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Video Game Long Runners

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As the decades go on, Mario still stands strong.

Video games as a medium are significantly younger than TV or print, but that doesn't mean that there aren't a few classics of the genre.

Some games are memorable for their soundtracks, using the limited soundchips and internal speakers of their time to make a work of sonic art that is instantly recognized years later. Sometimes the story paints an epic that draws in the player until they suddenly come up for air at 3:00 AM wondering what happened to the day, or it just has that Just One More Level effect that causes the same. Some games have a character that is like the imaginary friend that grows up with you, and is always ready to welcome you back for a visit.

And then there's those that have the total package. The winners of the test of time and advancing technology. Here we honor the Video Game Long Runners.


To be added, a franchise should have at least six games (barring e.g. mobile spin-offs) and span at least ten years. Sports games based on real-world leagues are generally disqualified, since they get an update every year.

The presence of Capcom Sequel Stagnation is of course, up for debate.


  • Armored Core - 15 games (five main installments and about ten mission pack sequels), along with a few spinoffs like Formula Front, some mobile phone and PSP ports. 1997-2013.
  • Asphalt: First released in 2004 with Asphalt Urban GT for the N-Gage and mobile phones and as a launch title for the Nintendo DS, the series has had nine main entries, plus ports for portable consoles and personal computers, along with spinoff games and a promotional tie-in with Audi where a limited version of Asphalt 6: Adrenaline was made as part of a contest, the main prize being an Audi RS3.
  • Assassin's Creed: Released in 2007 with twelve main games and various spinoff games. Plus some comic books, regular books, and movies to boot.
  • Atelier: The first title, Atelier Marier: The Alchemist of Salburg, came out in Japan in 1997. Since then, it's gotten at least one new instalment per year, other than a break between the second and third titles (Atelier Elie came out in 1998, Atelier Lilie in 2001).
  • Battlefield - eleven games and twelve expansion packs. The series began in 2002 with Battlefield 1942 and has had five following main entriesnote  since its release, plus sci-fi spin-off Battlefield 2142, Battlefield Vietnam, the two Bad Company games, and Battlefield Hardline.
  • Backyard Sports: The series started in 1997 and put out installments every year through 2010.
  • BEMANI games in general:
    • Dance Dance Revolution: Launched in 1998. As of this writing, there have been 17 main series arcade installments released, plus countless console versions. Currently the oldest active Bemani series that didn't start out as a spin-off.
    • pop'n music: Launched in 1998, currently at 25 installments.
    • Guitar Freaks was first released in February 1999, and its sister game Drum Mania came along in July that year alongside GuitarFreaks 2nd Mix. They're now up to 27 and 26 installments respectively and still counting.
    • beatmania IIDX: Launched in 1999 as a Spin-Off of the original beatmania (which started in 1997). The current version is beatmania IIDX 27 Heroic Versenote .
    • Jubeat: Debuting in July 2008, it currently spans 9 titles.
  • While they don't use a continuous naming pattern as Square Enix does with their Final Fantasy series, BioWare has created their own special type of western RPGs that share many major features, which are continuously developed further. Starting with Baldur's Gate in 1998, they released 13 games (and many expansion packs) with 5 additional ones in their IPs developed by Black Isle/Obsidian Entertainment.note 
  • The Minigame Game Bishi Bashi series with numerous arcade, PlayStation, and mobile titles since 1996.
  • Bomberman - This little guy's branched out a lot. See That Other Wiki's entry for details.
  • Borderlands: five games and roughly three expansion packs worth of DLCnote  have been released since 2009, plus some mobile and browser spin-offs, novels, comics, and board games.
  • Bubble Bobble - Nine games in the main series since 1986, six more games in the Rainbow Islands spinoff series, and another dozen Puzzle Bobble/Bust-a-Move Puzzle Game spinoffs. The spinoffs themselves are long runners in their own right, with Rainbow Islands starting in 1987 and Puzzle Bobble starting in 1994.
  • Call of Duty - The first game was released in 2003, and as of 2021, there had been a total of 18 games in the main series (and a three-company development cycle that ensures one game per year), with dozens more spin-off games and media.
  • Castlevania - A franchise that started on the NES in 1986, and has been going ever since. The series has dozens of titles across myriad systems, and helped define numerous game and horror tropes.
  • The Chessmaster series of computer games is on its eleventh installment, and dates back to 1986.
  • The Civilization series has seen six distinct versions starting from 1991, beefed-up re-issues of II and IV, eleven expansion packs (two each for II, III, IV, and V, and three for VI), and spiritual successors Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri and Civilization: Beyond Earth. Also including Spin Offs like Call To Power or Freeciv. Its latest content, The New Frontier expansion for VI, released in 2021.
  • Command & Conquer: As a franchise, it ran from 1995 to 2010 (with mobile and browser games coming out infrequently afterwards) for a grand total of nine games (five Tiberian, three Red Alert, one Generals) and eight expansion packs (three Tiberian, four Red Alert, one Generals).
  • Konami's Contra series dates back to the coin-operated original in 1987. Although, the new games are not produced at the same rate as other Konami franchises, it has still managed to accumulate 18 original installments on consoles and portables throghout the years, the latest ones being Hard Corps: Uprising in 2011.
  • Crash Bandicoot: Eighteen games, including the eight core platformers, eight spin-offs, and two remakes. 1996-present.
