Ten Greatest Gaming Franchises

[by FireEmblem54]

As the next generation of gaming approaches, gamers of all three companies will begin to see the emergence of new franchises. However, they’ll also be seeing the evolution of those series that have already established themselves in the industry. So let us take a look back, and to the future, with the Ten Greatest Gaming Franchises:

10. Donkey Kong
The tenth spot could have been filled in numerous different ways, but DK set the stage for the monstrous villains in today’s games. These days, it’s not uncommon for a baddie to be seen chucking barrels and kidnapping princess. In modern gaming, DK has evolved into a hero, and his series continues to shine through clever level design, phenomenal boss fights, and hilarious characters.

9. Tony Hawk
Though THUG and THUG2 were considered disappointments by many, the original three changed gaming with their customizable characters, levels, boards and tricks. They gave the gamer options he or she had never seen before. Now, American Wasteland changes gaming once more with 1 giant level, free of visible load times- a trend that very well may be picked up by others.

8. Metroid
I know many people think Metroid should be higher on the list, but that’s all a matter of opinion. What’s not though is the fact the Metroid revolutionized side scrolling action. It gave not only set the idea of power ups in motion, but it was the first to bring a full, in-depth story to a side scroller. Once the transition was made to 3D, with Prime, the series expanded even more- mixing FPS with action. With the Revolutions controller, the possibilities are endless.

7. Mega Man
I’m not going to lie; I’ve never played a MM game in my life. Really, I have no desire too, but after talking with fellow gamers, this is what I’ve come up with. This seems to be one of those franchises that is consistently strong. It sets standards high for its genre and is constantly successful. A lot like Metroid, helped to make side scrollers what they are today.

6. Madden
Undoubtedly, the best sports series ever. Each year, the graphics are always top of the line, the soundtrack is amazing, and it plays like a dream. All it takes is a new new names, and POOF, it debuts at the top of the sales chart. Ever sports game out there dreams of being as big as Madden (no pun intended) but none has ever come close.

5. Sonic
So many gamers think the Sonic series died when it made the jump to 3D, but others know better. The ability to work at lightning fast speeds while still maintaining solid gameplay was crucial to developing the series. One of a few series that has lasted the test of time and continues to deliver, Sonic will keep running from one generation to the next.

4. Final Fantasy
For every person out there who loves FF, there’s one who thinks it’s far overrated. I’ll admit to being one of the latter, but nobody can deny the greatness of this franchise. Every great RPG has taken something from FF. From the story, to the characters, to nearly every other detail RPGs are known for.they all originated here.

3. Pokemon
I don’t care if it’s “kiddie”, “dumb”, or “stupid”. Pokemon changed gaming and then some. It was one of the first of venture outside of gaming and be successful. From an unbeatable multiplayer, to a single player mode that can be played for hundreds of hours, it’s always been a solid experience. Pokemon took what FF began, spun it around a bit, took some things out, added others and what came out was a worldwide phenomenon.

2. Zelda
Very few can argue the top two; however, their order could go either way. If you haven’t played a LoZ game, you haven’t gamed. After starting strong on he NES, Link and company made the transfer to 3D and ended up with what’s considered by many to be the best game of all time. Gamers had never seen boss battles like this, never been so engrossed in an experience in this way. The series has very possibly come as close to “perfect” as anybody will ever see. With Twilight Princess only months away, LoZ continues to be the best of the best.

1. Mario
Recognized across the globe as the mascot of not only Nintendo, but gaming, Mario is the #1 reason gaming is what it is today. Even with such a simple concept, the Mushroom Kingdom crew has changed multiple genres. Platformers, sports games, party games.all have been greatly affected by the world’s favorite plumber. As the next generation approaches, it’s unlikely his influence will die out anytime soon. When it comes down to it, every game, on every system have one thing in common.they all have a little bit of Mario in them.


  1. i’ve had all of the portable pokemon games except for gold, leafgreen, emerald and those that weren’t stricly pokemon games and it never gets old. i played my ruby version for 100+ hours and only stopped because i got some newer games. i remember way back when, i had a lv100 vaporion, in blue version, and i could beat the whole elite four with just her.

  2. you are missing Castlevania. and Winning Eleven which hasn’t taken over EA’s Fifa thanks to $$$ issues. In beat it in every other way considering it’s a relatively new franchise

  3. Dude, they’re a lot of typos in that list, it was legible though.

    On topic, its shame how many teens today haven’t played the games on that list. Especially the 5 Nintendo 1st-party game series’ in their original formats.

    They think they won’t like ’em because the media and their friends say, “Only MS/Sony are cool”, but when you sit them down with a Nintendo franchise, they’re hooked.

