Our Top 8 lists make a triumphant return this week and I’ve decided to do this one up a little differently than normal. While most of our readers cry about how we never included other consoles exclusive titles, we’re going to do so now. We may represent PlayStation, but I guess it’s only fair to let the other guy compete for our spots in the Top 8 countdown. We’re also going to start listing the Top 8 in reverse order and start off at number 8. This Top 8 is all about those franchises that have been going on for a little bit too long now and it’s about time the developer and publisher behind the title give it a rest. It’s almost as though the team behind the scenes aren’t comfortable creating something new and fresh this generation and instead look forward to feeding us the same title we’ve been playing for the last 10 to 15 years.
Chances are, if you’re a gamer and you have a favorite franchise, this list will piss you off and I think that’s just something you need to deal with on a personal level. When it gets to the point that you’re trying to shove soda down our throats while advertising a game that has already had far too many iterations as it is, it goes too far. When we walk into a retail outlet and the opportunity to buy clothes for your over-produced titles is there, it’s time to think of a new IP. Let’s try and push gaming forward with something new and exciting. Watching a video game legend have to wear hand me downs year after year is getting a little tiring. If you don’t understand the point of the list by now, you’re a lost gamer. So without much else to say, let’s start the list.
8. Grand Theft Auto
Alright Rockstar, we get it. Killing hookers and driving over people while creating riots on the streets of some random city is a good time. Great. We’ve only had the opportunity to do this 5-6 times now throughout different iterations and spinoffs. After Grand Theft Auto 4’s disappointing replayability experience, it’s time to do something different. While we applaud you for picking up PS3 exclusivity through The Agent, we’re hoping that you plan on disappointing everyone and not announcing a Grand Theft Auto 5 – and if you do, it better be set in some exotic city like Tokyo, where the opportunity to provide a refreshing atmosphere is abundantly clear. Also – If you bring out another, don’t shortchange the consumer by cutting off all of the fat of the title. Did you see Saint’s Row 2? They left the fat on and because of it, it left a lot of stuff to do after the main story line. Learn from that.
7. Metal Gear Solid
Hey Kojima, we love you, we really do, but enough is enough. Metal Gear Solid 4 was your masterpiece. It lasted me 15-20 hours and I watched every cut scene as though it was the new bible of gaming. You did it. You earned your lifetime achievement award in the gaming industry and now it’s time to do something great for your supporters and create something new. We’re not asking for the next Mona Lisa of gaming, but at least give us something that we haven’t been playing for the last 15 years already. Snake is a good dude, but there is only so much badassness we can believe before it gets to the point where this guy should be dead already — if not from the years of smoking, from the definite show down against enemies who don’t look to be slowing down in general. Do you know who another famous badass protagonist is? Rambo. He went over the hill too, it wasn’t pretty. Either bring Zone of Enders back for everyone or jump ship and create something fresh.
6. Guitar Hero (Does not include World Tour)
This can be thrown in with the entire “Evil Empire” of gaming article I wrote earlier. Guitar Hero has been milked to death and it’s getting a little old. What’s even worse is after releasing a blockbuster hit like their rip-off Guitar Hero World Tour (Rock Band which is appropriately named beat you to it and you should have conceded), the company still felt the need to create Guitar Hero 5 and then not allow any of its songs to be backwards compatible with World Tour. Great call, Activision. You guys have the business model down to suck in the stupid gamers to a T. However, it’s only a matter of time before they realize they’re buying the same damn game (right?) for the last 5 years. Let’s get a new IP together and start a new milkfest. We all know the company is capable, after all, it has two more titles in the Top 5 alone.
5. World War II Call of Duty
Let’s do this thing. Killing Nazis is popular and nobody hates killing one, except maybe the Germans. Seriously though, when we found out that you were forcing developers to stick with the World War II theme instead of allowing them to grow creatively, it made us a little sick. Anyone who is trying to prevent gaming from evolving and offering something new to the gamers who spends countable millions of dollars (we don’t you don’t count it all) on your product is unjustified. Modern Warfare has proven that you can change the formula and still sell millions, hasn’t it? Just think, your own ridiculous greed almost prevented you from ever reaching that point with Infinity Ward. You owe them an apology at the very least and who knows what Treyarch could do if they were given a choice to develop out of the tired realm of the 1940s. It might end up working out in the end.
4. Tony Hawk
In case you haven’t heard, Tony Hawk Ride is going to release for a lot of money and come with a skateboard you actually stand on to play. Let’s forget the fact that it’s ridiculously overpriced and will probably sell next to nothing because its competitor Skate offers a much better experience for over 50% less money. We can also forget the fact that Tony Hawk has been slowly dying off the gaming shelves for the past three years. Believe us, you’re not revolutionizing skateboard games by adding in the skateboard peripheral. I don’t know if you missed this or not, but snowboard peripherals beat you to this punch and they sold very poorly. Welcome back to reality. Let’s turn this positive energy into something productive, like a new title!
3. Tomb Raider
Lara Croft, thank you for your service. We loved your treasure hunting abilities. We loved your archeological problem solving skills. And, we loved the way your butler would follow us around into every room of your ridiculously oversized mansion. However, there comes a time to step aside, retire the guns, and just get married and pop out a few kids. It’s probably not your thing, but you should make it your thing. In case you haven’t noticed, most of us have been cheating on you with a younger, sexier model named Nathan Drake. He’s everything you used to be and he’s doing nothing but improving upon himself. It’s time you take that nap and pass the crown down to the new King of treasure hunting and thievery.
Fanboys prepare to take up arms. We get it. You’ll keep buying this garbage no matter how many there are. $60 expansion pack? Who cares?! Ship two million! Is that Mountain Dew with Master Chief on it? Let’s buy four cases. Holy crap, is that a Master Chief helmet that will result in my discs being loose, creating massive amounts of scratches on them so that I can’t even play on launch night? Big deal. It’ll look fantastic next to my life-size replica cutout. Great. Yes, we understand there is a whole universe created for Halo and plenty of novels to continue this franchise for the next 20 years in 15 different iterations. It’s old hat by now. When you get to the point that you’re willing to spend $60 for a 4-hour campaign, you’re a little over the top. It’s time to put down the controller and realize what is being done to you. Stand up for something new and fresh, Bungie sure as hell is. They’re tired of making Halo games. Halo: Reach you say? Yes. It’s coming. It’s also going to be the last Halo title that Bungie develops considering their desire to create a new and improved IP. Surprising? Hardly. Only the fanboys want this series to continue. Don’t worry, you’ll always have Red Vs Blue to fall back on.
If there is ever a king for this list, it’s that fat little plumber who enjoys pasta, pizza and princesses. Of course, Mario has started to look like he’s getting in better shape over the years and he’s done so by working out and saving princesses in about 1,000 different games. It’s not overkill anymore, it’s just annoying. I’ve never seen a more iconic character continue to deliver on a mass scale. This guy could be released on a game full of nothing but glitches and technical issues and people would buy 15,000,000 copies of it within the first year. Mario isn’t really a plumber, he’s an entrepreneur worth billions. However, despite all of that, it’s time for Nintendo to create something new. I understand the man behind Mario tried that with Wii Music and failed immensely, but that doesn’t mean you give up. Go back to the drawing board and bring us that next Mario. Show us you’re capable of delivering something new. The saddest part about this all is that now that you’ve run out of spinoff ideas, we’re starting to go back to just remaking the old games with light twists to them. It doesn’t have to be like this Mario. You’re better than that. Go home to the wife and kids and show someone else the path to the spotlight. We, as gamers, won’t mind. I promise.