  • The Darius series by Taito. Nine unique games since 1986, as well as multiple ports and remakes.
  • Dead or Alive - Six main titles, two compilations, several Updated Rereleases, and four volleyball spin-offs. Running since 1996, though it did have a four-year hiatus between 2005 and 2010, after creator Tomonobu Itagaki left Tecmo.
  • Devil May Cry Started life as a recycled concept of Resident Evil 4 in 2001, it was well-received as the defining game of Stylish Hack and Slash Action genre with nods and references to The Divine Comedy . Five main games, with the latest being Devil May Cry 5 released in 2019, along with some re-releases called Special Editions, remasters, and pachinko derivatives. Like Grand Theft Auto below, the third game easily overshadows the first two with more defined features and story, and helped rising Reuben Langdon's career to stardom.
  • Dokapon - Since 1993 on the Super Famicom with entries on several console and handheld platforms, including a now-defunct online version. However, other than the PS2/Wii Dokapon Kingdom and DS Dokapon Journey, none of those games were released in the US.
  • Doom - the Trope Codifier of the First-Person Shooter genre, to the point before "FPS games" even had their name, they were called "Doom clones". Starting with 1993's Doom, the series has had six main entries,note  almost a dozen spin-offs and official Expansion Packs,note  two films, a comic, a tabletop game, multiple novels, and hundreds of Game Mods that continue to this day.
  • Disgaea - Since 2003 with seven games in its main series (numbered games up to 6, and Disgaea D2 which is a direct sequel to the storyline of the first game) and spinoffs. Some say it is part of the Marl Kingdom series, which has been around slightly longer (since 1998), but the Disgaea series is a long runner in its own right.
  • The Divinity series began inconscpicuously in 2002 with Divine Divinity and officially moved into the long-runner territory in 2014 or 2017, depending on whether you count Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga as one game or two. Counting II as one game, it currently has six games with a seventh planned but on hold indefinitely. It is still going strong, thanks to its major crowd-funding successes.
  • Donkey Kong/Donkey Kong Country. Two series, but possibly the oldest franchise in much of video games. First arcade game released in 1981, which was also Mario's gaming debut, with Donkey Kong Country released in 1994 and the most recent game, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, released in February 2014.
  • The DonPachi series by Cave: 6 games in the main arcade series since 1995, plus a bunch of spin-offs and ports.
  • Dragon Quest (Dragon Warrior) - 11 mainline titles as of Dragon Quest XI (excluding ports and expansions), plus spinoffs such as Dragon Quest Monsters (itself a long runner, going since 1999 with 10+ titles). Celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2016.
  • Dynasty Warriors and by extension, the whole Warriors/Musou franchise either started in 1997 with Dynasty Warriorsnote , a fighting game for the PlayStation, or in 2000 with Dynasty Warriors 2note , a very early PlayStation 2 hack and slash game which is the codifier of all other games in the franchise which spans over a dozen games. Koei officially uses the latter game for counting Milestone Celebrations in Japan.
  • The Elder Scrolls is the oldest continuous Western RPG series at the moment, with its first game (Arena) having been released in 1994 and having survived the mid-90s genre crash/crisis that killed off its major competition (Ultima, Wizardry, Might and Magic, the Gold Box, etc...), and is still going strong. Even the companies making those competing games also ended up going out of business (3DO) or dissolved by parent companies (Origin Systems). Meanwhile Bethesda ended up growing into a larger company (ZeniMax Media) while maintaining their independence. Currently it's at five games in the main series with seven expansion packs,note  plus an MMO with four expansion packs of its own.
  • EVE Online stands as one of the few long runners of the MMORPG genre, a year older than even World of Warcraft. First released in May of 2003, the game is still actively updated with new patches and free expansions.
  • The Falcon hardcore F-16 flight sim series is a long runner in a different way. The first game was released in 1984, and the latest game, Falcon 4.0, came out way back in 1998. However, a dedicated community has maintained this up to the present day, with the latest mod package, BMS 4.33, coming out on October 30, 2015.
  • Fallout has five main installments with the first being released in 1997 (the four numbered games plus Fallout: New Vegas) and the spinoffs Fallout Tactics, Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel, and Fallout 76. 3, 4, New Vegas, and 76 also each have 20-40 hours of DLC stories (released between installments), each game's collective DLC having enough content for a good-sized expansion pack complete with new stories, locations, enemies, weapons, items, and characters. Other franchise content includes a mobile game (Fallout: Survivor), four tabletop games, a short graphic novel (All Roads), and a series bible.
  • Far Cry has become an FPS staple since its first release in 2004. Since then, there have been six main games (Far Cry 1/Instincts/Vengeance,note  Far Cry 2, Far Cry 3, Far Cry 4, Far Cry Primal, and Far Cry 5) and three standalone expansion packs (Far Cry Instincts: Evolution, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, and Far Cry 5: New Dawn), plus a few DLC episodes for 4 and 5.
  • Final Fantasy - Not Exactly What It Says on the Tin at all. Industry legend has it that it was named such because it was the last gasp of a struggling Square Soft. It was a hit, and the rest is history. The series celebrated its 30-year anniversary on December 18, 2017.
    • The online Final Fantasy XI itself has been going on since 2002, with five expansions and other add-ons. It was supported for consoles through the end of March 2016, and still is supported for PC.
