The Most Overrated Franchises this Generation

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Ever since the launch of Microsoft’s Xbox 360, Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Nintendo’s Wii, the gaming industry has seen a crazy amount of overrated activity from media sources, gamers, and retail employees. I’d be willing to bet a lot of money that this generation has “sold out” to the whores of the industry more-so than any other and it’s getting to be a little much. Gone are the days of when great titles stood alone due to the sheer quality that they offered and gone are the days when Collector’s Editions were reserved for franchises that had long-time followers and devoted fans.

Nowadays, we see titles like Dead Rising 2 which carries 2-4 different Collector’s Editions that you can buy from a myriad of retailers. We see media websites like IGN as well as others beefing up the release of a high profile title to high review scores and overall consumer disappointment (Grand Theft Auto IV comes to mind). This isn’t to say it’s always the case or that it’s happening every single day, not at all. However, the ridiculousness of it all is getting a little out of hand and it’s starting to ruin the wallets of gamers everywhere.

To be honest, do you think the used game market would be as large as it is today if it wasn’t for media outlets hyping up every $10+ million dollar budgeted game this generation? Would we see hundreds of used copies of games like Haze if all of that hype wasn’t put into the product prior to release? Where has the honesty of it all gone? The only reason the used game market is now as large as it is is because of the media, gamers, and retail employees adding the peacock effect onto every product that comes through the industry. The media is trying to push a product to gain favor with a publisher (this does happen, don’t kid yourself), the gamer is pushing a title to justify his/her own purchase (console war anyone?), and the retail employee is trying to push pre-order after pre-order to meet a quota so he can keep his underpaid trashy job.

With all of that being said, I’ve narrowed down the first five years of this generation to what I believe to be the most overrated franchises that are most guilty of duping gamers entirely.

The Call of Duty Franchise

Now, I know I’m probably going to catch a lot of flack for this one, but think about it. The Call of Duty franchise has sold well over 30 million copies this generation alone. These sales have come on the heels of highly scored reviews, great word of mouth, and high exposure in retail stores. The only question remains, is it justified? My answer? Hell no.

The original high selling Call of Duty franchise this generation was Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Modern Warfare released to critical acclaim and it was deserving of that praise. It brought forth innovation to a genre that had become stale and started to wear on gamers in general. I’m not going to give the franchise disrespect when it isn’t entirely due — obviously Modern Warfare helped turn a leaf and I respect that. However, Modern Warfare also helped Activision fall into the mold of what it has become known for and that is delivering the dairy goods — milking.

Due to the highly deserved success of Modern Warfare, Treyarch released Call of Duty: World At War. Due to namesake alone, World At War managed to sell roughly 10 million units across all platforms. However, the quality and decision to remain in the 1940s left a lot of gamers wishing for more. How could a title with this much disappoint reach so many homes? The hype, the anticipation, and the attention that so many individuals gave to it as though it would hold a candle to Modern Warfare. Unfortunately for all of us, we were duped and wasted $60.

Readers Comments (33)

  1. I’m excited for Versus XIII because I really enjoyed XIII. But I agree, SE has lost their crown as the king of RPGs.

  2. Guess I’m a noob then, ’cause I really like Modern Warfare 2.

  3. Keep noobin’ it up then noob 😉

  4. GTA IV is easily the best piece of entertainment I have ever bought. I dont care if you think the game was below your expectations, there was more talent and culture put into it than any other game this generation. I spent 15 hours reading the internet alone. The dialogue is unmatched, the characters are only matched by Mass Effect, the humour compared to other games is like the difference between terrence and phillip and george carlin, and the map is completely unmatched by anything in a city game, with only Midnight Club and Fallout coming close. Most other city games don’t even have radio, and that alone in GTA IV is more entertaining than the entirity of Infamous and Prototype put together. GTAIV is not over-rated, it’s just more of an experience than a “fun” game and the sort that dislike it are the sort that love Mario which is imo the most over-rated game series ever. Users are incredibly biased in their reviews, giving 0 to well made games not to their taste, reviewers realised GTAIV was a masterpiece of entertainment and ignored the gameplay failings. It’s completely unfair to expect much more just because it’s GTA when you don’t expect it from other games. It’s the most expensive game ever made, they gave you far more than $60 worth of content. The gameplay was still miles beyond Uncharted 2 or Mass Effect 2, which hardly anyone ever calls over-rated.

