Hyping up a video game is normal. It's the publisher's job to handle the marketing and release of the game. The better they are at handling that end, the more likely they will recoup the money they invested towards the development of the game. Unfortunately, publishers tend to overdo their job, overselling the game so that it commands the audience's attention to drive sales.
The result of this is a long list of overhyped games that failed to meet expectations. Games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Marvel's Avengers have both become poster children of how to disappoint fans by overpromising and underdelivering.
With that said, not every overhyped game, well, sucks. Some overhyped titles do actually end up living up to expectations.
Below are 10 of the best overhyped games that actually lived up to the hype.
There's a reason why the phrase, "Can it run Crysis?", is still alive decades after the first Crysis game was released in 2007.
The first Crysis game was essentially marketed as a benchmarketing tool in video game form. It was a showcase for what the bleeding edge technology of the time was capable of on the PC. When it launched, it led to numerous gamers upgrading their video cards just so that they can see just how good Crysis was at its best.
Crysis was definitely overhyped. For quite some time, known as the game that was demanding enough to "melt PCs". Whether or not this happened is not the point here. Rather, it's the fact that Crytek delivered.
Unlike other overhyped titles, Crysis was just as pretty as the trailers promised and the first few hours are nothing short of amazing. Although it wasn't exactly the sort of shooter that made its impact via its gameplay, Crysis did set the graphics standard for future shooters for the better part of the next decade or so.
Unfortunately, trying to run the original Crysis game on a modern PC is a chore. Luckily, there is an alternative. On top of 2020's Crysis Remastered, Crytek just confirmed that a Crysis Remastered Trilogy is coming later this 2020 that compiles all three Crysis games in a single remastered title.
God of War
Wherever you were in 2016 to 2018, you'd have to have been living under a rock to not have heard about Santa Monica Studio's God of War.
From the leaks and rumors to the actual reveal at E3 2016, as well as every bit of information released until the game launched in 2018, God of War was everywhere. Then, when it finally came out, it was nothing short of a visual masterpiece and is easily one of the best-looking games on the PS4, right alongside the likes of Red Dead Redemption 2, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Uncharted 4.
One of the more worrying aspects of God of War before its release was its story and it ended up being its strong suit. It took a rather pedestrian trope of a tired hero and injected new life into Kratos' story by turning him into a father and making the entire game revolve around a father-son adventure that you won't soon forget.
Gameplay-wise, God of War learned a lot from its predecessors and contemporaries. It took the hack-and-slash nature of the original titles and infused it with elements taken from the likes of Devil May Cry and, dare we say, Dark Souls. This gave God of War a distinctly familiar feel that also felt fresh at the same time.
Speaking of fresh, God of War gave you a lot to do, and we mean, A LOT. Because of the open-world exploration, you could easily find yourself getting side-tracked by the dozens of memorable side-missions, loot hunts, and crafting legendary armor. Even then, we wouldn't blame you for just basking in the glory of your surroundings before you decided to proceed with the story.
The first Mass Effect game is the most difficult to rank. In terms of impact and influence, 2007's Mass Effect game should probably rank a bit higher than third on our list. But you can't exactly be the "best" just because you gave birth to an entire franchise. However, in terms of hype, the first Mass Effect game was probably the most overhyped of all three.
While Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 received their fair share of time on the proverbial limelight before their respective releases, it was the first Mass Effect game that was pretty much sold everywhere Bioware and EA saw fit.
Thankfully, the first Mass Effect game lived up to the expectations. Even though the graphics and gameplay haven't aged well, it remains the best example of how to build a world in an RPG game. It was filled with equally large and monumental events, as well as little but memorable details, both of which combined with its well-written story and cast of characters.
We strongly recommend playing through the first Mass Effect game today via Mass Effect: Legendary Edition. It updates the gameplay so it feels more like its two successors without taking away anything from how it built an entire series.
Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto 6 is receiving a lot of coverage and it hasn't even been announced yet. Leaks have suggested that it will be announced via an online event and will not arrive until years later. However, if you've followed one of the most controversial video game series of all time, you'll know that this is pretty normal.
The latest mainline installment, 2013's Grand Theft Auto 5, received just as much hype. In fact, it was too hyped in the months and years before its release. Then again, this marketing effort did not go unnoticed. The resulting product might not have been universally considered as the best game in the series, but it did go on to become the best-selling entertainment product of all time.
Five years after its release, GTA V pulled in a total revenue of $6 billion in 2018. It's been 3 years since and GTA V is set to release for next-gen consoles along with a standalone spin-off in GTA Online, so who knows just how much the number has grown in three years?
