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Eight Game Series We Are Most Thankful For

Tis that time of year when we reflect on what makes us thankful, joyful and happy. Instead of sitting on the sidelines this year, watching from afar, we’d like to join in celebrating this season with our friends south of the border in the United States. Except we’d like to do it Simfluent style by looking at the video game series we are most grateful for.

Okay, maybe it sounds silly to be thankful for a gaming series, but that’s only because you haven’t stopped to think about it. There has to be a series out there that has done something for you, either pioneered your favorite genre of gaming or helped you through a tough time. Whatever it may have been, this is your opportunity to give thanks to the development team(s) responsible for bringing it to life.


Super Mario Bros.

A plumber and his brother set out to save a princess kidnapped by an oversized Koopa. Across an unusual world filled with fiendish mushrooms, deadly turtles, and really inconvenient moving floors, the duo jumps and runs their way to rescue the kingdom and restore order

Why We’re Thankful:

From one simple side-scrolling platformer, Nintendo crafted more than 200 titles. While some fit within the same genre, others branch off into sports, party games, brawlers, third-person adventures, racers, and puzzlers. The first “Super Mario Bros.” opened up a floodgate of ideas that has kept us entertained across every console generation. Families have come together, friends have argued, relationships have been ruined, and, in the end, everyone has some memory linked to the heroic red-suited plumber and his more timid brother.  

That doesn’t even touch on the slew of merchandise, from bed sheets to action figures, spawned from Mario’s continued popularity.

Doom

Equipped with conventional weapons and balls of steel, a space marine takes on hordes of demons infesting the moons of Mars. The fearless hero rips, tears, and blasts his way through Imps and Cyberdemons and even takes the battle into Hell itself to keep the battle from coming to Earth.

Why We’re Thankful:

Outside of being a great stress reliever, “Doom” paved the way for the first-person shooter genre. While it’s also indirectly responsible for some truly miserable gaming experiences, without “Doom,” it’s possible we wouldn’t have games like “GoldenEye 007” or “Duke Nukem.” Sure, “Wolfenstein” and other first-person shooters may have predated id Software’s 90s gorefest, but it was “Doom” that helped put the genre on the map. Think about it – how many times have you heard the phrase, “That game is just a ‘Wolfenstein’ clone!”

Mortal Kombat

Fighters from different realms come together for a tournament that will determine the fate of Earthrealm. The participants punch, kick, and bloody their opponents in a brutal battle for the realm of man while calling upon uber violence to dismember their foe limb from limb.

Why We’re Thankful:

There are a lot of fighters out there, and it’s difficult to choose one that outshines the others, but there has always been something about “Mortal Kombat” that has us perpetually thankful. No, not every entry has been worth playing, but those that have been delivered delightfully gory experiences that test the strength of friendships and controllers. From the earliest days of stop motion animation to today’s showy and incredibly flashy titles, we’ve had generations of “Mortal Kombat” titles to turn to when we needed to escape our reality.

Call Of Duty

Soldiers battle across battlefields in Europe and Asia, engage in conflicts in the distant future, and take on hordes of the undead in a series so varied, it’s hard not to love. From World War I to battles in space, “Call of Duty” has covered many fronts across more than 15 games. 

Why We’re Thankful:

“Call of Duty” is an ever-changing animal, but it’s one we can forever be grateful for. Admittedly, it doesn’t appeal to every gamer, but those that can sink their teeth into the gritty combat get to enjoy hours upon hours of exciting scenarios. Even in its earliest incarnations, “Call of Duty” has put a focus on multiplayer. That focus is even stronger today, providing us with something to bond over – whether it’s to trash talk the series or excitedly jump into online matches together. 

Grand Theft Auto

Plow down helpless citizens, beat up prostitutes for money, and see how long you can evade the cops – it’s all in a hard day’s work for the protagonists of this third-person action series. In fictional versions of real cities, men of all races and creeds find out that the past is never really dead and the future is something you’ll have to fight for.

Why We’re Thankful:

Listen. The teams behind the “Grand Theft Auto” series put in a lot of work to craft deep and engaging stories, but we have to be real with ourselves. That could all be removed and so few of us would even notice. So long as we’re left with our ability to wreak havoc, we’re good. Across five titles, we’ve been able to live the life of debauchery that we sometimes think of when things really get us down. The series has been a guilt-free space to escape the real world, blow things up, and decompress after a long day. Critics think “Grand Theft Auto” is responsible for an uptick in youth crime. Frankly, the relief it gives likely proves quite the opposite.

The Legend Of Zelda

An elf-looking man in a green tunic sets out to rescue a princess and save the lands from a persistent evil. Not to be confused with the plumbers that are tasked with the same thing, the hero of Hyrule wields swords, bombs, boomerangs, and a host of other gadgets to help him on his journey. 

Why We’re Thankful:

“The Legend of Zelda” series is one that’s accessible no matter how old you may be. Earlier iterations may have been a bit more difficult, but once Link was depicted as a cartoon character, it was clear that there was a diverse audience for the series. Though not ever “The Legend of Zelda” game has been a hit, the majority have provided hours of fantastical fun. Kicking chickens and breaking vases is a pastime so many gamers will remember thanks to the series’ longevity and accessibility. When we needed to escape into a world of fantasy, “The Legend of Zelda” was typically always there. Even if it took on other forms like “Hyrule Warriors” or Link’s presence in the “Super Smash Bros.” series.

Resident Evil

A small town in the midwest United States falls apart at the hands of an evil pharmaceutical corporation. As a virus that turns people into flesh-eating zombies spreads across the town, it slowly turns into a global threat that only a ragtag group of survivors can take on.

Why We’re Thankful:

Capcom’s “Resident Evil” series has been our go-to source for survival horror since the late 1990s. Do you love games like “Dead Space,” “The Last of Us,” or “The Evil Within?” Well, we wouldn’t have them without “Resident Evil.” It’s even possible that the survival horror genre would be quite a bit different today without Capcom’s beloved series. Beyond its importance to gaming, the “Resident Evil” series gave us characters to look up to and admire. Chris Redfield, Leon S. Kennedy, Claire Redfield, Jill Valentine, Barry Burton, Sherry Burton – they’ve become icons of gaming that we won’t soon forget.

The Elder Scrolls

An adventurer of varied races embarks on an epic journey to complete an ample number of quests, tick off NPCs all across the land, and put a stop to some of the most nefarious beings on the planet. Or join their ranks, if that best suited them.

Why We’re Thankful:How can we not be thankful for a game series that we’ve sunk hundreds of hours into? It’s not even that the core games are that long; but they are that good. From “Morrowind” to “Skyrim,” we embark on each fantastical tale to battle skeletons, bandits, dragons, giants, and all manner of villainous foe time and time again. “The Elder Scrolls” is our escape into a world of magic and monsters. Fiends and friends. Adventure and perils. Thanks to “Skyrim” and its many, many rereleases, we have more than one way to enjoy the best of this beloved RPG series.

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