Things are getting heated in our best game series in 2017 showdown. It's round eight, the halfway point of the first batch of knockouts, and it's time for an old-school showdown. These four franchises have a staggering 94 years of gaming experience between them. Only one of these gaming geriatrics can earn a place in the semi-finals though. It's Civilization v Quake v Doom v XCOM as we decided the best game franchises of all time.

Round 8


One of the most seminal turn-based strategy series of all time, Civilization has been teasing gamers into just one more turn since 1991. It's a series built on a simple yet epic premise - take a fledgeling nation and turn it into a globe dominating empire, each match spanning many thousands of (virtual) years. Probably the greatest success in the 4X genre (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit and eXterminate), Civilization is a series which continues to get bigger and bigger, as do the burgeoning play times in fans' Steam libraries. There are few games you can play for thousands of hours, let alone hundreds, and Civilization is just such a franchise.

Series began: 1991

Total Sales: 40 million

Best-selling game: Civilization V (9.4 million)

Main Games:

  • Civilization
  • Civilization II
  • Civilization III
  • Civilization IV
  • Civilization V
  • Civilization: Beyond Earth
  • Civilization VI

Series Spin-offs:

  • Colonization
  • CivNet
  • Alpha Centauri
  • CivCity: Rome
  • Civilization Revolution
  • Civilization Revolution 2


The successor to Doom, Id Software's Quake didn't necessarily match its peer for its influence on shooter campaigns, but it did light the touch paper for multiplayer FPS gaming. For the first time, a multiplayer FPS was modelled entirely in 3D, adding an element of verticality that hadn't been seen before. Skillful rocket jumps became legendary, and an arena shooter staple, while the eventual shift to a sci-fi setting for Quake II and beyond, catapulted us into a world of rail guns and BFGs. Quake 3: Arena proved to be nothing less than revolutionary, and for years, many a LAN party was spent rocketing around arenas. For those who braved the online, a mastery of dial-up connections meant tracking shots metres before where your opponents were actually running. It wouldn't pass mustard in this day and age, but Quake continues to polish the formula with the upcoming Quake Champions.

Series began: 1996

Total Sales: Unknown

Best-selling game: Unknown

Main Games:

  • Quake
  • Quake II
  • Quake III Arena
  • Quake III: Team Arena
  • Quake 4
  • Quake Live
  • Quake Champions

Series Spin-offs:

  • Quake III Revolution
  • Enemy Territory: Quake Wars


Hands down one of the most influential game series in existence. Up until 1993, PC players only really had Wolfenstein 3D for their shooter fix, but Doom proved the validity of an entire genre. Id's level design was legendary, it looked stunning for the time, and it had an unprecedented level of pace. Perhaps best of all, the entire game was playable in co-op. It isn't just Doom that's important though, but its legacy. Doom influenced hundreds of games to come, and the gaming landscape wouldn't really be like it is today without this revolutionary series. Last year things came full circle with the Doom reboot, a gloriously hellish, fast-paced FPS that was one of the shining stars of 2016.

Series began: 1993

Total Sales: 10+ million

Best-selling game: Doom 3 (3.5 million)

Main Games:

  • Doom
  • The Ultimate Doom
  • Doom II: Hell on Earth
  • Final Doom
  • Doom 3
  • Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil
  • Doom (Reboot)

Series Spin-offs:

  • Doom 64
  • Doom RPG
  • Doom Resurrection
  • Doom II RPG


I remember back when I was at school playing XCOM over email. I'd take a turn in the morning, email my moves over to a friend, and come back from school and download his turn. It meant matches of X-COM moved at a glacial pace, but its core of tactical strategy remained exactly the same, and just as involving. For a while it looked as if XCOM was set to disappear off the face of the planet though. That is, until Firaxis jolted it back to life with the sublime XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Truly one of the best game of all time, it put XCOM back on track and back in the public consciousness. Always punishing, and yet meticulously fair, XCOM has become a PC giant once again.

Series began: 1994

Total Sales: 13+ million

Best-selling game: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (4.7 million)

Main series:

  • UFO: Enemy Unknown
  • X-COM: Terror from the Deep
  • X-COM: Apocalypse
  • X-COM: Interceptor
  • X-COM: Enforcer
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown
    • XCOM: Enemy Within
  • XCOM 2

Series Spin-offs:

  • X-COM: First Alien Invasion
  • The Bureau: XCOM Declassified

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: 11:03 Aug-18-2017