During certain points of the year and especially in the race to be the number one selling game at Christmas publishers seemingly release an endless amount of AAA games. As a result, many of these games get overlooked for the obvious big sellers like Call of Duty, Battlefield, Madden, and FIFA just to name a few. This is certainly true of smaller scale releases, because when it comes to making a choice between their favorite franchises or a title that with very little hype gamers will go for brand recognition every time.
In addition, the crazy rush to get games released during certain time frames can often mean the game is unfinished, buggy, or badly timed against competing franchises. This can often lead to games either being overlooked and/or underrated by critics and fans alike.
In turn, fanfare for many AAA games get praise regardless of there being little to no advancement in its mechanics from the previous titles – sports titles and open world games being prime examples of this. More than any other entertainment medium, high or low expectations for games seem to either lead to unwavering hatred or blind love for certain titles. As a result, many games can either go under the radar or get hyped to the moon.
30 Overrated: God Of War
2018’s God of War is an improvement on the original games in every way. The new voice actor Christopher Judge gives Kratos an actual personality rather than the raging, shouty, and overgrown teenage power fantasy seen in previous titles. Additionally, the world of Midgard is a beautiful sight to behold and far less linear than the original series with tons of sidequests to keep you entertained.
However, less linearity and lots of sidequests still give way to repetition and over-familiarity especially if you’re a completist that wants to see and do everything in the game. Even if you just stick with the main storyline you’ll begin to notice a lack of variety through reskinned enemies and fetch quests.
29 Underrated: Sniper Elite 4
The Sniper Elite series has always been a solid yet low budget stealth series that gained a cult following not just because of sniping and stealth mechanics. However, it is perhaps better known for the slightly sadistic and graphic depictions X-Ray sniper moves. Sadly, the series has always been held back by its clunky controls, outdated visuals, and linear level design.
With Sniper Elite 4, it all those issues have been addressed with massive open and varied maps, endless stealth attack opportunities and the freedom to approach your mission however you choose. If you’re a fan of stealth-based games then Sniper Elite 4 will tick all the right boxes.
28 Overrated: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was one of the most eagerly awaited games of a generation. The game featured massive open world maps set in a Soviet-occupied Afghanistan that looked and felt like the setting of Rambo 3. In addition, the stealth mechanics are better than they have ever been and it offered more freedom than ever before.
Unfortunately, the clearly unfinished story will ruin the experience for long time MGS fans and Snake’s dialogue is so limited that he may as well be a silent protagonist. Worse still, the improved mechanics still don’t quite measure up to the Splinter Cell series with messy controls that will cause you to reveal your position more often than not.
27 Underrated: The Yakuza Series
Sega’s crime saga Yakuza is an open-world crime series exclusive to the PS4 that manages to stand miles apart from the likes of Grand Theft Auto, and Mafia. The world of Kamurocho which is based on Tokyo’s red light district known as Kabukicho is far smaller than typical open world games but it’s the intricate game design that helps the series stand out from the crowd.
Additionally, the gangster stories which are full of twists and betrayals put the likes of GTA to shame. Cleverly, the series manages to blend its serious mob story with some incredibly whacky side quests for hundreds of hours worth of gameplay.
26 Overrated: Horizon Zero Dawn
Horizon Zero Dawn was the PlayStation 4’s big 2017 release and for good reason. Standing next to 2018’s God of War HZD is one of the best looking console games this generation. The colorful post-apocalyptic dino-bot filled setting allowed for some stunning scenes, intense battles, and exploration that is only rivaled by the likes of Assassin’s Creed: Origins.
However, the comparison to Assassin’s Creed doesn’t end there and the Ubisoft design formula is so apparent that they feel like the same game set in a different universe. Towers that reveal more of the map are replaced by long-necked robots and the stealth mechanics certainly are nearly identical to Assassin’s Creed and even the Far Cry series.
25 Underrated: Infamous: Second Son
For fans of the video game series Infamous, the PlayStation 4 exclusive franchise peaked with the New Orleans-like set Infamous 2 on the PlayStation 3. Despite this, however, the early PS4 launch title Infamous: Second Son is a great game that deserves any superhero fan’s attention.
