Top 8 Gaming Franchises that Need to Die

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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.

2. Halo
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.

1.Super Mario
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.

Readers Comments (50)

  1. You’re certainly wrong about GTA, Mario, Halo and Metal Gear Solid.

  2. i agree with everyone except for mario. yes he does need to quit making spin offs but his actual games are quite good.( im really looing forward to the new super mario bros. it looks like lbp but without all the creating stuff )

  3. It’s all about promoting discussion guys 😉 Feel free to include your own lists here as well. It’s all opinion.

  4. @Jock
    no he’s right
    those games are getting way too much attention(especially Halo)
    I mean, don’t you want new game franchises?
    Oh yeah, Dean, you forgot Final Fantasy(when will it really ‘end’? It’s called ‘Final’ after all……I know why it’s called ‘Final’ Fantasy, so don’t judge me)

  5. A new Zone of the Enders would be good. I also wanna how Kojima works on the new Castlevania.
    Actually the are allot of “one hit wonders” out there that could be renewed.

  6. Totalmente de acuerdo!!

  7. All great choices, although I would like to see Kojima something other than Metal Gear, just can’t imagine a world without anymore metal gear, haha. It’s a great series that delivers an awesome experience on every title.

  8. Why exactly is it called ”Final” Fantasy

  9. @TheScourge

    I didn’t include Final Fantasy because I personally feel despite the fact they all share the same original name, each one of those games could be given a new title and they would still hold their purpose. None of them are truly sequels to the one before it or can’t stand alone (outside of the two FFVII spinoffs and FFX-2). If Final Fantasy was just a run of the same characters over 15 titles, I’d definitely have it on the list (probably #1 or #2).

  10. @Max

    It’s called Final Fantasy because Squaresoft was going out of business in the 1980s and this was supposed to be their “final” game ever. Fortunately, it ended up selling MILLIONS and keeping the company in business, lol. So they decided to create an entire franchise around it.

  11. Although I would like kojima to work on something different, I still find myself wanting more…. i mean…. Snake to me, pwns chuck norris. And everybody knows, chuck norris has no fear, except for the fear being himself. Speaking of which, is chuck norris afraid of himself? That’s the question, if god made us, who made god? :p

  12. Oh I see.I’ve been playing it for years and I’ve alway’s wonderd,”WHAT’S SO FINAL ABOUT IT”!!!!!!

  13. where’s sonic the hedgehog ? sega has screwed over their mascot so much to the point that he’s beyond recognition to the true fans .. at least mario games are still high in quality ..

  14. I completely forgot about Sonic, Death. That’s why I like doing these lists for people. They always have something of their own to add that I may have forgotten about.

  15. Kojima himself said he’s not so enthusiastic about back to back MGS projects.

    Kotaku asked him and he said tell that to Konami.

    He’s been mostly pressured to do it.

  16. Not really sure if Mario should “die out”. When one takes a look at Mario, he rarely disappoints. When one talks about his games, you only hear minor gripes here an there. While it can be tiring to “save the princess” over and over, Nintendo revolutionizes the experience almost every generation. As for Halo I’m not even really sure if Halo should “die”. But if you look at the releases of Mario games (save the sports games), generally speaking, they were generations apart. While on the NES and SNES they released quite a few sequels, let’s face it…they were some of the best games out at the time when stacked against the competition. But in the later generations (N64 and up) there weren’t many sequels. Super Mario 64 had no sequel, Sunshine…no sequel, Galaxy 2 is the first REAL sequel in years. It seems microsoft is trying to follow suit with milking Halo in it’s early years. Halo is a solid game, but changes in small increments is not real progress. But Halo really needs to slow down it’s releases or come up with somethin fresh. Although it doesn’t help that it’s very first game was an FPS.

  17. Well you are sort of right but…

    I think the Metal Gear franchise needs 2 more games Peace Walker should wrap up Big Boss’ story and an MGS5 should kill the SAGA. Make the ending perfect.

    Metal Gear Solid 4 is the best game ever made, perfect ending for a franchise. Just make 1 more so that the 12 year old kids with the attention span of 15 mins can enjoy it too. Then it’s perfect.

  18. If every game this generation was as good as Super Mario Galaxy, it would be the best videogame generation ever.
    It’s probably just a coincidence that every game in this list is either MS/Nintendo exclusive or a big franchise that lost it’s Sony exclusivity?

