Alright, since the other writers are giant slackers, it's time for another post from me, the Glorious ... writer?
Anyways, this is going to be kinda similar to the Final Fantasy retrospective in the fact that I'm going to be doing an almost bullet list of my favorite franchises in gaming.
In no particular order...
Final Fantasy - Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5. So, that should've been obvious. I will make a quick addition to the list that I didn't cover. I am a huge fan of Final Fantasy Tactics. The Job System in this tactical RPG took what was introduced in Final Fantasy V, and polished it to a very rich character creation system. Not only do you have to think about what your characters strengths are, but you need to keep their Zodiac sign into consideration. The damage you deal, and receive is modified by your Zodiac and gender, and the opponent's Zodiac and gender. Overall, a really good Tactical RPG that can soak up 100+ hours. My advice: Go for the PSP version. It fixes the wonky translation from the PS1 version, adds new classes, multiplayer, and even some more secret characters.
Shadowrun - No no no, I'm not talking that Xbox/GFWL FPS from a few years ago, god no. I'm talking full-blown Tabletop game that got a video game adaptation for the SNES and Genesis. Shadowrun is a Tabletop RPG that takes place in futuristic Seattle, where corporations run everything. The world is shattered, the US is divided into sections, and Shadowrunners lurk in the dark. Technology meshes with the occult to make an enjoyable gaming experience. Another reason why I bring this up is due to the resurgence of the franchise in the Video Game medium. Harebrained Schemes is working on a new Shadowrun game for PCs and Tablets. The game was funded entirely by Kickstarter, and will be a Isometric view Turn-Based Action/Strategy game. Personally, I'm excited for this game. It comes with a campaign making tool, and map editor, so you can create your own scenarios to run your friends, or strangers through.
Madden & NHL 201X - I apologize for nothing.
Saints Row - What can I say? When i need a sandbox style game, this is where I go. Whether it's Stillwater or Steelport, I always have a blast running around these games. It's a game that's very aware of what people are going to do in an open city style game, and embraces that behavior. If you use random Civilians as lawn darts, the game gives you 'Respect" for it. If you surf on cars, more respect. The story in those games are often overlooked due to the crazy-ass nature of the game, but the writing and the missions are very well done. For example, in Saints Row 2, you get revenge on a dude by kidnapping his girlfriend, locking her in the trunk of a car, and driving her out to the Arena where her boyfriend is driving his monster trucks over jumps and other vehicles. You can guess what ends up happening. It's so memorable to me because of the build up to this point. Mareo and the Brotherhood slighted your character and the Saints, and tried to kill you. What happens is an escalating game of one-upsmanship between the two gang leaders, culminating in a fight on a rooftop.
Sonic the Hedgehog - Sonic 2 for life. Memorable soundtrack, rock solid gameplay and level design. One of my favorite games.
Alpha Pro- Oh wait, that's just one game... hmmm...
Mario Kart - Honestly, of all the racing games out there, I have more fun with this one than any other series that I've played. Give me either Super Mario Kart or Mario Kart DS, and I'm happy.
I reserve the right to edit this when I remember more series I've played. For now, these are some of my favorites ever.
So that ends the brief glimpse into my gam-
Paper Mario - A-HA. I knew I'd forget one. I need to replay the N64 and GCN games. They seem like a spiritual sucessor to the SNES's Super Mario RPG, which is a good thing. Timed hit combat system, charm, and some pretty funny moments makes this game a must play on those two systems. You can customize your actions in combat by equipping badges, which is a pretty slick system. When you level up, you can choose to boost your HP, FP (used for using abilities), or BP (badge points, more BP = More badges you can equip). In the early-to-mid points of the game, finding the right balance for how you play is tricky, but once you find a system that works, the game feels great. I highly recommend either of these games to anyone who owns an N64 or Gamecube. Skip on the Wii version though... that's a platformer, which is probably good in it's own rights, but it's not the RPG in the same vein as the first two.
THERE WE GO. I'll probably forget more, but this is good enough. Any questions or suggestions on what I should play, leave a comment. Or hell, list your favorite series below as well. Should be fun.