing, it was just the opening guitar riff!!!

      Say what you want about Creed, but at the time in the late 90s they were super popular and had some good songs.

      just fotr the hell of it here’s Higher!

      “When dreaming I’m guided to another world
      Time and time again
      At sunrise I fight to stay asleep
      ‘Cause I don’t want to leave the comfort of this place
      ‘Cause there’s a hunger, a longing to escape
      From the life I live when I’m awake
      So let’s go there
      Let’s make our escape
      Come on, let’s go there
      Let’s ask can we stay?

      Can you take me Higher?
      To a place where blind men see
      Can you take me Higher?
      To a place with golden streets

      Although I would like our world to change
      It helps me to appreciate
      Those nights and those dreams
      But, my friend, I’d sacrifice all those nights
      If I could make the Earth and my dreams the same
      The only difference is
      To let love replace all our hate
      So let’s go there
      Let’s make our escape
      Come on, let’s go there
      Let’s ask can we stay?

      Can you take me Higher?
      To a place where blind men see
      Can you take me Higher?
      To a place with golden streets

      So lets go there, lets go there,
      Come on, lets go there
      Lets ask can we stay?

      Up high I feel like I’m alive for the very first time
      Set up high I’m strong enough to take these dreams
      And make them mine
      Set up high I’m strong enough to take these dreams
      And make them mine

      Can you take me Higher?
      To a place where blind men see
      Can you take me Higher?
      To a place with golden streets

      Can you take me Higher?
      To a place where blind men see
      Can you take me Higher?
      To a place with golden streets”


    • MC Powers

      I agree with your assessment.

      As for Mario Kart, with Mario being #1 I took that to mean all Mario titles from the core games, to the party games and to the sports games. I think that’s why Mario Kart wasn’t broken out as a second entry.

      On the flip side, I do not agree with Battlefront being broken out into its own franchise separate from Star Wars games a franchise. That’s just silly. They are all Star Wars games. But, like voting, I didn’t submit a top 50 list so I can’t REALLY complain, lol.

      • Optimus Solo

        Plus some people may have Voted for Mario and then not felt justified using another vote for Mario Kart which means it would have dropped regardless

      • Dan Clark

        Part of was just how people voted. I put the list together and some people voted for all the Star Wars games separately, some just said star wars, and some did both. With Mario only one person that I can remember said Mario franchise. I do wonder if more people lumped Mario as a catch all for everything Mario related, which could explain why Kart or Party weren’t higher.

        If I were to combine all the star wars votes into one Star Wars probably would have been near the Top 5. Keep in mind that is also counting double or triple votes for some people. Then there is the challenge of games like Lego: Star Wars. Does that count as its own franchise, part of the Lego franchise, or part of Star Wars. When putting the final list together I tried doing it every way to see how much it would have changed and it wasn’t that much beyond Star Wars in general being much higher.

        In hindsight it probably would have been better if there was a master list to use as a reference, but who knows if that would have really done anything.

  3. Alex Walker

    I think the final fantasy series has always been really good with pushing the envelope by reinventing itself every game. There are always series staples, of course, but for the most part every game is different and offers a different experience and I think that’s why final fantasy fans are so passionate about their favorite/least favorite games. It’s also been good with creating an engaging storyline and has been a front runner for graphics in the RPG genre.

    Something that the final fantasy series isn’t very good as is creating a customisable or expansive experience. There are some games -like XII for example- that are very non-linear but for the most part their games tend to be a bit more linear than say the average WRPG but that’s more of a trait of JRPG’s as a whole than just the final fantasy series. They also don’t value fan feedback enough in my opinion.

    I think my best memories of the final fantasy series are with VIII and that’s why I’m so fond of it. I remember staying home sick from school and playing it. I remember the race me and my sister had to beat it. I remember fighting over who could use the TV just so I could play it. I remember spending hours upon hours upon hours trying to find that gosh darn white SeeD ship. I just get this incredibly warm, familiar feeling when playing it. I honestly don’t have any bad memories playing Final Fantasy games except minor frustrations like trying to find the white SeeD ship for example.