  • Fire Emblem has been considered a mainstay of the SRPG genre since its debut in 1990, though the series didn't leave Japan until the seventh game was released in North America in 2003.
  • Fire Pro Wrestling has a huge library of games, though most people outside Japan don't know about most of them.
  • Fortune Street has been around since 1991 with over 10 games released, not that most people outside Japan would know it since it was never officially released outside Japan until the Wii version in 2011.
  • Frogger is mainly known for its arcade title, but that didn't stop it from spawning several sequels during the early 2000s. Examples include Frogger II, Frogger 2: Swampy's Revenge, Frogger: The Great Quest, Frogger's Adventures: Temple of the Frog, and Frogger Beyond, to name a few.
  • The original Game & Watch line lasted for eleven years, from Ball in 1980 to Mario the Juggler in 1991. This is not counting the Updated Re-release Gallery series, which ran from 1997 to 2002.
  • FromSoftware's "Souls-like" sub-genre/series has had six games and four expansions so far,note  all critically acclaimed and collectively having sold some 36 million copies, with a seventh game planned for 2021. The first game was Demon's Souls in February 2009, and the latest is Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, in March 2019. There were also remasters of Dark Souls and Demon's Souls, the latter being the latest release in the series having come out in 2020.
  • Gears of War: seven games (plus a remaster and a smattering of DLC) since 2006, including five numbered installments, one prequel, and one turn-based tactics spin-off.
  • Since the first title in the God of War series on the PlayStation 2, Kratos' story has been chronicled in seven canonical games (five on the various iterations of PlayStation and two on the PlayStation Portable), as well as a non-canonical mobile game for phones. 3 also got a remake.
  • Godzilla made his debut in 1983 on the Commodore 64 and since then, he has starred in over 40 video games.
  • The Gradius series has five mainline games (with various console ports for at least the first two) and numerous spin-offs such (such as Salamander, the MSX Nemesis trilogy, Gradius Gaiden, Gradius Advance and Gradius ReBirth) since 1985.
  • Grand Theft Auto. Five main games, ten spinoffs. Operating since 1997. The third main game overshadowing the ones that came before.
  • Guilty Gear - Arc System Works flagship Power of Rock fighting game series that started with 1998's Guilty Gear: The Missing Link and has since grown to encompass 20+ releases across arcade, console and handheld systems.
  • Habbo, which is a game slash social network had been around for a while. First released in Finland in 2000, with the first "hotel" for english speakers in the UK in 2001. Gradually more hotels had been added.
  • Halo. Starting with the release of Halo: Combat Evolved in 2001, the series consists of six main games (the numbered installments plus Reach), a standalone expansion pack (Halo 3: ODST), four spin-off games (Wars, Wars 2, Spartan Assault, and Spartan Strike), and Video Game Remakes of the first two games. Its Expanded Universe also includes dozens of pieces of media, including four straight-to-web/video films (Nightfall, The Fall of Reach, Forward Unto Dawn, and Legends), over thirty novels (some of which have multiple editions and re-releases), tabletop games, an additional DLC campaign for Halo 4, many comics, and various miscellanious bits such as in-universe encyclopedias, cinematic trailers, and short films.
  • Harpoon has existed in some form since 1989.
  • Harvest Moon has been ongoing since 1997 with Harvest Moon. It has since split up into two directions - the original games which are now under Story of Seasons internationally and Natsume-created English-only titles which still go under Harvest Moon - which only enhances its library.
  • Hitman has released eight games from 2000 to 2021.
  • The Idolmaster began as an arcade game in 2005. Since then not only has it had a continued presence on consoles, but it has also spawned several subseries of mobile titles.
  • The Mario and Dragon Quest crossover Monopoly-like Itadaki Street/Fortune Street/Boom Street has been going on since 1991 with 10+ titles. None of those games made it out of Japan until the Wii release 20 years later and the most recent entry for smart devices.
  • Just Dance: Been going since 2009 with at least ten main entries and loads of spinoffs. It lasted just shy of a decade on the Wii alone, with Just Dance 2020 being the very last Wii game released in North America. They only had to stop because Nintendo of America ran out of the equipment needed to make more Wii discs.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Thirteen titles, two remakes, four updated rereleases, and a downloadable expansion pack for one of the titles since 2002.
  • The King of Fighters, a rival series to Fighting Game giant Street Fighter (see below) created by SNK in 1994 by pooling together several of their series, all of which it outlasted. Up until the tenth installment (KOF 2003), there was a new game every year. As of the summer of 2016, there are fourteen iterations, with XV's announcement coming in August 2019. This doesn't include Compilation Rereleases; Updated Rereleases (such as '99: Evolution, '98: Ultimate Match, and 2002: Unlimited Match); non-canon Spin-Off Neowave (essentially a reworked port of 2002); two Alternate Continuity series (EX and Maximum Impact; the former with two titles, the latter with three); a semi-canon RPG set in-between '96 and '97 starring the series' protagonist (The King of Fighters: KYO); several handheld ports; a quiz game (Quiz King of Fighters); a board game (The King of Fighters: Battle de Paradise); a Bullet Hell Shoot 'em Up (KOF Sky Stage); a short-lived MMORPG (The King of Fighters Online); two comedic, female-centric spin-off fighters (SNK Gals Fighters and SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy); and several niche titles such as pachinko games and mobile titles focusing on the female competitors... in bikinis... playing volleyball.
