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RPS

What is the greatest game series of all time?

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RPS    11,656

I was thinking with the release of Mario Odyssey of how I believe I have played every mainline Super Mario game and I started to wonder - is Super Mario the best game series of all time? 

What do you guys think is the best video game series? Try not to be obtuse when making your pick. I think it is fair to differentiate between every Mario game (aka, the Mario Karts and the Party's and the RPG games) and the Super Mario games (aka, the mainline platforming games). 

That said, I think I have three of which I believe I would throw out there - the Super Mario series and Borderlands. I think the Super Mario platforms are the definition of picture perfect gameplay. Every Super Mario game has felt like a beauty to play. 

On the flipside, the Borderlands games are very good in terms of gameplay, but everything else about them makes me love them. The sense of humor, the style, the boldness of their characters and story, the progression tree, the customization is all perfect. They have diverse playable and non-playable characters who are fantastic and leave a lasting impression on you. I can list off probably like a dozen or so mainline Borderlands 1 and 2 characters and I haven't played the games in years. The Pre-Sequel I started to play and got sidetracked when I switched jobs, but me and the better half are replaying the entire Borderlands series before playing the Pre-Sequel. 

What about you guys?  

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Azazel    1,596

I would say my top choices are:

Final Fantasy - Even though I completely stopped caring after X, but the 4, 6, 7, 9 and 10 are a fantastic set of games even though I haven't actually fully played the Japan only releases or 8.

Suikoden - Another fantastic series (save part 4).  Suikoden II is one of the greatest stories for an RPG ever and III is a personal favorite of mine.

Pokemon - Probably my #1 and pretty self explanatory.

Warcraft - Tides of Darkness, Warcraft III and World of Warcraft is a pretty insanely huge trio of games.

Fire Emblem - Same basic formula, over a dozen pretty amazing games.

I really wanted to say Heroes of Might and Magic but its a series that fell apart pretty badly after they made the 3rd one which was one of my favorite and most played games of all time.

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RPS    11,656
8 minutes ago, Azazel said:

Pokemon - Probably my #1 and pretty self explanatory.

I have played every mainline Pokemon game and I briefly considered putting it as my #3, but I would actually say that I have never truly thought that any of the Pokemon games were special outside of Blue and Red. I play them all, I have a very fun time, but I think the limitations of the series and the fact they always play it safe means that I think of it less as the greatest of all time series and more like a reliable series that I love playing but would never be heartbroken if Pokemon games stopped. 

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MDK    20,196

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Rocky    1,890

GTA will always be my favourite series. 

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Liam    4,573

In terms of hours, no game probably matches Championship Manager/Football Manager for me.

To add a bit to this - I know it doesn't exactly revolutionise gaming, but I've rarely had a game I didn't like in...twenty years. Says a lot.

Edited by Liam
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There was a time I'd have fought tooth and nail that Metal Gear Solid was right up there but lately I would find it hard explain why. GTA has to rank highly for me just for the sheer scale of what they can do and have done.

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I think Mario has the greatest and funnest series but the series I was the most invested in which I guess could also make it the greatest is Mass Effect, Being able to take my Commander Shepard through 3 games and all the relationships i built a long the way will always stick with me

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OctoberRavenO    3,930

My answer depends on what would constitute as 'greatest'.

Importance to gaming: Mario, easily.

Memorable titles: Persona.

Story per game: Persona, with honorable mention to GTA

Story in series: Persona, with honorable mention to MGS

How likely I'd want a game the second it's released, even with no details: Persona.

Longevity: Mario, with honorable mention to Final Fantasy.

Innovation: GTA, with honorable mentions to Mario and Final Fantasy.

Consistent quality and innovation with longevity: You Don't Know Jack (dead fucking serious here).

Overall: Mario, but with close mentions to Persona, MGS, and GTA.

Edited by OctoberRavenO

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RPS    11,656

I'd argue that GTA is not really that innovative. GTA 3 certainly was. But every game since has not felt innovative. Ambitious, yes. But not innovative. GTA 5 feels larger and that it has more game mechanisms. But outside online, it's not a drastically different game from 3.

On the flipside, I would say Mario has had three hugely innovative games - Super Mario Bros, Super Mario World and Mario 64. Super Mario Bros for innovating platforming games, World for the sheer depth and content to explore and 64 for really revolutionizing how games use 3D spaces. Super Mario Maker would be 4 if we count it in the series for the creation aspect.

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Liam    4,573
Just now, RPS said:

I'd argue that GTA is not really that innovative. GTA 3 certainly was. But every game since has not felt innovative. Ambitious, yes. But not innovative. GTA 5 feels larger and that it has more game mechanisms. But outside online, it's not a drastically different game from 3.

On the flipside, I would say Mario has had three hugely innovative games - Super Mario Bros, Super Mario World and Mario 64. Super Mario Bros for innovating platforming games, World for the sheer depth and content to explore and 64 for really revolutionizing how games use 3D spaces. Super Mario Maker would be 4 if we count it in the series for the creation aspect.

I'm not much of a Mario man, but I felt Galaxy was pretty groundbreaking for how different every aspect of each world felt. It showcased the capabilities of 3D platforming whilst making each planet a puzzle in and of itself.

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RPS    11,656

Yeah, I would maybe throw Galaxy in there. I think what is fascinating is that since 64, every Mario game has not been ripped off. Like, no one tried to piggyback off Galaxy bonkers approach to level design and space or 3D World frantic multi-player. So while I think there are other Mario games that are innovative, their innovations were largely ignored.

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MDK    20,196

Ugh, I want to play Galaxy again but I don't have it anymore.

Oh well, emulators and ROMS to the rescue! 

