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Is God Of War The Greatest Action Franchise In History?

With a genre as far-reaching as "action," it's probably extremely difficult to pick the very best franchise of all time.

After all, "action" could include everything from Contra to Metal Gear Solid, depending on your own personal definitions. However, there's little doubt that God of War is the epitome of action and each entry has been widely critically acclaimed. But is it the greatest ever?

The critics seem to think so. The average Metacritic score for the original title sits at an incredible 94, while God of War II and God of War III come in at 93 and 92 respectively. Then there are the handheld iterations, which some may assume would bring down the series as portable incarnations just can't be as flashy and technically refined overall. But Ready at Dawn did some fine work; Chains of Olympus averages a 91 and Ghost of Sparta is only a little lower at 86. Now, if God of War IV - which everyone assumes will be announced today - wows everyone again, maybe it's just no contest.

Sure, there are a great many fantastic action names out there, from Ninja Gaiden to Resident Evil to Metal Gear Solid...heck, even Zelda. Again, it depends entirely on your definition of "action" (some might even call Uncharted action, while others call it a third-person shooter or action/adventure), but for the purposes of this argument, we're not going to call shooters "action." It just clouds the issue too much. If we're simply going by the standard, traditional concepts of what qualifies a video game to be action-oriented, it's difficult to find a series that can compete with God of War. It's surprising, actually.

It just seems that whenever a new title is produced, it's a legitimate candidate for Game of the Year, and I can't think of another franchise that is just so...utterly reliable.

Tags: god of war, gow, god of war iv, gowiv, action games, gaming industry

4/18/2012 9:08:15 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (45 posts)

maxpontiac
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 @ 9:22:28 PM
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It has my vote. Kratos alone makes it so.

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Nickjcal
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 @ 10:34:35 PM

Just thought I'd let you guys know God of War: Acension has been revealed.





Last edited by Nickjcal on 4/18/2012 10:34:56 PM

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___________
Thursday, April 19, 2012 @ 5:36:48 AM

not revealed, leaked.
looks interesting tho.
i hate the teaser trailer though, could they be any more vague!?

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Norrin Radd
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 @ 9:24:13 PM
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What about the Rocksteady Batman Arkham games? Are they "Action" enough?

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TheIllusiveMan
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 @ 10:05:08 PM

There's a hell of a lot more than just action in Batman. In a game like God of War however, almost everything was action based. Even the story was nearly pure action.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 @ 10:17:24 PM

Those are great but they lack those "oh sh*t!" moments that God of War has at almost every turn.

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Temjin001
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 @ 9:48:27 PM
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My brain crashes when I try to think of bests in gaming =p I basically don't care anymore. It's arbitrary by my reckoning.

While not my favorite action series, the GoW games are always spectacular and a blast to expereince. It definitely shows Sony paid top dollar to produce GoW3. I expect no different from GoW4.

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Temjin001
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 @ 9:51:45 PM

Oh, and I don't like Cougar, Sugarmomma =p

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Shams
Thursday, April 19, 2012 @ 10:09:04 AM

Whoa. Did I miss something? Did a comment get deleted? Cougars, yep, nasty.

Action adventurers, as Ben touched upon, can be divided between hack'n slash/beat'um up and shooters. My thoughts are GOW and Uncharted regarding gameplay are not the most hardcore and intense in their respective subgenres, but they certainly represent the very best in terms of production, cinematics, voice-acting, compelling narratives and screen assets.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, April 19, 2012 @ 12:04:19 PM

He was responding to a spammer. :)

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Temjin001
Friday, April 20, 2012 @ 1:07:03 AM

Hehe yeah, those cougar spammers crack me up. It's sort of hilarious to read their text. Better than the Nike stuff.

