5 video game franchises with no bad entries
Countless games have sequels and numbered entries that try to extend the franchise in the hopes of delivering a robust experience to a new generation of players. While some franchises have lost their spark over the years, others have managed to outshine their predecessors in surprising ways.
God of War, Dishonored, and Dark Souls have had great individual entries. Other titles, however, despite being released with a huge gap between each iteration, have made a mark on players of all generations. Most titles on this list are less discussed but remain fresh in the memory of players.
Disclaimer: This listicle is subjective and solely reflects the writer's opinions.
Max Payne and 4 other game franchises with no bad entries
1) Max Payne series
Max Payne is one of the most iconic action games launched in 2001. The tone is set at the very beginning when Max loses his wife and daughter, initiating his quest for revenge. The story was presented in the form of a fully voiced graphic novel and the titular character was played by Sam Lake, the creative director of Remedy Games.
Max Payne 2 retained the neo-noir tone of the original and introduced an improved Bullet Time mechanic that enabled slo-mo shooting. Max Payne, as a character, also evolved and resorted to painkillers to hush the pain of losing his family.
The wait for Max Payne 3 was excruciating as the follow-up was released nine years after Max Payne 2. Rockstar Games was at the helm and they did a splendid job of bringing the beloved protagonist back to life after almost a decade. He was still a beaten-up cop holding onto the past.
All three titles managed to amp up the gameplay and evolve Max’s character thereby giving fans an enthralling experience. The bullet time and shooting mechanics in Max Payne 3 were more robust and brutal. The level design was crisp and the new backdrop of Sao Paulo worked in its favor.
2) Yakuza series
The Yakuza franchise is a storytelling gem and takes players on the journey of Kazuma Kiryu. While the series introduces a new protagonist in Yakuza 7: Like a Dragon, the other entries have had Kiryu’s story take center stage. The main highlight of the Yakuza games is the endearing storylines coupled with exceptional boss fights and top-notch voice acting.
While the majority of the titles feature Japanese voice acting, the emotions and weight of the story are conveyed exceptionally. The Yakuza series has a condensed map filled with various side quests called substories that introduce quirky side characters. Furthermore, there are many mini-games like Mahjong, Sega Arcade games, Pool, and Darts.
3) Red Dead series
While most gamers are aware of Red Dead Redemption 1 and 2, some might not remember or know that the series began with Red Dead Revolver back in 2004. Red Dead Redemption, however, tasted mainstream success and became an instant classic.
John Marston is considered one of the best protagonists in video games. Red Dead Redemption 1 had a vast, open land and a somber story that left many fans heartbroken but rendered the experience memorable. Red Dead Redemption 2 managed to surpass its predecessor and introduced Arthur Morgan as the main character.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is nothing short of a masterpiece as it excels in storytelling, graphical prowess, and exceptional world-building to date. The world feels alive and players are free to engage in myriad activities like hunting, poker, exploring, fishing or just riding a horse to soak in the scenic world.
4) Arkham series
The entire Arkham series is a love letter to Batman fans as each title's atmosphere is captivating while featuring numerous Easter eggs. Arkham Asylum trailblazed the success with crisp storytelling, introducing memorable villains like the Joker and perfectly capturing the essence of the comics.
Arkham City, on the other hand, expanded its horizons and offered an open world filled with notorious villains and criminals, as Batman suits up and glides around buildings, taking them down at night. The addictive and hard-hitting combat is one of the main highlights of all Arkham titles.
Arkham Origins is also a robust entry with exceptional boss fights. The series concluded with Arkham Knight, which introduced the Batmobile for players to cruise the streets, take on criminals and even partake in a slew of Riddler challenges. The final entry also offers a variety of gadgets to take down enemies.
5) Metro series
The Metro series offers a cohesive experience that binds players in a top-notch post-apocalyptic narrative. This franchise presents a world infested with mutated beasts, humans living in the underground metro, and ensuing politics between factions.
Fans of the Half-Life series and survival horror genre, in general, will relish every Metro title as it is packed with tense encounters, exploration, and some intriguing sci-fi elements. While the first two titles, Metro: 2033 and Metro: Last Light, were mostly linear, Metro: Exodus breaks all boundaries and introduces semi-open world areas for players to explore.
Players can pick up any of the above titles, although they are best experienced in sequential order to get some context on the in-game events.