The first Sony PlayStation was released worldwide way back in 1995. It shipped well over 100 million units and laid the foundations for the PlayStation franchise which is still going strong today. The PS5 is set for release in 2020 and many of the largest and most successful game series have lasted as long as PlayStation itself.

We’ll undoubtedly see these titles make an appearance on the new console. Let’s take a look at some of the best franchises that started way back in the early days of PlayStation history.

Gran Turismo

Gran Turismo is a hugely successful driving series which started back in 1997 with the original title. It proved a smashing success on PlayStation and became the best-selling game on the console with over 10 million units shipped. GT has released games on all four of the PlayStation titles and put out the seventh title, Gran Turismo Sport in 2017. But those are just the titles in the main series. Publishers Sony Interactive Entertainment has put their names on over a dozen secondary and other releases.

GT has formed an impressive franchise. It is still considered amongst the best driving franchises in the gaming world, so much so that automotive giants like Aston Martin licensing out their cars to the game. A live-action film had been in the works back in 2013 but, unfortunately, it failed to get off the ground.

Grand Theft Auto

Few franchises have grown quite like Grand Theft Auto. The first game was a fairly basic overhead title developed by a Scottish studio. It proved to be a best-seller in the United Kingdom and sequels followed on every console.

However, it wasn’t until GTA V that the franchise really hit its peak from a financial point of view. GTA V is the most profitable entertainment product of all time, grossing over $6 billion in total. A lot of that has come from the highly-lucrative GTA Online series, long after the reported 100 million sales have been counted.

Tomb Raider

The first game on this list with a single central character is the Tomb Raider franchise. Lara Croft first burst onto our screens back in 1996. Sequels followed every year for eight years, spanning across multiple PlayStation consoles. The gaming franchise fell out of favour during the PS3 period but has since made a revival. Tomb Raider (2013) jolted things back into life and two well-received sequels have followed.

But those aren’t the only games based on the beloved Lara Croft. The heroine has been used in a number of other games like 2015 game Lara Croft: Relic Run and Square Enix’s puzzle game, Lara Croft Go. There have been numerous casino games as well and a less-than-successful interactive DVD game called The Action Adventure.

It’s the broadest franchise on the list and it can be considered truly multimedia. Two separate film franchises have been born out of this game with fans truly taking to the character. Tomb Raider 2 starring Alicia Vikander is set for a 2021 release developed by MGM Studios.

Crash Bandicoot

Everyone’s favourite bandicoot is still spinning strong on the PS4. It’s hardly the most conventional of platform games but Crash Bandicoot is beloved. Released back in 1996, the first game was a smashing success and many more titles have followed.

There have been seven main titles, four racing games, two available for parties, four spin-offs, and three available for mobile-only. The Bandicoot legacy was secured with the recent re-releases of the N. Sane Trilogy and 2019’s Team Racing Nitro-Fueled which was developed by Beenox.

Metal Gear Solid

Although this franchise is technically a sequel to the old MSX2 Metal Gear games, it’s the PlayStation Metal Gear Solid franchise that really made an impact. First released in 1998, this stealthy espionage classic was a big favourite of players. Sequels aplenty soon followed across franchise as Konami and director Hideo Kojima explored the franchise even further.

Countless other games have been spawned from this franchise from Metal Gear Solid: Special Ops mobile title to a 2018 Pachinko game in Japan. The franchise has truly entered other forms of media. There is a series of Metal Gear audiobooks and even an upcoming Metal Gear Solid board game developed by IDW Games. Talk about thinking outside the cardboard box…


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