There are some video games that have a special place in the hearts of millions of gamers and are known even among those that haven’t played them. Likewise, there are many amazingly crafted game franchises that are extremely popular in the gaming community for their longevity, premises, quality, sales, and the impact these series had on players. The Eneba store selected 5 video game series that are among top-grossing franchises and should be well-known by every gamer. Perhaps it is time to try out those franchises if you haven’t yet and see for yourself if they are worth their salt.
1. Super Mario
Nintendo’s exclusive Super Mario series have been around since the year 1985, having enriched the childhoods of millions and the newest iterations are entertaining children and adults alike even today. Many dub the series as the best and most recognizable gaming franchise, and we don’t dare argue. In fact, many franchises and series tend to get lost to the tides of time eventually, however, having aged 36 in 2023, the Super Mario franchise continues to flourish, and the decline of interest from gamers is nowhere in sight.
The platformer games with the iconic plumber duo Mario & Luigi are family-friendly and adventurous, enriching leisure time with swashbuckling gameplay that excites players of all ages. Each title in the series has a new adventure to offer, different gameplay mechanics, and an enthralling experience. Besides, back in 1981, before the series began, Mario was the first ever protagonist in a video game where a story unfolds visually, and hardly anyone can beat that.
Another globally famous franchise happens to be a Nintendo exclusive series as well. It’s hard to find someone that hasn’t at least heard of Pokémon. Video games have attracted billions of players worldwide and the animated series earned incredible revenue. Today, phrases like “to be the very best” and “gotta catch ‘em all!” are nothing short of iconic, and the Pokémon series could be considered a cultural phenomenon among generations since the ‘90s, and due to current technology, players can catch Pokémon virtually in the AR mobile game Pokémon GO.
However, what did cause such a tremendous success of the franchise? It goes back to the release of the first iteration of the series – Pokémon Red and Green. The concept of collecting monsters of adorable and unique design is exceedingly attractive, especially forming a team of Pokémon and training with them, forging a bond with the cute monsters in the process. Not only was the gameplay concept quite unique, but it was also giving space for the players to engage in the Pokémon world the way they wanted, their choices mattered, and that was ultimately the most rewarding aspect of the series. And still is. Today, the franchise serves as a tool for groups to identify together, bond over their favourite Pokémon and the games they have played as well.
3. Assassin’s Creed
Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed series started out in 2007 and continues to be one of the most relevant gaming franchises worldwide. Since its first release, video games have been changing in terms of narrative and gameplay mechanics, however, the focus of story-telling remained towards the assassins throughout different periods of time. The Assassin’s Creed series revolves around the secret brotherhood of professional assassins who are doing everything in their power to interfere with the Templar’s plans to seize control over humanity and assert their tyrannical rule.
There are many RPG stealth games out there so what makes Assassin’s Creed so popular even in 2023? First and foremost, the lore. The game has such deep and well-developed lore that players can’t help feeling absorbed in the lore of AC both in-game and outside of it, looking up extra information on it. Second, the stealth mechanics. Most AC games have a superior parkour system that allows players to jump around buildings and streets with the agility of a panther. Third, and that is just one of the many remaining causes behind the popularity of the games, is the depiction of historical periods, done with accuracy that’s achieved with proper customs, architecture, and soundtrack. The newest iteration Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla is a perfect example of that.
4. The Legend of Zelda
Once again, one of the most engrossing series belongs to Nintendo – The Legend of Zelda. The very first game in the series was released back in 1986 and shows no signs of stopping even today. It would seem that Nintendo is taking thorough care of their best franchises. The genius behind the development of each iteration is visible throughout each travel in the world of Hyrule as you assume the role of one and only elf named Link. The open-world RPG titles in the series seem to be exceeding one after another, never really failing the expectations of the fans.
Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aounma managed to create an experience that transcended the first 8-bit pixelated The Legend of Zelda game, allowing players to feel like the greatest heroes in the world. From soundtrack scores to the construction of the narrative realized through the progression of quests and dialogues, and each game seems to elevate that further onto a new level. The ambition was there and it manifested into one of the most grossing video game franchises in the world of 2023, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild inviting players to return into the world of Hyrule with Link and other iconic characters from the series.
5. Grand Theft Auto
Last but not least is the famous GTA franchise developed by Rockstar Games. These action-adventure crime games are one the best-known franchises in the gaming community and even outside of it. The very first game Grand Theft Auto was released in 1997, and ever since, continued to grow its fanbase. The reason behind its popularity lies in the masterful mixture of several genres, so players can utilize many gameplay mechanics to carry out missions and participate in thrilling stories that depict the gang and underground world.
In each GTA game, a player can explore the open-world, typically made up of a few maps with zones that get unlocked with each portion of the story campaign. Missions offer a variety of tasks that reflect the real-world underground operations, gang wars, and the corrupted corporals. Other than intriguing narrative, the newest title Grand Theft Auto V offers both single-player and multiplayer experience, so the game caters to the needs of several types of gamers. Pilot a plane, go on a date, cheat people, get into fights, or just explore around in search of some nifty surprises. Grand Theft Auto has it all.