  19. agree with it mostly. and the point made about GTA is very good. halo should be left to rest. go out on a high (well sort of, 3 should have been last one) tomb raider has to finish, and with mario it depends, although saving the princess is old, they are still good games. and I just generally dislike activision.

  20. I agree with most if your list. While I agree with what you said about Halo, I think that MS can breathe new life into the franchise of they’re willing to take it in a new direction. Halo is a big universe and there is a lot of opportunity there for some good games. Halo Wars, while not a great game, at least showed a willingness to experiment with the franchise and I think that’s a good thing.

    I disagree with Mario and to a lesser extent GTA though. Nintendo reinvents Mario with each new game, they’re constantly trying something new, experimenting with the franchise and taking risks. GTA also is the kind of game that’s more about the characters and story than it is about the gameplay and I think Rockstar does a great job. As long as the characters, story and environment stay fresh and interesting I’m fine with it.

  21. I agree on guitar hero but personally, I think all of those other series should continue, I do understand some of your points though, I just don’t really agree.

  22. Nobody makes you play WW2 games , following the logic of a overused setting , the majority of games should disappear. About the others is more about marketing , i am sure a logical journey would tell you that , you aren’t the only human on the planet playing those games , new generations appear you know ?: )

  23. The problem with WWII games isn’t so much that the genre has been over done, rather, that a lot of the theatres havent been fully realised. But yeah most of the list makes sense.

  24. Here’s my suggestions for a final spin on those games :

    8. GTA – Johannesburg (Once it’s done here, there’s nothing left)
    7. MGS – Tracking Osama…(Should take years to finish, cos Snake isn’t better than the US military, is HE ?)
    6. Guitar Hero – Metal (Cos it can get harder and i get to smash my guitar on the last level!!!!)
    5. Call of Duty – Future Warfare (I think this would rock!!!! agree with the WWII setting)
    4. Tony Hawk – Ice Skating Edition for Wii (That should kill it !)
    3. Tomb Raider (Loved MK vs DC)…h’bout Lara vs Nathan for the most historical and valuable lost treasure….
    2. Halo – I AGREE WITH THIS ONE !
    1. Super Mario – Saving the FAT PRINCESS (PS3 Exclusive, cos i don’t have a Wii !)

  25. Mario doesn’t need to die! Kids love him! I would buy any Mario games out there but take it back and complain if it was full of glitches. Mario wouldn’t have lasted this long if he wasn’t super cool. I can’t wait for the new Super Mario Brothers Wii, and Mario Galaxy 2!

  26. I agree with everything except GTA. Killing hookers will NEVER get old :p

  27. Hideo Kojima should start making Bond games? And Call of Duty should just split up and IW can make a new FPS series after COD8 (we’ve all heard the rumours!) and MW3 and Treyarch should focus on making zombie games and maybe normal multiplayer. If you added Prince of Persia and Final Fantasy then it would be a list of 10 which would make sense!! And Mario is the most tiresome gay 20 year old shit ever!!!!! Professor Layton is cooler than Mario!! And Tony Hawk reached its peak with THUG2 which you have to admit wass the best skateboarding game ever! And Guitar Hero!!! They should just release one next year where expansion song packs come out every few months like Rock Band????

  28. How could they leave out Singstar seriously who needs this game now that both guitar hero and rockband have signing?

  29. David Macphail October 12, 2009 @ 13:42

    I disagree with GTA, MGS and Mario.

  30. You forgot about Pokemon.

  31. I have to disagree with Halo, its definitely one of the best games out there and I’m not a hardcore gamer or fan saying that, it just is what it is. Also, what has sony put out that’s any good, they can’t even get their system right! The only reason I have a PS2 is because my ex girlfriend talked me into buying it. Before anyone accuses me of being out dated with a PS2 I worked a 10 hour shift then waited in line for 13 hours to buy a PS3 the day it was released just to immediately go back to work for 10 hours after paying for it. After all that I played it for about a week then put that junk back in the box taped it up and returned it to the store because it was such garbage!

  32. Agreed except for Mario though. Like Sama said he brings the same old magic but with a twist.

  33. Oh and Sonic should’ve died years ago. Pokemon should be heading to its fall soon. The new episodes, the new pokemon and the new games really aren’t anything special…which is sad because this is one of my favorite franchises. The remakes are amazing though (can’t wait to get HeartGold/SoulSilver).