In terms of gameplay Second, Son treads the same ground as its predecessors but the beautiful recreation of Seattle is up there with the best open world games on the market. Delsin is an undoubtedly a better protagonist Cole McGrath and the supporting cast of characters make it a more relatable experience than the previous two.
24 Overrated: Battlefield 1 – The Campaign
The Battlefield series is predominantly a multiplayer series and Battlefield 1 is no different. However, the game received a lot of praise for its more single player mode which functioned as nothing more than a few tutorials disguised as rather bland short stories.
Despite its strength being in the online multiplayer, EA-based its entire advertising campaign on showing off the single player for Battlefield 1. So newcomers expecting a decent single player mode would be forgiven for feeling a bit duped.
23 Underrated: Homefront: The Revolution
At the time of its launch Homefront: The Revolution was (rightly) mauled by critics. Gamers were left disappointed in what was a game that ended up being a buggy mess in a game that showed so much promise.
However, two years after its launch Homefront developers Dambuster Studios have supported the game with patches, updates and most recently, performance boosts for the PlayStation Pro and Xbox One X. If anything it’s a testament that many games simply need more time in development but HF: The Revolution is a game worth grabbing from the bargain bins.
22 Overrated: Ratchet & Clank
With its Pixar-like visuals even on the PlayStation 3, the Ratchet and Clank games were a visual treat for the eyes. In 2016, the 2002 original received a re-imagining that was accompanied by a Sony Pictures movie of the same name.
While the movie bombed at the box office, the rebooted game performed well both critically and commercially pleasing longtime fans and newcomers alike. Yet, as beautiful as Ratchet & Clank is it still feels like retreading old ground and its frequent hand holding will frustrate even the youngest of players.
21 Underrated: Fire Pro Wrestling World
The Fire Pro Wrestling series is the longest running wrestling series available. However, despite being released in 1989 the series hasn’t found the same success in the West and is both overlooked and underrated when compared to the WWE 2K series.
Whether this is the result of its focus on 2D visuals or the lack of licensed wrestlers outside of Japan remains unknown but for hardcore wrestling fans the Fire Pro series is the best in the business. Despite the 2D visuals, the newest entry, Fire Pro Wrestling World offers a level of depth in its gameplay, customization, and simulation that the 2K series can only dream of providing.
20 Overrated: Bloodborne
Bloodborne from the developers of Dark Souls is one of the highest rated games on the PlayStation 4 and rightly so. It features a gothic Lovecraftian setting dripping in atmosphere and is presented with some of the best visuals seen this generation.
However, those familiar with Dark Souls may be disappointed to find there’s less variety in character customization. While this isn’t a deal breaker for many but part of the appeal of the Souls series is that each new playthrough can feel fresh when choosing a new build. In addition, the combat is faster but also feels less technical lacks the weight of Souls. Additionally, most battles are won by the repeated use of sidestepping and rolls.
19 Underrated: Lords Of The Fallen
There’s no escaping the fact that Lords of the Fallen is an unashamed Dark Souls clone but don’t let that put you off what is an excellent yet difficult action title in its own right.
The game opts for a more traditional approach to storytelling as opposed to the cerebral method the Souls games use.
While it probably won’t win any awards it’s definitely enough to drive you forward and may appeal to gamers that are used to more of a focused narrative. It shines through its character design and gameplay with its weighty combat and variety in weapons.
18 Overrated: Call Of Duty: WWII – Single Player Campaign
Call of Duty: WWII was well received with many critics claiming that it’s a return to form for the series. However, if you scratch beneath the surface of the setting you’ll quickly realize that it’s exactly the same game that players have been playing since the series peaked with Modern Warfare.
Taking inspiration from movies and TV shows like Band of Brothers and Saving Private Ryan you can expect to see familiar scenes like the Normandy beach landing played out in impressive if predictable set pieces. In addition, the game is bogged down by the same linear corridor-style level design hiding behind high production values.
17 Underrated: Middle Earth: Shadow Of War
When Middle Earth: Shadow of War was released the game came under heavy and deserved criticism for its inclusion of loot boxes and microtransactions. This is a shame because Shadow of War’s game mechanics was a big improvement over Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor.
Thankfully, less than a year later, developers Monolith Productions removed loot boxes completely. In addition, they made improvements to post-game content which is now called The Epilogue which has been redesigned to be played without the need for grinding. Level progression is also faster with and the Nemesis system has been reworked. It’s a better game now than it was 10 months ago.
