In the video game world, competition never ceases, and to remain a contender each console manufacturer needs to maintain an identity among consumers and offer them something they can't get on any other platform.
The games, one key franchise for each company, that make Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony what they are today.
Sony, game company since 1994, has seen its ups and downs in the console business. Sony first debuted the PlayStation in 1994 and the PlayStation 2 in 1999.
Those two consoles have gone on to sell a total of more than 240 million units, with the PlayStation 2 selling 140 million alone. These first two consoles are among the most popular in gaming history, while gamers remain on the fence regarding the success of the PlayStation 3 and the PSP.
There have been many franchise games to come through Sony that have gone on to become very successful. On the PlayStation, Crash Bandicoot, Gran Turismo, and Metal Gear Solid ruled the platform. Then the PlayStation 2 came out and called on Shadow of the Colossus, ICO, Jak and Daxter, and more Metal Gear to gain success.
The PlayStation 3 has had some good games as well including the Resistance series, Killzone, Uncharted, and one more MGS game. As great and successful as these games are, especially very close runner-up Metal Gear Solid series, one franchise has held its own and destroyed the competition.
He slashes. He dashes. He pretty much just destroys anything in his path. His name is Kratos, and the franchise Sony wouldn't be the same without is the God of War franchise. Some gamers may not like this decision, because God of War only hit the scene in 2005. But think about it, has any other game from Sony had as much influence in the gaming world as GoW? I don't think so.
The first God of War was a fantastic "beat the crap out of you're opponent" game. It had brilliant graphics, amazing gameplay, and an epic story. The game was destined to be noticed by gamers everywhere, and it was. GoW sold 3.21 million units worldwide, 2.48 million in the U.S..
The game won multiple awards including best PS2 game in 2005 by multiple gaming publications. That alone would make me consider it for Sony's best franchise, but Sony released two more God of War games. Smart move.
With the unthinkable success of God of War, Sony continued on the God of War series with God of War II in 2007. GoW II had nearly as much success as the first game, and Sony definitely benefited from it. GoW II continued after the events of the first, and has one of the most beautiful and huge beginnings I've ever seen in a video game.
Don't tell me you have already forgotten about the Colossus of Rhodes? Apart from being a wonderfully made game, GoW II has sold 2.45 million units, 1.74 million of which have come from the US. But we aren't done yet, Sony has released one more GoW.
Well, you can say what you want about the PSP. It has been popular and it has struggled. Some people like it and some people hate it, but it has had some undeniably good games. Possibly the best of all PSP games is God of War: Chains of Olympus. This game deals with Kratos' life before the first GoW, making it the first game in the series, in chronological order. Chains of Olympus has become one of the most popular PSP titles, and sold 1.67 million to date.
God of War III has also been announced for PS3, and there is already a lot of excitement surrounding it. If this excitement says anything about the potential success of the game, God of War III should be big, and may even cause the rejuvenation of the PS3 -- who knows?
All in all, the sales numbers of the GoW games are enough to say this is Sony's number one franchise. It is making Sony a ton of money, but beyond that, the popularity of these games is serving Sony in an even better way. God of War sells PlayStation systems every time a new game comes out, and will continue to do so as long as Sony makes them.
I would say that there is another franchise that has as much or even more power than God of War and that is Gran Turismo, ever since it came out on the PS1 it has been a million seller and has set the bar for all car simulators made thereafter. I mean when a glorified demo like GT5 Prologue has sold more than a million copies it's fair to say that the GT franchise is on par and even surpasses God of War.
Personally I was referring to 1st party games since in the new multi console world they seem to be the deciding factor between one console or the other, a lot of people can't wait for the next God of War or Gran Turismo and they are only on PS3