The greatest video game franchises are the ones that know how to grow with the times. The things that may have defined a franchise as an industry leader become the norm over the years, and what was once fresh and new becomes formulaic. It is the franchises that know how to re-invent themselves that remain at the top of the gaming pantheon even decades after their inception.
Not all franchises know how to this successfully, though. There is a very fine balance that needs to be achieved, between going with something completely fresh and ground-breaking, and yet managing to retain the essence of that franchise. Here, in this feature, we’re going to take a look at fifteen games that did exactly that for their respective series. Without further ado, let’s begin.
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD
The Legend of Zelda is undoubtedly one of the most well-respected and well-loved properties in our industry, and almost every mainline game in the series has been among the best of its generation. But with Breath of the Wild, Nintendo completely redefined what it means to be a Zelda game. With an expansive, beautiful, and deeply interactive open world and a slew of new and reworked mechanics, Breath of the Wild adds the sheer joy of discovery and exploration to the series like we’d never seen it before, while managing to retain the series’ trademark identity. The sheer brilliance and genius of its open world is made even more notable when you consider the fact that this was Nintendo’s first real stab at a proper open world game.