Nintendo normally knocks it out of the park with their first party titles. Kid Icarus revolutionized the gaming industry spawning numerous sequels and giving us arguably the greatest video game character of all time, Pit. Ice Climbers was a juggernaut upon release. The game was considered so perfect, Nintendo decided a sequel could never live up to the hype of the original, so they have essentially retired the series. When Ice Climbers made it into Smash Bros Melee, gamers around the world rejoiced. Sadly, or totally predictable, the Ice Climbing duo were too powerful. As a result, they were subsequently removed from the series when Smash Brothers Brawl released on Wii.
So, sure, Nintendo established itself as a major player in the video market off the backs of series like Duck Hunt and Wrecking Crew, but not all series were a hit. Metroid was a disaster and almost bankrupted the company. But Nintendo didn’t want to give up on one of the female pioneers of gaming. Still, they couldn’t justify her on home consoles. Thus, her sequel was given life on the lowly handheld, the Gameboy. Metroid was given a second shot on the Super Nintendo. Another flop, often sited as the worst release by Nintendo. Samus would be relegated to handheld consoles two more times. Not to mention, after the absolute butchering of Metroid as a FPS, Metroid Prime 4 was delayed and ultimately canceled for the best. Not a single soul complained. It just goes to show you, no matter how many times Nintendo releases an installment of a horrible franchise, true gamers don’t forget the past mistakes.
Now, let’s take a look at Nintendos 5 Worst Franchises.
#5 Animal Crossing- When I was preparing this blog, I really thought this be number 1. How could it not be? This game is one of the most overrated franchises in all of gaming, let alone Nintendo. What do you do in this game? Seriously. You play as a kid whose sole purpose in life is to befriend animals. Doesn’t that sound horrible? Like, oh no, Sally the spider lost one of her 8 shoes and needs you to find it. Other task consist of paying off your debt. I mean, at least kids get exposed to how evil money is and how people will use it to manipulate them. So good job Nintendo capturing some realism there.
#4 Super Smash Brothers- Nintendo has long been loathed for repacking and releasing the same games over and over with new paint and funny names. Is there a series that is a better example of that than Super Smash Brothers? I feel like I’ve been playing the same game over and over. The series definitely peaked on the Nintendo 64. Every game since has just felt like an ad campaign. We get it, Fire Emblem (which is probably #6 on this list) could not sell world wide, so they snuck in countless numbers of characters to try and brain wash us into wanting Fire Emblem. Well, it still hasn’t worked and probably never will. The next release of Smash Bros, slated for release on the Switch 2 next year, was announced to have a roster comprised entirely of Fire Emblem characters. Have you lost all hope in the world yet?
#3 Pokemon- Give me a break with this one. Do 30 year old men still think it’s cute to film themselves opening Pokemon TCG boxes, or playing Pokemon Go? No cares if you found Mew under the truck. No one cares if you completed the Pokedex. And trust me, no one cares if you had all the original holos from the card game, especially how many Charizards you owned. Grow up.
#2 The Legend of Zelda. What a waste of potential here. I’m serious. Sure, Zelda 1 was a total bust. The franchise redeemed itself with phenomenal poise with the sequel, Zelda 2. Zelda 2 saved Nintendo. It helped restore faith with the general public. Despite this, Nintendo reverted back to the original formula. This contradicted all the good grace Zelda 2 built up. Then, there was the unspeakable sin. The point of no return, Ocarina of Time. The jump to 3D just wasn’t kind to the Zelda series. The Z Lock On tried to fix things, but arguably made it worse. The time traveling mechanic really bogged down the story and made certain parts feel bloated. It was a total train wreck that the series still has not recovered from.
#1 Super Mario- I guess it was always going to be Super Mario. I mean talk about a cash cow. At least other series like Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed and Madden attempt to change their games up with each release. How many times do I need to run, jump and collect stars? Isn’t this getting old to anyone? And not to mention, they are just slapping Mario on anything and hoping it sells. Why do I need Mario playing Golf, Tennis, Carts and any of the other countless side series? I can do all that in real life, thank you. So, without a doubt, Mario is easily the worst video game mascot and franchise of all time.
So, that’s my list. I could keep going with other Nintendo failures like Donkey Kong, Kirby and Splatoon, but let’s not destroy them too hard. Let me know you’re worst 5 Nintendo Franchises in the comments!