5. Gears of War
Three sequels (and one prequel) later, I still don’t know what is happening in Gears of War. I’ve played through all of them from start to finish, and I couldn’t tell you what events happen in which particular game; definitely not a point in the series’ favour when you’re confused about the series as a whole. Frankly, Gears has had it’s run of success, and some well-earned at that, but it’s time to end the dull brown and grey firefights followed by a machismo “CLEAR!” or “NICE!” The value behind this franchise has come and gone as quickly as “Mad World” by Gary Jules. This is one 3rd person shooter that has definitely shot itself in the foot.
4. Need for Speed
The Need For Speed franchise used to be the stand-out arcade racer back in its heyday. Unfortunately, the NFS franchise today has become a hollow shell of its high-octane former self. Whereas games like Underground, Hot Pursuit and Most Wanted showed off just how influential and intense the series could be, the latest entries in the franchise have done nothing but left gamers scratching their heads as to why they continue to bother with this flagging franchise. EA tried to reignite interest in the series by performing a full reboot, but their newfound penchant for an always-online open world has severely limited the franchise’s success. While games like Forza Horizon 3 absolutely crush the open world racing concept, Need For Speed is left eating dust as it scrambles to get itself out of the loser’s circuit. Not even a live action film could redeem this totalled franchise; it’s high time EA put Need For Speed in the showroom for good, and brought Burnout back to the streets.
3. Call of Duty
It would be a fool’s argument to say that the Call of Duty franchise has produced no good games. Some of these games contained some of the highest action moments of the last generation, and the series revolutionized first person shooter controls on consoles and competitive multiplayer. There may even be good games still on the way from this franchise. However, the reason this franchise should die is due to the space it takes up in the industry of games. More than any franchise in the history of gaming, Call of Duty is a mass market series. There’s nothing wrong with making a game accessible to a wide array of people. The problem comes from wasting the time of developers and their considerable talent to make something that is rote and mechanical. Three separate studios work on the Call of Duty franchise. Imagine the variety of new amazing games we would see if those studios weren’t shackled to the soulless mechanical monument to consumption every single year.
2. Assassin’s Creed
Many of the franchises on this list suffer greatly from oversaturation; it’s hard to miss someone if they never leave. The Assassin’s Creed series suffers this more than most, with annual offerings that vary wildly in quality, not only in terms of polish and finish but also in narrative and characterization. Any given Assasin’s Creed game has an almost equal chance to either launch broken or have a story that will bore players to tears. As far as main characters go, interesting ones in the series have overstayed their welcome (I’m looking at you Ezio) or sort of blundered into the story by accident. Additionally, other game series have picked up on and improved the formula of Assassin’s Creed. Hitman finally delivered on a real world modern era secret murder game, Shadow of Mordor made the assassination ladder more fluid with its nemesis system, and the Dishonored series built a better sci fi/fantasy, pseudo-historical hybrid universe. Also, every one of the Assassin’s Creed games controls like hot garbage- every, single, one.