It’s no secret that I enjoy a good video game from time to time. These days I don’t often make time to play many games because I’ve got other stuff going on. Also, games are expensive. And places like Blockbuster Video don’t exist anymore so it’s not like I can rush out and rent the latest releases for the PlayStation to try something out before I buy it.
These days, if a game is interesting, it has to be interesting enough based on trailers and/or gameplay footage to make me want to spend $50 to $70. Even then, it’s a risk. What if I pay for the game, download it from the PlayStation Store, and it turns out it kind of sucks? I don’t live a comfortable enough life to be able to just drop that kind of money on a whim.
Anyway, this isn’t supposed to be about lamenting the death of rental stores. This is supposed to be about some of my favorite video game franchises of all time. Isn’t that more exciting than feeling sorry for oneself when one spends too much money on a game that is less than stellar?
These are in no particular order. A-hem…
Super Mario Bros.
Now… let me clarify. When I think of a good Super Mario Bros. game, I think of a classic side-scrolling adventure where Mario and/or Luigi mostly move from left to right and discover that the princess is in another castle. That’s not to say I can’t enjoy the 3D games that have come and gone like Super Mario 64 or Super Mario Galaxy. They’re fun. But, to me, I prefer the simplicity of just getting from the far right end of the level to the far left and pulling down a flag.
I’m not sure exactly what it is about these games that continually pulls me in. I had the original Metroid on the classic NES when I was a kid. I had Metroid II on the Game Boy. And, of course, I had the ultimate Metroid experience with Super Metroid on Super Nintendo the moment it came out. And that third installment may be my favorite video game of all time. I still prefer the 2D games. Not that there’s anything wrong with the Metroid Prime series. This is the perfect franchise to be reimagined as a first person shooter. Again, I just prefer that simplicity that comes with those earlier releases.
Metal Gear Solid
You wanna spend some time moving stealthily through unforgiving territory? These are the games for you. Metal Gear Solid was the first game I bought when I got my original PlayStation. Metal Gear Solid 2 was the reason I upgraded to a PlayStation 2. I’ll admit, I’ve still never gotten around to playing the most recent game in the series, Metal Gear Solid 5, but the first four are some of most detailed and cinematic video games I’ve ever played. Like I said before, it’s about stealth. These games are about so much more than mashing buttons to take down enemies. You have to sneak around and accomplish your tasks undetected. Not always the easiest thing to do.
What can I say about Final Fantasy that I haven’t already said in previous posts. These games are so good at pulling you into the fantasy worlds that they’ve created and before you know it, you’ve spent 75 hours trying to get to the point where you’re strong enough to defeat the final boss in his final form. Final Fantasy VII Remake is possibly the most beautiful video game I’ve ever played. The trailer for Final Fantasy XVI was just released yesterday and it looks indescribably incredible… and will probably be the reason I break down and purchase a PlayStation 5.
So those are some of my favorite video game franchises. A couple of honorable mentions go out to The Legend of Zelda and Castlevania. I’d have included them above, but I really haven’t played a Zelda game since A Link to the Past on the Super NES. And the only Castlevania game I really ever remember loving (and also consider one of the greatest games of all time) is Symphony of the Night on the original PlayStation. Oh, and who can forget the Mega Man games. I always liked playing them, but always got way too frustrated because they are all hard a crap.
What game franchises do you consider favorites? Don’t be shy! Share your favorites down in the comments!