Ranking of Publishers - Personal Favorites

Probably a weird thing to rank, but back when I started gaming Publisher brands were what I knew. It wasn't till much much later that I learned that developers were potentially and usually separate entities from Publishers. But even so, I still tend to think of game makers by the Publisher brands. There's places where that still makes some sense and an increasingly large number of cases where it doesn't.

To keep things sane in light of hordes of self published Indie games, gonna limit to Publishers that I think are at least AA sized publishers and also to current formations of ownership (E.g. Bandai Namco will be ranked based on the combination of both Bandai and Namco).

  • God Tier- These companies pretty much own real estate in my wallet
  • Tier 1 - If I see their logo on something, I'm probably buying it at full price or close to it
  • Tier 2 - You have my interest,my attention and also probably my money at the first decent sale
  • Tier 3 - Generally will buy some of their output, but rarely at full price
  • Tier 4 - Will do some research into a game, if I see their name on it.
  • Tier 5 - I'll consider buying games from these publishers if I have an opening in my schedule and the game looks good
  • Tier 6 - These publishers are mostly ok, not necessarily my thing.
  • Tier 7- I don't know why I continue to buy these
  • Deponia Tier - Kill it with Fire

List items

  • God Tier- I'm not sure I've ever bought a Nintendo branded game I didn't like. Nintendo made me a gamer and I'll probably play their games until I die. Highlight Franchises- Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Fire Emblem, Wars, Smash,F-Zero, Mario Kart

  • Tier 1- This is a tricky tossup between it and Capcom for me. Capcom has a wider variety of types of games I like and rarely makes anything I don't like. Square Enix has more uneven output but their highpoints are among my very favorite games. Highlight Franchises- Final Fantasy, Chrono, FF: Tactics, Dragon Quest, Tomb Raider, Hitman

  • Tier 1- This is a tricky tossup between it and Square Enix for me. Capcom has a wider variety of types of games I like and rarely makes anything I don't like. Square Enix has more uneven output but their highpoints are among my very favorite games. Highlight Franchises- Dragon's Dogma, Street Fighter, Monster Hunter, Mega Man, Dino Crisis, Ace Attorney

  • Tier 1- Basically here for the parts of Activision that aren't Activision. Namely Blizzard and Sierra

    Highlight Franchises- Warcraft, Starcraft, Overwatch, Quest for Glory, King's Quest, Diablo

  • Tier 1- once upon a time Konami might have been my second favorite, but they've basically exited the gaming business. While I'm not a fan of their business practices, I'm more in the "Fuck, Konami" camp than the "Fuck Konami" camp. Highlight Franchises- Contra, Castlevania,Suikoden, Metal Gear

  • Tier 2- Sadly Defunct, LA used to make some of the best adventure games and some pretty decent Star Wars/Indiana Jones games. Highlight Franchises - Monkey Island, Star Wars, Indiana Jones

  • Tier 2- There's just something always missing from Ubi games for me that keeps them from being all time faves. Generally always a good time though.

    Highlight Franchises- Prince of Persia, Splinter Cell, Ghost Recon, Far Cry, Ass Creed

  • Tier 2- Sony's output is another that I often really like, but not generally enough on its own to justify buying the console just for their 1st party stuff alone. It's close though

    Highlight Franchises- Uncharted, Jak & Daxter, Gravity Rush, God of War, Last of US, Arc the Lad, NFL gameday, MLB the Show

  • Tier 2- I'm more of a Firaxis fan than a Rockstar fan, but I like them both. 2K games themselves are kinda ehhh

    Highlight Franchises- Civilization, XCOM, Red Dead, Bioshock

  • Tier 2- Would not be this high if they didn't buy Bioware.

    I have a love/hate relationship with those games

    Highlight Franchises- Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Madden/NCAA Football, MVP baseball, Mirror's Edge

  • Tier 3- Legendary SEGA is only down here because I grew up a Nintendo Kid and have played so little of its library from its heyday. Will likely move higher as I play more of these games.

    Highlight Franchises- Yakuza, Valkyria Chronicles, Sanic, Columns

  • Tier 3- Atlus always puts out a lot of time intensive super niche stuff that I think I'll love, but then I usually get intimidated by and end up burning out playing. Candidate to move higher on the list. For convenience sake I'm just going to lump Nippon Ichi Software in with Atlus because I get confused by all of them and view their lineups as similar material anyway.

    Highlight Franchises- Persona

  • Tier 3- WB and me are kinda on the outs right now. I like Batman and Mortal Kombat, but their handling of PC versions of their franchises makes me not want to buy them.

    Highlight Franchises - Batman: Arkham, Mortal Kombat, Injustice

  • Tier 4- Never really got into Elder Scrolls or Fallout or ID games, but I appreciate Bethesda's commitment to single player these days. Moving up

    Highlight Franchises- DOOM, Wolfenstein, Dishonored, Prey, Elder Scrolls

  • Tier 4- Another dead company that's hard to know where to rank. I'm not sure who got what IP either, so leaving it in. I sorta already gave credit to WB for Mortal Kombat, but MK was basically a Midway thing for eons.

