Most overrated games of 2013

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Overrated is a loaded term. It looks good in a headline. It’s often used for no purpose other than to goad a reaction. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t useful. When I call a game overrated, I don’t mean it’s bad, that the reviews were wrong, that the people who liked it were dopes, or even that I didn’t like it. It just means I’m surprised more people weren’t more critical, that the conversation wasn’t more often about ways the game could have been better.

Also, for this year’s lists, my experience has been entirely last-gen. I have no first-hand experience with the latest console systems, which probably have their share of overrated games. So over the next week, I’d love to hear from you early adopters in the comments section about next-gen games that were overrated, disappointing, surprising, or your favorites.

After the jump, the most overrated games of 2013

10) Dragon’s Crown

I appreciated the conversations this game kicked off about the difference between sexy and sexist, exaggerated and exploitative, Japan and the West. Too bad the actual gameplay in Dragon’s Crown wasn’t nearly as interesting as those conversations.

Read the review here.

9) Pikmin 3

Let’s see, a couple new types of Pikmin and now you play as three astronauts. Quick, what other overrated game has three protagonists? But mostly this was just the last game all over again. Are people just blind to Nintendo’s rote iterations? Wait, don’t answer that. See also, Super Mario 3D World, a perfectly cromulent platformer that’s nowhere near as good as this year’s best platformers.

Read the Pikmin 3 review here.

8) Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon

Cute, but a slick elaborate joke is still just a joke. However, I sure do love hearing Michael Biehn growl in a game that isn’t Aliens: Colonial Marines.

7) Civ V: Brave New World

Lipstick on a dead AI. Does no one who regards this box of new tech trees so highly actually know how to play?

Read the review here.

6) Lego Marvel Superheroes

I’m enjoying Lego Marvel Superheroes, but it’s a step backwards from Lego Batman 2 and it’s certainly nowhere near to the standards of Lego City: Undercover. Those are both games that demonstrate that just because something has the name Lego in the title doesn’t mean it’s just another crowded toybox of licensed kid stuff.

5) Company of Heroes 2

In Soviet Russia, micropayments transact you! What was with all the enthusiasm for this? Did people simply forget that Company of Heroes is still so good, and still so much better than this sequel? Is snow that slows your units really such a hot new feature?

Read the review here.

4) Rome II

If any game this year needed Yakity Sax on the soundtrack, it was Rome II. Again, do the people who speak so glowingly about this game not know how to play it? Are they just reviewing the graphics?

Read the review here.

3) Bioshock Infinite

One of my favorite game stories of the year, specifically for its lack of coherence. Irrational tells a memorable and haunting tale worthy of their many influences. It’s not much of a game, though, which is a shame considering how much time it spent trying to be a game.

Read the review here.

2) Last of Us

Another one of my favorite game stories of the year, specifically for its heartbreaking character development and especially for its understated finale, in which a man simply answers a question and a girl accepts the answer. It’s not much of a game, though, which is a shame considering how much time it spent trying to be a game.

Read the review here.

1) Grand Theft Auto V

For all the wonderful advances in Rockstar’s latest magnum opus, why are there so many poorly implemented gameplay systems? Why is so much of Grand Theft Auto V so pointless from a gameplay perspective? In other words, the same complaint I’m leveling at Bioshock Infinite and Last of Us applies so often here. Why are so many of us so ga-ga over something that arguably isn’t that great a game?

Read the review, which partly answers the above question, here.

The top ten games of 2013
The most disappointing games of 2013
The most surprising games of 2013