Josh has been a wrestling fan his whole life, and loves to write about it. He hopes that you enjoy his work as much as he did when making it
Growing up, video games were some of my closest friends. They aided me in escaping school, a poor childhood (long story), and just a cramped household in general. As I grew older, I learned to better appreciate the hard work developers put into these games, as I obviously didn't understand that as a young child.
As most people do, I ended up becoming attached to certain games in particular for one reason or another. Here, I have compiled a list of my favorite gaming franchises. Some are special to me due to who I played them with, some are special to me because I learned a lot about the subject a particular game covered, and some of these games may or may not have grown into obsessions for me.
Now mind you, this is 100% based on my opinion. I don't expect anybody reading this to have the same views as I do. Having said that, I'd love to hear what you guys think about the following franchises!
1. Madden NFL
We'll start this list with my obsession: NFL football. I learned this sport at a very young age (four or five), and have been hooked ever since. My very first Madden game was Madden NFL 2000 on the original PlayStation. However, I remember spending an especially long time playing franchise mode for the first time in Madden NFL 2005.
This game has brought me excitement (comeback or overtime victories) and massive disappointment (blown three score leads), which gives me a love/hate relationship with this game.
I also recall playing a few handheld versions of these games. Madden 07 (PSP) and Madden 09 (Nintendo DS) spring to mind immediately.
Ever since Madden 13 (the first game I bought at release), I always have purchased the latest edition on release day with the official strategy guide (mostly to read through and collect), and I don't see this changing anytime soon.
Favorite games of the series: Madden 07, Madden 10, Madden 2005
Where do I begin here? Pokémon was all the rage growing up, and I was swept into the well-deserved hype as much as (if not more than) anyone else my age. Just the idea of catching and befriending these creatures is more than enough to get me excited to play some Pokémon!
The Blue version for the original Gameboy was my first go at the series, but there have been many after that. Although I never played through a gen 3 game, I consider myself a fanatic of the franchise.
Even at 23 years old, I'm a proud owner of Pokémon Sun and Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon.
Favorite games of the series: Pokémon Soul Silver, Pokémon Blue Version
3. Crash Bandicoot
As the answer to Mario, Crash was the face of PlayStation in the '90s, and his face was all over my tv screen as a kid. I don't know what it was exactly, but something about him made me a huge fan immediately.
One of my most memorable experiences was having the chicken pox at age five or so, and in tears as a result of not being able to play Crash 2: Cortex Strikes Back. I watched my older brother play, and it only wrecked my emotions more, as I wanted my turn to control the Bandicoot.
Crash Bash is another game we played together, and had an absolute blast, especially in the ice and jungle levels.
At the time of this writing, the release of the Crash Bandicoot Remastered version is only five days away, and I cannot be more excited!
Favorite games of the series: Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, Crash Bash
Another favorite as a result of my older brother, Tekken was the only fighting game I've ever been really into. Don't get me wrong, I do like Mortal Kombat but the fast-paced Tekken style is where it's at in my opinion.
One of the malls near me used to have an arcade with Tekken Tag Tournament, where I would spend more time and focus than any other store in the entire mall. Because of my brother, I grew attached to my favorite character (Forest Law), as I always watched as he'd destroy the CPU with his backflip kicks.
I already bought and beat the story mode (twice) for Tekken 7, about two days after its release, and yes it's still the best fighting game in my opinion.
Favorite games of the series: Tekken 3, Tekken Tag Tournament
5. WWE Smackdown/vs Raw
Another obsession of mine growing up was WWF/WWE wrestling. For this particular section, I put the WWF/WWE Smackdown and Smackdown vs Raw games into a single category.
I grew up on the original PlayStation, so I spent an insane amount of time on WWF Smackdown 2: Know Your Role. This was the first game of the series I ever played, and I loved it. Between TLC, Hell in a Cell, and Royal Rumble matches, both solo and multi-player were hours of fun! Not to mention the never-ending season mode, with new unlockables which would happen at random... Those cutscenes were the best.
A few of the games made after it I did enjoy more, such as WWE Smackdown: Here Comes the Pain, and WWE Smackdown vs Raw 07. However in my view, the greatest wrestling game ever made was and always will be WWF No Mercy for the Nintendo 64.
Favorite games of the series: WWF Smackdown 2: Know Your Role, WWE Smackdown: Here Comes The Pain, WWE Smackdown vs Raw 07 (But WWF No Mercy is my favorite wrestling game of all time).
Honorable Mention: NFL Gameday
This one is for the pure nostalgia factor. Before I learned about Madden, NFL Gameday was my go-to for a quick game of football (this was before I knew what franchise mode even was).
I never tried to beat my brother in this game (that was NFL Blitz), but I'd always have great games against the CPU... on rookie.
Looking back, it was never a good series, however nostalgia and memories play the main factor in this series making the cut for this article.
Favorite games of the series: NFL Gameday 2000, NFL Gameday 1999
© 2017 Joshua Ho