Famous Video Game Franchises

The market for video gaming has undergone transformative levels of growth during the past decade or so. An activity that used to be restricted to teenage boys now has a demographic base that is a lot broader than that.

Video games are now enjoyed by adults as well as teens and that includes both sexes. The rise of video gaming has also opened out the games market, creating customer bases for online casino sites like Casino 777, as well as things such as online board games.

At the heart of the booming popularity of video gaming are the iconic franchises. These are titles and characters known throughout the world and that appeal to millions.

Below we have decided to take a look at some of the most successful video games franchises there have been.

  1. Tetris

This series of puzzle games would not be the first to come to mind for most people when thinking of famous franchises, but 496 million games sold in total tells its own story. Tetris started out as a purely console game, for the Game Boy, before moving into the mobile gaming arena.

The single most successful game in the franchise still remains that first Nintendo console Tetris title though. Since it was launched in 1984, it has sold over 35 million copies.

Beyond just the raw sales data, Tetris is one of those games that shaped an industry. It proved that puzzle games could be just as popular as more action-oriented ones and it has had an impact on other sectors, from music to architecture.

  1. Call of Duty

The Call of Duty series of first-person shooter games made it into the Guinness Book of Records for being the biggest selling games franchise of its type ever. It is top dog in sales terms in the US and fourth in the world rankings, with global sales of more than 400 million.

The first title in the series came out almost 20 years ago, so it has stayed among the top games for a long time. That is partly down to the brilliance of the game itself, which combines cutting edge graphics and world building with exciting action, but also down to clever marketing.

Call of Duty has spawned an array of spin-off merchandising, from comic books to action figures and card game versions. That has helped to expand its audience and engage people otherwise unfamiliar with video games.

The most successful game in the series so far is the 2013 installment Call of Duty: Black Ops II, which has shifted more than 31 million copies.

  1. Super Mario

From the start this franchise was a winner for Nintendo and it has just kept winning since then. It seems hard to believe now, but the original Super Mario Bros came out back in 1985, for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).

However, it was actually a sequel to Mario Bros, an arcade game from a couple of years earlier. Super Mario Bros innovated by being the very first 2D side scrolling console game and introduced most of the main franchise characters like Koopa Troopas and Goombas.

The result was a phenomenon and total global sales of 388 million. It is that very first game that remains the top seller of all, shifting 40.24 million copies since the mid-1980s.

That is rivaled by more recent games in the series like New Super Mario Bros (30.80 million) and Super Mario Odyssey (21.95 million) though. The key to a lot of the success of the series lies in the iconic Italian plumber protagonist as well as the colorful and fun game-play, with even the disastrous 1995 movie spin-off doing nothing to dent its popularity.

  1. Grand Theft Auto

This is another long-running franchise and another massive seller, with total sales of 335 million around the world. It is an action adventure franchise set in brilliantly realized fictional urban worlds that are based on real-life ones.

Vice City is a thinly veiled depiction of Miami, while Liberty City is New York and San Andreas is San Francisco. The cities are dark, dirty and violent places, as these games focus on the criminal underworld, and the franchise took some inspiration from 16-bit beat ‘em up games.

There are two things that really made it stand from its launch in 1997 though: the amoral characters and missions that they have to complete and the open world game-play that lets players roam around the cityscapes at will. The most popular edition so far is GTA V, with sales of 170 million, but the upcoming GTA VI may change that.

  1. Pokémon

People from all over the world know Pokémon by the name alone – whether they happen to play video games or not. Like all truly iconic franchises, it has almost total brand recognition.

Developed by Games Freak and debuting in 1996 with Pokémon Red and Blue, it is a series of role-playing games that incorporate strategy. They are third person games with the player guiding the main character through Kanto and learning how to catch Pokémon.

It has sold 386 million copies in total, with Pokémon Red, Green and Blue having top sales of 31.5 million. The next installment – Pokémon Scarlet and Violet – is scheduled for November.

These are some of the video game franchises that have helped to define the industry during the past few years.