Six Long Running Gaming Franchises That Need To Die

Written by Katie Allen on Sun, Feb 16, 2014 2:00 PM

Franchises are a valuable thing in the gaming industry. Nothing guarantees your title huge sales so much as a big, shiny name slapped on it: Call Of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, Fallout. Sometimes it’s not just a name, it’s more a suggestion of quality; in spite of the number of iterations in the GTA series, it’s hard to pick a game among them that isn’t at the very least “very good”. Other, older and beloved game series that have suffered a long hiatus are also ripe for reworking. Who WOULDN’T want to see a new Crash Bandicoot, or a reworked Banjo Kazooie?

It’s not all sunshine and roses, however. Franchises can make for tedious, repetitive game design, poor publishing decisions and lazy, greedy marketing. Making the same game over and over might make you money, but it’s unlikely to win you prestige or the respect of gamers. When they become spun out, tired, and unoriginal, franchises can start to feel less like “giving the fans what they want” and more like “taking our money and then firing us a big middle finger back”....

Battlefield 4 was released in a broken state in order to fit in the same release window as franchise rival Call of Duty, whilst Warner Bros Montreal sparked outrage this week by stating they are too busy making money-spinning DLC for Batman: Arkham Origins to fix existing bugs within the game. We can tolerate this kind of repetitiveness and aggressive publishing for a while if it means we get fun games in series that we love. But after a while it gets tiring, and you start to wish studios would stop using their budgets for mediocre series additions and start investing in new IPs. Here are some of the worst offenders.

6. Sonic

When a franchise hasn’t been good for over a decade, someone needs to say something. Sonic might be one of the most iconic video game characters ever - alongside, perhaps, Mario and Rayman - but whilst the Italian plumber and limbless wonder have kept their interest and polish through the decades, Sonic has not. I’ve put him bottom of the rankings for good reason, however. Whilst most of these franchises I could happily see die a death with little remorse, Sonic as a character is still both endearing and enduring. Now if someone could just design even a tolerably good title for him to star in, that would be just great…

5. Dynasty Warriors

There’s really not much to say about Dynasty Warriors. They’re ok games. Some of them are even fairly good. But really, who cares; it’s eight games in 15 years, all (with the exception of the first) pretty interchangeable. One would have been enough, or maybe at a push, two, with a reboot a decade or so later just for those fans (if, indeed, there are any) who wanted more.

Dynasty Warriors isn't exactly taking away anything from the gaming market. Unlike some entries on this list, later iterations don't ruin happy memories of earlier, more wonderful franchise entries. It's more of a question of would anyone really miss this series if they stopped making any more of them?

4. Halo

There’s something annoying about trilogies that spill over and become tetralogies. Mainly because they usually aren’t tetralogies. They’re a trilogy that made a few guys a butt-load of money, so they decide to tack a forth title on the end entirely for profit and not at all to bring joy to gamers. It works for films as well as games. Indiana Jones 4? Really though?

Halo was wrapped up fine after 3 games. We could probably let them go after four, even if the last one was a significant step down from the older games, but it seems they are now punting for a fifth.

Bungie have cut their losses and made the wise choice to go and make Destiny instead, because, well, it’s a game that their fans might actually want to play. Meanwhile, Titanfall has jumped into the whole “big Microsoft exclusive” spot that used to be Halo’s own, rendering the series unfortunately pretty arbitrary. The problem with this approach is that not only are unwanted sequels usually mediocre, they also make take a little something away from the series as a whole.

3. Call Of Duty

Call Of Duty needs to die. Sure, with eight games in eight years, it’s pretty hard to innovate, but it’s not so much this that is hard to get on board with when it comes to the Call of Duty franchise. Sure, it’s repetitive, and not exactly brimming with originality, but that’s not the key issue that Call of Duty needs to die so much as the annual dire slog through torrents of fanboys and haters having long, tedious arguments about whether or not Call of Duty sucks or not. I would also argue that once a year is too regular a release for ANY franchise (yes, I am looking at you, Assassin’s Creed). However great your game is, sometimes we just need time to absorb and get bored of the last one in the series before we have another one forced down our throats with 6 months of pre-release hype and 6 months of post-release DLC. It’s never ending. Not to mention that, alongside zombie games, modern-day FPS war games are a dime a dozen right now, apparently under the impression that quantity is much more important than quality.

2. Resident Evil

Oh Resident Evil, how far the mighty have fallen. If the first three games in the series were good, they shone with not quite so bright a light as Resident Evil IV; for many the indisputable king of the series. But not only is the current market pretty flooded with zombie games, but Resident Evil V and VI were pretty mediocre games. It pains me to say it, but short of an inspired and fantastic reboot of the earlier games in the series, it’s hard to see potential future Resident Evil games doing anything more than digging the franchise’s grave ever deeper.

