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Let’s face it, every video game franchise has its ups and downs. No matter how good one installment might be, the next one always runs the risk of tanking the series. Thanks to Money.co.uk we now can know the most and least consistently great video game franchises of all time.

And no franchise is infallible: while all of the series on this list is huge, blockbuster names with tons of brand recognition, they’ve each had their missteps. For all their stature, monetary backing, and professional vetting, even they have churned out some not-so-great games. But which video game franchises can be crowned the most consistently great?

You know what I am talking about, the video games that deliver a great play every single time and you can’t put them down.  And how about those inconsistent series where gamers aren’t too sure how good (or bad) the next installment might be? A new report by Money.co.uk has taken a deep dive into game ratings to reveal the most and least consistent video game franchises and the best and worst games in each.

The best & worst games in our favorite video game franchises… 

When we analyze the average ratings of each of the games in the most popular franchises, which come out as the best and worst in each, and which game franchises have divided gamers the most between games in the series? The lower the rating gap, the more consistently great the series is. The higher the rating gap, the more inconsistent the series is.

Franchise Highest Rated Game Lowest Rated Game Ratings Gap
Diablo Diablo (94%) Diablo III (88%) 6%
Pokémon Pokémon Gold & Silver (89%) Pokémon Sword & Shield (80%) 9%
Far Cry Far Cry 3 (91%) Far Cry 5 (82%) 9%
Donkey Kong Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest (90%) Donkey Kong Jungle Beat (80%) 10%
Halo Halo: Combat Evolved (97%) Halo 5: Guardians (84%) 13%
God of War God of War (2005) (94%) God of War: Ascension (80%) 14%
Super Smash Bros. Super Smash Bros. Brawl (93%) Super Smash Bros. (79%) 14%
Metal Gear Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (96%) Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (80%) 16%
Call of Duty Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (94%) Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (77%) 17%
Animal Crossing Animal Crossing: New Horizons (90%) Animal Crossing: City Folk (73%) 17%
Mario Party Mario Party (79%) Mario Party 8 (62%) 17%
Battlefield Battlefield 2 (91%) Battlefield Hardline (73%) 18%
Super Mario Super Mario Odyssey (97%) Super Mario Run (78%) 19%
Mario Kart Super Mario Kart (94%) Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit (75%) 19%
Gran Turismo Gran Turismo (96%) Gran Turismo Sport (75%) 21%
Tekken Tekken 3 (96%) Tekken (75%) 21%
Resident Evil Resident Evil 4 (96%) Resident Evil 6 (74%) 22%
The Sims The Sims (92%) The Sims 4 (70%) 22%
Monster Hunter Monster Hunter: World (90%) Monster Hunter (68%) 22%
The Legend of Zelda The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (98%) The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes (72%) 26%
Grand Theft Auto Grand Theft Auto IV (98%) Grand Theft Auto II (70%) 28%
Tomb Raider Rise of the Tomb Raider (88%) Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness (52%) 36%
Sonic the Hedgehog Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (89%) Sonic the Hedgehog [2006] (46%) 43%
Final Fantasy Final Fantasy IX (94%) Final Fantasy XIV (49%) 45%

The lower the rating gap, the more consistent the franchise. Pretty simple if you ask me. So, these are the ones that deliver an awesome game every single installment. Here are the video game franchises that are the most inconsistent when it comes to gamer enjoyment:

  • Final Fantasy
  • Sonic The Hedgehog
  • Tomb Raider
  • Grand Theft Auto
  • The Legend of Zelda

These are the game franchises that have seen the highest ratings gap between the highest and lowest-rated installments. Here are the video game franchises that consistently deliver:

  • Diablo
  • Pokémon
  • Far Cry
  • Donkey Kong
  • Halo

These are the game franchises that have seen the lowest ratings gap between the highest and lowest-rated installments. When we deep dive into the ratings, the research can proudly reveal the highest-rated video game franchises of all time to be:

Rank Franchise Average Critic Score
1 Halo 91%
1 Metal Gear 91%
1 God of War 91%
4 Grand Theft Auto 90%
4 Super Smash Bros. 90%
4 Diablo 90%
7 The Legend of Zelda 89%
8 Super Mario 88%
8 Gran Turismo 88%
10 Mario Kart 87%
10 Resident Evil 87%
12 Pokémon 86%
12 Donkey Kong 86%
12 Far Cry 86%
15 Call of Duty 85%
15 The Sims 85%
15 Animal Crossing 85%
15 Battlefield 85%
19 Final Fantasy 84%
19 Tekken 84%

 

Alexis Zarycki is your average girl with the hopes of leaving an everlasting impact on the world. Follow her on Instagram @official_lexpaige