The most overrated video games of this generation

Hype: to intensify (advertising, promotion, or publicity) by ingenious or questionable claims

Grand Theft Auto IV (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)



Despite what Rockstar’s legion of fans might tell you, GTA IV is one of the most overrated games of the decade. Having single-handedly amassed over $710 million in publishing revenues and taking out the 2008’s top spot on mertacritic.com, its placement on this list was assured from the very beginning. Relentlessly smug comments from Rockstar Games didn’t help matters either. (For example, “GTA IV sets a new benchmark for interactive entertainment".) After lofty proclamations like this, how could it not be overrated?

While unquestionably a very good game, GTA IV is not the revolutionary slice of perfection that many critics claimed. It certainly isn’t the best video game of all time, or even the best game of 2008. In fact, we’d argue that THQ’s Saint's Row 2 provided the best virtual sandbox of that year, despite being thematically shallower.

For every moment of sheer, unadulterated brilliance, GTA IV throws up something boring or boneheaded to counter it — from the baffling omission of ambulance/pizza missions to the terminally dull man-dates. (No Steve, I DON’T want to go bowling!) Old gripes like the car handling remain largely unchecked, while some of the all-new features (like watching TV) are a complete waste of time. Brilliant characterisation aside, the game is far from perfect — something which the majority of the gaming press conspicuously failed to notice.

(You can read a more detailed account of our love-hate relationship with GTA IV here.)

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  • Leroy

    Haven't played this game but it looks like another retro 2D platformer like Braid, but on steroids. These blurbs are interesting but would be helped by a brief description of the games for those who haven't played them. Plus it would help make the case why they are overrated. Platformers are not the future of video games.

  • Kissmaazz

    How isn't Halo 3, Halo Reach or Halo 4 in here? Fanboy.

    Leroy

    Guess you can't include them all, and you just wanted to give a sample. So I only include this suggestion because it is arguably the most overrated game of all time: "Prince of Persia" for PS3. I mean it took all of the fun out of the previous games, which was the difficulty in platforming. Figuring out how to climb up somewhere. That's why the second one will always be my personal favorite. But the last one took out the challenge altogether, then reviewers gloated over it like it was the perfect game.

  • Bob saget

    Screw you

  • Leroy

    "Games journalist." Right. There is no real video game criticism on the Net. It's all writers who are either too much fans themselves to see clearly (and also too used to getting games for free to see why spending $50 on them might lower their score) or writers who play it safe by coddling prestige titles, like you point out.

  • F

    Story deserves 90%.
    Combat deserves 50%.

  • Micha

    Its blasphemy calling Dragon Age: Origins overrated. RPGs aren´t about getting a high pulse rate.There is nothing new in the game?
    It is perhabs ne of the darkest RPGs ever made,Also there is no alignment system, instead we have got a very analog system in which good and evil is far more complicated.

    In my opinion you just have epic failed.

    Tstop

    I'm offended by this...and very sad. A little thirsty too.

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