This page covers the franchise as a whole. If you're looking for the original BioShock game, see: YMMV.Bio Shock 1.
- Anvilicious: The series isn't subtle in its imagery, which unfortunately means that the messages that are subtle are easily overwhelmed. Extremism in any human endeavour is bad; this is more or less the true message of the games, represented with all of the major villains and settings. Any time you encounter an individual who pursues something to an extreme, it all ends poorly.
- Drugs Are Bad: Rapture is full of addicts. ADAM isn't technically crack, but it sure is desirable.
- Awesome Music: Found here.
- Contested Sequel: Infinite is either the best or the worst game in the series. General consensus is, however, that Infinite is a worthy, if still inferior, sequel to Bio Shock 1 and is still superior to BioShock 2.
- BioShock 2 is near universally agreed to be a cash grab that is not as good as the original, but fans can't agree on whether it's a good game in its own right that had a story that did its own thing, or if it's a lazy piece of garbage that had a story that used too many retcons and diminished the original's story.
- Enjoy the Story, Skip the Game: Many critics had this reaction to every entry in the franchise, praising their respective stories and settings but criticizing for their relatively simple gameplay, particularly in comparison to their spiritual predecessor System Shock 2.
- Love to Hate: There are many despicable characters in the franchise, from Andrew Ryan to Sofia Lamb to Sander Cohen to Zachary Comstock to Jeremiah Fink — and that's not even mentioning the undisputed heavyweight champion of evil BioShock villains, Frank Fontaine. But damn if they don't tend to be great orators.
- Nightmare Fuel: Lots. Between claustrophobia, hydrophobia, body horror, deadly doctors, mad artists, deadly doctors who ''think'' they're artists, fear of surgical implements, fear of needles, fear of the dark, mind control, child cruelty, creepy children, soundtrack dissonance, animal cruelty, fear of being hunted through a decaying city by gene-spliced psychopaths, and seafood allergies, there's something in the series to terrify everybody. All three games have their own pages.