Video Game / Unreal
Yes, they've named their engines after this series.

One of the most iconic FPS franchises, made by Epic Games. 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:

Multiplayer games:

Console exclusive games:

Like many popular FPS series, 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 end of the last decade, helped along by a number of factors: the rise of team-based / "tactical" shooters (starting with Counter-Strike and ending with the current Call of Modern Battlefield glut), the rise of free arcadelike shooters (World Of Padman, Nexuiz, Alien Arena, OpenArena...) taking the place of commercial ones, the overwhelming popularity of Team Fortress 2 (which combined the strategic elements of the former with Unreal's action-packed and over-the-top vibe), and Epic Games's recent focus on the Gears of War franchise. However, Epic president Mike Capps is quoted as saying that the franchise is due for a revival, eventually delivering. Furthermore, the Unreal Game Engines, one for each Tournament, have seen extremely widespread use throughout the gaming industry, with dozens of games, in just about every genre, released using Epic's code. (In comparison, only one game ever has used the Halo: Combat Evolved engine besides Halo itself and its Anniversary remake—the obscure Stubbs the Zombie.)

Recurring tropes for the series include:

Tropes found across the series include:

  • Art Evolution: Comes with an evolving engine. Compare, for example, the Unreal and UT (both running on the Unreal Engine 1) versions of the Deck map with UT2004 (running in Unreal Engine 2) and UT3 (running in the Unreal Engine 3) versions of the same map.
  • Compilation Re-release:
    • 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 
    • 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.
  • Game Mod: THE series for mods outside of Half-Life. 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 Rereleases 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 Killing Floor and Red Orchestra.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: 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.
  • Trope Overdosed: Just so you know, this page had to be broke onto several different pages. Now imagine how big this page was. Wiki Magic at its finest!
  • Woman of a Thousand Voices: 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.