The first PlayStation was introduced to us back in 1994, just over 22 years ago now, and with it came a new wave of gaming. Crash Bandicoot to lead the platformers, Broken Sword to lead the Point & Click adventures, Final Fantasy for JRPGS, Metal Gear Solid for Stealth along with Tenchu and a plethora of classics that either died in the days of advancement or are still going strong.
All the way from the first PlayStation console to the newest PS4, there have been great games, there have been horrible games, and then there are the overrated games. Your friends talk them up, reviews give him perfect scores and awards are dropped at their feet. You picked up the game in hopes it would be your favourite, it would give 100+ hours of entertainment or simple be an experience to remember.
Sadly as the times change, our opinions of older titles grow and grow, leading us to believe they are the best game around. Conversely, newer titles are held in such high regards against their plainly obvious faults and flaws without nostalgia backing them up. No matter the condition or time frame of release, there will always be overrated games and PlayStation has no barrier against it. Below are the top 20 most overrated PlayStation games, from the very first iteration of the console to the latest.
20 Final Fantasy XV
With a longer life then the PlayStation, Final Fantasy had its seventh release on the first PlayStation, reaching all the way to PlayStation 4 with FFXV. Being the newest release on this list, FFXV hasn’t had as much time to show all its flaws or bring in nostalgia, relying mostly on that “New Game Smell”. Making back its development cost in the first day, the fastest selling FF of all time and many peoples favourites of 2016, FFXV has a lot going for it.
FFXV is filled with the normal bugs you find in open world games, from getting outside of the map, falling through the floor, finding developer rooms, AI freaking out and events that play out of turn. Besides the normal everyday glitch and bug, the game has a highlighted Chapter that puts off plenty of fans, a somewhat number-game difficulty with its fights and horrendous grinding for the best gear. This is all without talking about its debatable story lines, twists and missing content.
Released around the boom of Telltale story games, Firewatch was set to make a name for itself within a story and choice driven game. Centred on a man who wants to get away from his unstable city life working as a Forest Fire Lookout, you will travel the forest, using your walkie-talkie to contact your co-worker to ask for directions, chat or choose dialogue options to reveal more about both characters.
Firewatch is full of walking, backtracking, item finding and investigating certain areas to find out about the disturbances. The slow gameplay might appeal to some, but is set on a rollercoaster of gameplay shifts and mood changes, with talks of dementia, party kids, missing children, research areas, sabotage and more. So, the ride gives you a hat with confusion written on it. The ending is also very unsatisfying, though the game was given awards based on writing, nominated for story and more, well above what the game really was deserving of.
With the expansion of Esports, online gaming and competitive play, Overwatch released in the sweet spot of the gaming industry. Appealing to both a young audience and an older one, Overwatch improved on concepts from Team Fortress 2, League of Legends and Warframe. Keeping the fast pace action and somewhat parkour movement styles of Warframe, team based gameplay of TF2, and special powers of LoL.
However, like the mentioned game, Overwatch got too popular too fast, leading to a domino effect of growing in popularity, hiding away its faults behind the solid fan base. It didn’t take long for the players to become toxic, teams becoming unbalanced, and a forced meta of party selection. While those are to be expected of a Moba or competitive game, Overwatch suffers from connection issues, servers going down, overpowered champions, unreliable loot boxes and even real life money boxes.
The party game of the PlayStation 3, what Super Mario Maker was to the Wii U, LittleBigPlanet was set to make a name for both itself and the console. Advertising itself as a Play, Create, Share style of mechanics, LBP allows players to complete its single player experience to then move onto making levels for the world to play. With LBP 3 releasing on both PS3 and PS4, LBP has seen a six-year life cycle, with the PS4 release becoming free as part of PlayStation Plus on February 2017.
Praised for its graphics and being the poster boy for the PS3, LBP saw a lot of fame through word of mouth or being shown on many of the store pages. Sadly LBP puts too much focus on its creation side of affairs, putting a lot of the “game” work onto players, expanding its library of maps for consumers to play. People still see LBP as being a major part of the PS, even encouraging friends to play the game, only to find it is outdated, plain and rather void of exciting gameplay.
