The 10 Most Popular Video Game Series Of All Time & 10 That Seriously Flopped

The 10 Most Popular Video Game Series Of All Time & 10 That Seriously Flopped

If you're a gamer, you've more than likely experienced the joys of these all time great video game series. They are ingrained in our cultures. Many of them originally released when we were kids and we're still enjoying them along side younger generations to this day. Here are 10 of the biggest gaming series of all time and 10 series that got sidelined for releasing poorly received, unfinished products.  

1. Super Mario Bros.

The Super Mario Brothers, Mario and Luigi, are the most recognizable characters in gaming and the backbone of Nintendo’s success throughout the years. Beginning in 1983 as a side scroll platforming game, the brand has expanded into every style there is. 2D and 3D platformers, RPGs, racing games, puzzle games, party games, and many more. They now have a total of over 200 games and a recent movie.

Mario KartPhoto by Christian Flores on Wikimedia Commons

2. Pokémon

Since Pokemon’s release in 1996, it has become one of the most recognizable brands in all of gaming. With its core idea of catching, training, and battling Pokemon, players have found endless enjoyment. The games have now expanded to over 800 unique creatures across 90+ games and TV shows. 

Pikachu1Photo by Corsario CL on Wikimedia Commons

3. Grand Theft Auto

Released in 1997, The Grand Theft Auto series by Rockstar Games has been a dominant force in the gaming industry since the beginning. Their open-world gameplay mixed with a satirical view of America, make it unique. They are the peak of their game genre as shown through consistent record breaking at each new release.

Grand Theft Auto LogoPhoto by Rockstar Games on Wikimedia Commons

4. Call Of Duty

Call of Duty is a first-person shooter series released by Activision in 2003. Well known for their intense single-player campaigns, the multiplayer mode is what has kept the series popular for so long. The online teamwork and communication nature of the game has created high level tournament competition. With its annual releases, Call of Duty continues to attract a large following of competitive shooter fans.

Call Of Duty Xp 2011 - Modern Warfare 3 Gauntlet (6114021888)Photo by Pop Culture Geek on Wiki Commons


5. The Legend of Zelda

Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda series is a fantasy adventure game that has been captivating players since 1986. Known for its puzzles, exciting bosses, and rich storytelling, the iconic hero Link and his queen Zelda are known worldwide. Overtime, the games have evolved from 2D to 3D and linear all the way to the now open world sandbox style. With over 19 games, they continue to be a mainstay in the adventure gaming world.

Ryan-Quintal-S7Phrjujnea-Unsplash(1)Photo by Ryan Quintal on Unsplash


FIFA by EA Sports is the most popular sports game series in the world. A soccer game known for its competitive game-play. Fans of the sport are able to play as their favorite players and teams with updated rosters and game-play features released every year.

Jeshoots-Com-Ecktzgjc-Iu-UnsplashPhoto by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

7. Minecraft

Minecraft is an open world sandbox game developed in 2009 by Mojang. The game is designed around virtual blocks that create endless building options for players. The creative freedom and multiplayer coordination has allowed Minecraft to explode in popularity over time.

Minecraft Cube.svgPhoto by Albin Olsson on Wikimedia Commons

8. Halo

Halo is a futuristic first person shooter series by Bungie that changed the gaming fight experience. Famous for Master Chief, the games are known for their future warfare campaigns and intense multiplayer. Halo's innovative features make it a completely unique shooting game experience, and why it has continued to be so popular.

Nathan-Dumlao-Rrvrldyq 18-UnsplashPhoto by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

9. Final Fantasy

Since its release in 1987, Final Fantasy games by Square Enix have been synonymous with RPG gaming. Through consistently improving battling structures and deep storylines, each game holds its own unique adventure. The franchise is still going strong with 16 games released to date.

