Top 20 Most Overhyped Games of All Time
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Top 20 Most Overhyped Games of All Time

VOICE OVER: Ryan Wild WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake
Always think twice before preordering a game that's super hyped! For this list, we'll be looking at games that showed enormous potential leading up to their releases, but ultimately failed to meet such high expectations. Our countdown includes “Death Stranding” (2019), “Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5” (2015), “Anthem” (2019), “Fallout 76” (2018) and more!
Transcript
Script written by Nick Spake

Top 20 Most Overhyped Games of All Time


Always think twice before you preorder. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 20 Most Overhyped Games of All Time.

For this list, we’ll be looking at games that showed enormous potential leading up to their releases, but ultimately failed to meet such high expectations.

#20: “Haze” (2008)

In the late 2000s, numerous gamers found themselves asking a difficult question: PS3 or Xbox 360? For many consumers, the “Halo” franchise’s exclusivity to the Xbox tipped them in Microsoft’s favor. When it was announced that “Haze” would be a PS3 exclusive, canceling its planned Xbox 360 and PC releases, some assumed that it would be Sony’s answer to “Halo.” Alas, this first-person shooter was far from the “Halo killer” that we were promised. The abysmal story aside, players were appalled by the game’s sloppy shooting mechanics, irksome AI, and glitches galore. The only redeemable thing that came out of it was an original song written by Korn. Creative director Derek Littlewood said “Haze” was inspired by “Apocalypse Now,” to which we say: the horror…

#19: “Watch Dogs” (2014)

Touted as being the GTA for the new generation, “Watch Dogs” was set to blow everyone's minds. The developers claimed that it would be like no open world game before it, featuring full control of Chicago, distinct NPCs, a realistic hacking mechanism, and a totally new game engine. The game's showing at E3 excited prospective players even more, but when the game was released, it proved immensely disappointing. The gameplay was standard open world stuff, and the hacking was reduced to a simple button press. While it certainly wasn't a bad game, it turned out to be just another GTA clone with a fresh coat of paint.

#18: “The Order: 1886” (2015)


Developer Ready at Dawn found early success on the PSP with “Daxter” and two “God of War” games. With “The Order: 1886,” the developer finally got to tackle an original IP, and on the PS4 no less. Taking place in an alternate history where London adopted a steampunk aesthetic, the game’s stunning graphics and inventive environments immediately piqued our interest. The premise appeared promising as well, bringing together vampires, werewolves, and the Knights of the Round Table. While “The Order” was impressive on a technical level, the narrative felt undercooked. Part of that’s because the game is only about seven hours long! With a weak story and unmemorable characters, there was little reason to replay “The Order,” making its brief length all the more disappointing.

#17: “Fable” series (2004-)

Developer Peter Molyneux is credited with fueling this hype monster himself, having shamelessly claimed that he was creating “the best game ever” over the span of four years, with a team of 70 developers. Sure, it was an enjoyable game, but it didn’t deliver on its many revolutionary promises, and ushered in the age of polarizing morality choices. Oddly, Molyneux learned nothing from the experience and did the same for Fable II. And Fable III…Molyneux ‘s name is now synonymous with broken promises and hype.

#16: “Sea of Thieves” (2018)

From “Donkey Kong Country,” to “GoldenEye,” to “Banjo-Kazooie,” there was a period where Rare could do no wrong. Regrettably, the developer was never the same following the Microsoft acquisition. Nevertheless, fans held out hope that “Sea of Thieves” would be the developer’s long-awaited comeback, especially after Microsoft executive Kudo Tsunoda described it as “the best game that Rare has ever made.” Instead, various outlets named it the most disappointing game of 2018, including MojoPlays. The game’s open world was empty in more ways than one, offering surprisingly little content or direction. Adding insult to injury, “Sea of Thieves” was supposed to be a console-selling exclusive for the Xbox One. While the Anniversary update did give players more to chew on, many had already abandoned ship.

#15: “Death Stranding” (2019)

“Death Stranding” had us hyped for a variety of reasons. For starters, it was Kojima Productions’ first game as an independent studio following a highly publicized falling out with Konami. The game had assembled an amazing cast that included Norman Reedus, Mads Mikkelsen, and Troy Baker. Above all else, Hideo Kojima said the game would introduce a “totally brand new genre,” hinting at something revolutionary. And what did most of the game consist of? Slowly trekking across a lot of dreary landscapes, hauling around heavy cargo and a “Bridge Baby.” While its ambition and visuals earned the game mostly positive reviews from critics, “Death Stranding” is much easier to admire than it is to enjoy. It even inspired a parody game aptly entitled “Walking Simulator.”