  • King's Quest: Eight canonical games from 1984-1998 (the last one is a Contested Sequel), and Fan Sequel games continuing to the present day. It came back officially in 2015.
  • Kirby turned 20 years old in 2012. Pretty unbelievable considering it started out as just a game about a blob that ate and spit out things.
  • Since 2005, a LEGO Adaptation Game has been released just about every year. Often two or three at a time.
  • The Legend of Zelda series: Started back in 1986 on the NES, and has had entries on nearly every Nintendo system in existence since.
  • Nine Leisure Suit Larry titles have been released since 1987, with six being made in the series first 10 years and the next three released sporadically.
  • Konami's Mahjong Fight Club and Sega Network Taisen Mahjong form the oligopoly of arcade mahjong games in Japan. Both have been going since 2002 with numerous entries in either series. While the latter is only on its 5th numbered entry, there have been numerous version refreshes in the more recent numbered versions, as well as ports for consumer systems.
  • Mario: The Main Man, more well-known than Mickey Mouse, Mr. Video Game himself. He's only down here because of alphabetical order. Games in this series have a reputation for being top of the heap in design and innovation. Listing all the games associated with Mario would make for a ridiculously long list. The core series of platformers alone has 18 entries to date!
  • Related is the Mario Party series, the first being released in late 1998 for the Nintendo 64. As of this writing, there are ten games in the main series with one each for the Game Boy Advance and DS and two for the 3DS, making for 14 games (not counting the Japanese arcade games) total over 15 years.
  • Mass Effect: Received its most recent content in the form of a downloadable multiplayer expansion for Andromeda that added ten new classes and many new weapons, missions, items, powers, and maps in a series of updates concluding in November 2017, with a new game set for release some time in the 2020s. The series consists of five main games (1, 2, 3, Andromeda, and the currently unnamed fifth installment), two more-or-less independent multiplayer modes with their own mechanics and extensive unique content (for 3 and Andromeda), a dozen episodic expansions with their own stories totaling around 26 hours,note  and a remaster of the first three games. Other content includes 7 novels, 2 Gaiden Game IOS titles (Infiltrator and Galaxy), 8 comic book miniseries (rather short ones though), and a straight-to-DVD animated film (Paragon Lost).
  • MechWarrior, the Real Robot Genre Mecha Game simulator adapted from BattleTech had its first game, MechWarrior released in 1989 note . Eight games over 25 years, though with a large hiatus from 2002 to 2009. The series had two spinoffs (which were less successful, though both received a sequel) - MechCommander and MechAssault
  • The Medal of Honor series first came out in 1999, and includes 16 games spanning the past 3 console generations and a variety of handhelds and other ports.
  • Mega Man - The little blue Ridiculously Human Robot with the Arm Cannon, and the former Trope Namer for Power Copying we've all come to know. He's so prolific, the Sequel Series qualify as Long-Runners themselves.
  • Metal Gear started back in 1987 on the MSX2, but it was Metal Gear Solid on the PlayStation in 1998 that made it a mainstay franchise, with six mainline games in the MGS series (counting Peace Walker) and a few spinoffs (such as Portable Ops and Revengeance).
  • Metroid - six console games, four handheld, and two remakes, 1986-2016.
  • Might and Magic. The main series consists of nine RPG games (first one being released in 1986 - nearly Older Than the NES), although it is mostly known for the spinoff series Heroes of Might and Magic that so far has seven installments. Other spinoffs amount to 20 games, making the grand total of 35 games.
  • MORTAL KOMBAT!!! - The game that spawned a ratings system. Best known for sheer, balls-to-the-wall bloody freakiness. Defining gore since 1992.
  • Need for Speed. Starts from 1994; has twenty main titles and is the oldest non-sports franchise of Electronic Arts.
  • The Ninja Gaiden series consist of the original arcade game, the NES trilogy, Ninja Gaiden Shadow for the Game Boy, the two Xbox games, and Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword for the DS, as well as a Sega Master System and Game Gear game.
  • Nintendo Wars - Another Intelligent Systems title, this series has spanned a total of twelve games since its inception in 1988.
  • Nobunaga's Ambition started in 1983 and is still producing games to this very day. Is currently up to 14, and that's not counting spinoffs like Samurai Warriors and Pokémon Conquest.
  • Pac-Man. Numerous spin-offs, sequels, re-imaginings, conversions, rip-offs... and still going since 1980. He's even older than Mario himself.
  • Phantasy Star started as a series of JRPGs, with the first game being released on the Sega Master system in 1987. The series continues on today as MMORPGs, with the first online iteration, Phantasy Star Online, still being played on private servers long after the official servers closed down.
  • The Pokémon series qualified in 2012 with the release of Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, as these were sequels to the games that started the 5th generation, not "third versions" or Remakes like as happened in other generations. For those counting Pokémon Colosseum and its sequel,note  it attained this in 2006note  with Pokémon Diamond and Pearl.
  • Pump It Up: A dancing game Launched in 1999. They're up to 24 games now with #25 coming out in December 2012.
  • Police Quest, a series of adventure games that later transitioned to tactical shooters, being connected by their identities as police simulators (and some shared characters). Nine games and an expansion pack, 1988-2006.