  4. Seriously, the omission of Castlevania from that list will be the death of you!

    Kidding Kidding, I’m not even a huge fan of the Castlevania games [Except for Super Castlevania IV & Drakula X!].

  5. jajajaj madden over megaman? jajaja where is castlevania.

    wrong wrong wrong…….. T.T

  6. …come on… megaman? really?

    …no castlevania? metal gear? GTA? i think this list is a bit lacking… mario, sonic, link… sure… of course… but the omission of the three i mentioned makes this a bit suspect… 🙂

  7. how do you consider yourself a gamer if you’ve never played a megaman game? I never got into anything past the NES megaman games, but they’re so easy, so fast paced, and so addictive. I HIGHLY suggest firing up your NES and/or emulator of choice and playing one, they’re all basically the same, but my favorites are 2 and 3!

  8. This is undoubtedly the most pointless post I’ve ever seen on Infendo.

  9. Free-form opinions on this list, not even remotely meant to be taken as holy writ or anything other than the writings of a nattering fool:

    I don’t know about Tony Hawk so much, but Madden belongs on there. I don’t really care for the series, I think I’ve maybe played it once, but it is definitely one of the biggest names in the industry, and apparently pretty damned good at what it does. This isn’t to say Tony Hawk isn’t good; I think it’d be in the top 20 as opposed to the top 10, though.

    I like Castlevania and all, but I’m not sure what makes it any better or more relevant than Megaman. Then again, I am a big Megaman fan. I’d put CS in over Tony Hawk, though.

    I guess if you’re talking about the most culturally important game series, then GTA should be on there, but I wouldn’t put it anywhere near a top ten list of quality franchises.

    And kudos to putting Mario over Zelda. It’s almost universally the other way around on most of these types of lists, so as a big Mario fan I appreciated the love for the series that essentially made it possible for us to have this list and this discussion. Love Zelda and all, but Mario is just iconic.

    Anyway, those are just my thoughts. I’d love to hear the thoughts of others.

    PS – In response to the above, Megaman 2 is not only the best game in the series, but arguably the greatest game of all time. Just putting that out there.

  10. Sonic is still delivering the goods? Even most Sega fanboys agree that Sonic Adventure and its 3-D ilk were lousy games. The fundamental principle of Sonic games (WHEEE LET’S RUN FAST) did not mesh well with 3-D the way Mario games did.

  11. Great list. I do agree with many of those games. It is also amazing that you will be able to play ALL of them on the Nintendo Revolution! Not Sony PS3 (possibly vaporware due to the controller is still a concept…) or XBOX 360…

  12. Surely the title is a little misleading? 😛
    I mean we all know the ‘Ten Greatest Gaming Franchises’ is just a bit of fun not to be taken seriously, cus it’s all subjective and would be difficult to make an actual objective list.

    Out of interest how popular is the Madden series internationally?

  13. Pokemon rocks much socks. I have played all the games and own a large amount of the games. I still go back to play Yellow version once in a while. The level of customization is huge, you have over 300 monsters to choose from, and you can only have six on a team. The quirky charm also made me love this series so much. This series made me a gamer.

  14. While I don’t think these are the GREATEST series out there, I do think that these are, perhaps, the most pivotal and influential series in the history of gaming. Without these big guys, a lot of other, sometimes better, games would have never gone past the concept stage.

  15. Here’s the deal guys:

    a) After reading through, I didn’t find THAT many typos. Sure there were a few, but that’s normal.

    b) As far as the lack of Castlevania, GTA, MG, GTA etc…Make a list of the franchises you consider great (which is how I started off)then narrow them down to 10. You’re almost certainly going to leave off a couple of incredible titles. I love MG, I love Castlevania, I would have loved to put FE on there as well. Bottom line is that I only had 10 spots, and couldn’t put everybody in there.

    c) “Greatest” can be looked at in a few different ways. It was a mix of influence, as well as quality.

    d) To the Sonic Doubter- Pick up Sonic Rush, play it for a bit, then tell me Sonic’s not still delievering.

    e) I’m not the god of gaming…I have my opinion’s, y’all have yours. 🙂

    f) “This is undoubtedly the most pointless post I’ve ever seen on Infendo.” – Really? It seems to be getting some comments, so obviously it generated some discussion, which was the goal here. 😉

  16. Negativity in discussions like this from random videogame fanboys are the bane of bloggers everywhere.

    I’ll say this here, to those complaining about the syntax of the article, or the ill-inclusion of your favorite game – calm down!

