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Top 10 Games & Franchises That Killed Their Competitors

VO: Dan Paradis

Script written by Noah Levy

These are the games that destroyed, obliterated or otherwise conquered their peers & competitors in the cut throat world of video games. Welcome to and today we’re counting down the Top 10 Games & Franchises that Killed their Competitors.

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Top 10 Game Series That Killed Their Competitors

Competition is healthy, but some games just can’t take the heat. Welcome to and today we’re looking at the Top 10 Video Games and Franchises That Killed Their Competitors.
For this list, we’re looking at games and franchises that were successful or had promise, but were then rendered irrelevant by the success of a rival. We’re not necessarily saying that these franchises are dead and gone, but they just couldn’t hold up against to their competitors.

#10: “Tekken” (1994-) killed “Virtua Fighter” (1993-2012)

Primitive and blocky as it appears now, Sega’s Virtua Fighter was revolutionary for being the first fighting game to feature 3D graphics. But the year after it was released, fellow Japanese publisher Namco released their answer to it with Tekken. Directed by Virtua Fighter designer Siichi Ishii and featuring an innovative control scheme, the first Tekken was designed as a competitor to Sega’s Virtua Fighter 2, thus kicking off a rivalry between the two series. This continued through the next decade, with each franchise trying to one-up each other in terms of graphics and characters. But since the release of the fifth game in 2007, it seems like Virtua Fighter has fallen by the wayside, while Tekken continues to thrive with several main games and spin-offs still in the pipeline.

#9: “Half-Life” (1998-) killed “SiN” (1998-2006)

In the fall of 1998, a first person shooter was released for PC which featured an in-depth sci-fi story, detailed graphics, and was set to revolutionize the FPS genre. That game was SiN. …and then Valve released Half-Life a couple weeks later and made SiN immediately irrelevant. Yeah, SiN’s greatest sin might have just been the curse of bad timing, but it also didn’t help that Half-Life became one of the most important FPS games of all time, with its pioneering of scripted sequences and realistic graphics. SiN managed to spawn an expansion pack in 1999 and a sequel in 2006, but at that point Half-Life had completely changed the FPS landscape with its 2004 sequel and subsequent episodic installments.

#8: “Candy Crush Saga” (2013-) killed “Bejeweled” (2001-16)

You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who hasn’t wasted an embarrassing amount of time playing Bejeweled on their computer or phone. PopCap’s browser based puzzler was an instant success, was followed by a multitude of sequels and spin-offs, and eventually found its way to mobile phones when the technology allowed it. But a challenger to the match-three throne first appeared in 2012 in the form of Candy Crush Saga. Not only did it feature over 2000 unique levels, it was also based around a pay-to-play model, which addicted players ate up. Candy Crush soon held all the power in the mobile puzzle game market, spawning companion games like Soda and Jelly Saga, while Bejeweled remains a fun, yet increasingly irrelevant distraction.

#7: “Grand Theft Auto” (1997-) killed “Driver” (1999-2012)

In 1999, GT Interactive released Driver for the PS1, which was like a 3D version of the early GTA games, in which you could drive cars and do anything but in a fully rendered environment. Driver and its sequel became big successes, only until GTA made the jump to the third dimension in 2001. In short, Grand Theft Auto III revolutionized not only its genre, but the entire gaming industry with its sandbox gameplay. Driver couldn’t keep up with Rockstar’s blockbuster franchise, with its next two franchises flopping critically and commercially. The Wheelman was last seen in 2011’s moderately successful Driver San Fransisco, but can never hope to attain the accolades GTA still receives.

#6: “Resident Evil” (1996-) killed “Alone In The Dark” (1992-2015)

As the first 3D survival horror game, Alone In The Dark was incredibly influential. The mysteries and scares provided by it and its sequels frightened gamers for years. But in 1996, Capcom released their answer to Infogrames’ horror classic with Resident Evil. The two games were surprisingly similar, both sporting so-called “Tank controls” and both being set in a mansion. But as a breakout title on the still young PlayStation, Resident Evil became a blockbuster success, soon dwarfing its rival in popularity and levels of innovation. Resident Evil continued to frighten and innovate in tons of installments in the next 20 years, while Alone In The Dark took a break and then came back with 2008’s reboot. It… it didn’t go well.