Anyway, GoW and Uncharted are pretty incredible. I do think Unharted's gunplay is the best all around and most dynamic of the tps competitors. I like vanquish a lot but drake is like Lara croft and a Cog in one. Also, That swimming stealth stage was just too cool. It really added something unique to the franchise and genre that I respect a lot. It's one of those really ambitious "didn't have to" implement kind of things, but they did. That's awesome =)

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Oxvial
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 @ 10:01:44 PM
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I doubt..BUT is the most badass franchise, I don't know if they are going to give us a new main character but the badassery of Kratos gonna be hard to top.

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Twistedfloyd
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 @ 10:06:16 PM
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Ghost of Sparta is highly underrated. It's the second best game in the franchise (IMO) after the first title.

I don't know, GOW III disappointed me even though it was good game, it had massive story problems and an inconsistent pace for the last couple of hours.

It's the most technically refined, but my least favorite in the franchise. So if MGS is an action series and GOW is an action series then MGS would get my vote over GOW.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 @ 10:22:06 PM

I concur! Ghost of Sparta is my favorite one right behind GoW3. I didn't really notice the problems in 3 that others did. I was too busy picking up my jaw from the floor due to all the bone crushing, skull cracking, head ripping moments.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 @ 10:20:00 PM
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Yes. I never cared for action games after Final Fight and Streets of Rage. But since God of War 3 has graphics that tear your face off I couldn't resist. It wet my appetite for more so I bought and played all of the other games. It is, quite simply the best franchise ever made in the genre.

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 @ 10:57:41 PM

Yeah! I'm glad there is someone else out there to share my enthusiasm for GoW3 with!

It simply doesn't get the credit it should because the story wasn't "as good". But it was far more epic in my opinion, maybe not as well written or whatever, but seriously if walking all over the gods and titans isn't satisfying then all I can say is I'm glad I enjoy it, cus it was pretty da** epic!

The amount of enemies on screen was crazy insane, and the zipper technology is the epitome of graphics.

I can't get over the Poseidon boss battle. That's the best thing I've experienced in video games, the amount of satisfaction, I got during that whole battle can't be explained. And it's hard to say that when other battles like with the Titan and Zeus happened as well. Insane!

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Jawknee
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 @ 11:11:47 PM

Indeed. The story wasn't bad. It just wasn't as good as the others. But it destroys the other games with is shear epicness. The opening was the best opening in video game history.

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AcHiLLiA
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 @ 10:26:25 PM
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To me it's a toss up between the God of War games and the Uncharted games.

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ZenChichiri
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 @ 10:26:40 PM
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It depends on what you like in action games. If you're looking for gameplay depth, then God of War won't be your favourite. If you enjoy a badass revenge storyline, with wicked cool cutscenes, and you want to feel like a god, then yes, God of War will rank king. I personally love the series, as I've played them all on the hardest difficulty, but it's hard to say which action series is my favourite. My 2 favourite action series are Devil May Cry and God of War, but I like them each for different reasons. Devil May Cry when I really want to master a fulfilling combat system, and God of War when I want to destroy everything in my path!

Edit: I should mention that when I see the word action I'm thinking mostly of 3rd person platformer/action hybrids. I love other games like Uncharted and MGS, but I wouldn't really put them in that category (personally anyways).

Last edited by ZenChichiri on 4/18/2012 10:28:10 PM

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Raze22
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 @ 10:30:22 PM
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In my opinion, if we are just talking about "action" then for me it is Kingdom Hearts hands down, I feel it is the best action rpg also! If we are talking about action-adventure then gow gets that category.

If we are trying to be factual like going by sales or score numbers. It most likely wouldn't be either kingdom hearts or gow. Someone hit us with a link if you can find stuff like that!

Last edited by Raze22 on 4/18/2012 10:31:58 PM

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 @ 10:50:05 PM

Ben used metacritic in the article, citing every game in the series scored in the 90's, except Ghost of Sparta which scored a high 80 and was release for the PSP. Those scores validate the claim.

