I usually trust reviews and people’s opinions on games pretty well, but sometimes I am drastically misled. It’s okay if some random person tells me about a great game and I don’t like it, but when a ton of reviews and an entire community of fans is telling me how great the game is and then I’m disappointed, then I simply don’t understand why on Earth the game is such a big deal. Here are some of those extremely overrated games.
10. Batman: Arkham Asylum
I put this at the end of the list because I really do like the game, I just don’t understand what the big fuss was. Is it the best superhero game ever? Probably. But let’s face it – it’s really not up against much. Superhero games have sucked (I guess the Spiderman games were okay, but they didn’t exactly make me want to scream it to the world). Still, I heard endless, endless praise about this game and decided to try it. I even really enjoyed the demo, and finally picked up the game myself. I wasn’t highly disappointed, but I was shocked to see that what people were hailing as one of the best games of the year was actually just a very normal, albeit very pretty looking and unfortunately not-so-well-paced action game. I feel like most of the game has you watching Batman do cool things rather than actually exhibit any skill or thinking (for example, if you’re tasked with taking out a bunch of guards in a room, it’s usually pretty likely that they’ll happen to all be facing away from you. Oh, and when you do your silent takedown two feet away from another guard, they hear nothing). I think this game is gorgeous and pretty fun, but the plot moves way too slowly, and the unrealistically obvious gameplay setups are really tedious sometimes (there’s usually a very specific, easy way to move through a situation, and any other way is usually mind-numbingly difficult). Again, Arkham Asylum is a great game. But what’s the big deal?
F.E.A.R. just isn’t that good. Period. The reason I put it close to the end of the list is because nobody really said it was awesome – reviews were pretty good and most critics and fans recommend it. But where most reviews averaged at around an 8, I think this game is probably something like a 6 or 6.5. The game is cool looking and interesting for the first level or so, but the entire execution is just sloppy. The level design is terrible and repetitive, the shooting is really not all that great, and the atmosphere, while creepy, is just so boring. Everything about this game is honestly just really boring. I don’t hate this game, but I don’t understand why its reviews were even good (other than the fact that on the technical side, visuals are very good).
8. Half-life 2
Now we’re getting into some games that I think are pretty equally overrated. Half-life 2 is also a good game but suffers from the same thing F.E.A.R. does – it’s so incredibly boring. The pace of the game is at a snail’s crawl the entire way through (I don’t care if the story’s good when I only get a 10 minute story revelation every three hours with some random shooting and puzzles in between). And honestly, the production values, while technically good, are artistically horrible in my opinion. The environments look pretty similar, and more often than not everything around you is almost completely silent aside from the noise an enemy makes. There’s literally no atmosphere, just running around and shooting at things. Yes, the gravity gun is great, but it doesn’t make a boring game interesting except for in a few select moments. I acknowledge that Half-life 2 is good and has some great moments, but those great moments are really, really pushed aside by mind-numbingly boring and long sequences in between them.
7. Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3 (3 much more than 2)
Here is my opinion of Metal Gear Solid 2: The game, like some of the others, is incredibly boring, unbelievably repetitive and sometimes just horribly slow. However, there are a lot of great moments, especially near the end, some quite unforgettable. And when these moments come, they come frequently and more than make up for the boring stuff. I will never forget the time the game literally convinced me it was broken and I had to turn the console off, but turned out to be just messing with my head, but I will also never forget the hours-long sequence of running around environments I’ve seen 10 times diffusing bombs. I wasn’t one of the fanboys who cared that Raiden was in the second half of the game – I didn’t mind. But despite some cool boss fights and great moments, there is nothing that makes the game so incredible when you keep in mind that there is an unbelievable amount of backtracking and repetition and bad environments. I think it’s still a great game despite the negatives, but in no way a classic. As for Metal Gear Solid 3, I don’t know what people are smoking when they say that’s a good game (except with the release of Subsistence, which apparently fixed the camera). The camera in Metal Gear Solid 3 is nothing short of completely broken. It doesn’t let you see anything that isn’t right in front of you, and sometimes you really have to. I was unable to get through more than a few hours of the game because of the busted, horrible camera. Otherwise, it was better than MGS2 in terms of holding my interest, but the camera makes it literally unplayable, and just because it’s an otherwise competent installment in a legendary franchise doesn’t make it good.
I think Fable‘s good too, but I think it’s way less good than it thinks it is. I honestly feel like it’s a completely washed-out and stripped down version of Elder Scrolls with a good and evil aspect added in and no real immersion. I felt like the interface was cumbersome and the beginning missions were just too boring to deal with the constant load times it took to complete them (walking halfway across a city through multiple load times because my mission was to get a haircut didn’t exactly bring up an adrenaline rush). The sequel’s a bit better, but again, I feel like it’s just not immersive enough to compete with the big RPGs.
