You Decide Which Game Series is Best: Counter-Strike, StarCraft, Witcher, Stalker

Written by Jon Sutton on Wed, Aug 9, 2017 4:32 PM
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We're currently barrelling towards to the all important question - which game series is the best of all time?  It's round 9 of 20, and two of the most popular eSports games of all time square off against two of the most groundbreaking single-player open-world titles. It's time for Counter-Strike v StarCraft v The Witcher v Stalker. 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 9

Counter-Strike

Nothing less than a phenomenon, Counter-Strike's humble beginnings as a Half-Life mod belie a series which has swiftly outsold its progenitor many times over. The biggest thing to come out of Half-Life wasn't Half-Life, it was Counter-Strike. Several games and almost two decades later, CSGO is now the second most popular game on Steam, attracting a peak of 850,485 players. Incredibly, CSGO was met with a muted reception at launch, fans preferring to keep it old-school with 1.6. After the initial two-year hump though, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has transformed into a behemoth.

Series began: 2000

Total Sales: 70+ million

Best-selling game: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (31.3 million)

Main Games:

  • Counter-Strike
  • Counter-Strike: Condition Zero
  • Counter-Strike: Source
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Series Spin-offs:

  • Counter-Strike Neo
  • Counter-Strike Online
  • Counter-Strike Online 2
  • Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies

StarCraft

Blizzard knows a thing or two about cultivating a beloved franchise, evident by holding several places in this contest. As far as eSports go, StarCraft is its big success. It's sold packed out stadiums, been televised on ESPN, and the original game is still played almost 20 years later. StarCraft is longevity personified, made possible thanks to deliciously perfect game balancing and untold tactical depth.

Series began: 1998

Total Sales: 18+ million

Best-selling game: StarCraft (11 million)

Main Games:

  • StarCraft
    • StarCraft: Insurrection
    • StarCraft: Brood War
  • StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty
    • StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm
    • StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void
    • StarCraft II: Nova Covert Ops
  • StarCraft: Remastered

Series Spin-offs:

  • StarCraft 64

The Witcher

A global phenomenon, The Witcher series emerged from small beginnings to becoming a genuine mainstream AAA success. The Witcher has catapulted CD Projekt RED into the mainstream, provided vital lifeblood to its GOG.com DRM-free store, and proven that solid storytelling, great quest design and massive open worlds aren't mutually exclusive.

Series began: 2007

Total Sales: 25 million

Best-selling game: The Witcher 3 (10+ million)

Main Games:

  • The Witcher
  • The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
    • The Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone
    • The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine

Series Spin-offs:

  • The Witcher Battle Arena
  • Gwent: The Witcher Card Game

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

Look, sometimes there's room for sentiment in a list. The Stalker series may have only lasted one game and a handful of expansion packs, but dear god wasn't it special. Few games could even dream of having the atmosphere that drips out of Stalker's every pore. It was, and still is, a truly special game that has sadly been overlooked over the year. If you want a little taster of how an open-world shooter can be, without the cookie-cutter design that's infiltrated the likes of Far Cry, one where danger can lurk around every corner and a game that takes pride in the unknown, then look no further than Stalker. 

Series began: 2007

Total Sales: 3 million

Best-selling game: STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl (2 million)

Main series:

  • STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl
    • STALKER: Clear Sky
    • STALKER: Call of Pripyat

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 favourite comments:

OK we've explained this a few times now - this is literally just a question asking which franchise you think is better. That's it. Imagine if someone asked you 'do you prefer Saving Private Ryan or You've Got Mail'. I imagine you could answer that, despite the fact one is a romcom, the other is war movie.

Jon

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07:46 Aug-22-2017

The Witcher.

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06:45 Aug-15-2017

Tough choice for me. The Witcher 3 is my favorite game of all time, and STALKER-Shadow of Chernobyl is a close second. STALKER-Clear Sky was a bit of a letdown, but still it still surpasses many modern FPS in my opinion. I thoroughly enjoyed Call of Pripyat however. Mods make STALKER more immersive and engaging, but the Witcher series has it in vanilla form. Can I pick both? Please?

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13:34 Aug-14-2017

Counter-Strike

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09:03 Aug-11-2017

S.T.A.L.K.E.R all the way for me.
Get out of here stalker!

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18:30 Aug-10-2017

Lol, how could you compare CS to Witcher? They are completely different, one focused on single player, other one on multiplayer. Anyhow, I voted like most of you on The Witcher, very good game.

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18:23 Aug-17-2017

That's the whole point of this, they are comparing different genres. Read the article, it pretty much says it in the first few lines.

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15:52 Aug-10-2017

Toughest click I ever ,
Well I have not made the click yet.

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15:58 Aug-10-2017

I'll make it easier for you: click on STALKER! If for a moment you thought about The Witcher, think of it as a more fairy tale STALKER and again click on STALKER

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17:44 Aug-10-2017

I miss STALKER too much.Too bad they do not make it anymore.

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19:39 Aug-10-2017

The day a new STALKER game comes out, that's the week I stay inside lol. Unfortunately that will never happen.

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19:37 Aug-10-2017

This right here!

