Game franchises where you like less popular entry the best?

aozgolo

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In most game franchises there is one or two (sometimes more) entries that are considered en masse to be the best.

Sometimes it's the first one back before it got all screwed up.
Sometimes it's the latest one cause they perfected everything.
Then sometimes it falls in the middle back when it still had charm but hadn't sold it's soul.

Then of course there's you, the sly discerning one who for whatever reason decided to go the road less traveled and likes the less popular one, and not just because it's the hipster thing to do.

So tell us about your favorite entry(ies) into a game franchise that are either unpopular or at least not nearly as popular as the ones everyone else raves about.

Keep in mind some franchises have multiple popular favorites (Example: Final Fantasy VI & VII are both popular, V not so much).

Provide some examples as to why you like this game the best in the franchise, oh yeah and in order to qualify you kinda need to have played more than ONE game in a franchise (but not all, we got lives you know).
 

MysticSlayer

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For starters, there's the 3D Mario platformers. Sunshine is easily my favorite of them all, but compared to Super Mario 64, Galaxy, and Galaxy 2, Sunshine is sort of pushed to the side. This is only made worse by Reggie fils-Aime claiming that it wasn't even a real Mario game to begin with. For me, though, I thought Sunshine had the best atmosphere (loved the tropical setting), the level design and challenges, and pretty much everything about the game. Yeah, it had some serious issues at times--that level leading up to the final boss was absolute pain--but it was enjoyable overall.

I also think Oblivion was the best Elder Scrolls game, even though most people tend to pick either Morrowind or Skyrim. I just think it was the most pleasing to look at (well, mostly), and it kept me interested far longer than any of the other games did.

There's also Battlefield 1942, which tends to be the one most people don't consider anymore, having moved on to Battlefield 2, Bad Company 2, or Battlefield 3. However, the scale of the battles in BF1942 was pretty much unmatched in my opinion, and while it was more simplistic than BF2 with nowhere near the potential for teamwork, I found that it was much easier to enjoy BF1942 to its full potential as opposed to BF2.
 

shrekfan246

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May 26, 2011
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DmC.

For all it lacks in difficulty compared to the rest of the franchise, I feel it more than makes up for it in style. It's got the most visually interesting levels (at least to me; The neo-gothic architecture prominent in the rest of the franchise is neat, but never really grabbed me), the switch to finally having a fully third-person camera instead of a mixture of third-person and fixed-camera makes it much less clumsy to navigate in and out of combat, and the combat system itself just feels like it flows much more naturally.

If there was one thing about it that I'd have to say is just straight worse than a previous entry in the franchise, it's that the boss fights in Devil May Cry 3 are vastly better and not just for their difficulty (because honestly, I don't particularly give a toss about the difficulty).

Also, while I can enjoy the cheesiness of the earlier Devil May Cry games and Vergil was still a better character in 3, I definitely liked the less cartoony versions of Dante and Vergil in DmC. While it can be said that, in comparison to the other stories, they took a few too many steps toward the "I'm so edgy and grim!" pillar, there's still a bit of a sarcastic bite to the writing and Dante feels more like an actual character rather than a walking personification of "Too cool for school".
 

Extra-Ordinary

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ODST is my favorite Halo game.

I know a lot of people don't like it, I understand why as well, but I like it because I think it's the most unique.
A quasi-open-world Halo game with audio logs that had a very light stealth element. And when they said you're not as strong as the chief, they meant it and it really shows.
I don't know, I find it really good is all.
 

