[[caption-width-right:300:Yes, they've named [[GameEngine their engines]] after this series.]]

One of the most iconic [[FirstPersonShooter FPS]] franchises, made by Creator/EpicGames. it started as a primarily single-player game, but its multi-player successor, ''Unreal Tournament'', saw such great success that the series has essentially split into three branches:

Single player games:
* ''VideoGame/{{Unreal|I}}''
** ''Unreal: Return to Na Pali,'' an [[/index]]ExpansionPack[[index]]
* ''VideoGame/UnrealIITheAwakening''

Multiplayer games:
* ''VideoGame/UnrealTournament''
* ''Unreal Tournament 2003'' (redirect to Unreal Tournament 2004)
* ''VideoGame/UnrealTournament2004''
* ''VideoGame/UnrealTournamentIII''
* ''VideoGame/UnrealTournament4'' (A reboot developed by Epic Games, alongside their own mapping/modding community, using the Unreal Engine 4)

Console exclusive games:
* ''Unreal Championship'' (redirect to Unreal Tournament 2004)
* ''VideoGame/UnrealChampionship2TheLiandriConflict''

Like many popular FPS series, [[GameMod modding]] potential is a large part of its appeal and success; both the single- and multiplayer parts of the series have seen many releases. Part of the dodgy reception of ''[=UT2003=]'' and ''Unreal 2'' is the fact that their modding tools were half-broken. Of particular interest is the fact that all of the original Unreal's assets and textures are available in Unreal Tournament, so with the right mod (along with transferring the music and maps from the original game to the UT folders) it is essentially possible to turn UT into one big "super-game" with a full single ''and'' multiplayer component.

The ''Unreal'' series fell into obscurity near the turn of TheNewTens due to the lack of a followup to ''Unreal Tournament 3'', helped along by a number of outside factors: the rise of team-based / "tactical" shooters (having started around the same time as ''Unreal'' with ''VideoGame/CounterStrike'', but really reaching its peak concurrent with ''[=UT3=]'' with the ''VideoGame/{{Call of|Duty}} VideoGame/{{Modern|Warfare}} VideoGame/{{Battlefield}}'' glut), the rise of free arcadelike shooters (''World of Padman'', ''VideoGame/{{Nexuiz}}'', ''Alien Arena'', ''VideoGame/OpenArena''...) taking the place of commercial ones, the overwhelming popularity of ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' (which combined the strategic elements of the former with Unreal's action-packed and over-the-top vibe), and Creator/EpicGames's shift in focus towards the UsefulNotes/Xbox360 with the ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar'' franchise. However, Epic president Mike Capps was quoted as saying that the franchise is due for a revival, and with the above-listed ''Unreal Tournament 4'', they eventually delivered. Furthermore, the Unreal {{Game Engine}}s, one for each Tournament, have seen extremely widespread use throughout the gaming industry, with hundreds of games in just about every genre released using Epic's code (in comparison, only one game ''ever'' has used the ''VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved'' engine besides ''Halo'' itself and its [[VideoGameRemake Anniversary remake]]--the obscure ''VideoGame/StubbsTheZombie'').
!Recurring tropes for the series include:
* AbnormalAmmo: Many of the weapons use unconventional ammo. A favorite is Tarydium, the resident power-producing crystals, where both the crystals themselves (the original Stinger, ''[=UT3'=]''s combined Stinger Minigun) and the waste product from creating power with them (the perennial [=BioRifle=]) are useful for the purposes of killing things.
* AlienBlood: Some creatures bled differently from humans.
* AlienSky: Considering the saga as a whole takes part in an universe...
* ArtificialBrilliance: Most of the franchise's [=AIs=] are a challenge even by today's standards.
* ArtificialLimbs: Some characters feature this.
* AwesomeButImpractical: At least one weapon per game falls into this.
* BlatantItemPlacement: Especially in the multiplayer games.
* BodyArmorAsHitPoints.
* ConvectionSchmonvection: Lava is deadly only when touching it in this series.
* CrapsackWorld: Well... let's just say that, across the series, the Unreal universe's setting is ''extremely'' DarkerAndEdgier, and that's being generous.
* DifficultButAwesome: At least one weapon per game falls into this.
* EndingTropes: Normally of the [[BittersweetEnding bittersweet]] variant. Comes with an universe based on GreyAndGrayMorality.
* EnergyBall: What some of your guns fire.
* ExcusePlot: Most of the games prior to ''Unreal II''. The first ''Unreal'' at least had the excuse that your primary goal was survival, and anything else was at best tangentially related to it; the ''Tournament'' games, however, were generally just ToBeAMaster with the "story", at best, being backstory you could read about your opponents before they tried to murder you repeatedly, until ''Unreal Tournament 3'' tried to be both a third ''Tournament'' game with heavy multiplayer focus ''and'' a third ''Unreal'' game with an actual attempt at a story.
* GangstaStyle: Mostly done with the starter weapon or a weaker one.
* GatlingGood: At least one weapon per game falls into this.
* HitScan: While most weapons end up firing PainfullySlowProjectile[=s=], generally each game will go for this instead for your starting gun, the Shock Rifle's primary fire, your [[MoreDakka minigun equivalent]], and the SniperRifle.
* LazyArtist: In spite of the newer engines' features, there are many old stuff taken from previous games.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters
* MoreDakka: A favorite way of increasing your firepower, with most of the pistols having an alt-fire that increases their fire rate (classic Automag and Enforcer's "GangstaStyle" mode, ''[=UT3=]'' Enforcer's burst-fire mode) when they're not replaced with something that fires faster outright (''2003'', ''Championship'' and ''2004''[='=]s Assault Rifle), and the games also frequently offer the Minigun and the Pulse Rifle/Link Gun as an option for both hitscan and projectile varieties to boost your dakka.
* NoOSHACompliance: Many of the factories and buildings visited across the saga.
* PainfullySlowProjectile: Some weapons fall into this, even in the multiplayer games.
* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: Normally, the Skaarj. As vicious as they are, they have a code of honor.
* QuadDamage: One per game.
* RocketJump: Possible across the series; in most cases you can also do it with a weapon you spawn with.
* SceneryPorn: Even the older games have breathtaking scenery in today's era.
* SecondaryFire: A staple of the series, with each weapon having it's own use depending on the situation. Some weapons even have tertiary fire modes utilized by combining the primary and secondary in some way, an infamous example being the Shock Combo for hitting the Shock Rifle's secondary energy-ball with the primary beam.
* TheManyDeathsOfYou: Especially with the multiplayer games, what with the players being able to shoot themselves in the foot, being crushed or drowned in water, lava, slime.
* UpdatedRerelease:
** ''Unreal'' had '''''Unreal Gold''''', packing in the original game plus its expansion and porting them to the newer version of the engine introduced for ''Tournament''.
** ''Unreal Tournament'' had the '''''Game of the Year Edition''''', which packed in three of the four Bonus Packs as well as two well-known mods, Rocket Arena and [=ChaosUT=].
** ''Unreal Tournament 2004'' got the '''''Editor's Choice Edition''''', adding three new vehicles, four new Onslaught maps, six new playable characters, and in physical releases, another disk filled with various mods.
** ''Unreal Tournament 3'' received the '''''Black Edition''''', packing together the latest version of the game with the "Titan Pack", which added five new maps, two characters that were originally 360-exclusive bonuses, a new vehicle, two new game modes, and a "Titan" mutator.

