Video games have grown immensely over the past few decades. Franchises of games are commonly reaching double digits (Assassin's Creed, Call of Duty), maps are growing to be the size of entire states (Grand Theft Auto V, Fallout 4), and Easter eggs are becoming much more commonplace.
In this age of video games, it's not hard to imagine some games could actually co-exist with one another similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But sometimes, due to character cameos and substantial references, these connected worlds can be very... interesting.
Let's get some ground rules started before we begin the list. Firstly, this article is about game franchises, so we'll be sticking only to games with two sequels or more.
Secondly, the connections must be substantial. If a surname is mentioned offhandedly as a reference, or anything equally insignificant, it will be discarded.
Thirdly, multi-franchise crossover games are excluded from this list. Meaning that Super Smash Bros, PlayStation All-Stars, and Marvel vs Capcom games don't make the cut. The focus is on unexpected games, not connected games in general.
With these three rules in place, let's dive into what's sure to be a strange, strange world.
12 Assassin's Creed
When talking about modern gaming franchises, it's pretty commonplace to hear the name Assassin's Creed. The series has stretched into numerous titles across countless time periods, so it's not that hard to imagine that they sneak in a few references to other games every once in awhile.
11 Silent Hill
Back when Konami was still a company that made good games and not a quintessential example of George Orwell's 1984, they had a game franchise called Silent Hill. It premiered in January 1999 and screeched to a halt with the beloved PT published in August of 2014 before collapsing under the weight of their own egotism. The Silent Hill games always focused on horror no matter where the story lead, but always found spots to sneak in black humor and the occasional UFO.
10 Metal Gear Solid
Still sticking to Konami, Metal Gear Solid is a well loved franchise with over ten titles, all packed full of drama, suspense, rations, and exclamation points. Made by Hideo Kojima, this series has packed countless references to other games.
For example, back in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater at the Graniny Gorki, there's a number of paintings that are the exact duplicates of ones found in Silent Hill 3's church.
9 Far Cry
Far Cry's connection is by far the most solid on this list that doesn't rely on characters crossing over from other franchises.
The series, like Assassin's Creed, was created by Ubisoft, so there's plenty of references between the two games. The most significant being the Abstergo logo making an appearance on a document in the third game, which read "I question using these so-called scientists. They speak of Pieces of Eden and Edison's electrical experiments into genetic memory."
8 Soul Calibur
For readers not in the know, Soul Calibur is a fighting game created by Namco Bandai, the same company that also created the Tekken series.
The series has grown in popularity over the years, partly due to the guest fighters featured in each installment of the franchise. This latest entry featured the Italian assassin Ezio Auditore da Firenze from Assassin's Creed, making this an open and shut case as to why it connects into the other games.
7 The Legend of Zelda
Just take a moment to let it sink in that The Legend of Zelda, an adventure game franchise aimed at younger audiences, is loosely connected to Silent Hill, a world stuffed full of horrifying creatures and underlying occult concepts. Plus a fanbase obsessed with the darkest elements of the series... Okay, maybe they aren't that different.
6 Super Mario Bros.
Back in the beginning of this article, we stated a few rules. One of which was the exclusion of multi-franchise games like Super Smash Bros. Thankfully we're not cutting corners here since Link from Legend of Zelda fame still makes a cameo in 1996's Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars.
5 God of War
Jumping from one end of the age rating to another is God of War, a brutal game starring the violent megalomaniac Kratos. He's dragged into this list the same way a few previous entries have been: by Soul Calibur.
Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny was published in 2009 for the Playstation Portable, and like many of the game's entries it included a guest fighter in the form of the Ghost of Sparta himself.
4 Mortal Kombat
Let's try and move past the fact that Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda are lurking around on this list and move onto some more mature prospects.
Joining this strange universe of multi-franchise games is Tekken, the other fighting game by Namco Bandai.
2 Street Fighter
It seems like fighting games just have a habit of popping up on this list.
Street Fighter, the famous series started way back in 1987, has grown and just released it's fifth title this past month. The franchise is known for strange and interesting characters with all kinds of different fighting styles... and booty, it's also known for that.
And finally, wrapping up our list is the PlayStation exclusive series inFAMOUS. The first two games revolve around Cole McGrath, a regular guy who gets gifted electrical superpowers in a massive city falling to pieces after a bomb lights up most of the city.
InFAMOUS gets to slip in at this final spot because of the previously mentioned Street Fighter X Tekken, which had a surprise cameo from the electric hero alongside Pac-Man and Mega-Man oddly enough.
So that's it, this wraps up 12 game franchises you didn't know were connected. Want to add more games to the list? Go ahead and share it with us!
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