Note: [All opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of GamerXChange]
It seems like this console generation simply will not die, we have seen a ton of great new franchises to release with the current batch of hardware, this console cycle has dragged on for so long now that some of these new franchises feel as if they have been around forever. I actually think its worth debating if the current generation has seen the absolute best franchises of all time born from it. So while the next generation of consoles is seemingly inching closer, we are still managing to get what look to be very quality new IP’s, Watchdogs and The Last Of Us are just a couple of examples of really impressive looking games to come out at the end of a console generation. Most people argue it makes much more sense to release new IP’s when you launch a console, but sometimes you can draw in fans to a new series at the end of the cycle and you’ll see people follow that series over to the next console. God Of War and Halo are both great examples of this type of thinking. With that in mind, I give you in no particular order, the top five new franchises to release in this console generation.
Forget about all the drama surrounding the ending to Mass Effect 3, the game was a universal success and critics and gamer’s alike both raved about the game. You could even say that the ending and all the controversy actually helped the game, I know people who bought the game to simply see what all the fuss was about. Sometimes a game isn’t so much about the end, but the journey you took to get to the end. The original Mass Effect launched in 2007 and I’ve never looked back, the games offer a very interesting and entertaining story, likable characters and you actually make choices that matter. You can even import your character from the first game, to the second and then again to the third. It’s very rare to get that kind of continuity and Bioware has proven that you can make a game appeal to a wider audience and maintain your integrity.
2.Gears Of War
Gears Of War was the reason I bought an Xbox 360 at launch, I know it wasn’t a launch title, but they were definitely showing off gameplay footage and it was like nothing I’d ever seen before, I know I’m not alone in these feelings either. The original Gears Of War was, in my opinion anyway, the first true next-gen gaming experience. Throughout the series we’ve seen improvements and additions to the franchise that we never thought possible, the culmination of which was the masterpiece that is Gears Of War 3. Dedicated servers seemed to make all the difference in the multiplayer focused franchise, but that’s not to say Gears Of War doesn’t offer a very sound campaign, and with very likable and cool characters. It seems like Gears Of War has been around forever, but it’s actually a new IP and one of the best of this generation.
The Uncharted series is unquestionably Sony’s biggest new franchise this generation. Leave it up to Naughty Dog to continue their epic trend of pumping out a great new franchise for each console generation dating back to Sony’s entrance into the console market. The first Uncharted was pretty good, but nothing could prepare gamer’s for Uncharted 2, which was very close to being a perfect game. From the visuals to the story and voice acting, its clear that the Uncharted series set the bar very high for everything else. The addition of a fun and addicting multiplayer mode helped seal the deal and helped make Uncharted the go to game for people with a PlayStation 3. We cant help but wonder where the series will go next? Hopefully we will see some Uncharted 4 on the PS4.
This October will mark the fifth full Assassins Creed game release, that is a lot of games in a short amount of time, there is no denying the popularity of the series. The first game became a little too repetitive from time to time, but it was the start of something special. Assassins versus Templar’s in an epic and ancient battle. Assassins Creed 3 looks to be the game that will reinvent the series however, so far after just a few showings at E3 it’s looking like the game is a true next generation offering, but it’s coming to current generation consoles. A lot of games jump on the online multiplayer bandwagon, but few actually pull off a fun and inventive online aspect, especially if it’s a game that is not known for its online game modes, for a late addition to the series, the Assassins Creed online has garnered quite a following and I’m excited to see where it goes with AC3.
Few games can draw a groan from seasoned gamer’s like a movie based game or a super hero based game. Very few of these have ever turned out good and most are downright disastrous. Developer Rocksteady bucked that trend with the amazing Batman Arkham Asylum game, not only was the gameplay perfect, but they took Batman and put him back in his true element, which is as a detective first and foremost. Rocksteady set the bar very high and there were really high expectations for Arkham City, once again they didn’t disappoint. Arkham City was almost flawless and for the first time in a game, you could go around wherever you wanted to and explore the mean streets of Arkham. The character list was the most impressive thing of all, virtually every Batman villain was seen in the game at one time or another, and to top it all off, Mark Hamill reprises his famous role of the Joker from the Batman Animated Series. Kevin Conroy did the same in the title role of Batman, this was the icing on the cake as far as I was concerned. The Batman games by Rocksteady are in a league all their own.
There are definitely some other games that I could have put on this list, but these are the five that really jump out at me, these are the five that I would put up against any other five games that came out in any other generation and say “My five beat your five”. If there is a franchise you think I missed, please sound off in the comment section below, or visit our community forums and speak your mind on the subject.