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Video games as a medium are significantly younger than TV or print, but that doesn't mean that there aren't a few classics of the genre.

Some games are memorable for their soundtracks, turning MIDI beeps into a work of sonic art that is instantly recognized years later. Sometimes the story paints an epic that draws in the player until they suddenly come up for air at 3am wondering what happened to the day, or it just has that Just One More Level effect that causes the same. Some games have a character that is like the imaginary friend that grows up with you, and is always ready to welcome you back for a visit.

And then there's those that have the total package. The winners of the test of time and advancing technology. Here we honor the Video Game Long Runners.

To be added, a franchise should have at least six games in its main series and span ten years. Sports games based on real-world leagues are generally disqualified, since they get an update every year.

The presence of Capcom Sequel Stagnation is of course, up for debate.


Examples:

  • Ace Combat: Starting with the two arcade games in 1992 and 1995, now up to 8 major console releases alongside five games for the Game Boy Advance, iPhone, PSP and Nintendo 3DS.
  • Armored Core - Chugging along since 1997 with its 13th game in the "main" series currently in development, along with a few in it's Formula Front spinoff series and some mobile phone and PSP 'ports.
  • Atelier Series
  • Bemani games in general:
    • Beatmania IIDX: Launched in 1999 as a Spin-Off of the original beatmania (which started in 1997). As of this writing, beatmania IIDX 19: Lincle is in beta testing.
    • Dance Dance Revolution: Launched in 1998. As of this writing, there have been 12 main series arcade installments released and a 13th (DDR X3) in beta testing, plus countless console versions.
    • Guitar Freaks was first released in February 1999, and its sister game Drum Mania came along in July that year alongside GuitarFreaks 2nd Mix. They're now up to 19 and 18 installments respectively and still counting.
    • Pop N Music: Launched in 1998, currently at 19 installments.
  • Bomberman - This little guy's branched out a lot. See That Other Wiki's entry for details.
  • Bubble Bobble - Nine games in the main series, six more games in the Rainbow Islands spinoff series, and another dozen Puzzle Bobble/Bust-a-Move Puzzle Game spinoffs.
  • Castlevania - A series that covers nearly 1000 years of history, with more time period shifts than a season of Quantum Leap. Shown here in approximate release order. Don't Archive Panic.
    • Castlevania (NES/FDS/FC)
      • Vampire Killer (MSX2)
      • Haunted Castle (Arcade)
      • Super Castlevania IV (SNES)
      • Akumajo Dracula (X68000)
        • Castlevania Chronicles (PS)
    • Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (NES/FDS)
    • Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse (NES/FC)
    • Castlevania: The Adventure (Game Boy)
      • Castlevania: The Adventure Rebirth (Wiiware)
    • Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge (Game Boy)
    • Akumajo Dracula X: Chi no Rondo (PC Engine)
      • Castlevania: Dracula X/Vampire's Kiss (SNES)
      • Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles (PSP)
    • Castlevania: Bloodlines/New Generation (Genesis/Mega Drive)
    • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PS/Saturn)
    • Castlevania Legends (Game Boy)
    • Castlevania (N64)
      • Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness (N64)
    • Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (GBA)
    • Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance (GBA)
    • Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (GBA)
    • Castlevania: Lament of Innocence (PS2)
    • Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (DS)
    • Castlevania: Curse of Darkness (PS2, Xbox)
    • Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (DS)
    • Castlevania: Order of Shadows (mobile phone)
    • Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia (DS)
    • Castlevania: Judgment (Wii) - A fighting game that includes characters from many of the previous games.
    • Castlevania: The Arcade (arcade) - The first arcade-exclusive installment since Haunted Castle. Scheduled to be released on October 2009 in Japan.
    • Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow (PS3, Xbox 360) - A title that was slated for release in 2010. Its position in the timeline is currently unknown Seems to be an Alternate Continuity Notable for having Patrick Stewart among the voice talent, for when you need the very best portent-laden narration. Also for being developed in conjunction with Kojima Productions.
  • The Chessmaster series of computer games is on its eleventh installment, and dates back to 1986.
  • The Civilization series has seen six distinct versions, beefed-up re-issues of Civ II and Civ IV, and Spiritual Successor Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri. Also including spinoffs like Call To Power or Free Civ.
  • Konami's Contra series dates back to the coin-operated original in 1987. Although, the new games are not produced at the same rate as other Konami franchises, it has still managed to accumulate over twelve original installments thorough the years, the latest ones being Contra 4 for the DS and Contra Rebirth for Wiiware.
  • The Darius series by Taito. Nine unique games since 1986, as well as multiple ports and remakes.
  • There have been a total of 18 Crash Bandicoot including mobile phone games and 15 excluding them since 1996. 7 of them are part of the "main" series of 3D platformers.