1. Final Fantasy

If someone had told me back in 2000 that my future, adult self would wish no more Final Fantasy games upon the world, I would have laughed in their face. But it’s because I am such a huge fan of the Sakaguchi-era games that I really, really want this franchise to end. That long decade since Square became Square Enix has been dark; Final Fantasy XIII was a tedious, linear slog which for some utterly inexplicable reason has now spawned two sequels, XIV started off unplayable and even now, with its reskin, still insists on employing the dying monthly subscription model.

As well as that, we have Square Enix pushing out mobile versions of the classic 90s games in the series for the insulting price of £10.99. Come on, guys, it’s a TWENTY YEAR OLD GAME. Add the micro-transaction ridden piece of crap that was Final Fantasy All The Bravest and the perpetually-in-development Final Fantasy XV, and you have a lethal cocktail for Square Enix to totally ruin your childhood.

As franchises continue to become a safe way for gaming giants to milk our wallets dry from fan loyalty, we need to know when to say enough is enough. There are plenty of other near-miss franchises that could have made it onto our list. Tekken and Soul Calibur, for pretty much the same reason as Dynasty Warriors. Gears of War, for the same reason as Halo. If you think we’ve missed any serial offenders, let us know in the comments section!

Which game franchises would you like to see die a quick, painless death?

Which Franchise Do You Think Needs To Die?

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05:54 Mar-03-2014

Dynasty Warriors doesn't like you either >:(

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13:13 Feb-24-2014

I have desperately wanted Zelda and Final Fantasy to die for years now, It's good to see people that agree. :)

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03:28 Feb-19-2014

To say sonic is a franchise that must die...well it's kinda accurate, the last great game was generations and that was 3 years ago. And before that there was Sonic Adventure 2, and THAT was 10 years ago! And that Sonic Boom...Not promising.
BUT COD NEEDS TO DIE!!! It's feeding EA and EA have been assholes lately.

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05:40 Feb-19-2014

CoD is feeding EA? What???

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14:50 Feb-19-2014

Even though CoD is a crap game since MW2, a LOT of people are still buying every new game in the franchise, making EA rich again and again, so the thousands of dollars spent on creating CoD are easily gained again... This is also available for other big EA series, like NFS and Battlefield, but these ones have a lot more potential than CoD, making them still good games (in my opinion)

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14:55 Feb-19-2014

CoD isn't form EA

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17:30 Feb-19-2014

CoD has nothing to do with EA, that was my point...

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18:08 Feb-19-2014

Activision and EA so same kind of sh#t that people hardly distinct them of each other aymore hahahaha.

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22:12 Feb-20-2014

Well, battlefield 4 is actually a more perfect version of battlefield 3 in my opinion. Except they didn't do it that well.

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05:22 Feb-21-2014

Battlefield 4's multiplayer is superb when its working but that unfortunately is a rare occasion.

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02:52 Feb-18-2014

Problem being, i don't agree with most of this list. I can understand cod as well as sonic..... but the rest? Not a chance, my vote would have to go to pokemon, i love it, but it isnt advancing enough, make a console version better.

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22:23 Feb-17-2014

Final fantasy 13 was not the enormous mistake that people say it is. It is completely playable and often quite enjoyable. The mistake was giving it two different sequels

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06:28 Feb-18-2014

I agree 13 was not BAD, it just did not live up to Final Fantasy 12 which in all honesty is probably the greatest JRPG ever made, in my opinion at least ;D

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12:57 Feb-18-2014

soul, there are very few people liking final fantasy xii.. me being one of them and glad i see someone else liking it.. it really is the greatest JRPG ever made, and yeah, in our opinion at least.. lol

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15:03 Feb-18-2014

Sorry, but that honor goes to Makai Kingdom. Probably the only non-FF JRPG that I've been able to play and actually enjoy. I really need to get another PS2 and track down a copy of that game. Fun times.

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20:18 Feb-18-2014

Sorry about that upvote there, didn't mean to push the agree button this time, but my cat appears to agree with you so it decided to click it :D
I really have no knowledge on this subject and I barely even know any JRPG's :D

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20:55 Feb-18-2014

It's okay if you want to agree with me. I have no problem with that. Btw, I was joking about Makai Kingdom being the best JRPG. I just like it the most. I am probably less qualified then you are when it comes to judging JRPGs.

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20:59 Feb-18-2014

Whooobdy ! my bad i thumbed you down it seems instead of up (fixed it now) :D checked that out definitely not a fan of jrpg:s but that one seemed interesting.

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22:13 Feb-17-2014

-Conspiracy keanu- What if Call of Duty is already dead, that's why the new CoD is called CoD Ghosts?

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21:01 Feb-18-2014

'whats next CoD Fossils ?

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22:09 Feb-18-2014

maybe the next CoD will be CoD Angels :P

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22:14 Feb-18-2014

CoD Dinosaurs :)
And even more badly optimized.