    Well it still gave us tons of Arcade Classics, in another timeline Midway could have been American Capcom I suppose.

    Highlight Franchises- Mortal Kombat, Shadow Hearts, Gauntlet

  • Tier 4- THQ died right when it started to finally be going somewhere. Damn shame

    Highlight Franchises- Saints Row, Darksiders, Titan Quest

  • Tier 4- This one definitely feels like it should be higher due to Namco's well deserved rep and yet... Somehow I rarely ever get pulled into their games like I think I'm going to.

    Highlight Franchises- Soul Calibur, Tales, Ace Combat, Katamari Damacy, God Eater

  • Tier 4- I'm going to assume Devolver Digital has produced every good Indie game ever. Good Job Devolver, thanks for the indie games

    Highlight Franchises- Indie games

  • Tier 5 - I actually forgot Valve is/was a game maker when first making this list. That being said, I never really connected with their stuff. Left 4 Dead and Half Life are good franchises but not really my thing. DOTA 2 I probably really honestly like because of its roots as a Blizzard product mod, and it still feels more like a Blizz game to me then a Valve game.

    Highlight Franchises- DOTA 2, Portal

  • Tier 5- I'm actually all for the idea of the Telltale formula of cranking frequent games with a similar structure, where the highlight is the story. The problem is the engine looks real bad, and the writing isn't there on a lot of them.Will be interested to see what their new direction is like

    Highlight Franchises- Walking Dead, Wolf Among US

  • Tier 5- I definitely like the Tecmo side much better than the Koei side, but the Tecmo stuff hasn't been super active in recent years.

    Highlight Franchises- Ninja Gaiden, Rygar, Tecmo Bowl, Dynasty Warriors etc

  • Tier 5- Kinda varying quality here from Tim Schafer's house, but I'm always at least interested by what they put out.

  • Tier 5- Thanks for you making the Witcher and Good Old Games , CD Projekt. Only so low, because Witcher is all they got

    Highlight Franchise- Witcher

  • Tier 5- Given how much Clash of Clans I still play, I guess I have to say I like at least one of their products. Not a League of Legends guy or into Fortnite (yeah these guys own a good chunk of Epic Games) but I respect them.

    Highlight Franchises- Clash, League, Fortnite, Gears

  • Tier 6- Tier 6- I liked Double Dragon a lot for a few years. River City Ransom passed me by , but those Kunio Kun games do seem cool. That being said I've gone decades without playing any of their games and not feeling like I missed much.

    I should try Guilty Gear and BlazBlue at some point

    Highlight Franchises- Double Dragon, Kunio Kun, Super Dodge Ball

  • Tier 6- Back in the NES days, I liked a handful of their games. But these days they either release pachislot and/or fanservice shlock or more often, nothing at all.

    Highlight Franchises- Blaster Master

  • Tier 6- Never really got into King of Fighters, Metal Slug is alright for what it is. Haven't played much of the Neo Geo library.

  • Tier 6- There's a reason I don't own an Xbox. You're looking at it. Just not my kinda stuff although admittedly often of decent quality. Rise of Nations is alright though

  • Tier 6- I honestly thought this would be higher given how huge Atari used to be. But then I really struggled to think of any Atari games I actually like. Their best output was from a generation of gaming where I didn't like the games. Lord know this brand has been really tarnished by the numerous transfers of ownership.

    Highlight Franchises- Dragonball?

  • Tier 6- Never got to know Irem's catalog super well. The Guardian Legend seems like a pretty darn cool game. Deadly Towers is one of the 5 worst games I've ever touched. I really don't know what company to give Broderbund Ip to, so I'll lump them in with Irem. Broderbund published Deadly Towers in the US so that's kinda fair right? Ok not really, but I'm doing it anyway.

    Highlight Broderbund Franchise- Lode Runner

  • Tier 6- Apparently I've played some games published by 505 games. They seem like less good Indie games than Devolver's. Therefore I'll give 505 credit for all the bad indie games. You need to do better 505 Games.

  • Tier 6- They seem like they are cool people. And yet I haven't found any of their products that really grab me.

  • Tier 6- Given that these guys seem to be responsible for GameArts Ips these days, I should probably check out more or their back catalog. I thought Grandia was neat

    Highlight Franchises- Grandia, Lunar, Puzzles & Dragons

  • Tier 6- Mainly down this low due to my unfamiliarity with Marvelous's catalog. Lot of their stuff is too fan servicey for my tastes, but YMMV. Picked the Xseed subbrand for this list because it's a cooler name than Marvelous.

  • Tier 7- I can't think of any Majesco game I really liked. I can however think of several I didn't like .

  • Tier 7- They continually willingly publish games developed by Spiders. I really should stop buying anything from them.

  • Tier 7- I only have myself to blame for playing as many of their games as I did.

  • Deponia Tier- These jerks unleashed Deponia unto the world. Screw them