There are thousands of titles released every year deep in the shadows of the video game publishing realm-- most, you've never heard of. But surprisingly enough, every so often, a game emerges from the shadows, into the light of your eyes, prompting this reaction:
"They're still making _____ games?"
Aye, my good fellow, indeed they are. Like movies, many video games succumb to the never-ending franchise engine— year after year, system after system, some games just stick around until they become so broken and distant from the original that you wonder why they just don't call the game something else entirely. Alas, the cycle continues, because someone somewhere is still buying the freaking game. Some have been around since the dawn of video gaming, some have only recently entered the fold, but all the same, they still keep coming out, unnoticed by the majority of gamers.
Nostalgic appeal? Lack of ideas? All we can assume is these games still sell well enough to warrant a sequel and their fanbase must still be actively demanding content, which is crazy to think when see some of the titles on this list. Please, let me know if you still play some of these, because some of these I can't believe anyone is still playing! Here's the Top 15 Video Game Franchises You Didn't Know Were Still Going:
15 Space Invaders
You can play the original Space Invaders in an arcade, you can play it on a home console, you can play it on your phone; there clearly must be a reason that it's one of the most ported games of all time.
So why do we need over a dozen versions of the game? Since 1978, we've seen everything from straight up sequels, to complete remakes, to extremely rare versions like Pepsi Invaders: a version of the game made only for Coca-Cola employees whose aliens were made up of the letters "P E P S I". Now, in 2017, we're getting the latest version of the classic game. Dubbed Space Invaders Frenzy, you shoot the famous aliens with handheld guns in a strictly arcade release. It's bright, it's busy, it's the perfect piece of brain frying technology. When I go to the arcade, however, I'm going to still be seeking out the original.
14 Yu-Gi-Oh Games
Am I getting old or do people actually still play Yu-Gi-Oh? Am I going crazy or did I just count that OVER 50 Yu-Gi-Oh games have been released since 1998?! That's almost three per year! I don't think I've played one since the Game Boy Advance days but, apparently, the franchise is still going strong. Really strong.
Yu-Gi-Oh: Duel Links is the latest release in the series: a version of the game made specifically for mobile devices. On top of that, there's already a confirmed additional title to be released for Nintendo 3DS— a different one from the 2016 release of Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters: Ultimate Card Battle. Now I'm going to go out on a limb here and wager that they can't possibly update the card game fast enough to warrant a new game release every 4-6 months... so... all these games must be pretty much the same, right?
13 Just Dance
I could have sworn they only made one Just Dance video game and walked away. But apparently, like most sports games, they come out with a new iteration every year. Soon enough, Just Dance 2018 will be gracing our next house party with a whole slew of new songs and new dances to shake your thang to.
Here's some info that may surprise you: the Just Dance franchise makes a lot of spin-off titles with their own sequels. Here's a few: Just Dance Kids, Just Dance Disney Party, The Experience Series (Like, Michael Jackson: The Experience), and Just Dance Summer Party. That's a whole lot of dancing.
12 Pro Evolution Soccer
Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 is just around the corner, who'd a thought? I was under the assumption that FIFA killed off all the other soccer titles by selling bazillions of copies and Pro Evolution Soccer was the first causality of the soccer game war.
Apparently, after doing some research, the PES series is still pretty well received and viewed as a welcome alternative to the FIFA juggernaut. But FIFA is also still well received and how many soccer games can actually exist? I guess with soccer being the world's most popular sport, there's plenty of demand for a variety of titles. I wonder if their character models are as realistic... I need to see Ronaldo's chiseled cheeks in the highest quality.
11 Dragon Ball Z Games
I love Dragon Ball. I don't think anyone could honestly say that they don't. I also used to wreck in Budokai 3 and did pretty well in a tournament once... but that's another story. Point is, I think we all know that the DBZ games were at their most popular in the Budokai era.
Nevertheless, Dragon Ball Fighter Z was just announced at this years E3. It looks cool, but I was completely unaware that Dragon Ball games were still being released. In just the years since 2010, there have been eight Dragon Ball console releases + many more before, and a whole a different set on handheld. How long can they possibly go for? Are they still making new episodes of the show? Is Piccolo alive or dead?! Should I be watching it?!
10 Dragon Quest
So if my roman numeral counting abilities are still intact, the upcoming Dragon Quest XI is the eleventh entry in the series. Which is a lot. I always assumed Dragon Quest died somewhere along the way... a long time ago.
But, like Final Fantasy, it just keeps on keepin' on. And, just like Final Fantasy, there is an in-quantifiable number of Dragon Quest spin-offs. I really did attempt to count them... but there are just too many: Dragon Quest: Monster Battle Road II, Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below, and Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy in Itadaki Street Mobile to name a few. To each their own?!
9 Geometry Wars
Today I learned that the first Geometry Wars was actually just a mini-game in Project Gotham Racing 2. It was such a success, that they decided to make it a standalone game. From there, because I guess it was that successful, they made four other versions!
Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions is the latest 2014 release, but they immediately stacked on another version called Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved which, to my understanding, is just a harder version of the game. I suppose I get it: 2D arcade style games are much easier to produce than big budget 3D games and, if they sell well enough, you might as well make a bunch. I just wish I'd heard about the new ones because I dug the first one!
8 Warhammer Games
If I've counted correctly, there are 35 Warhammer games & DLC releases that have been released since 1995. And if I remember correctly, Warhammer is based on a board game, right? We've all heard of successful video game franchises made on the backs of card games (*ahem* Yu-Gi-Oh *ahem*), but this is the first I'm hearing about this large of a franchise being made out of a tabletop game.
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War 3 is the latest 2017 release in the franchise and, I got to be honest, I'm still not sure what the difference is between Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000. The one thing I am sure of, however, is that buying the video game is MUCH CHEAPER than buying the tabletop game and pieces. And you don't have to paint them!
7 Marvel Vs. Capcom
The Marvel vs. Capcom series is a crossover spinoff from Capcom's own Street Fighter series. So, I thought it was safe to assume, that there was only one of two of them in my local arcade. Apparently I was grossly misinformed, because there are seven of them with a brand new one on the way. The games are really good, don't get me wrong, but how much could they possibly improve the new ones? Is it just new and different characters every time?
Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is the just announced latest and greatest but, oddly enough, there won't be any X-Men in this one. This is not good news for me, as I fondly remember always playing as Gambit in the first one. Or was it the second one? I don't know, man.
6 Tony Hawk Games
I've been saying "R.I.P." to the Tony Hawk franchise ever since Skate came on the scene but, news to me, there was a brand new Tony Hawk game released in 2015! Also, news to me, most people thought it was terrible!
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 was not received very well by critics or users and was an attempt to reignite some of the nostalgia-driven Tony Hawk game fanbase. Which is disappointing, but I've been vying for a new Tony Hawk game for quite some time. I don't know if they're going to be making another one, but what I'd really like to see is Tony Hawk himself collaborate with the folks behind the Skate franchise and make Skate 4 already. That's the new game we need! We've been waiting so long!
5 Power Rangers Games
I know this is a list of video game franchises we didn't know were still going on, but I thought I'd include at least one franchise that we didn't know was going on at all. Apparently, they've been making Power Rangers games since the 90s, and with the recent movie release, they thought they'd make a new one.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Mega Battle is the latest 2017 release and, uh, it didn't do so hot. One look at the reveal trailer and you'll be very surprised that this is a release for Xbox One and Playstation 4. But hey, I'm just happy they went for it — the game and the movie. I hope they reboot Scooby Doo next.
4 Mario Sports Games
Barring Mario Kart, I was completely unaware they kept making spin-off Mario Sports titles for every sport imaginable. They've done tennis, soccer, baseball, golf, and even the Olympic games, but I thought those all ended in the Gamecube era?
Lo and behold, the Mario Sports still live on. There have been so many, it seems, that they just went ahead and compiled them all into the latest entry in the franchise: Mario Sports Superstars for the 3DS. It features all the usual sports you'd expect plus one that I kind of actually want to try... horse racing. It's the Mario sport I never knew I needed. Bowser on a horse is a dream come true.
3 Naruto Games
The titles for Naruto games are so confusing that I could have sworn I've only played one of them. But to my surprise, there's like fifty of them. I always thought they were pretty entertaining... but fifty of them?!?! Isn't the anime over? I'm starting to see a trend: anime game franchises are never ending. We'll be playing Naruto games in 2050 that are embedded into our brains.
There are two upcoming Naruto games that have been announced: Naruto to Boruta: Shinobi Striker, a new entry in the franchise, and Naruto Shippudden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Legacy, a collection of all the other Naruto Shippudden games. To make a legacy collection, the demand must definitely still be there. Color me very surprised.
2 Dynasty Warriors
I don't even know where to begin on the Dynasty Warriors series. I'm pretty positive that one of the games in the franchise was the first game I ever played on PlayStation 2 and, to suddenly find out they're still going strong, it fills me with nostalgia and confusion.
Dynasty Warriors 9 has just been announced for the modern console era, and I cannot believe that people still play these. Dynasty Warriors had its time; back in the day, hack and slash games were super popular and Dynasty Warriors was chief among them. But today, in an era of super in-depth RPGs, where does Dynasty Warriors fit in the fold? I guess they've been chuggin' along for so long now that they'll figure out how to manage somehow. Bless their hearts.
Pac-Man is forever. He is the king of all video game characters. There is no stopping him and no avoiding him. So, it's understandable they'd keep porting the classic Pac-Man game onto every console imaginable. What I wasn't aware of was that they keep making new Pac-Man games.
In 2016, Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 was released, and it looks... insane. It's classic Pac-Man on graphical steroids with new gameplay mechanics, and new features abound. You fight giant ghosts and there are crazy 3D parts. Words can't really describe it beyond that. Also, Pac-man Vs., originally released on Gamecube as a super-rare bonus disc, is now coming to Switch in the near future.
Pac-Man is poised for a comeback, folks. Never thought I'd be saying that.