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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Top 5 game companies?

Whether they're still in the business or sadly defunct. Still going strong or have seen better days, what are the top 5 studios that always made you pumped when they announced a new game that you already knew was going to be an absolute banger??? 

In no particular, my 5 favorite game companies are:

I'm actually thinking Blizzard may have been my favorite game company ever when they were at their peak. Unfortunately, times have changed.....but when Blizzard was the top of their "game" it was hard to find a better developer. Even today, their cinematics are still the best in the business. From the late 90s in my childhood to the early 2010s, I lived and breathed Blizzard and I thought the party would never stop. And, the best physical copies in gaming! 

Diablo was a terrifying introduction to RPGs and taught me the concept of "looter" games that would drive to another studio in my list. StarCraft having 3 very distinctive factions that had a space western vibe to it with clear Warhammer 40k influence and a flawless multiplayer experience. Warcraft as an RTS, especially Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos/The Frozen Throne, to this day is peak Warcraft lore and high fantasy setting/gameplay. And World of Warcraft needs no introduction. Warcraft has to be one of the richest game worlds ever crafted. I also really enjoyed Overwatch when it first launched, but I'm not as fond of that franchise. 

I'm a bigger fan of Blizzard's strategy games, but they taught me that strategy games can have amazing storytelling and writing. Whether it was their cinematics, multiplayer experiences, storytelling, or gameplay, Blizzard could do no wrong. They really were a special company at their height. For me, the end of the Blizzard I grew up loving was after the expansion Legacy of the Void released for StarCraft 2, but, the writing had already been on the wall for several years at that point.

This I will forever damn Microsoft for in their mismanagement of Ensemble Studios. Age of Empires is among the top 5 of my personal favorite franchises. My dad is who introduced me to this franchise. I played a ton of Age 2 and especially Age of Mythology with him (probably my favorite in the series and stoked for the remake) and I loved the new direction the franchise went with Age 3 which to me felt like a breath of fresh air in the RTS genre. Which my dad and I played a ton of together as well. I love history and each AoE game covering a new aspect of human history always fascinated me, and not to mention, an unforgettable theme song.

Ensemble could've been Microsoft's biggest studio for a long time by now, but Don Mattrick fucked everything up because he wanted a massive bonus if Xbox reached certain revenue and profit goals and Ensemble was an expensive studio to maintain (which Don never met those goals, so this studios closure was for nothing) Ensemble from 2004-2007 was working on a Halo MMO codenamed Titan to compete with World of Warcraft. I was already hooked on WoW, so this was a matchmade in heaven. There's a lot of images of the world and what the gameplay looked like online. Ensemble had most of the online infrastructure setup and they were set to move to a massive new state of the art headquarters to grow even further but.....Don.....instead of moving to a new HQ and launching a huge Halo MMO, Don shut the studio down for no good reason other than an attempt at personal financial gain. 

But.....Ensemble still had one last homerun up their sleeves before shutting down with Halo Wars. Halo turning into an RTS was a genius move and was a fantastic game, introducing new characters to the Halo universe and showed that Ensemble never lost their magical touch. I'm happy to see Age of Empires continuing to thrive to this day. 

I most likely don't need to say much Donkey Kong Country is my favorite franchise in gaming, so many timeless unforgettable gaming memories for decades of my life to this day. Nintendo will forever be a gaming giant and I will always buy their consoles. Warmed my heart seeing my daughters first gaming experience be the original Super Mario Bros on the Switch, and I can't wait to show her more. 

My first introduction to Bungie was actually with Myth 2: Soulblighter. Another franchise my dad introduced me to. Later on is when I played the original game. There's so much potential with Myth in the fantasy genre that I hope Bungie one day returns to, but seeing how Bungie is playing out these days, that's unlikely. Of course though, I became a mega fan when Halo CE released. That game is what introduced me to LAN parties. Going to my classmates house on the weekends with 4 Xbox's hooked up playing for who knows how many hours! Great summer vacations. Then Halo 2 taking the LAN experience online was unbelievable and was my first midnight game launch. Culminating in Halo 3 that had the best of both worlds and being able to add customizable game modes with Forge. The original Halo trilogy were some special times. 