  4. KingOfKongs

    Seemed like most on the panel had issues with Zelda being so high. Zelda revolutionized video games 25 years ago. Before Zelda, games were more about the arcade experience. Zelda changed that by immersing the player in a new world with a quest to complete and secrets to be find. It’s kinda like playing an Elder Scrolls game for the first time, except you’re back in the ’80s and playing on the NES. It also revolutionized how a lot games play in 3 dimensions (like the targeting system, combat etc). And it still does today, like with one-to-one motion in Skyward Sword. This is also the one series that has never faltered in its 25+ years… Never! Even Mario has seen his slight dips (Gamecube era- Super Mario Sunshine). Every one of Zelda’s games has met critical acclaim too. Ocarina of Time is the highest rated game on metacritic… Ever! And Four Swords Adventure is the lowest rated Zelda at 86%, and that’s debatably the worst Zelda game (if you could even say there was a one). And that’s out of 15+ games! Tri Force Heroes not withstanding.

    • TFG1Mike

      Thanks and yeah you are right.

      I’m fine with Zelda being #2, but as I said in the record my fav and go to will always be link to the past.

    • Optimus Solo

      Agreed! and great points/arguments. Sometimes people just like to hate on things that are ‘popular’ I guess

      • MC Powers

        If I am going to hate on a game, actually hate on game, I’ll have to have finished the game and formed my own opinion of it. Other wise I just try to play devils advocate or repeat absurd internet gossip for the funnies.

        • Optimus Solo

          Oh trust me I love when people play devil’s advocate – thats what adds to the conversation and made the record interesting! Be boring if everyone just agreed every time! ‘hate’ was too strong a word by me there!

    • JediDisaster

      Right with you. Mario was always fun but the Zelda games were on another level of complexity in both game play and storytelling. Plus the music. Dear god the music.

    • MC Powers

      I have no issues with Zelda being as high as it was. If it appeared that way than I apologize. I have never played more than an hour of any single Zelda game. As I have stated in show the series as either rubbed me the wrong way, or the games I have played have not kept my interest, BUT that does not mean I do not respect the franchise for what it has done for gaming as a whole.

  5. Optimus Solo

    Way too much hating on the Mario/Zelda/Donkey Kong selections! Unfortunately seems the voters and the panel had a slightly modern bias or slant on what makes a good game etc. The discussion although much better in this part still revolved way too much around personal experience with the game and which games in each franchise were good/not good. I Wish the discussion instead would have centered in on what factors made each franchise worthy or not. The merits of the franchise were too many times glossed over. Not enough talk about sales, longevity, how games changed the landscape, number of games in the franchise etc etc. Hence why I even voted on games I personally dislike or have in some cases never played. Also hate that apparently modern gamers are attracted to games that they don’t have to think about, use strategy, logic etc. Too many comments about how any game that required brain activity was immediately shunned by most of the panel. But I guess thats the RPG/First Person Shooter world we live in these days unfortunately.

    I expected the Modern Bias so, I’m not upset or surprised. I didn’t expect most of my list to make it on there. Would have loved to see the likes of either Monkey Island/Kings Quest/Leisure Suit Larry for what they did and represented in the gaming landscape. Also the likes of Wolfenstein which is the godfather of that genre. The James Bond games not appearing is a travesty to me as well. Others I would have loved to see include: Carmen Sandiego, Gauntlet, Twisted Metal, the WWE/WCW games, although perhaps they were too segregated, or perhaps a classic franchise like Frogger/Pac-Man

    Also to shame for all of you for not beating Mario 1 or 3 straight through…that used to be a given for anyone who considered themselves a ‘gamer’ back in the olden days. But maybe that only applies to those who were gamers back during the Intellivision and Commodore 64 days, the ones raised on actually beating games and figuring out all the puzzles and who could care less for all the graphics and glitz/glam 😉

    Fun listening for the most part though guys! Good job!

    • Steven C. Phillips

      I only said it’s a game meaning we all know it’s history and longevity. There were quite a few that didn’t show but being Franchises if it didn’t have more than one game it didn’t really count. That being said some of the listed you have are a valid point for not making it. But it was an experiment and perhaps can be revisited with a Modern Top 50 games and a Classic Top 50 Games. As the classic got overshot by modern. If we did the Top 100 Video Games I’d have had quite a few different games involved.

      • Optimus Solo

        Oh yea, I wasn’t talking about any single off games though, only franchises. The ‘its a game’ didn’t bother me – it was a nice recurring joke here lol

    • JediDisaster

      Is there a good James Bond game outside of Goldeneye? Nearly everyone after that has been a appointment’s or downright awful.

      Personally I would like to know where franchies like Pac-Man, Double Dragon, and Prince of Persia fell. Also how is Battlefront on here but not Knights of the Old Republic. Maybe it doesn’t have as many games but its way better than any of the Battlefront games.