16 Overrated: Doom
Aesthetically Doom is the perfect run and gun sci-fi shooter, and it is heralded as a modern day classic for those who loved the original Doom trilogy back in the day. The brings an intensity not seen in other first-person shooters.
There is, however, an uneven difficulty that plagues the mostly great campaign. Jumps in difficulty often lead to frustrating issues with the balance and its pacing getting thrown off course several times throughout. Additionally, for a game that’s focused on its single player, the story is largely forgettable and silly and doesn’t quite match the tone of the game’s atmosphere.
15 Underrated: Resident Evil: Revelations 2
Resident Evil 4 was one of the best action games released during the PlayStation 2 and Gamecube era. While the game wasn't very scary it was still a thrill to play and managed to find a perfect balance between tension and action.
Unfortunately, RE4 also marked a change in direction for the series for more action heavy games with RE5 and RE6 being considered the worst games in the series. For fans that felt alienated by series, the episodic RE: Revelations 2 was a true return form once again finding a balance between what made the first four RE games so good.
14 Overrated: Uncharted 4
Since the first game released on the PlayStation 3, the Uncharted series have always been showcase titles for Sony’s consoles. They were designed to show what the consoles were truly capable of and the remastered versions still look great today. Uncharted 4 is no different and is one of the best looking titles on the PS4.
The games have a good sense of adventure and storytelling with endearing characters, but its the gameplay where the game’s weakest mechanics lie. The combat, the stealth, and the overuse of jumping don’t quite match up to the rebooted Tomb Raider series which it borrowed heavily from.
13 Underrated: Assassin’s Creed: Rogue
Lost in the hype and the eventual controversy following the release of Assassin’s Creed: Unity as a mainline title, the PS3 spin-off Assassin’s Creed: Rogue which was released the same year was all but forgotten. Now thanks to a remastered version for the PS4 Pro the game can be played as the developers intended.
Fans hoping for a sequel or a follow up to the excellent AC: Black Flag will find a lot to love in Rogue with improved ship battles and sailing mechanics. Additionally, you get to play as a Templar which adds an interesting dynamic going up against Assassins that can strike at any given moment.
12 Overrated: Final Fantasy XV
Final Fantasy XV was a massive improvement over its predecessor Final Fantasy XIII. It featured a good story, an open world to explore and the combat was an excellent combination of turn-based and fast-paced action mechanics.
Additionally, developers Square-Enix has supported the game with story patches, DLC, and a multiplayer mode. However, there is still something about FFXV that feels unfinished. There’s very little variety or interactivity in the towns when compared to previous titles. There’s something about the world of Eos that feels lifeless and barren and to get a real feel of the world and its story you need to watch the film Kingsglaive.
11 Underrated: Until Dawn
Even though Until Dawn was well received critically it was overlooked by a lot of gamers because of its choose your adventure style gameplay doesn’t often translate well into a scary game. Even the Telltale Walking Dead games which are great at raising tension are lacking in genuine scares.
Until Dawn, however, manages to balance tension and fear perfectly by placing you in control of your very own slasher film with realistic visuals, great acting with a story full of twists varied outcomes depending on your choices. The PlayStation 4 exclusive is a must for lovers of the horror genre.
10 Overrated: Beyond: Two Souls
Even though it was originally released on the PlayStation 3, Beyond: Two Souls was remastered for the PlayStation 4. The PS4 was the better platform for the game because on a visual level it was far too ambitious for its original platform.
Like Until Dawn, Beyond: Two Souls is an interactive movie with excellent visuals. Unfortunately, that’s where the similarities end because good graphics, motion capture, and voice acting can’t hide an undercooked and silly plot and shallow characters.
9 Underrated Wolfenstein: The New Order
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus that seems to get the most love from fans and critics winning awards for the best action game, narrative, and performances. However, it is Wolfenstein: The New Order that seems to get overlooked and underrated by comparison.
Being developed by the same key players that created The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay that game’s influence is very telling in The New Order.
The game’s approach to stealth and open-ended gameplay mechanics is arguably better designed than the New Colossus which seem to focus on more bombastic and memorable set pieces. In addition, the first game feels more focused narratively and less tongue-in-cheek than the second in the trilogy.
