Okay so here's a thought. When you think of a franchise which specific title comes to mind? I mean when someone says "Call of Duty", what game jumps to your mind? Do you immediately think of Modern Warfare, or rather do you think to those quaint idyllic times shooting Nazis in the face? Here is a quick run down of how it works out in my mind.
I think of Quake II. Specifically of a corridor, in the first level with those lil grunts running at me with their pea-shooters and the awesome death animations they had.
Call of Duty:
I do in fact think of Nazis killing time. Specifically the Expansion Pack, where you hold a house during Battle of the Bulge, with tanks coming at you as you frantically run around grabbing bazooka rounds which are located in a horrid spot, and then you have to run to another spot to fire safely from some cover. Oh and the Nazis keep on storming your tiny house. Then the flyboys come and carpet bomb you to safety. With sweeping music that brings a tear to your eye.
"Shake 'em Baby". Simple.
The Fourth Title, which actually is not my favorite, but rather the first one I played. Specifically I remember how you play ass a bad-ass who becomes a pussy. And thats pretty much Final Fantasy games, seriously unless its a bad guy, then eventually any FF hero will start to cry, or save a box of kittens/puppies, and tragically punch something in frustration. At least 12 made it clear that the main character was this from the get go.
Okay, so thats all well and good, that I identify certain parts of games specific games with entire franchises. But if I dwell on this, it appears to me that a game, or rather franchise memories, are built upon the first memorable experience you have within said franchise. Which leads me to believe that it basically amounts to the first part of the franchise you played. So I started with CoD 1, and I buy the others because I trust in that franchise (well when it is being made by Infinity Ward at any rate) because I have that memory of my first experiences in the game. That brings up the question of why I bother getting excited for any Final Fantasy games when I know half the characters are going to be unlikable cry-babies; I'll just give that one to the hype-machine.
Thats pretty much all I got. For now.