  • Donkey Kong/Donkey Kong Country. Two series, but possibly the oldest franchise in much of video games. First arcade game released in 1981, which was also Mario's gaming debut, with Donkey Kong Country released in 1994 and the most recent game, Donkey Kong Country Returns, released in November 2010.
  • Dragon Quest (Dragon Warrior) - 11 titles as of Echoes of an Elusive Age. 10 is an MMO.
  • Dynasty Warriors and by extension, the whole Warriors/Musou franchise either started in 1997 with Dynasty Warriors[1], a fighting game for the Playstation, or in 2000 with Dynasty Warriors 2[2], a very early Playstation 2 hack and slash game which is the codifier of all other games in the franchise which spans over a dozen games.
  • The Elder Scrolls series. The first game, Arena was released back in 1994.
  • Final Fantasy - Not Exactly What It Says on the Tin at all. Industry legend has it that it was named such because it was the last gasp of a struggling Square Soft. It was a hit, and the rest is history. The series is currently 23 years old.
    • I-XIII, XV (XI and XIV were MMOs).
    • X-2 (that's "ten two").
    • The Compilation of VII, making this one of few series to count a movie as part of its Canon continuity.
    • The 4 titles known collectively as Fabula Nova Crystallis - Final Fantasy XIII. (One of those is in the main series, the other three are Final Fantasy Type-0, Final Fantasy Versus XIII, and Final Fantasy XIII-2.)
    • Final Fantasy IV the After Years
    • Final Fantasy Tactics
    • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and A2
      • Crystal Defenders - A sequel to Tactics A2.
    • Dissidia Final Fantasy
    • Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy
    • Dissidia Final Fantasy NT
    • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles
      • Rings of Fate
      • My Life as King
      • Echoes of Time (DS and Wii releases)
      • My Life as Darklord
      • The Cyrstal Bearers
    • Taking into account every game that has ever had the 'Final Fantasy' title slapped on it, used Final Fantasy involvement as a major selling point (things like Kingdom Hearts and Ergheiz), and spinoffs, there are more than 50 games in the series. This is not including movies, television shows, or any sort of other merchandise. No other game in the RPG genre can compare, especially not in amount of profit generated.
  • Fire Emblem
    • The Dark Dragon and the Sword of Light (FC)
    • Gaiden (FC)
    • Mystery of the Emblem (SFC)
    • Genealogy of Holy War (SFC)
    • Record of Akaneia Wars (SFC, released exclusively via Satellaview)
    • Thracia 776 (SFC)
    • Tear Ring Saga: Ytna Heroes Saga (PS) - Technically not a Fire Emblem game, but made by the same designer, and similar enough to be the subject of a lawsuit.
      • Tear Ring Saga: Berwick Saga (Play Station 2) - Nominally related to Ytna, although the game system is considerably different from it and Fire Emblem.
    • The Sword of Seals (GBA) - Also known as The Binding Blade
    • The Sword of Flame (GBA) - Also known as The Blazing Blade. The first installment to get an international version, which dropped the subtitle and was known simply as Fire Emblem (much to the confusion of long time fans).
    • The Sacred Stones (GBA)
    • Path of Radiance (GC)
    • Radiant Dawn (Wii)
    • Shadow Dragon (DS) - Remake of the first game
    • New Mystery of the Emblem - Heroes of Light and Shadow (DS) - Remake of the third game, which was a sequel to the first game; also features remake of Record of Akaneia Wars as Downloadable Content. Unlike all others since Sword of Flame, did not receive an international release.
    • Awakening (3DS)
  • Fire Pro Wrestling has a huge library of games, though most people outside Japan don't know about most of them.
    • Fire Pro Wrestling Combination Tag (PC Engine)
    • Fire Pro Wrestling 2nd Bout (PC Engine)
    • Super Fire Pro Wrestling (Super Famicom)
    • Thunder Pro Wrestling Retsuden (Sega Mega Drive)
    • Fire Pro Wrestling 3 Legend Bout (PC Engine)
    • Super Fire Pro Wrestling 2 (Super Famicom)
    • Super Fire Pro Wrestling 3 Final Bout (Super Famicom)
      • Super Fire Pro Wrestling 3 Easy Type (Super Famicom)
    • Fire Pro Women: All Star Dream Slam (Super Famicom)
    • Super Fire Pro Wrestling Special (Super Famicom)
    • Wrestling Universe: Fire Pro Women: Dome Super Female Big Battle: All Japan Women VS J.W.P. (PC Engine)
    • Super Fire Pro Wrestling: Queen's Special (Super Famicom)
    • Fire Pro Gaiden: Blazing Tornado (Sega Saturn)
    • Super Fire Pro Wrestling X (Super Famicom)
    • Fire Pro Wrestling: Iron Slam '96 (Sony PlayStation)
    • Super Fire Pro Wrestling X Premium (Super Famicom)
    • Fire Pro Wrestling S: 6 Men Scramble (Sega Saturn)
    • Fire Pro Wrestling G (Sony PlayStation)
    • Fire Pro Wrestling for WonderSwan (Wonder Swan)
    • Fire Pro Wrestling i (i-mode moble)
    • Fire Pro Wrestling D (Sega Dreamcast)
    • Fire Pro Wrestling A (Fire Pro Wrestling in the US) (Game Boy Advance)
    • Fire Pro Wrestling J (J-Phone moble)
    • Final Fire Pro Wrestling (Fire Pro Wrestling 2 in the US) (Game Boy Advance)
    • Fire Pro Wrestling Z (Sony PlayStation 2)
    • Fire Pro Wrestling Returns (Sony PlayStation 2)
    • Fire Pro Wrestling in Mobage (Mobage moble)
  • The Gradius series
    • Arcade games
      • Gradius/Nemesis (Arcade/NES/MSX/PC-8801/X1/X68k/PCE/PS/Saturn/ect.)
