Four Commander Keens. Three Descents. More than a dozen Zorks. Nine Tomb Raiders with another coming down the pipe. PC gaming was built on franchises, and it thrives today on the popularity of series' from Diablo (which sold 3.5 million copies within 24 hours of the launch of Diablo III) to Nancy Drew (which has moved nine million copies of the staggering 26 games in the series so far).
With every new release, however, developers struggle to deliver new game mechanics and fresh stories while hewing closely enough to the original spirit of the game—if not the execution—to avoid alienating the fans that made it popular in the first place. The results have been, of course, all over the place. And where one fan may see an innovative extension of a favorite series, another might see a hideous and unforgivable betrayal of everything the game had stood for.
We want to know how our readers' feelings on some of PC gaming's longest-standing series have changed, so we're putting 20 franchises across a number of different PC gaming genres to your vote: Which ones are getting better? And which are headed downhill?