DAR Games: 7 Pivotal Gaming Franchises

By @TrueGodImmortal

When looking at the history of video games, it's always hard to pin down the absolute best of the best in terms of franchises. There are so many epic video game franchises, that figuring out which is the best or which is better can be far too time consuming. However, there are some franchises that are somewhat unsung legends. Franchises that have entertained millions of gamers for years and are pivotal to a gaming life. Today, I wanted to talk about 7 franchises that matter in the gaming world that may not get the credit as one of the greatest, but are still important and pivotal. Let's take a look.


-When it comes to fighting games, this used to be my personal favorite next to Mortal Kombat. Over the years, Tekken hasn't been able to maintain the love and admiration that they once held, but it's still one of the better fighting franchises in the gaming world. With the original Tekken arriving in late 1994, it's been a 23 year journey for Tekken that includes the original trilogy through PS1 before leading into my personal favorite of the franchise, Tekken Tag Tournament. Since then, we've gotten Tekken 4, 5, 6, and more recently 7, which introduced the brand and franchise to this next gen wave. Tekken is on par with the Street Fighters and Mortal Kombats, but doesn't necessarily get as much as credit as it should. It's a pivotal fighting game franchise.

*Tony Hawk 

-I was never and will never be a skateboarder. That's just not my style or close to it. However, I did enjoy these games and this franchise as a whole. For us, growing up in the neighborhoods that we did (myself and my friends), skateboarding wasn't a normal thing to do, but it was always fun to play it on a video game. I started on 2Xtreme, one of my personal favorite games from the PS1 era, but things would change even more when Tony Hawk and his new series. Dubbed Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, the series would show you how to skate, how to manage the gameplay, and gain a high score. I loved the Pro Skater series, which has given us 5 editions over the last 20 years, but there were other games in the franchise like Underground and American Wasteland, which were fun as well. Tony Hawk revolutionized the genre of skateboard games and essentially is the only true franchise for the genre that hit the mainstream and gained millions of buyers/gamers, and for that reason, it's easily one of the most pivotal.

*Need For Speed 

-I've always been a fan of racing games and I've always thought the genre was one of the more underrated genres in video gaming. One of the most infamous franchises in the history of the genre is Need For Speed. Starting with the first installment, the series took on a life of its own, as the ability to simulate being behind the wheel of a rare and exotic vehicle was too much to resist. Though my favorite racing game series was Gran Turismo, Need For Speed was actually a bit better with the gameplay and the mechanics. Since 1994, the series has found new and fun ways to make street racing intriguing. Whether it was the Hot Pursuit series, the Underground series, or the 2015 reboot, Need For Speed is a pivotal franchise in gaming for sure.

*Tomb Raider 

-With the franchise rebooting alongside a new movie, Tomb Raider might be seeing new life going forward. The chronicles of Lara Croft are well documented in every game, as she travels the world in search of forgotten artifacts and locations that are connected to special powers. The series began in 1996 with the first game, and that game would be seen as a true classic. Lara Croft became recognizable for her apparel in the game and her ability to get herself into and out of rough situations. After the first game, we would get two more editions in the original series followed by The Last Revelation, Tomb Raider Chronicles, Curse Of The Sword, The Prophecy, and Angel Of Darkness before a small hiatus for the franchise. In 2013, the franchise rebooted and that's led to a new film being released, and we've seen multiple games as a result of the reboot. While the 2013 reboot was a welcome return, Lara Croft Go and Rise Of The Tomb Raider were also solid games as well. Overall, while the entire series is far from flawless, Tomb Raider is pivotal in the gaming world.

*Spyro The Dragon 

-For 10 years, one of the more successful franchises in the gaming world delighted and disappointed us with a number of games that solidified the brand. Still, for this franchise, the bread and butter was in the original trilogy, which remains the highest selling of all the releases. Our protagonists Spyro and his sidekick Sparx The Dragonfly start a journey that gets more interesting as time goes by. Starting in 1998, Spyro has maintained a cult following and popularity for nearly 20 years, with many calling for and wanting a reboot of the franchise. The last reboot came in the form of a new trilogy starting in 2006, as The Legend Of Spyro trilogy spawned three solid games in A New Beginning, The Eternal Night, and Dawn Of The Dragon. Whether or not we ever get another Spyro game, the two trilogies are enough to solidify it in gaming history and the franchise itself is responsible for hours and hours of gaming fun and over 20 million games sold worldwide.

*The Sims 

-One of the greatest video game franchises in history still doesn't get as much credit as it should. It's not as fun as the legendary franchises such as Mario, GTA, 2K, or even Madden, but it possesses something that most franchises don't have: simulated reality. Sure, you can play as your favorite player, create yourself in a sports or action game, but there's no other game that showcases you and your life.... in reality. Everyday life. Since 2000, The Sims have managed to provide an open ended simulation look at life and activities that shape your life. It's a bit over exaggerated, with some very unrealistic characters and moments, but overall, it's a fun experience and there is nothing quite like it. The series benefits from not having a ton of games, as there are only 4 official installments with expansion editions over the last 17 years. With over 200 million copies sold worldwide, The Sims franchise is without a doubt one of the most important and pivotal franchises in gaming history.

*Left 4 Dead 

-You might be surprised to see this on the list considering it's the only franchise here with only two games, but this game changed the zombie FPS genre IMO. It was pivotal to the growth of the genre and with only two editions, it really has a bigger impact than anyone would have expected. With more accessible controls and better shooting mechanics than Resident Evil and Dead Rising, Left 4 Dead allowed you a shorter experience over 4 campaigns, but it was so addictive that you played those same campaigns over and over. Many have wondered and asked for a third installment of the series, but nothing has materialized. Still, Left 4 Dead managed massive sales, huge acclaim, and I would rank the two installments of this franchise very high on my list of FPS games. Will we ever see another Left 4 Dead game? I can only hope so, as the world wants and deserves another edition. The same could be said for all of these franchises. A reboot or a new edition would be welcome, as all of these franchises are vital to video gaming.



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