      • Salamander/Life Force (Arcade/NES/MSX/X68000/C64/PCE/PS/Saturn/ect.)
      • Gradius II/Vulcan Venture (Arcade/Famicom/PCE/X68k/PS/Saturn/ect.)
      • Gradius III (Arcade/SNES/PS2/ect.)
      • Salamander 2 (Arcade/PS/Saturn/PSP)
      • Solar Assault (Arcade)
        • Solar Assault Revised (Arcade)
      • Gradius IV (Arcade/PS2/PSP)
    • Console games
      • Gradius 2/Nemesis 2 (MSX/PS/Saturn/PSP)
      • Gofer no Yabou Episode II/Nemesis 3: Eve of Destruction (MSX/PS/Saturn/PSP)
      • Nemesis (Game Boy)
      • Nemesis 2: Return of the Hero/Gradius: The Interstellar Assault (Game Boy)
      • Nemesis '90 Kai (X68k)
      • Gradius Gaiden (PS/PSP)
      • Gradius Galaxies (GBA)
      • Gradius Neo (Mobile)
      • Gradius Neo: Imperial (Mobile)
      • Gradius V (PS2)
      • Gradius Rebirth (Wii)
  • The Halo series has just recently qualified; first released in 2001, the series consists of 3 main games, 3 gaiden games, a Video Game Remake of the first game, and a 4th main game in the near future intended to kick off a new trilogy.
    • Halo: Combat Evolved
      • Halo: Anniversary
    • Halo 2
    • Halo 3
      • Halo 3: ODST
    • Halo: Reach
    • Halo Wars
  • Harpoon has existed in some form since 1989.
  • Harvest Moon
    • Harvest Moon
    • Harvest Moon GB
    • Harvest Moon 64
    • Harvest Moon 2 GBC
    • Back to Nature
    • Harvest Moon 3 GBC
    • Save the Homeland
    • Friends of Mineral Town
    • A Wonderful Life
    • More Friends of Mineral Town
    • Another Wonderful Life
    • Magical Melody
    • Harvest Moon DS
    • Harvest Moon DS Cute
    • Island of Happiness
    • Tree of Tranquility
    • Sunshine Islands
    • Animal Parade
    • Harvest Moon Online
    • Harvest Moon Circus
    • As well as a spinoff series, Rune Factory - which is Harvest Moon with RPG elements and collectable Mons in place of realistic livestock. As of RF 2, in Japan the Rune Factory series has officially been spun off into its own series, but continues to be called A Fantasy Harvest Moon for EU/US releases.
    • Another spinoff, Innocent Life: A Futuristic Harvest Moon. Met with far less success than Rune Factory.
    • Puzzle de Harvest Moon, yet another spinoff. Bombed spectacularly.
    • Frantic Farming, a spinoff of Island of Happiness.
  • Kingdom Hearts - Seven titles, two remakes, and three updated rereleases since 2002.
  • The King of Fighters, a rival series to Fighting Game giant Street Fighter (see below) created by SNK in 1994 by pooling together several of their series, all of which it outlasted. Up until the tenth installment (KOF 2003), there was a new game every year. As of the summer of 2010, there are thirteen iterations. This doesn't include Compilation Rereleases, Updated Rereleases (such as 99: Evolution, 98: Ultimate Match, and 2002: Unlimited Match), non-canon Spin-Off Neowave (essentially a reworked port of 2002), two Alternate Continuity series (EX and Maximum Impact; the former with two titles, the latter with three), a semi-canon RPG set inbetween 96 and 97 starring the series' protagonist (The King of Fighters: Kyo), several handheld ports, a quiz game (Quiz King of Fighters), a board game (The King of Fighters: Battle de Paradise), a Bullet Hell (KOF Sky Stage), an upcoming MMORPG (The King of Fighters Online), and several niche titles such as pachinko games and mobile titles focusing on the female competitors...in bikinis...playing volleyball.