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22:14 Feb-18-2014

CoD: Liver Oil.

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15:29 Feb-19-2014

CoD retirement age.

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17:59 Feb-19-2014

CoD 2999

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19:49 Feb-19-2014

Would be nice if it didn't come out sooner than year 2999 then ;)

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21:04 Feb-17-2014

CoD doesn't necessarily have to die, it's EA and Activision that have to die. EA and Activision both screw up games by trying to push them out soon as possible

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21:37 Feb-17-2014

Yeah maybe we would have a real next gen cod if activision wouldn`t put devs to time attack mode :D.

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21:50 Feb-17-2014

CoD could be so much better if it had more time to develop. With more time, the devs could think of more innovative and creative ideas for CoD.

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09:02 Feb-18-2014

Agreed on that, CoD shouldn't be a annual title. Though i like CoDa lot it feels that they milk it too much.

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19:37 Feb-17-2014

What about the SIMS ?????

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20:26 Feb-17-2014

Exactly

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07:16 Feb-18-2014

I forgot they exist :Đ :Đ

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17:01 Feb-18-2014

The sims expansions that there are about 100 of, yeah, but not the games themselves, there are only 4 main games, the fourth not even released yet :) They do need to stop making soooo many expansions though. (that's EA/Maxis for ya :/)

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17:07 Feb-18-2014

money money money.....

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17:20 Feb-18-2014

Accesory packs lol.
But what did you expect form EA: Click!

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17:45 Feb-18-2014

AHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA OMG MADE MY DAY....nno month...nno YEAR !! :Đ

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18:56 Feb-18-2014

OMG ORIGIN SHIP LOL!!!

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17:48 Feb-17-2014

Call of Duty isn't that bad but Final fantasy was seriously like the most spam announced game I've ever seen. There is like 4-5 of them for every console type from PS1 to PS3.

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17:59 Feb-17-2014

not to mention multiples of each game a la Street Fighter.

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17:34 Feb-17-2014

cod was over the top game when WAW2,MW2,COD1,COD2,BO1,Those were my favorites,it really need to die now,they are running out of ideas,(BO2 had a good story)

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14:58 Feb-17-2014

I hate Halo because cover is the most unfair thing, you can be destroying someone but if they get to cover it was all for nothing.

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16:44 Feb-17-2014

In other words, You hate Halo because it requires skill?

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15:04 Feb-18-2014

That burn was so bad I think Person1234 is going to need a skin graft. :P

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14:21 Feb-17-2014

I don't think so resident evil or halo need to die, but without doubt COD must be destroy!!! In that game everything it's same ! If you want to play fps, prepare for red orchestra 2 heroes of stalingrad! Nothing more to say!

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14:48 Feb-17-2014

What if i just want to play quick paced game and run around heedlessly and throw in some over powered killstreaks and just have some easy casual fun without too much thinking? In that kind of situation CoD seems pretty ideal for me.

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13:32 Feb-17-2014

Call of duty obviously should have been number 1. Cant believe you put RE after it. Resident evil 5 and 6 were great co op games but not horror games. All they need to do is bring back the scary atmosphere limited resources etc..

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13:28 Feb-17-2014

COD obviously,they always promise us a new and better game,but always give us a super-duper ****ty games.

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13:57 Feb-17-2014

I usually never watch much trailers or follow news about CoD, but allways when i buy CoD i'm pretty happy with it. Only CoD i have ever disliked was Bo2. In all the others i have spent 100+ hours.

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12:31 Feb-17-2014

lol call of duty leading so far by 174 votes :D
PS: good thing they didn't include AC series because I really like this series even if they continue it forever :D

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12:05 Feb-17-2014

halo and final fantasy :p

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17:50 Feb-17-2014

Anas how could you!? Final Fantasy FTW :P

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07:43 Feb-18-2014

wtf u like final fantasy :O

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11:36 Feb-17-2014

I agree with all your points besides Halo. Maybe it should have ended after 3. But it doesn't need to die, not quite yet. There's never been a "Bad" Halo game (Spartan Assault discluded), and Halo is the farthest thing from repetitive. While the other series need to die off, Halo is unique in its consistent ability to deliver fresh, new gameplay with every installment.

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10:04 Feb-17-2014

I hope Naughty Dog will never die...

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14:08 Feb-17-2014

Amen to that.

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08:21 Feb-17-2014

Damn, you missed NFS, the king of death row franchises. CoD is nothing to NFS in that regard.

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16:35 Feb-17-2014

agree

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07:51 Feb-17-2014

CoD pretty much started the miltary FPS craze, and even though i like those kind of games, i like to see other type of games too (non-military FPS like bioshock, RPGs, platformers, etc). We could have gotten more unique, different, and innovative games, but instead, we get the same thing every year with a different coat of paint and a bunch of other games that copied it.

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