Top 10 Best Nintendo Franchises

The Top Ten
1 Super Mario Bros.

The Super Mario Bros. series is my favorite game series of all time. I can't tell you why my brain chose this, but I really like it. Every game in the series that I've gotten is so fun, jam-packed with great music, great graphics for their times, great gameplay, and great references to previous games. The style of each one isn't too different, but it's changed enough that you can tell the difference between each one.

My first mainline Mario game was Super Mario Odyssey, which interested me enough in getting Super Mario Maker 2 when it came out, and now I've spiraled into this game series ever since. It's great. Play it. Thanks.

Nintendo's known for many original franchises: The Legend of Zelda, Pokemon, Metroid, Donkey Kong, Kirby, Star Fox, Animal Crossing, Fire Emblem, Luigi's Mansion, Punch-Out!, Pikmin, F-Zero, Kid Icarus, Yoshi's Island, Xenoblade, WarioWare, Mother. But none of them, despite how each one is a beautifully crafted masterpiece of a franchise, come close to the reason they're all here today: Mario.

2 The Legend of Zelda

Always leaves me breathless, every time I finish a game. When I finally finished Twilight Princess, I didn't know what to do with my life. I had just gone through an amazing experience, something that I can't really put into words. As I played it through a second time, I realized things that I hadn't noticed before, which only made it all the more real to me. I experienced something magical. Same with Skyward Sword, which I'm currently playing. I absolutely love it. And the first Zelda game that I played through and finished was Phantom Hourglass. I know that this game doesn't exactly get the best reviews, but I loved it! It was what made me fall in love with Zelda in the first place. I got a sense of adventure, of a giant mission, and I was just stunned by how much there was to discover. I've finally gotten all the gold ship parts, after four years of having that game! It was so wonderful, and there still is fun stuff that I can do in the game!

Overall, playing absolutely any Zelda game is an experience. It's something magical. It truly deserves to be known as Nintendo's best franchise.

3 Pokémon

Pokémon is a great RPG game. It features many different features throughout each game and keeps the player busy with plenty of battles. Not only does the game feature an easy-to-use interface, but it also has key features that make it fun. You catch your monsters, evolve them, and can give them certain abilities that work inside and outside of combat.

They also play by an elemental play system, where fire types are weaker against water types, but are stronger against grass types. Normal is the neutral type. But, you know, gotta catch 'em all!

Pokemon fan forever! Usually, I don't like RPG games, but I LOVE Pokemon! I'm never able to catch 'em all, but I enjoy playing Pokemon. The graphics keep getting better and better, and right now, Pokemon X and Y (and the next, Pokemon Z, and even remakes for the 3rd generation games) are currently having the best graphics. Some people are hating the newer generations, but I definitely am sure they can't hate the 6th generation. Pokemon fan forever!

4 Super Smash Bros.

Super Smash Bros. is the best! It combines the best of all the other Nintendo franchises to make another franchise which is even more awesome! If you say Mario is the best, he is in this franchise. There are also other characters such as Luigi, Peach, Bowser, Bowser Jr., and Rosalina. If you like Legend of Zelda, we also have Link, Zelda, Ganondorf, and Toon Link in it. There are also Pokemon, Kirby, Fire Emblem, Donkey Kong, Metroid, Animal Crossing, and so many more, including 3rd party characters which can be Sonic, Pac-Man, Mega Man, and more!

If you like more than one Nintendo franchise, then this is definitely the franchise for you. Or if you hate a franchise/character and you want to beat them up, you can! This has online mode and a story mode (for some games) and a solo mode and a training mode and amiibos, and so, so much more. This game has absolutely everything!

This was a Nintendo exclusive game until Brawl. That's when Snake and Sonic appeared to surprise us. They only allow characters who were a major part of Nintendo history. However, there are outliers such as Cloud. Third parties can appear only if the developers have a good relationship with Nintendo. It's not a typical fighting game because the only way to eliminate someone is to raise their percentages until they fall off the stage. Once someone hits four sides of the stage, they explode and die. Screen KOs are fun to watch. Can't wait for Smash 5.

5 Kirby

Kirby is such a great series. I've been playing Kirby games since I was 5 years old, and now I'm 18 and still love them to this day. One thing I really like about this series is that you can play as Kirby, fly (not all video game characters can fly), inhale different enemies, and gather copy abilities from them. Some of my favourite copy abilities are sword, fire, ice, ninja, water, wheel, and stone.

Kirby 64 is even cooler because you can mix any two copy abilities and get an even more powerful ability. Some of my favourite mixed abilities from this game include animal statues from stone and cutter, dynamite from stone and bomb, and ice bomb from ice and bomb. I would definitely recommend Kirby as a first video game to anyone who is new to video games. Especially Kirby's Epic Yarn because it is so cute and so easy, ideal for young beginners.

Also, I am looking into going to media and computer science at university. Taking those courses, I could learn to make video games. Right now, I am thinking about some new Kirby game ideas, new copy abilities, and new minigames. Hopefully, I will get a career in video game programming to actually make this happen.