I still continued with Bungie when Destiny released. The looting aspect of Diablo and the MMO-like features that I loved in World of Warcraft like raids, Destiny has always been a franchise with such insane potential that on several occasions really nailed the concept of the franchise like The Taken King and Forsaken, but most times, failed to live up the hype. Gameplay, loot, and the endgame content like raids/dungeons were always high points and hooked me for a long time. 

I'm most likely completely done with Bungie now and going forward, but I still have so many timeless memories from their games that will last a lifetime. 

id Software I always felt terrible for playing their games because of how much I knew my parents hated them but the Doom games and Quake, always gave me a huge rush of excitement. I just thought they were so insanely cool, but I could only play them at my cousins house since his parents didn't care, and I was hooked onto arena shooters. I played a lot of Unreal Tournament as well when Quake 3 released, but I always preferred Quake. And being born and raised in Dallas, I've been going to Quakecon annually for almost 20 years now. You feel part of a community with id and Quakecon, and with the back to back amazing releases of the Doom reboot, I feel id is back on top of their game! If any studio was going to bring back arena shooters, it would be id. 

Please rate your top 5 and feel free to share your stories of how that admiration for them came to be. 

Last edited by G2ThaUNiT - on 27 November 2023

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Atm, these are my "top studios".

In no particular order but can always get excited by whatever those guys are releasing.

Honorable Mention:
I don't care what anyone says about Rareware nowadays, still one of my favorite companies out there and Sea of Thieves is some of their best work. Not only that, but a lot of their games under Xbox are some of the best, Nuts n Bolts was most certainly ahead of it's time, Viva Pinata games are some of the most fun and chilled moments I've had with a Rareware game, Kameo was an amazing game and lots of fun to play. The only game I will say that was meh, under Xbox, was Perfect Dark Zero.

Last edited by TheTitaniumNub - on 28 November 2023

SEGA is a true pioneer and risk-taker of gaming in the most important and best era in gaming. 80s and 90s.  While they were poorly run on the business end. On the creative end, they were masters of the arcade. Pushed hardware to new heights and limits tho with caution to the wind and that attitude eventually cost them. They made many innovations at the time and before their time. In games and console hardware and of course arcades. There was never anyone like them. New IPs up the ass. Sure we know Sonic but also Ranger X. Flicky. Jet Set Radio. Knights. Panzer Dragoon.  Fantasy Zone. Space Harrier. Afterburner. Virtua Fighter. Virtual On. And an endless list of great games and creativity. Dreamcast changed my life and my fave console to this day. Saturn is my 3rd fave. I have countless memories of playing SEGA games in arcades.

Nintendo. Nintendo are the perfectors of craft. In the gaming world, they are the Renaissance-era sculptors and painters. Where SEGA was more Picasso or Andy Warhol of gaming. Expression. Wild ideas. Nintendo didn't make as many new IPs as its competitors. It does reinvent what it does have with carefully thought-out new mechanics in their games to go along with some new features of its hardware. Often working hand in hand. They take risks but calculated ones and are patient to wait until they feel is the right time to introduce it. SEGA as soon as they thought of it put it out the door. SNES is my second fave console of all time. Switch my 4th.

Falcom. The little company then could and still can. Not a very well-known name but they have been making RPGs long before Dragon Quest or even Final Fantasy was a glint of an idea. While DQ forever shifted the genre in Japan to more identified with turn-based battles. Falcom was making epic games with fast speedy action games. Dragon Slayer. Xanadu. Faxandu. Ys and more. Ys 1 is my favorite game of all time. I played many ports and versions of this game. I love it. I love the late 80s anime. Nothing gives me more chills than the intro of Ys 1 on the Turbografx16. Ys is now thriving when it was once struggling. Dragon Slayer fully transformed into the Trails series now turn-based and thriving. They don't have the budget of Square but their quality in gameplay and story telling matches Dragon Quest and Best Final Fantasy in the last 15 years.

