games / Columns

The Top 8 Games from EA Franchises: Mass Effect 2, Dead Space 2, More

May 5, 2020 | Posted by Marc Morrison
Mass Effect

Welcome all to another edition of The 8 Ball! This week I’m here to talk about EA games. As one of the companies that has been around almost since the beginning, Electronic Arts has a vast catalog of franchises, both good and bad to pull games form. With that in mind, I haven’t played them all, and even trying to pick a favorite Madden or Fifa game is impossible. Also, for the sake of this, a franchise has to have at least 3 games in its series, so something like Mirror’s Edge wouldn’t count. With that said, let’s begin:

#8: Road Rash 3D

I’m not really going to pretend that Road Rash was some revered franchise. Still I did have some fun with Road Rash 3D. The soundtrack was really good, which fit the mood of the game quite well. Some people didn’t like the lack of a two-player mode or the de-emphasis on combat but I thought it just made the actual game a much better racer. I’m sure if I tried to play it now I would see a lot more of the faults of this game, but at the time, I really enjoyed it.

#7: Dead Space 2

I’ll admit I didn’t actually play a ton of Dead Space 2. I played the first two on PC, the first was a decent Alien-style game, but the second was obviously an Aliens-style game, with more combat and general spectacle. The problem was, the PC version included all the DLC for the game, so instead of the basic suit and weapons, I had access to a fully upgraded suit and extremely powerful, game-breaking weapons. That kind of killed the immersion for me. Still, I did like the atmosphere and mood of Dead Space 2 the most, hence why it’s here.

#6: Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars

I actually didn’t play any C&C game until C&C 3. I was more of a Starcraft RTS player, and back in those days, there was some battle lines drawn between RTS franchises. But when C&C 3 came out, and with Starcraft (seemingly) dormant, I gave it a shot, and I ended up really enjoying it. I really enjoyed the real life acting FMV sequences featuring some decent acting talent. The actual RTS gameplay was also solid, it wasn’t revolutionary but it did scratch the RTS itch I had. Also, I enjoyed C&C 3 more than Red Alert 3, because RA3 was geared towards co-op play and C&C 3 was a fairly solitary gameplay experience.

#5: Dragon Age: Inquisition

I generally respect the first Dragon Age game, even though it did nothing for me personally. God knows I tried to get into it, but after about 15 hours the game still did not click with me. I, like most sane people, ignored DA2. Inquisition did click with me though. I really enjoyed the combat, the characters and the idea of building up your own neutral faction trying to stop the new evil thingamabob. Inquisition was generally a simpler game than the first Dragon Age but it worked well enough for me.

#4: Plants vs. Zombies

Plants vs. Zombies didn’t start as an EA property. It only became one once EA bought out PopCap in 2011. Notice how many post-buyout PvZ games there have been? Zero. EA impressively ruined the Plants vs. Zombies franchise with crass F2P garbage and pointless shooter games that absolutely no one cared about. The first game is the best one because it’s an actual complete product. There is a rate of progression that isn’t hamstrung by making you pay real money to unlock more. Every few levels, you may get a new plant, item, or different zombie type that can change the way you play. God, whatever happened to this franchise?

#3: Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005)

I think there’s been over 20 Need for Speed games since the series started in the mid 90’s, on the 3D0 of all things. Most NFS games are of an “alright” quality, some are downright horrible and some are supremely good. The 2005 Most Wanted is among the best, however. I really just like how all the cars have a weight to them and the feel of actually racing them is superb. Plus, this game actually had some motivation for you racing, wanting to get to the top of the Blacklist and get your original car back. Even just driving around the city was fun.

#2: Burnout 3: Takedown

While Most Wanted is a great racing game, Burnout 3 is a great action game. Sure there is racing, but it’s more of an action game. It’s all about trying to take out the other racers, replenishing your boost meter and reaching first place. There’s also the Crash mode, where you try to hit the multipliers in the stage and damage as many other cars as you can. Also, like other EA racing games, it had a superb soundtrack. I know a lot of other people prefer Burnout Paradise but I found Takedown to be the best in the series.

#1: Mass Effect 2

It’s kind of amazing how Mass Effect was one of the best franchises ever and then how EA ruined it all. Mass Effect 2 was the pinnacle of the series with great writing, combat that worked, high production values and a truly engaging story. It was a great twist having your character die in the opening of the game then being resurrected by, essentially an enemy faction, but still tasking you with trying to save the galaxy. It arguably set the bar too high since Mass Effect 3 couldn’t hope to live up to the expectations this game sets up, but even as a solitary game it is still one of the best games of that generation.

For comments, list your favorite games from EA franchises and why.

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Top 8 Games from Activision Franchises