GamerSushi Asks: Overrated Games

Grand Theft Auot 4- Lost and the DamnedThis one’s sure to start an interesting comment thread, I think.

Over the weekend, I picked up Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City, which contains both DLC expansions for Grand Theft Auto IV, considered to be one of the best games released in 2008. While I wasn’t crazy about the game back when it came out, I thought I would give it another shot because of the great things I’m hearing about the Ballad of Gay Tony, the second of the two downloadable episodes.

I decided to play Lost and the Damned first, knowing full well that if I played BoGT first, I would never go back to L&D since it is rumored to be inferior. The game opened up and within a few minutes I was shocked by a couple of things. In particular, the writing is what has taken me back the most. While writing is generally pretty good in GTA, L&D just screamed out cliches and inconsistencies. One minute, Jonny is saying he’s too old to do the biker thing and urges the others to settle down, and the next minute he’s leading the chase to go kill some police officers. It doesn’t help that the voice actor is awful, either.

Playing this game reminded me of all the things I disliked about GTA IV. The driving, the shooting, the control scheme, watching cut scenes and then driving to x to kill y… all of it. I still can’t believe how overrated this game was for the time, and having played better open world games since then (Assassin’s Creed 2, I’m looking at you) just makes the flaws all the more visible. I know that many people love this game, but I’m just not seeing it. I’m declaring it to be on my list of what I consider to be one of the most overrated games of all time.

So what about you guys? What games do you think are ridiculously overrated? Go!

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30 thoughts on “GamerSushi Asks: Overrated Games”

  1. What, you don’t like digital dong? What’s wrong with you?

    This is the problem with trying to tell a story and being weighed down by the need to fill your game with crazy action sequences. Pick one or the other, or have them compliment each other.

    That’s what I like about games like Mass Effect and KotOR. You’re going to arrive at the end somehow, but how you get there is up to you. One of the main problems I remember hearing about GTA IV is that you had no authority over Niko’s actions, even when the developers tried to portray him as sympathetic and a different person than Tommy Vercetti and CJ.

    Overrated games, though? That’s a tough one, but Metal Gear 4 comes to mind. That and most of the Resident Evils.

  2. I don’t think GTA 4 is ridiculously overrated. Yes, it wasn’t ‘GAME OF THE YEAR!!1!1!!1!’ as some had suggested, but for me it was a good game that I enjoyed playing. I never had any problems with the driving, the shooting or those elements of the game. Driving from x to kill Y is really the same in Assassin’s Creed 2. I finished that game yesterday. I enjoyed it, but towards the end of the game it became a chore for me to finish, rather than an enjoyment. As for overrated games, i’m looking at you Jade Empire and The Getaway….

  3. Hey. I play a lot of great games but…

    A: “In particular, the writing is what has taken me back the most.” – Who the HELL plays GTA games for writing? It’s all about nonsensical bullshit. That’s why they’re fun. NO commitment to character or story.

    B: “The driving, the shooting, the control scheme, watching cut scenes and then driving to x to kill yā€¦ all of it.” The shooting / control scheme? I guess you didn’t play on PC… Becuase if you did this (GTAIV) was the first one to get the controls right.

    C: “Iā€™m declaring it to be on my list of what I consider to be one of the most overrated games of all time.”

    It was overrated, for sure (due to dumb people and little kids)… BUT.. Don’t you play FF? Don’t you love Halo? How does GTA resemble those games that everyone AND their mom has decided to be the “best ever” or “most played” game[s] of all time??? Controversy wins every once and a while.

    GTA comes with a grain of salt. What started off as an IP that was sure to be banned/censored/discontinued turned into one of the most recognizable franchises in gaming history. Every one of them has an intangible shock value that most games fall short of.

    sorry for the rant. At the end of the day: Yes – GTA is ‘overrated’ because the masses know of it’s existance (more kids = less integrity) but it still holds a very important place in the evolution of gaming as a whole.

  4. Look at Metacritic/Gamerankings and you will see GTA IV is the best reviewed game of all time…and you still don’t think it’s overrated?

  5. @DraZiC11

    I think the difference for me is that in an open world you have to have a couple of things to not become bogged down:

    1) Your mode of travel has to be enjoyable. AC2 succeeds at this where GTA IV does not, in my mind. Rooftop running is a blast whereas the driving in GTA IV is laborious and muddy.

    2) On top of that, you have different options on how to pull off the missions given. I won’t argue that it does get a tad repetitive, but that variety is the key to make it not a complete chore. GTA IV offers next to no diversity in how to carry out your missions.