Ryan-Quintal-71Vdy9V Wfk-UnsplashPhoto by Ryan Quintal on Unsplash

10. Assassin's Creed

Assassin's Creed is a series by Ubisoft built around stealthy action game-play. The game, full of historical fiction and complex characters, has captivated players with an immersive ‘on your toes’ experience. Now with over 12 games, the series has solidified itself as one of the most popular franchises in recent years.

Gamescom Assassins Creed Origins Characters (36850961205)photo by dronepicr


1. Star Wars

After massive success from the various movies, TV shows, and early video games, Star Wars Battlefront II (2017) couldn’t have been a bigger flop. Despite being such a beloved franchise, the game was met with harsh criticism for its pay-to-win micro-transactions. Corporate greed sent the brand backwards and the video games have never recovered.

Star Wars Characters At Madame TussaudPhoto by Mirko Toller on Wikimedia Commons

2. Sonic

While many Sonic games are loved around the world, Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) was a major failure. The game had numerous technical issues, awkward controlling, and almost no story to speak of. The game had a sharp decline in sales and slowed down the brand for years. Fortunately, the brand’s damaged reputation has since been rebuilt.

Nik-Syvy Zkwaxu-UnsplashPhoto by Nik on Unsplash

3. No Man’s Sky

No Man's Sky released in 2016 was an ambitious open-world exploring game. The series faced major backlash for over-promising features, resulting in an incredibly underwhelming game-play experience. Players quickly complained about the repetitive tasks and technical issues, causing the game's hype and sales to quickly disintegrate.

No Man’s Sky – Text Logo.svgPhoto by Hello Games

4. Tony Hawk Pro Skater

After great success from the early games, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 (2015) was a straight dud. The game was heavily criticized for having poor graphics, almost no new features, and unplayable bugs. Luckily, it was the only flop in a series of hits.

Birdhouse Team In Fælledparken Skatepark (19614701730)Photo by Stig Nygaard on Wikimedia Commons

5. Fallout

After many beloved iterations, the high anticipation for Fallout 76 (2018) quickly fell by the waste side. Upon changing the structure of the game from its tried and true single player to a now online focus, fans were quick to criticize. The numerous bugs and glitches didn't help either and resulted in lackluster sales for such a big gaming series.

Fallout Logo.svgPhoto By Bethesda

6. Mass Effect

After major success from its earlier installment, Mass Effect: Andromeda (2017) was a letdown. The game was riddled with technical issues, an underwhelming story, and the characters were hard to root for. Unfortunately, the game franchise has never returned to the heights they once achieved before this poor release.

Logo Mass Effect.svgPhoto by Ware and Electronic Arts on Wiki Commons


7. Sims

While fans loved the creative building world of previous games, SimCity (2013) was overwhelmed with server issues. At one point, most players were unable to even access the game they’d paid for. It was an overall disappointing stain on an otherwise great series.

Sims Diamond Logo.svgPhoto by Electronic Arts on Wiki Commons

8. Batman

After a string of multiple movies, TV shows, and video game successes, Batman: Arkham Origins (2013) was a major step backwards from its predecessors. The game faced harsh criticism for its uninspired story and lack of innovation. The video game side of the Batman franchise has yet to recover.

Obi-Pixel8Propix-Cx S757Plj4-UnsplashPhoto by Obi - @pixel8propix on Unsplash

9. Resident Evil

The sixth installment of the series, Resident Evil 6 (2012) was a clear departure from the game's roots. Originally a survival horror series, this game was more focused on action-packed gameplay. This angered long time fans who killed sales for this amazingly average game.

The Resident Evil Logo.svgPhoto by VulcanSphere on Wiki Commons

10. E.T.

Famously known as one of the biggest flops in gaming, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) was terrible! The game was rushed to market to build the E.T. brand. It was plagued by numerous technical issues and confusing game-play. The game's overall poor sales ultimately resulted in millions of unsold cartridges being buried in a landfill.

E.t. Figure At Madame Tussauds LondonPhoto by Luke Rauscher on Wiki Commons