Left 4 Dead 2
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Our quest to find out which game series is the best of all time continues. Over the course of 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 in 2017 contest continues in Round Two. Rainbow Six, Left 4 Dead, Halo and Half-Life are squaring up against one another to find the definitive videogame series.

Round 2

Rainbow Six

The Rainbow Six series has become nothing less than legendary for fans of tactical shooters. Spawned from Tom Clancy's bestselling book, the original Rainbow Six took the Police Quest: SWAT formula and ran with it in 3D. It was nothing less than revelatory and was quickly followed by an array of expansion packs and sequels, all building on the formula. Later in the series' life, we had a slight shift to more traditional FPS mechanics for the Vegas outings, before Ubisoft said to hell with single-player, cancelled R6: Patriots and turned it into Rainbow Six Siege. After a hostile reception to its multiplayer focus, Rainbow Six Siege has now become the best-selling Rainbow 6 game ever and is now a very popular eSport in its own right.

Series began: 1998

Best-selling game: Rainbow Six Siege (6.65 million)

Main Games:

  • Rainbow Six
    • Rainbow Six Mission Pack: Eagle Watch
  • Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear
    • Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear Mission Pack: Urban Operations
    • Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear Covert Ops Essentials
    • Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear: Black Thorn
  • Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield
    • Rainbow Six 3: Athena Sword
    • Rainbow Six 3: Iron Wrath
  • Rainbow Six: Vegas
  • Rainbow Six: Vegas 2
  • Rainbow Six Siege

Series Spin-offs:

  • Rainbow Six: Lone Wolf
  • Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow
  • Rainbow Six: Lockdown
  • Rainbow Six: Critical Hour
  • Rainbow Six: Shadow Vanguard

Left 4 Dead

One of several franchises in this competition to spawn from a Half-Life mod, it's easy to overlook just how huge Left 4 Dead was for Valve. In an age before CSGO and DOTA 2, this series rapidly became one of Valve's biggest multiplayer titles. A delicious blend of co-op antics and intense PvP, Left 4 Dead was the complete multiplayer package with impeccable replay value. Together with COD: World at War, it was an essential kickstarter to today's co-op focused shooter craze, gently reminding us that we don't all need to be killing each other, sometimes it can be more fun to work together.

Series began: 2008

Best-selling game: Left 4 Dead 2 (18+ million)

Main Games:

  • Left 4 Dead
  • Left 4 Dead 2

Halo

Halo: Combat Evolved was the undisputed turning point for console shooters, and its influence can arguably only be bettered by Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Up until Halo, console players were treated to sub-standard FPS games with shonky controls. Halo delivered massive open levels, co-op, and a suite of multiplayer modes. Halo 2 brought with it the arrival of Xbox Live, and console gaming was never the same again. Master Chief has become Microsoft's tentpole figure for its Xbox brand, and despite one or two hiccups (Bungie jumping ship to create Destiny being the largest), Halo continues to be a hugely popular series on Xbox. Soon enough it will also be welcomed back to the PC for the first time in years.

Series began: 2001

Best-selling game: Halo 3 (12.14 million)

Main Games:

  • Halo
  • Halo 2
  • Halo 3
  • Halo 3: ODST
  • Halo Reach
  • Halo 4
  • Halo 5: Guardians

Spin-offs:

  • Halo Wars
  • Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
  • Halo: Spartain Assault
  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection
  • Halo: Spartan Strike
  • Halo wars 2

Half-Life

Well, where do we begin? There aren't many series out there with just two games to their name which can prove to be anywhere near as influential as Half-Life. Both of these games were absolute giants, and the reverberations of Half-Life 2 are still felt today. It was living proof that both narrative and environmental storytelling had an important place in first-person shooters, simultaneously delivering some ingenious physics-based puzzling and intense, inventive action. Imitated to the point of parody in the years since, the Half-Life series still manages to hold up to this day. It's a testament to its status that the announcement of Half-Life 3 would undoubtedly be the biggest gaming announcement in the world for that year. No other series could come back from the dead and have a larger impact. Perhaps that's why Valve remains so coy on a sequel. Maybe they know that Half-Life 3 could never live up to the weight of expectation.

Series began: 1998

Best-selling game: Half-Life 2 (12+ million)

Main series:

  • Half-Life
    • Half-Life: Opposing Force
    • Half-Life: Blue Shift
  • Half-Life 2
    • Half-Life 2: Episode One
    • Half-Life 2: Episode Two

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

Poll closed: 15:53 Aug-17-2017