  • Puyo Puyo started in 1991, having 7 main and 7 side games, with a ton of spinoffs in the 90s, and a couple mobile games (with Puyo Puyo Quest being the only one available to get). There are also light novels, anime short films, audio dramas, and some manga based off the universe. This series is techincally a year older if you include its parent series, Madou Monogatari, because Puyo is a spinoff of that.
  • Quake - six games (the numbered installments plus Wars and Champions) and five expansion packs, 1996-2017.
  • Rainbow Six - eleven games, six expansion packs, and a ton of DLC for Siege, 1998-2015.
  • Ratchet & Clank with 14 games, 2 mobile games and a movie, since 2002.
  • Repton. Started in 1985, the series suffered a hiatus with the decline of its original home platform, the BBC Micro, but has more recently been resurrected with remakes for the PC and iPod Touch. There's still a large community of fans who play the original versions via emulator, and a new game, Repton: The Lost Realms came out in late 2010. This was the eighth BBC Micro game in the series and the ninth overall, since Repton Spectacular is PC-only. Two more PC-only games are currently in the works as well.
  • Resident Evil. The main series has numbered installments that goes from Zero (a prequel) to 7, as well as Code: Veronica. There's also a few sub-series such as the Gun Survivor and Outbreak games, as well as the Chronicles series for the Wii.
  • River King: Launched in 1990 on the Famicom, its last game thus far is River King: Mystic Valley on the Nintendo DS in 2007. It has eleven games (seventeen if spinoffs are counted).
  • The Romance of the Three Kingdoms series is an extremely long series which very few people outside of Asia have ever heard of and even fewer have ever played. There are currently 11 games in the main series and a variety of spinoffs including online games. The series spans 17 different consoles (including mobile phone).
    • This series was also the forerunner of the Dynasty Warriors series which is currently up to 8 installments (as well as numerous expansions such as Xtreme Legends and Empires) and has subsequently spun off into Samurai Warriors, Warriors Orochi and a lot of licensed installments featuring other intellectual properties.
  • The SaGa series, though not as legendary as some on this page, still has quite a few games under its belt since the time it evolved off of Final Fantasy II. Started in 1989 on the Game Boy with regular releases until Unlimited Saga in 2002. There were only remakes for about a decade after, but more recently there have been a couple social games and a sequel planned for the Vita.
  • Sakura Wars originally began as a video game released in 1996. It has since had nearly 20 games (four of which are sequels to the original game), several OVA adaptations, an anime TV series, an anime film, as well as several stage musicals. A new sequel, titled Sakura Wars (2019), was released in December 2019.
  • Serious Sam, which saw its first release in 2001 and its latest in 2020, has so far had six full games (Serious Sam: The First Encounter, Serious Sam: The Second Encounter, Serious Sam: The Next Encounter, Serious Sam 2, Serious Sam 3: BFE, and Serious Sam 4). On top of this, there are the remakes of the first two games, a DLC episode for BFE (Jewel of the Nile), the Tech Demo Game Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope, and a plethora of budget indie games including Double D, Serious Sam: Advance, Kamikaze Attack, and The Random Encounter.
  • The Shining Series which started off in 1991 as a first person dungeon crawler. It evolved into a Turn-Based Strategy with the popular Shining Force. That didn't stop the series from also releasing some action RPG's. While the series isn't Sega's most loved franchise it's still going strong with over 30 titles released across various platforms; with the last title released in 2016 for the Steam.
  • Shin Megami Tensei predates Pokémon in the Mons genre (The first Megami Tensei released in 1987), and has spawned a multitude of games. Most of the early games have not been exported, however, and the franchise didn't really have mainstream popularity in the West until the success of Persona 3 and Persona 4, and later even greater success of Persona 5. Apart from the main series and Persona, other notable lines in the franchise include Devil Summoner, Digital Devil Saga, and Devil Survivor.
  • Although many tend to forget, SimCity is in fact, the mother of all Wide Open Sandbox and Simulation games. With about 7 games on various consoles and the computer, it's become a world-loved game by many different people. It helped launch off the studio of Maxis as well as to create The Sims and Spore, and several other Sim Series titles.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog - The other famous little blue guy, who pioneered the Mascot with Attitude. Mario's former metafictional rival, has lots of titles, and is still going after more than twenty-eight years, since the first game's release in 1991.
  • Soul Series (you might know it as Soul Calibur) - Bandai Namco's weapon-based 3D fighting games, running since 1995 and with six main titles under its belt.
  • Space Invaders - One of the oldest franchises in video game history, running since 1978. The Other Wiki needs a separate, categorized page just to list all of its sequels, related games, and ports.
  • The Spyro the Dragon series has been running longer than the Crash Bandicoot franchise, which had undergone a rest for nearly eight years. Spyro has been rebooted twice, and has a total of 19 games. In 2018, the original 3 games were rebooted into the Spyro Reignited Trilogy.
  • Steel Panthers - The original game came out in 1995, and two of its sequels (published by Shrapnel Games) still receive annual updates. All in all, six Steel Panthers games have been made to date.
  • The Street Fighter series - The series had many installments with numerous expanded versions to the point that Capcom considers each Street Fighter game to be its own sub-series. In 2017, the series completed its 30th anniversary, anticipared with the release of Street Fighter V.
