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.
After the jump, the ten most overrated games of 2015.
My biggest oversight this year was not putting more time into The Witcher 3 (I expect to be taken to task for a Witcher 3 shaped hole in my top ten list). I played it long enough to meet Charles Dance and then I drifted away into some other game. What I played of The Witcher 3 seemed pretty cool. But it can’t be as good as everyone is saying, can it? It obviously belongs on this list, doesn’t it? Even if only as a way to manage my expectations for when I get back to it?
Fortunately for The Witcher 3, there are ten games I know for sure are overrated.
10. The Beginner’s Guide
9. Star Wars: Battlefront
While Activision continues to stuff their Calls of Duty with more and more content, EA once again skates by with the bare minimum, this time propped up by a too-big-to-fail license. But what is there is a really good game with a keen sense for the Star Wars aesthetic.
8. Rocket League
7. Elite Dangerous
The space fly/fight/trade revival meets a hardcore sim revival, but with no documentation and with pacing that ensures maximum downtime. Why are people okay with all the downtime in Elite: Dangerous, but they have no patience for Sunless Sea? Because graphics? Because first-person immersion? Because space? What I learned from Elite: Dangerous is that a space game doesn’t have to be as snappy as Rebel Galaxy, but it sure does help.
6. Her Story
5. Pillars of Eternity
Gather your party like it’s 1999 for some real-time pausable combat a la Baldur’s Gate. Isn’t turn-based the new hotness? I love me some Obsidian choice-and-consequence, but not enough to spend all this time herding cats.
4. Heroes of the Storm
3. Cities: Skylines
2. Halo 5
How can Microsoft release a Halo without splitscreen multiplayer? Even Call of Duty, which Halo is increasingly resembling, has splitscreen multiplayer. Also, no one thought for one minute Master Chief was going rogue. What a bunch of Glenn-under-the-dumpster nonsense.
1. Fallout 4
Got Kool-Aid? Fallout 4 is a decent Fallout, but a pretty terrible follow-up to Fallout: New Vegas and a complete fumble of its unique selling point. The new settlement system, in which you carve out slices of civilization from the wasteland, is pretty cool. Except for the fact that it’s undocumented, irrelevant, ugly, awkward, and unbalanced. But other than that, it’s pretty cool. I expect another studio will do something meaningful with the groundwork Bethesda has laid; at which point, all the people who love Fallout 4 sure are going to be embarrassed!