  34. Only HALO and mario sucks the rest are awesome

  35. i agree with everything except mgs,& mario. how the hell is someone gonna say that mgs should stop thats stupid. mario has been here for a long time, playing mario is the reason why some people got into gaming in the first place.

  36. David Macphail October 12, 2009 @ 15:26

    Pokemon and Sonic The Hedgehog will not be going anywhere anytime soon……at least i hope not. As far as i’m concerned Pokemon is the best RPG on the planet. 100X better than Final Fantasy/Fallout/Elder Scrolls.

  37. I agree with all except Gran Theft Auto… I think there should be a few more.

  38. I agree about mario, the series was decent back in the 90’s but ever since super mario world, there hasn’t been a decent mario game since then.

  39. Dear Doug,

    Sony has great exclusives and some upcoming ones too, apparently they got the system right since it doesn’t have a ridiculous malfunction rate, the PS2 has one of the best line up of games ever, showing again that you are clearly not informed, and how did you get a system at its launch, play it for a week and then return it? That makes no sense, you didn’t even give it time.
    Please take your uninformed fanboy ass out of here.

  40. HALO will NEVER die :) October 12, 2009 @ 17:15

    Crap list.

    gt5 needs to die… it’s really old hat now. How long have they been dangling that carrot now?!

  41. halo has been dead since halo 2, well for real gamers atleast.

  42. As a writer for a small blog site, I have to agree with everyone on your top 8. The list is funny, and I like you want new experiences from every developer you mentioned. For this industry to truly grow into a respected form of entertainment we should as gamers demand more instead of just being satisfy with the same ole trick. Keep up the good work. Sidious out.

  43. Good list dean but you forgot Legend of Zelda stop running the same damned story line over and over(or minor variations i.e Spirit Tracks,Twilight Princess)Link still end up saving Zelda anyway and there will always be “the legend of a hero welding a great sword with drawings of a 5 year old with Zelda tune” intros

  44. “Mario isn’t really a plumber, he’s an entrepreneur worth billions.”
    I agree, since when did Mario ever fixed a pipe in any of his games anyway?

  45. Totally agree with the list. Especially MGS. I feel more MGS games cheapen the experience and finality of MGS4

  46. @bernardo
    You are the man. I was about to crush that guy but you beat me to the punch and had style B)

    @David Macphail
    You truly are one sad soul to honestly believe pokemon is better than any other rpg. Now if you perferred it more that’s one thing, but to actually believe it’s the best is insanity. Yeah the past few Final Fantasy’s have fallen short in expectations (to me at least, 10 had one of the worst endings of all time and 12 wasn’t interesting enough, and oh my gosh don’t mention 10-2), but they all still poop on practically all of the pokemon series. Don’t make me talk about fallout,farcry, or elder scrolls, I don’t want to crush your hopes and dreams too much.

    The only pokemon games that were truly legendary are the first two, RED and BLUE version. The rest are just recycled cans basically with minimal difference, and the fact that the anime is a mere shadow of its past existance adds on to why the games should die (Eversince the orange leagues the anime has fallen off).

    Other than that I agree with most of the list. I can’t speak so much on GTA for i didn’t play all of the games, but the rest should be given a proper barial.

  47. Add Ratchet and Clank, Gran Turismo, Resistance to that list and I might agree.

  48. madden, fifa, nba those are the one that should die!

  49. I agree with your list mostly and will comment on each choice:
    8. GTA- i dont think it needs 2 die because i actually enjoy this game, just like final fantasy each game is a new experience with a new character.
    7. MGS- I think this needs to die except the spin off games they could be good or kojima just needs a new hero.
    6. Guitar Hero- this needs to just release dlc and maybe once in every three years or something release a game with better graphics etc, not go overkill with GH100 or w/e
    5. COD are great games and i think WWII games in general should die even flying games
    4. Tony Hawk games are dated and just plain arcadey unlike Skate like you said
    3. Tomb Raider died on the PS1 i believe after that it became redundant.
    2. Halo- ok Halo is so over hyped i cant stand it…the best thing about Halo is that you can play 4 players on one console thats about it
    1. Super Mario – its getting pretty old now seriously…sorry to all those mario fans but after my Wii broke and i got a Ps3…i didnt miss Mario at all… im actually glad my Wii broke
    other games- Dynasty Warriors(howd you forget this??) Dragonballz(come on now) and Tekken ( i would say Soul Caliber but the new one looks awesome)

  50. oh for Halo i meant u can play 4 ppl online on the same console sorry

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