This is my list of the top 10 gaming franchises of all-time in my opinion:
- The Legend of Zelda - Whenever a new Zelda game comes out for a Nintendo gaming console it's action-RPG at it's finest. From the days of NES and original Gameboyto the Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS Zelda has alwaysstood for aquality gaming experience.
- Mario - Mario, what other character better represents gaming? I can think of none. Since his first appearances on the Atari 2600 with Donkey Kong & Mario Bros. to the current masterpiece on Wii New Super Mario Bros., most Mario games have set the benchmark in their generation for platforming excellence. Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World are consideredtwo of the greatest games ever created by many gamers for a reason.
- Resident Evil - The first time you saw a Licker or the Cerebus Dog came crashing through the window, it made you jump out of you skin. Resident Evil left a mark on gaming that was innovative, entertaining, and creepy all at the same time and I for one couldn't be happier with this series, thank you Capcom for popularizing the survival-horror genre.
- Metroid - While the NES game may have it's flaws, it's still not a bad game. But the series really took off with the SNES entry: Super Metroid. That game was an example of 2D gaming perfection. And all the follow-ups: Metroid Fusion, Metroid Zero Mission, Metroid Prime 1-3, are all masterpieces in their own rights.
- Forgotten Realms - I love me a goodhack-and-slash RPG. Since I first played Diablo in the mid-90s I was hooked. And the Forgotten Realms series perfected the formula with fantasymasterpieces like Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 1-2, Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes, and their crown jewels: Neverwinter Nights 1 & 2.Dungeon crawling was never so fun.
- King's Field - IMO one of the most underrated game series of all-time. ASCII & From Software created these unique action-RPGs for the PS1 & PS2. Many gamers immeadiatly get frustrated with the slow framerate of the firsttwo games and never give the game a chance, which is a shame. It's a first-person view, action-RPG with an open-ended world. Tons of enemies, weapons, armor, spells and locations these games.
- Sonic the Hedgehog - While the later generation 3D Sonicgames weren't masterpieces, they're still enjoyable games. But the 2D era of the Sega Genesis and Sega CD is when the Sonic the Hedgehog series was in it's prime and firing on all cylinders. During the 16-Bit wars Sega made far more quality Sonic games than Nintendo did quality Mario games (granted Super Mario World was superior to any of the Sonic games, though). Sonic the Hedgehog 1, 2, 3,Sonic CD,and Sonic & Knuckles were 2D platforming masterpieces with an emphasis on speed and flashy graphics. And Sonic Adventure for the Sega Dreamcast was a feast for the eyes during the time it came out. And despite most fans' opinions, I didn't think Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis & Saturn)was a bad game.
- Halo - Halo sure as heck didn't invent first-person shooters, but for me, Halo perfected first-person shooters. A very impressive game graphically, awesome soundtrack, and epic sci-fi story provide the perfect back-drop to a game with smooth gameplay, well thought out level design, and up-to-that-point impressive enemy AI.
- Spider-Man - Since the days of the NES, most Spider-Man games have rocked. Maybe it's just the comic geek in me that lovesthem so much. But I loved the beat-em games of the Spider-Man: Return of the Sinister Six, Spider-Man/Venom: Maximum Carnage, and Spider-Man/Venom: Seperation Anxiety. Then Activision released the Spider-Man game for PS1 and it was amazing! Web-swinging and wall-crawling was so much fun. And Activision packed in the easter eggs for comic fans. Then Activision made the series even better with the movie seriesbyaddingbetter graphics and much bigger games!
- Guitar Hero - I'm a metal-head and Guitar Herois a game about playing guitar to some of the best rock and metal songs out there with an actual guitar peripheral. What's not to love? Right now I'm play through Guitar Hero: Metallica on my PS2 and I'm having a blast, still after all these entries in the series.
Honorable Mentions: WWF/WWE: Smackdown/Smackdown vs. Raw, God of War, Doom, Mega Man, Street Fighter/Capcom vs.