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12:37 Aug-10-2017

I don't know why the personnel of GD would make these match-ups. Matching up a FPS power house against arguably the best RPG franchise of all time. Like how are you supposed to even compare the two?
RPG and FPS has their own things.

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12:51 Aug-10-2017

Again, I direct you to the comment that's just above the poll.

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08:56 Aug-10-2017

Witcher 3 is Game Of The Century !!!

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07:48 Aug-10-2017

Tough choice between Witcher and Star Craft. It came down to the excellence and longevity of Witcher 1 and 2, and The Witcher 3's expansions. (I felt the base game was meh.) Slight bias as I have always been rubbish at Star Craft, Total War, AoE, and any other RTS.

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07:48 Aug-10-2017

I do have a lot of fun sucking though. (That's what she said.)

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08:36 Aug-10-2017

Hahah
I have the same problem
Blood and Wine was one of the best things ever but the core game was just 7/10ish


Also i played starcraft only for the story and i love it though i am very bad at rts

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07:34 Aug-10-2017

Oh... This is a tough one... I can't pick between Starcraft and The Witcher. I love them both. I do have way more hours played on Starcraft though. Very tough decision to make.

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05:23 Aug-10-2017

saddens me starcraft does not have more votes

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07:15 Aug-10-2017

Firs is a master,the second not so much.That's what i think.Played the first straight 'till Diablo II:LoD came out and the rest is history.Have no fond memories on SC 2,still.Tho,the 2007 Witcher was a rough start for me,but eventually got around him 2 times on the Platinum Edition.

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23:35 Aug-09-2017

WITCHER! I love that game. I hope they make more games like the quality of witcher 3 in the future. They should take notes from Witcher 3 developers..

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23:32 Aug-09-2017

Never played any of these but I have the witcher is excellent.

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23:30 Aug-09-2017

Geralt wins... FATALITY

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23:17 Aug-09-2017

no contest

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20:52 Aug-09-2017

For some reason I can't vote :/

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03:38 Aug-10-2017

Like physically, I can't select a game series.

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19:14 Aug-09-2017

I really enjoy the StarCraft campaigns...but with the Witcher in the same poll... Such cruelty. I guess ill vote Witcher since i enjoy playing all of it, while with StarCraft i ignore the PvP MP aspect.

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18:42 Aug-09-2017

Witcher is a great game.
Stalker is a great game.
Counter strike is a great competitive game.
Starcraft is a great competitive game.
Voting Stalker because Cheeki breeki

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23:15 Aug-09-2017

GET OUT OF HERE STALKER !!! :P

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19:40 Aug-10-2017

A nu chiki briki iv damke!

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18:32 Aug-09-2017

Counter Strike must be considered a spin-off of Half-Life i can understand the importance of this game, but basically was a mod of HF 1

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09:37 Aug-10-2017

I think that's the problem with these game comparisons - most people here are from the new generation of gamers and have mostly played The Witcher - I'm not saying its a bad game, but its flawlessness comes from the trials / mistakes / work of previous open world games - like STALKER for example! It risked a lot, left a lot of broken, but found the perfect formula for an interesting open world gam

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18:21 Aug-17-2017

I agree, that's what makes Witcher 3 so amazing, it takes all that, and makes it work, almost perfectly (since nothing is really perfect) and better than any other game out there. At least in my opinion.

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17:59 Aug-09-2017

Ahhh that's a tough choice .. I really love all of them i .. i can't really choose "Comfortably votes for the witcher"

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Core i5-10400F 6-Core 2.90GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Inno3D Twin X2 8GB 32GB
100% Yes [3 votes]
Ryzen R5 1400 Radeon RX 560 2GB 8GB
0% No [1 votes]
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Core i7-11800H 8-Core 1.90GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB
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Core i7-7700K 4-Core 4.2GHz GeForce GTX 1080 MSI Gaming X 8GB Edition 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
Core i7-3770 4-Core 3.4GHz GeForce GTX 950 MSI Gaming 2GB Edition 8GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 30FPS, Medium, 720p
Core 2 Duo E6600 2.4GHz Radeon HD 5570 1024MB 4GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i5-11400 6-Core 2.7GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Ultra 16GB
100% Yes [3 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1440p
Ryzen 5 5600X 6-Core 3.7GHz GeForce RTX 2080 Super Gigabyte Aorus 8GB 32GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1440p
Ryzen 5 5600X 6-Core 3.7GHz GeForce RTX 2080 Super Gigabyte Aorus 8GB 32GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 30FPS, Low, 720p
Core i5-480M 2.66GHz HD i5 M480 8GB
| 30FPS, Low, 720p
APU A6-5400K Dual-Core Radeon HD 7450 4GB
| Ultra, 1440p
Ryzen 3 3300X 4-Core 3.8GHz Radeon RX 570 4GB 16GB
| 30FPS, Medium, 720p
Core 2 Duo E7500 2.93GHz Radeon R7 250X Sapphire 1GB Edition 4GB
0% No [3 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i7-10870H 8-Core 2.20GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB
66.6667% Yes [3 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 4k
APU A10-9700E 4-Core 3.0GHz Radeon R5 M320 2GB 12GB
0% No [1 votes]