#14: “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5” (2015)

Back when developer Neversoft was running the show, extreme sports video games didn’t get much better than “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater.” Everything went downhill once the series was entrusted to Robomodo, however. After “Ride” and “Shred” wiped out, “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5” promised to be a return to form. Considering that Robomodo was still a co-developer, though, it wasn’t a complete surprise when this game bombed critically and commercially. With clunky controls and glitches around every corner, one might assume that “Pro Skater 5” was rushed through production and released uncompleted. That’s because it was! Robomodo went defunct following the game’s release, which hopefully means this once-beloved franchise can finally get back on the right track. If not, there’s always the classics.

#13: “Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite” (2017)

When Disney acquired Marvel, it looked like the death of the “Marvel vs. Capcom” franchise. Once the Mouse House gave up on self-publishing, however, the door was reopened for Capcom to produce another crossover fighting game. “Infinite” aimed to breathe new life into the series, introducing a story mode and the Infinity Stones. While the gameplay was generally well-received, fans were let down by the character model designs, as well as the character roster. Seriously, where are the X-Men and Fantastic Four? The game felt like it was tailored towards casual MCU fans as opposed to the players who waited six years for a new “Marvel vs. Capcom” game. Failing to understand its target audience, “Infinite” inevitably fell below its sales target.

#12: “The Last Guardian” (2016)

Had “The Last Guardian” been released in 2011 on the PS3 as originally planned, the reception probably would’ve been much warmer. Even if it wasn’t on par with “Ico” or “Shadow of the Colossus,” the game’s beautiful presentation and touching story would’ve been enough to satisfy players. The problem is that the game was delayed until 2016, a whole console generation later. After such a lengthy delay, people expected a practically perfect masterpiece that changed gaming as we knew it. While the game we got was solid overall, its camera and AI could make puzzle-solving frustrating at times. That doesn’t make it a game bad by any means, but “The Last Guardian” certainly wasn’t the game-changer we’d built up in our heads.

#11: “Mighty No. 9” (2016)

Considered a spiritual successor to the “Mega Man” series, “Mighty No. 9” received widespread attention before any gameplay was even shown, and even made its $900,000 Kickstarter goal in a mere two days. The development process was even detailed in a documentary, and fans’ input was occasionally considered through opinion polls. However, after being delayed multiple times, many backers were disappointed by the game’s visuals looking drastically worse than what was originally promised, while those who could look past the downgrade were let down by the game’s underwhelming levels and frequent framerate drops. Safe to say: this was not the mighty Megaman follow up we were promised.

#10: “Sonic the Hedgehog” (2006)

Sonic’s post-Genesis track record has produced far more misses than hits. Whether or not this 2006 title was Sonic’s absolute lowest point, it was definitely a shark-jumping moment for longtime fans. To commemorate his 15th anniversary, Sega released a platformer simply entitled “Sonic the Hedgehog,” as if to say that this game would mark the character’s grand rebirth. Early on, Sonic co-creator Yuji Naka compared the new game to “Batman Begins.” “Batman & Robin” would’ve been a more accurate description, although even that movie didn’t have a human princess kissing an anthropomorphic hedgehog. That infamous cutscene aside, Sonic deserved better than sluggish loading screens and one of the worst cameras in gaming history. He’s the fastest thing alive, but that doesn’t excuse this game’s rushed development.

#9: “Dead Island” (2011)

When the cinematic trailer for “Dead Island” hit, it ignited a lot of passionate feelings. Some found the trailer to be in poor taste, making the death of a little girl the focus. For the most part, however, the trailer was seen as heartbreaking and poetic, full of imagery and music that still haunt us even years later. The emotional story that got us hyped wasn’t present in the game. Also missing, for the most part, was the family from the trailer. Instead, we follow four stock characters in a nonstop gorefest. Although some enjoyed it on a pure escapism level, others longed for a survival horror game with a bit more heart. Good thing that “The Last of Us” was only two years away.

#8: “Mass Effect: Andromeda” (2017)

The ending to “Mass Effect 3” might’ve left a sour taste in our mouths, but we were all confident that BioWare would bounce back with “Andromeda.” Instead of taking the franchise to bold new places, though, the only thing “Andromeda” succeeded at was launching a million memes. The lifeless facial animations, along with several other bugs, would be improved upon via subsequent patches. Regardless, nothing could compensate for the unengaging characters or plot - arguably the two most important aspects of any “Mass Effect” game. Where the original trilogy made you want to explore every inch of its immersive galaxy, “Andromeda” oftentimes felt like a chore to play. Sadly, this wasn’t the first or last time that publisher EA released a game before it was ready.

