The best and worst PC gaming franchises as voted by readers

By on August 2, 2012, 4:30 PM

Last week the crew at PC Gamer asked their readers for their opinion with regards to some of the most prominent PC franchises of all time. After more than 22,000 unique responses, the results have been tabulated and it’s The Elder Scrolls that was deemed to be the franchise that was getting better over time. It likely comes as little surprise that the Call of Duty / Modern Warfare series was unanimously voted as the single franchise that was getting worse among the 20 entrants to choose from.

In the positive category, Fallout came in second place although it wasn’t even close as it was 20 percent behind The Elder Scrolls in reader votes. Team Fortress, Total War and Civilization rounded out the top five in that order.

Nearly 70 percent of respondents agreed that Call of Duty / Modern Warfare was getting worse with each new release, a sentiment that we’ve heard echoed here in our own comments section for quite some time. In second place with more than 50 percent of the negative vote is Dragon Age, followed closely by Diablo, World of Warcraft and Command & Conquer.

Interestingly enough, the franchises with the most total votes either good or bad in descending order were The Elder Scrolls, Call of Duty/Modern Warfare, Battlefield, Diablo, and Mass Effect. Those with the fewest votes include SimCity, Hitman, Splinter Cell, Counter-Strike and The Sims.

Do you agree with PC Gamers' readers findings or do you think they got some things wrong?




User Comments: 31

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ElShotte ElShotte said:

Ehh... Not too fond of Call of Duty. I find Elder Scrolls games to be too boring, last one I tried was Oblivion, got tired of it after like 10 hours. Not really much of a Diablo fan for that same reason either, and I love Mass Effect, I haven't played the new one however, not counting the demo. Counter Strike feels so 10 years ago, and I love Splinter Cell. Although my personal favorite Splinter Cell game is Chaos Theory, I did find Conviction enjoyable, in a different way however.

As far as the most popular games go, they seem to have gotten everything, although I'm nowhere near the die-hard gamer I used to be.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

You could almost roll Elder Scrolls and Fallout into a single category as one game. Same game engine, same developer, same game mechanics, near identical GUI, etc.

But have to agree with the military shooters losing their interest. Battlefield 1942 came out 10 years ago. And at that time it was a phenomenal game and concept. But it's been done, re-done, re-re-done and then done some more. Toss in the problems with the multiplayer portions - the cheaters and the spawn spot campers, etc., and they're just not entertaining any longer.

I'd say that PC Gamer opinion poll is pretty reflective of franchise popularity right now.

Staff
Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

But have to agree with the military shooters losing their interest. Battlefield 1942 came out 10 years ago. And at that time it was a phenomenal game and concept.

Whoa, way to make a guy feel old!

I really liked that game, feels very strange that it has already been 10 years!

Guest said:

Pleased to see the Total War up there. Can't wait for Rome 2!

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I don't really play FPS anymore, but TES, Fallout, and Civ are definitely on my "must buy list".

I'd also like to respectfully add the GTA franchise, it has its hiccups, and its console-centric year long delay before the PC port, but I still love the whole series, and cannot wait till 2017 until GTA V comes out for the PC.

noel24 said:

OK, who setup this poll? What is their definition of "prominent franchise"? I mean, I wouldn't even called Team Fortress or Dragon Age a franchise, since there were like 2 games in a series, that makes it hardly a "franchise", not to mention "prominent". Where is Grand Theft Auto? Don't tell me is primarily for consoles, cos so are Bethesda's & COD/Battlefield games (actually, I read Skyrim Dawnguard is X360 exclusive, so I would put it the whole franchise with consoles). Where's Warhammer 40K? If they metioned Team Fortress, where is Half Life, one of the best selling PC franchises ever? Where's NFS (not that I like what happened with that series)?

colinf said:

dawnguard isnt a xbox exclusive...only a release 1st..warhammer is mentioned..as was gta's

you should have read the pc gamers article, or even took the survey before getting all upset

Guest said:

Battlefield , l4d and portal

Zen Zen, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I do agree with some, that with the Call of Duty franchise, everything pretty much after Call of Duty 4 "Modern Warfare" has been a re-hash! I feel that with Call of Duty 4 they were breaking new ground by thrusting us all into a more modern day first person shooter game. Seeing that prior to that, with everything from Call of Duty 1 to 3 and the various expansions, we had "been there, done that, got the t-shirt" in regards to the World War II aspect of the game. COD-4 broke new ground, it was fresh and it was edgy. But after that, like with Call of Duty 5 we went back to World War II, so for me personally, everything after COD-4 is crap. After 4 were back to WW II and there after we get to re-hash COD-4!

