With a genre as far-reaching as "action," it's probably extremely difficult to pick the very best franchise of all time.
After all, "action" could include everything from Contra to Metal Gear Solid , depending on your own personal definitions. However, there's little doubt that God of War is the epitome of action and each entry has been widely critically acclaimed. But is it the greatest ever?
The critics seem to think so. The average Metacritic score for the original title sits at an incredible 94, while God of War II and God of War III come in at 93 and 92 respectively. Then there are the handheld iterations, which some may assume would bring down the series as portable incarnations just can't be as flashy and technically refined overall. But Ready at Dawn did some fine work; Chains of Olympus averages a 91 and Ghost of Sparta is only a little lower at 86. Now, if God of War IV – which everyone assumes will be announced today – wows everyone again, maybe it's just no contest.
Sure, there are a great many fantastic action names out there, from Ninja Gaiden to Resident Evil to Metal Gear Solid …heck, even Zelda . Again, it depends entirely on your definition of "action" (some might even call Uncharted action, while others call it a third-person shooter or action/adventure), but for the purposes of this argument, we're not going to call shooters "action." It just clouds the issue too much. If we're simply going by the standard, traditional concepts of what qualifies a video game to be action-oriented, it's difficult to find a series that can compete with God of War . It's surprising, actually.
It just seems that whenever a new title is produced, it's a legitimate candidate for Game of the Year, and I can't think of another franchise that is just so…utterly reliable.