6 Fire Emblem

Let me just say that Nintendo has the best franchises in all gaming. They really do. But Fire Emblem is by far the best. The storylines are always so unique and engaging. The characters are some of the best I've seen. And the gameplay is a fun, complex game of chess. I haven't felt so bound towards a series in my life. Having played all 10 games released in the West, if you count Fates separately, none of those games were at the very least great, despite Revelation and Birthright. This differs when you take Mario and Zelda, which have had many mediocre games. Fire Emblem is a series that deserves to be advertised at the very top with Mario, Zelda, and Pokemon.

While in reality, Zelda is my favorite Nintendo franchise, I gave my vote to Fire Emblem as it should definitely be above Pokémon. Seriously, just look at the things Fire Emblem has that Pokémon doesn't: semi-well-developed characters that you actually care about (for the most part), actual varied storylines between each game, and a more balanced combat system. It's not that I hate Pokémon. In fact, Pokémon HeartGold/SoulSilver is among my top 10 games of all time. However, as an overall series, Fire Emblem is simply superior.

7 Donkey Kong

Just love this franchise. I always have. Not to mention, Diddy Kong has always been my favourite character. Kiddy Kong (I know he's hated by most) is my 2nd favourite. Just too much childhood was spent playing this franchise over and over. Games such as Donkey Kong Country 1-3, Donkey Kong 64, Diddy Kong Racing (64 and DS), and the latest Donkey Kong Countries are just too fun for me not to vote for Donkey Kong. The only franchises I can compare to Donkey Kong as a favourite are Zelda and Mario games.

My very first video game was Donkey Kong 64. I loved this video game as a child, and it still is my favourite game even to this very day. I've enjoyed all of DK's games and even the series and movie. Donkey Kong is the one who got me into video games. He'll always be my favourite no matter what game comes around because he is the one who made me want to look for other games to play. DK.

One of Nintendo's earliest franchises, Donkey Kong was an arcade classic. It made its way through a stopping point after the arcade game but then came back with pleasing titles like Donkey Kong Country, and came back up on the line with gaming. There are great mechanics and interesting plots, which makes this series unique.

8 Metroid

How is Metroid not in the top 5? I know it's not one of the most popular Nintendo franchises, but in terms of influence over the gaming landscape, there's no contest. Metroid is the most influential Nintendo series, only behind Mario and Zelda. It hasn't sold as much as Pokémon, AC, Donkey Kong, or even Splatoon, but it introduced concepts like speed running, back-tracking, multiple endings, creepy atmosphere, and an open-world-like system in a 2D game. Plus, it was the first game that had a woman as a hero. I understand why it's not that popular of a series, though. It's not a game for everyone, but I wish it got the recognition it deserves more often.

Starting from the mid-80s, Metroid is a unique game for one of a few main reasons - the protagonist is a female. Back in those days, game characters were mainly male. Not only that, but Metroid focuses on combat and agility, not to mention a few puzzles. The game keeps it lively by giving a huge world to explore along with suit upgrades, secrets, and power-ups to keep the game going.

9 Mario Kart

A spin-off to the Mario series, Mario Kart focuses on kart-based racing. The game itself is simple, fun, and addicting. Simply race three laps around a course using a character of your choice while collecting and using power-ups to aid you. These come in passive abilities, such as a speed boost or invulnerability, and offensive abilities, such as fake power-up box traps and shells to spin out your opponent for a second. The game is very unique for a racing game and contains several unlockables. Worth taking for a drive.

Mario Kart is hands down the best racing game. Why? A giant turtle riding on a dinosaur kart with a squirrel glider can throw a banana and cause a plumber riding on a toy bear with electric wheels to slip and lose the race before the finish line.

Pretty nice. Wish there would stop being so many comparisons of this to a mainline Mario game because, considering how much bigger this game series is compared to modern Mario, people can get them confused.

10 Pikmin

It's sad that people treat Pikmin as the "odd one out." It's odd because it's a strategy game that features little guys you do stuff with, and you have a limited amount of time to do anything. Only about 2000 or so people who played this and loved it would understand its underrated nature. Try to mention this game to kids. They probably won't know what you're talking about.

It's a shame that Pikmin is underrated. It's a nice, quirky, and strategic game. It's a unique game, something that has never been done in the past, and even up to now, I can't think of a similar game like Pikmin. The soundtrack is decent, and something about the atmosphere in its nature makes it even better! Can't wait for the next Pikmin games!

This game is perfect in every way, with Pikmin 2 being my personal favourite. The strategy involved is so deep, e.g., what type to use, what treasures/parts/fruits to get, etc. Ever since I booted up Pikmin 1 on the GameCube, I fell in love with this severely underrated masterpiece.

The Contenders
11 Animal Crossing

Brilliant games with a sweet charm, relaxed vibes, and plenty to do. I like the fact that there's no set goal. You can choose what you want to do from the many available things. The animals are brilliant, and the game is unique, offering lots of customization so no two people's experiences are the same!