    Your post is a tad difficult to respond to because the only real thing you said was towards my 2nd point. You refuted my 1st point by saying “who cares about writing in video games”, which isn’t a defense of L&D’s bad writing at all. And you refuted my claim of it being overrated by talking about Halo and FF, which have nothing to do with this game. But I’ll go ahead and do my best:

    A) I don’t think I want to have a discussion of “who cares about writing in video games”, because clearly we disagree on the issue. However, what I will say is that I could at least see that point of view if GTA IV didn’t thrust you into several minute long cut scenes every time you drove (again) to an objective point. On top of that, characters have ongoing dialogue en route to these missions. If you’re going to put this dialogue and story in front of me every few minutes, then it had better be good. Clearly, Rockstar cared about their story, so telling me I shouldn’t hardly defends the game at all. On top of all that, Lost and the Damned isn’t even out on PC, so I’m not sure why you’re defending it, since my guess is you haven’t played it.

    B) This is the only point you actually responded to šŸ™‚

    And even then, it wasn’t so much about the button layout as it was about how muddy the game feels. Navigating the world through driving, walking, shooting is a chore at best. The camera is horrid in close quarters and button commands are often unresponsive. If a God of War game had controls like that, it would be slaughtered by the gaming media at large. I don’t know why GTA 4 got a pass in this department. But if you like the way it controls, more power to you. I’ve never played it on PC, so I can accept that I could be wrong in this area when it comes to that platform.

    C) Like I said before, I’m not sure what Halo or FF have to do with any of this. Yes, I do like those. It IS possible for a game to be both good AND overrated, but GTA 4 is not one of those games.

    As Anthony pointed out, it’s the best reviewed game of all time. For a game that has a formula of drive our crappy cars to the next cut scene and maybe kill a guy with our crappy controls, and do it again and again for the next 20 hours… I have no idea how the game got reviewed so well or why people even enjoy it. I’ve resorted to skipping the cut scenes in L&D and it makes this formula even more obtrusive. There is no actual game to be played here.

    In addition, you’re responding to me like I’m attacking the GTA franchise, when in fact I’m attacking GTA 4 specifically. It is easily the worst of the series and held little-to-no actual fun to be had, in my opinion.

    Once again, this is all my opinion, so feel free to disagree.

  6. My personal experience with GTA IV: I rented it from GameFly (back when I had an account), played it on the 360 for about 2-3 hours until I became REALLY frustrated with the driving controls, and sent the damn thing right on back. I say this as someone who LOVED Vice City.

    I don’t think anyone is arguing that the GTA games aren’t revolutionary. What I’m saying is that the 4th game isn’t nearly as much fun to play as the earlier ones.

    I definitely know the driving wasn’t the only thing that bothered me. I went on a date in the game and it bored me to tears – walking endlessly to a location and then playing a bowling mini-game was not much fun.

    There was also something about the 4th game that made me feel like I had to follow the traffic laws and stop for stoplights, as opposed to the gleeful anarchy I engaged in when playing the earlier games.

  7. Well, by saying these I’m gonna piss people off quite a bit.
    I’ll start by saying that I do NOT hate these games. I enjoyed/am enjoying them. First is HL2. Shut up, let me make my point. Actually, let’s say The Orange Box as it encompasses Portal and Ep1/2. Again, shut up, let me make my point. Now, these are all GOOD games marred by people making them out to be better than they are (to me) therefore I’m left thinking “This is it?”. HL2 and its Ex. Packs are, at best, good. Not amazing, not GotY, just good. The shooting is okay and the scenarios are no different than in any other game. Take Halo for it’s solid shooting/driving mechanics and you have HL2’s main gameplay. The redeeming factors are the puzzles, by GOD they are well designed, and the story. To discuss the story, the universe is interesting, the characters are too and Alyx was my fave female companion until I played the Uncharted games (Chloe and Elena > Alyx). In truth the story was what made me trudge through the game and Ep1. I got bored before what I believe to be the end of 2.
    Portal is also a GOOD puzzle game. I enjoyed the physics and puzzles, Glados was quite amusing and the credit song was a laugh. But I encountered the same problem as HL2: by the halfway point all I wanted was to see the end (YouTube is the cheap way out lol). I was unsatisfied with it. Glados ‘dies(?)’ after an anticlimatic boss fight. The end. We may see you in a sequel.
    Second is FF7. I’ll be brief as time isn’t on my side right now so ask me to elaborate if necessary:
    Story and combat sytem = crummy.
    There you go, with one post I’ve infuriated about 90% of GS. If I didn’t explain enough, just ask.
    BTW, I played the Orange Box on PC and FF7 on PSP.