          • Dan Clark

            So I guess the amount of Bond games you played is higher than the amount of movies you have seen?

            I lost many hours of my life playing Goldeneye.

      • Optimus Solo

        I voted for Prince of Persia although I have no experience with it. I think Double Dragon is legit as well and wouldn’t be surprised if both of these games were in the Top 75. Gotta listen to Altered Geek to find out! right @steve_megatron:disqus ?

      • Dan Clark

        See I was more shocked that Oregon Trail didn’t make it. What other game let you shoot animals for fine while in school.

    • TVs Mr Neil

      Yeah, I was a bit bewildered by how the Mario & Zelda sections went, in retrospect. Even my least favorite Zelda is still pretty good. (Well, okay maybe not Zelda II.) And in spite of the seemingly negative slant we had on the Mario games, I don’t think anyone on the panel would disagree that it should be number one. We should have sounded more happy about the placement of these two games than we did. I think we were also pretty tired by that point. It was like 1AM.

      On the other hand, I think Donkey Kong Country got the appropriate amount of hate, and it’s about time somebody defused the undeserved rank that this series gets. We praise entries that deserved it, and my last-minute scramble to mention Donkey Kong 94 was nothing but pure love. If anything, the original arcade games deserved more time.

      One of these days, I’ll have to explain my dislike for Rare, Probe, Ocean, and other Euro-trash game developers that got way more acclaim (pun intended) than they deserved.

      The hardest thing about this is judging how one defines a franchise, because while I would assume that WWE wrestling is its own franchise, I also feel that the Aki/THQ games that shared WWE and WCW are also a franchise unto themselves. They’re all basically the same game engine, and they were unquestionably the top brawling games on the N64. I don’t even care that they don’t exactly follow the rules of wrestling.

        • TVs Mr Neil

          You wanted me to rant on the podcast, but it’s a much more complex issue, and it’s not necessarily something that’s encapsulated by DKC.

          But I’ll give you some foreshadowing. Some of the most reviled games published by LJN and Acclaim were actually produced by Rare.

  6. WalkingDredd

    Regarding Donkey Kong e the originals were much darker and had better atmosphere than the newer games. From the surreal art style to the amazing soundtrack to the enemies… It just brought the game together in a unique enjoyable package.

    Now, I’m not trying to be “that guy” thats like ‘fuck new stuff! Nostalgia rules!’ But this is one of those cases where the reboot of the series felt so distinct from the tone of the original and it made it a little more generic in my opinion.

    The gimmicks like hopping between the background and foreground, having 3 hits per life, and diddy’s rocket are all cool and all but the original series managed to capture platforming at its purest that still felt incredibly polished because of stuff I mentioned before.

    I know its also a product of the modern trend – aka growing away from nitty gritty in platforming and instead going towards bright colors and brilliant gameplay.

    The DKCR series although great games, just didnt REALLY feel all that similar at all to the originals. I think the tone of the originals just made that series something special. It was somber, sad, tense, but had jolly undertones to remind us it was still about the fun. It was perfect

  7. MC Powers

    If I appeared to have a bias opinion at any point in the count down then I apologize. When it comes to games I try to take an unbiased stance, especially if I haven’t even play a single game in certain series (Zelda). However I do recognize games for their achievements in moving the medium forward, and if I failed to convey that? Than I am again, sorry.

    Most of my gaming humor, if you will, is derived from the stupidity absurd lengths people will go to defend their favorite games on the Internet. Any biased I appeared to have was more me mocking the franchises fan base, than a critiq of said franchise.

    Then again I am not entirely sure why I am writing this reply in the first place, lol.

    • Optimus Solo

      I don’t think anything you said came across as biased really. Anything I was referring to as ‘bias’ before was not aimed at anyone in particular it was just a general feel that perhaps unintentionally came off towards certain games/genres/franchises. No one is at fault really for anything though here

    • Dan Clark

      I didn’t hear any of that when listening. I mean the purpose if for people to express their opinions. It’s not hard science or math. There isn’t a complete right or wrong answer and ‘I agree” doesn’t always lead to the best conversations ever.

  8. Dan Clark

    During the countdown there was a question regarding Mega Man and if Mega Man X was part of it as well. There weren’t any votes for Mega Man X so I assume those who voted just combined them.

    • Steven C. Phillips

      I think I meant to vote for Mega Man X but then again I may have put Mega Man (can’t remember if I did, would have to check) as a catchall for the people who loved that series as a whole.

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