This is Objection Network’s countdown of the top 25 video game series of all-time. We’re counting down to the best franchise ever on March 31. For more info on the voting process, click here.
5) Mass Effect (4 votes, 305 points)
Chris: No, there’s no Andromeda being factored into this pick. Technically we did the voting about a month ago, just before the game was released. I’ve only been able to spend a few hours with it to this point, but the multiplayer is fun (a slightly better version of 3’s MP mode) and the story so far is good?
This is all about the original trilogy, as everyone’s favorite Commander Shepard in the Citadel made his/her way through space kicking ass and taking names and having sex with all the things.
It’s hard to believe it’s been a decade since the first Mass Effect was released. Gaming has changed quite a bit since then, but at the time, the idea of lasting choices spanning multiple games and having the option to customize your protagonist (male or female) was a huge deal. BioWare’s greatest success is in its ability to put together a cast of characters that you truly care about, whether it’s love or hate.
Sure, there have been missteps. Mass Effect 3 was home to more than one of them, as day 1 DLC and its reviled original ending choices seemed like a huge oversight. The original game was replete with bugs and glitches, only some of which were patched out (I’ll never forget the sand worm that refused to die when it had no health left). Even Andromeda has come under fire for its animations, though I find that criticism to be a bit overwrought.
But the series thrives at making space feel suitably huge and having your character be heroic as much as possible. Choices have lasting repercussions and the trilogy succeeded at making players feel like their experiences were truly unique. My Shepard did things a little differently than your Shepard (except punching the reporter, because 100% of players should have done that), and that’s why Mass Effect was so damn good.
Cary: Without Mass Effect, I doubt I’d be into gaming as much as I am today. That’s why I ranked it as my number two, and I’m thrilled that it made the top five here! For me, it’s one of those series. One of those series that made me realize the potential of video gaming as a pastime. One of those series that made me think about what it meant to be a character in a game. One of those series that proved that games didn’t have to be thoughtless and rote affairs. It’s the series that showed me the way. And I’ve not looked back since.
Christine: Where do I even begin with this series? Anyone who follows my blog at all will see so many posts about my love for this game (and Dragon Age) scattered all over the place. I can talk for hours and write an entire dissertation about this series and why it’s one of the best to ever exist. In the interest of not rambling and spouting endless Shakespearean style sonnets about Mass Effect, I will say that what attracted me to the series initially was the story, characters, and the extent of choices you can make that will shape your playthrough in some way. BioWare has always been very good at building worlds and characters players become deeply invested in. A series like Mass Effect aims straight for the heart and the feels. The original trilogy with Commander Shepard, not including the newly released Mass Effect: Andromeda, is one hell of an epic space opera that’s impossible to resist seeing how it all ends. The series hasn’t always been perfect, considering the stumble of the infamous Mass Effect 3 ending, but spending your time with the game isn’t a waste of your time either. If you’re looking for action, adventure, romance, and a bit of lightheartedness mixed in, this is the series you’ll want to have in your game library.
(8) Kingdom Hearts
(9) Mario Kart
(10) Smash Brothers
(11) Fire Emblem
(12) Street Fighter
(13) Batman: Arkham
(14) Metal Gear
(18) Saints Row
(20) The Sims
(21) Grand Theft Auto
(23) Animal Crossing
(24) Silent Hill
(25) Donkey Kong