The evolution of 2015’s big gaming franchises

Some decade-old gaming franchises are going to be hitting it big this year, and it’s a thing of beauty to see their humble beginnings.

PC gamers will finally get their hands on Grand Theft Auto V (releasing 24 March) – just under 20 years after the original’s release in 1997.

Mortal Kombat, first launched in 1992, will see the tenth title in the series hitting shelves in April this year, and Tomb Raider, a gaming staple since 1996, will get its Xbox One exclusive period late 2015 with Rise of the Tomb Raider.

The Metal Gear series will also see its latest masterpiece hit shelves in 2015, and, with 11 games in as many years, Call of Duty will undoubtedly get its annual go around November as well.

Take a journey with us to see where these game series have come from and marvel at how technology has catapulted visuals over the past 20 years.

In the timelines below we’ve excluded spin-off titles, sticking to the “main” releases of each series.

Metal Gear: 1987 – 2015 (28 years)

Metal Gear

1987 – Metal Gear

Metal Gear 2 Solid Snake

1990 – Metal Gear 2 Solid Snake

Metal Gear Solid

1998 – Metal Gear Solid

Metal Gear Solid 2

2001 – Metal Gear Solid 2 Sons of Liberty

Metal Gear Solid 3 Snake Eater

2004 – Metal Gear Solid 3 Snake Eater

Metal Gear Solid 4 Guns of the Patriots

2008 – Metal Gear Solid 4 Guns of the Patriots

Metal Gear Solid 5 Ground Zeroes

2014 – Metal Gear Solid 5 Ground Zeroes

Metal Gear Solid 5

2015 – Metal Gear Solid The Phantom Pain

Mortal Kombat: 1992 – 2015 (23 years)

Mortal Kombat

1992 – Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat 2

1993 – Mortal Kombat 2

Mortal Kombat 3

1995 – Mortal Kombat 3

Mortal Kombat 4

1997 – Mortal Kombat 4

Mortal Kombat 5 Deadly Alliance

2002 – Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance

Mortal Kombat 6 Deception

2004 – Mortal Kombat Deception

Mortal Kombat 7 Armageddon

2006 – Mortal Kombat Armageddon

Mortal Kombat 8 vs DC Universe

2008 – Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe

Mortal Kombat 9

2011 – Mortal Kombat 9

Mortal Kombat X

2015 – Mortal Kombat X

Tomb Raider: 1996 – 2015 (19 years)

Tomb Raider 1996

1996 – Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider 2

1997 – Tomb Raider 2

Tomb Raider 3

1998 – Tomb Raider 3

 

Tomb Raider The Last Revelation

1999 – Tomb Raider The Last Revelation

Tomb Raider Chronicles

2000 – Tomb Raider Chronicles

 

Tomb Raider TAOD

2003 – Tomb Raider The Angel of Darkness

Tomb Raider Legend

2006 – Tomb Raider Legend

Tomb Raider Underworld

2008 – Tomb Raider Underworld

Tomb Raider 2012

2012 – Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider

2015 – Rise of the Tomb Raider

Grand Theft Auto: 1997 – 2015 (18 years)

Grand Theft Auto

1997 – Grand Theft Auto

Grand Theft Auto London 1969

1999 – Grand Theft Auto London 1969

Grand Theft Auto 2

1999 – Grand Theft Auto 2

Grand Theft Auto 3

2001 – Grand Theft Auto 3

Grand Theft Auto Vice City

2002 – Grand Theft Auto Vice City

Grand Theft Auto San Andreas

2004 – Grand Theft Auto San Andreas

Grand Theft Auto 5 Next

2008 – Grand Theft Auto 4

Grand Theft Auto 5

2013, 2014 and 2015 – Grand Theft Auto 5

Call of Duty: 2003 – 2015 (12 years)

Call of Duty

2003 – Call of Duty

Call of Duty Finest Hour

2004 – Call of Duty Finest Hour (first console game)

Call of Duty 2

2005 – Call of Duty 2

Call of Duty 3

2006 – Call of Duty 3

Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare deux

2007 – Call of Duty Modern Warfare

Call of Duty 5 World at War

2008 – Call of Duty World at War

Call of Duty 6 Modern Warfare 2

2009 – Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2

Call of Duty 7 Black Ops

2010 – Call of Duty Black Ops

Call of Duty 8 Modern Warfare 3

2011 – Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3

Call of Duty 9 Black Ops 2

2012 – Call of Duty Black Ops 2

Call of Duty 10 Ghosts

2013 – Call of Duty Ghosts

Call of Duty 11 Advanced Warfare

2014 – Call of Duty Advanced Warfare

Even though Call of Duty is the youngest game on this list, the series has delivered the most full titles. It’s kind of known for that.

Progress in key series aspects is up for debate, but the graphical changes are definitely apparent.

The next Call of Duty will be developed by Treyarch (the Black Ops and World at War line), and is expected to be revealed sometime in May.

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  • Dave

    An evolution of “Big gaming Franchises” without even one Nintendo game is like having an olympics without America. (Which did happen once I believe, and it sucked)

  • Char Aznable

    If you going to do MGS, don’t forget Peacewalker and Portable Ops.

  • Johann Botha

    COD does not have such an impressive evolution, looks like they get stuck for a few years.

  • daBoss

    Them MK pics is from the consoles…

  • r0j0e

    why is the dog driving a tank?!

  • r0j0e

    yeah, at least Mario, Starcraft, Sonic, etc. would’ve been nice

  • Bl1zz4rd

    Story-wise, they’ve been stuck since the beginning.

  • MGS FTW

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