Most Loved Gaming Franchises in the World

The most loved video game franchises, with their collective global sales in the billions, have not only produced some of the most exceptional video games in history but also shaped the gaming industry as we know it. Their continuous delivery of innovative and creative ideas has not only inspired countless players but also led to the formation of cult followings, contributing significantly to the development and establishment of the industry and its various genres. Their unparalleled popularity and enormous impact on gaming and pop culture justify their reputation as the most beloved video game series of all time… But which titles receive the most love?

These gaming franchises have not just garnered popularity, but have also earned unparalleled adoration from their fans. Join us on A Place to Hang Your Cape as we delve into the most universally loved video game franchises, exploring their unique features and the reasons behind their immense popularity.  

Call of Duty

Debut Title Release Date: 2003 

No. of Games in the Franchise: 19

The newest Release in the Franchise: CoD Modern Warfare III (2023)   

The inaugural installment of the Call of Duty video game franchise was released in 2003. This first-person shooter was set during the Second World War and involved players in combat throughout three distinct campaigns, assuming the roles of soldiers from the United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union.

The legendary Call of Duty franchise, with its rich tapestry of historical battles, continues to enthrall players. The recent release, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III, the titan of multiplayer shooter franchises in the Western world, is a testament to its enduring popularity. And with the promise of more heart-pounding gaming adventures, the future looks as bright as the flash of a sniper’s scope… Here’s to Black Ops 6! 

Mortal Kombat

Debut Title Release Date: 1992 

No. of Games in the Franchise: 24

The newest Release in the Franchise: Mortal Kombat 1 (2023) 

Originating as a well-enjoyed arcade game in the 1990s, Mortal Kombat has become the top-selling franchise in the fighting games genre. 

MK distinguishes itself from other ‘beat ’em ups’ via its exceptionally high levels of blood, gore, and its infamous Fatality finishing moves. The series is renowned for rivaling Street Fighter, another well-acclaimed fighting franchise, and although Street Fighter is considered the highest-grossing fighting game, Mortal Kombat has sold a greater number of units, and its cult following has seen it become one of the most-watched fighting titles in eSports competition in modern gaming… “Toasty”, “Get Over Here.”   

Resident Evil 

Debut Title Release Date: 1996 

No. of Games in the Franchise: 30

The newest Release in the Franchise: Resident Evil 4 (2023)

Only a select few video game series can claim the distinction of establishing a genre, and the Resident Evil franchise happens to be one of them. 

Following the debut of the initial Resident Evil game, the successive installments in the series have generally garnered favorable evaluations from reviewers. Over time, the series evolved into Capcom’s most successful franchise, achieving global sales of over 146 million copies. It represents the essence of survival horror in the gaming industry and doesn’t just solidify the subgenre as a dominant force in the media. It reclaims its position at the top thanks to its exceptionally well-received remakes.


Debut Title Release Date: 1987 

No. of Games in the Franchise: 82

The newest Release in the Franchise: Tetris – The Grand Master (2022)

Due to numerous re-releases and the inclusion of Tetris copies with the original Game Boy, the game has accumulated over 70 million physical sales during its history. During an era of gaming where mobile titles such as Wheel of Fortune Casino are widely popular, Tetris has dominated as a paid mobile application, with figures indicating that over 425 million individuals had bought it for their smartphones by 2014.

This solidifies Tetris’ status as the highest-selling puzzle game in history and establishes it as one of the most widely recognized video game franchises to date. The game’s straightforward yet captivating gameplay has stood the test of time, and innovative adaptations like Tetris Effect: Connected have contributed to its continued relevance, even after several decades since its original launch.


Debut Title Release Date: 1996 

No. of Games in the Franchise: 122

The newest Release in the Franchise: Detective Pikachu (2023)

Since its establishment in 1996, Pokémon has amassed over $88 billion in revenue, solidifying its position as the most lucrative media franchise of all time by a significant margin. However, the Pokémon games do not rank as the top-selling video game series. They only contribute a small fraction to the overall earnings of the company.

To truly understand the admiration for Pokémon video games, let’s take a closer look at the numbers: 

Pokémon has sold about 480 million units in total, with the Generation 1 titles contributing approximately 31 million of these sales. Pokémon Sword & Shield ranks second with 25 million sales, while Gold & Silver is third with 23 million sales. Scarlet & Violet, with a total of 20.61 million, are close to reaching the top three and are expected to achieve this position in the near future.

The love for Pokémon is truly remarkable, and 28 years after its inception, it is still growing as an unstoppable force in the gaming industry. 

Grand Theft Auto 

Debut Title Release Date: 1997 

No. of Games in the Franchise: 17

The newest Release in the Franchise: Grand Theft Auto 5

Despite the contentiousness surrounding its violent and mature subject matter, “Grand Theft Auto” has achieved remarkable commercial success, establishing itself as one of history’s highest-grossing video game franchises. 

Boasting a staggering global sales figure of over 410 million copies, this expansive series, centered around the realm of crime, has successfully penetrated several gaming platforms.

Despite receiving poor reviews initially, the series had a rapid shift in perception following the release of “Grand Theft Auto III.” Subsequently, the GTA franchise achieved both critical acclaim and commercial prosperity, surpassing ten world records in the process. The most successful game in the franchise is GTA V, which achieved the record for the fastest-selling entertainment product by generating over one billion in sales within the initial three days of its release.

Super Mario Bros 

Debut Title Release Date: 1981 

No. of Games in the Franchise: Over 200 

The newest Release in the Franchise: Super Mario Bros Wonder (2023)

Super Mario Bros is universally recognized as one of history’s greatest video game franchises. If you are an individual who engages in playing video games, you have likely had the pleasure of playing several iterations of the Super Mario Bros franchise. Frankly, it is highly likely that even if you do not consider yourself a gamer, you have most likely engaged in playing the iconic video game character Mario at some point in your life.

The Super Mario Bros universe is expansive and encompasses numerous titles that achieve sales in the millions immediately upon their introduction. Indeed, a significant number of the franchise’s initial releases continue to be routinely played to this day.

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Tom Smith

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