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Katsuya    2,606

Mario is probably the only series where I can't really pinpoint a bad entry; like, I'm not a huge fan of Galaxy 2 because it feels like an expansion pack more than anything, but it's still a damn good game. (I know some people would put Sunshine in that spot, but they're wrong.)

Final Fantasy's had a pretty few "meh" ones recently, but from like 3-10 it's pretty hard to beat that. Zelda also has a few issues like that (Zelda 2, mainly), and Pokemon has a lot of weird ups and downs for some people, all in different places.

Mario just has a great hitrate.

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MDK    20,196
11 minutes ago, Katsuya said:

(I know some people would put Sunshine in that spot, but they're wrong.)

Sunshine was probably my favourite after Mario 3D. What a game.

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OctoberRavenO    3,930
3 hours ago, RPS said:

I'd argue that GTA is not really that innovative. GTA 3 certainly was. But every game since has not felt innovative. Ambitious, yes. But not innovative. GTA 5 feels larger and that it has more game mechanisms. But outside online, it's not a drastically different game from 3.

Well, GTA 5 introduced elaborate heists with branching options, and the near-seamless character swapping is pretty unique for the genre. Innovation doesn't necessarily mean big changes; it can also mean improving on a formula. That's why I noted YDKJ games as innovative; while the sheer content they managed to pack into one disc thanks to a minimalist visual style was by itself innovative, they kept adding to the games, with different question types and they even experimented with the games having a storyline (granted this didn't pan out, but).

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Mick    5,760

Academically speaking, Mario. It's the best selling franchise of all time. I do question some of that success, considering how many were bundled with consoles. 

 

I'm going to go with Zelda. I've only played the first 3, however, with that being said, it seems that it's had a pretty strong impact on pop culture. Sure, Link may be a little bit behind the average Joe's video game character starting lineup, but it seems like 90% of the time, if there is something in public involving a video game, it'll be Zelda. Shirts, tatoos, car stickers, etc. I really can't remember seeing a car with a 1-up mushroom sticker. 

 

Personal favorite series would be Mega Man, provided that the games were the ones on a console made by Nintendo. Even the crappy ones (which varies depending on the Mega Man fan you ask) are great platformers, the music's fantastic, mostly simple password systems, and so on. 

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Naitch    1,623

1. GTA - So many great games in this series. I've played Grand Theft Auto, London 1969, III, San Andreas, IV and V, and loved all of them.

2. Football Manager - I might've only played 2007 and 2012 but the entire series is a huge improvement on older versions, and the fact that I'm still playing FM12 to this day is a sign that that games are made right.

3. Sly Cooper - A slightly less well known one but perhaps my favourite ever set of games. Although the first one is fairly dull I actually started with the second one, and didn't play the original until I bought the Sly Collection for PS3 a few years ago. Sly 2 is perfection and Sly 3/4 are decent developments of the story after that.

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=BK=    8,462

Mario, Zelda or Pokemon.

Nintendo kinda rule at games.

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MDK    20,196
1 hour ago, =BK= said:

Mario, Zelda or Pokemon.

Nintendo kinda rule at games.

Nintendo are the king of series. Even what I think are second tier are still better than most, like Donkey Kong and Metroid. 

For me I'd be hard press to pick a favourite from Mario, Zelda, GTA or Football Manager. But if you twisted my arm I'd have to go with Football Manager just because of the amount of hours sunk into the game over the years.

And an honourable mention to Time Crisis because I adore light-gun games and I think TC is by far the best out there. I even had the G-Con guns and a pedal when I was a nipper. And a second honourable mention to TimeSplitters. I would rim a tramp to get a HD remake or a new game.

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Jasonmufc    4,901

Nobody has mentioned Resident Evil, yet?

Resident Evil 1, 2, and 3 are some of the best games of that era, and it defined the PS1's insane game library with (at that pont) amazing graphics and storylines. It lost its way after 4 with 5 and 6 being duds, but RE7 was just classic Resident Evil again.

Also, Chrono Trigger & Chrono Cross, Both have an amazing at times legit emotional story, and Chrono Cross is a downright beautiful game that used the PS1's technology in the best way. GIVE ME CHRONO BREAK!
 

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MDK    20,196
13 minutes ago, Jasonmufc said:

Nobody has mentioned Resident Evil, yet?

 

I forgot about Resi. But I never played any past Nemesis and only briefly watched a bit of Resi 4. 

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Jasonmufc    4,901

Also in terms of racing franchises, Need for Speed has to be the greatest one even though they have lost their way for longer than they have had their way. My first racer was Need for Speed 2: SE which blew my young mind. Then I got NFS3: Hot Pursuit, that gave everyone everywhere the chance to play cops vs robbers with cars!

Porsche Unleashed only had one brand of cars, but the progress in the racing was amazing going from 1950 all the way to 2000 with all the cool Porsche cars that showed up in those 50 years. Hot Pursuit 2 perfected Cops Vs. Robbers racing.

Then came Underground 1, Underground 2, and Most Wanted. The very peak of the Need for Speed series, right in the middle of the Street Racing hype, and the games were brilliant. Perfect arcade handling model, and the customization options were mind-blowing, being able to take a Mazda RX7 and pimp it out in looks and speed, kid me was in love.

Of course, afterwards the rot set in quite quickly. Carbon was a decent title, but ProStreet and Undercover weren't good. Shift 1/2 tried to bring simulation into the genre, which worked admirably, but it couldn't stack up to Forza or Gran Turismo.

I don't see NFS getting back to their level, but together with Gran Turismo they have defined what racing games had to be. Need for Speed on the arcade side, and Gran Turismo on the more straight-laced sim-ey side.

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Pooker    120

How about computer games? The Civilization games have always been great. The Diablo series is one of my favorites. The Sims has been innovated and good. 

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