Some game franchises simply live for too long. This does not mean that they are necessarily bad, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Also, I am not saying that all five of these franchises should die out RIGHT NOW, but that they should reach their demise before they become a shell of what they once were (if they haven’t already). Plenty of games could have made this list, and I’m sure that games you want to get rid of won’t be here. There may also be games listed here that you don’t want to ever see go away. Below are five franchises that I actually enjoy (mostly), but believe need to leave.
5. Gears of War: The original game was the very first game that I bought for my 360, so I can get quite nostalgic when discussing this series. I think that each game improved upon its predecessor, especially when it came to multiplayer, and the diversity of game modes. However, to me, three games was enough, but there’s already a fourth on the way (the prequel, Gears of War: Judgment, releases in March 2013). I feel as though I have gotten as much out of the Gears world and characters as I can, and the locust no longer serve as the terrifying foes that they once were. Epic is a great company, and it’s time for them to dedicate themselves to new IPs (like Fortnite) and put Gears of War to rest.
4. Halo: Halo is essentially on here for the same reasons as Gears, but it has been around longer, and there are already at least three more games on the way. Unlike Gears, Halo has already gotten in its prequel and is still plowing right along. With Halo 4‘s release this November, 343 and Microsoft are marking the beginning of yet another trilogy, and they might takes things further. I admit that there are a lot of new things that Halo 4 brings to the franchise that will likely be awesome, but this release feels forced to me. Similar to Gears of War, the Covenant are not cutting it for me as an enemy, not after five games (excluding Halo Wars). That is why a new enemy is showing up in Halo 4: the Prometheans. Unfortunately for me (and likely other gamers), the birth of the Prometheans does not appear to have been particularly creative. Unlike the aforementioned Covenant, the Prometheans and their weapons are all the same color palate, which is quite boring. This seems to be a case of Microsoft following the “the last game made is the first to lose money” mentality.
3. Assassin’s Creed: ACII was amazing; it was everything that the first game was advertised to be, and much more. Brotherhood felt like an extension of that, while Revelations left players with more questions than answers (despite it’s name). ACIII looks like it will take the series in a new direction, however. Compelling naval gameplay, parkouring through forests, hunting bears, roughing the elements; this game looks like ACII, plus Skyrim without the dragons. Having said all of that, Assassin’s Creed has its problems. Mainly, that since the hugely successful ACII, at least one game as been produced every single year, including a DS game that is little more than a poorly structured platformer that fails to live up to its name. However, thanks to the timeline, only so many of these games can be made. Since a modern day story line (that I could do without) ties into all of these adventures in the past, it would be hard for Ubisoft to justify moving backward in time. That means that the only place to go is forward. I don’t think that a hidden blade wielding assassin would have a place in WWII, Vietnam, or even today. Should the franchise make it to these periods, either the games will be terrible, or Ubisoft will have to fully immerse the gameplay mechanics into those periods and the game will no longer feel like an AC game. We shall see what happens.
2. Call of Duty: This game could have made it to the top of the list, but my (naive?) hopes that Black Ops 2 could turn things around kept that from happening (I’ve already pre-ordered it). Call of Duty used to produce great games, not just entertaining multiplayer. With the first four games, I genuinely wanted to play, and even replay, the campaigns. CoD 4 proved to be one of the best games of this generation. Unfortunately, it also paved to way for unnecessarily over-the-top, linear campaigns and progressively uncreative multiplayer. Even as the games get worse (Modern Warfare 3), sales continue to rise. Black Ops 2 does appear to be shaking things up with multiplayer quite a bit, but we have yet to see if these changes are good or not. In addition to the classic zombie modes, there will also be a zombie campaign this time around. Treyarch is trying to do a better job of getting new players to partake in online multiplayer without getting slaughtered right out of the gate. Despite all of that, this franchise still has three big problems. The greatest is probably the fact that a new game ships every November. The other two issues are that multiple different developers take turns making the games (and aren’t always on the same page) and that, like AC, CoD is running out of places to go. America’s past is now in CoD’s past, too. A Modern Warfare: 4 would just be ridiculous, and if they venture too far into the future, suddenly CoD becomes a sci-fi game (i.e. Halo). If gamers unite, changes can be made.
1. Final Fantasy: This franchise is the longest running one on the list, and that used to be a good thing. Unfortunately, after years, decades even, of success, FF has produced several commercial flops in a row. Instead of fixing their design mistakes, those same mistakes seem to be getting worse. The last FF game that was both commercially and critically acclaimed was Final Fantasy X, which came out back in 2001 on the PS2. They say that you should quit when you’re ahead. I think that it is time for Square Enix to quit, now that they have been left far, far behind, panting, and praying that the finish line will be within sight soon.
Sports fans never like to see a beloved player leave their sport, but what hurts them even more is seeing that same player stay in the game, useless, injured, and sitting on the bench. This is no different.