Great Gaming Franchises Gone Bad

When a video game franchise is at an advent, there are two ways it can go. One, it can hit a plateau and stay a steady success without deviating too much from the good gameplay it is known for. This has happened in many games such as The Legend of Zelda, Metal Gear Solid and even Fallout. However, the other option for a franchise is for it to go bad and completely drop below the standards of the original. This sad and sorry fate has happened to many games and it continues to happen all the time.

Final Fantasy

I’m going to catch a lot of flack about this one, but the obvious truth is that Final Fantasy has fallen so far from the glory of the original, it’s almost a joke. Wild story lines along with androgynous male characters have dragged down the good name of Final Fantasy with the latest installment, Final Fantasy XIV. Universally bad scores have brought down this gaming behemoth to the point where Square Enix has issued apologies for the game. But most of this decline in gaming stems from the monumental success of Final Fantasy VII and the just slightly average ratings of the following games.

Call of Duty

When I played the original Call of Duty; I was immersed in a scene of warfare unlike any other. However, when I played the most recent installment, Call of Duty: Black Ops, I was met with frustration. In fact, Black Ops left such a poor taste in my mouth, I completely forgot about how good the original was almost entirely. While Modern Warfare was a good installment, that still cannot make up for the numerous problems with Black Ops, or even the poor and predictable campaigns of Call of Duty 3 or Call of Duty: World at War.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater

In the late 90s, skating was all the rage and Tony Hawk was the Michael Jordan of the Vert ramp. So the game was a smash hit, with amazing physics, a solid single player mode and awesome soundtrack. THPS 2 even topped the original by improving everything good about the Tony Hawk series. And then several hundred installments later (at least that’s what it feels like) and Tony Hawk’s latest games, Downhill Jam, Ride and Shred are all poorly made messes. How the mighty have fallen.

Sonic the Hedgehog

This demised franchise hurts the most, since Sonic imbued the complete tenacity of the Sega; he was fast, in your face and vibrant. On the other hand, several terrible installments like Sonic Unleashed and Sonic and the Black Knight take back all of the credibility he earned in the 16-bit era. Not even a 2-D reboot could save Sonic, as he now lives a mediocre existence of a once great and prominent platform.

Guitar Hero

The problem with Guitar Hero is that it didn’t take the risks that it should have to make it stay ahead of the competition. Too many covered songs made Guitar Hero fall flat while Rock Band snatched up better acclaim. While Guitar Hero started out with a great concept, it did little to bring in more fans and instead alienated them with lame add-ons like Guitar Hero: Aerosmith and Guitar Hero Van Halen.


The problem with Tetris is twofold. One, it is still the exact same game we’ve been playing since the 80s. Two, they’ve released a trillion versions of this game. So when a game comes out so often and it’s always the same; there’s really no reason to kick up a fuss about something that is about as intense as pong.


My biggest problem with Castlevania is that it started out on a great note with the Belmont clan. However, the most recent DS games have fallen away from the good graces of the original games and the Nintendo 64 games were hideously flawed. Furthermore, playing as Soma Cruz or anyone other than members of the Belmont clan is just plain boring compared to the likes of Simon or Richter Belmont. However the ultimate problem is that Castlevania peaked too early, with the best games being the original Castlevania and Super Castlevania IV. Unfortunately, from such great beginnings: the overall experience of the proceeding games fell flat in comparison.

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