  8. Interesting points you have there. It’s nice to hear someone say a game is overrated but still good (again it IS possible).

    Oddly enough, I think it’s possible for games to be both overrated and underrated at the same time. I think Halo is one of those games. Terribly overhyped and blown out of proportion yet still under appreciated for what it did bring to the table and brought well. I feel the same way about FF7 to some extent.

    I will never argue with someone about FF7’s gameplay mechanics. They are definitely cookie cutter. But I still thought the story was neat and as an RPG it brought a lot to the table.

    Also, I’d like to remind everyone we’re friends here. You don’t have to tell people to “shut up” while posting your opinion or stir things up by assuming you’re infuriating everyone. We’re all here to have a friendly convo about this.

  9. I thought I was the only one who didn’t particularly like GTAIV. While I suppose one could say that the controls and vehicle physics were more realistic this time, I felt that it was a clear case of realism destroying gameplay. While GTA was one of my favorite franchises beforehand (I had gotten every one of them the days they came out) this one just felt like it was trying too hard where the others were obviously loose-cannon, twitchy trigger-fingered crime sandboxes that didn’t take themselves too seriously and didn’t invest a terrible lot into the concept of realism.

    So, now that I’ve completely agreed with Eddy I’m going to go right around now and stab him in the back and say that my most overrated game is, and has been for quite some time, anything from the Halo series past the first one. Now, I’m not a fan of the first one, but I’ll still be willing to admit that it’s a great game, and as a fan of Marathon it took me back to simpler times. When number 2 rolled around it was still fun, but more in the “meh” field for me, but people just seemed to be gathering around multiplayer like it was a tree that grew sex. Whenever I played the multiplayer, it felt like I was playing a $5 sci-fi game that felt unbalanced and had mostly boring maps. This was forgivable at first because I still liked to play coop on the single player with friends and have beaten it around 6 times now (pretty good considering that I never really replay games) but now I feel as though I have to feel a vendetta against it, as it seems to have taken over every lan party I’ve ever gone to, when we could play games like Counter-Strike or something I would much rather prefer. I mean, it’s not like everybody’s sitting down and playing it and I’m just not joining in on the fun, literally everybody could be playing CS and then stop playing just to huddle around the TV to watch two other people play Halo multiplayer. Then Halo 3 came out and had absolutely no part that I enjoyed through the entire game and the multiplayer felt even more broken and unbalanced, yet people seemed to commit solely to that game at lan parties afterwards, including during my own birthday party. So yeah, I have sort of a personal thing against Halo. It ruined my birthday šŸ™ .

    I dunno, it seems hard to have an overrated comment, because it seems really hard to say that something is overrated as in “I don’t see what everybody else sees in this” and it’s much easier to come out saying “Everybody else is stupid for liking what I don’t.” That’s not how I feel, though I do with people won’t be so fanatical about Halo sometimes. I don’t think they’re dumb for it though. I may think the game is though šŸ˜‰

  10. Sorry Eddy, it’s just the reaction I’m used to from other sites and forums, didn’t mean to sound like a jackass or anything.

  11. [quote comment=”9790″]Sorry Eddy, it’s just the reaction I’m used to from other sites and forums, didn’t mean to sound like a jackass or anything.[/quote]

    No worries dude! Just wanted to make sure that we’re not all writing posts assuming a reaction.

    And @John

    I will totally give you that Halo 2’s multiplayer was garbage. The whole game was just… ugh.

  12. GTA IV has been on my overrated list for a long time. I, too, tried to pick it up for a second time after I put it down for a while to see if I could get what the hype is all about, but put it down after an hour or two. I think I would have enjoyed this game much more if, when you failed a mission, you didn’t have to drive all the way back. Just a “quick trip” option would help immensely. Chinatown Wars had this, and is, not coincidentally, the only GTA I’ve finished. Started all, finished none.

    Also on my list would be Dragon Age, which I really liked but it seems that people are making it out to be better than it is. My brother has played through it around 6 times, and I can’t figure out why. Once was enough for me. Jade Empire is still my favorite Bioware game, followed by Mass Effect (yes, Drazic, Jade Empire).

    Bayonetta, too. I’m sure there’s some great moments but most of it is button mashing or watching ridiculous, sexed-up, over-the-top cut scenes (and I liked MGS4!).

