However hard some people may try to convince you; differently, objectivity has no place in the debate of art, no matter how adored a piece of work may be by the general public or how well-known the artist is.
Suppose you dare to imply that one of gaming’s “holy cows” might not be quite so great. In this case, you will almost certainly be confronted with a deluge of opposition from fanatical fans, all of whom will be perfectly rational in their response.
This is not to argue from a false stance and indicate that everything about these games is dreadful or even merely bad, but rather to point out that there are some really fair major criticisms to be made about them, which I will discuss below.
Although these comments are certain to infuriate many people, you should brace yourself for the inevitable backlash if you’re a fan of any of the most popular video games released in the last two decades.
Regardless of your point of view, opinions are opinions, and you have the right to voice them. However, if you subscribe to the viewpoint that these games aren’t quite what they’re cracking up to be, you’ll be fending off die-hard fans left and right.
These ten takedowns will undoubtedly be contentious, but we assure you that they are being argued in good faith at the very least.
1. Horizon Zero Dawn
Horizon Forbidden West is getting good reviews because it improves on the original PS4 game. On the other hand, Horizon Zero Dawn is such a style-over-substance game that it’s impressive that it did well enough to get a sequel at all.
There’s no arguing that Zero Dawn is a beautiful game, but it doesn’t have a good story to go with it.
Aloy, the main character, has a lot of potential, but soon enough, she gets sucked into a dull sci-fi word salad plot that moves through its story with generic shot-reverse-shot cutscenes and holographic exposition dumps.
The combat is exciting and kinetic, but it’s backed by a bad story that makes it more likely that players won’t be excited about what’s going on.
Forbidden West isn’t perfect in this area either, but it learned a lot from the original, which buried its most impressive parts under tonnes of snooze-inducing gasbagging.
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2. Red Dead Redemption 2
On the other hand, Red Dead Redemption 2 is an interesting comparison to the Gran Turismo series. It’s beautiful and well-made, but it’s also very boring to play.
Realism is at its highest point in RDR2. Rockstar made a game where the player has to re-enact their character’s every calorie-burning move in order to do anything.
The game has a beautiful animation for even the most simple tasks, making basic movement a real pain when paired with intentionally unresponsive controls.
Getting into a cabinet is a surprise hassle in a game where the main thing is riding a horse and shooting people dead.
The gunplay is also sloppy and unrefined, which means that the excitement you’d expect from a Rockstar game isn’t here.
Many people have played the game only once and never returned to it again, even though it is clearly well-made. The thought of wading through a swamp for another 30 hours couldn’t be more unappealing, even though the game is clearly well-made.
You flew too close to the sun on this one, Rockstar. It’s easy to dismiss the game both artistically and ethically because of the hard work it took to make it happen.
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3. Kingdom Hearts
The Kingdom Hearts series is really a two-decade case study in the power of Disney branding and how well it’s been used to cover up a series whose overall story is a headache-inducing mess.
“Dreamlike” is a polite way to say that the Kingdom Hearts storyline is a mess. It doesn’t make sense at all.
Square Enix’s Final Fantasy games can be a little incoherent during the best of times. On the other hand, Kingdom Hearts goes all-in on a brand of non-logic gaming that hasn’t seen before or since.
Many people think Kingdom Hearts is the most anime-like major AAA video game series because of how complicated and poorly told it is, but that’s probably not a good thing for anime.
That a show about visiting Disney-themed worlds can’t even come up with a story that is at least a little interesting is, frankly, mind-boggling.
It overcomplicates itself so much that only the most hard-core, over-invested fans can figure out what it’s all about.
You don’t get any emotional connection from Kingdom Hearts except for the dopamine hit you get when you see all the Disney references. The game is a soulless, empty vessel that doesn’t have a heart of its own. Hence its one of the PC games to defend.
4. Gran Turismo
There’s still a lot of debate about Gran Turismo 7, but even if you don’t think about that, the statuesque racing simulator franchise has always been a little polarising for general gamers.
Gran Turismo is a dream come true for real car buffs, but it’s not so great for casual racing game fans who were swayed by its sleek graphics and AAA status.
We’re going to say it now: Gran Turismo is a waste of time.
Forza Horizon games have been getting better and better over the years, which has made a lot of people think they know what to expect from a modern racing game. On the other hand, Gran Turismo looks like a positive snoozer by comparison.
A beautiful game like Gran Turismo 7 would look great in a museum. But it’s not very fun when you play against AI that always stays on the race line.
To be fair, many Gran Turismo fans agree that the series isn’t very interesting, but they say that they enjoy it in a way that isn’t very different from fishing.
And that’s fine, but it’s always disappointing that a franchise that spends so much time and money on looking good can’t also make driving sexy cars exciting and fun.
5. The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild
It’s not as well-known as GoldenEye, but it’s still a modern Nintendo classic, and many people think it’s the best video game of the last decade.
The game’s open-world allows players to go and fight Ganon whenever they want. It’s a very appealing game, and it seems to have a lot of people hooked.
Yet so much of Breath of the Wild is designed to make you angry. For example, the weapon degradation, limited inventory, and difficulty of climbing in the rain are just a few things that make you angry.
