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Top 10 Video Games That Saved Their Franchise

VO: Riccardo Tucci
These franchises owe everything to these excellent entries! Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Video Games That Saved Their Franchise. In this video we'll be looking at games from popular franchises such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Call of Duty and Resident Evil. Have an idea you want to see made into a WatchMojo video? Check out our suggest page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest and submit your idea.

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Top 10 Video Games That Saved Their Franchise

Man, talk about course correcting. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Video Games That Saved Their Franchise.

For this list, we’ll be looking at video games that were part of a dying franchise, but proved so financially and critically successful that they reinvigorated the series in question. The franchises don’t need to have been DEAD, but they need to have been significantly losing mainstream interest before the entries in question brought them back to life. So while God of War 2018 did reinvent its series, the previous games were still critical and commercial successes, so it doesn’t make the list this time.

#10: “Wolfenstein: The New Order” (2014)

The “Wolfenstein” series was once incredibly popular and groundbreaking, with one entry in particular, “Wolfenstein 3D,” being heralded as a benchmark title in the first-person shooter genre. However, Raven Software’s 2009 “Wolfenstein” was a huge disappointment, and Activision even laid off Raven employees due to low sales figures. Enter “The New Order,” which was significantly praised for its exciting combat and outlandish narrative, and generally credited for bringing the series back on track and back into the conversation. Nobody could have predicted that one of the best games of the early eighth generation would be a “Wolfenstein” title, yet there we were!

#9: “Sonic Mania” (2017)

Ever since the disastrous Sonic ‘06, the series had been in a frequent downward spiral in quality, despite a few standouts with Sonic Colors and Generations. Regardless; the series just could not hit the same levels of success from its original Genesis glory days. Then came Christian Whitehead, creator of the “Retro Sonic” fan game, whom Sega trusted to make a new game in the series; The result was Sonic Mania; A perfect love letter to the original Sonic titles on the Genesis, while also including its own creative worlds and stages. Now Sega may finally be seeing the light: Sonic can thrive in the modern game society in 2D.

#8: “Mortal Kombat” (2011)

If you went back in time and told someone in the early 90s that “Mortal Kombat” would be irrelevant in a decade, they would never believe you. Arcades were abuzz with the sounds of heads being ripped from bodies, and the sequel’s console release saw the best opening week sales in gaming history at the time. But when the series moved to 3D, interest began to wane. Then in 2011, “Mortal Kombat” was again the talk of the town, mostly due to the improved fighting engine and amazingly violent content. The game was banned in several countries, which reinvigorated the controversy that the series was once infamous for, and the game soon proved to be a huge financial success.

#7: “Metroid Prime” (2002)

When you don’t release a major title in your franchise in nearly a decade, interest is bound to wane. “Super Metroid,” this game’s predecessor, was released in 1994, and by the time “Prime” rolled around, most of the fans had grown apart from the franchise after being a complete no show on the N64. Luckily for her and the series, “Prime” changed everything, as it was a huge critical success, garnering renewed interest in the series for longtime fans and accumulating new fans from a new generation in the process. Though it would not be the only time the series needed to be rescued. (Samus Returns)

#6: “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare” (2007)

While “Call of Duty 3” was certainly not a bad game, interest in the World War II genre was beginning to sway, and many gamers wanted a change. Enter “Modern Warfare,” which not only gave a change, but basically reinvented the first-person multiplayer shooter for the next decade, as companies were scrambling to copy its success. It has since sold over fifteen million copies and is now considered a classic. While the modern setting was fun, the more recent titles have put a stronger emphasis on the past and the future.

#5: “Doom” (2016)

Like “Wolfenstein,” “Doom” was a major player in the history of first-person shooters, as it was extremely popular and wickedly controversial due to its graphic violence and Satanic concepts. With “Doom 3,” some fans were upset due to the more horror-based direction the game went. And an unreleased 4th iteration, which looked like a generic military shooter; likely would have killed the series had it been released. Enter “Doom” 2016, which not only implemented insane amounts of fast-paced action for the hardcore fans, but which brought new life to the series, with a 67% first week sales increase over 3. Now that’s how you return from Hell.

#4: “Assassin’s Creed Origins” (2017)

2014’s “Assassin’s Creed Unity” nearly killed the series, thanks to a rushed launch that was filled with bugs and performance issues. It hurt the public’s trust in the series so badly that it affected the sales of its following title: “Assassin’s Creed Syndicate” despite positive reviews. This prompted Ubisoft to give the series a break for a year to revaluate the franchise. After that break was ove; Origin’s brought the series back to prominence. Taking cues from The Witcher 3, Origins went in an Action RPG direction, complete dialogue trees, a revamped combat system, and stunning visuals. And because of that, Origins double Syndicate’s sales within its first two weeks, meaning that Assassin’s Creed was back.

#3: “Tomb Raider” (2013)

Lara Croft is undoubtedly one of the biggest names in gaming history, but unfortunately for her (and the brand), she had become a bit of a mummified figure in recent years. In 2013, however, Lara emerged from her own tomb with “Tomb Raider,” a rebooted entry in the franchise which saw huge amounts of praise for its gameplay and graphics, especially the extensive overhaul which Lara herself received. The sales reflected this newfound love, as the game was an instant success and has since become the highest-selling “Tomb Raider” title.

#2: “Fire Emblem Awakening” (2013)

Hardcore “Fire Emblem” fans can say whatever they want about “Awakening,” but the fact of the matter is, the “Fire Emblem” series would literally be dead without it. At a time when the future of the series was in jeopardy, Intelligent Systems completely knocked it out of the park with “Awakening,” not only giving players a fantastic game, but also providing the series with its highest sales numbers ever and even increasing sales of the 3DS itself. Now considered one of the best 3DS games of all time, “Fire Emblem Awakening” was a Hail Mary that totally worked.

#1: “Resident Evil 7: Biohazard” (2017)

The “Resident Evil” games of yore are often considered to be some of the most influential and scariest games of all time. Then the series became a bit of a meme, what with the globe-trotting Bond adventures and boulder punching. After the… mixed response to the Michael Bay-esque sixth installment, fans were clamoring for a return to form, and with “Biohazard,” that’s exactly that they got. It was scary, it was brutal, and it was “Resident Evil.” While it may not have sold as well as the previous two entries, “Resident Evil” is back in our hearts. Welcome to the family, “7.”

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