  13. @ Eddy

    Trust me, I’m all about the writing in video games. My point was that the GTA series isn’t exactly a shining gem when it comes to story or plot. That isn’t the focus. I see it as more of a wreckless time killer that usually ends with some hillarious crashes and explosions. That’s really what I was saying along with it being Overrated and Fun at the same time. Not neccessarily a “great game”, but it was a lot of fun if you’re treating it as just a forfunzies game.

    And it gets the higher reviews because of how controversial it is and how popular the series is I think. I don’t usually take reviews seriously anyways, I trust what my friends tell me whos opinions I usually agree with.

    And I compared it to Halo and FF because those are a few of the most overrated franchises in my opinion. That was the logic behind the statment.

    I reread my first post and have decided never to post at 4:30 AM again.

  14. For me one of the most overrated games i’ve played was the original KOTOR. I know this is the risk you take when you play a sequel first, but i really enjoyed KOTOR 2 and when i went back to part 1 it just didnt seem all that amazing.

    I’m not denying that its a great game, the story in particular. But the main thing for me was the influence system from part 2 really made me feel like i was part of a group, that my party members really did take notice of what i was doing.

    The party members were another reason i preferred part 2. Perhaps it was the influence system influencing me, but i felt much closer to my offsiders in part 2 as opposed to the original…most of your partners from the first game i just found annoying – Carth, Bastilla, Mission all of them.

    One thing that the original KOTOR did very well though, was getting you to revisit planets. There were a few quests that you would find on one planet but you could only finish on another. KOTOR 2 had none of that, once youd completed a planet there was no reason to go back.

    All in all, there is no denying that KOTOR 1 was a fantastic game, but having played the sequel first, the extra game systems and particularly the characters, made KOTOR 2 a better game for me. One i think is probably underrated despite the bugs and rushed finish.

  15. @supernovaforce I was going to rage on you for not liking the original KotOR, but when you said that KotOR 2 was good, that’s when I calmed down a bit.

    I really liked the second KotOR for all the reasons you mentioned and more. While Kreia was a supremely annoying bitch, the other party members were all pretty good with the exception of G0-T0. I kept him locked in the back anyways, so whatever.

    The other reason I liked 2 was the lightsaber upgrade system. By the time you invaded Onderon, you were an invincible bad-ass. Besides, the sub-plot of you regaining your Force sensitivity through a tear in the Force was awesome (a Nega-Force if you will).

  16. @SkubaPatr0l

    Did you play HL2/The Orange Box on the PS3 or the PC? If you played it on the PS3 than yes HL2/The Orange Box is just good, not great just good. On the PC, However, I do not think it is overrated (also did you play HL2 when it came out or when the Orange Box came out, because at the time of release HL2 did a lot of things that were revolutionary that today we take for granted imho). If I had not played HL2 until recently I would think it is overrated too because there are so many games that take what was revolutionary at the time HL2 came out and have polished it up, so going back to HL2 would take away from the…revolutionaryismness? of it. once again just my not so humble opinion šŸ˜€

    as far as the whole GTA IV thing I sort of torn between agreeing with Julez and Eddy. on the one hand the PC does have better controls than on the console. However what it does not do is make traveling across the city very fun (taxi anyone?), which is something that Prototype and Assassins Creed did very well.

  17. hmm heated writing in this post yes…(if I failed at the yoda grammar plzz let me know)

    Well most of you guys summed up a couple of overrated games out on the market.

    Here’s my top 3:

    Forza Motorsport 3: Honestly I loved Forza 2 with a passion but when I got Forza 3, I felt that this should have been Forza 2. Plus the campaign takes fuuuu forever to finish (67% after 3months)

    Modern Warfare 2 Campaign: This is NOT directed to the epic multiplayer but to the airport massacre mission. That 1 mission made so much controversy and hype that it even had problems with the Russian government itself. PS the game did not set any standard. Not like Medal of Honor(standard for WWII games)

    3. Wii Fit
    Honestly…go to a gym to workout and have a healthier diet plan and you won’t need another useless add-on (Jesus Christ its like the Wii is becoming a modern version of the NES now)

  18. Seems like Bioware is receiving a bit a of a challenge on this thread. I mentioned DA; KOTOR and Jade Empire were both mentioned…am I missing something? Do you think this because they’ve set the standards so high for themselves that when they release that’s not as good, people notice?