StriderShinryu

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Zelda 2 for me. Almost everyone seems to hate it, but I still feel it's the only Zelda that combined the traditional Zelda game format with combat that felt meaty and challenging.
 

shapaza

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I like Mass Effect 2 the best even though most people I know think the first one is the best. Yes, I agree it contributed fuck all to the overarching plot. Yes, the gameplay was simplified compared to ME1 (though I don't think that's all bad). But, I think it had the most interesting cast of characters out of all the ME games. Plus, I found it hard to be immersed in ME1 when I had to access the god-awful inventory screen and when I had to drive the Mako across the 100th slightly-different-colored, jagged mountain range just to progress the game.
On a related note, the Suicide Mission is probably one of my favorite final missions in a video game. It's just paced so perfectly.
 

aozgolo

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shapaza said:
I like Mass Effect 2 the best even though most people I know think the first one is the best. Yes, I agree it contributed fuck all to the overarching plot. Yes, the gameplay was simplified compared to ME1 (though I don't think that's all bad). But, I think it had the most interesting cast of characters out of all the ME games. Plus, I found it hard to be immersed in ME1 when I had to access the god-awful inventory screen and when I had to drive the Mako across the 100th slightly-different-colored, jagged mountain range just to progress the game.
Plus, the Suicide Mission is probably one of my favorite final missions in a video game. It's just paced so perfectly.
Actually most people I encountered like ME2 the best, I honestly can't give my own opinion since I haven't beaten the first one yet so I haven't played the next two.
 

shapaza

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Shaun Kennedy said:
shapaza said:
I like Mass Effect 2 the best even though most people I know think the first one is the best. Yes, I agree it contributed fuck all to the overarching plot. Yes, the gameplay was simplified compared to ME1 (though I don't think that's all bad). But, I think it had the most interesting cast of characters out of all the ME games. Plus, I found it hard to be immersed in ME1 when I had to access the god-awful inventory screen and when I had to drive the Mako across the 100th slightly-different-colored, jagged mountain range just to progress the game.
Plus, the Suicide Mission is probably one of my favorite final missions in a video game. It's just paced so perfectly.
Actually most people I encountered like ME2 the best, I honestly can't give my own opinion since I haven't beaten the first one yet so I haven't played the next two.
Really? A lot of the opinions I hear are along the lines of "Man, they took out all the RPG elements and dumbed it down for the cover-shooter loving masses!"
 

aozgolo

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For me my favorite less than popular entries:

Final Fantasy XII, hardly unpopular but placed against the juggernauts of the series like VI, VII and even X, Final Fantasy XII rarely gets a mention and I can't understand why. It's an amazing game with an amazing setting, great story, and tons to do. I haven't even beaten the game yet and it's easily my favorite Final Fantasy. Though as a runner up before playing XII I actually liked V the best, something about the story I really enjoyed, it was simple, fun, and didn't take itself too serious like some of the other games, and while it was kind of basic, the job system made it lots of fun.

Legend of Mana. Secret of Mana is a great game, the sequel if you can find a way to play it is also amazing, but Legend of Mana, not even an official numbered Seiken Denetsu game (it's a Gaiden) is by far my favorite in the series for the sheer amount of things you can do in it. Some people get turned off by the apparent nature of having a bunch of seemingly unrelated side quests in lieu of a full story but the beauty of the game is it does have a massive connecting story that you only really become aware of half-way through. It's also a beautiful game.

Harvest Moon Magical Melody: For most people, Harvest Moon 64 or Back to Nature (or even Friends of Mineral Town) seems to be the favorite in this series, but for me Magical Melody wins just by being the best sandbox Harvest Moon out there, in addition to the standard farming and mining, you could buy land, build any kind of buildings anywhere, cut down trees, buy furniture and arrange it, and had tons more options for who you wanted to marry, and the game even had a sort of achievement system with the magical notes you collect.

Toejam & Earl. For some reason everyone seems to love the sequel sidescroller game, for me though I much prefer the classic top down adventure game, it was just so fun and felt very laidback while still being challenging.

Thief Deadly Shadows, perhaps because I played it first and have trouble getting into the first two since they are very dated and I fail to see what they had going for them better than Deadly Shadow, but nonetheless I enjoy the bastard child the best in this case.
 

MrBaskerville

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I like the third Project Zero better than the second, which generally seems to be a no-no, i just never cared for the renewed battlesystem in Zero 2 and i liked the apartment sequences in the third game, while it was oddly cool to revisit old locations from the first game. (Something that could also be viewed as lazy, but i kinda liked it, it worked in this game).

