My 3 favorite video game series (with one player character)

Follow the Freeman? You are the Freeman! Courtesy of Valve's FaceBook page.

Franchising has become one of the staples of the video game industry. Sequels and trilogies are just as prevalent in our world as they are in films. However, unlike movie studios, beholden to contracts with actors, a game sequel can tell a different story starring a new character.

Still, there is a subgenre of game series which feature a single playable character. There’s nothing like going through a lengthy journey over the course of several games with a single person. Here are my three favorite series with one player character.

3. Saints Row

I’ve been catching up with the 3rd Street Saints lately. If you saw my face while playing the games, you’d think that I was watching a litter of puppies ride a unicorn over a rainbow into a pool of pure sugar. It’s joyous, is what I’m trying to say. There are two things separating this from Grand Theft Auto: Energetic bouncing-off-rubber-walls insanity and one playable character, The Boss. There’s nothing quite like watching the character you create go from being a small-time thug to a powerful underworld figure to a national celebrity to the President of the United States.

2. Half-Life

If case you haven’t played the Half-Life series yet . . . first, what’s the hold-up, huh? Also, you may be wondering how the main character, Dr. Gordon Freeman can possibly live up to the hype. He’s been touted as the most recognizable character in PC gaming, and one of the best in gaming, period. If you’re unfamiliar with him, you might be thinking, “Wow, this guy must have one heck of a personality.” Even better: Dr. Freeman has no personality! Okay, that’s an exaggeration. But the silent scientist definitely keeps his thoughts to himself, allowing his personality to be defined by his actions – in other words, your actions.

1. Mass Effect

If I can point to the one series that started me gaming in earnest, it would be the Mass Effect series. Packed to the teeth with references to film, literature, other video games, and mythology, playing the first game was like opening a grand treasure chest full of diamonds. Crafting my space marine, Commander Shepard, was my first experience in role-playing. The game puts you and Shepard through the ringer, taking you from the low of being the sole opponent of an impossibly large force of evil, to the high of beating it and standing strong between it and the galaxy.

I'm the daughter of a veteran who spent my childhood in Killeen. As of 2013, I have a degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin. I'm a critic of books, films, television, and video games. Find me on Twitter: @rachel_knows

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