  • Super Smash Bros. - Five games and a couple expansion packs worth of DLC, starting with the first release in 1999. Technically there are six games, but Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS is probably more accurately classed as a port of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U than a separate title.
  • Super Robot Wars - A Massive Multiplayer Crossover between Humongous Mecha from various anime franchises that NEVER get old. Oh, and the Original Generation keep coming.
  • The Tale of ALLTYNEX by Siter Skain started on the FM Towns computer in 1997 and has spanned 3 games and 2 remakes since.
  • The Tales Series, which started with Tales of Phantasia back in 1995.
  • Test Drive - This racing game series has spawned 11 main games and an Off-Road spin-off series of 4 games since 1987.
  • The Tekken series - 7 main games and 4 side games since 1994.
  • Tetris - While there are a crazy amount of versions of this game around, it is best known for having a version of the classic on just about any piece of hardware you can name, including keychains and entire office buildings. Geeks were doing "Can it run Tetris?" before Doom ever came about.
  • Tokimeki Memorial - The founder series of the Non-H Dating Sim genre spanned over 15 years since the original on PC-Engine in 1994, and is still ongoing.
  • Tomb Raider - Easily having one of the most recognizable protagonists, Lara Croft, the Tomb Raider games have been coming out since 1996, being one of the first 3D Action-Adventure games. With over a dozen games to date, the series definitely has had its highs and lows. However, there's no denying that its first installment was revolutionary, establishing many of the conventions of the Action-Adventure genre.
  • Total War - A series of epic PC strategy games from British developer Creative Assembly (and published by Sega), which has been around since the release of Shogun: Total War in 2000, and is still ongoing with a total of twelve games and seven expansion packs as of 2019.
  • Touhou Project - One of the most well-known Bullet Hell titles, made all the more amazing in that these games are made by a single amateur game designer. Touhou began in 1996 on the PC-98, then moved to Windows after five games. The main series currently boasts 17 games, with 11 official spin-offs and countless Fan Games.
  • Falcom's Trails Series, an intricately fleshed out Eastern RPG franchise that began in 2004 with The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky FC and is still ongoing. Currently there are 10 main titles in the series divided into 3 story arcs, with a non-canon mobile spinoff, several manga, light novels, and Drama CD adaptations including supplemental material.
  • Ultima - probably the single longest runner of them all. The series began with the limited release of Akalabeth (Ultima 0) in the June 1979, and although the Avatar's saga concluded over 20 years later in November 1999's Ultima IX (with ten main games, two Runes of Virtue spin-offs, a 1997 MMO, and various revamped console versions of said games), the adventuring still went strong into Ultima Online, which received new content from 2007 to 2010, and a reboot in form of Ultima Forever, another MMO that was up from 2012 to 2014. That's over 30 years of Ultima, folks.
  • Wario Land - A spinoff of Super Mario Land, it was first released on the Game Boy in 1994, with the last game released in 2008, albeit with only six games in the series.
  • The Warcraft series began with Warcraft: Orcs and Humans in 1994. There have been two RTS sequels, with an expansion pack for each (The Frozen Throne having enough content for a full release in its own right), an aborted adventure game, a physical card game, a separate digital card game, a remastered edition for the third game, a major theatrical film that grossed nearly half a billion, and of course a particularly huge MMO.
  • Warhammer Fantasy - While not as prolific as 40,000, it still does have enough major video games to qualify even discounting HeroQuest, Blood Bowl, cheap downloadable games, and direct digital adaptations of the tabletop. Notable installments include Warhammer: Mark of Chaos in 2006 (which got an expansion pack, Battle March, in 2008), Warhammer Online in 2008, the Total War: Warhammer trilogy from 2016 to 2021 (each game having at least an expansion pack's worth of DLC), and the Vermintide duology in 2015 and 2018 respectively (Vermintide II also got a full expansion pack, Winds of Magic, in 2019).
  • Warhammer 40,000 has had enough video games since the turn-based Space Crusade in 1993 to qualify, even discounting low-budget mobile and downloadable games. Notable installments include the first-person shooter Fire Warrior, the Dawn of War RTS sub-series (three games and five expansion packs), the third-person shooter Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, and the space-focused RTS Battlefleet Gothic: Armada.
  • Wild AR Ms: Since 1996 in Japan and slightly later elsewhere, with the most recent numbered game in the series being Wild AR Ms 5 (2006) and the most recent game overall being the spin-off Wild AR Ms XF (2007). There also was an Enhanced Remake of the first game, Alter Code F. There are rumors of a 6th numbered game.
  • Wing Commander: Although it's fallen on hard times since the bottom dropped out of the space sim market in late nineties, up to and including the release of Wing Commander Secret Ops there was, on average, no more than a year between new games following the original, including add-ons.
  • The Wolfenstein series: as of 2017, it spans eleven releases over 36 years, from Castle Wolfenstein (1981) to Wolfenstein: Youngblood (2019).
  • Worms has been wriggling along since 1995 with over 10 games in the series.
  • The X-Universe, which has been around since 1999, with seven games.
  • Yakuza - Known as Ryu Ga Gotoku (lit. Like a Dragon) in Japan, the series began in 2005 and was heavily acclaimed as one of the first games to explore the culture of Japan's criminal underworld in depth. A Cult Classic in other regions, it has since become one of Sega's most popular franchises in Japan, with seven entries in the main series, five spin-offs along with a couple of remakes, nearly all of which have been best sellers in the country.