Aside from that, i don't really know. I hated Devil May Cry 2, just like the majority (but i did think 4 was better than 3) and i didn't care for Silent Hill 4, or any of e western sequels while i prefer 1-3, just like the majority. Maybe this one: I think TES: Arena is the best game in the series, let me correct that: only good game in the series. I don't think many people agree with that one^^.
 

BQE

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I had an outstanding experience with Dragon Age 2. For some reason or another, I was never able to get into the original Dragon Age despite multiple attempts to stoke interest.

The gameplay, graphics, story, and characters seemed to have struck the a perfect chord with me. I remember the game quite fondly, and was rather shocked by the apparent disgust with the game I've seen on these forums.
 

Zhukov

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Well, I like Mass Effect 3 at least as much as ME2 and I like them both a whole lot more than ME1.

That's about the only one that jumps out at me.
 

Drummodino

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shapaza said:
Shaun Kennedy said:
shapaza said:
I like Mass Effect 2 the best even though most people I know think the first one is the best. Yes, I agree it contributed fuck all to the overarching plot. Yes, the gameplay was simplified compared to ME1 (though I don't think that's all bad). But, I think it had the most interesting cast of characters out of all the ME games. Plus, I found it hard to be immersed in ME1 when I had to access the god-awful inventory screen and when I had to drive the Mako across the 100th slightly-different-colored, jagged mountain range just to progress the game.
Plus, the Suicide Mission is probably one of my favorite final missions in a video game. It's just paced so perfectly.
Actually most people I encountered like ME2 the best, I honestly can't give my own opinion since I haven't beaten the first one yet so I haven't played the next two.
Really? A lot of the opinions I hear are along the lines of "Man, they took out all the RPG elements and dumbed it down for the cover-shooter loving masses!"
Just because most people on the Escapist hold a particular opinion doesn't mean it's representative of the general public. These forums can be very harsh on particular properties (I don't get it personally).

That opinion on Mass Effect 2 is quite common around here. Another example would be the general disdain most Escapists have for Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy.

OT: I actually believe GTA IV is the best of the series (haven't played V). Sure Niko's actions in the story don't mesh very well with how you tend to behave outside of missions, but I thought his story was great. The socializing aspects didn't bother me either, I liked going on dates with girls and hanging with my boy Brucie.
 

00slash00

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BQE said:
I had an outstanding experience with Dragon Age 2. For some reason or another, I was never able to get into the original Dragon Age despite multiple attempts to stoke interest.

The gameplay, graphics, story, and characters seemed to have struck the a perfect chord with me. I remember the game quite fondly, and was rather shocked by the apparent disgust with the game I've seen on these forums.
I agree. There were some parts that bugged me, like the fact that I couldn't change much of my companions gear and the reused dungeons. But Dragon Age Origins just kind of felt like a stripped down and simplified version of Baldur's Gate. I would like to play through Dragon Age 2 sometime but the thought of playing through Origins again just kind of depresses me
 

Terramax

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Yeah, Mario Sunshine is the only Mario game I will play. I don't like any of the other 3D ones all that much.

I'm a big fan of Tenchu Z and Tenchu: Fatal Shadows, even though both came out when the series went into major decline.
 

snappydog

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Seconding the FFXII answer, because I really like that game. Its combat system is different, sure, but I do think it worked. Perhaps it took XIII for a lot of people to realise what XII actually did quite well, but I always liked the way it did that. Plus it's an enormous game with a lot of really great characters, although I do agree for the most part that Vaan is... less than great.

I also like Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days. A lot of people seem to dismiss it (largely 'cos of Xion hatred) but I like the panel system of leveling up/ assigning skills, I like being able to play as Org!Roxas, and I would hope that even the biggest critics of Days wouldn't try to take from me that the music is phenomenal, with Xion's theme being one of Yoko Shimomura's greatest achievements in my opinion.
 

not_you

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Mar 16, 2011
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Assassin's Creed...

I much prefer the original compared to (all) the others...
Well, besides the last 20 minutes of the storyline... that can go away...
The rest of the game was good... Nothing overcomplicated other than you, your target, and a city to find him...

Sure, the quests were a bit samey, but at least the game was about assassinations....