  • King's Quest: Eight canonical games from 1984-1998 (The last one is a Contested Sequel), and Fan Sequel games continuing to the present day.
  • Kirby
  • Eight Leisure Suit Larry titles have been released since 1987. A ninth is supposedly in the works.
  • The Legend of Zelda series - The undisputed master of Anachronic Order and chronology confusion.
    • The Legend of Zelda (FDS/NES/FC/GBA)
    • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (FDS/NES/GBA)
    • A Link to the Past (SNES)
      • A Link to the Past/Four Swords (GBA)
    • Link's Awakening (GB)
      • Link's Awakening DX (GBC)
    • Ocarina of Time (N64)
      • Ocarina of Time Master Quest (GC)
    • Majora's Mask (N64)
    • Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages (GBC)
    • The Wind Waker (GC)
    • Four Swords Adventures (GC)
    • The Minish Cap (GBA)
    • Twilight Princess (GC/Wii)
    • Phantom Hourglass (DS)
    • Spirit Tracks (DS)
    • Skyward Sword (Wii)
    • There's also the three CD-i games by Phillips, aka The Unholy Triforce. Most sane people pretend they never were made.
  • Mario - The Main Man, our very own God of Mascots and Fun, more well-known than Mickey Mouse, Mr. Video Game himself. He's only down here because of alphabetical order. Games in this series have a reputation for being top of the heap in design and innovation. Listing all the games associated with Mario would make for a ridiculously long list, so here are the ones he has a starring role in (post-Mario Bros. era):
    • Super Mario Bros.
    • Super Mario Bros. 2 (and its Japanese cousin The Lost Levels. No Export for You averted, if late)
    • Super Mario Bros. 3 (Hailed as one of the greatest of all time)
    • Super Mario Land
    • Super Mario World
    • Super Mario Land 2
    • Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
    • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
    • Super Mario 64
    • Paper Mario
    • Super Mario Sunshine
    • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
    • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
    • Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time
    • New Super Mario Bros.
    • Super Paper Mario
    • Super Mario Galaxy
    • Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story
    • New Super Mario Bros. Wii
    • Super Mario Galaxy 2
    • ...and that's not even getting into the sub-series that are long-runners in their own right (Mario Kart, Mario Party), the spin-offs starring secondary Mushroom Kingdom characters (Yoshis Story, Luigi's Mansion), or the numerous Mario sports games. The Other Wiki has a comprehensive list of every single game Mario has ever starred in, lent his brand power to, or even made a brief cameo in; it's mind-boggling.
  • The Medal of Honor series first came out in 1999, and includes 16 games spanning the past 3 console generations and a variety of handhelds and other ports.
  • Mega Man - The little blue Ridiculously Human Robot with the Arm Cannon, and the Trope Namer for Mega Manning we've all come to know. He's so prolific, the Sequel Series qualify as Long Runners themselves.
    • Original flavor - 11 released titles (1-10 plus Mega Man & Bass, which is an Interquel between 8 & 9). Mega Man 9 hangs a lampshade on the fact that he hasn't done a mission "in a long time" (10 years, to be specific).
      • There was also a 5-game side series on the Game Boy, 2 arcade games (one of which makes a connection to the later series), and more, including some games of other genres, such as a board game and a soccer game.
    • X - The Darker and Edgier Sequel Series, which had 9 titles (X1-X8 + Command Mission), plus 2 on the Game Boy (With the lamentable title "Mega Man Xtreme)".
    • Zero - even Darker and Edgier than X. Not quite a long runner on its own (four games), unless you combine it with Lighter and Softer Mega Man ZX (two games, so far), which follows it in continuity. Follows on from X (who's dead, kinda). Features the convergent evolution of humans and reploids into something else.
    • Battle Network - An Alternate Continuity from the original games, in which networks and AI avatars called "Navis", essentially Ridiculously Human Netbots, were the center of research instead of robotics. Features a transhumanist theme, rare in any medium. 6 titles + Battle Chip Challenge, not counting multi-version titles.
      • There was also a GCN game by the title of Mega Man Network Transmission in this continuity using classic Mega Man style game play.
    • Star Force - Follows Battle Network, this time featuring radio frequency aliens.
    • Mega Man Legends 1 & 2 on the Play Station, 3 would have been on the Nintendo 3DS (now cancelled), plus Tron Bonne.