    • The latest installment, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, contains an in-universe example. Protagonist Ichiban, upon leaving prison after an eighteen-year sentence, hits up a bookstore to check out how his favorite manga from before he went away ended, only to find out that it's still running.
  • You Don't Know Jack - Since 1995 with six numbered games, numerous spinoffs on various platforms, a 2011 reboot version, and has been included as a game twice in The Jackbox Party Pack series.
  • Ys has been around since 1987, with the most recent game (Ys IX: Monstrum Nox) being released in September 2019 for the PlayStation 4 in Japan and due for an international release in 2021. Twelve games total, ten of which are part of official continuity.
  • Zork (1977-2009)

Video Game Systems (10 years or above)

  • The Amiga - 1985-1996. Often considered the first true multimedia computer brand, this line of computers was able to outperform rival machines for more than a decade until Commodore filed for Chapter 11 in 1994. The Amiga operating system still lives on today as an environment for PowerPC devices and computers shipped with said operating system are still being made today under the Amiga brand.
  • The Apple ][ family - 1977-1993. The first mass-marketed home computer platform, these machines were ubiquitous in school computer labs in The '80s and The '90s. Apple introduced more powerful machines like the IIgs, but the introduction of lower cost Macs spelled the end of the platform. Along with other major classic computer platforms, the Apple II series still has a devoted following over 20 years after the last Apple IIe rolled off the assembly line.
  • The Apple Macintosh has also been going strong since its introduction in 1984. As the first affordable computer with a graphical user interface, it was originally intended as a serious business machine. The Mac's advanced graphics and sound for the time still attracted a number of game developers, even if it was only in black and white at first. Apple downplayed the presence of games on the system, but developers still made both exclusive games as well as ports of titles popular on other platforms. The company suffered a major Dork Age in The '90s, but Steve Jobs made a return toward the end of the decade and revitalized Apple, making it one of the most successful tech companies. In 2001, Apple released Mac OS X, a major overhaul to the aging Mac OS. The new operating system makes it impossible to run older Mac games unless using Classic mode on a PowerPC processor. The platform is mainly marketed to creative professionals (musicians, graphic artists, video editors) but still has some games available. The introduction of Steam to the Mac (and EA following suit with Origin shortly after) has awakened interest in Mac gaming.
  • Atari 2600 - 1977-1992. The first widely popular console. Sold over 40 million, also holds much of the responsibility for The Great Video Game Crash of 1983. Has an active indie scene continuing to make games for it since 1995.
  • Commodore 64 Computer - 1982-1994. Considered to be the best-selling personal computer model of all time, it even outlasted several of its would-be successors. Commodore discontinued the C-64 in North America in 1990, but it was still being produced and sold in Europe when the company went bankrupt in 1994.
  • Family Computer - 1983-2003. Its counterpart, the NES, was produced from 1985-1994. Final official release Stateside was Wario's Woods in 1994. Including unlicensed games, the NES becomes a long runner as well since Battle Kid 2: Mountain of Torment came out in 2012. Adventure Island 4 was the last release for the Famicom.
  • Super Famicom - 1990-2000. The Japanese version of the SNES managed to outlive its western counterpart by a few more years thanks to the Satellaview and Nintendo Power downloadable game services in Japan. The last game released for the console was a remake of the late-era Famicom game Metal Slader Glory. Hardware was produced in Japan until September 2003.
  • The iQue Player, a plug n' play version of the Nintendo 64 released in China to circumvent the home console ban at the time was released in 2003 and was supported until Nintendo shut down its downloadable game service in 2016. The Chinese wouldn't see a "successor" until Nintendo decided to port GameCube and Wii titles on the Nvidia Shield the following year.
  • Game Boy - 1989-2001. While succeeded by the Game Boy Color in 1998, Nintendo officially counts it as a newer model of the original rather than a full-fledged successor like the later Game Boy Advance. This is mainly due to the fact that certain GBC games were cross-compatible with the earlier model. Following that line of thought, the final US (and worldwide) release for this hardware line was a Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets tie-in game in 2002. Even after the Game Boy Advance was released in 2001, games were still being made for the 8-bit handheld juggernaut until it was finally retired in 2003. That's a mighty run of fourteen years, a record unmatched by any handheld released since.
  • Nintendo DS - 2004-2015. Games stopped being released in 2014 or early 2015 depending on the region. The last official physical game released was a Big Hero 6 tie-in game, while the last DSiWare game released was Around the World in 80 Days, both released early 2015 in Europe. The DSiWare store ran until the end of March 2017.
  • Sega Master System: Despite being unable to dethrone the NES in North America, the system still lives on in Brazil, where plug-and-play variations of the console are still being sold to this day by Tectoy, Sega's representative in the region. As a matter of fact, the Master System is so popular in the country that it even rivaled recent consoles such as the PlayStation 4 in terms of units sold, and that conversions of titles like Street Fighter II and games based on local franchises such as Monica's Gang were made to appeal to local tastes. It makes sense considering how it's way less expensive than newer systems, coupled with Nostalgia Filter by Brazilians who grew up playing games on the Master System.
