Game franchises often feel like secret societies, or failing that, extracurricular clubs in school. You might love Halo to the moon and back, but you're also known to dabble in a little Animal Crossing and The Legend of Zelda on occasion. Like collecting badges in Scouts, these are what symbolise our allegiances, but this survey states that some franchises are more equal than others.
I think I'd struggle to name a video game series that hasn't had a setback or two over its history. No matter how fond you are of a particular game, your dauntless adoration means you're bound to notice flaws in its design. Case in point: I like Tomb Raider, but I don't like the way that the reboots play like Lara is made of glass and could shatter with the merest ill-timed button-press. In fact, the data collected and presented by Money shows that there are some extremely derided entries to franchises that otherwise are very popular with players of all stripes. The methodology only included the original releases of games in the franchises (so remakes were out), and the critical reception score was taken from Metacritic.
At the bottom of the pile, we've got Sonic The Hedgehog with a score of 46%, Final Fantasy XIV with a score of 49%, and Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness with a score of 52%. Yikes. Well, it wasn't a total write off for these three games, as their poor performances were a shock to the system, encouraging their companies to change tack and excite fans once more with their successors. In fact, Money explores a number of franchises here, ranking the franchise themselves into a top ten, and ranked their highest rated and their lowest rated entries within them. The results are very interesting:
It's weird how The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess isn't at the top of the list for its series, but I'm assuming that's an embarrassing error and will be rectified pronto. Also, it's interesting to see that Halo, Metal Gear, and God of War are the most consistent of the series profiled here, though it does check out that the more entries there are to a franchise, the lower the overall score goes. That's likely due to attempts at regenerating a franchise that divided the fans, even if those changes eventually lead to a stellar game further down the line.
Featured Image Credit: Sony Santa Monica, 343 Industries
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