#5: “Skylanders” (2011-) killed “Disney Infinity” (2013-16)

After it was clear that the Spyro franchise wasn’t gonna survive as a regular platformer, Activision decided to take it in a different direction. Namely, it became part video game, part collectible toyline. Against all odds, Skylanders became an instant success, becoming the top selling game of 2012. Disney then decided they wanted a piece of the toy-to-life action, and set out to do it with their already established and huge stable of characters they have from themselves, Marvel, and Star Wars. Unfortunately, Skylanders had already captured too much of the market and despite its updates and new character additions, Infinity was never able to catch on. The series was discontinued in May 2016, and Disney laid off most of the development staff soon after.

#4: “Overwatch” (2016) killed “Battleborn” (2016)

Talk about a quick and brutal death. Battleborn came from the FPS maestros at Gearbox Software, with it being their first attempt at an online-exclusive arena style shooter. It received okay reviews and was a decent commercial success. What really sunk it though? It was released a mere three weeks before Blizzard’s Overwatch, which basically did everything that Battleborn did but added memorable characters and a gameplay style that is easy to learn and hard to master. Overwatch received massive critical acclaim and commercial success, rendering Battleborn dead on arrival, with the player count dropping to below 1000 by July 2016 compared to at launch.

#3: “Call of Duty” (2003-) killed “Medal of Honor” (1999-2012)

By 2002, EA’s Medal of Honor series had arguably reached its peak with the PC exclusive Allied Assault and several successful console games. However, a few developers from Allied Assault left to found Infinity Ward and released the WWII shooter Call of Duty in 2003. Ironically, Call of Duty was codenamed “Medal of Honor Killer”. But Infinity Ward wouldn’t fulfill the promise of the codename until 2007, when the game changer Modern Warfare was released. EA realized they had to jump to modern times if they even had a chance of staying alive. But an Afghanistan set reboot in 2010 and its sequel in 2012 proved that there was no place for Medal of Honor in a post Call Of Duty world.

#2: “Madden” (1988-) killed all other Football games

Franchise rivalry is one of the most important parts of sports, right? Well, nobody told that to EA. While their Madden Football franchise remained one of the top selling franchises period, it still co-existed along other NFL based series like Blitz and NFL 2K. That was until 2004. After Sega’s ESPN NFL 2K5 was hailed as one of the best sports games of all time, EA faced the first true threat to its dynasty. The publisher then pulled the rug out from its competitors and signed an exclusivity deal with the NFL that made it the only true football game on the block. NFL 2K was promptly discontinued, while Midway’s over the top NFL Blitz series released two installments without the license before going downloadable in 2012.
Before we reveal our top pick, here are a couplehonorable mentions:

-“MLB: The Show” (2006-) killed “MLB 2K” (2005-13)
-“SSX” (2000-) killed “1080 Snowboarding” (1998-2003)
-“NBA 2K” (1999-) killed “NBA Live” (1995-)

#1: “World of Warcraft” (2004) killed every other MMO

Yes, we know this is an exaggeration. There are several MMOs still running with decent sized subscriber bases like Star Wars: The Old Republic and Final Fantasy XIV. But be honest: When you think of Massively Multiplayer Online RPGs, the only thing you think of is Blizzard’s World of Warcraft. Up until its release in 2004, the biggest an MMO ever got was around 500,000 subscribers. At its peak, World of Warcraft represented a 58% share of the subscription MMOG market with 12 million subscribers. It received six expansion packs and spawned a player culture that thrives until this day. Other MMO’s may try their best, but they have no chance of dethroning the king of the genre.

Do you agree with our list? What games and franchises do you think were responsible for killing others? For more top tens posted every day be sure to subscribe to


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