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10 Hyped-Up RPGs That Are Extremely Overrated

Updated October 19, 2020 573 votes 199 voters 5.1k views10 items

List RulesVote up the RPGs on this list you think get way too much credit.

First thing's first: the games on this list might not be the worst RPGs of all time - you're not going to find F.A.T.A.L. on here - but in terms of the massive disconnect between player expectations and eventual reception, these RPGs really let fans down. Many popular titles made the list, but popularity is a must when it comes to hype. If you're wondering to yourself, "What RPG should I get next?", then read on - just in case you're considering one of these titles that often left players unfulfilled. 

No doubt, some readers will be rubbed the wrong way; however, it's important to remember that one poor game doesn't ruin a series. Many series have that one bad egg that beckons to be remade for the sake of the series. In some cases, great games catch bad raps solely due to fan anticipation. It's okay if you love one or two of these. There's a mix of old RPGs and new RPGs, but most of these titles are modern because the social media era did wonders for video game hype and pre-release drama. Vote up the RPGs on this list that really failed to deliver on their hype.

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    Final Fantasy XIV Online

    The unusual predicament with Final Fantasy XIV Online is, when you look at the game today, it seems pretty great. That's because what you're seeing now is Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. Final Fantasy XIV Online was released in September 2010, and it was so poorly received that Square Enix, its developer and publisher, took the game offline in November 2012 and rebuilt it from the ground up, resulting in A Realm Reborn.

    Like most Final Fantasy games, XIV was an anticipated release; promises of online play intrigued many players, including newcomers to the Final Fantasy series. However, once it came out, there wasn't much to be excited about. Fans and critics agreed that the launch had been a failure filled with unstable servers, a non-intuitive user interface, and uninspired quest design.

    The problem was rooted in the game's design principles. Near-empty areas still required lots of processing power because simple objects like flowerpots were built from 1000+ polygons and 100+ lines of shader code. Graphically, it was impressive, but if you can't even see that flowerpot because the game crashes so often, then what good is it?

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  • Final Fantasy VIII
    Photo: Square

    The hype factor on this one should be understandable for most: this is the title that followed the legendary Final Fantasy VII.

    There are lots of players that will defend this title, though most of them are likely series fanatics. But here's the thing: this isn't the most clear-cut RPG in terms of the combat. Final Fantasy VIII changed the battle system from the FFVII style that won the hearts of many. Many players argued that the new fighting style was just too difficult to master, causing this game to be a huge let-down.

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  • BioShock Infinite
    Photo: Irrational Games

    This shouldn't be a surprising inclusion for many. Some would say that by the time the BioShock series reached Infinite, it should have been concluded. Nonetheless, there was a clamor of hype surrounding the release.

    BioShock Infinite included some aspects that deserve to be excluded from a shooter. When playing through the original BioShock, players often feel secluded and that's part of what makes the game great. For this series, it's the whole alone-with-a-gun-or-two angle that drives the gameplay forward. 

    BioShock Infinite flipped the script and threw in non-player characters to interact with. Perhaps the story called for it, but it didn't necessarily have to (and probably shouldn't have, given the genre). Switching over from alone-with-a-gun to dialogue sequences is a pain in the neck for many first-person shooter fans. Some series fanatics won't even bother convincing you to give it a go when you compare it to its predecessors.

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  • Destiny
    Photo: Bungie

    Destiny is an enigma. Calling the game an RPG is slightly sketchy because Bungie's goal was to develop its own genre when releasing this title. There are RPG elements to the game, and certainly MMORPG elements like raids. Destiny had to make the list because with a budget of $500 million, the standards to judge the project become "take over the industry or bust."

    Overall, Destiny is not a bust; however, as Bungie's first attempt at something new after selling their major success (Halo), the gaming community's standards were pretty high. But for those fans that were paying close attention, Destiny's shortcomings were foreseeable. 

    The Halo franchise was declining when Bungie let it loose. From an eSports perspective, this is clear, given how far the series has fallen behind its competitors. Design decisions in the transition between Halo 2 and Halo 3 were questionable, despite Halo 3's major success in its opening years. Many players stomached the changes and kept with the series, but they only stayed for as long as their patience could last. With Destiny, Bungie ran into trouble with story elements. The narrative was disjointed, and worse, it felt unimportant.

    Some consider Bungie to be a studio with its best years behind them. Whether or not that's true depends on where Destiny goes from here. It's intended to be a project that will evolve in the years to come, and only time will tell if that actually happens.

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