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What video game franchises lend themselves well to being “deep dived” or binged?

So what is a "deep dive" into a video game franchise?

My idea of a deep dive would be an experience of a narrative and universe that spans multiple titles. It would entail going through all the material (both gaming and non-gaming) related to a video game franchise – usually in a "canon" order. So basically the goal is to have a thorough experience of this created universe that is presented across multiple installments, possibly through multiple types of media.

Why would anyone do a deep dive?

I can't speak for anyone else but myself, but I like being immersed in a long-form narrative and "living" in its universe for a time. So story would definitely be one of the primary reasons for me to do so.

Another thing is that also fascinates me is to see how a particular story's gameplay and presentation evolves with the times / as it matures. So experiencing how the gameplay of a particular franchise changes; or, how its polish and production values change along with the technology is also something of interest.

What would be an example of a good deep dive?

I think any series of at least 3 games that are tied together would be up for consideration. For example, I recently did a deep dive of the Legend of Heroes: Trails series, where I played the first 8 games of the highly-acclaimed JRPG series over a few months. The stories of all the games are interconnected, the gameplay of each succeeding game just kept building up on top of the previous game, and the experience of it all felt like going through an epic fantasy or sci-fi books series.

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What would NOT be a deep dive I would be interested in?

I think Final Fantasy would not hit the spot. For the most part, each mainline game exists in its own bubble or world and is distinct from each of the other games. Some mainline games have spin-offs (i.e. FFXIII has 3 games) so that would be more appealing to me in terms of diving into multiple games, but not the series as a whole.

The Ys series would be an example of a series I'd be on the fence about. Because although the games do exist in a shared world and the main character of all the games is just the same person, the story of each of the games is pretty much standalone with its own self-contained experience and you can pretty much play the games in any order.

What am I thinking of deep diving into right now?

Right now, I'm taking a look into the Resident Evil series. On the RE subreddit, they have this wild "COMPLETE CANON Experience:" that looks like it would be a blast to try out. The games mostly seem interconnected. I think the story isn't high art, but I believe it has a relatively fleshed out lore and campy tone that could end up being entertaining. I have no idea about the gameplay or how it has changed over the years, but I'm interested.

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Also: The Yakuza series has been at the back of my mind.

^ So that's it, really. I was wondering what the community could suggest if I was interested in doing a gaming binge where I could deep dive into a particular video game series. I'm all ears.

What I've already played or am not interested in:

  • Dark Souls (great series, but not particularly good for deep diving in the sense I described above)

  • Bioshock (would have been an excellent suggestion if I hadn't already played through all the games)

  • Mass Effect

  • Half-Life

  • The Witcher

  • Borderlands

  • Tomb Raider


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