What are the most popular gaming franchises and why?

What are the most popular gaming franchises and why?

Video games have come a long way since the era of Pong and Space Invaders. Today, they are a form of entertainment that rivals film and television, with immersive worlds,…

Video games have come a long way since the era of Pong and Space Invaders. Today, they are a form of entertainment that rivals film and television, with immersive worlds, intricate storylines, and characters that we connect with. Among the hundreds of games released every year, a few stand out, becoming franchises that influence the industry and popular culture. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular gaming franchises and what makes them so successful.

Super Mario

When you think of video games, one of the first names that likely comes to mind is Super Mario. This iconic franchise is synonymous with gaming and has been a household name for decades.


Created by Nintendo, Super Mario started as a platform game featuring Mario, a plumber who embarks on a quest to save Princess Peach from the antagonist Bowser. The franchise has since expanded to include various spin-offs, including racing, puzzle, and role-playing games.

Reasons for Popularity

The Super Mario franchise’s success can be attributed to its engaging gameplay, memorable characters, and innovative level designs. Its family-friendly nature and ease of play make it accessible to gamers of all ages, contributing to its widespread popularity.


Pokemon, another Nintendo powerhouse, is a franchise that has made a significant impact not just in the gaming industry, but also in TV, movies, and merchandise.


In Pokemon games, players, also known as “trainers,” catch and train creatures called “Pokemon” to battle against each other. The franchise includes video games, trading card games, TV shows, movies, and more.

Reasons for Popularity

Pokemon’s success is due to its compelling “collect-them-all” concept, strategic gameplay, and a vast world filled with unique and charming creatures. The franchise’s ability to evolve and adapt to new technology and trends, like with the AR-based Pokemon Go, has also helped maintain its relevance and popularity.

Call of Duty

Moving away from the family-friendly realm, we enter the adrenaline-fueled world of Call of Duty, one of the most successful franchises in the first-person shooter genre.


Developed by multiple studios, including Infinity Ward and Treyarch, Call of Duty initially focused on World War II settings. The franchise later expanded to include modern and futuristic warfare, as well as zombie apocalypse scenarios.

Reasons for Popularity

Call of Duty is known for its cinematic campaigns, intense multiplayer modes, and immersive gameplay. Its realistic graphics, sound design, and attention to detail contribute to the player’s experience, making it a favorite among fans of military-themed games.

The Legend of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda is a beloved franchise that has captivated gamers with its engaging storylines, intricate puzzles, and expansive worlds.


In The Legend of Zelda games, players control Link, a young hero on a quest to rescue Princess Zelda and defeat the evil Ganon. The franchise is known for its fantasy setting, innovative gameplay mechanics, and iconic music.

Reasons for Popularity

The Legend of Zelda’s popularity stems from its immersive storytelling, innovative gameplay, and iconic characters. The series’ mix of action, adventure, puzzle-solving, and exploration keeps players engaged, and each new installment brings fresh mechanics and ideas, keeping the franchise innovative and exciting.

Grand Theft Auto

Last but certainly not least, we have Grand Theft Auto (GTA), a franchise that has consistently pushed the boundaries of what video games can be.


Developed by Rockstar Games, the Grand Theft Auto series is known for its open-world environments, controversial themes, and satirical take on American culture. The games allow players to take on the role of criminals in big city environments, with storylines involving heists, gang warfare, and other illicit activities.

Reasons for Popularity

Grand Theft Auto’s success lies in its expansive and detailed open worlds, engaging narratives, and freedom of gameplay. The series’ controversial nature and mature themes make it a topic of discussion, furthering its popularity. The franchise’s most recent installment, Grand Theft Auto V, has been particularly successful, remaining popular years after its initial release thanks to its expansive multiplayer mode, GTA Online.


Video game franchises like Super Mario, Pokemon, Call of Duty, The Legend of Zelda, and Grand Theft Auto have become cultural phenomena due to their innovative gameplay, captivating storylines, and memorable characters. Each has carved out its niche, pushing the boundaries of the medium and providing countless hours of entertainment for players worldwide. As the gaming industry continues to evolve, these franchises will undoubtedly remain significant players in the landscape.


1. What was the first video game franchise?

The first video game franchise is often considered to be Atari’s Pong, which spawned numerous sequels and spin-offs.

2. Which gaming franchise has made the most money?

As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, the highest-grossing video game franchise of all time is Pokemon, considering its games, merchandise, and media adaptations.

3. How does a video game become a franchise?

A video game becomes a franchise when it spawns sequels, prequels, spin-offs, or adaptations in other media, like television or film.

4. What is the best-selling video game franchise?

As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, the best-selling video game franchise is the Mario franchise.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *