I've decided to create a Top Ten that's undoubtedly going to generate a lot of hate mail, which would actually be a first for the OPCFG. One thing I would like you all to keep in mind before flaming me is that in no way, shape or form am I claiming that any of these games are bad... hell, I even own some of them. I might not think they're the greatest games in the world, but they're all far from terrible. Nor am I doing this just because I know it will push some buttons. No, they're just games that I feel are overrated, and I will state my reasons for thinking so. Keep in mind, these are just my opinions, and in no way do I consider them to be fact. This article in no way reflect Mike's opinions, so if you do decide to flame anyone over it, make sure you direct your hate mail to me. Also keep in mind that I'm only covering games that I've played. I will not list any games that I have not played, because whether or not I feel they're overrated is irrelevant if I haven't actually played them.
This list may change eventually, as I don't know if I'll feel the same way about these games later on. So with that, let me begin.
The Mario killer himself, Sonic The Hedgehog, comes in at number 10. For the longest time, Sonic bored me. It bored me to the point where I no longer wanted to play the game after I had finished it once. Right around stage 2 I would just get bored and turn the game off. Yes, it was fast, it was colorful, it had great music, the controls were fine - but it bored me. I don't know why it bored me as much as it did, but it did. I certainly couldn't see how so many considered it to be the end-all, be-all of platformers, nor can I to this day. However, years after its initial release, I decided to start playing it again... and for some reason, I wasn't as bored with it this time. That's the only reason that Sonic isn't a lot higher on this list. Will it ever leave this list completely? I don't know. But when I find out, you'll know.
Okay, Street Fighter II is the only one of these games that's making this list due to a bit of personal bias. It jumpstarted the fighting game craze in the early '90s, everyone knows this. That was the beginning of the end for a lot of things in the U.S., namely the SHMUP and the classic arcade - two things that I absolutely love. After Street Fighter II, SHMUPs almost vanished. Arcades that once used to have a wide variety of games now had wall-to-wall fighting games. On top of that, you could not get away from the fucking thing! Street Fighter II was everywhere for years, and I got so sick of it! The game itself? Granted, it deserved a lot of the praise that it received. It was, and still is, one of the best one-on-one fighters in existence. But the constant hype that didn't die down for years... the overwhelming onslaught of SF2-everything coming from all of the major game mags... being around people that lived and breathed SF2... all of it combined just turned me completely away from fighting games in general and SF2 in particular. Only just recently have I started to play around with fighting games again - and yes, I have given SF2 another chance. I'll get back to you in a few years and let you know how I feel about it then.
Me seeing the Cruis'n USA arcade game for the first time, sometime in 1995: What's this? An "Ultra 64" game? Hmmm, pretty. *plays it for a while, then stops* You know something? I really don't like it. It's not "grabbing" me. The only thing it's doing for me is making me want to go home and play OutRun and F-Zero again. *shrug* That's all I can really say about it.
Super FX! WOW! No one knew that the SNES could pull off graphics like this! It's so fluid! Too bad the game wasn't all that great. Something always felt off to me when playing the original StarFox - that, and the game just felt sluggish in a lot of ways. On top of that, I always felt that most of the praise it received was due to the Super FX chip and the things it was making the SNES do. Had this been a 2D sidescrolling or overhead shooter, I doubt it would have received half the praise it did. While not a bad game by any means, I always felt it could have been more than it was. I was ultimately proved right by the superb StarFox 64.
This... game... is... sooooo... slooooooooooow. That was my initial reaction the first time I played Super Mario Kart. From there, I quickly determined that I also didn't like the controls. It felt like the karts were stuck in molasses. Why can't... I turn... QUICKLY? All that aside, I was determined to give the game a chance, because of all of the praise that had been heaped on it, by "professionals" and fellow gamers alike. I tried, I really did. It didn't do much good though, because the longer I played, the more I felt my initial impressions were warranted. How all of those people found Super Mario Kart to be such a fantastic game was beyond me, as I just could not see where they were coming from. Eventually I put the game aside, never to touch it again... and had it not been for Mario Kart 64, I might never have played a Mario Kart game again. I didn't want to try it out, though. That's how much I disliked the original, and I was positive that the new one would be more of the same. But I gave Mario Kart 64 a chance, and I'm glad I did. I felt it improved on the original in nearly every way.
