All Aboard the Hype Train: 9 Games That Actually Lived up to the Hype

by Matthew Bailey 2 years ago in list

Sometimes, like with these 9, games exceed our wildest expectations and live up to the hype.

All Aboard the Hype Train: 9 Games That Actually Lived up to the Hype

Let's face it, the hype train is something that we all ride at some point in our gaming life. It's just part of the culture of gaming because developers and publishers need their advertising to saturate the media in order to hook us on their game.

Based on the perceived awesomeness of a game we, the gamers, get the hype train rolling. Regardless of where we learn about a game, the fact of the matter is that more often than not it seems we are let down by the expectations we've built in our minds. Yet, every year, we get hyped for the next set of games (which look incredible, for the record).

Whether you've been recently disappointed by the hype surrounding No Man's Sky, or it was a game much farther back in the history of gaming - we've all been there. But sometimes, just sometimes, a game exceeds our wildest expectations. Here are nine games that lived up to the #hype and are now looked at as some of the greatest games of all time.

  • Released: 2011
  • Developer: Valve Corporation
  • Consoles: PC, OSX, Linux, PS3, Xbox 360

Considering how loved the original Portal was as a game that revolutionized puzzle game design, there was a lot to live up to. Portal 2 hit the ground running and never looked back. Exploring an entire story within the Aperture Labs backdrop while warping through portals in every conceivable direction was absolutely thrilling, and it's a major reason why Portal 2 remained in the good graces of the hype.

  • Released: 1996
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Consoles: Nintendo 64

As the main selling point for gamers to purchase the Nintendo 64, Super Mario 64 had built a massive amount of hype around itself. In terms of sheer enjoyment, Super Mario 64 still remains among the top fan-favorite games of all time, and rightfully so - considering how iconic the character is and how masterfully Nintendo introduced the 2D-to-3D conversion at the time. Super Mario 64 was a guiding force in setting the rules for navigating a 3D gaming space in realtime.

  • Released: 2010
  • Developer: BioWare
  • Consoles: PC, Xbox 360, PS3

Let's get this one out of the way first to cover our bases. If you LOVED the original Mass Effect game, then you may have some issues with the sequel. A lot of that has to do with the in game changes made like taking away a great deal of the RPG focus. But if you look at Mass Effect 2 on its own, it stands the test as a truly great game that lived up to the hype and smashed expectations.

  • Released: 2008
  • Developer: Naughty Dog
  • Consoles: PS3, re-released PS4

I have to give Naughty Dog some credit with the Uncharted franchise, because they stuck with it even after critics questioned their transition from Crash Bandicoot to Nathan Drake. The original game didn't really take off as they hoped - but after an E3 demo, the whole world was aware of the potential of Drake to become a lasting character. The gaming community had finally found their Indiana Jones, and the game surpassed all expectations with unforgettable set-pieces, excellent pacing, and widely-praised dialogue.

  • Released: 2005
  • Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
  • Consoles: PC, GameCube, PS2, Xbox, remastered for PS3

The Splinter Cell franchise has become one of Ubisoft's flagship, and with good reason considering that nearly every game has been met with critical acclaim since they were introduced in 2002. Chaos Theory looked absolutely stunning and is still looked at as one of the greatest gaming experiences based on mission selection, variety of completion potential, and immaculate level design.

  • Released: 2004
  • Developer: Rockstar North
  • Consoles: PC, Xbox, PS2, Ported to Xbox 360 & PS3

Developing and releasing 3 GTA titles in a four year span (2001 - 2004) was a massive feat especially when you think about how different each game was. After the back to back releases of GTA III and GTA: Vice City, nobody imagined that Rockstar could top themselves. But then we were given GTA: San Andreas and we were astounded with the largest game to get lost in and explore. San Andreas went as far as inspiring urban legends about the world and proved that it was a game with staying power.

  • Released: 2015
  • Developer: Rocksteady Studios
  • Consoles: PC, Xbox One, PS4

DC's beloved detective, Batman, has survived countless attempts to transition his story to video games, and none really made an impact with fans until Rocksteady introduced the Arkham series. In the third game of the franchise, we met the largest roster of villains to face, a gripping story and graphics that far surpassed the predecessors. Batman: Arkham Knight proved to be the pivotal game in the franchise and truly brought justice to Batman's depiction over the years. Even though the PC was blasted for barely working, the console release proved a phenomenal entry to the series.

2. Overwatch

  • Released: 2016
  • Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
  • Consoles: PC, Xbox One, PS4

When Blizzard stepped into the FPS realm, there were more than a few fans scratching their heads, but then after the first bits of hype rolled in, the sky was the limit for Overwatch. Overwatch has proven itself as one of the most dominant FPS games of the current generation of gamers. And thanks to the relentless developer support with bug fixes, special events, and new characters and skins, players have never felt as though the game went stale. Even though it doesn't have the single player campaign or a complete story, Overwatch remains unbeatable in polish and quality.

  • Released: 2011
  • Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
  • Consoles: PC, PS3, Xbox360 - Remastered for PC, PS4, Xbox One

Bethesda has steadily dropped successful games on our plates every few years and we've eaten them up. After Oblivion released, Bethesda was needless to say "flying high". Then they told us about Skyrim. Because of its incredible graphics, overall revamped RPG gameplay, and immense world, we all saw it as the next evolution in gaming. Living up to the hype of a string of successful Elder Scrolls titles, the hype was astronomical. Thanks to the epic and near-endless experience in-game, Skyrim has proven to be one of the most beloved and lasting games for countless gamers.

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Matthew Bailey

Husband. Father. Gamer. Cinema Lover. Mix it all together, and there I am. I love all things pop-culture and coffee; but coffee is the best.

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