8 Overrated: Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto V is the fastest selling entertainment product ever released and has made billions more from the online part of the game. Even though the game was originally released as a PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 title GTA V has a staggering open world with visuals and gameplay to match.
However, it’s the downright vague story, repetitive cutscenes, dialogue and despicable characters that are impossible to sympathize with where the game falls short. Where previous titles have placed the player in the shoes of villains with a heart or a purpose and some redeeming qualities GTA V’s protagonists are the worst of the worst.
7 Underrated: Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes
At the time of its release MGV: Ground Zeroes was a playable prologue episode that offered a taste of what is to come for The Phantom Pain. Yet, as far as stealth-based mechanics and level design go it may have raised the expectations a little too high.
MGS: GZ is a far more compact experience than MGS: TPP the amount of variety and replayability on offer was more in line with the Hitman series.
Unlike TPP, GZ’s enemy base offered the player so many different ways to approach the mission that allowed you to fully explore the improved gameplay mechanics forcing you to think your way out of difficult situations.
6 Overrated: Destiny 2
As far refinements go, Destiny 2 is a step up from the first game and its gunplay is up there with some of the best in the genre. However, that doesn’t make up for the fact that the main campaign, while an improvement over the first game is still quite dull and its endgame is worthless.
A refined sequel isn't necessarily a worthy purchase.
In addition, the loot system isn’t enticing enough to encourage the kind of level grinding needed to get the most out of the game. In addition, the character creation is still bad, and there’s no escaping the feeling that you can get more out of free to play games like Warframe which is also on the PS4.
5 Underrated: Driveclub
Driveclub was another victim of its own botched launch. The PlayStation 4 suffered under the weight of its own user base with server failures, unfair artificial intelligence, and the bugs made racing a less than smooth experience.
Thanks to continued support from the now-shuttered Evolution Studios Driveclub is one of the best arcade racing experiences on the PS4.
Four years on and the game still features some of the best dynamic weather effects seen in a game. In addition, the studio developed a PlayStation 4 VR exclusive aptly named Driveclub VR and it remains one of the best virtual reality experiences on the consoles.
4 Overrated: Detroit: Beyond Human
Detroit: Become Human is another title from Quantic Dreams the same studio responsible for Indigo Prophecy, Heavy Rain, and Beyond: Two Souls. The story plays out like a cross between Blade Runner and the Channel 4/AMC television series Humans and while the story is a huge improvement over their previous titles Detroit is somehow clumsy in its execution.
At certain points in Detroit, there can be a distinct lack of true choice when it comes to the game's narrative. You will often find yourself forced into predetermined situations which can be at odds with what you actually want to achieve with the characters - which of course defeats the objects of narratively driven games like this.
3 Underrated: Vampyr
Those familiar with the developers DontNod Entertainment’s Life is Strange will already recognize that the team knows how to tell an emotionally gripping story. This obviously translates into their action RPG/Interactive drama Vampyr considerably well as you struggle with moral choices throughout.
Although the team's inexperience with the action parts of the game can show Vampyr is the epitome of a diamond in the rough.
Although the game can take a bit of time to get going, once you've passed the initial tutorial stages of the game it really opens up. Which is great because the 1918 London setting is one of the atmospheric, immersive and engaging worlds in this generation.
2 Overrated: Fallout 4
Hardcore fans of the Fallout series that have been with series since playing the old school isometric original developed by Interplay have often complained that the Bethesda published titles have lost something in the transition to the massive open 3D world.
While Fallout 3 maintained a similar atmosphere to the original games the storytelling wasn't as polished and the world seemed far less weird and strange. Fallout 3: New Vegas developed by Obsidian managed to recapture the magic of the traditional Interplay games but that was completely lost on Fallout 4. As a result, the fourth installment in the main series is considered to be the worst in the series.
1 Underrated: The Last Guardian
The follow up to universally loved Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, The Last Guardian was eight years in development. Unfortunately, it didn’t receive the same amount of adoration that the previous two games did. This was in part due to awkward camera controls and other technical issues that plagued the game.
For those with the patience to look past the issues, however, will discover one of the most heartwarming adventures to date. The developing relationship between the boy and Trico is artistically handled in a way that you can’t help but get emotionally invested in the game’s beautiful world design.