Those amongst us of a certain age will remember classic titles that kept us entertained in the 1990s, 1980s, or even as far back as the 1970s. Games we loved in our youth can often bring back many of our fondest memories, influencing our gaming preferences and favorite genres for many years afterwards, which is why developers of the most popular franchises from decades ago are equally reluctant to consign them to the past.
Veteran gamers still have an endearing desire to play classic titles they enjoyed years ago, while even modern gamers are getting increasingly drawn into the appeal of retro franchises, with some of the most iconic pixel characters becoming seemingly immortal, their names continuing to remain popular. Some have arguably become even more popular or well-known than they were in their heyday.
The Most Recognizable Video Game Franchises
A recent survey of Canadian video gamers produced some interesting results, when SlotsOnlineCanada.com asked them to name some of their favorite gaming platforms, along with game franchises they found to be the most easily recognized, and most fondly remembered characters.
One of the most interesting aspects of the results shown in the above infographic is that all of these gaming franchises are still going strong, despite all of them being pre-2000 game releases when they were originally launched. Not only does this demonstrate their timeless appeal, it also shows that continuity of great core concepts will always remain popular, especially when combined with addictively simple and appealing gameplay, not to mention the catchy music.
Japanese Classics Still Going Strong
Continuity is another reason why these game franchises are so familiar to players. Following the original release of Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) back in 1985, Nintendo has released at least one Mario themed game every year since through to 2019, with New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe a modern reboot of the original classic, along with Super Mario Maker 2 amongst this year’s releases featuring the iconic character.
Nintendo has emulated the same success with the Pokemon franchise, rated in this infographic as the second most recognizable video game franchise amongst Canadians. That too has enjoyed multiple game releases since the first appeared on the Game Boy in 1996, with Pokemon Red, Green and Blue, then Yellow in 1998. The global success of Pokemon Go on mobile devices in the last few years, plus continued game releases on the Switch platform, practically ensure this and other Nintendo franchises will remain appealing for many years to come.
Although there might be a little Nintendo envy on the part of Sega, their own Sonic the Hedgehog franchise remains hugely familiar to gamers, since the very first Sonic the Hedgehog game was released on the Sega Genesis in 1991. The franchise will undoubtedly get a further boost with the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog movie, set to hit cinemas early in 2020, starring Jim Carrey as Dr. Ivo Robotnik, the nemesis of the lovable speeding blue character, voiced by Ben Schwartz.
Surprisingly Familiar Favorites
Considering that Space Invaders first appeared in amusement arcades back in 1978, it’s remarkable how such a basic and simple game remains so cherished amongst gamers. Nevertheless, the original creation of Tomohiro Nishakido has enjoyed huge success all around the world, is considered to be one of the most influential video games of all time, while those little pixel aliens have even become a pop culture icons.
Finally, originally released exclusively on the PlayStation in 1996, Crash Bandicoot is perhaps the most surprising franchise to feature in the survey infographic, especially considering other franchises hailing from the pre-2000 era that have gone on to enjoy spectacular global success. That’s right, Canadian gamers appear to have fonder memories of playing as a cartoon marsupial, than defeating alien enemies as the Master Chief in Halo, or causing mayhem and road-rage in the Grand Theft Auto series.
Maybe it shows that cuter characters have a more universal appeal, irrespective of age or gender, when gamers are looking back over their favorite retro gaming memories.