16 Metal Gear Solid 4
One of the major disputes with the video game industry, and entertainment as a whole, is if games are art or not. With strikes from voice actors, fake names and hidden credits to save face of those in the acting career. Kojima and Konami created the Metal Gear Solid franchise with a close eye on the Movie industry. From conversations lasting from a few minutes to half an hour and cutscenes even longer, giving the player as much information as was needed.
However, many gamers play games for the gameplay, however Kojima went from a 6 to a 10 in regards to its cutscenes. A single cutscene lasting 27 minutes, with a sequence of cutscenes lasting 71 minutes, MGS4 treaded the waters of game and movie. Besides the cutscene length, MGS4 had installation issues, controller issues, crashes, long load times, shift in gameplay style, changes of story and story flow in general. Just like the game, it will take too long to explain.
15 God Of War – Series
One of the giants of its genre, GoW has fans worldwide screaming in anticipation of its next big release on current gen consoles. Even with its unrefined start, GoW pushed its way past Devil May Cry into the limelight, with gore, decapitation and blood washing away any negativity thrown against it. Quick time events aside, GoW has won Game of the Year awards several times, scored in the 90’s and being put onto a pedestal.
It isn’t mentioned often enough that GoW suffers from technical issues, freezes and crashes, average gameplay and smashing of the controller - I mean button mashing. The story is full of betrayal and Kratos going off for revenge, becoming the best there is, to go on killing in the next game, and if it isn’t going onto the future, it is flashbacks of even more killing. While the name does suggest you will be doing a lot of killing in the presence of gods, the story itself is rather boring and straight-forward, throwing twists at you to push you towards just another fight.
14 GTA IV
Mods for games are great, as they improve the base game and add in tons of content for the player, but modding a flawed game does not make that game immune to judgement. One of the major advantages to Grand Theft Auto IV is its mods and improvements over the years, however the game at its core was under polished, rough and somewhat simple.
GTA IV put you into the shoes of an immigrant, ready to take America by storm, living the life of luxury. Now go ride a taxi for an hour or so. The environments were grey and boring to look at, gameplay was clunky and the story tried so hard to be funny or unique. The story and missions feel slow, boring and over-hyped in their setup, having to drive to locations, pick up NPCs or locate an object. Niko was also ridiculously limited in customisation, where even in San Andreas you could customise more of CJ.
13 Final Fantasy VII
The first in the series for many fans, FFVII breathed life into the PlayStation and its JRPG genre, from its 3D models to its length of story and vast side-content. It's praised as the best in the franchise, as the first on many people’s minds and the epitome of JRPGs. Many fans even argue it should not be touched in the remake and to keep its old style intact. All this nostalgia and love has slowly blinded a lot of fans to the glaring flaws in its design and gameplay.
FFVII rushes its story, like some of its other entries, from being a simple eco-terrorist to saving the world from a magical meteor in the sky which was damaged by a rocket and finally attacked by the planet itself. Throw in amnesia, clones, magic, mind-control, conspiracies, planet weapons, deities and aliens, and there is too much going on in the game. FFVII also contained many stereotypes, from the angsty protagonist, the Mr T Black guy (now Wesley Snipes’ Blade in the remake), shy white mage, bare-knuckle boxer childhood friend and a talking dog. That's not even to mention all the spin-offs and merchandising, but this section is long enough.
12 Call of Duty – Series
Call of Duty holds its roots back on the PlayStation 3, becoming a mainstay of the system for its FPS Gameplay and take on World War action, with plenty of spin-offs, sequels and remasters. The adage “If it ain't broke, don't fix it” fits well with any best-seller or game of the year, but with the advances of technology, story-telling and funding, a game should always strive to improve. However, Infinity Ward, Activision and their partners have rarely saw fit to improve or “advance.”
CoD has stayed with a basic formula ever since their 4th release, producing similar game concepts, storylines and combat. A lot of their cutscenes have copy-pasted actions, their gameplay has seen stiff movement combined with a lacklustre storyline every time. While the game is marketed for its multiplayer, even this side of affairs is not without fault. Connection issues, imbalance among the weapons and classes, horrible management of players and underage gamers, paid for map packs and additional modes, all add to the infuriation that is the CoD series.