Street Fighter II did a lot of damage to me, and Mortal Kombat didn't help. Together with SF2 it made one-on-one fighters the dominant game genre in the early '90s. After a while, I was almost as sick of MK as I was SF2. Why is it ranking higher on this list than SF2, though? The gameplay. SF2's combat system had depth. I'll admit that. MK's combat system lacked that depth and tried to make up for it with digitized graphics and fatalities. In short, I felt it relied too much on gimmicks rather than gameplay. Whereas I grudgingly admitted that SF2 deserved a lot of the praise that it got, I don't feel that MK warranted the same amount of praise. Granted, I've played worse (Time Killers, I'm looking at you), but MK just didn't have what I felt to be solid enough gameplay, especially considering the amount of praise it had received. Fourteen years later, I still feel the same. As far as the sequels are concerned, MK II was a bit better than the original, but after MK 3, I decided I'd seen enough... and from what I've seen of the recent MK games, I'm not impressed enough to pick any of them up.
It was the NES game that sold the most copies ever. Many NES fans consider this to be the best NES game of all time. Some people even consider it to be the best game of all time.
I'm not one of those people.
Don't get me wrong, Super Mario Bros. 3 is an excellent game. I won't deny that. I rented it for a week when it first came out and played the hell out of it. However, there was something about it that just left me feeling... disappointed. I'm not sure what it was, nor can I figure it out to this day. All I know was that during the week that I had rented it, my feelings of "this is a must buy!" slowly changed to "I probably won't even rent this again." I can't explain it, but that's how I've felt about it ever since that far-off time in 1990. I do own a copy of the game (technically, I own Super Mario All-Stars for the SNES, but the version contained on it is identical to the NES version aside from the graphics and sound), and every time I fire it up I'm always struck by that same feeling, even now.
Here's the entry that I'm sure that the majority of the hate mail I'm going to recieve will result from. I'm sorry, FF7 fanboys/girls, but yes, I think the game is overrated. After the greatness of Final Fantasy II and Final Fantasy III for the SNES, Final Fantasy VII took the series in a whole new direction - one that I didn't like. While it wasn't a bad game by any means, it wasn't one that held my interest very long. The story - and I know that to a lot of you, the story is the most important part of an RPG - just seemed to drag on interminably. I wanted to play a game, not watch a movie (and an extremely melodramatic one at that). The story and the characters just didn't grab me. As such, I grew bored with the game pretty quickly... and when I saw that Squaresoft was going to continue the same style with Final Fantasy VIII, I pretty much swore off the Final Fantasy series for good.
Donkey Kong Country. The game that supposedly proved that you didn't need a 32-bit system to experience 32-bit graphics. Uh... no. While it was a competent enough (although barely average) sidescroller, once the novelty of the rendered graphics wore off, that's all you were left with... a slightly below average sidescroller with some (now horribly dated) rendered graphics. Big deal. How this game ended up getting the following that it did completely mystifies me.
The game that launched a million N64s. The game that many, many people have called "the best game ever created." The game that so many people wanted a sequel to, but never got (unless you count Super Mario Sunshine on the GameCube). The game that, quite frankly, bored the hell out of me.
Sorry folks. I'd much rather play SMB 3 from beginning to end again than play Mario 64 ever again. While it was damned amazing the first few times I played it, once the novelty of playing a game in full 3D was gone, the excitement quickly wore off. I found the game to be extremely repetitive (having to go back into each level multiple times to collect stars? Why can't you just keep going and get them all at once?), the control to be lacking, and the general feel of a SMB game (which SMB 3 had in spades, my personal dislike of the game aside) to be completely and totally gone. As such, I have no desire to play the game ever again.