Although I love showing off at Mario Kart (despite having zero control over my steering, hehe) and the challenging platform games like Mario (forgive me, I've not tried Zelda yet and only had one shot at Pokemon, but my DS wouldn't let me have it back. So, once eventually fished out of the console, it had to be sent back, and I'm waiting for a new one...), I love the relaxed Animal Crossing because it isn't a challenge. It's just something I can chill out with and play my way.

I also like how it reflects life in some ways. Rewards have to be waited for, you need to maintain your friendships, etc., and you can play the game for five or ten minutes at a time and still make progress in small chunks!

12 Kid Icarus

Uprising is by far the best game on the 3DS. Such a good and condensed story in a game for $39.99 is amazing. With all the things that you could do and learn (a staple in every Sakurai game), it's just enough to revive and carry an old franchise to the light!

Kid Icarus: Uprising was one of my favourite 3DS games, and I hope they make a sequel for it on the Switch.

Kid Icarus: Uprising is definitely in my top 10 favourite 3DS games, maybe even in my top 5...

13 Star Fox

Star Fox brings a new feel to air-war games. It's mostly the same as any other air-raid game but has that feel that Nintendo puts into all of its games. The colorful levels, the characters... It all fits together to make a fun game. Definitely not your average fighter-jet game (or, in our case, Ar-wing).

Awesome series. Wish it was more popular, but at least it had a groundbreaking game in the form of Star Fox 64, which introduced the Rumble Pak, and of course, DO A BARREL ROLL!

There is a lot of adventure in the series and it's really thrilling from beginning to the end.

14 Luigi's Mansion

An amazing action-adventure game involving everyone's favorite plumber in green, Luigi!

Better than all other mansion video games, Dark Moon was a piece of crud.

Really fun to destroy ghosts!

15 Mother

Is this technically part of the Mother series? This is a debatable topic, but EarthBound has generated a bounty so rich in comically tragic storylines, intriguing characters, outstanding music, incredible artwork and graphics, and influential events relative to the real world that it might as well be a series in itself! So many quotes have been developed into our culture (especially "Fuzzy Pickles"), and who among those who have played this game haven't sometime or other screamed at Porky through the screen?

It may not (or ever) be Nintendo's most iconic game, but I believe it should be in the Top Ten!

One of Nintendo's most heartwarming and tearjerking franchises. Common features in this series of games include tragic villains, distressing and abnormal final bosses, child protagonists, psychic abilities, and abnormal settings in contrast to traditional RPGs. The story is stunningly amazing. And, there's a game on NES, SNES, and GBA - providing for a wide array of systems to enjoy this series on. One of the best game series of all time!

16 Mario Party

Grab some friends and play some Mario Party! Another spin-off of the Mario series, Mario Party really sets a standard for multiplayer mini-game compilations. Mario Party features bright environments, interesting gameplay, and TONS of mini-games. This game definitely is a game to try out.

Rumbling, motion, everything! So fun.

Fun to play with friends.

17 Magical Starsign
18 Splatoon

Not my favourite franchise, but it really has that Nintendo twist that it has with game genres. It's probably the least violent shooter of all time, with not a single mode where the primary objective is to kill people. Sure, you can "splat" others to help aid in your objective, but it's not the focus. The story mode has lots of humour and strategy, and the new mode, Salmon Run in the sequel, is a good chunk of the fanbase's favourite. It's a shame Salmon Run has a schedule though.

Splatoon has to be my favourite Nintendo franchise of all time. It's so addicting! I'm surprised this isn't higher, honestly, seeing as it is one of Nintendo's top-selling franchises.

There are so many different game modes, weapons, abilities, and more! It can fit almost everyone.

19 Wario Land

May not be the most popular of Nintendo franchises, but he does have some great games here and there. My personal favorite game from Wario is WarioWare: Smooth Moves. It's a hilarious game and great for parties.

20 F-Zero

One of the fastest and the best racing games of all time.
P.S. Ace Attorney and Professor Layton aren't Nintendo franchises.

It brought in Captain Falcon, and the Falcon Punch.

Best pure racing game Nintendo has to offer.

21 Yo-Kai Watch

While some say it's a Pokemon ripoff, it has a lot of differences. While it will no longer be a franchise exclusive to the 3DS/Switch, it definitely has a lot of charm and humor.

Nintendo's best franchise besides Mario. You never run out of things to do.

I like this game.

22 Yoshi's Island

I think the reason why this is lower is because of Baby Mario crying forever and the annoying Spear Guy chattering. Otherwise, it is extremely hard to get every level to 100%. It is amazing and it's Purple and Orange Yoshi's turn to shine.

23 Punch-Out!!

I have so many amazing memories of my dad teaching me how to play. The games are also pretty great.

It only got three console releases: NES, SNES, and Wii, but all those games are masterpieces.

Not your everyday boxing game. And definitely beats Wii Sports boxing by a long shot!

24 Paper Mario

Some of the best RPGs out there have great charm and a sense of true uniqueness from other RPGs due to the simple game mechanics that are unlike any other in the RPG genre. Also, the games all look and sound amazing. I'll even say Sticker Star was a great game.

Mario: the RPG.

25 Mario & Luigi

These games have the best soundtracks, characters, worlds, and battle systems.

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