  • The Metal Gear series
    • Metal Gear (MSX2 and NES)
    • Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (MSX2)
    • Metal Gear Solid (Play Station)
      • Metal Gear Solid: Integral/VR Missions/Special Missions (PS and PC)
      • Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes (Game Cube)
      • Metal Gear Solid: Digital Graphic Novel (Play Station Portable)
    • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (Play Station 2)
      • The Document of Metal Gear Solid 2 (PS2)
      • Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance (PS2, X Box, PC)
    • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (PS2)
      • Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence (PS2)
    • Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops (PSP)
      • Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus (PSP)
    • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (PlayStation 3)
      • Metal Gear Online (PS3)
    • Metal Gear Solid: Rising (PS3, Xbox 360, PC)
    • Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
    • Also a series of spinoffs
      • Snake's Revenge (NES)
      • Metal Gear: Ghost Babel (Game Boy Color, confusingly renamed Metal Gear Solid for the English market)
      • Metal Gear Acid (PSP)
        • Metal Gear Acid Mobile (Mobile)
      • Metal Gear Acid 2 (PSP)
        • Metal Gear Acid 2 Mobile (Mobile)
      • Metal Gear Solid Mobile (Mobile)
      • Metal Gear Solid Touch (i Phone)
  • Metroid - The earliest example of a strong female character in games, though we didn't know that at first. Now it's no secret that Samus Is a Girl. Nor that she is quite capable of inspiring Perverse Sexual Lust...*ahem*
    • Metroid (FDS/NES)
      • Metroid: Zero Mission (GBA)
    • Metroid II: The Return of Samus (GB)
    • Super Metroid (SNES)
    • Metroid Fusion (GBA)
    • Metroid Prime (GC)
      • Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (GC)
      • Metroid Prime Pinball (DS)
      • Metroid Prime Hunters (DS)
      • Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (Wii)
    • Metroid: Other M (Wii)
  • Might and Magic. The main series consists of 9 RPG games (first one being released in 1986 - nearly Older Than the NES), although it is mostly known for the spinoff series Heroes of Might and Magic that so far has 6 installments. Other spinoffs amount to 20 games, making the grand total of 35 games.
  • MORTAL KOMBAT!!! - The game that spawned a ratings system. Best known for sheer, balls-to-the-wall bloody freakiness.
    • Mortal Kombat
    • Mortal Kombat II
    • Mortal Kombat 3
      • Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3
        • Mortal Kombat Trilogy
    • Mortal Kombat 4
      • Mortal Kombat Gold
    • Deadly Alliance
    • Deception
    • Shaolin Monks
    • Mortal Kombat: Armageddon
    • Mortal Kombat VS DC Universe
    • Mortal Kombat (2011)
  • Need for Speed. Starts from 1994, 12-13 titles.
  • The Ninja Gaiden series consist of the original arcade game, the NES trilogy, Ninja Gaiden Shadow for the Game Boy, the two Xbox games, and Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword for the DS, as well as a Master System and Game Gear game.
  • The Pokémon series
    • Kanto
      • Pokémon Red/Green (original Japanese Version)/Blue
      • Pokémon Red/Blue (both based off the Japanese Pokémon Blue, a remake)/Yellow.
      • Pokémon FireRed/LeafGreen
    • Johto
      • Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal
      • Remade as Pokémon HeartGold/SoulSilver.
    • Hoenn
      • Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald
    • Sinnoh
      • Pokémon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum
    • Unova
      • Pokémon Black/White
      • Pokemon Black 2/White 2
    • Stadium series
      • Pokémon Stadium
      • Pokémon Stadium 2 (first game in English)
      • Pokémon Stadium 3 (second game in English)
      • Pokémon Colosseum
      • Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness
      • Pokémon Battle Revolution
    • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series (You play as a Pokémon)
      • Pokémon Red/Blue Rescue Team
      • Pokémon Explorers of Time/Darkness/Sky
      • Pokémon Blazing/Stormy/Light Adventure Squad
    • Pokémon Ranger series
      • Pokémon Ranger
      • Pokémon Ranger Shadows of Almia
      • Pokémon Ranger Guardian Signs
    • Other Titles
      • Hey You Pikachu
      • Pokémon Snap.
      • Pokémon Mini
      • Pokémon Box Ruby & Sapphire (a utility)
      • My Pokémon Ranch (another utility)
      • Pokémon Channel
      • Pokémon Trading Card Game
      • Pokémon Trading Card Game 2: Great Rocket Visits
      • Pokémon Pinball
      • Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire
      • Pokémon Puzzle Challenge
      • Pokémon Puzzle League
      • Pokémon Dash
      • Pokémon Trozei
      • Pokémon Battrio
      • Pokémon Rumble
      • Poképark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure
    • And if that number of games wasn't enough, there's also a Long Runner animé series.
    • There's also Pocket Monsters, which began before the anime, and Pokémon Special, which came out a few months after the anime.
  • The Rance Eroge series is a long runner of its genre, totaling ten titles. It started in all the way back in 1989 (the same year Final Fantasy started), with its latest title Rance Quest released in 2011. There have been re-releases of the older Rance games in more recent times, and there is confirmation of the ninth Rance game in the works. Rance, Sill, and a variety of characters from the series also makes their appearance in other Alice Soft titles like Toushin Toshi and Mamatoto.
