Ding, ding, ding, it's round 3 in our mission to determine the best videogame series in 2017. There is no relenting on the heavyweights this time around, with bestselling racing series ever, Need For Speed, up against the mighty Zelda, the iconic Castlevania, and relative new boy, Far Cry. You just need to vote for whichever you think is the best game franchise in 2017, and only one of these will make it through to the semi-final.

Round 3

Need For Speed

Need For Speed has become one of the most surprisingly resilient series around, constantly changing its spots in order to appeal to a modern audience. The success of Fast & Furious inadvertently gave the series a huge boost, and it's now the bestselling racing game series in history, by some margin. Its past has been checkered, but there's certainly been more ups than downs. The Need For Speed reboot disappointed fans, but games like Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, Need For Speed Rivals and, hopefully, the upcoming Need For Speed Payback, prove that there's life in the old dog yet.

Series began: 1994

Total Sales: 150 million

Best-selling game: Need For Speed Underground 2 (10.57 million)

Main Games:

  • The Need For Speed
  • Need For Speed II
  • Need For Speed III: Hot Pursuit
  • Need For Speed: High Stakes
  • Need For Speed: Porsche Unleashed
  • Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2
  • Need For Speed: Underground
  • Need For Speed: Underground 2
  • Need For Speed: Most Wanted
  • Need For Speed: Carbon
  • Need For Speed: ProStreet
  • Need For Speed: Undercover
  • Need For Speed: Shift
  • Need For Speed: Nitro
  • Need For Speed: World
  • Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit (Reboot)
  • Shift 2: Unleashed
  • Need For Speed: The Run
  • Need For Speed: Most Wanted
  • Need For Speed Rivals
  • Need For Speed (2015)

Series Spin-offs:

  • Need For Speed: No Limits
  • Need For Speed: Edge

The Legend of Zelda

Two of the top four highest rated games of all time are from the Zelda series, and all four are Nintendo. While the Japanese giant can be guilty of releasing a plethora of bad titles, when it makes a hit, it does it in style. Both The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild pulled in average review scores of more than 97%. They are the headline acts from a truly beloved series, one which has continued to grow and evolve over its 30-year history, showing with Breath of the Wild that it's still capable of surprising us and showing the rest of the world how it's done. A combination of incredible sound design, an impeccable feeling of adventure, and well balanced combat and puzzle solving combine to make The Legend of Zelda one of the most loved series.

Series began: 1987

Total Sales: 75 million

Best-selling game: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (8.58 million)

Main Games:

  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening 
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
  • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons
  • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
  • The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
  • The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Series Spin-offs:

  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Four Swords
  • The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures
  • The Legend of Zelda: Tri-Force Heroes

Castlevania

Castlevania is a series which has always oddly struggled to live up to both its critical reception and its place in popular culture. It's one of the most recognisable game franchises around, and yet after dozens of games, just three of them have sold more than a million copies. That doesn't anything away from the series' achievements though, and Castlevania helped spawn an entire genre. The 3D outings have been a real mixed bag, but the 2D Castlevanias have been some of the most well-regarded games ever. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, in particular, is an absolute critical success.

Series began: 1986

Total Sales: 20 million

Best-selling game: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow (2.06 million)

Main Games:

  • Castlevania
  • Castlevania II: Simon's Quest
  • Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse
  • Super Castlevania IV
  • Castlevania: Rondo of Blood
  • Castlevania: Bloodlines
  • Castlevania: Dracula X
  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
  • Castlevania 64
  • Castlevania: Legacy of darkness
  • Castlevania: Circle of the Moon
  • Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance
  • Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
  • Castlevania: Lament of Innocence
  • Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow
  • Castlevania: Curse of Darkness
  • Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin
  • Castlevania: Order of Shadows
  • Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles
  • Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia
  • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
  • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate
  • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2

Series Spin-offs:

  • Vampire Killer
  • Haunted Castle
  • The Castlevania Adventure
  • Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge
  • Castlevania Chronicles
  • Castlevania Legends
  • Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth

 

Far Cry

From its origins as a linear shooter, Far Cry has changed dramatically. It's now the standard bearer for Ubisoft's open-world template, presented as a self-styled 'anecdote generator', a wild sandbox filled with animals, weapons and killer mercs. You're just the spark the lights the powder keg, ready to watch it go up in flames. An argument could be made that the series is playing it a little too safe of late, but that would be overlooking one of the outright most outrageous and hilarious co-op gaming experiences around. With Far Cry 5 just around the corner, the series has never looked in more rude health.

Series began: 2004

Total Sales: 23 million

Best-selling game: Far Cry 4 (8.68 million)

Main series:

  • Far Cry
  • Far Cry 2
  • Far Cry 3
  • Far Cry 4

Series Spin-offs:

  • Far Cry Instincts
  • Far Cry Instincts: Evolution
  • Far Cry Instincts: Predator
  • Paradise Lost
  • Far Cry Vengeance
  • Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
  • Far Cry Primal

Sadly only one of these illustrious franchises can make it through to the next round and potentially be the greatest game series in 2017. Every vote will count though when we tot these up and deliver the definitive list of the best gaming franchises. Have your say in the poll below, and let us know why you think it's the best gaming series in the comments section!

If you haven't voted on the previous rounds yet, you've still got time. Just follow the links below to vote for your favourite game series.

If you haven't voted on the previous rounds yet, you've still got time. Just follow the links below to vote for your favourite game series.

Round 1: GTA, Command and Conquer, Street Fighter, Forza

Round 2: Rainbow Six, Left 4 Dead, Halo, Half-Life

Round 3: Need For Speed, Zelda, Castlevania, Far Cry

Round 4: Splinter Cell, FIFA, Metroid, BioShock

Round 5: Metal Gear, Mario, Everquest, Mass Effect

Round 6: Resident Evil, Final Fantasy, Gran Turismo, Tomb Raider

Round 7: Baldur's Gate, Fallout, Diablo, Deus Ex

Round 8: Civilization, Quake, DOOM, XCOM

Round 9: Counter-Strike, StarCraft, Witcher, Stalker

Round 10: WarCraft, Ultima, Total War, Battlefield

Round 11: Age of Empires, Prince of Persia, Elder Scrolls, Silent Hill

Round 12: Football Manager, Minecraft, Arma, Hitman

Round 13: The Sims, Assassin's Creed, Unreal, Dragon Age

Round 14: Pokemon, Sonic, KOTOR, Colin McRae

Our Favorite Comments
"I love Castlevania (earlier games) but it's got to be Zelda for me :)"
Roley -
".. my favorite. In large part thanks to Vaas… that man was a **in Boss!.. (and mental :P) But when talking about the best, does Far Cry pop up in my mind? Nope. So Zelda gets my vote :D"
""i totally play nfs for the story" …said no one ever"
Poll closed: 00:00 Aug-18-2017