  19. @ Gladfly Jim
    I played it on the PC not long after it came out in December(ish) 07. We’ll say 21st or so. My uncle bought it for me. Over the next three days I was playing HL2 non-stop. Then on Xmas my PS3 with COD4 and Ratchet & Clank took top priority! I just got immersed in COD4 and I, well, forgot about HL2! I went back a few months later but it’s been about a year since I last played any of The Orange Box. I will get round to finishing Ep 2 eventually to see what happens but I can’t predict it happening any time soon.
    As an afterthought, I thought I’d say that Ravenholm is one of my favourite gaming sequences of all time.

  20. Meh, I find it difficult to recall games I didn’t like because they disappointed me, and I’ve learned my lesson from early disappointments in my wee lil lad years. Now I really research games so I get the most out of them.

    As for hype, I tend to like the quieter games because they’re the ones that have the most area to surprise me for the better, but of course there are games that have incredible hype and are also incredible, ie Modern Warfare 2. But MW2’s multiplayer disappointed me because of the usual shit. I die too much. Fuggin’ eh. But alas that’s not a problem with MW2’s hype and mechanics per se, it’s the Xbox LIVE gods’ faults.
    Anyway…uhhhh…Well yeah, I’ve steered clear of any overhyped games mainly because I can sense hyper-hype. (Is that redundant? Probably.) Games like GTA4 looked cool but I knew I would have enough other games that I knew I could thoroughly enjoy without having to look behind my shoulder to see if my parents were walking by so I didn’t offend them as I entered the strip club.

  21. @Mitch – im glad ive finally found someone else who enjoyed KOTOR 2, anybody else ive spoken to about only remembers that it wasnt well finished, not all the stuf they did well. And you’re right, the “nega-force” was a great bit of story telling.

    @ dp – Bioware does seem to be a bit over-represented in this discussion, but it is also a personal preference. I know i brought up KOTOR as overrated, but i know from experience that there would be thousands of people that would say its one of the best games ever, and would gladly tear out my throat for mentioning “the O word” šŸ™‚ As for their other games, Mass effect is one of my favourites of all time (cant wait for part 2), dragon age is amazing and i havent played jade empire. I’m sure there are very few people who would dispute bioware being named among the biggest and best current game developers

  22. [quote comment=”9807″]Is it too early to start throwing stones at Bayonetta?[/quote]

    When I saw this comment, I was like, FINALLY. Then I saw the username,lol.

    Kudos, zayven. You are right. I don’t see the hype either.

  23. I thought Halo 3 was overrated, but Forge is the most underrated thing ever. It’s probably the only reason i still pop in Halo 3 every now and again. I too didn’t really like GTA4 because it never went anywhere. Except another island.

  24. Perhaps I should just throw out my list while I’m thinking about it (in no particular order):

    1: Metal Gear Solid- Still don’t see how this game was such a landmark. I just could never get into it. And it has nothing to do with the fact that it’s a stealth game. Thief: The Dark Project, came out the same year and was a far more memorable and rewarding experience.

    2: The entire Mortal Kombat series- Look, MK was never in the same league as the Street Fighter series. Ever. Let’s just admit that we thought the blood was “sooper kewl” when we were 14 and get on with our gaming lives.

    3: Madden NFL 06-10- Easy to be overhyped when you’re the only game in town (damn you, EA and your exclusive NFL license!).

    4: Final Fantasy 7- A great game, but not the greatest game ever made, the greatest RPG ever made, and not unarguably the greatest Final Fantasy ever made.

    5: Little Big Planet- Yes, sackboy is adorable. Yes, I know you can indulge in your wildest creative fantasies (provided you have the time). Yes, I know you can experience a potentially endless array of user created levels. But at the end of the day, I’m still playing a fairly pedestrian platformer with an unresponsive physics engine. Or at least I would be I ever felt the need to take the game out of its box.

    I could probably go on if I thought about it long enough, but I’ve expended enough mental energy on this as it is.

  25. The invasion of Onderon was just so epic, Invisible badass for the win. Definitely one of the highlights of my gaming career. So many force waves going on. good times, good times…….

  26. Halo 2 < Halo 1

    As Yoda might say: "More of same does not a better game make."

    Add in the online multiplayer option that allows you to be one-shot killed by a 14 year old with a plasma sword (A plasma sword? Seriously? I thought this franchise made a name for itself ripping off Aliens and Heinlein, not Star Wars.) 5837 times while he taunts you through his 'dark lord' voice filter and you have a game that I don't see a reason to ever play again.

    But you want to take a weekend and rip through Halo 1 on co-op, I'll be there before you hang up the phone.

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