Even though many fans love to say that Nintendo set the game up this way to “encourage experimentation,” these restrictions are annoyances that make people do a lot of work.
There’s also the fact that there aren’t any traditional Zelda dungeons in this game. Instead, there are a lot of shrines all over the map that aren’t very satisfying.
If Nintendo wanted to change up the series’ formula a little, you can’t blame them for wanting to do that. But the end result wasn’t going to be a hit with everyone.
6. GoldenEye 007
Some people think GoldenEye 007 is the most important animal in the whole world. It’s the only “old” game we’ve put in because it’s easy to criticise a game for being old.
But the truth is that the N64’s iconic, groundbreaking first-person shooter has aged like milk left out in the sun all summer.
Many of the classic games from the N64 era could have made the cut, including Super Mario 64. But going back to GoldenEye today, armed with all those precious memories from when you were young, makes for a scary, eye-opening experience.
You know what? The graphics are what they are, but the controls are what make the game look like it’s from a different time. Using just one stick to move and aim is a real pain. This is especially true now that we’ve had so many years of dual-stick controllers.
How many of us can say that we really enjoyed the campaign levels where we had to protect Natalya, a person with the self-preservation instincts of a baked potato? The movement of the characters is also very slow, and the enemy draw distance is terrible.
We’re usually told to respect old games, even if they don’t look very good now. Even though GoldenEye’s influence on the genre can’t be denied, it’s a real pain to play in its original form today.
7. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
With Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, critics said that Naughty Dog had made their most ambitious and thrilling cinematic action-adventure game yet. Naughty Dog is one of the best-known game developers in the industry.
Except Uncharted 4 is a good example of what happens when a game developer has almost no money and doesn’t know when to stop.
An example of unrestrained overindulgence is when Nathan Drake’s final adventure turns into a grueling slog.
For many people, the 15-hour play-time, which is a lot longer than the 8-10 hours of the previous three games, was a waste of time that made the game more tiring than fun.
There were a lot of repetitive platforming segments that took up a lot of time, and we didn’t want to forget the dreaded crate-pushing parts.
As long as the game’s production values are never in question, Uncharted 4 is the only one in the series to feel like a real chore at times.
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8. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty
In many circles, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty is the most forward-thinking video games ever. One of the first postmodern video games to make direct social commentary on the player and one of the most prescient video games in terms of social commentary on contemporary society.
In the meantime, if you continue to whine about how Hideo Kojima used you as bait and flipped your loyalty, you’ll find yourself in an uphill battle to convince fans that you aren’t some naive amateur incapable of deciphering the game’s complex intellectual undercurrents.
Many people still hold grudges towards the game for slyly swapping Solid Snake with Raiden after the prologue, even though the game’s gameplay is generally excellent.
In many ways, it feels like the ideal Hideo Kojima game – as infuriating as it is at times clever, unintentionally hilarious, and exists in spite of the player’s desires for what they should be getting out of it.
Apparently, if you’re still upset over Kojima lying about the game’s protagonist. You may have label petulant and entitled by the media and fans alike over the last two decades.
9. Any FromSoftware Game
In video game development, there are few companies with a more devoted following than FromSoftware, which has built an empire on the back of their own style of brutally challenging action RPGs.
It’s almost mathematically inevitable that if you say to any fan of Dark Souls, Bloodborne, Sekiro, or Elden Ring that you can’t bear the games because they are too difficult, you will hear the iconic words “get gud” in response.
Complaining openly that any of these games are too difficult to be entertaining, or that the repetition is more aggravating than enjoyable is a surefire way to earn the wrath of other players in the vicinity.
Many will tell you that the games aren’t all that difficult, that it’s your fault that you keep dying, and that the satisfaction of ultimately defeating a difficult boss outweighs the aggravation of getting there.
If you tell a FromSoft devotee that you don’t play games to punish digitally, they will scoff at you with scorn as you desperately try to convince them that you aren’t a “filthy casual,” they will almost certainly sneer at you with derision.
Unfortunately, expressing your dissatisfaction with a FromSoftware game will permanently alter how a certain fraction of gamers perceive your gaming credentials in the future.
10. Final Fantasy VII Remake
Final Fantasy VII Remake came out with high expectations because the original was one of the best games of all time. Many thought Square Enix did a good job. But you had to go to a Grand Jury and explain why if you said bad things about it.
So far, the FFVII Remake has proven this. This isn’t to say that it isn’t a good movie. But it’s also exactly what people didn’t want from a modern, big-budget remake of a classic movie.
For one thing, it’s a very long game with a lot of repetitive copy-paste dungeons. This makes the main story take 10 hours longer than it should.
There are a lot of side missions that aren’t fun, and the graphics are a mixed bag. It all looks like a game trying to justify the need for at least two more games.
Because AAA game development is becoming increasingly obsessed with “player engagement,” the FFVII Remake is a product of this trend. Fans will look at you with skepticism.
Hence, Achieving objectivity in the discussion of art is impossible. No matter how beloved a piece of work may be among the general audience. If you imply that some of gaming’s “holy cows” might not be as fantastic as they appear. You may meet with a barrage of protests from ardent fans.