The 21st-century world of videogames may seem to be obsessed with franchises -- but here are ten reasons to believe that isn't actually the case.
For a glorious period, EA's sorely lamented, chain-wielding, bad-attitude motorbike racer was a franchise. And it remains one of our favourite ones ever. I t made its debut in 1991 on Sega's Mega Drive, instantly feeling ahead of its time - thanks to stuff that now sounds laughable but was then revolutionary, like gradients which affected the handling of your bike and basic physics that let you indulge in gloriously spectacular wipeouts. But it had two key features: the ability to grab weapons, mid-race, from the Hell's Angels you were racing against, then set about them in the hope of taking them down; and incredibly long stages which gave you a chance to catch up after tasting the tarmac.
Three iterations of the game appeared on the 16-bit consoles, before 1994's fully 3D Road Rash for the 3DO. Which, in our opinion, remains the best motorbike-racing game ever, and felt about ten years ahead of its time. EA fiddled around porting it to various subsequent consoles before pulling the plug in 1998. Quite why it persisted with the vastly inferior Need For Speed - or why it still refuses to resurrect Road Rash when motorbike-racers are all but non-existent - remains a mystery.