Weekend Hot Topic, part 2: Most played video game franchise

GameCentral readers reveal what series they’ve played the most entries in, from 32 years of Street Fighter to a lifetime of FIFA.

The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Tolly and asked which franchise you’ve played the most of over the years. How loyal are you to the series and do you consider yourself a collector?

Given how long some games have been going there were plenty of options to choose from, but the most popular included Street Fighter, Resident Evil, Call Of Duty, and Final Fantasy.


Unbroken record

It’s got to be Resident Evil. I mean, who doesn’t love good old Resi! And I mean that really, I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone that actively dislikes it, even if they’re not an actual fan or anything. Sure, 5 and 6 weren’t so good and there’s been some bad spin-offs but overall I’d say the quality has been very consistent. After all, there’s a reason it’s still going.

I love how Capcom do actually seem to respect the series too, and don’t necessarily see it as a cash cow to be constantly milked. They give it time to breath and games come out when they’re ready not just like clockwork every year or two years. I love what they do with the remakes too, there’s real love in those and you can tell the people making them weren’t just doing a job.

I also liked a little fact that came up in the Inbox recently that Resi is possibly the one video game series with the longest running story that hasn’t been rebooted. I don’t know if that’s true but I can’t think of anything that beats it that has an actual proper story (stuff like Zelda doesn’t really count as far as I’m concerned). For a series that’s been going on for over 20 years that’s pretty impressive.


New renaissance

I think for me it’s probably Final Fantasy, although like an UK fan I got into it late and had to do a lot of catching up. I first got Final Fantasy VII back on the PlayStation 1 and absolutely loved it. I immediately wanted to get the other games, but of course I couldn’t at the time and I think it was probably about 10 years later before I was in a position where I could said I had played all the games that were currently out (not counting spin-offs).

I agree that there has been some issues with quality in recent years, with too much attempt to court a Western action audience, but I really liked XV and the Final Fantasy VII remake looks fantastic. The option to have turn-based battles alone makes the whole thing and I hope it will create a new renaissance for the series, just as the original did all those years ago.

I’m not really one for merchandise and that, and certainly wasn’t tempted by the super expensive Cloud and his bike collector’s edition. I have got a couple of little mini-statutes and a cuddly chocobo though. I’m not completely heartless.


Cosmopolitan gamer

I’m not even going to bother counting and I know it’s Mario. In part because I also know there are more Mario than Zelda games. I like to think I’m a pretty cosmopolitan gamer. I give most things a true and usually have multiple consoles per generation, but there’s nothing to compare to Nintendo games at their best. You don’t even get many of them either, usually just one of Mario or Zelda per console and then a bunch of spin-offs and remakes.

I have to admit I do end up getting most of those too, especially if you count things like Mario Kart and Mario Party as the same franchise. They’re great games, with very few exceptions, and at this point have become a seal of quality as far as I’m concerned.

It doesn’t hurt that the last two ones were the best in probably decades so it’s not as if they’re on a slow decline or anything either.


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Unbroken run

It’s got to be Call Of Duty I think. I do buy FIFA, but not every year because it doesn’t change that much. But despite what people say I think Call Of Duty does. Sure, there’s a formula, but I’ve always been impressed with how they try to switch things up and they had a great run of about five or six years from Modern Warfare where every game was great.

Things got a bit rockier after that, with the three jetpack games in a row, and then they took the single-player out last year which I did not like and only picked the game up when it was cheap. But the new Modern Warfare looks great and I will definitely be getting that, which means I have an unbroken run from Call Of Duty 2 in… let me look this up: 2005!

Actually I do remember there were a bunch of spin-offs around that time, when WWII games were really big, that I didn’t get but I have all the mainline ones at least. Back when they had numbers.


Cheesy gross

This is going to make me feel old but I have bene playing Mortal Kombat games since *checks Wikipedia* 1992 and, although I’m a bit hazy about things between 5 and 9 I’m pretty sure I’ve played and probably owned all of the main ones. The weird thing is I wouldn’t ordinarily say I was a huge fan or anything, and it’s definitely not my favourite franchise.

I guess it’s because I get nostalgic abut the first one (I was way too long to be playing it) and actually find the modern ones very entertaining in a cheesy/gross kind of a way.

It also helps that they don’t come out every year, so you don’t start getting sick of it. They’re just good quality, fun games that have earned my trust in terms of being worth the money. I imagine I’ll get the next one as well.


Sports ritual

I’ve bought every single FIFA game since FIFA 98, so yeah I guess this one is an easy one for me. That is kind of shocking to me now I see it in black and white though, realising I’ve been buying the same game, basically, for 20-odd years.

It’s not a problem though, I’ve always enjoyed them and I get plenty of value for money out of each one so no harm done. I guess it has become a bit of a yearly ritual even, I’ve definitely already have this year’s and no regrets as usual.


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Creed of love

I’m not a sports fan but do have a number of franchises that I’ve played/owned multiple titles.

During the PlayStation 3 generation I was day one for any new Assassin’s Creed, but after the burn that was Unity on PlayStation 4 I have held off on all of them until a good six months after launch. Even I could see at that point that my love of the franchise was being somewhat taken advantage of.

I still like the series though and despite the grind elements to the latest one it is a great game. I’ve played all the mainline ones and Rogue (worst Irish voice-acting ever – to be sure). I’d like to get the Assassin’s Creed III remaster as it has the spin-off with the female assassin but haven’t so far. Circa 2012 I was all over the Creed even, buying an overpriced jacked from Musterbrand. I still own all the ones for PlayStation 4 but did sell the PlayStation 3 ones.

I’ve had all mainline Zeldas too. I was living abroad when The Wind Waker came out and got it delivered to Thailand. I bought a Wii for Twilight Princess, I skipped Skyward Sword as I’d sold my Wii by that point. I bought a second-hand Wii U for Breath Of The Wild and the remasters of the GC era games. I’ll most likely get a Switch for the sequel to that too. I have a few amiibo for the series and a ludicrously too tight T-shirt I got with a launch edition of Breath Of The Wild.

I think as I’ve gotten older (41) I’m a bit more chilled on not having a day one purchases of the above but I do still keep an active eye on them.

One franchise that I’d be very interested to see again is Bioshock. I thought that last one was great and am very interested to see where that goes next. I understand the team disbanded but still find it weird that the series launched and got two sequels in the PlayStation 3 era but save the remaster, they have basically skipped this entire generation. I’ve got a cool (well I think) Columbia bag from Infinite and bought a T-shirt too when the remaster came out.

I’m currently between jobs but once I’m back earning again I will no doubt continue to buy bits and bobs along side the games I love. There is so much quality merch nowadays, except those weird looking ones with the wide heads (can’t remember the name), they can all go to landfill I reckon.

Happy gaming all.

GC: That sounds like Funko Pop.


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