  • Repton. Started in 1985, the series suffered a hiatus with the decline of its original home platform, the BBC Micro, but has more recently been resurrected with remakes for the PC and iPod Touch. There's still a large community of fans who play the original versions via emulator, and a new game, Repton: The Lost Realms is due out in late 2010. It will be the eighth BBC Micro game in the series and the ninth overall, since Repton Spectacular is PC-only. Two more PC-only games are currently in the works as well.
  • Resident Evil
    • The main series has numbered installments that goes from Zero (a prequel) to 5, as well as Code: Veronica. There's also a few sub-series such as the Gun Survivor and Outbreak games, as well as the Chronicles series for the Wii.
  • The Romance of the Three Kingdoms series is an extremely long series which very few people outside of Asia have ever heard of and even fewer have ever played. There are currently 11 games in the main series and a variety of spinoffs including online games. The series spans 17 different consoles (including mobile phone).
  • The SaGa series, though not as legendary as some on this page, still has quite a few games under its belt since the time it evolved off of Final Fantasy II:
  • The Shining Series which started off in 1991 as a first person dungeon crawler. It evolved into a Turn-Based Strategy with the popular Shining Force. That didn't stop the series from also releasing some action RPG's. While the series isn't Sega's most loved franchise it's still going strong with over 30 titles released across various platforms; with the last title released in 2012 for the Play Station Portable.
  • Shin Megami Tensei predates Pokémon in the Mons genre, and has spawned many games in its franchise. Most of the early games could not be exported, however. The franchise has only recently been recognized in the West due to Persona 3 and Persona 4.
  • Although many tend to forget, Sim City is in fact, the mother of all Wide Open Sandbox and Simulation games. With about 7 games on various consoles and the computer, it's become a world-loved game by many different people. It helped launch off the studio of Maxis as well as to create The Sims and Spore, and several other "Sim" titles.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog - The other famous little blue guy. Has lots of titles, of which the main series includes:
  • Space Invaders - One of the oldest francises in video game history, running since 1978.
    • Space Invaders
    • Space Invaders Part II
    • Space Invaders II
    • Return of the Invaders
    • Space Invaders: Fukkatsu no Hi
    • Space Invaders '91
    • Super Space Invaders '91 (a.k.a. Majestic Twelve: The Space Invaders Part IV)
    • Space Invaders DX
    • Space Invaders '95: The Attack of the Lunar Loonies
    • Space Invaders X (a.k.a. just Space Invaders)
    • Space Raiders (a.k.a. Space Invaders: Invasion Day)
    • Space Invaders Revolution
    • Space Invaders Evolution
    • Space Invaders Extreme
    • Space Invaders Get Even
    • Space Invaders Extreme II
    • Space Invaders Infinity Gene
  • The Street Fighter series - The series had many installments with numerous expanded versions to the point that Capcom considers each Street Fighter game to be its own sub-series.
    • Street Fighter (1987) - The very first one, mostly a cult hit at the time of its release. It had a port for the TurboGrafx CD under the name Fighting Street
    • The Street Fighter II series (1991) - The first one that actually mattered, as it refined the concepts from the original with much smoother controls, while adding new ones such as multiple playable characters and combos. Was pretty much responsible for starting the fighting game boom of the 1990's.
    • The Street Fighter Alpha series (1995) - Interquel set between the original game and II with anime-like graphics inspired by Street Fighter II the Animated Movie and characters from not only Street Fighter II, but also from the first game and Final Fight as well.
    • The Street Fighter EX series (1996) - A co-production between Capcom and Arika (a company founded by former Street Fighter II co-designer Akira Nishitani) that attempted to translate the play mechanics of the series into a polygonal engine. It featured most the familiar Street Fighter II roster , plus all-new characters created by Arika.
    • The Street Fighter III series (1997) - Follows the same 2D anime style as the Alpha, but with more elaborate animation and a focus on an all-new cast of fighters (with very few returning favorites).
    • The Street Fighter IV series (2008) - The first new Street Fighter series in more than a decade. Much like the EX series, this one featured 3D graphics, but used a cel-shading engine that gives it a more animated look. Initially the series only featured the Street Fighter II roster with a few new characters, but subsequent installments brought back characters from Alpha and III as well.
  • Super Robot Wars - A Massively Multiplayer Crossover between Humongous Mecha from various anime franchises that NEVER get old. Oh, and the Original Generation keep coming.
  • The Tale of Alltynex by Siter Skain started on the FM Towns computer in 1997 and has spanned 3 games and 2 remakes since.
  • The Tales (series), in release order -
    • Phantasia
    • Destiny
    • Eternia
      • Eternia Online
    • Destiny 2
    • Symphonia
      • Symphonia: Dawn of the New World
    • Rebirth
    • Legendia
    • Abyss
    • Innocence
    • Vesperia
    • Hearts
    • Graces
    • Xillia
    • There's also the Tales of the World spinoffs, with seven games, and four other spinoffs.