  5. yep sure are. anyways, not sure i agree with the alst game on the list. but to each his own right

  6. I will admit that GTA4 was really overhyped but the other two seem…well, unjustified. FFXIII was hyped to high heaven but even you admitted that no other game by SE was. If this article was about crappiest franchises this gen or most disappointing then I would say you’re spot on except for half of the COD franchise actually justifies the hype (and I don’t even like FPS) and FFXIII is one game…

    FFXIII…just curious, did you rant and come up with the article name while putting it into your CMS? As far as “list and rant” articles goes this has to be one of the worst. But hey, at least your writing skills aren’t lacking. Unlike most of the stuff on N4G…

  7. @Danji

    I actually went back and forth on the title 2-3 times, but had to pick something, lol. Titles definitely aren’t my strong point, but I try 😉

  8. @val you just showed that you are more noob than any other MW/2 gamers that have not played a good game in his/her life.
    First: yes, we can expect from GTA4 to be all great.
    since it is GTA and one of the revolutionary IPs in the history, and it has predecessor like san andreas, we have the right to expect more from it.
    and no, gta4 didn’t have what infamous had, you know what is that?
    breath taking battles.
    and i’m just going to pretend that i didn’t see your last line…….NOOB.

    btw, game journalism is for the purpose to guide us through all the hype reviewers make for a game, so don’t bring reviewers into an article which is the lightener of reviewers stupidity.

  9. I’m really really excited about Versus XIII, because it seems the game is headed in the direction of the past games (There is a world map now for christ sake!, lol).

    Haha, I read somewhere that the merge between enix and square is actually an evil plan to destroy square. You know, every franchise that was from square turned out to be worse after the merge whereas the enix games are still okay xD.

  10. I dissagree with SE in the list. It is the most CONTROVERSIAL company at the moment, because their games haven’t quite been up to their standards, but they don’t have the most over rated games. Last Remnant was crap, and got bad reviews, so was Nier and SO4. Hell, I’m sure FFXIII on metacritic doesn’t even reach an 8.

  11. Nobody said they had the most overrated games, Thor. I said they were overrated as a company… Despite the terrible output this generation, people still hang from the sack trying to lap up any news they can for FFIX or FFVersusXIII, etc… That takes a lot of overrating of a company who has delivered next to nothing this generation to achieve.

  12. I enjoyed GTA4 to a pretty good extent, I don’t really know what else people expected from the title. It came with 16 player free roam. WREAK HAVOC WITH 16 PEOPLE. That was the selling point for me, and it was awesome while it lasted. And I also loved the story. I really only enjoyed this game on the 360 though due to retarded performance on the PS3. Never got the chance to do the DLC but oh well. I’m waiting for the next GTA with open arms.

    As for other overrated franchises/games… CoD will always be king.

  13. Nier was awesome because it wasn’t made by SE. Pretty sure Suikoden and Star Ocean weren’t made by SE either, so if that’s why you thought the company was good, you’ve been misled. I think the problem is more that so many games that have gotten published over here have had SE’s name plastered on them giving the company a false image to consumers. In reality they have very few series to call their own, and most of those have been discontinued for years. As a publisher, they’re great or they wouldn’t be able to land so many new titles, but as a developer their level of quality has fallen greatly since the merger.

  14. Jink

    Square Enix (Enix) owns the Star Ocean IP. It’s also still developed by the same developers who did so 13 years ago (Tri-Ace). It doesn’t matter how many titles they land, it matters how many quality titles they publish. As a developer/publisher, they’re in the same boat as EA and Activision in terms of what gamers should expect. SE is a “brand,” just like any other and they have a name to live up to.

  15. Can’t really disagree this. GTA IV was good but not great, CoD and maybe war shooters in general feel played out. SE hasn’t done much in awhile; I stopped Playing the FF series in the single digits.

  16. SE has defiantly fell from the top and its really a shame because at its peak they were untouchable. My question is can the companies redeem there selves, or will they always shovel crap because it makes them money and never care.

  17. yea GTA IV was very very overdone, it didn’t really bring a lot of improvements to the game series. it was a very similar game to the other titles. I would have to agree with with all of this, i used to love COD but after all the crap that’s come of it, i hate it. was pissed about FFXIII, and at SE. @ Val, GTA IV was not better than Fallout3 or ME2, both games were able to bring about a sense of emotion that no other games i’ve played have been able to bring out. FO3 even brought the attitude of racism between humans and ghouls out, what game do you know makes racism an issue? ME 2 provided a universe like no other, with gritty and emotional characters. HOW DARE YOU?! good article Dean,personally, you might want to add the Super Mario series. i am sick and tired of jumpin on goombas and playing as a fat italian dude dressed in overalls witha gay mustache 🙂

  18. wtf how could you leave out socom

  19. The Halos are overrated as well.

  20. COMPLETELY agree with page three. I also think the Street Fighter series is overrated. As far as 2D fighters go, it is probably the worst. Yet it gets more recognition because it’s a household name. Off the top of my head I can name off: Last Blade, Guilty Gear, Melty Blood, KOF, BlazBlue and Spectral Vs Generation as series or stand-alone fighters that mop the floor with Street Fighter.

  21. FFXIII looked like colorful “meh” ever since they introduced afroman and the queer kid. But Versus is another story, that game is directed by Nomura who also directed Kingdom Hearts (fun and compelling series), designed characters for the most of the better Final Fantasies, and directed Advent Children which had some sick combat, so I’m expecting a really fun and good looking action RPG with a deep story. I never even bought FFXIII because the reviews were “meh” and the cheesy appearance looked like “meh” so I’ll be putting my bets on Versus with no regrets.

