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It's time for the definitive answer - which game series is the best of all time? Over the next 20 rounds, we will be pitting the biggest gaming franchises of all time against one another in order to determine the definitive list of the best game series in 2017. The best game franchise of all time kicks off in round one with a showdown between Grand Theft Auto, Command & Conquer, Street Fighter and Forza. They have 80 years of gaming history between them, countless sequels and an enduring nature that makes them all relevant in 2017.

Compared to the dusty old tomes in the library and the flickering film reels of the silver screen, gaming is practically still in its infancy. The last 40 years of gaming has seen an incredible and rapid change though, with dozens and dozens of franchises emerging on the medium that have become larger than even the biggest cinema blockbusters. Picking through the best games can be a daunting task though. For this feature we're going to enlist your help to collate a list of the best videogame series of all time, beginning with these four classics.

Round 1

Grand Theft Auto

A true AAA behemoth of the games industry, Grand Theft Auto emerged from an unlikely source - DMA Design. The studio had made its name off the back of the cutesy Lemmings, before making parental outrage its speciality with the launch of Grand Theft Auto in 1997. The original two games were beloved, but it wasn't until Grand Theft Auto III that it truly hit the stratosphere. GTA III changed the gaming world forever, dropping down the footprint for how open-worlds could be done. From there, and the subsequent shift to Rockstar, the series only became bigger. Grand Theft Auto V is one of the best-selling games of all time, while the GTA franchise itself has shifted over a quarter of a billion games. It is the fifth best-selling game series of all time.

Series began: 1997

Best-selling game: Grand Theft Auto V (80 million+)

Main Games:

  • Grand Theft Auto
    • Grand Theft Auto: London 1969
    • Grand Theft Auto: London 1961
  • Grand Theft Auto 2
  • Grand Theft Auto III
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
  • Grand Theft Auto IV
    • Grand Theft Auto: The Lost and Damned
    • Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony
  • Grand Theft Auto V

Series Spin-offs:

  • Grand Theft Auto Advance
  • Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories
  • Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

Command & Conquer

Towards the tail end of the last millennium, there were few bigger names associated with PC gaming than Command & Conquer. Before its fall from grace, C&C was the most recognisable real-time strategy series in the world. It never managed to cement itself as a serious RTS game, and it would never sell out Korean stadiums, but Command & Conquer was a giant of the era. Westwood Studios cranked out the games at a rate of knots, often multiple in a single year, and its cheesy FMV acting was a benchmark of the era. Subsequent games have really begun to let the series down, but it nevertheless holds a special place in PC gaming.

Series began: 1995

Best-selling game: Command and Conquer: Red Alert (3 million)

Main Games:

  • Command and Conquer
    • Command and Conquer: The Covert Operations
  • Command and Conquer: Red Alert
    • Command and Conquer: Red Alert: Counterstrike
    • Command and Conquer: Red Alert: The Aftermath
  • Command and Conquer: Tiberian Sun
    • Command and Conquer: Tiberian Sun - Firestorm
  • Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2
    • Command and Conquer: Yuri’s Revenge
  • Command and Conquer: Generals
    • Command and Conquer: Generals: Zero Hour
  • Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars
  • Command and Conquer 3: Red Alert 3
    • Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 - Uprising
  • Command and Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight

Series Spin-offs:

  • Command and Conquer: Sole Survivor
  • Command and Conquer: Red Alert: Retaliation
  • Command and Conquer: Renegade 2

Street Fighter

Quite possibly the most iconic fighting game series of all time, and indeed one of the few cultural touchstones that most non-gamers could identify, Street Fighter is a monumental fighting game series. Beginning light in arcades in 1987, Street Fighter's essentials have remained fundamentally unchanged over the past three decades. It remains a tight fighting game experience with an exceptionally high skill ceiling, one which cements its places as the most popular game at fighting game tournaments around the world.

Series began: 1987

Best-selling game: Street Fighter II (15.6 million)

Main Games:

  • Street Fighter
  • Street Fighter II
    • Street Fighter II’: Champion Edition
    • Street Fighter II’ Turbo: Hyper Fighting
    • Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers
    • Street Fighter II Turbo
    • Hyper Street Fighter  II
    • Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix
    • Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers
  • Street Fighter Alpha
    • Street Fighter Alpha 2
    • Street Fighter Alpha 3
  • Street Fighter III
    • Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact - Giant Attack
    • Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike - Fight for the Future
  • Street Fighter IV
    • Super Street Fighter IV
    • Ultra Street Fighter IV
  • Street Fighter V

Spin-offs:

  • Street Fighter EX
  • Marvel vs. Capcom
  • SNK vs Capcom
  • Tatsunoko vs. Capcom
  • Street Fighter x Tekken

Forza

Initially, it was easy to write off the Forza series as Microsoft's heavy-handed attempt to combat Gran Turismo. It's never quite achieved the sales heights of Polyphony Digital's racer, but Forza has nevertheless become possibly the most important pillar of Microsoft's Xbox brand. The last 12 years have seen the arrival of 11 games, and you can almost set your clock to the holiday arrival of a new Forza title. As racing simulators go, the Forza Motorsport is one of the most beloved series around, while in recent years, Forza Horizon has injected a little off-road zaniness that has seen it catapulted ahead of the main series.

Series began: 2005

Best-selling game: Forza Horizon 3 (2.38 million)

Main series:

  • Forza Motorsport
  • Forza Motorsport 2
  • Forza Motorsport 3
  • Forza Motorsport 4
  • Forza Motorsport 5
  • Forza Motorsport 6
  • Forza Motorsport 7

Series spin-offs:

  • Forza Horizon
  • Forza Horizon 2
    • Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious
  • Forza Horizon 3
    • Hot Wheels
    • Blizzard Mountain
  • Forza Motorsport Apex

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.

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
"Just as a recap, this is just round one of a huge gaming vote-athon for us all to participate in and have our say/vote.The series with the most votes from those listed above goes through to another round. Tomorrow will be another set of incredible game series fighting it out for your vote."
Felix -
Poll closed: 15:22 Aug-16-2017