First of all, this is not troll bait. Or click bait. Or any other contrived idea to get people fired up just for the sake of it. Let’s be crystal clear right out of the gate here: the ten games which grace this list are all very, very good. Ok? It’s inevitable that some of these titles will be sitting on your game shelf right now, or perhaps rested on a bed of rose petals perched on a stone plinth surrounded by dribbling black candles – yes, as passionate gamers we take these things seriously. And it’s well known that when we feel a strong connection to a specific game we are inclined to fight tooth and nail to defend its honour when challenged, as if we birthed it ourselves.
With that as the context here, we have also all come across those games which have an immensely passionate following, which bring out the most feverish of zealotism, but which our inner voice tells us can’t possibly be as life changing as they’re made out to be. Games considered the embodiment of perfection, but which when viewed without the rose tinted glasses of nostalgic bias prove to have their fair share of flaws. Then there are those titles which, fan base aside, were praised so lavishly by the gaming press upon their release that we almost felt we had to love them regardless of our true feelings – the gaming equivalent of being shy to admit to others that you “just didn’t feel” films like The Godfather or The Shawshank Redemption.
And that is the focus here: highly regarded titles which could never realistically live up to the colossal reputation built around them. It’s all completely subjective, obviously, which is what gets people’s heart rates soaring and the comments box overflowing with fanboy machismo. Games with fair merit, but which for some range between merely dull and incredible but imperfect. Whether it’s number one or number ten on this list, there’s a very good chance that at least one of the games here will evoke that very specific emotion: that memory of when you fired up that critically applauded blockbuster or emotionally charged fan favourite for the first time, your gamepad trembling under the weight of expectation and crowd-sourced excitement, and what you felt can only be articulated as… “meh”. It’s not quite a genuine dislike, more just a sense of disappointment; an echo of “what’s all the fuss about?”.
You know you’ve all felt it.
This can’t be exhaustive list to appease everyone, since there are just too many games and none of them are perfect, our tastes are too diverse. Also, what feels horribly overrated to one person will probably be loved with a near religious fervour by someone else. Instead, this is a collection of the releases which divided us so decisively – games that millions love, but a love that many of us just can’t fathom or relate to.
Check your fanboy fundamentalist belligerence at the door.