5. Burnout Paradise
I love Burnout – it’s one of my favorite series. It’s my favorite racing series ever. But I absolutely hate the direction they took with Burnout Paradise and I have no idea how people love it so much. It takes everything good about Burnout and slows it to a crawl. I bought the game and I played it for a while, but I had to struggle to enjoy even the most basic Burnout-like aspects of it. Though it’s not a bad game on its own at all, it’s abysmal compared to its predecessors. Burnout‘s about focusing on the speed and taking out other cars or causing crazy crashes. In Burnout Paradise, instead of focusing on those thing, you have to focus on where to go because the developers put you in an open world (one with virtually nothing to do, might I add) and don’t close off any of it for races. They say this allows races to be more open ended, but I say it makes them near impossible without memorizing the map. There are little signals the car makes before a turn, but they aren’t nearly clear enough to react to them on time, so most of the time I just end up getting lost midway through a race. And if you lose, there’s no restart option. You have to drive back to the intersection and start the race over. Awesome. Also, I tried online and did not find it to be user friendly in the slightest. It’s really an okay game and road rage is as fun as ever since you don’t need to take a pre-planned route, but otherwise the developers really, really messed up a great franchise and turned it from fantastic to just okay.
4. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
I kind of hate this game. I know reviews were only good, not great, but I don’t think it even deserved that. Not only is it exactly the same game as X-men Legends, albeit with a different characters and a new, even more stupid story and campaign, but X-men Legends was one of the most ridiculously repetitive game ever, with extremely boring environments and gameplay that got old and tired. So what do they do? They make a sequel to it, and then another pseudo-sequel to that with the whole Marvel crew and boring level design, the same exact gameplay, and a laugh-worthy story so pathetically told that I feel like it comes straight from the mouth of a 5 year old comic geek. There’s not a single part of the game that’s even mildly inspired, and that would be acceptable if it wasn’t the exact same game as X-men Legends. But it is, and that just sucks. Is the game terrible? No. It’s functional. It’s possible to play. But it’s so incredibly boring that I wouldn’t bother, especially if you found X-men Legends as repetitive as I did.
Why do people keep paying $60 for Madden every year? I don’t get it. Virtually nothing changes, and if you think the changes that are there are anything but minor, you’re usually kidding yourself into justifying a ridiculous purchase. With the amount of content Madden adds, it should be a $10 expansion pack, not a $60 game. I know other sports games do this too, but it’s Madden‘s massive following that makes me so biased in my anger towards it. People flock to stores when a new Madden releases to play the same thing that they already have! Maybe there’s something I’m missing (hence I don’t put it at number one), but I thing it’s easily the most ridiculous trend in gaming, and one of the most overrated series ever because of it.
Like other games on this list, Halo is not bad. But it’s just so completely generic. I understand the story’s good and the world is kind of neat, but you’re constantly fighting the same enemies in boring environments with nothing interesting really happening. I know that the first game really did something great for first person shooters. I wasn’t there for it since I had a PS2, but I’ll acknowledge it (by the time I played Halo, it really wasn’t anything special). But then the 2nd and 3rd Halo release and get just as huge of a following? Now I’m lost. They really haven’t updated that much and honestly are boring compared to other, more compelling shooters out there. Even the multiplayer is ridiculous because many who play live and breathe it to the point where the learning curve just isn’t worth it. I’ve had occasional fun with Halo, but have never legitimately enjoyed very much of it, and have absolutely no clue why it’s so good.
1. Resident Evil 4
I’m lost as to what the big deal about Resident Evil 4 was. It’s not a bad game, but it’s maybe a 7 out of 10 on my list, maybe 7.5. The shooting and gameplay is very flawed, the sound design is pretty bad for a horror game (also not much going on with sound, just like Half-life), the story’s kind of silly, and the game is dreadfully repetitive and wildly inconsistent in its difficulty. Also I feel like there are certain things that it just neglects to tell you and hopes you’ll figure out for yourself (like an item you need to get past a particular area). Also, I understand when a horror game tries to make things a little scarier by giving you less ammo, but the lack of ammo here is ridiculous. It just makes the game too hard, not scary. Honestly, I couldn’t finish this game because of my utter boredom and frustration with it and I have no idea why people love it so much. I know it improved from previous Resident Evil games by a lot, but their control schemes absolutely sucked. And just because it improved doesn’t mean you hail it as game of the year. RE4‘s control scheme kind of sucked too, honestly, because though Leon doesn’t control like a tank anymore, he certainly moves like one. Not a bad game, just probably the most overrated in existence.
Most of these games I don’t consider bad, and I don’t mean to hate on games people like just for the sake of it, but I just don’t get why they’re so popular or why people still play them so much. I’m sure I’ll never understand, and everyone’s entitled to their opinion, after all.