Bloodborne was as hyped as a Dark Souls game can get. It was released in 2015, just a year after the lackluster Dark Souls 2 and a year before Dark Souls 3, but one could argue that it received the most hype of the three.
Not that it wasn't earned. In fact, Bloodborne deserved all the hype. The PlayStation-exclusive title was Hideteka Miyazaki at its finest.
Even though Bloodborne was very much a Dark Souls title in every way outside of the name, it managed to establish itself as a separate game worthy of its own franchise. It took the rich mythology and intense combat of the Dark Souls games while giving it a stronger narrative direction with a more fast-paced action that helped it sell more than a million copies in a month.
Resident Evil 4
It's near-impossible to put into words just how much impact Resident Evil 4 made on the video game industry. It's not just the best Resident Evil game ever made - it's one of the best games in history, which is no small praise.
Resident Evil 4 was originally released for the GameCube in 2005. Since then, Capcom has found a way to port Resident Evil 4 to other platforms. This includes an upcoming VR release and a rumored remake. This just goes to show just how much Resident Evil 4 lived up to the original hype surrounding it, which was quite substantial.
Resident Evil 4 was released years after Resident Evil 4 as the first mainline installment in the uber-popular Resident Evil franchise that just saw its first movie adaptation in 2002. Yet, despite attracting so much attention, Resident Evil 4 reveled in it all. Even the fact that it was released in the relatively obscure GameCube did not deter fans from picking it up.
What made Resident Evil 4 such a great game was how it took everything that its predecessors did and added new elements, some of which can still be seen in games from other franchises and genres today. Gone were the tanky controls of the first few Resident Evil games, which Resident Evil 4 exchanged with a more fluid movement system and an over-the-shoulder perspective that, at the time, was revolutionary.
By the time that Portal 2 was released in 2011, Valve had already established itself as one of the world's premier game development studios. Unfortunately, it also came at a time when Steam had begun to become Valve's focus. But, still, as bittersweet as that may sound like, Portal 2 did make for an unforgettable swansong for Valve's interest in making original titles.
Portal 2 built on the success of the first Portal game. It was the same first-person puzzle shooter at its core. At the same time, it was also very different, with more creative ways and mechanics for you to make use of the teleporting portal gun. It also didn't hurt that it came with a satisfying story that, to this day, Valve has yet to match.
As a bonus, Portal 2 is the sort of game that you can enjoy on a $500 gaming PC.
World of Warcraft
Contrary to popular belief, World of Warcraft did not give birth to the MMORPG genre. It was already there when it came out in 2004. Games such as Ultima Online and EverQuest had long been sucking hours upon hours from the lives of gamers before the game even came to life.
Unlike EverQuest and Ultima Online, World of Warcraft was built on the backs of one of Blizzard's most successful franchises. It continued the lore of the Warcraft games while switching up the gameplay from real-time strategy, a decision that proved to be a success right out of the gates.
Although World of Warcraft has seen its fair share of tumbles over the years, none can deny that it has established itself as the gold standard against which every other MMO game should measure itself.
World of Warcraft is no longer just a video game at this point. It's a legitimate cultural phenomenon that has spawned social circles that are so strong that people from all over the world who otherwise would not have met would end up traveling to the yearly BlizzCon convention to meet up and express their universal love for the game.
Final Fantasy 7
Final Fantasy 7 is easily the most iconic Final Fantasy game ever. It's even spawned its own universe with a remake that's set to build an even bigger universe than any of its predecessors did. Although the graphics haven't aged quite well, the gameplay has, which is great for those who'd love to know the reason behind all the hype.
Speaking of, Final Fantasy 7 received a lot of hype at the time, which mostly revolved around it being the first Final Fantasy game to fully embrace 3D graphics. Truly, it was hard to describe just how hyped gamers were for Final Fantasy 7 to release in 1997 unless you were there.
Final Fantasy 7 might not go down in history as the best Final Fantasy game, but no one can deny that it lived up to the hype that preceded its launch.
The Last of Us Part II
The Last of Us Part II is what happens if you give the same team behind an awesome first title an even bigger budget and even more time to develop it.
After The Last of Us became a masterful swansong for the PlayStation 3, The Last of Us Part II did the same thing a generation later for the PlayStation 4. Its exceptional writing will resonate with every player. By the time you've finished playing the game, you'd be left with a mix of emotions like anger, sadness, and hate, in a way that very few have ever felt in their lives.
More than the story and what kind of emotions it evoked in its players, The Last of Us Part II was also just a damn good game. It was rightfully challenging and gave players free reigns to improvise how they will get themselves out of certain situations.
Say what you want of its controversial narrative direction, The Last of Us Part II did what a sequel should always do - expand on its predecessor in every way possible.