Minecraft had its time in the limelight, but seems to have kept a hold of it for way too long. What started off as a more advanced Lego game, six years since its release, Minecraft has made its way to consoles and continues to be one of the most successful and played games. Despite a lack of mod support, unless you want to edit PS3 files, and older versions of the game.
Besides the lack of modification, on console, Minecraft feels too rigid, controls are clunky and item management can be an immense pain. With such a lack of direction or story, they had to ask Telltale to create a separate game for its “story mode.” The features and additions put into the base game are also ones that were mods in the past or have mod versions that are far superior. Almost all the hype I hear is about a certain mod, server or game mode that Minecraft doesn’t offer itself.
10 Kingdom Hearts
The first in a long line of spin-offs, side stories and sequels, Kingdom Hearts dominated on the PS2, with its extensive story and fresh gameplay, combined with characters from Square Enix and Disney. Appealing to both younger fans as well as older ones, Kingdom Hearts set the stage for a long lasting franchise. The original KH is not as good as many tell you it is however, with the remasters showing its glaring problems even more.
Clunky controls, forced humour, backtracking, difficulty jumps, confusing dialogue options, loading issues and repetitive voice lines all make it a difficult play. KH was littered with poor design choices, vastly improved upon in later releases. The charm and action does well in hiding the flaws that plague KH, but going back to it allows a fresh eye on what could be argued is a bad start to an amazing series. The Disney aspects and general freshness of the concept are what drew most fans in.
9 Katamary Damacy
Like many great games, all you need is a concept and great delivery of that concept in a game that will last a few hours. Katamary Damacy’s concept was to roll a sticky ball, pick up objects to reach a goal and have that ball turn into a planet. Sadly that is where a lot of the gameplay stays, moving around a map to pick up progressively bigger objects, a gameplay mechanic implemented within hundreds of flash games.
Repetitive and colourful, Katamary survives on its catchy theme song and cute aesthetic, while its gameplay is lackluster and too straightforward. Holding millions of fans that buy every release in the series, Katamary has way more fame then it has any right to. While other games like Goat Simulator have the comedy, customisation, exploration, parkour as well as making fun of itself, Katamary lacked a lot of other concepts that thankfully later releases added.
8 Shadow of the Colossus
Bosses are some of the best aspects of games today, from the insane Dark Souls bosses to the inventive Metal Gear Solid ones. Even with bosses being one of the best aspects, you shouldn’t just make the whole game about the bosses. Shadow of the Colossus sees the player trek over a vast landscape in search of several colossi, to find their weak point and stab it reputably, to then move onto the next.
With no real build up to a boss, they just become the main enemies of the game, losing a lot of their awe in the process. Sloppy controls, an obscure and almost non-existent story, limited levelling, and bad camera all add into the frustration that gamers feel picking up this overrated boss rush game. You really need to connect with your character to engage with his emotions and the hidden story, but when there is no voice acting, little dialogue and around 2-3 scenes that matter, you’ll be hard pressed to like this game, yet so many praise it for amazing story and gameplay.
7 Left 4 Dead
Valve knows how to generate hype around its game, as well as delivering on that hype, with games like Half Life that has a cult following awaiting it’s next release and their level based FPS survival horror game. In the earlier days of L4D, it commanded the hearts of many players, trying out all the maps in single player or getting friends together for harder difficulties. Thankfully there were DLCs to fill the gaps, adding in more maps, and for the sequel, more missions and characters.
L4D still holds too much esteem however, from people praising its design to its endless enjoyment. However, a lot of this esteem seems to be mostly the ability to play with your friends. A lot of the maps are designed in similar fashions, giving 1-2 approaches to the ending, generally the same objectives and finale holdout while you fight off waves while awaiting transport, or transporting fuel yourself. Mostly leading onto the next set of missions, L4D never had a true end, leaving the characters to continue their escape from the zombie hordes.
6 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
I can feel the evil eyes on me and pitchforks raised in preparation to hunt me down for this one. While the first two Witcher games didn’t reach the amount of admiration as the third, The Witcher has become a well-loved series nonetheless with its latest instalment. Disregarding its flawed prequels, The Witcher 3 holds a lot of flaws within its design that are always overlooked.