!Tropes found across the series include:
* ArtEvolution: Comes with an evolving engine. Compare, for example, the [[http://img717.imageshack.us/img717/4930/deck161.jpg Unreal]] and [[http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/4930/deck161.jpg UT]] (both running on the Unreal Engine 1) versions of the Deck map with [[http://img138.imageshack.us/img138/7615/deck17.jpg UT2004]] (running in Unreal Engine 2) and [[http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/6318/deck1.jpg UT3]] (running in the Unreal Engine 3) versions of the same map.
* CompilationRerelease:
** ''Totally Unreal'': Unreal + Unreal Tournament
** ''Unreal Gold'': Unreal + Return To Na Pali
** ''Unreal Anthology'': Unreal Gold + Unreal Tournament GOTY Edition + Unreal II (plus the multiplayer expansion XMP) + Unreal Tournament 2004: ECE Edition. [[note]]Unfortunately, Midway couldn't get the rights to publish the mods.[[/note]]
** ''Unreal Deal Pack'': Unreal Gold + Unreal Tournament GOTY + Unreal II (without XMP this time) + Unreal Tournament 2004: ECE Edition (again without the mods, but with the community bonus pack maps) + Unreal Tournament III Black.
* GameMod: THE series for mods outside of ''VideoGame/HalfLife''. Both the Singleplayer and multiplayer side of the franchise have seen a large quantity of high-quality releases, due largely to the fact that it was the first game that didn't require knowledge of C programming to make a mod. Unreal 1 featured [=UnrealScript=], which was simpler and less complex than C, and the main game itself was written in [=UnrealScript=], which gave people a strong example to look at. In short, there will be at least one person using a custom model on your map.\\
And if your mod is good enough, this goes even farther, since Epic Games has made in the past many {{Updated Rerelease}}s which included many community-made mods, and, starting from ''2003'', the ''1 Million Dollar Make Something Unreal'' modding contests that have spawned several commercial games like ''VideoGame/KillingFloor'' and ''VideoGame/RedOrchestra''.
* GreyAndGrayMorality: A common topic on the franchise as a whole. There's no such thing as "100% good" or "100% evil" characters; all of them are guided by their own interests.
* TropeOverdosed: Just so you know, this page had to be broke onto several different pages. Now imagine how big this page was. WikiMagic at its finest!
* WomanOfAThousandVoices: Sioux "[=UnrealGrrl=]" Blue, who does nearly ALL of the female voices of the Unreal series. May it be a female announcer or a female player, you'll always hear her.