Video games rely on long-running franchises more than any other type of media. There are over 200 entries in the Mario series - which movie franchise can you say that for?
Franchises like Mario are easy to get into though, just pick up any game and you won't be confused as to what is happening. Turns out Bowser kidnaps Princess Peach isn't a story you need ten games worth of context to understand.
The thing is, not every franchise is so simple. Grand narratives spanning multiple games are commonplace now. There’s a high chance you’ll end up lost if you start a franchise with anything but the first entry and as time goes on, franchises continue to get new entries and the barrier for entry grows even bigger.
The thing is, most long-running franchises aren't that difficult to get into once you know where to start. Developers want to keep their franchises accessible to as many people as possible, and have created ways to easily get into these series.
Once you know where to start, getting into even the biggest franchises isn’t too hard.
7. Assassin's Creed
Start with: Assassin's Creed II
On the surface, the Assassin's Creed games may appear simple. They all take place in different time periods so they can't be too connected, right? Well, the Assassin's Creed games also contain a modern plot that connects all the games together.
Luckily, nobody (including Ubisoft) seems to really care about this modern plot. Ever since Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, the modern-day side of things has been disappearing more and more. So what you can do is join the rest of the Assassin's Creed fans and pretend that the modern-day stuff doesn't exist.
Whilst you could start with most Assassin's Creed games, Assassin's Creed II is your best bet.
Widely regarded as one of the best Assassin's Creed games for a reason, the game allows you to explore Italy during the Italian Renaissance, going to iconic cities such as Florence and Venice. You might think the combat would have aged poorly being an older title, but it still feels great. There's a reason the combat didn't change much until Assassin's Creed Origins, eight years later.
Lastly, AC 2 has a simple but compelling story featuring Ezio Auditore, arguably the best character to grace the series.