Button Mash 14 Formerly Great Gaming Franchises That Are Terrible Now  

Robert Carnevale
49.9k votes 7.8k voters 253.5k views 14 items

List Rules Vote up the most stale franchise on this list.

There comes a point where even the very best video game franchises need to be put out of their misery. Whether it be the publishers just not caring anymore, the developers not having any artistic integrity left, or any cruelly-corporate combination of the two, the fact of the matter is that every gaming franchise on this list is utterly and absolutely devoid of ingenuity or merit at this point. If it has reached this list, the franchise has gone on at least one installment too long for its own good.

That's not to say that these franchises are without merit. Some helped spawn entire genres, while others kept those same genres alive. Heck, two or three series on this list contain some of the best games of the past few generations - uncontested golden trophies of gaming accomplishment. Yet even the mighty will fall when developers and publishers get greedy and pump out titles for quick cash grabs. So, check out this list below and vote up the most worthless franchises that may have been amazing at one point, but are now just plain terrible. 

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Call of Duty is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 14 Formerly Great Gaming Franchises That Are Terrible Now
Photo:  Activision

Where does one even begin when discussing the living corpse of a franchise that is Call of Duty? Widely known as the most stale, casual shooter on the market, scores of tweens line up each holiday season to snag the next low-ambition sci-fi shooter from Activision that, once in a blue moon, remembers its historic roots and decides to be a World War shooter.

And yet, whether you're shooting Nazis or futuristic robots, the guns and physics all feel ridiculously cheap and weak. That's because Activision is putting different animal pelts on top of the same dead carcass every year, and the largely adolescent gaming market doesn't know any better than to gobble it up. Four-hour campaigns which are glorified hallway simulators and a multiplayer mode devoid of any room for actual skill have come to define this franchise. 

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2,513 1,342
Destiny is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 14 Formerly Great Gaming Franchises That Are Terrible Now
Photo:  Bungie

After Halo: Reach, Bungie said enough was enough and quit producing Halo games, a series about hardcore space marines shooting funny-looking aliens into mush on obscure planets. To celebrate their newfound freedom and artistic liberty, they launched a brand new franchise about hardcore space marines who shoot funny-looking aliens into mush on obscure planets.

The difference? Destiny was controlled by Activision's greedy corporate structure, meaning fans came back biannually to get their wallets abused for more DLC that was just cut content from the creatively devoid base game. Again and again, the storyless, contentless game received updates with a single new gun or half a mission, and fans came flocking back to it, just like they will for Destiny 2. Keep throwing millions at Activision, guys. Reward that kind of behavior. 

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2,149 1,244
Street Fighter is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 14 Formerly Great Gaming Franchises That Are Terrible Now
Photo:  Capcom

Street Fighter 4 got four different editions over the course of its lifespan. That means Capcom sold you the same game with a few new fighters four separate times. Then they had the gall to follow up that fiasco with Street Fighter V, a game featuring half the content of the original SF4, with no story mode and broken online play.

All those crimes and still, Capcom makes just enough profit to stay afloat. Here's the reality, people: Capcom doesn't have the integrity or the money to produce quality Street Fighter titles anymore. So please, stop drip-feeding them and let Ryu find peace in a dignified death. 

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1,876 1,159
Watch Dogs is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 14 Formerly Great Gaming Franchises That Are Terrible Now
Photo:  Ubisoft

The Watch Dogs franchise is the biggest, most shameful lie Ubisoft has ever told. Advertised back in 2012 as a cyberpunk renaissance for the gaming medium, Ubisoft promised state-of-the-art graphics and a revolutionary hacking mechanic. The reality? The first Watch Dogs was an ugly Grand Theft Auto clone. The only difference was that this game included a "press X to win" mechanic, where you could make the protagonist pull off one or two neat gimmicks with his smart phone from time to time by tapping a single button.

Watch Dogs 2, with all the time and money in the world to correct the wrongs and false promises of its predecessor, completely failed to do anything noteworthy and was just more of the same underwhelming garbage. And yet, both sold enough for Ubisoft to be happy. Maybe, just maybe, if gamers don't buy their garbage, Ubisoft will put some actual effort into their games. 

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