5 game franchises that never say die

Many titles make an impact in the gaming industry, but few go on to create long lasting franchises which define an era and develop cult followings. With a new Mario, Star Wars, and Tony Hawk Pro Skater HD being shown as E3, it’s made us realise that the long and winding careers of some of these franchises need to be acknowledged.

From uncountable sequels to unimaginable spin-offs, certain franchises have definitely stood the test of time; here are our top 5 games that never day die:

Super Mario series

Our favourite little Italian plumber is definitely one of (or not the) most recognized and beloved faces of gaming. Just think about it; you can’t even say ‘Nintendo’ without his moustachioed face appearing in your mind’s eye. Mario, along with his trademark red and blue working gear has appeared in Super Mario games for over 30 years. Who knew saving the same Princess three decades in would still have such longevity?

Some notable titles:

  • Mario Bros.
  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Super Mario Bros. 2
  • Super Mario Land
  • Super Mario 64
  • Super Mario Galaxy

Final Fantasy series

Final Fantasy contains some of the most confusing narrative jumps within the gaming world, although that doesn’t stop it from continually impressing fans with each highly-anticipated instalment. There’s no real need to list all of them, just keep in mind the fourteenth iteration (minus spin-offs) hit the PS3 and 360 in 2010, and the ball has just kept on rolling since then. This ironically named series doesn’t seem to have and end in sight.

Some notable titles:

  • Final Fantasy
  • Final Fantasy II
  • Final Fantasy III
  • Oh, you get the point

Final Fantasy XIII-2 2

Star Wars series

With little introduction needed, Star Wars has become a cult-inspiring phenomenon around the world with its vast and intriguing universe of endless complications and back-to-front story-telling. Regardless of the narrative moving backwards, the games have moved forwards with the earliest Star Wars titles appearing on the original Atari 2600, all the way to our adored consoles and PC’s of today.

Notable titles:

  • Empire Strikes Back
  • Star Wars: Battlefront
  • Rogue Squadron
  • X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter
  • Knights of the Old Republic
  • Jedi Power Battles
  • The Force Unleashed II

Sonic the Hedgehog series

As weird an idea it is for a blue hedgehog that runs really fast and can speak fluent English, Sonic has been around since the Mega Drive’s inception and is still SEGA’s mascot to this day. Sonic has always been a fan favourite and has never left anyone out with his notorious cross-platform jumping.

With the exception of one or two really bad stints on recent systems, we can’t help but to forgive ol’ Sonic for his undeniable charm and attitude. Sonic Generations saw a return to form for the speedster, and we can’t wait to see what else he has up his sleeves.

Notable titles:

  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  • Sonic & Knuckles
  • Sonic Adventure
  • Sonic Unleashed
  • Sonic Generations

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series

Tony Hawk, the cherished world famous skateboarder who has not only dominated the skateboarding scene since he completed the first 900° back in 1999, but has also won the hearts of gamers everywhere with fantastic skateboarding video games, beginning with Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater in the same year.

Few extreme sports games stay around long enough to build a fan base, but the Hawk series has proven to have a winning formula and had even grinded up any opposition (until EA introduced their Skate series in 2007, which has proved to be a solid contender in the genre). But with the Tony Hawk series’ undeniable innovation over the years, even with a failed skateboard peripheral, it’s no doubt Tony and his crew will still be shredding it up for years to come.

There’s a Tony Hawk HD remake in the works, so we could soon see The Birdman returning to his original top form

Notable Titles:

  • Tony Hawks Pro Skater
  • Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2
  • Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3
  • Tony Hawk’s Underground
  • Tony Hawk’s Project 8
  • Tony Hawk: Ride

Notable Franchise Mentions:

Need For Speed, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Tekken, Street Fighter, Spider-man, X-Men, Sims.

What are some of your favourite long-running franchises? Any series we missed that have stood the test of time?

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