  • Test Drive series.
  • The Tekken series
  • Tetris - While there are a crazy amount of versions of this game around, it is best known for having a version of the classic on just about any piece of hardware you can name, including keychains and entire office buildings. Geeks were doing "Can it run Tetris?" before Doom ever came about.
  • Tokimeki Memorial - The founder series of the Non-H Dating Sim genre spanned over 15 years since the original on PC-Engine in 1994, and is still ongoing.
    • Tokimeki Memorial 1 (PC-Engine, 1994), which got an updated remake on PS 1 and Saturn (1995), and ports of those versions on Super Famicom (1996) and PSP (2006), as well as a One Game for the Price of Two version including three new girls, Tokimeki Memorial Pocket (GBC, 1999) ;
    • Tokimeki Memorial Drama Series (PS 1, 1997, 1998, 1999), a set of 3 Adventure games based on the first game's canon (Nijiiro no Seishun, Irodori no Love Song, and Tabidachi no Uta) ;
    • Tokimeki Memorial Private Collection (PS 1, 1996) and Tokimeki Memorial Selection : Fujisaki Shiori (PS 1, 1997), two Concept Art Gallery games ;
    • Tokimeki Memorial Taisen Puzzle Dama, two spin-off games of the Taisen Puzzle Dama Puzzle Game series : the first (PS 1, 1996) uses Tokimeki Memorial 1 characters, the second (PS 1, 2001) Tokimeki Memorial 2 ones ;
    • Tokimeki Memorial Taisen Tokkae Dama (PS 1, 1997), a Puzzle Game using characters of the first game ;
    • Tokimeki Memorial Oshiete Your Heart, an Arcade game based on the first game ;
    • Tokimeki no Houkago ~Ne, Quiz shiyo~ (PS 1, 1998), a Nintendo Hard quiz-version take on the first game ;
    • Tokimeki Memorial 2 (PS 1, 1999), the Even Better Sequel of Tokimeki Memorial 1 ;
    • Tokimeki Memorial 2 Substories (PS 1, 2000 - 2001), the Tokimeki Memorial 2 versions of the Tokimeki Memorial Drama Series, also three games (Dancing Summer Vacation, Leaping School Festival, and Memories Ringing On) ;
    • Tokimeki Memorial 2 Music Video Clips : Circus de Aimashou (Play Station 2, 2002), a Concept Art Gallery game
    • Tokimeki Memorial 3 (Play Station 2, 2001), considered as The Scrappy game of the series ;
    • Tokimeki Memorial Online (PC, 2006), a MMORPG, now closed ; is the game which the anime Tokimeki Memorial ~Only Love~ based itself on ;
    • Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side (Play Station 2, 2002), the first game in the Gender Flip branch of the series, got a remake on DS (2007), Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side First Love ;
    • Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side Second Kiss, (Play Station 2, 2006) the second game in the Gender Flip branch of the series, got a DS remake (2008), Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side Second Season
    • Tokimeki Memorial Pachislo (2009), a Pachinko Slot game based on the first game ;
    • Tokimeki Memorial 4 (PSP, 2009), the newest game in the standard branch of the series, eight years after Tokimeki Memorial 3.
    • Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side 3rd Story (DS, 2010), the third and latest entry in the Gender Flip branch of the series.
  • Total War - A series of epic PC strategy games from British developer Creative Assembly (and published by Sega), which has around since the start of the 21st Century and still ongoing.
    • Shogun: Total War (2001)
    • Medieval: Total War (2002)
    • Rome: Total War (2004)
    • Medieval 2: Total War (2006)
    • Empire: Total War (2009)
    • Napoleon: Total War (2010)
    • Shogun 2: Total War (2011)
  • Touhou Project - One of the most well-known Bullet Hell titles, made all the more amazing in that these games are made by a single amateur game designer. Touhou began in 1996 on the PC-98, then moved to Windows after five games. The main series currently boasts 13 games, with 6 official spin-offs and countless fan-made games.
    • Highly Responsive to Prayers
    • Story of Eastern Wonderland
    • Phantasmagoria of Dim. Dream
    • Lotus Land Story
    • Mystic Square
    • Embodiment of Scarlet Devil
    • Perfect Cherry Blossom
    • Immaterial and Missing Power
    • Imperishable Night
    • Phantasmagoria of Flower View
    • Shoot the Bullet
    • Mountain of Faith
    • Scarlet Weather Rhapsody
    • Subterranean Animism
    • Undefined Fantastic Object
    • Touhou Hisoutensoku
    • Double Spoiler
    • Fairy Wars
    • Ten Desires
  • Ultima - Arguably the single longest runner of them all. The series began with Akalabeth in 1980, and although the Avatar's saga concluded nearly 20 years later in 1999's Ultima IX, the adventuring still goes strong to this very day in Ultima Online. That's 30 years of Ultima, folks. Releases include:
  • The Virus Invasion series created by Blublub:
    • Virus Invasion
    • Little Bears Adventure
    • Virus Invasion 2
    • Virus Invasion 3
    • Virus Invasion 4
    • Virus Invasion 5
    • Virus Invasion Ledgend
    • And now VI 7 is being made...