  • Sega Genesis/Mega Drive - 1988-1998. The final official release was a cheap port of Frogger in 1998; by serendipity, this same port was also the final game for the Genesis's rival, the SNES. Has had an interesting afterlife, however: Versions of the console, officially licensed by Sega, are still for sale today, meaning the argument could be made that its lifespan is still ongoing. The system also has games released for it sporadically since its official discontinuation by third party developers up to the present day such as Pier Solar and the Great Architects.
  • Neo Geo - 1990-2004. Last official release was Samurai Shodown V Special. It managed to outlast its successors, the Neo Geo CD released in 1994, and the Hyper Neo Geo 64 released in 1997, both of which had very short official lifespans.
  • The king of them all: The PC (1981-present and going!) was created before AND has outlasted every other platform ever made to date. The birthplace of Doom and now-and-forever the de facto platform of independent developers. However, its hardware has been constantly updated and altered and new operating systems have been created to the point where it can be a struggle to get some of your old games working on any of the new stuff. Like the Macintosh, it wasn't originally a gaming machine, but eventually picked up good graphics and sound.
  • PlayStation - 1994-2005. Second best-selling home console ever, behind only its successor, the PlayStation 2. Games started to wane after the PS2's international release in 2001 - but over 7000 titles were released. Last in US: FIFA 2005 (2004). Last in Europe: Hugo: Black Diamond Fever (2005).
  • PlayStation 2 - 2000-2013. Production ended in Japan on December 28, 2012 and worldwide on January 4, 2013. Coexisted with its successor, the PlayStation 3, with hardware still being released. Lasted until a month and a half before the announcement of the PlayStation 4. Last release in US: FIFA 14 (2013). Last in Europe: FIFA's rival Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 (2013). As an example of the console's longevity, FIFA 14 is both one of the PS2's final titles and one of the PS4's launch titles (and a regular PS3 release too) in the space of only two months! As mentioned above, Final Fantasy XI had updates to its PS2 version going until March 2016.
  • Playstation 3 - 2006-2017, hit the long-runner mark in November 2016. Sony would discontinue the console the following year, and the final game for the system ended up being (what else) FIFA 19 in the fall of 2018.
  • PlayStation Portable - 2004-2016. Production ended in 2014 worldwide. The last physical release was the limited edition of the American localization of Summon Night 5 and the last digital release was a port of Retro City Rampage, both belated releases in the first half of 2016 (Summon Night 5 was initially released in Japan in 2013 and digitally in America in 2015, and the first release of Retro City Rampage on any hardware was in 2012, or 4 years earlier... that game just likes living up to its name.).
  • The much-loved British home computer the Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Its commercial life lasted from 1982 until around 1993 when the last games were published and the last Spectrum gaming magazine (Your Sinclair) finally folded. It had quite a history - it was originally conceived as a hobbyists' computer (it had no dedicated graphics or sound hardware making its success as a gaming platform highly ironic) with only 16K expandable to 48K. In 1986, a 128K model with a dedicated sound chip (but still the same graphics) was released. It even survived the buying-out of Sinclair computers by rivals Amstrad who rebuilt the 128K Spectrum with a more professional keyboard a (rather plain) new case and a built in tape recorder or disk drive. Although the 128K Spectrum was more successful than similar "upgrades" for rival computers (e.g. the Commodore 128) and its abilities were usually taken advantage of the old 48K model was still supported by the game publishers right to the end. Even today the "Speccy" has a large fanbase and new indie games are still being published for it, at the rate of dozens per year.
  • CP System II - 1993-2004. This arcade hardware was used for many Capcom arcade games in the mid to late 90s, and then eventually by other companies. The last game was Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition, released December 2003 in Japan and updated/internationally released in February 2004. It outlasted the CP System III which only had six games released on it (including the entire Street Fighter III trilogy) from 1997-1999.
  • Sega NAOMI - 1998-2009. Arcade hardware by Sega that is very similar to that of the Dreamcast and allowed for easy porting of games to said system. The most recent game was Radirgy Noa.
  • Taito Type X - 2004-present. PC-based arcade hardware with a refresh in specifications every few years.
  • Wii - 2006-2020. The console saw its production ended in Japan on October 20, 2013, but it is still produced overseas albeit only in budget models lacking some hardware features. The last series to see regular releases on it was Just Dance. Just Dance 2019, like FIFA 14 above, saw release on three different Nintendo generations (one of the Wii's twilight titles, one of the final releases for the Wii U and a release for the Nintendo Switch), and the next edition, 2020 came out for Wii - its last North American and mass-market release - and Switch but not Wii U. The Wii and Wii U's shared final game was Shakedown: Hawaii, released in in summer 2020 through a limited physical run (North American for Wii U, European for Wiinote ) and worldwide Wii U eShop release - about a year after both its initial release on the Switch and Just Dance 2020.
  • Xbox 360 - 2005-2016. The console's discontinuation was announced on April 20, 2016, but online services will still be supported for the foreseeable future thanks to its successor the Xbox One featuring backwards compatibility with many 360 games.
  • The Sega Dreamcast is an odd example. While the console only lasted 3 years from 1998 to 2001, taking Sega's entire console division with it, official releases continued to be made for the dead console, with the last one being Karous in 2007. Even then, the console's status as a Cult Classic ensured a thriving homebrew community for years after, with more recent games like 2015's Volgarr The Viking and Pier Solar and the Great Architects receiving semi-official Dreamcast ports.

Alternative Title(s): Video Game Long Runner


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