  22. how about Blizzard’s Starcraft 2?

  23. victorgodamnsullivan August 30, 2010 @ 23:52

    Why does everybody hate on FFXIII? It is a really good game with a long and engaging story. Who cares if it doesn’t have a hub world? I have beaten the story in that game and it is not overrated. IMO it is underrated.

  24. You know, when I first found this article on the ECA newsletter, I was interested to check it out and see what someone had to say about recent franchises. I can agree to some extent on the first 2 points. Call of Duty has been a bit overblown by Activision, but the Infinity Ward titles are excellent and very well made titles. After finishing the article, however, I began to feel as if someone were trying to preach at me. It felt like the author was disappointed, not necessarily in the games, but with something else and was taking it out on the games. Then, I realized what website this was on, and it all made sense. Both Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto signed exclusive deals with Microsoft for early content release. Square Enix, on the other hand has been producing more games for XBox 360, some of them exclusive to the 360, than it has for the PS3. Realizing this was on Playstation University, I come to realize that this is mostly the ranting of a disappointed gamer (fanboy might be going too far, but then again, maybe not) who has backed one console and started looking across the fence. I am not trying to say that one console is better than the other. I own all 3 consoles this generation, as well as all 3 from last generation, and each one has pros and cons. PS3 does have some excellent games, and many more on the way, so let’s stop pointing fingers at the other guys just because they have a few exclusives that you want, and play the great games you already have.

  25. @Some Guy

    Lol I own an Xbox 360 as well. If you care to look on N4G for this article, a commenter made the comment “What about Gears of War?” I replied thoroughly and explained why Gears of War wouldn’t qualify for this list… Two of the main reasons being that it is an engaging title that I enjoyed from start to finish and that it is an excellent new IP despite the trilogy being wrapped up this coming April.

    If I cared even an ounce about Call of Duty’s “map packs,” (which I purchased none of) or about Grand Theft Auto IV’s (which I completed on the 360) it wouldn’t be because of a “timed exclusive” deal that had no effect on me whatsoever as a dual-console owner.

    Thanks though.

  26. I so agree about SE in it’s current state being overrated.

  27. GTA4 was a downgrade from its past games. I thought that after 3 years they would finally release a GTA that was just as good as sanandreas (best sandbox game in history) but instead……
    it had no planes, fun weapons like flamethrowers, miniguns, duel weapons etc, you couldnt get fat by eating or go to the gym, everything looked the same in the city, there where no fun cheat codes like the chaos cheat in sadandreas, the character custonisation was bad, you couldnt customise your car, the controls where annoying( you had to walk in a circle just to turn round and the cover system was horrible) there where no tanks, the army was removed and you couldnt have gang wars!
    There are even more things wrong with the game but i think you get the idea.
    I thought after the terrible ‘vice city and liberty city stories’ games (which where just cheap clones of vice city and liberty city) they would finally make a game like sanandreas but instead they spent $10 million removing things from the game!

  28. back in 08 i was looking at great ps3 games that i wanted to play
    but the upcoming release of gta4 was the game that made me buy a next gen console
    i realy enjoyed the first 20 houres, up until i finished the game, where i was left with a small city, an underwelming story, less than half the weapons, weicles and outside mision activities to do, the multiplayer was there to fill some gaps, but it dident made the game worth 70 euros(that i spend for it), luckily i had uncharted & hewenly sword, and the same year resistance2, motorstorm2, metal gear4 and lbp were released to make up for what i wasted on gta, the ps3 exclusives that year were so good that(because of gta4) i dident buy a single multiplat(for the ps3) after about a year or so
    also, to the list id like to add a franchise caled guitar/dj/milkage hero where you buy a game with 70 songs and can get the other 90% buy paying 2 bucks for it on the PSstore or xbox live, yay

  29. I would have to go with another overrated company: Bethesda. Daggerfall was a great RPG, but since then every Elder Scrolls game has been worse than the one before. Morrowind couldn’t hold a candle to Daggerfall, and Oblivion was a bad joke (as an RPG.) As for Fallout 3, it was just Oblivion with a Fallout skin, it felt nothing like the classic first two Fallout games.

  30. Where is Madden on this list? What a POS that franchise has become remove every feature worth having on PS2 and Xbox only to not incorporate this generation. Go into any Gamestop and see 10-20 after a month release

  31. This article appears to be written by someone who doesn’t know what a franchise is. The article should be titled, “most overrated entries in a franchise,” since that is at least what the first two are. BTW, GTA IV was the best of the GTA games.

  32. @Charles

    Or maybe a reader doesn’t know how to read… “Overrated franchises THIS GENERATION…” If there is only ONE Grand Theft Auto released thus far this generation…that qualifies as the entire franchise for THIS GENERATION.

    Get it? 😉 Much <3

  33. Give me a break. Call of Duty World at War was a fine game. Grand Theft Auto IV was great. Stop acting like we keep getting “duped” and grow up.

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