#7: “Stars Wars Battlefront II” (2017)

Just eight months after “Mass Effect: Andromeda” fell short, EA delivered another anticipated game that wasn’t worthy of the hype. In a way, we were setting ourselves up to be disappointed by “Battlefront II.” EA’s previous “Star Wars” game suffered from a lack of content, so what reason did we have to believe that the sequel would be a new hope? Regardless, we drank the blue milk and quickly realized that the emperor wasn’t wearing any clothes. Not only did “Battlefront II” learn nothing from its predecessor, EA had the nerve to riddle the game with microtransactions - only backing down after considerable backlash. Although the game has received a few welcome updates over the years, we wish those updates weren’t necessary in the first place.

#6: “No Man’s Sky” (2016)

Hello Games wanted to make a fun little indie game, but employed some...questionable marketing techniques along the way. You'd think this game was the second coming, the hype was so great, as the media and gamers alike gaped at the imaginative visuals, breathtaking scope, and seemingly limitless playtime. It looked to challenge what video games could accomplish, and was touted as being the answer to a seemingly complacent market. Well, upon release, what gamers got was a small, repetitive indie game, with many of its touted features completely missing - eliciting red-hot rage in disappointed gamers. Fortunately, it’s since been expanded through numerous DLCs, bringing players the features they were promised.

#5: “Anthem” (2019)

Just as “Haze” was supposed to be a “Halo killer,” “Anthem” was hyped as the game that would leave “Destiny” in the dust. This action RPG was also seen as a possible redemption for BioWare after “Mass Effect: Andromeda.” Well, once again we placed our faith in EA and once again we asked for a refund. While the game thankfully didn’t have any loot boxes, “Anthem” otherwise suffered from all the problems we’ve come to associate with EA as of late: repetitive missions, minimal content, and a noticeably rushed production. But hey, that’s nothing that a few updates can’t… make marginally more tolerable. We sincerely wish BioWare would make a comeback, but it’s difficult to get excited for their projects after this blunder.

#4: “Fallout 76” (2018)


An occasional hiccup aside, the “Fallout” franchise is generally synonymous with quality. It was clear early on that “Fallout 76” would take the series in a new direction, being the first online multiplayer for Bethesda Game Studios. What’s more, the game would do away with NPCs. While it wouldn’t be the single-player experience we had come to expect, we remained cautiously optimistic that Bethesda had something unique in store for us. Unfortunately, the studio royally dropped the ball… or we guess the bomb in this case. With lackluster graphics, soulless objectives, and too many glitches to count, the negative fallout was definitely warranted. Even after all of the bad press, Bethesda seriously thought that people would want to pay for a premium subscription service.

#3: “Aliens: Colonial Marines” (2013)

Set in the “Alien” universe, “Colonial Marines” was set to be the official sequel to the 80’s classic, complete with story tie-ins, meticulously detailed and recreated settings from Aliens, and even the voices of Michael Biehn and Lance Henriksen, reprising their career-defining roles. We don't know what's scarier: fighting a real alien, or how this game turned out. It looked downright ugly, especially for a AAA release; it lacked any sort of the tension or badass gun-toting heroics found in the movies; and the AI was so laughably dumb that the game became an unintentional comedy in the process. It was a disaster through and through.

#2: “Duke Nukem Forever” (2011)

We’re sure that when this game began development, the irony of the title was NOT what they had in mind. But, when the game was FINALLY released 15 years later, “forever” described how long it felt like we’d been waiting. Duke jumped game studios, game engines and several console generations before making his raunchy return. Sadly, his arrival was marred by a bit of an identity crisis as the game couldn’t seem to decide whether it wanted to be a modern or retro shooter, and subsequently failed at both. The humour fell flat; having explicit content in your game was no longer a big deal; and it was…you know, not fun?

#1: “Daikatana” (2000)

John Romero’s “Daikatana” was a videogame meme before memes were a thing - thanks to a very confusing ad campaign about him … making us his bitch? What? When the game was first announced, hopes were sky high, thanks to Romero’s previous design work on Wolfenstein, Doom, and Quake. The plot sounded exciting enough, involving travel through various time periods to find a magical sword. However, the game arrived three years late, following the aforementioned weird marketing campaign. But most damning of all, it ran on outdated software, had poor AI, and an unplayable design. Today, it’s remembered as one of the worst games of all time - and the prime example of too much hype!
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