Personally I'm loving COD-4 again, not playing since 2008, I got another copy and have been playing it for about 3 weeks now! I'm at level 41 with approx 85% to 90% of the challenges out of the way!

ramonsterns said:

(actually, I read Skyrim Dawnguard is X360 exclusive, so I would put it the whole franchise with consoles).

Jokes on you.

ikesmasher said:

am I the only person that really, really, didnt enjoy skyrim all that much? I played oblivion for days of game time but skyrim has some really sucky questilines and the combat is the ONLY better thing, everything else went downhill...

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

I'm sure there are plenty of people who disliked Skyrim - though I feel it's one of the best games I've ever played. I feel the same way about the GTA series - I've hated every one of them and can't figure out why people like it at all.

ramonsterns said:

am I the only person that really, really, didnt enjoy skyrim all that much? I played oblivion for days of game time but skyrim has some really sucky questilines and the combat is the ONLY better thing, everything else went downhill...

I don't understand how Oblivion was a good game at all.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

A little bit off topic, but I wish they did a reboot of Ultima IV, V, and VI. That was probably pound for pound the best game series I ever played.

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

Ehh... Not too fond of Call of Duty. I find Elder Scrolls games to be too boring, last one I tried was Oblivion, got tired of it after like 10 hours. Not really much of a Diablo fan for that same reason either, and I love Mass Effect, I haven't played the new one however, not counting the demo. Counter Strike feels so 10 years ago, and I love Splinter Cell. Although my personal favorite Splinter Cell game is Chaos Theory, I did find Conviction enjoyable, in a different way however.

As far as the most popular games go, they seem to have gotten everything, although I'm nowhere near the die-hard gamer I used to be.

That makes the two of us.

yRaz yRaz said:

how does everyone always for get about decent freespace?

Marnomancer Marnomancer said:

Best:

HALO!!!!!!!

No competition.

Worst:

Grand Theft Auto.

Though GTA3 was awfully fun, the franchise as a whole sucked.

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

Worst:

Grand Theft Auto.

Though GTA3 was awfully fun, the franchise as a whole sucked.

Out of curiosity, were you waiting for GTA V as well?

Marnomancer Marnomancer said:

No, I'm waiting for the modded version of GTA3 on the new engine.

TBH, the storylines were strong, but gameplay didn't hold me there as Halo's or Hitman's did.

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

I too were waiting for GTA III with the RAGE engine. Oh, and Hitman Absolution is good also. I don't why I like GTA franchise, maybe it's the evolution of PC.

hitech0101 said:

No Assassin's creed I think the franchise id doing pretty well.Also no nfs the worst of em all

mojorisin23 mojorisin23 said:

Thats the

You could almost roll Elder Scrolls and Fallout into a single category as one game. Same game engine, same developer, same game mechanics, near identical GUI, etc.

But have to agree with the military shooters losing their interest. Battlefield 1942 came out 10 years ago. And at that time it was a phenomenal game and concept. But it's been done, re-done, re-re-done and then done some more. Toss in the problems with the multiplayer portions - the cheaters and the spawn spot campers, etc., and they're just not entertaining any longer.

I'd say that PC Gamer opinion poll is pretty reflective of franchise popularity right now.

Thats my problem with Battlefield... I have a fulltime job and a life. so I want to play a little on some down time. but you play against these tweens that cheat, that play 20 hours a day, that have no life... and its just boring. there should be servers with levels that weed out these tools...

ikesmasher said:

I don't understand how Oblivion was a good game at all.

interesting quest lines, that were longer then 1 and a half hours. I prefer dragons to oblivion gates though. but everything just seemed more fun IMO.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

interesting quest lines, that were longer then 1 and a half hours. I prefer dragons to oblivion gates though. but everything just seemed more fun IMO.

Yeah, dragons are better than the gates. I remember the first time I saw a giant shadow pass over me, and then heard the screech, and I just ran straight for the nearest tower. Didn't even bother to look up, I knew what was there.