Platinum Games. The group at Capcom named Clover worked on Resident Evil. Created Okami. Devil May Cry and Viewtiful joe created a studio in 2007. In my mind, they are the closest thing to modern-day Treasure. From Bayonetta. To the best SP TPS ever made in VanQuish. Licensed games like Transformers Devastation. Astral Chain. Wonderful 101. Madworld. Infinite Space RPG. Metal Gear Rising.  Even dabbling in Shmups like Sol Cresta. Their best games just feel like the proper evolution of 16-bit era games transformed to 3D. It makes me happy. While he was there my fave game creator Kamiya made countless contributions. While he may no longer be there and what PG's future is no one knows. They still have excellent talent leading new IPs like Astral Chain.

Treasure. A group of ex-Konami developers formed a new studio in the early 90s. They created some of the best games the 90s saw. From action games like Alien Soldier and Gunstar Heroes. They made a side-scrolling beat 'em up action classic. Guardian Heroes. Of course, they also made some of the best shmups ever. Radiant Silvergun and Ikaruga. Oddball but amazing games like Mischief Makers or Silhouette Mirage. Last Crusader. And of course Sin n Punishment series.

I thought about putting in the 90s through PS2 era Konami as even my love of ZOE2. Policenauts or Snatchers. Or a Capcom who I still love despite the rough patch of the 7th gen. I prob love Capcom equally as some of these but I wanted to give a lesser known but not totally unknown devs a nod like Treasure or Falcom. If it was top 10 I'd include studios like Vanillaware and SNK.

Last edited by Leynos - on 27 November 2023

Bite my shiny metal cockpit!

Square Enix - Final Fantasy
Ubisoft - Assassin's Creed
Capcom - Street Fighter and Resident Evil
Hoyoverse - Genshin Impact and Star Rail
Bandai Namco - Tekken

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From Software

Monolithsoft (Nintendo, Namco, and pre-Monolithsoft games from Square)
Paradox Games (internally developed)
Quintet (Enix)
Seedy Projekt Red

But I generally don’t get excited about publisher releases, so it’s hard to have five. The four above studios also represent teams that have been relatively consistent and longtime collaborators. For me, it’s not publishing companies, or even particular studios, but teams and developer figures that I get excited about when they’re involved. And sometimes it’s when certain collaborations occur that gold is struck - as was the case with Chrono Trigger, while Masato Kato (Chrono Cross) and Takashi Tokita (Final Fantasy 4) are great on their own, they were elevated by collaborating on Chrono Trigger (along with Tetsuya Takahashi, Yasunori Mitsuda, Akira Toriyama, Yuji Horii, and Yoshinori Kitase). That team seemed to be the perfect cocktail for timeless greatness in a classic 16-but style RPG. From North America, Will Wright in particular - SimCity, Sim Earth, SPORE, Sims, and so on - I’ll always be excited by a Will Wright sandbox game, even if it’s broken (as Sim Life was).

Apologies for going outside the parameters of the thread.

Last edited by Jumpin - on 27 November 2023

I describe myself as a little dose of toxic masculinity.

From Software
Santa Monica

Naughty has fallen off a cliff for me. They haven't done much in a long time other than remakes and remaster.  UC4 was 2016. .

Same goes for retro, used to love them but they haven't done squat in a long time.  


Vengeance 32 gb

RTX 4090 Ventus 3x E OC

I'm not exactly a fan of them as a company, but they've made too many great games for me not to list them here.

In truth I still haven't played anything from them except for the Guardians game, but that game was amazing and I've seen enough from this company and its people to know they're absolutely awesome.

Retro Studios
They might've just gone 10 years without a new game, but everything they've released so far has been goated.

Lots of awesome games, they feel like a proper AA studio which we don't see much of anymore, their games usually have a strong creative direction and amazing gameplay, how can you not love them?

Moon Studios
Sure, Thomas Mahler can be pretty annoying sometimes, but I look up to this studio a lot and am very interested to find out what their next big game is gonna be like.

Of all time, and my favorite series from each:

1. Nintendo - Zelda, Super Mario, Metroid, Kart, Punch Out!!
2. Capcom - Resident Evil, Street Fighter, Mega Man, arcade powerhouse
3. Konami - Castlevania, Contra, Metal Gear
4. Sega - Phantasy Star, Streets of Rage, Shinobi, arcade powerhouse
5. Rare - DKC trilogy, incredible N64 legacy

Last edited by archbrix - on 21 December 2023