    This site is run by people. And so, when there is no news source, or statement that the ‘article’ is fact, then the article is the opinion – and more specifically – it’s the opinion of the author [the infendo gang] and not supposed to match your exact opioning [mr. negative reader]. So dont crack down on them just b/c of a few spelling errors of the omission of GTA from a list that’s NOT your opinion, it’s their opinion.

    Be nice, post what you think in the comments section –

    I have yet to see any of you nay-sayers post your complete top ten list here in the comments section.

    Stop wasting your time trash-talking a good discussion started by Infendo. Rather, take the discussion in the direction that you would like to see by offering your ideas and constructive crit in a polite manner.

    We’ve all got a common interest here, no need cause a fight b/c over something stupid like ‘you spelled simon belmont’s middle name wrong!’

  17. Although I love GTA, I don’t think it’s a great franchise yet. GTA3 was a breakthrough and I found it absolutely breathtaking and applaud the efforts of Rockstar but I felt that GTA-VC was a bit of a rehash. GTA-SA is good but I have had enough of that… for now. I still like GTA3 the best.

    Let’s give it a few more years and see if it’s great.

    BTW, right on Silent K!

  18. Hm, good list! I guess I’ll give it a whirl:

    1) Mario
    2) Zelda
    3) Sonic
    4) Megaman
    5) Street Fighter
    6) Halo
    7) Pokemon
    8) F-Zero
    9) Starfox
    10) Super Smash Bros.

    I never played much Metroid. I’ll probably buy a 360 at some point for Halo. I had MGS2 but never really got into it. I played GTA:VC and it was fun to dick around in, but I didn’t enjoy the game itself so much. The rest I think are pretty self explanatory.

  19. We should establish a strict definition of Franchise.

    How many installations should a game have before it is Franchise? Halo only had two games, on that alone I would not call it a franchise, however due to its popularity, I might call it a franchise…

    I’m not quite sure how to define, a game series simply being a game series or being a franchise – or do you guys think that it’s one in the same…Series=Franchise?

  20. “So dont crack down on them just b/c of a few spelling errors of the omission of GTA from a list that’s NOT your opinion, it’s their opinion.”
    Hence the title being slighly misleading lol! I think adding ‘Our’ in front of the title would make all the difference. Mind you the exclusion of GTA is probably the best thing about this list! 😀

  21. GTA is a great game but, I would consider his an example of this generation classics but not near those games Maybe if they tried GTA4 instead of updating GTA3. Tony Hawk is pretty fun too, but is also more of a best seller than a great franchise. If you think about it, Best sellers isn’t the same as Fan’s forever favorite Franchise.

    Madden is the All-american game. Most people outside of U.S. don’t even know who won last year’s super bowl. Who did anyway? White Sox right? wasn’t like on the news or something? instead ask anyone why Real Madrid sucks if they have tons of Stars, and evryone answers

  22. While I don’t agree with everything on the list, for the most part, it is pretty solid. If I have one major gripe, though, it would be the praise of the 3D Sonic games. While I could tolerate the first Sonic Adventure, SA2 is the only game I can think of that I really, truly, genuinely hate. I mean, talk about deep gameplay. You hold foreward, and you press A when you’re about to run in to something that looks painful. They might throw in an elementary-level puzzle or a turn here or there, but ninety precent of the game is spent holding foreward and trying not to fall asleep. And that’s just the Sonic levels. While the Sonic levels are merely not good, the Knuckles/Tails/Big/Amy/Giant Robot/Whatever levels actually bring me physical pain to play. They didn’t bother me so much in SA1, considering that in that game, if you wanted, you could just play the Sonic levels and pretend that the others were never concieved, while in SA2, if you want to beat the game,(God why?) you have no choice but to struggle through hours upon hours of the presence of these creative abortions that Sega calls characters, weather you be running around in circles looking for rocks, or driving some poorly designed mech thingey around with controls that don’t really feel that much different from pushing a hippo accross an ice rink. Sega has raped more of my childhood memories than George Lucas could ever dream of.

  23. “Most people outside of U.S. don’t even know who won last year’s super bowl. Who did anyway? White Sox right? wasn’t like on the news or something? instead ask anyone why Real Madrid sucks if they have tons of Stars, and evryone answers.”

    Lol, White Sox are a baseball team, but yeah, they won the world series (the pinnacle of baseball competition). The New England Patriots won the super bowl.

    And I don’t know anything about your Real Madrid question, but it sounds like soccer, and I do like soccer. I kind of wish it were bigger here in the states.

  24. I’m not super exited about the Pokemon games anymore I’ll buy them but they’re not at the top of my “games to buy” listb/c they r all based on the same thing it’s all the same after the same after the same! I’m not happy about itto say the least. 🙁

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