Like any open-world game, TW3 is filled with bugs and glitches, that the game even makes fun of in DLCs, from falling through the world, glitching through objects and your horse defying gravity. Combine the bugs with a somewhat boring map that has you galloping along for way too long before finding something interesting, or merely mauled by a passing bear, and you'll quickly be annoyed. Long-winded grinding for materials and gear, rather archaic combat system and plenty of rather plain missions make for an overrated game.
Back in the day, Doom was one of the few games where you could shoot into aliens for gore and blood galore. Add in overpowered weapons, pickups dotted around, hidden rooms and multiplayer, and it gives you one of the greats of yesteryear. However, in this day and age, those types of games are littered around, in varying qualities.
DOOM sticks to its tried and true formulae of kill everything in a room, find a keycard, open a door to a new room full of killing to get another keycard and backtrack to a previous room. Sprinkled in with some survival spots and bosses, DOOM is too similar to its past releases. Violence for violence sake can only carry you so far and with repeated takedowns, repeating a weapon wheel of attacks, takedowns for health and running around, DOOM becomes too samey too quickly.
Hitman is another long-standing franchise, following Agent 47 as he takes out assignation contracts whilst making sure no one knew he was there or even exists. Swapping disguises, finding items on-site and gunning you way out of impossible situations. The Hitman games of the past created a wealth of levels with unique takedowns, items and approaches.
Hitman of 2016 doesn’t reach the esteem that so many gamers give it, as it tries to evolve the style of gameplay it created so long ago while taking an episodic approach. The story is horribly played out, levels are uninteresting and many assassinations have you doing the same actions as in previous ones. While it does go back to a more comfortable position then Absolution, Hitman misses too many marks that hold it back from being a masterpiece. The only level that really felt like it knew what it was doing was Colorado.
3 Dragon Age: Origins
Paving the way for its sequels, DA:O was considered the peak of RPGs back in the day, with plenty of awards and fame given to it. However, looking back at the game, DA:O had a ton of problems with both design and gameplay, some being fixed in DA2, but others being increased to frustrate players even more. Well, Inquisition does the same by improving some points and making others ten times worse.
The beginning of Origins is incredibly slow, lasting about 1-3 hours until you’re given more free reign over your own actions, though still forcing you along a set path. Cutting off areas as the enemies encroach on you, you better complete everything in an area. There's a cliché story, stereotypes abound, an unrefined battle system, clunky controls and stiff movement. The story feels very LOTR influenced, becoming too boring for those who have watched/read those movies/books enough. The maps are also dull and somewhat too big for the amount of fun content within them.
2 Alien: Isolation
The mechanic of “you’re weak, run away” has been used in plenty of horror games in recent years, from straight up horror games like Amnesia to more arcade style games like Resident Evil or Dead by Daylight. Alien and Predator games have almost always been about killing each other or fighting back against a stronger force, allowing the player to win against whatever foe is set against them. Alien: Isolation decided to go against this formula, somewhat going against the original style.
In the game, you're running around corridors, hiding away, and trying to find anything to fight against the Alien who is invincible even when you explode several canisters around it. While the game is based on the 1979 movie, you not supposed to kill the Alien, nor have the amount of firepower you do in-game. The design seems too focused on fighting back when the vibe is meant to point in a different direction, relying too much on poor jump scares, lengthy running segments and fake ending sequences to heighten the drama.
1 The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
From rags to fame, TES has a habit of putting the player in the shoes of someone common and bringing them to the gates of hell, other realms and before might mages. Around the time of other demonic style games like Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, Oblivion had you trek through into what is basically fire and brimstone to close gates to oblivion, all the while trying to persuade the next in line emperor to take the throne and fight back.
TES is known for its vast wealth of side-missions, hidden content, easter eggs and stuff to do that isn’t the main story. This focus on side-content meant that the main story became too boring and dull in comparison. Yes, you might have travelled to hell and back, but you did that too often and the supporting cast did nothing to empathise the danger. Guild missions and quests were better planned out and the world was more exciting than the boring story that Oblivion had on offer.