Aside from that, I know it's your opinion, but I think I'm thinking on a different level. Action to me, has moments where you just can't fathom what's happening on screen. GoW 3 simply blows everything in every genre out of that water in that regard. From the Poseidon battle to fighting Zeus "MK" 2d style! Notto mention the crazy amount of enemies on screen. But it's not just GoW3, but all of them. The combat is also a far reach for most action titles, I honestly can't say there is a more smooth combat system out there. So as good as KH is, I'm not following your philosophy.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 4/18/2012 10:50:41 PM

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Raze22
Thursday, April 19, 2012 @ 6:34:44 PM

Yes he did state gow series scores, but that is the problem. He only stated gow scores. Hence why I said someone hit us up with a link with all the top franchises scores (preferably mean) and sales because if you want to be factual that is the route you have to go.

Now if we are talking about just opinion, then it is just based on ones personal taste. Gow action just doesn't hit the spot for me like the KH series does.

Btw at the minimum, every decent action game has epic boss battles, and a crazy amount of enemies on screen. Your just hyping gow up in that perspective.

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Geobaldi
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 @ 10:30:23 PM
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Guess I'm one of the few that never really saw what was so special about the GoW series. Fun sure, but not something I can go back and play over and over again unlike some other series.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 @ 11:17:49 PM

Man I used to think the same way but 3 was just too good to stop. I probably played that game more than 8 times. I'll probably play it two more times before this year is over.

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 @ 10:42:43 PM
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Well GoW is simply amazing. There's so many moments through out the series that just blow everything else out of the water, even in other genres. The series is just too amazing.

Now I know this series doesn't even compare, but the PoP: the sands of time, was also excellent. If the series kept that momentum the first had, it would put up some competition. That's just my opinion and bias for PoP though, I love the games.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 @ 11:18:48 PM

PoP has good platforming but other than that I couldn't get into it.

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bigrailer19
Thursday, April 19, 2012 @ 12:45:52 AM

Yea I hear ya. like I said I have a bias for the games for some reason. Ha.

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Pandacastro
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 @ 10:49:26 PM
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God of war prequel announce
http://ps3.ign.com/articles/122/1223275p1.html

I have mixed feelings right now.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 @ 11:21:13 PM
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Speaking of God of War...

http://playstationlifestyle.net/2012/04/18/god-of-war-ascension-is-real-teaser-trailer-box-art-leak/

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Oxvial
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 @ 11:42:48 PM

Yes God of War: Ascension teaser is out and lol at the xbox fanboys attacking the game for not being creative xD

Last edited by Oxvial on 4/18/2012 11:43:12 PM

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Xzer0
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 @ 11:33:15 PM
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Amazon leaked information and trailer about new GoW, but I saw on youtube leaked trailer which is different. In amazon trailer there is gaia vocie, but on youtube video there is some other male character voice and I believe it is that old man who buried Kratos and his family. and I had read sony santa monica tweet and they say that this is not all information, there will be more, cause waht is on ign is not official yet.

Last edited by Xzer0 on 4/18/2012 11:34:59 PM

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 @ 11:47:25 PM
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GoW: Ascension huh? Nice just watched the trailer, sounds creative and again EPIC.

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YashaZz
Thursday, April 19, 2012 @ 12:08:07 AM
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Watched the Ascension trailer and I'm blown away. Collectors Edition day 1 for me!

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Gamer46
Thursday, April 19, 2012 @ 1:38:33 AM
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Big fan of the God of War games, particularly Ghost of Sparta which I think is a bit underrated, but I have to give the edge in this debate to Metal Gear Solid. As good as the GoW series is, I don't think they, or any other action games stand up to MGS 1, 4, Peace Walker and especially MGS 3 which is easily in the argument for best game of all time.

Now that said, whatever the release date ends up being for GoW: Ascension I'll be at the game shop that day to get it.

Last edited by Gamer46 on 4/19/2012 1:40:32 AM

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Lawless SXE
Thursday, April 19, 2012 @ 2:19:47 AM
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Haven't played a huge amount of games, but GoW is definitely up there for me. The sheer quality that was present from the outset and the scope of the story trumps every other action game that I've played. It may not have their depth, but it is hella entertaining and that may well be all that matters.

