Consoles come and go, but Windows is always a great gaming platform. Desktops are much more flexible than consoles as players can upgrade graphics cards and expand the RAM of their gaming rigs when required. Furthermore, Windows has a few long-running game series that continue to raise the bar for gaming. First-person shooters, turn based, RPG and real-time strategy games are especially big PC genres. These are five of the best game series for Windows.
Valve's Half-Life is a Windows game that really raised the bar for the gaming industry. The original game provided a refreshing alternative to many of the Doom clones of the '90s. Half-Life was among the first-person shooters with extensive scripted events and included a gripping story that unfolded in real-time through the eyes of the scientist Freeman. It also provided plenty of pulsating shooting action against both spooky aliens and U.S. Marines. The first Half-Life scooped more than 50 Game of the Year accolades.
Half-Life has since become one of the best gaming series ever on both Windows and consoles. Valve released three expansion packs based on the first game before launching Half-Life 2. It was worth the wait, as the gaming media widely proclaimed Half-Life 2 the best game ever. The sequel featured amazing physics and revolutionary high-res graphics when Valve launched it. Both Half-Life 1 and 2 remain joint top of the metacritic PC rankings with 96 ratings.
Valve continued the series with two episodic expansions. Half-Life 2: Episode 1 and 2 expanded the sequel's storyline. However, Valve has yet to release a Half-Life 3 for Windows; and it might never will as a plethora of HL 3 rumors have lacked substance. Nevertheless, there are still several titles in the HL series for players to enjoy.
Civilization is a Windows game series that MicroProse launched in the early 1990s. The first title began a turn-based game series that has got better and better and continues to go strong. The Civ series is the benchmark for all other turn-based strategy games, and we're still waiting for an alternative game franchise to really better it. This is a game franchise in which players advance and expand civilizations up to the near the future. The Civilization tech tree is the cornerstone of the series that numerous other games, such as DomiNations and Rise of Nations, have replicated.
There are currently six primary titles in the Civ series, with additional expansion packs, and Civilization VI is the most recent addition to the franchise. Civilization IV is the highlight of the series as that was the first to include 3D graphics. The 3D graphics gave the game (and series) another dimension and enabled players to zoom in and out of maps for the first time. Civ IV also featured an entirely new game engine. So the fourth installment was undoubtedly a watershed for the Civ series.
Call of Duty
Half-Life was the foremost first-person shooter series on Windows up to a point. However, the Call of Duty franchise has stolen Half-Life's crown as Valve hasn't expanded that series beyond the second HL 2 episode. Call of Duty is the biggest Windows game series that rolls out hit titles on a regular basis. The CoD series is renowned for its frenetic multiplayer blasting action, cutting-edge graphics and compelling single-player campaigns.
Activision expands the Call of Duty series on an annual basis, and the franchise currently includes 15 games. The series began as a historic World War II shooter and included many of the war's largest battles. Thereafter, the franchise expanded with fictional conflicts based in the modern era before going slightly back in time to the Cold War.
There have been plenty of great CoD games, but Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was undoubtedly one of the best in the series. CoD 4 took the series into the modern era and unleashed a whole new set of arsenal for players to blast away with. That game also includes one of the most gripping single-player campaigns ever played out in a first-person shooter. So it's little wonder that Activision released a remake for CoD 4 with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered.
There are RTS and turn-based strategy games, and then there are Total War games that combine both the genres. SEGA's Total War franchise provides the best of the RTS and turn-based gaming worlds. The Total War franchise is the most notable alternative to Civilization in the turn-based gaming genre, and TW's frantic 3D battles add greater diversity to its gameplay. Most of the TW games include non-fiction historical campaigns from various eras, but SEGA has altered the course of the series with two TW games that incorporate a Warhammer Fantasy Battle setting.
The Total War series has had 13 installments to date, and there will be more. Although it was not the first in the franchise, Rome: Total War really kick-started the series as it laid the foundations for the rest of the TW games with its free map movement. Rome: Total War includes a great diversity of units and factions to battle it out with and the best siege battles, which declined in significance in later TW games. The most recent Warhammer TW games have also been getting some rave reviews with their more story-driven campaigns.
Age of Empires
Age of Empires is a historical RTS game series in which players collect various resources to expand their own towns and crush other empires. The games include story-driven campaigns and multiplayer modes for players to battle it out in. The AoE series is among the most innovate and diverse RTS games for Windows. Whereas Command and Conquer and Starcraft games include maybe two or three factions to choose from, players can select more than 10 empires to battle it out with within Age of Empires titles.
There have been three primary games in the Age of Empires series, along with numerous additional expansion packs for them. Many players rate Age of Empires II: Age of Kings the best in the franchise primarily due to its finely balanced economic and military interplay and the numerous enhancements it made over the original AoE. The series had seemingly reached a dead-end after Age of Empires III, but Microsoft still released two remakes for the first two games and an online version of AoE. Microsoft announced in 2018 that it will revive the AoE series with Age of Empires IV.
Those are five series that include some of the greatest games. There are also quite a few other Windows game franchises worth noting, such as Grand Theft Auto, Command and Conquer, Wolfenstein and Doom. Thus, you can play many of the best game series on Windows.