Top 10 Video Game Franchises

When we talk about the best Video Game Franchises we're not just talking about our favourite, or the most marketed, these are franchises that have stood the test of time and become the very names that define the video game industry as a whole, both from the quality of its games, and how well they've sold. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Video Game Franchises. Special Thanks to our users "Brae Turner" "Jake Fraser" "Daniel McDonald" & "Johnny R. Powell" For Suggesting this topic on our website WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Video Game Franchises


They’re the biggest names in the industry and have come to define gaming as we know it. Welcome to Watchmojo.com and today we’re counting down are picks for the Top 10 Video Game Franchises.

In order to qualify for this list, a franchise needs to have at least 5 entries associated with it, and have started from at least the 6th gaming generation or earlier. We’re ranking the entries Based on a combination of their impact in the industry, how many copies they sold, and the overall quality.

And just to quickly address the elephant in the room, yes we did list some of these entries on our overrated list, so, there’s that. But you can argue that all day long, it doesn’t change what they’ve achieved.

#10: “Resident Evil” (1996-)


We’re starting things off with the franchise that popularized Survival Horror. With 60 million copies sold, Resident Evil not only was able to spawn a financially successful film series, but was also able to reinvent itself in Resident Evil 4. It almost didn’t make the list thanks to the disastrous Resident Evil 6, but there was some redemption with Revelations … plus, there’s always hope for the future.

#9: “Sim” (1989-)


Will Wright is pretty much the godfather of PC simulation games. First starting off with Sim City, the series spawned a whole load of spinoff games ranging from SimTower, SimAnt and SimFarm. But it was the casual life-sim The Sims that became a phenomenon, with the 2nd game in particular being the best selling PC game to date. The 2013 SimCity may have bombed, but the legacy of 175 million sold is hard to argue.

#8: EA Sports (1988-)


The brand with a firm grip on almost all major league sports licenses, makes the list thanks to 2 names that have sold 100 million copies each. In the USA the Madden series NFL keeps Football players coming back, while FIFA in uncontested in Europe and South America. Plus with the addition of NBA Live and NHL, name the sport, and it’s in the game.

#7: “Halo” (2001)


Though this franchise put the Xbox on the gaming map, believe it or not it was originally unveiled by Steve Jobs as a Real Time Strategy for Mac OS. But after Bungie was acquired by Microsoft it became the juggernaut that it is now, with its 2nd game in particular cementing online multiplayer to consoles. It’s the least selling entry on this list at around 50 million copies, but if it weren’t for Halo, there’d be no Xbox today.

#6: “Final Fantasy” (1987-)


The title designed for the NES was intended to be the studio’s last game after a string of failures prior, hence the ironic name. But its success lead to many sequels to follow with it’s 7th entry on the PS1 being the franchise’s high point. It’s also spawned a few spin off franchises from the Mana series, to the Disney crossover Kingdom Hearts. It did hit hard times last generation with the 13th and 14th entries, but the 102 million sales are hard to argue.

#5: “The Legend of Zelda” (1986-)


It brought the ability to save your game to consoles, but it didn’t stop there. Even though it carved itself a neat little subgenre, pretty much all of its titles are considered royalty, and among the best games on their respective consoles. Link to the Past, Ocarina of Time, Windwaker; name the Nintendo console and there’s probably a must have Zelda game to go with it. The series has sold a relatively modest 68 million copies, but overall quality gets it this high.

#4: “Call of Duty” (2003-)


Believe it or not, this franchise was originally codenamed: “Medal of Honor” killer, safe to say it did what it was intended to do. With its first 3 games set in the trenches of World War 2, the 4th game not only revolutionized modern warfare genre but also dramatically shifted the focus of the industry as a whole. It’s currently THE franchise to beat with its sales just over 120 million. Some may be fatigued by its yearly releases, but it was the defining franchise in the 7th generation.

#3: “Pokemon” (1996-)


It’s the series that singlehandedly revived the Gameboy in the 90’s and started a cultural phenomenon, and shows no sign of slowing down, with a whopping 245 million copies sold and over 60 games in the series. It’s also spawned an cartoon series that has lasted over 800 episodes and still going, and it’s now a eSport, thanks to officially run Pokemon Championship League.

#2: “Grand Theft Auto” (1997-)


The open world franchise that is a magnet for controversy with each release, GTA didn’t invent the sandbox, but it made the genre its own with an urban setting to release your frustrations. With GTA III setting new standards for the genre, and each title onward being a best seller. Grand Theft Auto is the fastest growing franchise at 185 million sold, with 32 million of those copies coming from GTA 5 alone.

Before we get to the top spot, lets look at some honourable mentions, we’re loosening our guidelines here but they still need to sell well.

“Metal Gear” (1987-)

“God of War” (2005-)

“The Elder Scrolls” (1994-)

“Assassin’s Creed” (2007-)

“Tetris” (1984-)

#1: “Mario” (1982-)


He revived the video game industry in the 80’s, He revolutionized 3D gaming, and almost all of his platforming adventures are considered timeless classics. And yet that’s only the tip of the iceberg of what this Italian mustachio plumber has achieved, as he’s spawned four Sports series, Two RPG series, A Party minigame franchise, two puzzle franchises and a Kart racing franchise to top off his empire of 486 million copies sold. No other name in gaming even comes close to the impact or success of the man in red and blue overalls.

Do you agree with our list? Which franchise are you going to defend to death in the comments section? For more colossal Top 10’s published everyday be sure to subscribe to Watchmojo.com
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