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Dragoon
Thursday, April 19, 2012 @ 5:09:19 AM
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Yes. If not the best, then it sure as heck is the most consistent.

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___________
Thursday, April 19, 2012 @ 5:38:52 AM
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WHAT!?
F*CK NO!
not even close!
hard to say what is the best action game ever made because theres been so many of them but it certainly is not GOW!
might as well ask is COD the best shooter ever made because its sold so well!

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sunspider13
Thursday, April 19, 2012 @ 5:47:00 AM
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When the first GoW was released I was curious. And being the greek mythology nut that I am, of course I was going to give it a shot. I was just awe struck. I didn't sleep for three days. I just sat up and played on normal, hard and very hard. It made my eyes bleed with the action. The story was well thought out and the voice acting was just pitch perfect. It was like Ray Harryhausen was crammed into my PS2 and later PS3.

IMHO with all the games that I have played in the action genre, I would have to say that the GoW series is very close to, if not the greatest action franchise right now. No other game has consistently made me think about playing it just out of the blue. Hell I'm wondering around in Skyrim right now riding my red eyed horse thinking to myself, hey I could be slaying minotaurs.

I have the platinum for all five games and I dare say that I will get another one for GoWA.

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Dustinwp
Thursday, April 19, 2012 @ 8:46:29 AM
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Is God Of War The Greatest Action Franchise In History?

Yes! Souls Reaver/Legacy of Kain and Ninja Gaiden are a close second and third. With the Uncharted games being the best games ever made in any genre.

Last edited by Dustinwp on 4/19/2012 8:50:37 AM

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mehrab2603
Thursday, April 19, 2012 @ 12:36:01 PM

For me the Legacy of Kain series will always be number 1 action franchise just because of the quality of writing and story. It was a very good game for its time even gameplay-wise.

That said, I really love the GoW franchise too. The Poseidon fight right at the beginning of GoW3! Man I just couldn't believe what I was seeing. Sheer epicness that level was.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, April 19, 2012 @ 1:03:16 PM
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It's in the top 5, honestly I can't think of any franchises that are better but there aren't many action games which aren't shooters. When you mix epicness with tons of gore and accessible gameplay you get gold.

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Laguna
Thursday, April 19, 2012 @ 3:02:46 PM
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I think its narrow minded to outright claim this is the best.

I think these games are great adventures, but I won't fool myself into believing the combat is the best.

The combat in god of war can be deep, especially on harder difficulties, but its still not as intricate as Ninja Gaiden (1 and 2) and Devil May Cry, Bayonetta...

The game DOES have incredible production values and a sense of adventure though.

SO I think God of war is an amazing action adventure that was a great balance of depth, visuals and intrigue.

But I wont say its the best action game because the combat isn't the deepest, but thats not a bad thing, its still quite intricate.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, April 19, 2012 @ 3:13:21 PM

I think being the "best" sometimes means being more accessible. GoW combat is pick up and play, that can be good or bad depending on your perspective.

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Laguna
Friday, April 20, 2012 @ 12:33:26 AM

I am glad this game is being made...i just wished they titled it god of war IV. The ascension title makes me think it is like a spinoff or prequel that should be on the Vita.

Or maybe its like Tomb Raider Chronicles, where they are dancing around while "not" making a sequel at the same time.

I just don't want to wait 10 years for some closure to god of war 3's ending.

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supercrazyggk1
Friday, April 20, 2012 @ 9:40:04 AM
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God of war games have defined the word EPIC in video games.No other game made me feel like a man and a god at the same time. Kratos is a legend in video gaming and will never be forgotten. Also each game has tried to outdo the previous game in every way possible but in my opinion gow 1 had the best story,gow 2 had the best locales and gow 3 had the best boss fights.Sorry for the long post got carried away but in my opinion best video game series ever.

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