games / Columns

The 8 Ball: Top 8 Terrible Gaming Franchises – Duke Nukem, Star Fox, More

February 12, 2019 | Posted by Marc Morrison
Duke Nukem

Welcome all to another edition of The 8 Ball! This week I’m here to talk about game franchises, specifically ones that are awful. My main criteria here is two-fold: 1. A franchise can have one good game in it and still be bad and 2. The franchise should still be under active development. Let’s begin:



#8: Star Fox

I have liked exactly one Star Fox game in my life, that being Star Fox 64. It wasn’t my first one, which was the SNES one that ran at an impressive 10 frames a second. That’s my sarcastic voice. Every Star Fox game since then has either been a game that no one wanted: Adventure and Guard are prime examples, or a game that is trying to recreate Star Fox 64 and failing miserably at it: Assault, Command, Zero. I would love an original, fresh take on the Star Fox formula but it’s just never going to come to pass.

#7: The Sims

I’ve *wanted* to like The Sims but could never get into it. I think the last one I legitimately tried was Sims 3. A half hour went by and it was OK but after that I began to notice how disobedient my Sims were. I’d tell one to do something and they just wouldn’t do it. This isn’t a Sims 3-only problem as both earlier Sims game had issues like this for me. The idea of building/decorating your house is kind of cool but having characters to use that only respond to about half of your commands makes it a franchise I don’t want to touch.

#6: Gran Turismo

The first Gran Turismo game, to me, was a superb game. Nothing had really been done like it on the PS1 before, it was fast, looked great, and had a killer soundtrack. And people do like GT3 because it was a graphical showpiece for the PS3. But man, playing any of those games is a total snore, and this is coming from a guy who likes the Forza, Dirt and Project CARS games. The cars just kind of lumber around a track. Polyphony Digital’s edict of “MOAR CARS, DAMN IT!” doesn’t mean a hill of beans when 838 of them were standard in Gran Turismo 6 and only 388 were “Premium”. Microsoft has consistently managed to put out good-to-excellent Forza games every year for almost the past decade. Polyphony can barely put a Gran Turismo game out every 5 years.

#5: Fable

It’s funny to me talking to Fable fans because the game they seem to hate, Fable 3, is the one I actually kind of liked. People go crazy for Fable 1 and 2, dislike 3, and that Kinect Fable game is never spoke of. I’m the opposite, I really disliked Fable 1 and 2 and reasonably liked 3. The reason I dug 3 is because all of that social, posing/threatening crap was really sidelined. It was much more of an actual *game* than the others. Even forgetting that though, the Fable games always traded on high-minded ideals but never really matched it.

#4: Hyperdimension Neptunia

I’m not sure if they keep making these games, I just know they keep releasing on Steam every so often and I want them to stop. Honestly, the concept is great of different game consoles/companies are personified and the cancelled Sega Neptune system is the lynchpin for the story. But playing any of the games is bad, because it is entirely focused on grinding out materials for arcane crafting systems and boobs. Yes, breasts and breast size somehow plays a critical role in some of these games with characters being jealous of other characters chests. Yeesh.

#3: Crackdown

This barely qualifies as a franchise but let’s go. Crackdown 1 was a cool, inventive game that came out in 2007. You could jump around, kill the different gang leaders as you pleased and picked up orbs to boost your own attributes. Crackdown 2 came out and was a flop having almost none of the good stuff that Crackdown 1 had. Crackdown 3 has officially been in development for over 5 years, being announced in 2014, but probably longer given actual development time. By most accounts, it’s finally going to be released on Friday in a shambolic mess, given all the features they originally announced and then cut from the game. It only seems to be releasing because it *has* to, rather than people want it to. Honestly, given the actual track record of the game, I fully expect some eleventh hour delay to still hit it.

#2: Duke Nukem

Man, Duke Nukem has never been good. The original Duke 3D was impressive because of its interactivity and non-linear levels but that was it. I never found the Duke character funny, being a tired pastiche of Ash Williams and Nada from They Live. And in the 20+ years Duke has been around it hasn’t evolved one iota, except to throw more crap into the levels. It’s funny that Crackdown 3 has been in development for over 5 years because Duke Nukem Forever was in development for almost triple that amount of time, 14 years. Gearbox owns the Duke Nukem franchise and Randy Pitchford has said/threatened that Duke is a major thing for Gearbox, but if that’s true, it’s one of the top 5 insane things he’s ever said. Unless a new Duke game comes out and it’s actually based on Pitchford’s alleged proclivities, please just let the character die and remain buried.

#1: Bubsy

Who the hell allowed Bubsy to come back? Seriously, we were done with this annoying character in 1996 after Bubsy 3D came out and predictably was awful. Someone, 21 years later, sacrificed a goat to some dark lord and brought the character back. Not only that, they then made a SECOND game that is due out in a few months. I think most people only found this new game out due to a disastrous Kickstarter launch for more DLC they want to make. Almost every game in every franchise on this list has some fans. But no one, and I mean NO ONE likes Bubsy or can defend the franchise.


For comments, list your most hated game franchise and why.

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Top 8 Video Pinball Games

article topics :

The 8 Ball (Games), Marc Morrison