      • The misspellings are all Blublub's, not mine.
  • Wario Land - A spinoff of Super Mario Bros., it was first released on the Game Boy in 1994 (15 years ago), with the last game released in 2008, albeit with only eight or nine games in the series.
  • The Warcraft series began with Orcs and Humans in 1994. There have been two RTS sequels, with an expansion pack for each, an aborted adventure game, and an MMO with three expansion packs.
  • Wing Commander: Although it's fallen on hard times since the bottom dropped out of the space sim market in late nineties, up to and including the release of Wing Commander Secret Ops there was, on average, no more than a year between new games following the original, including add-ons.
  • Worms has been wriggling along since 1995 with over 10 games in the series.
  • X-Universe
    • X: Beyond the Frontier (1998)
    • X: Tension (2000)
    • X2: The Threat (2003)
    • X3: Reunion (2005)
    • X3: Terran Conflict (2008)
    • X3: Albion Prelude (2011)
    • X: Rebirth (2012 release date)
  • Ys has been around since 1987, with the most recent game having been released in 2009 and '10 in Japan and America respectively. Nine games total.
  • Zork (1977-2009)

Video Game Systems (10 years or above)

  • The king of them all: The PC (1981-present and going!) was created before AND has outlasted every other platform ever made to date. The birthplace of Doom and now-and-forever the de facto platform of independent developers. Though, it's hardware has been constantly updated and altered and new operating systems have been created to the point where there is an endless struggle to get any of your old games working on any of the new stuff.
  • Atari 2600 - 1977-1992. The first widely popular console. Sold over 40 million, also holds much of the responsibility for the Video Game Crash of 1983.
  • Commodore 64 Computer - 1982-1994. Considered to be the best-selling personal computer model of all time, it even outlasted several of its would-be successors. Commodore discontinued the C-64 in North America in 1990, but it was still being produced and sold in Europe when the company went bankrupt in 1994.
  • Family Computer - 1983-1994. Its counterpart, the NES, was produced from 1985-1994. Final official release Stateside was Wario's Woods in 1994. Including unlicensed games, the NES becomes a long runner as well since Sunday Funday came out in 1995. Adventure Island 4 was the last release for the Famicom.
  • Super Famicom - 1990-2000. The Japanese version of the SNES managed to outlived its western counterpart by a few more years thanks to the Nintendo Power downloadable game service in Japan. The last game released for the console was a remake of the late-era Famicom game Metal Slader Glory.
  • Game Boy - 1989-2001. While succeeded by the Game Boy Color in 1998, the fact that quite a few GBC games were designed to be backwards compatible between the GB and the GBC ensured an extended lifespan to the original monochrome system.
  • Sega Genesis/ Mega Drive - 1988-1998. Has had an interesting afterlife, however. Versions of the console, officially licensed by Sega, are still for sale today. And the system has had games released for it sporadically since it's official discontinuation, the most recent being Blue Almanac in 2011.
  • Neo Geo - 1990-2004.
  • Play Station - 1994-2005. Second best-selling home console ever, behind only its successor. Games started to wane after the Play Station 2's international release in 2001 - but over 7000 titles were released. Last in US: FIFA 2005 (2004). Last in Europe: Hugo: Black Diamond Fever (2005).
  • Play Station 2 - 2000-present. Coexists with its successor, with hardware still being released. Software releases have slowed to a trickle. As of 2010, one or two games are still being released per month in the US, with more in Japan.
  • The much-loved British home computer the Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Its commercial life lasted from 1982 until around 1993 when the last games were published and the last Spectrum gaming magazine (Your Sinclair) finally folded. It had quite a history - it was originally conceived as a hobbyists' computer (it had no dedicated graphics or sound hardware making its success as a gaming platform highly ironic) with only 16K expandable to 48K. In 1986, a 128K model with a dedicated sound chip (but still the same graphics) was released. It even survived the buying-out of Sinclair computers by rivals Amstrad who rebuilt the 128K Spectrum with a more professional keyboard a (rather plain) new case and a built in tape recorder or disk drive. Although the 128K Spectrum was more successful than similar "upgrades" for rival computers (e.g. the Commodore 128) and its abilities were usually taken advantage of the old 48K model was still supported by the game publishers right to the end. Even today the "Speccy" has a large fanbase and new indie games are still being published for it, at the rate of dozens per year.

Notes

  1. Sangoku Musou
  2. Shin Sangoku Musou
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