Video game franchises, old and new, have become cherished storylines within the gaming community. From Assassins Creed to Mario Kart, there is no shortage of long-running fan-favourites that have enticed gamers all over the world year-on-year. But which releases are the lowest-rated from popular franchises, and when did these dips come about?

By analyzing IMDb ratings of each game released within the top 10 biggest and best selling franchises, BestOnlineCasinos has determined at which point each game franchise received its highest and lowest ratings since launching.

The Highest and Lowest Releases from the Top 10 Best-Selling Game Franchises

1. Call of Duty (400 million sales) 

The best-selling game franchise is the first-person shooter series Call of Duty – or CoD for short. Although Black Ops is the best-selling game out of the franchise, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has the highest rating of all (8.8). On the other hand, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, released in 2018, has the lowest rating of 5.5 out of 10.

2. Super Mario (388.92 million sales)

Created in 1985, Super Mario has over 388.92 million sales to date. Of the 24 games released in total, the highest rating goes to Super Mario World with a whopping 9.3 out of 10. However, Super Mario Run, which was released in 2016, was only rated 6.2 on IMDb.

3. Pokémon (380 million sales)

Pokémon is a franchise loved by people of all ages. The video game is part of the highest-grossing media franchise in the world, joining the trading card game, toys, various mobile apps including Pokémon GO, and the anime television show and movies. It has been an international hit since 1998, but it had the highest user reviews in 2000 and 2009 with ratings of 8.8 out of 10. Last year’s release of Pokémon Sword and Shield (2020) had the lowest rating of all, achieving just 7.3 out of 10.

4. Grand Theft Auto (350 million sales)

Grand Theft Auto has had seven releases so far, with the first being in 1997 and the latest in 2013. These action-adventure games show no signs of ever going out of fashion, especially as Grand Theft Auto V has sold over 140 million copies so far and is the highest-rated in the franchise (9.5 out of 10). Comparatively, Grand Theft Auto 2, the lowest-rated game in the franchise, was released in 1999 but still scores a respectable 7.5 out of 10.

5. FIFA (325 million sales)

FIFA, a series of association football video games developed and released annually by EA Sports, allows players to enter online tournaments against their friends from the comfort of their own homes. Out of the 36 games released in this franchise so far, FIFA 13 (2012) achieved the highest rating (8.1 out of 10). Despite FIFA 21 having the best-selling status, it has the lowest rating overall – not only out of the franchise, but also out of any game released by the top 10 franchises in this list with just 4.5 out of 10.

6. LEGO (200 million sales)

As the franchise with the most games out of the top 10 franchises, LEGO games have had highs and lows over the years. Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga (2007) achieved the highest rating of 8.6 out of 10 out of the 47 individual games released so far. However, The Lego Movie 2 Videogame (2019) received a pretty low rating of 5.7 out of 10.

7. The Sims (200 million sales)

Despite only four mainline games having being released so far, The Sims is popular all over the world. The latest game, The Sims 4, has amassed more than 20 million unique players. However, The Sims 4 has the lowest rating of 6.9 out of the franchise compared to The Sims (2000) and The Sims 3 (2009), which received reviews of 7.9 out of 10.

8. Final Fantasy (159 million sales)

Final Fantasy is the second-oldest game franchise in the top 10 after Super Mario, and it’s been around since 1987. Since then, there have been 18 releases in this anthology – all with fluctuating ratings from gamers worldwide. The lowest rating was given to the 2010 release of Final Fantasy XIV (5.9), although the game subsequently underwent a major overhaul and is now considered a major hit in the MMO space long-dominated by World of Warcraft. Arguably the most iconic release in the series, 1997’s Final Fantasy VII, scored 9.5 out of 10.

9. Mario Kart (158 million sales)

As a spin-off from Super Mario, Mario Kart was released with high expectations. In 1992, Super Mario Kart launched on the SNES to favourable user reviews and an eventual user rating of 8.4 out of 10 on IMDb. Its seven subsequent releases have remained highly-rated, with the lowest rating of 7.3 given to the 2001 Mario Kart: Super Circuit and 2020 Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit games. 

10. Assassin’s Creed (155 million sales)

Assassin’s Creed, the newest game franchise in this list, has 12 games in its collection so far. While most releases have a rating of 8 out of 10, the second game, released in 2009 scored an impressive 9.1 out of 10. However, these high ratings dipped with Assassin’s Creed Unity (2014) which has the lowest score of 7.1 out of 10.

The Full Results


  1. sought to determine when the top ten best-selling video game franchises received the highest and lowest ratings.
  2. By utilizing Wikipedia’s list of the best-selling video game franchises, narrowed this down to the top ten. Mario, Tetris, Wii, and Minecraft were omitted from the study on the grounds of either being the same game with updates, only available on one console or an umbrella franchise for smaller franchises that were part of the study.
  3. IMDb was used in order to determine the ratings of each franchise’s releases. Updates, mini-games, and downloadable content (DLC) releases were also omitted from the study, as they were not considered individual releases by the franchise.
  4. These points were plotted onto the infographic – to visualize when each game franchise received the highest and lowest ratings.