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.
3) Ace Attorney (4 votes, 340 points)
Chris: Ah yes. The namesake for the site rebranding. The most engaging visual novel series in the history of video games. The franchise that made pointing and shouting cool. Perhaps the only real shocker here is that this wasn’t a unanimous pick, but even then, it had enough support to crack the podium behind two titans of gaming.
I actually got into the Ace Attorney series relatively late: When I played the first Phoenix Wright, the Apollo Justice game had just come out. But I didn’t know what I was missing. See, I was raised in a world where my grandparents would watch all the crime and detective dramas when I got home from school. Columbo, Murder She Wrote, Matlock, Perry Mason, Diagnosis Murder…that was my wheelhouse. So I love the courtroom setting, and the idea of a game where I could play as a defense attorney in some of the most over-the-top situations imaginable? You’re damn right I was interested.
The AA games are frequently absurd, yet it never feels like a strain on credibility (except when you’re interrogating a whale). Sure, you raise an eyebrow when you learn that there’s a country where attorneys receive the same sentence as their client…but then the case continues and you start to worry about what it means for your darling defenders. Those ridiculous moments just serve to feed the hype machine, and that’s where Ace Attorney succeeds like no other series.
Thanks to the caricatures who end up on the witness stand (or on the prosecutor’s bench), every moment where you present an inconsistency or scramble for a shred of conflicting evidence and then shout OBJECTION feels phenomenal. You get to turn the tables multiple times in the same trial and somehow that rush never gets old. It’s sort of like the combination of figuring out a puzzle and then getting to slap someone in the face when you put it all together.
We’ve essentially had two trilogies so far, with Phoenix Wright and Apollo Justice. Since it looks like we’re not going to get the Dai Gyakuten Saiban games in America, is our next hope Athena Cykes? What about the second Miles Edgeworth game? The future is always a bit dicey for Ace Attorney fans, but it seems like the last two games have been too successful for Capcom to ignore.
Michelle: When I die, please bury me with all of the Ace Attorney games. All of them. Every copy of every single game. Then blast us into space so I can be a trash nebula, one entity with Ace Attorney. That’s how important these games are to me.
Michaela: Ace Attorney is a series that has largely remained the same from start to finish. You play as an attorney solving murder cases. Gameplay and graphics have been refined over the years, but the experience remains the same. Despite that, the series is far from stale. Each case requires careful thought in order to solve the complexities of the cases, and the stories they weave are absolutely fantastic. The Ace Attorney series is very good at creating memorable storylines with exciting twists and turns, and I only hope we get to experience more of them in the future.
Cary: Nothing to see here, but would like to mention that I have just played the first game in the series. And…I’m totally a fan, and I’m looking forward to playing the sequels! While the game was much trickier than I expected, it was also way more enjoyable than I expected. Who the hell knew that defense attorneying could be so entertaining?! I sure didn’t, but I’m glad I do now.
(4) Final Fantasy
(5) Mass Effect
(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