If you know me, then you know how difficult it is for me to write this entry as our #1 spot. I love Halo. I love the weapons, the always-tight FPS controls, the sci-fi lore… but after Halo 5: Guardians, it’s become abundantly clear that this beloved franchise has lost its soul for the sake of capitalism. While the latest entry wasn’t exactly a bad game, it’s a stark difference to what came before, and not in a good way. The narrative is incredibly underwhelming compared to the original trilogy, and feels like it almost completely ignores what happened in Halo 4. Meandering and insipid campaign aside, the multiplayer also feels like a hollow shell compared to the glory of Halo 2. With a clear inspiration from contemporary shooters like Call of Duty mixing in with the classic Halo formula, the Halo franchise feels like it’s become an amalgamation of the FPS genre, rather than the beacon of progress that it once used to be for console shooters. Microsoft clearly has turned this legendary series into a perpetual money-milking machine. For the sake of the Chief, it’s time the fight was finally finished.
Honorable Mention: Ace Combat
Over time, console fans of flight sims developed a bit of a Stockholm Syndrome relationship with the Ace Combat games. If you want to be a top gun, if you want to turn and burn, if you feel the need, the need for speed, there are not a lot of options for you in the console space. Because of that fact, the Ace Combat franchise has gotten a bit of a pass when it comes to quality. Game after game in the series comes out, sells a few copies to the diehard fans desperate to play anything with fighter jets, and is quietly ignored by the gaming community at large. Additionally, these games are incredibly repetitive in terms of mission design. So much so that you could almost say that if you’ve played one Ace Combat, you’ve played them all. Console gamers deserve something better than Ace Combat when it comes to fighter jet sims, and that’s why it needs to go.