AMP42 AMP42 said:

Battlefield started a PC franchise and continued to be one up until the Bad Company spinoff where EA/DICE started screwing over their PC fan base with crappy console games that felt exactly like the pieces of crap they were made for. Sadly BF3 isn't better, They lied to the PC gamers by telling us it would be made for the PC and then ported to the console, but in the end it was built for the console and ported to the PC thus screwing us all over..................................................

Jack Reacher said:

Thats the
You could almost roll Elder Scrolls and Fallout into a single category as one game. Same game engine, same developer, same game mechanics, near identical GUI, etc.

But have to agree with the military shooters losing their interest. Battlefield 1942 came out 10 years ago. And at that time it was a phenomenal game and concept. But it's been done, re-done, re-re-done and then done some more. Toss in the problems with the multiplayer portions - the cheaters and the spawn spot campers, etc., and they're just not entertaining any longer.

I'd say that PC Gamer opinion poll is pretty reflective of franchise popularity right now.

Thats my problem with Battlefield... I have a fulltime job and a life. so I want to play a little on some down time. but you play against these tweens that cheat, that play 20 hours a day, that have no life... and its just boring. there should be servers with levels that weed out these tools...

You both hit it right square on the head ... Battlefield 3 is a classic example of cheating on steroids. How anyone could gain any feeling of accomplishment when at the end of the day they have to realize that they are nothing but a low life, scumbag cheat is beyond my comprehension. Game makers could control it but why should they? A quarter of their sales probably go to those that cheat on a regular basis. And once they are discovered cheating, aside from actually being shot, (which I would prefer), rarely do they ever get the full ban.

Yes on COD4 ! I just recently dusted off my copy and am looking to get back in action. Some good comments here...

ess333 said:

Dragon Age 2 and Mass Effect 3 were bad for me. I think was happened was they spent $200 mill making SWTOR and cut down on Dragon Age 2 and ME3 production so the quality suffered but now SWTOR is going free to play. Haa !! Sell outs I wish they spent that money on DA2 and ME3

DAOWAce DAOWAce said:

Diablo 1/2

Starcraft

Warcraft 2/3

Of course, current generation gamers are too young to have played them, so they only see Diablo 3, World of Warcraft and Starcraft 2. Shame, because they are the worst games in the franchises while the others are absolutely astounding.

1 person liked this | ElShotte ElShotte said:

One franchise that was completely omitted was Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon games.

Here's how I feel about gaming at it's present state:

Console ruined PC games and gaming in general. And no, not because developers create games with the consoles being primary points of focus, and then give us crappy PC ports, but because they keep dumbing down and making the games *****-friendly in order to guarantee good sales.

Tom Clancy's games being the perfect examples. Let's take a look at Ghost Recon for example. The game started out as a strictly tactical shooter. Where every move you made counted, and one mistake could lead to the demise of you and your team, or worse yet, a team member that was vital to your operations success. Which was one of the many reasons the gameplay required you to think, weigh your options, and strategize as such. You didn't have no UAV's or any other fancy gadget, video feed from other players and whatnot. It wasn't just a silly run and gun shooter where you could dodge bullets, slide and then take everyone out in a second.

Same thing happened to the Rainbow Six games. Ghost Recon branched off as a bigger scale Rainbow Six, and then both series were ruined. Sales didn't do so good on consoles as they did on PC, so they consolized both.

I am really hoping that PC gaming comes back to its roots with KickStarter, it's pretty much our only hope for non-commercialized games that us, true gamers, want to play. We will buy the game even if one shot in most situations will kill us. We will buy it even though running in like an ***** into a room and getting shot and dying in a split second because this is not Call of Duty is not the way to play the game, which requires us to plan and time our approach in order to complete the mission, and we will not rage quit because a simplistic run and gun approach is also not the way to go.

I am disappointed in game publishers and developers. They have spoiled the new generation of gamers to be thoughtless buffoons, with every new sequel requiring less thought and less difficult actions (yeah, lets simply hover our mouse over 4 different enemies from behind a corner, marking them as targets, and hit a key to insta-kill them all).

Prosercunus said:

I would have to say Diablo 3 takes the cake... being as it is not really a Diablo game.

DanUK DanUK said:

Shame that Battlefield didn't make the Top 5 cut! While IMO call of duty gets worse and worse, I believe that Battlefield gets better and better with each release.

Guest said:

@ElShotte, the same malady afflicting all PC gaming and computing in general: dumbing down to the lowest common denominator.

I cannot believe the TW series is in the top few... those games became all graphics and no gameplay for the under 10s back in '04 when rome was released.

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